Latino Leaders Magazine | July/Aug 2015

Page 60





ORN IN VILLA Nicolas Bravo in the state of Guerrero, Aparicio lived in a home with no running water or electricity with his five siblings until the family moved to Mexico City when he was 10 years old. “We were the poorest of the poor,” he recalled. Daily existence remained a struggle for the family, which moved to a “vecindad” where they lived in one small room and shared a single public bathroom with 100 people. The prospect of a brighter future seemed unlikely as Aparicio approached manhood and made the painful decision to leave his homeland. Driven by the desire for a better life, Aparicio travelled thousands of miles for weeks to the United States-Mexican border at Tijuana with his uncle, cousin and two others. At the border, they hid in the terrain for more than 24 hours, waiting for a chance to cross. Soaked by heavy rain and weak from hunger, the 20-year-old developed a high fever and began doubting his actions.

58 • July / August 2015

Northwestern Mutual Photos by Jorge Mujica Story by

Ethan Aparicio’s journey from childhood poverty in Mexico to a successful career as a financial representative in California is a testament to the human spirit.

“It’s been 32 years and I still remember all those things as if it were yesterday,” he said. “My biggest fear was that I was going to die at the border. I started wondering if I should go back.” But Aparicio believes the decision he made years ago shaped the man he is today. “I chose not to give up. It’s a lesson that I still apply today–never quit. It’s important to keep going and take that next step toward a better future,” said Aparicio, a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual in Bakersfield, California.