IN GREELEY| Chris García with his family. (Photo/Courtesy Cristóbal García)
CRISTÓBAL GARCÍA, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST
Sofía Márquez/ El Comercio de Colorado
Cristóbal “Chris” García is a leader within his community. He serves as Associate Director of Alumni at the University of Northern Colorado. His story illustrates what happens when others ask us to do something we never imagined, but in doing so we help others. García tells us that day by day he tries to find inner strength and lean on either faith or family, he has found a way to gain inner strength to carry on.
“I consider myself an activist, a podcaster, a community advocate, and I also work in education at the University of Northern Colorado. I play all of those roles because I really like to advocate for the Latino community as part of the work that I do,” he says. And he hopes that sharing his story will allow members of his community to be inspired and feel closer.
Garcia hasn’t always felt like he was the strongest. That feeling changed due to a family tragedy that occurred at the peak of the pandemic. On April 25, 2020, his nephew was in a car accident in which he and the driver lost their lives. “When you get a call in the middle of the night, it’s never a good thing. I remember it was 12 o’clock in the morning when my mom called me,” he recounts.
Garcia continues, “I answered the phone and heard her crying, really crying. That desperate sound. As soon as I got to the scene of the accident, there was a lot going on. I saw the car and since it wasn’t his car, I had in mind that it was going to be fine,” he says. It was then that his sister ran to his car and broke the news: César was not well, he had lost his life in the accident.
Continuing with love
The police went on to explain what to do after a tragedy like this. They should call the coroner’s office, planning the funeral, all during the pandemic. At that moment, his sister looked at him and told him that she couldn’t do that, nor could her parents. It was going to have to be Garcia who needed to step up and take charge. Never feeling like the strongest in the family, he had to find the strength within himself to support his own.
“In insurmountable circumstances, in some of the worst moments, you find a strength you didn’t even know you had,” he told us. García’s ability to take charge and be strong is a show of love towards his relatives, mainly his parents. They both came from Zacatecas and have worked tirelessly all their lives to make sure that he and his two sisters got everything they deserved in life.
Chris will be one of six speakers at “Do Tell! Greeley Voices That Inspire”, an event organized by the Greeley Creative District. In this, the chosen speakers are people from the community who will have the opportunity to share a story that impacted their lives. This is an event that has been going on since 2017 and is making a comeback after a two-year hiatus, thanks to the pandemic.
“Do Tell! Greeley Voices That Inspire”
19 de mayo
Hensel Phelps Theatre
Union Colony Civic Center
701 10th Ave
Greeley, CO 80631