GREENFIELD — A two-hour drive from the capital city of Morelia, in the Mexican state of Michoacán, lies a small farming town of around 1,500 residents — Tarejero (Taw-re-he-ro). Like in many small, rural towns in central Mexico, the majority of the folks are farmers, working their land, doing their best, saving some money, working toward a better future for their families and their children.
Alba and Eleazar Sosa, current Greenfield residents, grew up in this town. As children in Tarejero, they were friends and classmates in the only elementary school in town. It was typical that the students, on weekends, worked the fields alongside their parents. Working on weekends and doing well in school was always a challenge.
But, the residents in this town were not your normal folks and this community was not your normal town.
What was unique about this town was an academic tradition that drove many of its students to higher education. On the surface, the town’s residents were no different than those in nearby towns in the area. Their local jobs were the same and the incomes were similar, except that the families in Tarejero had placed a value in education unique in the area, if not in the entire state. Students were expected to continue on to higher education.
The families understood that the best way toward a better life was higher education.
The Sosas recall that many of the families in their hometown lacked the resources to continue their education, but the families would get together and pool their money together and give the students some money for bus fare, for books, for lunch. The town had only one elementary school, up to sixth grade. Students would then have to attend middle school and high school located in the town nearby, so the students sometimes struggled with the costs to further their education. The town’s tradition was exactly that: help aspiring students make it through school.
Alba continued school and earned a science degree. Her plan was to get a job locally and perhaps work in the science field, preferably in the chemistry or pharmacy fields.
Eleazar went on to earn a degree in veterinary science and had a difficult time finding a job locally. With an invitation from a friend and a dream to find the right job, he traveled to Greenfield and soon found himself working, not in the veterinary field but in the grape/wine industry. Before long he learned the trade and found his place in the industry. The couple soon married, and she joined him years later in California.
As the years passed, the couple settled down and soon had three sons and a daughter. Alba completed her certified nurse assistant program and Eleazar took a foreman position in a local vineyard.
Fast forward through years of grade school for the kids, a job in the nursing field for Alba and continued success for Eleazar. Then, through middle and high school years: karate lessons, 4-H club, track, cross country, college prep, etc. During these years, Alba and Eleazar remained committed to supporting their children to thrive, succeed and always shoot for the top; aim high and believe you can accomplish any goal.
Today, the Sosas have become parents to admire, a family to admire. Their eldest son earned a degree in economics and is currently serving in the Army National Guard. Their second son is a senior in U.S. Naval Academy. Their third-born son will soon be transferring to Cal Poly University. Their daughter, their youngest, is a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy, respectively. In simple terms, impressive accomplishments for the entire family.
Alba and Eleazar connect their children’s accomplishments to the attitude and expectations they instilled in all four children. Just like in their hometown in Mexico, the couple encouraged their children to get the best education and accomplish at the highest level.
They have modeled these expectations both as parents and community members and have been involved in as many school and community activities as possible throughout many years. Today, they continue to encourage family and friends to aim high and believe.
The Sosa parents and children have given Greenfield and South County a sense of pride.