Alex was born and raised in Hyattsville. Both of his parents are from El Salvador and met in Maryland. He still has a lot of relatives in El Salvador, but all of his immediate family reside in Maryland. Growing up, Spanish was mostly spoken in his house, though English is his primary language.
Alex, 21, has been working at the Co-op for about eight months. He applied for a job here largely because his family has been shopping at the Co-op for more than 16 years. “I used to come here when I was a child; when I heard that there was a job opening at the Co-op, I jumped at the opportunity,” he tells me.
He initially started out with the Grocery Department, where he worked for about three months, and now is at the Produce Department.
Alex likes the family environment that’s associated with working at the Co-op. For a snack, he usually goes for some type of yogurt and then adds pecans from the bulk section.
Working here has been a learning experience and, even though he’s relatively new to the store and its community, he feels at home and is striving to do his best to create an environment where people are truly comfortable shopping.
Previously, he worked at a law firm and trained to be a paralegal. However, his interest and enthusiasm for the job waned. “It was just a little too rigid for me,” he says. Yet he maintains an interest in the law and is still considering attending law school. He has a lot of lawyers in his family and that’s something that keeps this potential career path on his radar.
Alex has fun walking around Takoma Park and discovering new places. He likes the laid-back nature of the downtown area. “It’s a very approachable atmosphere.”
More generally, he appreciates the Washington, D.C. area’s demographic diversity. “This is a melting pot of different cultures coming together and interacting with one another; each interaction is different and that in itself is refreshing, most of the time,” he says.
He also enjoys visiting Georgetown, exploring M Street and browsing.
Reading is one of his favorite pastimes and he reads on a nightly basis. His interests range from “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He’s a fan of the Harry Potter series too, remembering it fondly as a boy. But he reads more widely than that. “I like to touch on each and every genre,” he says.
In terms of film, he’s looking forward to seeing “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” a thriller that was released in May, along with plenty of other movies.
Alex’s favorite meal is Filet Mignon (cooked medium-rare) with creamed asparagus, rice, and vegetables.
He considers himself a foodie and loves trying new foods and restaurants. He doesn’t, however, have a favorite restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area.
He enjoys various types of Asian cuisine, including Korean barbecue and Thai. And he loves Salvadoran food – especially bean soup, pupusas and beef soup.
For his fantasy dinner party, Alex would invite Tupac Shakur – for his music and because he lived an interesting life. He would also include Benjamin Franklin, twelfth-century statesman and soldier William Marshal, Al Capone and Henry Ford.
Alex has a deep appreciation for his Salvadoran heritage; he also loves the U.S. “I consider myself privileged to have grown up here.”