My Salvadoran heritage has provided me with a solid moral compass, resilience, cultural sensitivity, and a deep appreciation for life—all of which have played a significant role in making me into a better family man and a loving father and caring husband. My cultural heritage holds profound significance as the foundation of my cultural identity. It represents a vital bridge to my past, including memories of growing up during the Salvadoran Civil War, crossing Mexico, and starting as an ESL student in elementary school. My background inspires me to appreciate my roots and reminds me of the journey that has led me to where I am today – a successful professional working at the esteemed law firm of Tyson & Mendes.
My heritage has been a powerful asset in my career, especially when I understand the many clients from diverse backgrounds I have represented. I can relate to their struggles and empathize with their experiences. This shared heritage has allowed me to forge bonds of trust with my clients as they see someone who shares similar roots in me.
Heritage allows me to bond with my children. It’s of utmost importance to me that my two children not only comprehend the value of their heritage but also take pride in it. I often sit with my children and share stories of my upbringing in El Salvador, giving them a glimpse into my past, from making my kites to planting my mango tree in my grandfather’s backyard. Seeing their curiosity and interest in learning about my childhood experiences in El Salvador is heartwarming. After all these years, I’ve been told that the mango tree I planted in El Salvador has continued to bear fruit for the generations that have followed.
I’ve also instilled in my children the power of being bilingual, letting them know that English was a foreign language to me when I arrived in this country. I share my story with them about how I learned the language through sheer determination and hard work and ultimately graduated from UCLA – a testament to my mother’s unwavering support and guidance.
I am forever grateful to my mother for being my most influential Hispanic mentor. She taught me the importance of hard work and education from a young age. I remember fondly accompanying her to the homes she cleaned because she couldn’t afford daycare. She often let my brother and I know she would return home late because she had to clean a house in Newport Beach. I couldn’t help but reflect on the twists of fate–I am now privileged enough to work at Tyson & Mendes and be part of their Newport Beach office.
As I reflect on my journey, I can’t help but appreciate my heritage and my mother’s teachings which paved the way for my success.