The Mexican who unloads fishing boats in Alaska

Andrés Samano, 22, was born in the municipality of Zacatepec, Morelos, but lives more than 9,000 kilometers away, in the Dutch Harbor region, Alaska, where he wakes up every day at 3:30 a.m. tomorrow to unload fishing boats for a minimum of 12 hours.

Samano has tried different jobs: he has been a bricklayer, a waiter, he has worked in a bakery, also in a plastics warehouse, and installing grass in houses in the United States. The search for a well-paying job took him down several paths, and the last one led him to Alaska.

He was born and raised in Zacatepec with his parents and his older brother, who is five years older than him. In that municipality he studied middle school and part of high school, because in his last year he had the opportunity to travel to Puebla and study his last year at the Inter-American University thanks to a scholarship he got playing basketball.

After finishing high school, he returned to his hometown to study industrial engineering, until the pandemic hit and he decided to leave his studies to travel to California, with the aim of being able to work and save. An uncle welcomed him and he began cultivating the fields and putting grass in the houses, until he saved enough to finance his communication studies in Mexico and returned to his native Puebla.

“I did not have so much (financial) support from my parents, I went to work, I was working from a bricklayer to a waiter, when I was in Puebla I worked in a bakery, I also worked in a plastics store,” says the Mexican.

In Puebla, his studies advanced while Samano He saved with different jobs, but an assault stopped that objective.

“One day they robbed me and I no longer had as much money than I had saved and when they robbed me they took my cell phone, which was the only valuable thing I had at that time, and it is the uncertainty of knowing that what you are doing maybe it won’t take you where you want to go, the one you don’t know if it really is the path you want, if it’s really the path you need”, recalls Samano about that day.

Crushed by discouragement, Samano dropped out of college again and sold his computer so he could buy a plane ticket back to Californiawhere he learned that he could apply to work unloading ships in Alaska.

She found the job on the Indeed job search page. He did the interviews, passed the filters and shortly after was in Alaska, ready to unload fish and crab from the boats that come to the area.

@andressamano Response to @mariacristinaflo2 Graciaaaaaas, some days are better than others (: <3 🏴‍☠️🦀🩸#deadliestcatch ♬ sonido original – Trap Argento Music

Now, his routine is the same practically every day: he wakes up at dawn, at 04:30 he is already at his place of work, has a light breakfast, puts on his work clothes and goes to the fishing boats that have arrived. to be downloaded. And she follows that routine every day of the week, from Monday to Monday with a working day of between 12 and 18 hours.

“Here it is heavy work, there are going to be days when you are going to leave exhausted, you know it will be cold, you know you are going to get little sleep, you know you are going to be working all day and that it is heavy work. And well, you get mental about that roll to be able to endure it”, says the young man while he is in a country where much of the year the sky remains dark for more hours than in the rest of the planet.

Added to this, he says, is the loneliness of being away from family and that at the end of the day he is so tired that he doesn’t want to do anything other than sleep.

Although he doesn’t like to reveal how much money he’s making working at Alaskasays that it is worth it to be able to save, since the company that hired him provides him with food and lodging.

“The work environment is incredible here and I work with Latinos, not just Mexicans, Salvadorans, Puerto Ricans, there is everything, here there is no stigma that Puerto Ricans do not pull or that Americans are not good for hard work, it does not work here that, neither your race nor your color, nothing defines you here, they all work very evenly,” he says of his coworkers.

Andrés decided to show through social networks what it is like to work unloading fishing boats in Alaska, and his content caught the attention of many people. In TikTokwhere he already has more than 90 thousand followers, he can be seen dressed in an orange suit, boots and gloves while unloading crabs and fish between rain, low temperatures and ice.

In the comments on her videos, some people are interested in recommendations to get a similar job, and others feel identified with her story, due to the need to look for different jobs in order to study.

“A friend told me show us your day and I said ‘I’m going to do it, it’s fun’ and I started recording it, from there he posted the video, it had millions of views and people showed a lot of interest,” says Samano.

@andressamano Response to @mik4elo One day VS The New Venture (: 🏴‍☠️🩸🐟#deadliestcatch ♬ Pirates Of The Caribbean – Main Theme – He’s A Pirate – Geek Music

“To get one of these jobs, you mainly need a work permit or American papers and once you have some of those two you just go to Indeed and post jobs in Alaska and hundreds of companies that are hiring people appear, you don’t need experience, You don’t even need to know the language”, he recommends for those who want to follow a path like his.

According to the website Alaska Fishing JobsUnloading ships is a temporary job chosen by many for the opportunity to save large amounts of money in a short period of time.

In the future, Samano says, he wants to find a way to help more young people like him who have had difficulties studying.

His contract ends in April, when he plans to return to Mexico. I want “to be able to see my parents, to be able to buy something for mom, clothes for mom, buy something for dad that he never wants, but in the end that’s how parents are, I think, and help young people who were or are like me in the same situation of not knowing what to do with their lives”, he admits.

Meanwhile, it will continue to unload ships from fishing in alaska, learning a trade and being faithful to his father’s ideology, even though now they are miles away. “He gave me and my brother the freedom to choose what we wanted to do with our lives as long as it was something good and we wanted it,” he recalls.

@andressamano Click tik tok well stolen 🏴‍☠️💕#deadliestcatch ♬ original sound – MHB

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