Janitor Sweeps, Cracks Books

Memorable Moments on Campus

Jaramillo says he enjoys working at Purchase, where students are as jovial as the people of Milagros. He recounts memorable moments on campus, and times when his job has called for action, including an early Sunday morning when he arrived at work and found two students sprawled over on a grass lawn, semiconscious and inebriated.

"I was trying to ask them if they had their keys," he said, shaking his head and chuckling, "but they were trying to ask me if I had their keys." He assisted both students inside their dormitories before calling for help.

Talking to students on campus every day, Jaramillo is reminded of his youth and of the happiest moment he has lived here in America.

"I brought my kids here in 2003," he said, with a smile across his face. Now, "if God permits it," he said, "I want to retire in two years" and return to Ecuador.

But he wants to accomplish something else before that, too.

After squeezing the dirty mop inside the bucket, he reaches over a shelf in his closet, grabs a wrinkled sheet of paper and slowly begins to read, "What are the colors of our flag?" Then, more carefully, he answers the question. "Red, white and blue."

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