Javier was born in Veracruz, Mexico. His family was very poor, so he was only able to go to school until he was 13 years old. That year he was given his first pair of shoes so that he could work with the grownups. In the mornings he worked for their bosses and in the afternoons he helped cultivate the little plot of land that they let his family use. As a child living in a tiny cardboard shack, he dreamt of one day owning a nice solid house with its own yard, so when one of his brothers decided to make the trip north to the United States, Javier asked to come along, even though he was only 17. It was a difficult journey and an even harder transition to make once he got here, since everything was new and different, especially the language.
He worked for three months in a carwash before getting a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Javier used his free time to help the cooks, who taught him how to be a prep cook. When that job opened up he was promoted to work the grill with a guy whose cousin introduced him to his future wife, Rosa. It was while he was hanging out and trying to impress Rosa that he met and hit it off with Ozzie Osborne, a good and friendly man who taught him the art of gardening. When Rosa was offered the janitorial post here at First Pres, Javier came along to help her out and little by little wear down her resistance to his marriage proposal (she said he was too young for her!). It worked, and they were married on the anniversary of their first encounter, on March 6, 2001. Since that was also the year they became independent contractors with the church as one of their clients, they decided it was a good time for Javier to get his Green Card and start the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. In 2007 he became a citizen, and in 2008 he accepted the full-time job as sexton/custodian here at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.