Juan Cubero lived in constant fear. His stepfather was an alcoholic prone to violence. His mother was the target.
Juan says, “My whole nervous system was shot. I had nervous breakdowns to the point that I started throwing up.”
Juan remembers, “I was right there. I saw everything. Most of the time he would come drunk and try to beat on my mother. I was always in the defense.”
The youngest of four children, the only place Juan found peace was by his mother’s side.
“My mother loved her kids. She would take us all to church. We’d listen to the Word…sing…sometimes I would go to the pulpit and pray, and I’ll fall asleep in the pulpit.”
He was nine when his mother and stepfather divorced. By then, they had moved to Puerto Rico, where Juan came face to face with another side of violence – the projects of San Juan.
Juan says, “It was just nobody’s land…just shootouts, murder. The kids were violent. I was constantly fighting. I didn’t have no other choice but to protect myself.”
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