Mateo's a busboy at two of the better fine-dining restaurants in San Diego. He wears a vest, apron, and bow tie for seven shifts at one venue and sports more or less the same outfit for two dinner shifts at the other.

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Reader writer visits his restaurant busboy's third-world family

Guatemalan dreams of American green

Every day at 7:00 a.m., Mateo (names in this article have been changed to protect the immigrants) wakes up next to Maria, his longtime girlfriend. Most mornings, he hops out of bed, throws on his ...


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