Andrés Ávila had a difficult start; growing up in Tucson’s barrio, it seemed all Mexicans were poor.
His earliest years told him where he stood in the pecking order, until he took a trip to Mexico City. There he stood at the center of a busy metropolis, looking up at towering buildings with professional offices — doctors, architects, dentists, and attorneys — all with Hispanic surnames. It was an epiphany for a young man, realizing Mexicans could also be educated professionals.
Andrés Ávila studied at Universidad La Salle in Mexico City, graduated from the University of Arizona, and was appointed chairperson of the Barrio Historico Advisory Board to the City of Tucson Mayor and Council; all of which he attributes to the awakening of his Hispanic roots.