Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

March 30, 2014

No recipe for love

Hugo and Liliana Gonzalez, Chilean immigrants, say adaptation is key to their marriage

(Continued)

Liliana knew she loved Hugo and wanted to be with him, but she was a little scared, too.

“I always thought he was perfect,” she said. “I was afraid that I would see he’s just a man, not a perfect man.”

She casted her doubts aside, and six months later the two were married at Sagrados Corazones in Valparaiso, Chile, on Dec. 26, 1959, when Liliana was 16 and Hugo was 28.

Hugo and Liliana moved around Chile a few times during the first part of their marriage as Hugo took different jobs. He worked at a paint factory as well as a factory that made explosives for miners in South America.

When the first Socialist president was elected in Chile, Hugo and Liliana wanted to leave. When Hugo was offered a job in Venezuela, he took it immediately.

“Everyone was afraid of a Communist government,” he said. “If someone offered you a job abroad, you were lucky, because bad things were going to happen in Chile.”

In March of 1971, they, along with their young children, left for Venezuela. Civil war soon broke out in Chile. Even after the military took over the government, things were still bad, It took time for the economy and government to recover.

The Gonzalezes moved back to Chile in 1984, after it was stable again. Liliana, who had gotten involved in the real estate business in Venezuela, stayed behind until she could sell their house. Moving a lot was hard for her.

“I didn’t like that, but we had to,” she said. “When we first left Chile, we lost very much money. When we left Venezuela, we lost more money. It was terrible.”

During those years, their children had studied abroad in the United States. Hugo and Liliana visited them often. After Hugo again moved back to Venezuela for a job, his family decided to move there too, so they could all be together.

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