Where were you born and raised?
In a small town near the city of Texcoco, in the Mexico City Valley. I was raised between the countryside and the huge city.
What is your family heritage?
My family heritage is of community service and respect for all human conditions. From my mother's side, my grandmother was French-Native American, brown skin with light hazel eyes and my grandfather was second generation Spaniard. From my father side, my grandfather was Spanish Moro and my grandmother was Spaniard.
What is your occupation?
I am the Director of Central Avenue Betterment Association and I am dedicated to enhance the quality of life of our community. In the past, I have been an entrepreneur, a business owner, did international sales and work for international investment institutions. My professional education goes from graphic communication to marketing, business administration and business coaching.
How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
In recent years, I have dedicated my time to promoting pride and personal leadership in our community. In the area of influence I have the pleasure to serve, 60% of our community is Hispanic. I made my objective to increase the level of entrepreneurship in our community as well as promoting the excellence in business practice of all the established businesses. Working one on one with the business owners and the neighborhood groups in KCK, I believe I have helped our community come together and self invest in many ways.
How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
By walking the Central Avenue Commercial Corridor as often as I can, understanding the residents' background, meeting them where they are instead of trying to make them come to me. By understanding their difference but building in our similarities and by promoting culture and acceptance in all areas of community. The local explosion of Day of the Dead is a simple sample of what culture can do for building strong and stable communities.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Being part of a large family that extended beyond blood lines was lots of fun. I lived with my mother's side of the family, my grandparents had 10 kids and as I was growing up, all the activities they all engage into I was part of and there were always some social fun activity going on, I had no time to be bored.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
It means the respect of our culture, the acknowledgment of our existence in community and in society. It is an opportunity to promote the understanding of our reality and how relevant it is as part of the larger picture. It is a opportunity to honor our past, accept our present and build a stronger future!
In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
In today's socio-political circumstances, we are being distracted by many forces, including the competitiveness of the American Dream. As we integrate into the community, we are forgetting what has made us successful in the past. Our family values, our equity building practices, our cultural strengths, our cash buying power and the control on pricing that it gives us. We need to stay conscious of the many ways we as community have been able to take down social justice barriers and overcome hurtles by self investment. We strongly know that "we do not deserve what we can not give ourselves" and that energy has kept us from waiting or expecting everything to be given and wake us up every morning pushing us to reach our goals, to grow stronger. Our biggest hurtle is to become integrated into the socially unjust system and stop being the biggest disruptors of financial slavery.