Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

Juan’s Diaries: Undocumented, Then and Now

“I wish I could just take my label off, like when you buy a new pair of jeans, just rip it off. But it hasn’t happened.” -Juan Rodriguez

This week on the Radio Diaries podcast, we check in with one of our original teenage diarists, Juan Rodriguez. Back in the 1990s, Juan crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, and settled with his family next to the Rio Grande river in Texas. I gave him a cassette recorder to document his life there. Almost two decades later, I gave Juan another recorder to report on his life as an adult. In many ways, Juan has achieved the American Dream – he has a house, a good job, and three American kids. But…he’s still undocumented.

Listen to the story Juan told live at The Moth

Learn more about the Teenage Diaries Revisited series

Produced by Joe Richman and Sarah Kate Kramer
Edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro
Mixed by Ben Shapiro

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