05 Dec A journey toward the American Dream
One of his bestselling items is ceviche. Ceviche is a shrimp dish cooked in lime juice, derived from South America. At first, he questioned whether his unique menu would bring in customers. Now ceviche is one of his top-selling dishes.
Leal-Fernandez was born in the United States, but his parents immigrated from the island of Cuba. A country where communism reigns and opportunities are limited.
They arrived in the U.S. with very little and did all they could to make a decent living. His grandfather eventually started a business and created a comfortable lifestyle. Leal-Fernandez says that his family is his biggest motivation.
He said, “My family pushed me as far as they could.”
The bar manager at his restaurant is also from another country and faced similar struggles. Jorge Hurtado is from Peru and moved to the U.S. at 21 years old. He first moved to South Florida where many people speak Spanish, his native language.
Once he moved to South Dakota, he faced a few cultural challenges because not as many people speak his language. Other than that, he felt welcomed by the people of Rapid City.
“It is an extremely friendly environment. It became such a familiar place so quickly,” said Hurtado.
He left Peru to have a safer and more abundant life. Many countries in South America, Central American and the Caribbean are full of crime and poverty.
“The living is more comfortable and safe. I miss my country and culture a lot, but I like the fact that I can walk at any time and not be concerned,” said Hurtado.
As of now, they are truly living the American dream. They enjoy the culture of Rapid City and they enjoy bringing their culture to Rapid City.