Jessica & Atilio Argueta - Love at first swipe 

March 2024

Atilio Argueta was born in San Miguel, El Salvador but came to Canada with his family when he was four to seek refuge from the civil war that was occurring in El Salvador. 

Jessica Argueta was born in Atikokan, but moved to Thunder Bay to explore better career opportunities. 

The two originally met on Tinder. 

“I downloaded it that day with some friends, just to look,” says Jessica. “My friends wanted to see who was on it.”

“We came across Atilio’s profile and at first I was going to skip him because he was wearing a suit and I am just not a suit kinda girl,” says Jessica. Her friend convinced her that he had kind eyes, so she decided to “swipe right.”

It was an instant match.

This friend who convinced her to give him a shot by pointing out his kind eyes ended up being the officiant at their wedding this past August. 

They started talking without having any real idea of where it would go. Neither one of them were set on seeking a long-term relationship. They spent their first date just laughing and getting to know each other. 

After that, they started hanging out regularly. A couple of their early dates were spent eating breakfast at the Hoito and grabbing a meal at Thai Kitchen. 

“If we’re going to order food, we almost always order from local places,” Jessica tells me. “We ate so much local food during the pandemic to support businesses.” 

Soon enough, their casual dating turned into a more serious commitment. Atilio moved in with Jessica and her daughter from a previous relationship after about a year of dating. They added another member to the family when their daughter was born in 2021.  

Atilio works as a driver at AMJ Campbell and Jessica is program manager at Beendigen Anishinabe Women’s Crisis Home & Family Healing Agency. Jessica is a member of Naicatchewenin First Nation which is also located in Northwestern Ontario, west of Thunder Bay. She has spent her entire career working to empower Indigenous women, first with the Ontario Native Women’s Association for over a decade, and now with Beendigen. 

They spend their summers at their camp at Shebandowan. They live in Current River, so Boulevard Lake and Centennial Park are frequent stops for them with their kids and dog. 

They adopted their dog Kobe from the local rescue Paws4Love. They’ve also very recently added a cat to the family which they adopted from the Thunder Bay District Humane Society. 

Atilio and Jessica are looking forward to heading into their first busy summer as a married couple.

Cassandra Blair has a Masters of Arts in English Literature and is a regular contributor to Bayview.

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