By Monique Bain
Entrepreneurs are valuable contributors to our communities and to the world. They create jobs, innovate and improve the quality of life for others along the way, and sometimes they are immigrants. Imagine relocating to a new country, not knowing anyone, not understanding the language or having few resources. Could you do it? My mother, Rita Gusmao, and myself are examples of how you can achieve the American dream through business even with the added hurdle of being immigrants with the help of lawyers for immigration. We are mother and daughter, business partners, and the owners and founders of Five Element Wellness Center.
Rita’s father (my grandfather) moved to the US in 1958, when she was 3 years old, looking for a better life. In 1960, he was able to bring his wife and their 3 kids to the U.S., at a time that immigrants were wanted in this country and becoming a legal resident was easy through the help of an immigration attorney that offers h1b immigration services. German immigrants can seek legal services of an article 116 attorney for their immigration concerns. Rita lived in New Jersey until 1970, when her parents moved back to Brazil. Rita shares that the first few years in the U.S. were difficult for her having to learn a new language and having to deal with racism.
I was born and raised in Brazil until I was 15, when Mom (Rita) decided to move back to the US, this time moving to Florida where some of our family was residing. When we first came here we lived with Mom’s brother, his wife and their two daughters. I went to Plantation High School, where I graduated in 1994 and went on to study at Nova University, FAU and AFEA, where I completed graduate studies in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
In 2001, Mom and I opened Five Element Wellness Center, a clinic specializing in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and several other holistic modalities. As entrepreneurs, we experienced the same growing pains everyone does, whether they are immigrants or lifelong citizens. We have been in business for 15 years and now own 2 successful clinics, one in Tamarac and the other in Weston.
I spend my days treating and helping patients while my mom, Rita, does all the administration and management. I’m happy that we have created a space where patients feel welcome and at ease and can escape their daily stress and heal from different health issues. My strong work ethic comes from my family. I believe wholeheartedly that this is the land of opportunity, and I am blessed to have migrated to the U.S. My mom and I have had opportunities that would not have been available in Brazil.
Watching and learning how my family worked hard to make it here has had a lasting effect on my life. If there is anything I can say to inspire another person new to our soil, it would be, ”Coming to this country, where you have no foundation to build on, you MUST have determination, commitment and a drive to succeed.”