Home / Viral / This immigrant teen’s story captivated the social media community

This immigrant teen’s story captivated the social media community

Gaspar Marcos is an 18-year-old teen who left his country, Guatemala, at the age of 12. His life story has been a living hell: he was orphaned at 5 and ran out to the United States when he turned 13, among with at least 100,000 kids who also escaped from Central America to the north during the past years, as a result of a drug war between cartels and police. Before making it to Los Angeles, where currently lives, he was kidnapped by the border, but managed his way out until he made it to his destiny.


Today, he lives in a room in the city sharing apartment with a family, and has to split the days to accomplish both studying and making money. His full schedule, from school to workplace every day, only leaves him three hours in between to sleep or rest, to start again.1

The Los Angeles Times got to know this inspiring story and asked if they could spend some time with him to document his tough routine. After more than 19 recorded hours, in which were captured the many angles of his daily life, the end result is a YouTube video which has been viewed over 10 million times, in less than 48 hours.

His story has inspired many to help him, so a GoFundMe page was set up by the director of Casa Libre, Federico Bustamante, to raise money so Gaspar could go to college. The campaign goal is to reach $100.000 for his advanced education and supplement his income, and already raised more than $38.000 in 20 days.

As a sign of humility and gratitude, Gaspar put out a video with a message to the supporters for their generosity, encouraging people and lawyers to volunteer for the nonprofit organization ‘Kids In Need of Defense’, to provide legal representation to young immigrants like him.

Many people from all around the world have given their support, by making comments on the uploaded video and on his Facebook page.



Showing more of his selflessness and moral compass, Gaspar will be donating 50% of the raised money to help his peers at Casa Libre and Belmont High School, in order to support them on their studies. That means, they’ll get representation for their legal needs and eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), asylum, and any other forms of immigration relief. They’ll also be provided with scholarships and every other assistance for their wellness during their arrival and establishment on the country.


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