Cuban-born UPS driver whose reaction to first paycheck went viral says he feels ‘grateful’

A UPS driver has gone viral after his wife filmed him opening his first US paycheck. Yoel Garcia told CBS News he was so excited because he could barely fill his fridge before immigrating from Cuba.

He sometimes said that there were only two things in it: “Water, water, water, five, ten eggs, water.

Now he lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and his fridge is full. As the holidays approach, he told CBS News he is ‘grateful’ to be in the United States

“I know it’s difficult,” he said. “I know because you need a job. You need to work, it’s hard…but in the end, you go home, you have food.”

The endearing video of him showing off his first paycheck has millions of views, with his “American Dream” moment resonating with both Americans and immigrants alike. His wife, Marissa Garcia, who documented his trip on social media, recorded the video.

“It’s my first hourly pay that I feel every hour counts,” he said in the video. “That every hour of work matters in my life and that I know I can work hard for something. I can’t compare this emotion to anything. Because I never had that in my country.

He told CBS News it’s a moment he will never forget.

“When you first have that, your head explodes and you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s beautiful,'” he said.

Before coming to the United States in 2021, Garcia was a computer science teacher in Cuba and earned $12 a month. He lamented how far ahead the United States was on the pitch.

Garcia met his wife, who is Cuban-American, when they were young and still living in Cuba. She often spoke to him about realities outside Cuba, which she believed held back by her communist party. They finally got married and had to make a decision: stay or go to the United States.

Garcia said he told his wife, “We want a future, we want a family… wherever you go, I go.”

He came to America on a K-1 visa, and when he received his work permit, he applied for a job at UPS. The company told CBS News it started in late October and has been making deliveries ever since.

The UPS CEO even sent her a letter and a care box.

“This story really warms our hearts and we are happy to have Yoel on our team,” a UPS spokesperson said in a statement.

Garcia earns more than he ever did in Cuba, but it’s more than that for him.

“I have never had so much money in my hands thanks to my efforts, my sweat, and it hurts that millions of people in my country and in other countries cannot have it”, a- he declared. “And being here, you can get it in a dignified way.”

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