Santiago Iñiguez recorded his story with his son Ricardo at the MobileBooth in Wenatchee, Washington. Santiago’s father taught him the value and honor of hard work on their farm in Santa Elena, Mexico. Although his father did not have much formal education himself, he made sure his children learned to read. “Mi papa tenia una Biblia, y allí me enseñe yo mas a leer en esa Biblia, no había mas libros.” My father had a bible and that is how I learned to read, it was the only book we had, said Santiago.
Santiago left Mexico and traveled to the United States, as he said, “para buscar una cosa diferente,” to find something different. While working on the farms of the Yakima Valley in Washington state, Santiago saved his money and brought his family to start a new life.
Many years later Ricardo asked his father how it felt to watch each of his eleven children graduate from high school and go onto too college. Santiago responded, “Me emociono tanto ver como las cosas pueden mejorar con esfuerzo,” I am so excited to see how things can improve with effort. “Eso para mi era como un milagro, haberme yo con tan poquita escuela, tan poquita oportunidad. Me han negado mucho por la falta de la escuela, pero a mis hijos no.” That for me was like a miracle, having so little school, so little opportunity. I have been denied many things for my lack of education, but my children will not be.
Santiago strongly believes that, “La mejor herencia es la escuela.” The best inheritance is school.