Carlos Salazar grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, in a family struggling to make ends meet. His family moved to Houston, TX with hopes to gain financial stability in the land of opportunities.
When Salazar and his family moved to the United States, he became very depressed and confused, everything he once knew suddenly changed. He only spoke Spanish, so he struggled to communicate with others in school.
When Salazar was in school, his algebra teacher made a huge impact on him, and left Salazar with this message: “Even though you go through a lot of things and have to face a lot of struggles never let one situation change your life or dreams.”
That message inspired Salazar to pursue his dreams of going to college. Salazar didn’t think college was a possibility because he didn’t have the financial means to attend. Fortunately for him, Project Grad, a program in Houston, gave him the opportunity to attend college.
Once out of college, Salazar started teaching AP Spanish to juniors and seniors at the same high school he had once attended. Salazar recognized students struggling the way he once did when he immigrated to Houston from Mexico as a teenager. Looking to help, he decided to write Yo Soy Americano, which translates to “I Am American.”
Yo Soy Americano is a part Spanish-language poetry book, part exercise book, and is a supplement for Spanish AP classes and native Spanish speakers that focuses on the struggle’s immigrants face in the United States. Salazar self-published the book in 2017.
Salazar shares with students the struggles he once faced, and how he overcame them. Salazar hopes to be a light to students and show them that they too can overcome the struggles they might face as immigrants.
Carlos Salazar is shaping Houston one student at a time.