Juan, 25 Years Later

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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. On this episode we air his original diary and more recent conversations where he reflects on life as an undocumented person, and the complexities of the American Dream.

CW: Juan’s original diary contains a description of a dead body.

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Radio Diaries is a small non-profit organization. We make this show with support from listeners like you. You can hear all our stories, sign up for our newsletter, and donate on our website www.radiodiaries.org. Thank you for a quarter century of support.

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