Blog Archives

The Mexican Dog Whisperer

cesarCesar Millan, aka: “The Dog Whisperer” is another immigrant that came to the USA following his dreams. Born in Culiacán, Sinaloa in México, “The Dog Whisperer” crossed the USA border when he was 21 years old. He didn’t know anyone in the USA or even knew how to speak English, but there was no obstacle for him to pursue his dreams.

He grew up in a farm surrounded by wild dogs, and that is how he became intrigued by their behavior and eventually training dogs became his passion. How did he end up in a TV show?

First, he knew that training dogs was what he wanted to do.

Second, he started from the bottom. As an “illegal immigrant”, he started working in a dog grooming store with the most aggressive dogs (yes, “illegal immigrants” get highly paid and competitive jobs!)

Third, he saw the opportunity and took advantage of it. While working as a limousine driver, he came across Jada Pinkett Smith who became one of Millan’s first clients and supporters (she also helped him learn English)

Fourth, he opened the “Dog Psychology Center” in South Los Angeles where he worked with large breed dogs.

Fifth, he became a permanent resident in 2000 and US citizen in 2009.

Sixth, he continued with his passion which ultimately opened the doors to his TV show.

Seventh, despite all the ups and downs of having a “celebrity” status, criticisms, professional/business issues and personal matters; he hasn’t given up doing what he loves which is rehabilitating dogs.

If you have a dream, you have to follow it, and accomplish it. Now, on the other hand, do you still think that “illegal immigrants” take jobs away from “Americans”? Do you still think that “illegal immigrants” do more damage than good to the American society? Cesar Millan, is just another immigrant showing that dreams do come true in the USA.

Photo credit: Cesar Millan wordpress

“Boulevard of Dreams”: Wells Avenue in Reno, NV

wellsfiestablog

Welcome to Wells Avenue, the “Boulevard of Dreams” in Reno, Nevada.

Wells Avenue is the “preferred” area where there is a cluster of businesses, especially Hispanic businesses. Wells Avenue is located in Midtown District in the “biggest little city in the world”.

Wells Avenue is a picturesque street in Reno. It is where two cultures fuse into one. It is where Spanish may be the main language, and English is spoken as the second language.

This area has been revamped and upgraded in the last few years by the City of Reno. Before, Wells Avenue wasn’t as walkable or appealing to any business or person. The addition of bike lanes and street lights has made Wells Avenue a new hub for small businesses in this area.

In my opinion, Wells Avenue is where many entrepreneurial dreams become reality, especially for Hispanic businesses. Perhaps, what makes Wells Avenue so attractive to small business owners, it is its central location, affordable rent and space availability.

Many Wells Avenue business owners have gotten together and form the Wells Avenue Merchants which is the “Reno’s Biggest Little Businesses” Association.

From retail to travel agencies, car wash, appliances repair, real estate and even medical offices; Wells Avenue offers a diverse array of services. Although, most of these businesses are from Hispanic owners, we do not discriminate and we welcome any entrepreneur that needs a place to start doing business.

Every year (since 2008), Wells Avenue celebrates  the International Fiesta on wells-avenueWells Avenue, which is an annual spring event celebrating the neighborhood’s cultural diversity.

The all-day fiesta is a family event complete with a parade, live entertainment, vendors, craftsmen, and food booths.

Spring has sprung already in the Northern Nevada are, yet I have not heard when this “fiesta” event is going to happen. I hope it is soon because I am eager to enjoy some great food and to promote local businesses in this area. Also, I would like to mingle with some small business owners/entrepreneurs with big dreams.

Photo credit: International Fiesta on Wells Ave, Reno Travel Blog

Picturing The Dream

 

Diana ClydesdaleHow did I meet Diana Clydesdale?

 

It was the spring of 2002, she wasn’t Diana Clydesdale the photographer, nor I was Maria Maness the engineer. We were two young latinas with big dreams working at The Eldorado casino in Reno, NV.

Although, following our dreams, took us to different paths; we remained living in our beloved Reno. Years later, we reconnected via Facebook.

The biggest little city must be pretty big for two friends living in the same town to have not seen each other for years. However; Diana and I were able to arrange some time together to “catch up”, we saw each other, and it was like time never passed. I heard that good friends could go years without talking or having contact with each other, and as soon as they see each other again, it is just like they never were apart. I believe that it is true, good friendships last forever.

It was no surprise to me that she was now, doing her dream: photography. I remember Diana was always taking pictures. Any event, any occasion, Diana was there with her camera capturing as many moments as she could. I also remember that she was famous (at work) for giving away (as a farewell gift) a collage of all the best pictures she was able to take of each person.

I am so proud of her. She does such an awesome work because it is her passion. She is also “living the dream”. I was able to experience her professionalism and her work when she did a photo session of my family.

Diana is currently collaborating as a photographer for the Miss Cinco de Mayo Reno pageant.

I highly recommend her. Check out her work @DianaClydesdalePhotography.com.

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Photo credit: Diana Clydesdale Photography

 

Dreams Are Real

 DREAL : Dreams Are Real from Maribel Serrano on Vimeo.

[vimeo 56403953 w=500 h=281]DREAL : Dreams Are Real from Maribel Serrano on Vimeo

Are dreams real? I believe so. Afterall; many of us are following our dreams either by pursuing higher education or a business venture. How much effort would you invest in order to achieve a dream?

I came across a story in the @latinocal which is a news article from Los Angeles, California (sorry the articles are in Spanish). The article’s name is “DREAL: Dreams are Real”. After reading it and watching the movie, I was inspired and reaffirmed that no matter how hard it may seem, or how unreachable a goal may be…when there is will, there is a way.

Chatting with one of my friends this weekend, I expressed my convictions about dreams and how people overcome adversity and achieve their dreams. My friend attempted to shattered my passionate beliefs about achievement of dreams. He sais that dreams are not real, and that people have to give up dreams in order to survive and meet everyday’s responsibilities. He is a very successful business man from Los Angeles area. He is hispanic.

I got very disappointed with his statements. I could not believe what I was hearing. His parents migrated from Latin America to the US in the 70’s and he was born here (second generation Hispanics). He attended college and by first impression; he is living the “American Dream”. However, his deep reality, is different.

I asked him what his dream was, and he told me that “he wanted to be an artist”. Then I asked him why he is not following his dream, and he sadly told me that “he has a family to support and being an artist do not pay the bills”.

I felt really sad for him. He doesn’t even look like the artist type to me, and if I wouldn’t have had this conversation with him, I would have never guessed his situation.

This conversation made me realized that many times success is measured by what other people can see/perceive; however, success is deeper than that. There is more to making dreams come true. First, you got to believe that dreams are real, just like Maribel Serrano’s DREAL. Second, you got to count your blessings and do the best with what you have. Maribel and many other Hispanic immigrants do not have the privileges of being legally admitted in this country. My friend has those privileges, but he has given up on his dreams (of being an artist). Third, you got to fight for those dreams until they become your reality. Maribel is fighting for her dream. She wants to become succesful and being able to work in the US. She is not alone in this dream. There are about 1.5 million of DREAMERS in the US, young people like Maribel that would benefit if the “Dream Act” passes and allows these young people to better themselves in our country.

Dreams are real. Follow Maribel and the DREAMER’s example and fight for your dreams, whatever they are. Don’t become a succesful business man with the broken wings of an artist. Nothing is impossible…sometimes it takes a little effort.

Viva Nevada!

From music to food, from Hollywood to the White House; it seems that the Hispanics are becoming popular. Although being Hispanic is still consider a minority, it is projected that by the year 2050, we will be the majority of the minorities.

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But what makes Hispanics a hot item nowadays? Is it the flavor of the food we prepare? Or is it because we are very much family oriented and we always seem to be willing to help others?

I believe that it is true, we have delicious food and big families; however, we are also very much determined to succeed in this country. I am aware that not all of the Hispanic people have been able to make it to the top and instead, many have taken the wrong turn and become the poster child of low income, low life and crime in America.

Perhaps I won’t be able to completely eradicate crime or magically clean up all the bad reputation that other people took years to build. All I want is to celebrate the successes of some Hispanic leaders in Nevada.

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The Governor, Attorney General, Washoe County School Superintendent, Director of the Nevada Department of Transportation, Community Activists, Casino Owners, Business Owners and plenty of others have Hispanic heritage. Many of them are second generation Hispanics and they were born in the USA, and the others, just like me, are immigrants gambling to pursue our dreams.

Join me in this project as I attempt to show the other side of the coin of immigration and how Hispanics add value to our community in Nevada.

 

 

 

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