Today’s edition of the Washington Post features an article on FOA (Friends of Anti-bvbl) Carlos Castro. Carlos is known to many of us and is one of those community leaders we meet in the film 9500 Liberty. Originally from El Salvadore, Carlos left his war-torn country at age 24. He paid a coyote $800 to smuggle him to the USA over 30 years ago. He got caught, detained and deported crossing the border but soon snuck back over.
Now a citizen of the United States, Mr. Castro tells of his journey from illegal immigrant to president of Todos Supermarket, which specializes in foods and services to immigrants from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa at stores in the eastern end of the county.
Carlos Castro explains what has motivated him:
“We were very poor, and I had this great desire to break the cycle of poverty . . . I love to read, and as a teenager, I purchased a book by Dr. Robert Schuller called ‘You Can Become the Person You Want to Be.’ I got really inspired by that in my early years. I programmed myself to succeed by understanding that success does not come that easy, that you have to go the extra mile with that goal in mind of breaking that poverty cycle.”
He gives further advise to those who aspire to break the cycle of poverty:
To succeed, people “need a strong work ethic . . . Many of our children have no idea how to go about getting things on their own, how much hard work it takes to accomplish the good things in life. I explain to them that inheriting wealth can actually work against you if you don’t know how to handle it. In order for them to succeed, they need to prepare themselves with a good education and work habits.”
Carlos can be found at most community meetings. He continually lends his quiet courteous leaderhip to others. Prince William County is fortunate that there has been a pathway to citizenship for Carlos Castro.