Several years ago, I visited San Diego for a story I wrote for Paste Magazine.
While there I met two Latino immigrants who are now paragliding pilots for one of the best paragliding spots in the whole world—Torrey Pines.
The first was named J.C. Originally from Venezuela, “I come to America twenty years ago with only $70 and a parachute,” he told me when I asked about his story. “Now I have a wife and kids and pilot parachutes for a living,” he added.
Another man named Junior told me he used to make sandwiches for the Torrey Pines cafe before becoming a full-time pilot. Today he regularly takes paying guests on controlled spiral spins and up-downs above the beautiful coastline. “The American Dream is a live and well,” he told me then.
I realize this small sample size cannot and does not speak for every immigrant or domestic American story. I also realize this is a topic many people will disagree on.
But in my experience, I meet more believers in the American dream than not. And as long as immigrants keep coming in at record numbers, the outside world seems to think the same.
Can’t fault them for trying. Or better yet, doing. It’s the type of believers I want my children to share their future with.