Two UNC Charlotte students, originally from Cuba, are helping to keep their father’s dream alive, and their story was featured recently on Charlotte Agenda.
Manny Perez, a junior finance major, and his sister, Ana, who is studying political science, help their mother to operate Havana Carolina, a restaurant in Concord.
The sibling undergraduates arrived in the United States from Cuba in 2015 with their parents Idael Pérez Maldonado and Dania Ochoa Hernandez.
Ben Jarrell, in his story for the Charlotte Agenda, writes about the elder Maldonado’s dream of buying the Havana Carolina as a way to keep his family together, as he was concerned about American life being too busy.
In fall 2017, Maldonado purchased the restaurant, but shortly thereafter, in November, the 44-year-old father of two was killed in an automobile accident.
Following their father’s death, Manny and Ana Perez remember the tough times. In the wake of the accident, the restaurant, friends and employees became a part of the family’s grieving process. Now, the business has found its footing, as three do the work of four.