Today, in 1835 (178 years ago), Chiclayo was declared a city by Peruvian President Felipe Santiago Salaverry. Initially, known as the “Heroic City” to recognize the courage of its citizens in the fight for independence; Chiclayo later became the “Capital of Friendship”.
Growing up in Chiclayo is one of my most treasured memories. The traffic and the car noise was crazy, but I miss it. The people were super friendly and genuine, and I miss that too. My parents’ friends were my “aunts and uncles” and their kids were my “cousins”. Family wasn’t limited to blood; friends were your family. The sense of community was so natural, everybody knew everybody.
Families stayed in Chiclayo for generations. My family was one fo the most influential families of the city (back in the day of farms and plantations). My great-grandfather Julio Fernandez Chonate was an entrepreneur that made his fortune with hard work and by acquiring several properties around town and its surroundings. He married my great-grandmother Maria Augusta De La Oliva Vilchez, and together they lived in a big property that they named: “La Quinta Chonate”.
They had 4 children together: my uncle “Julio” (RIP), my uncle “Cholo Carlos”,my aunt “Mery”(RIP) and my grandpa “William”. They all grew up in Chiclayo; although they all left to other countries to pursue higher/better education, they all came back to their beloved Chiclayo. They all had children who grew up in Chiclayo (one of them is my mom), and the story repeated itself. The children of the children left Chiclayo, but they all came back. Life in Chiclayo was good.
Now, that the children of the children’s children (me and my generation) have become adults; the story has changed. My family does not own “La Quinta Chonate” anymore. It was sold to the city for housing. My uncle “Julio” served as the Mayor of Chiclayo and one of his children “Julio Armando” now owns a resort that he named “Quinta Chonate” in remembrance of our long gone family home. Many of my cousins still live in Chiclayo. I don’t.
I want to go back, but not right now. However, I feel that my city needs me right now. There has been manifestations, and the people of Chiclayo are not happy with their Mayor. There has been accusations of corruption, but what makes me really upset is that my city is destroyed. I am a Civil Engineer with a Master’s in Traffic and Transportation Engineering, it is paradoxical that my beloved Chiclayo is suffering of damaged road drainage, traffic deficiencies and deteriorated roads.
Today, on its anniversary day, the national newspaper “La República”, posted an article in Spanish titled: “Chiclayo is bombarded in his 178th Anniversary”. I read it, just to find out that it is a sarcastic metaphor that expresses the discontent of the “chiclayanos” (residents of Chiclayo) towards their Mayor.
Today, I join my “chiclayanos” in their celebrations; however, there will be no celebrations. Chiclayo is destroyed. Chiclayo needs to be rebuilt. I will go back, one day after I accomplish what I came here for. However, the issues that are happening right now, need to b e taken care of now.
Chiclayanos, please wake up.
Chiclayanos, please don’t wait until I get back.
Chiclayanos, take action now.
Photo credit: MacchuPicchu.org
The store owner, Miguel Reyna, took the time of his busy day and was kind enough to talk to me about his story and his dreams.
It all started about 13 years ago, when Miguel and his wife moved to the “biggest little city” looking for a better life. They moved from California and started their own business. Miguel named his store in honor of his wife. “La Morenita” is a diminutive of dark woman in Spanish, of course.
Miguel is originally from Mexico, but in Reno, he has been able to attain the quality of life that he couldn’t in California. However, he has more dreams, he wants to continue his education. As an entrepreneur, he believes that in order to succeed, the business owner needs to “adapt” to the changes of the environment.
La Morenita offers a variety of CD’s and books and targets the Hispanic market in the Reno area; moreover, the store also offers affordable cellular phones and plans without a contract. Miguel also sponsors several soccer teams in town and he is planning some exciting changes and upgrades to the store. Next time, if you are close by Midtown in Reno, stop by La Morenita and check out some music and literature in Spanish.
Photo credit: La Morenita Music and Wireless Facebook
Although, I may never understand their reasons, America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) is using her name to promote the “latino vote” and the passing of the “Immigration Reform”. Last year, she started a campaign to encourage Latinos to vote and to not be scared of their immigrant status.
America is a second generation latina born from Hondurans parents that came to the US in the mid 70’s. Perhaps she didn’t have to deal first hand with immigration status issues, but her parents and relatives may had. She definitely has an easier life than her ancestors and probably she may have not become who she is now if her family was deported.
The United States of America, aka as “America” is the “land of the free, where dreams come true”. America is the country that attracts millions of tourist from all over the world; many of them stay in this beautiful country because they see the opportunities this beautiful country offers, opportunities that perhaps their native countries do not have.
I wouldn’t like to have “people break into my home illegally”, but I do believe in dreams and opportunities. Would you tend a hand to a person that wants to better himself or herself? I would.
Many people in “America” do not like immigrants, especially those that entered this country illegally. Many people want the illegal immigrants to go back to where they came from; however, many other people support an immigration reform. America Ferrera, among other celebrities, politicians and people of influence that have hispanic heritage are among those supporters of a reform to legalized the status of many people who call US their home.
Do you support the Immigration Reform? Yes/No Why? and What are you doing to support your cause?
Photo credit: America4America.org
Growing up, my mom used to tell me: “nothing is impossible except death” (of course she said it in Spanish and I am attempting to translate it). What she was trying to say is that “when you set your mind in a goal, there is nothing that will stop you from achieving it except if you die”. Perhaps my mom, without realizing it, was raising me to be ambitious and driven as I turn out to be. I grew up with that mindset: if you want something, just go get it.
Consequently, I have always had dreams and I have achieved them. It all came natural to me; however, my parents were very cautious not to encourage me to follow dreams that were not achievable. In fact, my parents were so risk averse that sometimes I wonder how a dreamer like me was raised by non-dreamers like them.
As the years have passed, I realized that they don’t cope well with failure, and I learned that behavior from them. My parents encouraged me to dream big and make those dreams a reality; however, they also tought me that I may not be able to accomplish them all. They didn’t teach me how to react if my dreams do not come true.
I do not deal well with failure; actually, I do not find it acceptable. I am tougher on myself than with others. I seem to accept and understand (or excuse) other people when they do not make their dreams come true; however, when it comes to me, I don’t know how to deal with it. Is it really a failure when you can’t accomplish your dreams? Or is it that same failure the fuel that ignites your internal engine to continue pursuing your dreams? Or is it the stop sign or detour sign that makes you change and adapt and most importantly “accept” your limitations?
I don’t know the right answer. My life experiences has taught me to “adapt and accept”, but “never give up”. I believe in dreams and giving the 100% to accomplish them; however, we need to be aware that after climbing the mountain, the “top view” may not be exactly what we had in mind. Sometimes, that view is better and actually surpasses our expectations, but other times, what we dreamt does not look like what we have accomplished.
How do you deal with that disparity? Do you get disappointed and give up? Do you look for another mountain to climb? Or do you stay there and appreciate the view although does not match what you had imagined or expected?
Photo credit: we ❤ it.com