Twenty three years apart from his family fulfilling the promise of getting
and education and working for the Mexican Community in New York .
Angelo emigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was 14 years old.
Along the way, Angelo became homeless. Later he found a job where he was
forced to work more than 12 hours a day, often without water or food. Thanks to
a good Samaritan who gave him the gift of $280 to get his GED, Angelo was able
to start down the road toward his dream. In time, he reached it—graduating
from Baruch College with a Master’s in Public Administration.
When Angelo was given that $280 dollars, which opened the door to college for
him, he was asked to return the favor by helping other students in the same
situation to get into college. Today, Angelo works full time, without a salary,
managing educational programs within the Mexican community that
support young Mexicans and Latinos who wish to go to college. For his
selfless work and devotion to improving the lives of immigrants newly arrived in
New York City, Angelo Cabrera has received various awards from local, state,
and Mexican government institutions.
Recently, Angelo was awarded by the Rising Star Award from the American
Dreamer’s Award from the Mayor of New York.
He has also received several Fellowships to implement programs in the Mexican
community such Harvard University, CORO New York through Mayor’s Office of
Immigrant Affairs, and a winner of an international competition for social change
projects from Initiativa Mexico (Mexican Initiatives) to support Mexican living
abroad with his Mentoring Educational program in the South Bronx. MASA.ORG
(Angelo is the founder of Masa since 2001.)
When he left his family in Texcala (Puebla) 23 years ago, he promised his
mother that one day he would come back with a Master’s degree.
“People criticize me for not returning to visit my parents, but they knew
that if I would have retuned, the dream would be over”.
On February of 2014 Angelo was able to deliver that promise: he returned
to Mexico and to his beloved family who had never lost hope of seeing him
again. They had always supported his dream and never stopped believing
During the years he was away, his mother had lost her vision due to an
illness. So, while she cannot see her son’s face, she is overjoyed at being
able to hug him again! “When he left, he was still a child. Now he is a man.”
Due to his community work and knowledge working with the immigrant
Mexican community, He was offered a fulltime job position as a Community
and Special Service Specialist at the Research Foundation of the City
University of New York (CUNY), with
functional title job as Program Assistance
at the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College. On September 19, 2013 her
petition H1b-visa was approved by the State Department, Homeland Security,
but due to his immigration status, He needed to travel outside of the United
States to obtain his visa and apply for an immigration waiver to be able to
return to the United States to star his new job.
However, after waiting for six months and having the fully support of
a USA Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-14) and many other local
politicians from both member of the City Council and members of the New York
State Assembly, on August 19 of 2014, He was notified that his immigration
waiver was denied it by a Judge at the Admissibility Review Office.
Angelo’s dream was to return to New York, with his papers and continuo
working for the community.
After 23 years in the USA, Angelo fells like a foreigner in Mexico. He is now
desperate trying to change things in the small village where his family
lives, near Puebla, with no resources, no support and no hope.
San Antonio Texcala is located in the municipality of Zapotitlán (in the state of
Puebla). It has 1,076 residents. Ten years ago, the population was double that
number. The people are dedicated to handicrafts made with rock salt, marble,
and onyx. Most have their own workshop where they make figurines, tables,
Over the past 10 years, sales have dropped considerably, and much of the
population has been forced to emigrate to the United States due to the economic
uncertainty. Families who remain in the village receive financial support from
those in the US.
For many undocumented immigrants today will be a celebration after
hearing Obama's immigration executive order, but this measures had came
to late for nearly 4.6 deported immigrants since 1996, and about 3.7 of
those deported immigrants since the creation of the Department of
Homeland Security in 2003.