This is my perspective of a family’s life, a country’s brand, a dream for future generations, and the leadership that shapes the nation today. I observe key values, skills and abilities that mark the evolution of human sophistication through American generations.

Building on strengths, the setting is created.
This is the fourth time I am traveling with my husband to visit his family in USA. Every time, I feel like I need to tell the world about the history kept in the hearts and minds of this wonderful family. After all, their lives and skills made the history of a nation. Every year, they share their family albums while we catch up by the fire place. Highly social, always put together, great music in the background. Grandma still likes to reign in the kitchen so we are ready for her call to help. Come and take a look at my findings, into the Colombo albums.

Album One: The nation builders
Look through the album and find the first pages showcasing how they built America. Their hands poured concrete, blended iron, opened roads experiencing hard times while growing up. I see pictures of young Italian boys and girls perfectly groomed for the occasion. The memories speak on behalf of the Great Depression, Corporate America, and a man on the moon. It all brings a promise for their children: The American Dream

Album two: Uniforms, badges, aircrafts and love letters
Ode to the people, who built the American Dream. Now they have turned their children to explore the sky and oceans. The pictures in the album show how a new generation becomes part of the navy and the air force. The men are gone but there is still a community to build at home. Love letters are nested among the family pictures and the promise to come back and build together.

Album three: Social Awareness and leadership
Adapting, evolving and transforming are words that describe them. While some were driving wings and motors, others developed a better understanding of Civil Rights, Sexual Revolution, and Space Travel. The mix of ideas and passion delivers the pride in the word ‘American’.
The new family members are now studying and understanding the world and new complexity.
The tools have changed from bricks in their hands to build America, to wings to fly the sky, motors to go across the ocean, rockets to travel the space, later they develop diplomatic relationships and understanding of the Cold War. Most importantly, education has empowered them to opt-in or out.

Album four: Made in America
While grandpa is proud telling us stories about his life in the Financial Industry, he also makes his point valid with the phrase ‘When I was in the navy’. His leadership comes from something learned at either the Navy or the corporate world. I have to close the album; a new one is filling up with cars, motors, horse power calculations and design. Some of the family members are now the minds behind designs of automobiles that made Detroit great. Matt has the garage full of tools and half way assembled hybrids, a place of inspiration, creativity, design, speed and engineering. It reunites the family and the community. It is made in America, from the Indy500 to the designs in the garage and the car manufactures in Detroit.

My NAFTA children
The newest generation have a few tools in their backpacks; history, resilience, creativity, a borderless nation and a family that expects the next big thing to happen will come from them. My so called NAFTA children get this identifier due to their Mexican, Canadian, and American heritage and will be ready to contribute to the great human kind.

For now, they are children and we are on our way to get closer to the Navy veterans, the current engineers, the resilient women, the rebels, the legacy builders. At home, where Grand’pa and Grand’ma Colombo are always right!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Connect with me on Twitter @estelavazquezp