Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

Juan, 25 Years Later

Juan (then and now)

This week we continue celebrating Radio Diaries’ 25th anniversary by catching up with Juan from the Teenage Diaries series, which first aired on NPR in 1996.

Juan was 17 when we first gave him a tape recorder and asked him to record his life for a few months. He and his family had recently come to the U.S. from Mexico, and they were living in a trailer home just half a block from the Rio Grande in Texas.

Now, 25 years later, Juan lives in Colorado, where he owns his own company and has three kids. After decades of being undocumented, he’s now on the verge of getting a green card.

On this episode we share Juan’s original diary and an interview today, where he reflects on his journey and the complexities of the American Dream.

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