William was born in 1954 in the tropical rainforests of Iquitos, Peru. There is a lot of story to tell in the journey from that distant land to the Frio River Canyon, where William has worked since 2014.
William and his wife, Dolores, first came to the United States nearly two decades ago after she had a period of illness and he needed to find more work. They’ve lived in Kerrville and Ingram most years since, along with a stint in Montana. They have family scattered around the Western Hemisphere, including William’s eight brothers and sisters.
Lots of story to tell. But in a way, William’s story is best summed up by the languages of his name.
His complete name is William Torrejon Macedo. The first name is English, meaning “strong-willed warrior.” The middle name is his father’s surname, a Spanish word meaning “tower.” The last name is his mother’s surname, a Portuguese word meaning, “apple grove.”
“It’s a mixture of three languages,” says William, “and I speak all of them.” He was raised with his father’s Spanish, but always longed to know his mother’s Portuguese, too. While his father forbid Portuguese to be spoken at home, William got his wish as a young adult when he managed a saw mill on the border between Peru and Brazil. There, he had to master Portuguese in order to do business with Brazilian clients.
As for English? William’s first experience of that language came from the family radio in the 1960s, thanks to the worldwide triumph of four lads from Liverpool.
“What language are these guys singing this good music?” William asked his father when the Beatles came on. He begged his parents to send him to an English teacher, and he studied the language as often as he could throughout childhood.