While my CV and publications can tell you what I study, they do not tell you who I am. In this section, I want to provide you with some insights into the experiences that have shaped who I am.
My parents came to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s. I am the youngest of a large family and am a first generation college graduate. This experience has really shaped my world view as well as my work ethic. My parents lacked formal education, but always instilled in me the value of an education. That theme has brought me to this place in my life. I an extremely grateful for the life I live today and my ability to fulfill the dreams that my parents had for me.
In college, I worked as a dishwasher, line cook, pantry chef, buster, and waiter. This experience taught me a lot about cooking, food, and dealing with people. My favorite food to prepare is Pozole or Ceviche. I am also pretty good at making Mole Rojo and Poblano.
In terms of my personal interests I have practiced surfing in the past, but that is kind of hard to do in Texas. I have also done stints in training on a road bike and used to jog. I have always practices martial arts. I have practiced Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, and am currently a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My goal is to keep working on this until I earn my black belt. I also enjoy playing guitar and working on home improvement projects.
My work and educational opportunities have allowed me to travel throughout the Southern Cone of Latin America, Colombia, Mexico. I have also been able to go to Jordan, Lebanon, Western Europe, China, and Japan. I would like to travel more in Brazil, as well as visit South Korea, Taiwan, and Morocco. I hope to add to this list and to keep learning for the rest of my life.