One Cuban immigrant celebrated his first American paycheck after coming to the United States just one year ago, as he continues on the journey to finding his own American dream.
UPS driver Yoel Diaz, who lives in Phoenix, captured the hearts of thousands online earlier this month with his heartwarming reaction to receiving the check.
The Instagram video, shared by his wife Marissa Diaz, has been liked more than 300,000 times since it was posted on Nov. 10.
Diaz, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2021, told CBS News last week that he is “grateful” to be there this holiday season.
“I know it’s difficult,” he added. “I know because you need a job. You need to work, it’s hard … but in the end, you go to your home, you have food.”
In the viral video, Diaz shows off his paycheck with a smile as his wife films his reaction from inside the car. Later in the clip, Diaz reads over his paycheck before giving it a kiss.
“This is my first hourly paycheck that I feel every hour counted,” he says. “That every hour of work has importance in my life and that I know I can work hard for something. I can’t compare that emotion with anything. Because I never had that in my country.”
Before coming to America on a K-1 visa, Diaz made $12 a month as a computer science teacher, per the CBS News report. Now, the Cuban immigrant is making more than he ever did in Cuba.
“I never had this much money in my hands from my effort, from my sweat, and it hurts that millions in my country and other countries can’t have that,” Diaz told CBS News. “And being here, you can get it in a dignified manner.”