“El Dulcero”: Harold Omil

By: Arleen Echevarría

It was another Tuesday morning at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM), Student Center. It was Universal hour and everybody seemed to be in such a rush to meet up. I had been sitting at the same place, same table, same time each Tuesday and Thursday of every semester for six years straight. Students come and go and yet I’m still here doing the same thing, trying to finish my English bachelor degree.

As I look around to see if I see any old faces my vision falls on Harold Omil, known as “El Dulcero” at the UPRM.

Harold Omil is a young Mayagüezano. He is in his 9th year at the UPRM, fulfilling his bachelor’s degree in History.

“Hola! Muy Buenos dias! Le interesaría cooperar?”, said Harold as he showed some students who were sitting at the table his side purse which was full of skittles, snickers, m&m’s and many other chocolates.

“No, no gracias mano!”, answered the student as he goes on with his table conversation.

“Ok, que Dios te bendiga!”, said Harold!

I think to myself, Wow! He’s still here!

I had seen Harold even before I was a freshman in 2006. He had always been doing the same thing. Selling sweets! I remembered I had seen Harold at so many activities: Colegio’s Open House activities, different conferences given by professors, and even participating at the “Hermandad Colegial De Avivamiento” (HCA) gatherings.

As I continued staring at Harold, he continued passing around the tables trying to sell candy. He had arrived at a table that finally bought him a pack of skittles for $1.00.

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The banner Harold Omil prepared for the final gathering dinner of the “Jovenes Cristianos del Parque” at Salón Tarzan at the UPR Mayaguez, December 7, 2012.

“Gracias! Que Dios te bendiga!”, he said to the girl who hands him the dollar bill.

As Harold moved on to the next table beside him, he appeared to look more secure that he would be able to sell another candy bar.

“Hola! Muy Buenos dias! Desean cooperar?”, said Harold with a smile on his face.

“Pffff! Hahaha…no mano, no tengo chavos.”, said the baseball jock who apparently found humor in Harold selling candy.

“Ok, Dios te bendiga!”, said Harold as he continued ignoring the fact that the jock had tried to humiliate him.

That’s one of the things I admire most about Harold. He always wishes blessings upon people, whether they buy candy or not.

Something I have always seen Harold doing is dealing with bullies. He never seems to pay them any attention, nor does he acknowledge their judgments on his intentions in selling candy. Instead he wishes blessings upon them. As Harold once told me, “Ninguno de ellos conoce mis necesidades, ni saben lo que hago con el dinero q me gano.”

Harold has been selling candy at the Colegio to pay for his enrollment fees. He doesn’t receive any student federal grants like many other students who study at the Colegio, nor does he have wealthy parents who are willing to pay for his degree.

“What some people might not know about Harold is that half of what he makes by selling candy, he donates to the HCA”, said Jennifer Santiago member of the HCA. Jennifer and Harold have been friends for over 5 years. Jennifer says that she admires Harold’s faith in God.

“Definitivamente Harold a mi me hizo cambiar de perspectiva. Yo me acuerdo una vez que Harold se puso hablarme de Dios y yo le dije que yo era ateo…el me dijo algo que a mí nunca se me ha olvidado. Me dijo que nosotros los seres humanos tenemos la necesidad de creer en algo. Así sea Dios o lo que fuera pero que había que creer y vivir con esperanzas de que tenemos un propósito mas allá. El escogió creer en Dios. Desde ese entonces yo empecé a visitar la HCA… Harold me inspiro a creer en Dios y ser mejor ser humano”, said Ronnie Carrasquillo.

My personal story with Harold goes back to the time I was trying to take out a bottle of water from the vending machine at the Student Center. I had the exact change needed. When I went to place the last quarter in the machine, it accidently slipped and was nowhere to be found around the floor.

“Se te perdio lo peseta?”, asked Harold as he came closer.

“Ayyyy, siiii chico. Se me perdio la peseta y era la ultima que me quedaba.”, I had replied to him as he was staring around the floor looking for my lost quarter.

I began looking at the floor again, but still no quarter.

When I look back at Harold he has a quarter in his hand, “Cogelo para que te compres lo que ibas a sacar.”

I couldn’t believe that the man who was selling candy for his own needs had such a big heart to be willing to lose part of his profits for me.

It may seem silly to think this way but I consider Harold Omil “El Dulcero” to be my hero. Not because he helped me out at the vending machine one day, but because he is a person who evokes faith and hope in others. Harold Omil is a person who has maintained integrity, desires of perseverance, and determination in finishing his bachelor’s degree.  He is worthy of being acknowledged as an incredible human being who goes past his struggles, maintaining his values.

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Harold Omil, a great example of an active student participating in Colegio’s Open House at Coliseo Mangual UPR Mayagüez, December 4, 2012.

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3 Comments

  1. Mateo said,

    February 10, 2013 at 12:00 am02

    Yo soy miembro de la HCA y me da curiosidad por saber como consiguiren esos testimonios de las demas personas mencionadas en este reportaje, (Jennifer Santiago y Ronnie Carrasquillo)

  2. Ronnie Carrasquillo said,

    February 11, 2013 at 12:00 am02

    El artículo esta muy interesante, pero la cita que apareceré como mencionada por mi persona es totalmente errónea. Nunca hice esas aseveraciones. Harold es una gran persona, lo apreció pero me gustaría que fuese removida esa cita ya que en ningún momento se me entrevisto. Por consiguiente no pueden tener una aseveración mia. Agradeceré su mas pronta contestación y el arreglo de este artículo.

  3. Tanya said,

    February 18, 2013 at 12:00 am02

    love this, very bittersweet


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