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Living the American Dream

Ariel Loera cuts the ribbon to mark the official Ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photos: Bill Keltner/LFN

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony makes it real

Bill Keltner

When Ariel Loera took in hand the oversized scissors to officially open his new Little Castle Flower Shop in Harlingen last week, it made his dream of having his own business in America a reality.

Loera was joined by a good number of friends, family, city officials, and Harlingen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce members, who had come to share in the realization of this American Dream for one more hard-working, dedicated immigrant from Mexico. Cheers and applause broke out following the official ceremony making the dream a reality for the Loera family. Everyone present received a free Carnation at the celebration party that followed.

“This grand opening ceremony marks an incredible journey for me to where I am today,”

Loera said. “When I crossed the bridge in Brownsville in 1985, I came with years of work experience in my native country, and not much more,. I came from a family of three generations of landscapers, who knew how to work the soil, and I eventually got a job in the work I knew.“

It’s a family affair: (l-r) Abelinda Loera (wife), Ariel H. Loera (owner), Ramiro Randu II (2-yrs-old) Serrato, Ramiro Randu I Serrato, Zendakya A Serrato (5-yrs-old), Sofia Loera Serrato.

“But,” he said, “before I got a job with a large valley company, I made a living by selling flowers by catalogue to hospitals, funeral homes, businesses and private parties until I landed a real job. It was there that a fellow worker, Josue Martinez, said, ‘You have the experience and capacity–why don’t you go into the flower business?” That sounded like a good idea, and I acted on it.”

With that initial push, and help from Tony Gutierrez, Board Chairman of the Harlingen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Loera, with his wife, Abelina, and family, set out to eventually open his own flower business at 115 E. Van Buren in Harlingen.

At the ceremony Loera introduced several local dignitaries and businessmen, including Luis Gutierrez, Board Chairman of the LVHCC, Mayor Gilbert Gonzalez of the city of Raymondville and Carlos Sanchez, District Manager of the 8 FAMSA furniture stores in the Rio Grande Valley.

“I am living proof that if you do things the right way, you can realize the American dream,” said Abiel Loera, now an American citizen with his own business.

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