Latino Fathers Share Their Pride and Struggles

The family of Miguel Martínez, who is raising six children alone after their mother was deported. (Photo via El Diario)

The family of Miguel Martínez, who is raising six children alone after their mother was deported. (Photo via El Diario/La Prensa)

As the country celebrated Father’s Day last weekend, El Diario/La Prensa did its own special homage highlighting three compelling stories of local Latino fathers.

A story by Cristina Loboguerrero tells of Miguel Martínez, 48, who has been forced to raise six children, 7 to 20, alone after their mother was deported to Mexico six years ago.

“The youngest girl was less than one year old, and the oldest was 14. Both were at an age where they needed their mother,” says the man, who works driving a truck for a furniture store, and who admits that things have been easier with the boys, aged 18, 16, 14 and 12.

Sometimes in the summer, when the kids are home, Martínez slips out of work at lunch to bring them food.

“At least I make sure they eat before I come back home to cook dinner,” he says.

Another story also by Cristina Loboguerrero, tells of a gay couple who are raising two kids after hiring a surrogate mother.

Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou are raising the twins Gustavo and Milena. (Photo via El Diario)

Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou are raising the twins Gustavo and Milena. (Photo via El Diario)

In the home of Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou, their two-and-a-half-year-old twins — Gustavo and Milena — know exactly how to call their parents: Farid, 49, of Colombian origin, is “papi”, and his American counterpart George, 37, is “daddy.”

The gay couple, who married in August 2012, sees the kids, conceived by a surrogate mother, as an unimaginable “gift of life,” and they take their parenting role very seriously.

“Every moment is precious for us, and we enjoy it to the fullest,” said Lancheros, who said that every morning they can’t wait for the kids to wake up in their Brooklyn apartment. (…) “For us every day is Father’s Day.”

A story by Zaira Cortés tells the story of Efraín Farciert Jr., 18, a promising boxer who competes in tournaments like the Golden Gloves, and who took inspiration from his father.

Efraín Farciert and his son Efraín Jr. (Photo by Humberto Arellano via El Diario).

Efraín Farciert and his son Efraín Jr. (Photo by Humberto Arellano via El Diario).

“I used to watch daddy practicing kickboxing in the house’s basement and I wanted to be like him,” said Farciert Jr. with a smile. “The head guard was too big for me and I could barely reach the punching ball, but I would try to imitate his movements.”

Example leads, and Efraín Farciert, 44, the father, saw in his child the same fighting spirit that drove him to emigrate from Mexico as a teenager.

“I came to this country at age 16 and I have worked hard ever since. At 24 I opened my first restaurant. I didn’t want anything to do with street gangs, I just wanted to make it,” he said. “I practiced karate and kickboxing, but my mom didn’t want me to fight. I promised her I wouldn’t do it and I kept my promise.”

A cry of frustration for not boxing was the cost of his promise, but years later (…) “I became my son’s guide,” said the owner of the Santa Fe restaurant, in the Bronx. “I worked hard to get my trainer license, everything to help my son in every fight.”

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