Where are you from?

Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Central America, Panama

What was your childhood like?

Being son of the diplomat, we get to travel all over, and also get to learn to be spoiled, but when we no longer are diplomat (dad retired) we learned the hard way and strive for the best, I moved back to Cleveland because I was born here but never experience the city. Love it, many times was going to move away be ultimately decided to stay here.

What were your first thoughts about coming to the United States? Did those change?

When first step into the US, it was quite interesting, especially Cleveland, felt like a big city but now, it’s a city just right for me.

What challenges did you face as transitioning here?

My first language was Spanish and then English and then Chinese so it wasn’t a hard transition, but the most that I experienced here was the racial issue, where when I dress in suit and tie, people tends to think I’m visiting Cleveland, which is why most of the time, I avoided dressing up lol

What is your occupation?

Owner of Media Design Imaging, we produce, direct, and deliver video production with branding/marketing and also for events.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

I’ve experience Cleveland from being probably one of the warmest city (in term of people friendliness), everywhere I’ve worked on I always experience a welcoming, the only time is when I dress up, then I get to be ‘profiled’ to be foreigner.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

Lunar New Year, parent’s birthdays

What do you love about Cleveland?

The diversity as a whole, many places to go to, many events to participate, many ethnic groups, many food to try out. IF someone said Cleveland is boring, that’s because they didn’t go and check around!

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

Make them feel at home, most of the time, any ethnic group or visitors would prefer knowing that their culture is well represented in Cleveland, so the more it connects them to their hometown, the more chances they would consider to reside in Cleveland and call Cleveland home.

Why is it important to travel abroad?

Experiencing different culture broaden one’s experience of the world and understanding different culture helps understand diversity as a whole.