Born in 1971, Martin Mauricio grew up in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, but left Mexico and headed for Texas in 1989. In 1990 he began working for Eckert's Orchards in Belleville, Illinois, trimming peach trees. He returned to Mexico each year for the next several years, spending seven months in the United States, and five in Mexico. He started the citizenship naturalization process in 1999, the same year he began managing the operation's farm labor force. He was also married that year. Martin became a U.S. citizen in 2004, and at the same time opened his own business in Belleville, starting with a grocery story and a Mexican restaurant.