This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

The family hangs out at their home in Sensuntepeque.

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The family hangs out at their home in Sensuntepeque.

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Public Radio International (PRI) = The World

THESE AMERICAN KIDS ARE ADAPTING TO NEW LIVES IN EL SALVADOR AFTER THEIR DAD WAS DEPORTED


Text by Deepa Fernandes


When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early '90s, escaping El Salvador's civil war, he never thought he'd be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids.

Sensuntepeque is a picturesque town about two hours from San Salvador. Cobbled streets weave around the mountain; old stone buildings dot the bustling town center. Yet, despite the quaint charm, Sensuntepeque is also fraught with gang rivalries and tensions.

When Martínez and his wife, Andrea Hernández, started a food business here last year, within a short period of time there were calls from gang members demanding payments. (Martínez was born Waldo Hernández, but elected to take his mother’s surname, Martínez, after he was deported. His wife and children still use the Hernández name.)


Read more here

This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Waldo (Hernández) Martinez is shown at home in Sensuntepeque, El Salvador.

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Waldo (Hernández) Martinez is shown at home in Sensuntepeque, El Salvador.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Andrea Hernández plays with her 2-year-old son Elijah at their home in Sensuntepeque.

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Andrea Hernández plays with her 2-year-old son Elijah at their home in Sensuntepeque.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

This is a portrait of the Hernández family in Sensuntepeque, El Salvador, where they now live after Waldo was deported to El Salvador from the US. In the portrait (left to right) is Ezekiel Hernández, 17, Andie Hernández, 9, Waldo Martínez, 41, Elijah Hernández, 2, Lelix Hernández, 16, and Andrea Hernández, 41. The Hernández family who are US citizens decided to move to El Salvador and live with Waldo after he was deported from the US as a way to keep the family together.

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This is a portrait of the Hernández family in Sensuntepeque, El Salvador, where they now live after Waldo was deported to El Salvador from the US. In the portrait (left to right) is Ezekiel Hernández, 17, Andie Hernández, 9, Waldo Martínez, 41, Elijah Hernández, 2, Lelix Hernández, 16, and Andrea Hernández, 41. The Hernández family who are US citizens decided to move to El Salvador and live with Waldo after he was deported from the US as a way to keep the family together.

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