A UPS driver went viral after his wife filmed him opening his first paycheck in the United States. Yoel Garcia told CBS News he was very excited because he could barely fill his refrigerator before immigrating from Cuba.
He said that sometimes he only had two things: “Water, water, water, five, ten eggs, water.”
Now, he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and his fridge is full. With the holidays approaching, she told CBS News she’s “grateful” to be in America
“I know it’s difficult,” he said. “I know because you need a job. You need to work, it’s hard… but in the end, you go home, you have food.”
The cute video of her showing off her first paycheck was viewed millions of times, with her “American dream” moment resonating with both Americans and immigrants alike. His wife Marisa Garcia, who has been documenting his journey on social media, recorded the video.
“This is my first hourly paycheck I guess every hour counts,” he said in the video. “Every hour of work has value in my life and I know I can work hard for something. I can’t compare that feeling with anything. Because I never had anything like this in my country.”
He told CBS News it was a moment he’ll never forget.
“When you have it for the first time, your head explodes and it says, ‘Wow, this is beautiful,'” he said.
Before coming to the US in 2021, Garcia was a computer science teacher in Cuba, earning $12 a month. He lamented how far America is in this area.
Garcia met his wife, who is Cuban-American, when they were young and still living in Cuba. She often told him about the realities outside Cuba, which she believed had been withheld by its Communist Party. Eventually they marry and are faced with a decision: stay in America or go
Garcia said he told his wife: “We want a future, we want a family… Wherever you go I go.”
He came to the US on a K-1 visa, and when he got his work permit, he applied for a job at UPS. The company told CBS News it started in late October and has been making deliveries ever since.
The CEO of UPS also sent him a letter and care box.
“This story truly touches our hearts, and we are delighted to have Joel on our team,” a UPS spokesperson said in a statement.
Garcia is earning more in Cuba than ever before, but it’s got more to him than that.
He said, “With my effort, with my sweat, I have never had so much money in my hands, and it hurts that millions of people in my country and in other countries cannot have the same.” “And being here, you can get through it in a dignified way.”