Divulgando la cultura en dos idiómas.

Valentine’s Day: A young couple puts roots in KC

By Angie Baldelomar

For Maria Paula Alzate and Emiliano Gross, their love story starts with a friend.
Originally from Colombia, Alzate was pursuing her undergraduate studies in Kansas City when a friend asked her to give her and her out-of-town friend a tour of the city. That out-of-town friend was Gross, an international student from Argentina pursuing his undergraduate studies in McPherson, Kansas.
However, sparks did not fly when they met.
“You know that stereotype that Argentinians are a little full of themselves, and so, that’s how I thought he would be,” Alzate admitted.
Gross found her beautiful, but he was not seeking a relationship then. They reconnected over the summer that same year.
“Colombia and Argentina were facing off in the Copa America tournament and there was a bet going on,” Gross said. “Obviously, Argentina won, like usual.”
By Halloween that year, they officially started dating. For the rest of Gross’ senior year, they had a “long distance” relationship, with Alzate going to McPherson to visit and, after getting a car, Gross coming to Kansas City on some weekends.
Their relationship was going fine, but a new added stress occurred for both after graduating college: their immigration status.
Alzate was waiting for her residency papers to come through. Gross, as an international student, had the added pressure of finding a job that would sponsor his work visa.
“That was a very difficult time because we had no answer either from Emi or from me,” Alzate said.
Alzate had come to the United States in 2009 and applied for political asylum in 2014 after the situation in Colombia turned dire. In 2018, she finally got her asylum claim accepted and processed.
Gross, on the other hand, graduated with a degree in education in 2017. He found a job at Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools. Now, he works for the Kauffman School in Kansas City, Missouri, which sponsored him for his visa.
When Alzate and Gross started discussing their future together, they knew they wanted to stay in Kansas City, so once Alzate’s green card came through, they bought a house. Around that time, they got engaged.
Alzate and Gross got married on June 15, 2019. In September 2020, they welcomed their son, Luciano.
“(Having a kid) is a new adventure, literally,” Alzate said.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought them the opportunity to be with Luciano full time. Both parents are working from home.
The two are happy they could stay in Kansas City. They hope to stay here much longer.
“We are simply very happy where we are, here in Kansas City,” Gross said. “It’s a city that gave us a lot, that is still giving us everything, where our son was born and where we want to stay, God willing. We have great jobs that offer us room to grow and we’re making a beautiful family.”

Día de San Valentín: una joven pareja hispana echa raíces en KC

Para María Paula Alzate y Emiliano Gross, su historia de amor comienza con una amiga.
Originaria de Colombia, Alzate estaba cursando sus estudios de pregrado en Kansas City cuando una amiga le pidió que le diera a ella y a su amigo de fuera de la ciudad un recorrido por la ciudad. Ese amigo de fuera de la ciudad era Gross, un estudiante internacional de Argentina que cursa sus estudios de pregrado en McPherson, Kansas.
Sin embargo, no tuvieron onda desde el inicio.
“Sabes qué es lo que muchos piensan de los argentinos, que son creídos. Al principio yo pensaba eso, que él era medio creído”, admitió Alzate.
Gross recuerda pensar que ella era bonita, pero en ese entonces no buscaba una relación. Se volvieron a conectar durante el verano de ese mismo año.
“Colombia y Argentina se enfrentaban en la Copa América y hubo una apuesta ahí de por medio”, dijo Gross. “Obviamente Argentina ganó, como siempre”.
Para Halloween de ese año, comenzaron a salir oficialmente. Durante el resto del último año de Gross, mantuvieron una relación de “larga distancia”, con Alzate yendo a McPherson de visita y, después de conseguir un automóvil, Gross también viniendo a Kansas City algunos fines de semana.
Su relación iba bien, pero se produjo un nuevo estrés adicional para ambos después de graduarse de la universidad: su estado migratorio.
Alzate estaba esperando que le llegaran sus papeles de residencia. Gross, como estudiante internacional, tuvo la presión adicional de encontrar un trabajo que patrocinara su visa de trabajo.
“Fue un momento muy difícil porque no teníamos respuesta ni de lo de Emi ni de lo mío”, dijo Alzate.
Alzate llegó a Estados Unidos en 2009 y solicitó asilo político en 2014 después de que la situación en Colombia se volviera insostenible. En 2018, finalmente logró que su solicitud de asilo fuera aceptada y procesada.
Gross, por otro lado, se graduó con un título en educación en 2017. Encontró un trabajo en el distrito escolar de Kansas City, Kansas. Ahora, trabaja para la escuela Kauffman en Kansas City, Missouri, que lo patrocinó para obtener su visa.
Cuando Alzate y Gross comenzaron a hablar sobre su futuro juntos, sabían que querían quedarse en Kansas City, así que una vez que se aprobó la tarjeta verde de Alzate, compraron una casa. Por esa época, se comprometieron.
Alzate y Gross se casaron el 15 de junio de 2019. En septiembre de 2020, le dieron la bienvenida a su hijo, Luciano.
“(Tener un hijo) es una nueva aventura, literal”, dijo Alzate.
La pandemia de coronavirus les ha brindado la oportunidad de estar con Luciano a tiempo completo. Ambos padres trabajan desde casa.
Los dos están felices de poder quedarse en Kansas City. Esperan quedarse aquí mucho más tiempo.
“Simplemente estamos muy felices donde estamos, aquí en Kansas City”, dijo Gross. “Es una ciudad que nos dio mucho, que nos sigue dando todo, es dónde nació nuestro hijo y es dónde queremos quedarnos, si Dios quiere. Estamos en trabajos donde podemos crecer y estamos formando una familia linda”.


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