I am a full-blooded Seminole Indian with ancestral lineage dating thousands of years, and I have been a resident of south Florida all of my life.
As a Certified Interpretive Guide with National Association for Interpretation, and with the title Traditional Interpretative Coordinator, I take it as an honor to inform and educate our visitors about my history, culture and heritage.
We all have a different and interesting story to tell the world, and I really embrace the beautiful rainbow colors of people in south Florida because we are all uniquely the same.
Add your story of what makes us greater together, and you could become the Greater Fort Lauderdale Face of the Month.
I grew up in New Jersey, and I have always enjoyed beer and have been homebrewing. In mid-2016 wanted to make a career change, so I finally decided to take the leap into commercial brewing. I had also wanted to live in Florida for many years and so I thought it would be a great time to combine the two new life directions. Six months later, I was living here and working at Funky Buddha Brewery.
Personally I'm into the ocean, food, and great beer so my go-to spots for welcoming people revolve around those ideas. But there’s something for everybody. Just invite newcomers out, show them the town – they're bound to love it.
To me, living in Greater Fort Lauderdale means you most likely love fun in the sun and the concept of Eternal Summer. When people in that like mindset come together it's always going to be a fun experience.
I was born here in GFL at Holy Cross Hospital during Hurricane Andrew, so I'm a true GFL native!
I love giving people insights and tips on my favorite places to check out while they are in town. I think it's fun and different to get the local experience of a city! I'm currently working on a fun interactive map of my favorite spots of the GFL to give to customers from out of town.
What I think is so wonderful about the diversity of GFL is that there is always something to do around town, and I feel that a lot of the places and events cater to everyone.
I love that everyone wants to help support each other, and as a community we focus on our local businesses. Despite how many people live here, it never ceases to amaze me how small it is. I feel that everyone knows everyone, in a good way of course, because we are all here to support our city to keep it thriving!
I came to Greater Fort Lauderdale in 1990 from Peru with my family for the American dream and in search of a better education.
Now I welcome people to our community with a free surf lessons every Saturday at Island Watersports. It’s a way to give back to the community and show Fort Lauderdale who we are.
Here [in Greater Fort Lauderdale] everybody is exposed to different cultures and people, and it broadens your perspective and outlook on life. It’s interesting to learn about other people and why they are here, whether it’s locals or tourists – there’s a mixture of both here – and I get to meet them everyday at my shop.
I love the sense of community. Everybody puts their differences aside and they lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. People in Greater Fort Lauderdale go the extra mile to help their neighbors and help them have a positive day.
It's wonderful to see such a mixed group of people in our destination, as we have so many coming from all over the world- South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Not to mention, GFL is an LGBTQI friendly community, so having such a diverse mix of cultures and people truly creates an atmosphere for unique and interesting stories and experiences.
Thanks to my parents' hard work and sacrifice, I came to Greater Fort Lauderdale at the very young age of eight, from my home country of Venezuela. My parents wanted better opportunities for our family and made the brave and amazing decision to move to the United States. We happened to arrive in GFL right after hurricane Andrew had struck. GFL was the only area in our journey through south Florida that was not badly damaged, and we actually really fell in love with it... Needless to day, we've lived in GFL now for 25 years! I love that people at GFL are very warm, laid-back and welcoming.
Anybody can find their place in GFL. One day you may meet someone that moved here from Chicago or or Boston or DC... the next day you'll make a friend that came here from Venezuela or Cuba or Haiti. Broward also has one of the highest concentrations of gay couples in the US. Unlike many gay communities in bigger urban areas... you do not have to be under 30 to fit in with the gay community in GFL. When you go out on the town you will meet people anywhere from 18 to 78 all living and partying within a few blocks of Wilton Drive. TRUE diversity lives here - not just the political term which often means "people that agree with me". The diversity of GFL is not just a pompous political term used for good PR - its a way of life down here that most just naturally embrace.
Gilberto (in photo with his dog Gnocchi attached) came to GFL from Recife Brazil to study English. He soon made friends with many other Brazilians thriving here in Broward county and throughout south florida. GFL is also where he met his husband William where they married in March of 2015.
Broward County has one of the most diverse populations outside of NYC. A true American melting pot. Being so close to Miami-Dade we are just 30 minutes from what many call "The NYC of Latin America" right next door. Unlike NYC or LA living here allows a more relaxed "Southern US meets Latin America" vibe. All the amenities of other cosmopolitan regions of the USA with a more laid back "resort town" lifestyle - beaches and boating and lots of upscale outdoor dining.
Being born and raised in Italy, I grew up in a very non-diverse and close-minded environment. Living here has opened my mind to the fact that we are all human beings, despite our differences, and that we have a lot to learn from each other.
Having moved here Boston (and Milano), I can definitely say that the people down here are much friendlier, more caring and inclusive. Down here I feel like at home.
Whether you live here or love to visit, submit your story below to be featured as one of the Faces of Greater Fort Lauderdale.