Imagine at the age of 19 having to make two decisions that can result to your death and the only safe option would be to escape your own country. One of Pierce College’s very own students faced those difficult choices as a young El Salvadorian boy back in 1971.
Jose Felipe Gonzalez has been a quality control inspector for the past 25 years. He was born in El Salvador and in 1971 he moved to United States to persue a better life.
Due to the critical conditions in El Salvador Gonzalez made the decision to move to America to escape joining the military or the Guerrilla group, warfare organization that rebelled against the government.
“I didn’t want to be part of the military system or the Guerrillas because I was afraid,” said Gonzalez.
With no money and hardly knowing any English, Gonzalez arrived to California at the age of 19 on his own.
“It was hard at the beginning just like anyone else moving to a new country where you have to learn the new language and cultures,” Gonzalez said.
His job positions consisted of car washing, dishwasher and computer factory worker while he would attend night classes to learn and better his English.
After his time at the factory he started attending technician school to become a quality control inspector and for the next 25 years he devoted his time as a technician. Soon after he realized he wanted to go
back to school.
Knowing he wanted to go back to school Gonzalez enrolled at Pierce College in 1981 to better further his education and learn more English.
While attending Pierce he met his now wife Gloria and in 1984 they both tied the knot. Once he got married he took a break from school to devote more time as a husband, he would later have three children.
Having three children made him want to set a good example for them, so he went to back to Pierce in 2012.
“I had a good motivation to come back because I try to give a good example to my children, to encourage them, to study, to be something,” said Gonzalez.
Throughout his life Gonzalez has always had a passion for reading and writing. His passion for reading began when he first read “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.
Because of his love for science fiction and writing he challenged himself to write his own story, resulting in him completing and publishing a science fiction book about a killer turkey.
“I like to write a lot especially science fiction books,” Gonzalez said.
It took Gonzalez about two month to set up the story and little by little the plot and characters started to develop finishing with 16 chapters.
“Theres a lot of imagination in my book, it makes you think,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez hopes to write another book in the future but because of school and the large amount of homework he has not found the time to write.
“Right now it’s only that book but I want to maybe write one more,” Gonzalez said.
As a new time author, Gonzalez’s advice to other aspiring writers is to never stop reading because when you read your vocabulary improves and it makes you think more.
“Reading is beautiful,” Gonzalez said.
His book The Revenge of the Turkeys can be purchased through Amazon.