OCCUPATION: Wellness coordinator/NASM Women's fitness specialist, MixxedFit and Zumba instructor at Westerly Fitness.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: I was born in the town of Bayamon, on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, and raised in New London. After 10 years of working in Puerto Rico, I settled in Westerly and have been here for 23 years!
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Several new projects! Setting up the outline of my new radio show, which will be moving from WBLQ AM to 96.7 FM The Buzz; working on new group training programs, including our hugely successful 'Weight Loss Challenge' program. Lots of new things coming up, it's a very exciting time!
I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: I'm a huge bookworm, love to learn something new every day and love to debate what I learn with my husband and son ... they are such great conversationalists!
My Proudest Accomplishment: My son, Cam. He is the best person that I have ever met, that boy is my soul.
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Never giving up ... no matter what life throws at me, I don't give up. I believe that in order for us to succeed and evolve as a society and community, we need to have more faith in humanity. Imagine if everybody had someone who believed in them ... what could that do for them? I don't give up, on myself or on others and that is what I would like to be remembered for.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: A trip to Bora Bora with my family and closest friends. I want to wake up to beautiful water outside of my door, take a dip and have breakfast with the whole group ... when do we leave?
ALWAYS IN MY POCKET: I'm always in gym tights so don't have pockets but, I do keep a special item in my car given to me by my friend, Maria. It's a beautiful red pair of rosary beads she brought me from the Vatican. I'm not a practicing Catholic but I feel very close to the Mother aspect of Mary and the Rosary brings me peace when I need it. It's especially good at keeping me from road rage!
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: An archeologist. I am fascinated with our evolution as a planet and as the human race. I know that being part of an archeological dig would be a dream come true for me. It's actually one of my "Bucket List" items!
PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: There have been so many but if I had to choose one person I'd say it's my son. Being his mom has given me the inspiration, motivation, desire and urgency to be my best at all times. Being responsible for the development of your child is an incredible responsibility and privilege and I take that responsibility very seriously ... it influences all my decisions and actions. He makes me a better person. He and my husband, Randy saved my heart and inspire me to love 100 percent every single day.
FAVORITE AUTHOR: Depends on what's tugging at my heart or senses at the time. Right now I am totally in love with Beth Turley... my cousin, Ada's daughter. Her book, "If This Were A Story", is my current favorite and I've already read it three times because it is so amazing! I always return to J.K. Rowling.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: Victor Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning". His story is a true testament to the power of forgiveness and using your thoughts and heart to look at others, regardless of the meaning of their presence in one's life, as equals in spirit. After my first husband, Perry, passed away suddenly, this book helped me to look at my circumstances from a very different perspective and basically changed my life. I also always keep a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" and "A Course In Miracles"... all three of these books are always with me ... the lessons learned have been priceless to me.
I AM LISTENING TO: I teach Zumba and MixxedFit...so my head is constantly filled with Latin Dance Music and Hip Hop/Rap!! If I have a moment with my husband, Randy-who is a singer/musician, we listen to The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Prince, The Beatles, Foo Fighters ... we love all kinds of music but our ears belong to the music of our youth. With my son, who is also a musicians, I listen to his music which ranges from Queen to Gorillaz to the soundtrack of the video game, Cuphead ... music fills our home!
FAVORITE MOVIES: I'm am a HUGE Marvel fan and I get so happy when the franchise puts out a new movie...literally giddy as I wait for Captain Marvel to debut. Of course I love the Harry Potter series...such a great example of applying a screen play to an entire series of books and the prequels to the series, "Fantastic Beasts," "Crimes of Grindelwald" have been outstanding!
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: Marvel's "Ant-Man and The Wasp." I needed something to lift my spirits after being traumatized by "Marvel's Infinity War!"
FAVORITE TV SHOW: " Big Bang Theory" Hilarious from start to finish. Brilliant casting and writing!
FAVORITE SONG: Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". His version is the gift that keeps on giving...his tone, tenderness and the simplicity and purity of his ukelele has brought me tremendous comfort and perspective when I need it most.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Sancocho Prieto, Dominican style. I love the Puerto Rican version, nearly the same.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Facebook but my time on it has been cut down to about five minutes a day only. After Hurricane Maria nearly wiped out my home, Puerto Rico, it was my sister's and mine, main source of communication with our people. It was a Godsend for us until it wasn't .
TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE: Acceptance of Self.
PET PEEVE: "Willful Ignorance." In this day and age, where we have the ability to research every possible side of every issue, we have no excuses to be ignorant. "Willfully" ignoring facts seems to be part of the reason we have so many exhausting arguments on social media, (hence one of the biggest reasons why I have backed off Facebook.)
FAVORITE QUOTATION: "The appreciation that Source feels for you, never-endingly, will wrap you in a warm blanket of worthiness if you will allow it." — Abraham-Esther Hicks
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: I absolutely LOVE Westerly! I love the bigness and the smallness of our town. I love that we are so close to bigger cities, that we can visit on day trips or overnights, and then come back relatively quickly to our homes again. After the floods of 2010, just five days after Perry passed, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, I saw and felt the great sense of community that Westerly is so known for, come together in such an inspiring way. I was deeply motivated by this spirit of togetherness. Diving into community outreach and volunteering with our great Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce helped me to get through my grief and find new purpose for myself. I'm very grateful for this town. I moved here out of grief over losing my mom, 24 years ago, and when I lost Perry, the father of my son, the people of Westerly held me tightly.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: My boys. My husband, Randy, our son, Cameron and my brother-in-law, Robert, one of Perry's older brothers.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: Many people think that because I am not shy, am comfortable speaking in public and work in the fitness industry, I am very social outside of my field as well. The truth is that I get very stressed out in large crowds and big social events. I would rather tend a bar than be the customer sitting at the bar and I typically will not go out dancing at clubs, though I teach dance fitness. I am a homebody and love being home or at a friend's house cooking and playing darts.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: When I was about 9 years old, we had just moved into our new home in New London, my dad sat me down and showed me a series of books that were on his book shelf. He had copies of every major religion, philosophy and mythology that one could possibly think of! He told me this, "Don't ever forget that we are not alone on this planet. I am a Lutheran and your mother a Catholic and those are our choices. You and your brother and sister are baptized as Catholics but there is more. I have read all of these books here and you should too." My dad and I had a very strained and sometimes volatile relationship, but his advice to me that day led me to study and embrace the incredible similarities that exists between us versus our differences. Travelling, connecting with other cultures ... truly looking at one another as equals is what brings us closer together.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: Take care of your body, spirit and mind. There is no disconnect within our "Selves"... all of our senses need TLC. Eat a diet of wholesome balanced foods, exercise ... the body was created to be in motion ... connect with nature and feed your mind with thoughts filled with gratitude no matter what your circumstance. The fact that we are alive is cause enough to feel deep gratitude.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: I would make it an international law that all citizens have the right to healthy and nutritious foods, and access to education. People who are thriving and healthy are happier, more well balanced in mind and spirit, and contribute more to their communities.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO: Pay back everyone who has ever supported me and my family along the way. I would not just pay them back...I would make sure that they never wanted for anything more.
I DRIVE A: Silver, 2013 Nissan Juke...my husband and my friends tell me that it fits my personality really well ... kinda sassy!
I WISH I DROVE A: 1971 Buick GSX Convertible, silver and Black ... sweet.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Eggs, eggs and eggs!
IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: My siblings, Carlos and Lizzy and their spouses; my nephew Marcus; my cousins, Ada and Lourdes and their clans; my nieces Katie and Meagan and their clans, my "Bros & Sisters" Robert, Anthony and Sharyn, and Jimmy and Ellen; my Godmother, Ada (she has to make my favorite dish.) When we are together, we are funny people ... like a comedy roast on steroids!!