21 years old, born and raised in Escarcega, Campeche, Mexico. Growing up in Mexico wasn’t easy for him – though he never missed a day of school and was highly involved in activities, he was also bullied for being different from other boys. Hugo’s parents made the difficult migration across the desert to the United States when he was 10 years old, so that the family would have a better life and so Hugo would have a better education. Hugo’s mother who particularly faced hardships on their journey to the US is his motivation in life.
Hugo started attending elementary in Apopka, Florida with no comprehension of the English language or American culture – and the school did not provide an interpreter so he relied heavily on the kindness of his classmates, neighbors, and one Spanish-speaking teacher. The language barrier faded in middle school and high school, however bullying due to Hugo’s sexual orientation continued. On February 2013, he came out to his mother who accepted him and continues to seek better understanding of the community. Hugo continues to seek connections to the LGBTQ community from the rural predominantly migrant worker community he lives in.
Hugo currently works with the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) as a Family Defender. Hugo has also volunteered at the Hope CommUnity Center since he first started high school on immigration and citizenship clinics in Apopka as well as advocacy efforts for in-state-tuition for undocumented students at the state’s Capital. He previously worked with Mi Familia Vota on voter registration and community events in 2014.