Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Chicago and then when I was like 5-years-old my parents moved from Chicago to Puerto Rico because my mom missed Puerto Rico so bad and then we went and my dad tried getting a job but the job he had didn’t pay enough. We were there for a year, I remember going to pre-school in Puerto Rico and then we couldn’t make it over there and we had to come back to the States.
What was your childhood like?
My mom missed Puerto Rico a lot so everything in the house was Puerto Rican like the music, the TV was always in Spanish stations; my mom will speak to us in Spanish, thank God if not I wouldn’t know it because it’s a blessing in my life. So inside the house it was like been in Puerto Rico.
What brought you to Cleveland?
I am reporter and I had an agent who got me a job at Channel 5 and we have been here for 20 years.
What challenges did you face transitioning here?
I had to go to kindergarten in Chicago, so I learned Spanish first and when I had to go to kindergarten there was no bilingual back then it was just straight English. So I couldn’t understand anybody. Thank God I was young enough to pick up English after a week or so.
What is your occupation?
I do two things; I have a show, which I am really excited about. It’s about elevating the Hispanic community and I have business with United Healthcare, I sell medical insurance to seniors. I have done very well and I have nine people under me so I train everybody so they go all over northeast Ohio and do that.
What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?
During Christmas in Puerto Rico Santa does come but the big one is January 6th, which is the three king. So the big deal over there is the three kings so the three kings that came to Jesus they actually come and give you gifts. My mom brought the tradition when we lived in Chicago. So we would have to put grass and water for the camels.
What do you love about Cleveland?
When we got here everybody was so welcoming and loving. We have friends that are like family to us; I love the diversity in Cleveland I think we need to do a better job of showing all the diversity that is out here and sharing their story.
Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?
We are who we are as Cleveland and the United States we are better because we are diverse. We are a melting pot and all the diversity is beautiful and all the different great minds. Diversity is power and any company or city that gives diversity a big platform will do very well.
Why is it important to travel abroad?
Sometimes I think we get comfortable where we are. Especially if you live in a nice neighborhood or just used to your surroundings you have to kind of break out and get out of your comfort zone and get to know people and that way, I believe you are more accepting when you get out and travel and get to know people.