This Cuban family consists of a woman, age 34, and her boyfriend, age 36, and he arrived in Arizona in November and she arrived in December because there was a delay in her paperwork. The couple are in a permanent relationship but not married, and the woman explained that the majority of Cubans do not marry their live-in partners. She is a dentist with a specialty in periodontal and surgical dental care, and he is a physical therapist and masseur. They had been sent by their government to work in a special program in Venezuela and used this opportunity to flee to Colombia where they applied at the American Embassy for visas to the States. They had made this decision because economic and political life in Cuba was “impossible’ noting that their freedoms were restricted and their pay was poor. The woman said that her salary as a dentist was only $25 a month.
She left behind a grandmother, mother, and sister in Cuba. The couple are very happy to be here and remarked that they “loved “ America noting that most Cubans want to emigrate to America. The couple are both studying English now, and they are going to be employed as youth care workers in a program which provides services to unaccompanied minors from Central America. They are currently living in a studio apartment but plan to move into a one bedroom apartment by the end of April.
This 18yr old young woman lost her parents when she was one year old, and she doesn’t remember them. She has been living with her maternal aunt since she was a baby and considers her Aunt and Uncle to be her real Mother and Father and their children her brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, due to the family size and lack of affordable 4 -5 bedroom apartments, the family is split between two apartments and she shares the apartment with her cousins. The young woman and her adopted family lived in the Dadaab Refugee camp in Kenya for almost ten years before being selected for resettlement in a third country and moving to the U.S. on Feb. 3, 2016. The young woman would like to go back to school and earn her degree instead of entering the work force.