When Ana Ramos Martinez ended her shift in Whole Foods’ regional bakery in Everett, Massachusetts, in January, 2016, she sat down to tell me how she twice entered the country as an illegal immigrant. She left her financially distressed family in a coffee- and corn-growing farm community in El Salvador to jump the border in 1988.
After trimming clothes in Los Angeles for eight years, she returned to El Salvador to bring back the two young girls she had left behind. It was 1994. She paid off over seven years the charges of the coyote who led her and her girls through the desert back into the United States. Ana became an American citizen in 2014. She owns a house in near Boston and one in El Salvador. Her two grown girls work, one at Whole Foods.