What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom to me is everything. Freedom means feeling safe with your family… I never forget the bombing and how much it felt like my freedom could be in jeopardy. When you get scared to leave you house, that’s not freedom man. This country… I think being born outside of here gives me a clear view of how much freedom we have here. We are blessed so much. The people here protect us and keep us safe… even when some idiots wanna try some dumb stuff.
What was your 1st impression on American values when you first arrived in the United States?
I think my mom and dad raised me to be giving and to help others, so when I came here it was really different for me. You know, being a young kid in a ball club where you don’t really know the language. Its scary man. But the people here always help me. They help me learn English and all the other stuff, like slang, so it helped me to feel more at home.
What did becoming a citizen mean to you?
Being an American citizen is a great honor. But I don’t want people to think of me differently, I’m a citizen just like everyone else. I pay my taxes too! (laughs) Being sworn in with my family right next to me was a day I never forget. I hope my kids learn that you can do anything if you work hard enough. All I can say is, I love my country [the DR] and will always be just a kid from Santo Domingo, but being able to live in America and experience the high and the low is a great honor.
What do you and your family do to celebrate the 4th of July?
We chill. (laughs). We hang out by the pool, might have something on the grill… family come visit… a lot of people have the day off so I always invite everyone over to be together. We got a lot to give thanks for in this country, so I think being together and having a good time is what celebrate that.
Any memorable 4th of July stories?
Hmm… any story with me is a memorable one, ok? (laughs)