Mrs. Teresa Ayala and Mr. Víctor Aponte are an exemplary couple in our local Latino community. Both share their talents generously for the good of young and old without expecting anything in return. Mrs. Teresa shares her knowledge of Mexican folk dance and Mexican traditions, as co-founder and instructor of the Ballet México Lindo folk dance group of the Hispanic Association alongside Mrs. Aurora Colín. Mrs. Teresa has been donating her time to teach young and old from different countries to dance the colorful and joyful Mexican folk dance songs.
On the other hand, Mr. Víctor Aponte shares his talent and passion for soccer, a sport that he has practiced almost all his life and which has given him the opportunity to gather and motivate many Hispanic children to exercise while playing that sport and to live a healthy life. Mr. Victor formed a children’s soccer team called GUERREROS FC and has been donating his time teaching them to give their all when it comes to something they are passionate about. He not only teaches them soccer, but also gives them life lessons and makes sure all his players are up to date with their school grades and homework.
Both Teresa and Víctor are an exemplary and humble couple who, without seeking notoriety, unconditionally serve a large part of our Latino immigrant community. Get to know this nice couple more in the following interview.
Questions answered together:
How do you feel about being the Hispanic Couple of the Month? And why?
T: It feels good and a little weird, good because it is gratifying to be recognized for what you do and weird because this is new to me, but at the same time exciting.
V: Well that is something that I did not expect, but at the same time it feels good to know that there are people who value the things that one does for the community, and especially when it comes to children.
How did you meet?
V: By chance we met when we were both in high school.
How long have you been married for?
T: We have been sharing our lives as spouses for 22 years.
What is the secret to a happy marriage?
T: The secret is that there is no secret, marriage based on the most basic principles such as: trust, mutual respect, patience, perseverance, communication, you can achieve many happy moments.
V: I think the main thing is trust and communication because at the end of everything, the decisions must be made by both people for the family to function.
What has been your biggest challenge as a couple and how did you overcome it?
T: The stage that we considered the most difficult is when Victor injured his feet and I had just become pregnant, his recovery took 4 years and all of our savings were gone, he ended up with his feet destroyed and could barely work. It was a stage of learning and personal growth, during this hard road, we met many people who reached out to us and with their support, hard work, patience, today we are a more stable couple.
V: At a certain point in our lives I had a health problem in my feet that for a moment I was becoming incapacitated, but thanks to the communication and dedication that the two of us as a couple were able to overcome, and also thanks to the people who was there at the right moment and they reached out to us.
Also when 20 years ago I had to leave my country and leave my wife and my son, who was only one month old, to seek a better future for my family.
What advice would you give a couple who are considering getting married?
T: My recommendation for these couples is to be sure that they love their partner because if there is true affection they will be able to overcome the difficult moments that life throws at them.
V: Many people think that being married is synonymous with being at home and that they cannot do anything else, my advice is: when you are sure of who you married and there is the trust that you both deserve, I think that married life is Bearable and as in any marriage you will see ups and downs, it is only talking and solving things in the best way.
Questions for Mrs. Teresa:
Tell us where you are from and how the love for folk dance was born in you.
I am Mexican from a town called Mayanalan and it belongs to the state of Guerrero. I have had my love for dance all my life, from the place where I come, dance is promoted at an early age, it is part of our culture and traditions. I was one of the girls who would put me up front to be chosen for the rounds, which is what was danced in primary school. In high school I belonged to the school’s folk dance group with which we obtained some awards, in high school I belonged to the Xochicalli folkloric group that represented my beautiful state of Guerrero and allowed me to learn more, travel through much of the Mexican Republic, Santiago de Cuba and Houston Texas. It was a wonderful time in my life.
What does the work you do as a dance instructor in the Hispanic Association through Ballet México Lindo mean to you, alongside instructor Aurora Colin?
For me it has a great meaning to be able to transmit a little of what I love to do and more when it has a positive impact on Adults, youth and children. Dancing with my daughter and nieces was one of my wishes that I have been able to fulfill.
What is an event that you have held that you remember fondly and why?
They are two events that I remember with great fondness: The first event was the celebration of the Day of the Dead, it was very exciting, it was the first time that something like this was done in that place and the impact it caused in the community was amazing, especially because it opened a door from a great place, the Delaware Museum of Art, to showcase a little bit of our culture. The second event was the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month last year, it had great significance not only for me, but also for the members of the group, it was an escape from the situation we are facing today with the pandemic, the photos of that event reflect a very special and significant moment.
What inspires you to give of yourself in the Ballet México Lindo of the Hispanic Association?
I am inspired by several things, being able to help through dancing, it helps adults mentally and physically, you forget for a moment of your worries, young people and children are reassured if they are able to dance on stage in front of hundreds of people, they are capable of exposing a lesson at school.
What ages can participate and what types of dances do you practice?
There is no set age. The dances that are taught are Mexican folklore from different regions.
If anyone is interested in participating, where can they contact you or instructor Aurora Colin?
Interested persons can communicate through the Association, with Mrs. Aurora Colin or with me, Teresa Ayala.
Questions for Mr. Victor:
Tell us about your childhood and how your passion for soccer was born in you.
My childhood I think was like many children, you know, maybe we did not have everything but enough to be happy. Soccer was also the most important part, perhaps because going out to play with friends was the easiest way to forget all the things that happened to you at the time, when you play soccer you feel that the rest does not exist, especially when you not only play soccer, but also feel it in their hearts.
What have been the most difficult challenges you have experienced in pursuing your passion for soccer and how did you overcome them?
One of the most difficult challenges was when I had to choose between going to play professionally or staying with my family, since age was an important factor in making that decision. Although I decided to stay with my family, I got over it by not stopping doing what I like the most, which is teaching soccer.
How did you become a coach and director of the boys’ league?
Well, I’m practically a street coach, because I don’t have a title that says it, but at the end of the day when you achieve the things you set out to do, which is for children to smile and have dreams related to soccer (tell me who wouldn’t like for their son, who plays soccer, to become a professional? that’s the dream).
What inspires you to work with the children of our community?
First of all, what inspires me to continue working with children is that they can have something that motivates them , at the same time they are staying away from bad things in the streets. It also inspires me to teach them values and respect for others, and practically also to help them to have a healthier life.
What ages do they participate and when do they do their practices?
We work with boys and girls from 6 to 15 years old. We do the practices on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
If someone is interested in enrolling their child, where can they contact you?
My name is Víctor M. Aponte. My phone is 302-345-0527. The name of my team is GUERREROS FC
What is your favorite memory that you have with the boys’ league?
There are many because when you do something that you like, you will always remember it. DREAM BIG, BECAUSE DREAMING DOESN’T COST ANYTHING