KILLEEN, Texas – This man went from being a small boy from Ponce, Puerto Rico, to being the mayor of Killeen.
“My Hispanic heritage? Well, I was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Chicago,” says Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra.
Segarra shares what it means to him to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
“As a Hispanic, I have the best of two worlds, you know? I have, well, I can go to my culture and appreciate all the things that made America great,” says Segarra.
Segarra looks back on how his parents kept his Hispanic heritage alive in his upbringing.
“As a kindergartener, I remember, it’s….I didn’t know any English. And so, I learned English in kindergarten, and my mom at that time didn’t know any English, so she raised me speaking Spanish,” says Segarra.
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Segarra is just in his first year as mayor of Killeen, and sees it as an opportunity to help others.
“I’m there and I’m Hispanic. And I always tell people, you know, even from the Hispanic culture, you know, we need to have [to] step out more,” says Segarra.
And he says he couldn’t do it without the help of the Hispanic organizations having his back.
“They’re very supportive, you know? They always encourage each other. And that’s one thing. The thing about our culture is you can do it. Si se puede. You can do it,” says Segarra.
Living most of his adult live in the United States, he still looks back at his favorite Puerto Rican traditions.
“In Puerto Rico, we eat a lot of pigeon. We call it ‘arroz con gandules.’ We eat pasteles, we eat flan – a big dessert,” says Segarra.
Besides the food, he looks back at the different types of Latin music.
“Thing that we enjoy doing is just getting out there and dancing,” says Segarra.