Tell us about yourself and how you got into journalism.
Since I was a child, I loved to listen to the BBC and other international broadcasts. When I was growing up, World War II was going on and I listened as much as I could. I was always interested in news around the world but also loved sports. In 1957 with two friends, I started a sports program on The Voice of Central America. We did that for three years.
At that time, I was working for a bank. In 1960, I went to Mexico on vacation and met my wife whom I married in 1961. We lived in Mexico from 1961-1967. I worked as Director of Sales for a manufacturer but also kept up with the 1964 Presidential election. In 1967, we returned to Honduras where I worked as Director of Marketing for the country’s largest bank until 1971 when I became the Secretary of Tourism for Honduras. I continued to broadcast my sports program on Sundays. After three years, I left my post. The bank offered me another position, but I had caught the journalism bug and have never looked back.
What brought you to Boca Raton?
I was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in 1935. My father wanted me to learn English. In 1948, I came to the United States for military high school and then the University of Virginia. After school, I went back to Honduras and didn’t return to the United States until 1980. At that time, my wife and I were living in Virginia, eight miles from the White House. I was a foreign correspondent for various media. In 1987, I started covering the White House full-time for Honduran and Latin American media. In 2005, when my wife became ill, I retired from reporting on the White House and relocated to Boca to be near our daughter.
You were the first Latin American correspondent at the White House. Tell us about that and some of the highlights of your career.
This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many highlights. I worked as the White House correspondent for CNN en Espanol from 1993 to 2005. I covered five Presidents both Democrats and Republicans. If I had to choose one highlight, it would be my 15-minute one-on-one interview with President Bill Clinton in the oval office on May 1, 1997. Another highlight that I have to mention is that I continue to collaborate daily with CNN for 14 and ½ years.
How did you become involved with the Institute for Learning in Retirement?
Like so many things in my life, getting involved with The Institute for Learning in Retirement was a lucky coincidence. A friend who was teaching Spanish at ILIR knew my girlfriend and actually wanted her to teach a course about Latin America. She was busy teaching at FAU and recommended me. That is when I stepped in and started my relationship with ILIR. Volunteering at ILIR and interacting with really knowledgeable people in my class has been a fantastic experience for me.
Your weekly Wednesday discussion “The News: A Journalist’s Perspective” picks back up on Oct. 9. What can attendees expect?
I like to think of my class at ILIR as talking about the news over coffee with friends except that we don’t have coffee. We sit and talk about the news of the day. I have the opportunity to relate my personal experiences in Washington and also address the what is happening in the news around the world.