Salvador Cruz moved from Guadalajara, Mexico to South Bend, Indiana in 1983. The opportunity to work was all that Salvador and his wife desired. The Cruzes did not have a glamorous plan in mind; instead, it was a slow and deliberate path he and his wife followed once they stepped foot in America.
Work hard. Pay your bills. Be a good person.
Salvador Cruz was a dishwasher in the South Dining Hall at the University of Notre Dame for 35 years. Over a lifetime it was hard for Salvador to see what he accomplished. Days pass slowly while years pass quickly, but now at the age of 65, it is a little easier for Salvador to see that his hard work has paid off.
Over those 35 years of washing dishes, Salvador watched his 7 children grow into responsible and successful adults. His oldest is a Firefighter, one a Police Officer, one of his daughters is an Assistant Branch Manager, and his youngest is finishing up at Saint Mary’s College, to name a few.
Now in his retirement, Salvador spends every day with his 4-year-old granddaughter. His hard work has afforded him the opportunity to be present in her life in a way he was never able to with his own children.
35 years washing dishes may not seem like the American Dream and washing dishes was not exactly Salvador Cruz’s dream job. But now taking a stepping back, 35 years after moving to America, Salvador Cruz can see that he worked hard, paid his bills, and raised good people. His dreams did come true after all.