This story comes from NPR’s Next Generation Radio project:
Flooded streets, 114-degree temperatures and bone-chilling storms: Extreme weather won’t stop Miguel Sanchez from working to support his family.
Sanchez, 52, has been in the construction field for almost two decades. He does it all – painting, flooring, roofing – and most of that time as his own boss. He founded a company, Escofsan Remodeling, so he didn’t have to answer to anyone.
Sanchez says he works rigorous hours as the sole supporter of his kids, grandchildren and mother in Mexico. They say do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
“Like we say in the Spanish, that is my vicio [addiction], mi vicio es el trabajo [work]. Yeah, I like it. I love,” he said.
But “vicios” aren’t always good. Miguel’s love for his job has put him at risk. He’s one of 700,000 construction workers in Texas who deal with extreme weather. As temperatures rise, the job gets more and more dangerous. The three-year average of worker heat deaths has doubled since the early 1990s, according to an NPR analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.