What began in November as as new challenge as I begin my 30th year, is now blossoming through the arms and heads of many others. What we seek to accomplish is economic prosperity for our clients, communities, shareholder and US. Who is against a WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN? But defining how we go about it has been transformative in nature. Lyndon Johnson said "most people want to do the right thing,but do not know what the right this is" - TRUE. Not that I know for sure, but showing people respect by showing up, and acknowledging their being and culture goes a long way, that is how relationships form between individuals, communities and nations.
So tomorrow I visit my homeland of Costa Rica to finish a responsibility requested by my father long ago. I go feeling proud to have accomplished his charge, but also to have been able to place my chin in the wind, and create an impact. That is it, right? To make an impact, and not to have simply drifted through life anonymously. That I could not allow myself to do. The reason being that I must prove the purpose of my father's one-way ticket with destiny. He was taken at 52 before he realized his full potential, but we are still here and undaunted.
Tomorrow I will smell that sweet fragrance and look upon that clear blue sky framing those mountains in the distance, the land of my ancestors - a land new to them also many centuries ago after fleeing religious persecution as Sephardic Jews. When I do so, that breath and that clarity will stand where they stood and gazed upon a new world upon which to leave a mark.
The first Jews in Costa Rica were probably conversos, who arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century Sephardic merchants from Curaçao, Jamaica,Panama and the Caribbean followed. They mostly lived in Central Valley and were soon assimilated into the country's general society and eventually gave up Judaismaltogether. A third wave of Jewish immigrants came before World War I and especially in the 1930s as Ashkenazi Jews fled a Europe threatened by Nazi Germany. Most of these immigrants came from the Polish town Żelechów. The term Polacos, which was originally a slur referring to these immigrants, has come to mean salesman in colloquial Costa Rican Spanish.
The country's first synagogue, the Orthodox Shaarei Zion was built in 1933 in the capital San José (located along 3rd Avenue and 6th Street). Along with a wave of nationalism, there was also some anti-Semitism in Costa Rica in the 1940s, but the co-existence between the Jews and the Catholic majority has only led to few problems. Recently there has been a fourth wave of Jewish immigration consisting primarily of American and Israeli expatriates retiring or doing business in the country. The Jewish community now consists of 2,500 to 3,000 people, most of them living in the capital.
The San José suburb of Rohrmoser has a distinct Jewish presence. A couple of synagogues are located here, as well as a kosher deli and restaurant. The Plaza Rohrmoser shopping center has the only kosher Burger King in the country. The Centro Israelita Sionista (Zionist Israeli Center) is a large Orthodox compound where a synagogue, library and museum are located.
In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz