Emotional Cuban immigrant gets his first paycheck from first American job

Yoel Diaz recently moved to America from Cuba. The wondrous experience of being freed from communism and living in Phoenix, Arizona has been documented meticulously by his wife Marissa Diaz, including his first trips to Walmart and a grocery store.

Last week, this man who recently didn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘resumé’, received his first paycheck from his new employer, UPS.

The celebratory moment was posted on Instagram. It has over 3 million views and 150,000 likes. If a tear doesn’t come to your eye when you see it, check your pulse.

Note the passion. “Are you filming? Film me! Look what I’m gonna take out of my pocket!” What a way to say, this is a big, important moment. This is muy incredible. And then the wide, childlike grin. “My first American paycheck.”

The scene then jumps to Diaz in the passenger seat of his car. In the video, Diaz speaks in Spanish, while his wife Marissa speaks in English.

“How much did I make?… Siiiii!” he exclaims, holding his left hand in a fist and then kissing the check.

“Look at the taxes,” prompted Marissa.

“I prefer this to Fidel Castro,” he replied. “Fidel took more. Communism took more.”

Having lived through the inhuman treatment of the Castro regime, Diaz came to the U.S. in 2021 on a K1 visa and then applied for residency. The process took about a year, according to his wife, but he was finally approved and given a Social Security number and work authorization.

Now he revels in his new reality, that “every hour has importance in my life.”

Diaz captures the dignity of work in an age when millions of American citizens choose to remain unemployed and take money from the federal government. Ironic, isn’t it, that Diaz now pays taxes to support such jaded people.

“This is an emotion that I can’t compare with anything,” he said. “Because I never had it in my country. In Cuba that emotion doesn’t exist. And here I have proof,” he added, beaming again with his paycheck held proudly in his hand.

Seeing that the video went viral and touched so many people, Fox News did a story on it.

“It was a very special moment for him,” Marissa Diaz told Fox News. “For the first time, he has the opportunity to dream.”

In Cuba, 37-year-old Yoel was a professor. His salary? $13 per month. Upon receiving his work authorization in Arizona, he was able to land a seasonal job with UPS just a few weeks ago.

“In Cuba, you would get a paycheck, and you know you never improve,” Yoel told Fox News. “It would be the same. This time, I finally can dream — I can help my family, and this is the first step in my new life where I can be whoever I want now.”

Presumably, he will have his job with UPS through the holidays, but the proud employee hopes to keep it.

A representative for UPS said in a statement, “This story really warms our hearts, and we are happy to have Yoel on our team.” So, there seems like a good chance he will.

His wife said that all of this means so much more to her husband than the money he now makes.

“Everything was new to him,” she said, including applying for a job. “He didn’t know what a resume was. The job interview, everything,” she said.

Newly optimistic after a life of oppression, Yoel Diaz told Fox, “I want to support my wife’s dream of storytelling and would love to go around the country and the world to discover it. [That’s] something the Cuban dictatorship never allowed me to do.”

As The United States loses track of its charter and character in manifold ways, it is beautiful to witness a moment like this and to remember the unique opportunity the country has presented to legal immigrants for the last two centuries.


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