By Elisabeth Román
The New York Times once described Lourdes Pérez as “a petite woman wearing high heels and a silk suit, with the unenviable job of marshaling both the artist (Daddy Yankee) and the growing number of people who required something from him. Most of her energy was directed toward a relentless speed-dial volley between the artist’s primary handlers and his new corporate overlords.”
Whether she is working on public relations strategies for renowned entertainers, corporations or government agencies, Pérez is a force to be reckoned with. The daughter of a career military man, she was born on an island in Greece and has traveled the world. She has developed public relations and multicultural marketing strategies for clients in Puerto Rico, the U.S., and Latin America. Those who know Pérez describe her as intelligent, creative, dedicated, and hard-working. She also is a woman of faith.
Despite all her successes and career achievements, she has endured many challenges that would have led others to give up. But Lourdes Pérez says she has seen too many miracles in her life to give up. “My greatest success has been my son, and it was my faith that was responsible for granting me this most important and biggest miracle of my life,” Pérez said.
“When I was 13 years old I was told that I would never have children because I had been exposed to diethylstilbestrol in my mother’s womb and it had caused devastating effects on my reproductive system. Like thousands of women facing the same fate, I went from one doctor to the other, only to get the same response. I married late in life, and my husband, an only child, wanted to have children more than anything. I knew God would grant me the miracle, and in February 1991 I was told I was pregnant but the physicians informed me there was less than a 28 percent probability of taking the pregnancy to term. I was placed under strict bed rest with a grueling medical protocol to guarantee the baby’s maturation in a very limited timeframe. The baby was born at 28 weeks, extremely underweight and frail, but with the Lord’s guidance, we pulled through and now he is a 21-year-old handsome young man, in college, and looking forward to the world of opportunities that await him.”
Faith has been a nurturing force in Perez’s life. “I have always turned to God when I feel I have nothing else left and I always try to inspire others to do the same. People are always in awe of things that follow when we believe!” Pérez, who experienced another health-related miracle earlier this year at a Marian Shrine in Puerto Rico, says her life is about giving back.
Pérez’s latest project is helping raise funds and awareness to build a new convent for an order of Poor Clares in Ponce, Puerto Rico. “Paying it forward as some say, whether it is giving money to the needy, helping others with my skills, or just helping people find God and developing their own faith so they can move forward in their journey to imitate the image of our creator. We are here to learn the lessons that God wants to teach us, and if we understand that in each one of our experiences, good or bad, there are lessons to be learned, we can continue to evolve and grow closer to God and thank him every day for his infinite love for us.”
What have you received that in turn forces you to give to others?