RIDGWAY — Nineteen years ago, Wilfredo Matamoros escaped his war-torn and gang-ravaged El Salvador to join relatives who had already fled to the United States. He traveled through Mexico hidden under a tarp in an onion truck. He trudged for two nights to cross the U.S. border near Nogales. He was 14 years old.
Colorado has been his home since then. For the first few years, he lived in the shadows as an underage and undocumented immigrant, working at menial jobs around Telluride. For the past dozen years, he has been a legal resident of the United States. He is allowed to work and has advanced to manager at the Mountain Market grocery in this small western Colorado town.