Former Inmate ‘El Mejor Hombre’ Shares Hard-Earned Wisdom on Turning Hardships Into Lessons
A natural-born storyteller who doubles as an urban Latino grandfather with a repertoire of prison adventures, his presence immediately draws you in, but it’s his stories that truly capture your attention.
Since 2021, the 81-year-old has been sharing videos on TikTok. On the platform, he vividly recounts his days as a Tejano music promoter, his role as the president of the Latino club as a prisoner in El Reno, Oklahoma and even his epic encounter with a fellow inmate.
“I’ve suffered, but I’ve lived and had fun,” El Mejor Hombre told mitú.
It’s 10 a.m. in his Texas home and his enthusiasm lights up his face as he speaks. Despite being 81, he exudes a profound love for life, coupled with a deep respect and genuine appreciation for it.
His presence draws you in immediately, yet it’s his storytelling that keeps you captivated. El Jefe is naturally generous with the details, delivering them sharply and sharing his experiences earnestly.
El Mejor Hombre has dealt with his fair share of stereotyping as people think he’s a “bandido,” but he says he’s “buena gente”
The ex-inmate has not been a stranger to experiencing stereotyping and bias in his life.
“They look at me, and they think I’m a bandido,” he says. “But, actually, I’m a good person, buena gente.”
Adding, “I’ve been through a lot in my life, but I’ve always tried to improve.”Despite my difficulties, for my daughter, I am the best man.”
Without question, El Mejor Hombre is the heart of the show. However, his daughter manages his TikTok account, boasting an impressive reach of over half a million followers. Her admiration for her father gave birth to the confidence, TikTok name and fanbase that they’ve created together.
It is no wonder that El Mejor Hombre has moved such a wide audience. His stories are relatable, captivating and always hold a lesson or message del corazón for the community. He is a community builder.
In fact, it was while working as a Tejano music promoter during a business trip to Michigan that he was arrested. According to his daughter, the musicians didn’t know they were being framed. Alejandro pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy, with intent to distribute, sentenced to seven years in prison. He served his time in a split sentence between Reno, OK and Bastrop, TX.
As president of the Latinos Club in prison, he helped many push through the difficulties of prison
El Jefe wasted no time embracing a leadership role within El Reno prison. Elected as president of the Latino club, he described this achievement as one of his most significant accomplishments while incarcerated.
Harnessing his innate talents, he leveraged his position to foster community within the prison. “The prisoners did not have their families, their friends, their community,” he said. “For me, offering them a sense of community was enough.”
El Jefe’s first action as president was to photograph the Latino club. It was not long before he monetized the camera and began selling Polaroids to his inmates’ families to raise funds for the club.
Naturally adept as a leader and collaborator, he excelled at creating community through events and activities designed for the prisoners’ benefit. He even managed seven fellow inmates who served as his assistants, overseeing tasks that capitalized on their inherent strengths.
Additionally, he worked in tandem with correctional officers, prison cooks and inmates, seamlessly coordinating fiestas del Día de la Independencia, Navidad, and Nochebuena for prisoners and their families.
To El Jefe, family, friendship and community are everything
El Mejor Hombre served much of his sentence alongside his best friend, Martín Andrada Reyes, whom he met in jail. Leaving before Martín, Alejandro used to send him money from abroad.
Unfortunately, Reyes became sick and passed away in a hospital in Springfield, Illinois. Before his death, Reyes asked Alejandro for one last wish: to visit his father, who was also sick in a hospital in San Antonio.
Alejandro granted his best friend’s wish by visiting Reyes’ father. During the visit, the sickly man mistook him for his son.
El Mejor Hombre makes videos on TikTok in hopes of creating lessons out of his hardships and life experiences, and to instill something, teach something or as he says, “help someone invest in themselves and, as a by-product, in their lives.”
His best advice: “Be yourself and find out who exactly you are.”
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