Session 1. This an oral history interview with Alejandro Vilches was conducted by Sankar Raman on February 3, 2018. The interview was recorded for The Immigrant Story, an organization that documents and archives the stories of immigrants and refugees in the United States. In this interview, Vilches discusses his family background and early life in Bryan, Texas, including his father's education there. He then discusses his life in Honduras from ages 4 to 28, including being bilingual, his education, and his siblings. He also talks about his father's career as a pilot and death in an airplane accident, as well as his mother raising their family as a single parent. He describes the Honduran people and culture. He discusses studying computer science at the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and the pressure he felt to succeed as the oldest child. He also talks about holding dual citizenship and his cultural and ethnic identity. He talks about coming to the United States to study computer science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, including the differences in American and Honduran cultural norms, the diverse student body, and his social life. He discusses interning for Intel during the summers while at Purdue, and then beginning work as a software engineer for the company in Hillsboro, Oregon, shortly after he graduated. He also talks about his robotics-related volunteer work. He closes the interview by discussing how his views have changed regarding immigration and the value of diversity.
Vilches, Alejandro, 1980-