The history of my family is that of tragedies, triumphs, love and of success through hard work. My family roots are traced many centuries back consisting of all types of backgrounds such as Spanish, French, and Italian just to name a few. My family has given me everything they can such as their love, knowledge and support. They are my rock and always there for me, I couldn’t have asked for a better family.
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To begin with my family history my first last name Villa comes from my father’s side. The name Villa is of Spanish decent and for some Italian or French (Surname Database). It is a popular surname that is of Roman origins (Surname Database). The last name Villa describes a person who lived in the center of the village or any other area with that name in Southern Europe (Anderson). It is used to represent a group of houses or in some cases the most important area of a settlement (Anderson).
My second last name coming from my mother’s side is Perez. Its origin is French and is from the name Pierre, which comes from the name Peter, which means ‘rock’ (Powell). It is also a variation of Sephardic origin and can be traced back to the 14th century (Powell). The name Perez was very popular in Christian Europe since it was a name Christ gave to the apostle Simon (Personalized Printables). It’s believed that many people with the name Perez may have been Crypto-Jews which are people that converted to Christianity (Personalized Printables).
My grandfather Maximillian Perez was born on December 31, 1917, in Corozal Sucre, Colombia. He was an only child, his mother died when he was only 12. He was heir of a great fortune in which his aunt was the trustee. Unfortunately at that time it was easy to falsify documents and she took most of the inheritance. Aside from this misfortune he went on with his life and since he was an only child, he wanted dreamed of having a large family.
In his late 20’s he married my grandmother Alida and they had 12 children. The names of the 12 are Maria, Donald, Manuel, Maximillian, Ana (my mother), Marlene, Eduardo, Raphael, Carmelo, Ramiro, Edison, and again Eduardo, but the first Eduardo born, died at the age very young of 5 and his cause of death was pneumonia. My grandfather got the large family he always wanted and that made him a happy man. He made a living as a farmer where he even grew tobacco. The downfall was since that time Colombia was going through a civil war and his lands were taken by force. He was left with only one land where he raised his family and that was his life.
From the 12 children born my mother was the 5th and was the pioneer of the family. She went to an all girls school where she was a star marathon runner. Aside from being a runner she participated in school plays and after she graduated she worked one year at the Red Cross and then went off to college. She was the first to go to college and graduate, even though some of her brothers and sisters followed her example, they didn’t finish. She went to be a lawyer at a private university called Simon Bolivar. After she graduated she worked in politics as part of the senate bureau, where from aside of being one of the lawyers, she also wrote the speeches. My mother was also an activist and reached out to many people during that time.
Next is my grandfather Mario, he was born on December 31, 1931, coincidently the same birthday as my other grandfather. He was born in a province called Segovia, Colombia. It was a land full of mines so there was a lot of gold. Since there was a lot of gold, there was a lot of jealousy and hate which resulted in deaths over money. When he was 20 years old he went to the city of Medellin, Colombia and there he began working with the Cuarta Brigada where he performed investigations. The Cuarta Brigada planned and conducted military operations in its designated area to neutralize and reduce the crimes committed by those during La Violencia (Colombia – La Violencia).
In Colombia, La Violencia was a historical time that happened between 1948 and1960 (Colombia Violencia). It was characterized by the confrontation of two political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. It included assassinations, aggressions, persecutions, destruction of private properties and terrorism because of the political parties. It began with the assassination of Liberals presidential candidate in 1948, which caused a series of riots and violent acts (Colombia – La Violencia). More than 200,000 died because of these atrocious acts of violence in which a new political group rose called Las FARC (Colombia Violencia).
Las FARC which stands for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as the Peoples Army, is a terrorist group (Dunnell). It was formed in 1964 and was run by seven members under the command of Pedro Antonio Marin (Molano). They’re actions consisted of drug trafficking, wars, assassinations of civilians, members of the governments, police, and military (Dunnell). They would kidnap for political leverage and would kill anyone that would go against them. My grandpa would go out with the Cuarta Brigada to do investigations during those hard times in Colombia.
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In 1955, Grandpa Mario met Lilian and got married the same year. Through this union four children were born, the first being my father Mario then Hector, Diana, and Fernando. Even then my grandfather had to leave his home for work, months at a time since the civil war was still going on. After some time he retires and starts to work in a printing company. He once again earned awards for his work since he was an excellent typewriter. Years later my father met my mother Ana at the well known Lions Club, where he was then the president of the youth group.
Next they got married June 7, 1986, in Barranquilla, Colombia. From this union my brother Mario was born and afterwards I was born. A year after I was born we traveled to the United States because at that time life was still tough in Colombia. We lived in Miami, Florida for 17 years and for most of those 17 years my parents worked with a church called El Rey Jesus also known as King Jesus Ministries. Aside from working with the church, they studied and earned degrees in theology. Eventually they became Ministers of The Gospel under the coverage of Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, which is the founder of King Jesus Ministries. As ministers they worked by the side of Apostle Guillermo Maldonado doing many things such as helping the community and going on missionary trips just to name a few.
A few years later they were sent to Georgia to open up a daughter church under the same name King Jesus Ministries. They are now Pastors and becoming very well known within the Hispanic community of Georgia. My role in the church is not only as the daughter but also that of a helper. I’ve helped organize events and am in charge of the food bank, which is to help people with financial problems by giving them groceries. As one can see, not only do we feed people spiritually but also physically.
Likewise my parents I have come to realize that my heart belongs in helping people and I enjoy doing so. I thought of how I can do this and I realized since a young age that I wanted to be a doctor and would even play doctor. My toys were different from my brother and others within my age because they were fake medical tools. Aside from the fact that since little I played around and was interested in medical things, I wondered why? My belief is that some mannerisms and thoughts come from genetics and I found out that my great grandfather was a very well known doctor in his time. Knowing this new fact made me want to live up to that legacy and I hope one day I will be as good as him and even surpass his success.
Aside from the history of my family of a couple generations back till now, there’s still a lot to know. One thing I know is that they all had happy yet interesting lives despite the circumstances, and are faithful to their spouses. My grandparents Mario and Lillian have 55 years of marriage and my parents will have 25 years of marriage. My grandparents Maximillian and Adila had over 60 years of being married and could have been more. Unfortunately my grandfather Maximillian died December 2010; his cause of death was simply old age. He had a peaceful death just like his life. He was a good, humble man and I’ll always look up to him because of his great heart. I’ll always remember the memories we shared and how amazing of a person he was, he will always be in my heart.
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