"I love Las Vegas. I love the people, the weather. But mainly it's the job."
-- Fernando Moya, 26, who earns $35,000 a year as a bellboy at the MGM Grand
"I'll find a job. They tell me construction will start picking up in the summer and I'll find something."
-- Luis Ramon Ramirez, 32, a laborer who earns about twenty-five dollars a day when he's working
For nine years, John Soltelo fixed flats and inspected brakes at Goldstar Tires in Pico Rivera, California. He worked weekends, holidays, and overtime, but was never able to earn more than $6.50 an hour. Cleaning soiled sheets, dirty towels, and bedpans, his wife, Bernice, earned a maximum of $7 an hour at a convalescent hospital.
The Soltelos didn't mind the work as much as they did the economic bind that an income of $28,000 a year placed on a family of four living in Southern California. As their family grew, they moved from West Covina to Montebello to Pico Rivera. Each move meant squeezing into a smaller space for a break on the rent. They cut back on clothes for the children. Bernice mastered the art of customizing hand-me-downs with a needle and thread.