Vicente Avila isn’t your typical TikToker.
For starters, Avila is 45 and has three kids. His videos, posted under the alias Vinny the Twister, have gone viral time and time again as Avila, originally from Jalisco, Mexico, enthusiastically tells viewers about his days from home in San Diego.
“Hey, guys! I’m making scrambled eggs for my kids early in the morning guys,” he told the camera with a huge smile as he showed off the eggs he was making in a video from late February. “Are you ready to go to work? Tuesday! Check it out, it’s almost ready.”
And he says that along with making his videos, his family keeps him more positive than ever.
“The best medicine for me is my family, my children,” he says. “When I see my children doing well, I feel secure and confident. Always.”
Avila adds that a lot of his followers tell him that he reminds them of their own Latino family members — many of whom share similar immigrant experiences. For Avila, his first day in the U.S. came on a very special occasion.
“I got to this country in 1990 on the Fourth of July,” he says. “I'll never forget that. I didn't even know what that was.”
After migrating at just 16, Avila spent a month and a half living on the street before finding his first job as a landscaper.
“That's when I think I became a man,” he says of being homeless.
Vinny the Twistercourtesy Vicente Avila
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Despite his struggles as an immigrant, Avila says it helps bring him closer to his fans.
“It touches my heart when people comment that I remind them of their parents,” he says. “I know what it's like to be an immigrant and to suffer. I know what it's like to sacrifice everything for my family. Reading those comments motivates me to keep making videos for the youth.”
And how does he always keep that bright smile on his face? His answer is simple.
“My motto is to always find happiness first,” he says. “That's why you see me with this attitude.”