My abuela and abuelo


My grandfather Eugenio (left) and my grandmother Edith met and fell in love in Somerville after both moving here from El Salvador.

Marissa Castro

My Grandmother’s Story

On March 15, 1958, my grandmother Edith was born in the port of San Lorenzo, Honduras. She was raised in El Salvador to a single mother. She grew up poor. She comes from a fishermen family. Her mother was a housekeeper; she cleaned the house of people who were rich.  She had five other siblings, two sisters and three brothers.

My great-grandmother was a hard worker. She cleaned houses just to put food on the table to feed her children. I asked my grandmother what my great-grandmother was like and she told me that her mother was a caring person.

My grandmother said her father was in her life for about seven years. After she turned seven, he left without a trace. I asked her what was her relationship with her father. She told me that she didn’t have one with him, she didn’t even know if she was dead or alive. He married a rich woman who was one of the daughters of a president.

When my grandmother grew up, she wanted to come to America in search of a better life for herself and her five children (two girls and three boys). My aunt Ana Martínez is the oldest dauther, then my uncle Saul Ascencio, then my dad Jorge Castro, and finally the youngest, Anible Castro. My grandmother was a single mother. In 1995 she came to the United States.

My grandfather’s story

My grandfather’s name is Eugenio Alvarado. He was born on January 1, 1945. My grandfather grew up in a poor family and a tough neighborhood in El Salvador with bad people on every corner. He had brothers. His family didn’t have much. He told me that El Salvador is a third world country and is one of the poorest, so many people had to get two jobs just to support their families.

I asked my grandfather what his parents were like? He told me that his mother was a great mother and an amazing cook, and that his father was a hardworking man who cared about his family.

My grandfather’s mother became ill and  passed away five years after his father passed away. In 1985, my grandfather came to America. My grandfather has three children, two in Boston and one in North Carolina.

Their love story

In 1995, my grandmother came to America and settled in Somerville. She went to church one day and my grandfather was working on things for the church. He saw her and talked to her and welcomed her to America.  They fell in love and once they were married, they settled on Prescott Street in Somerville. I asked them if this was the life they wanted and they said absolutely because they were able to watch their grandchildren grow up and watch their children marry.

The new generation

The new generation of their families is beginning to learn to cook family recipes. This week I have been learning to cook Salvadoran food with my grandparents. Today they are teaching me to cook a plate of fried bananas and eggs with beans and tortillas.