The most important facet of life, my motivation and reason to pursue a change wherever I am is my role as a family member. This section introduces each of the Virguez Coral family members with the idea of sharing more about my life.
My role as husband of Temis Coral
I am blessed to share my life with a wonderful woman, Temis Coral, an accomplished professional and a passionate advocate for environmental equity. She has been my best friend since I met her in 2004 while we pursued undergrad degrees. Even though we shared many time together, it was only until 2011 when we began dating. We rapidly realize we wanted to be together for the rest of our life, so we married in June 2013. Since then, we have been having a fascinating journey living at Colombia, Chile and now at United States.
From 2017 to 2019 we were enrolled as graduate students at Duke University, where Temis completed the Master in Environmental Management program in the Business and the Environment concentration. Concurrently, she finished two professional certificates: the Community-Based Environmental Management certificate at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the International Development Policy certificate at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In recognition to her high academic performance, service to the community and integrity, she was awarded the Forever Duke Student Leadership Award, she was named the School’s Marshal Degree at the University Commencement ceremony and she was selected as a Greenbiz 19 Emerging Leader in the Greenbiz Annual Conference in Phoenix.
Being born in Colombia, we grew cohabiting with an internal civil war that taught us many valuable lessons about the importance of valuing diversity and solving problems via dialogue. Now, that our beloved country is currently facing its most important transition after a peace agreement, we are committed to generate significant contributions to promote its sustainable development. It has never been so important in our history to work collectively and demonstrate the benefits of developing as a society while ensuring the preservation of our natural resources. Our collective professional goal as a couple is to create a holistic vision of the environmental challenges, that allow us to identify novel multi disciplinary solutions.
My role as father of Brownie
In 2017, searching for an additional dosage of happiness, excitement and energy, we decided it was time to grow our family. After reviewing the different breed characteristics and asking for recommendations, we decided to have an Old English Sheepdog. After consulting the American Kennel Club list of recommended breeders, we were blessed (as it happens frequently) to find an skilled and competent breeder. She assessed our personality traits and identified a young three-week old puppy as the best fit to our family. On June of 2017, when he was nine-weeks old, we traveled to New Jersey to bring him to his furever home. He was named Mr Brownie.
The role of Mr Brownie in our family dynamic was immediate. He injected a boost of energy to our common routine and even expanded our learning interests to include canine training. This is how we got to the Genius of the Dogs book, where Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods explore their fascination towards dogs. By presenting results of canine cognition studies they shaped the training of hundreds of dog, easing the burden of dog owners. We are part of this group of beneficiaries and now he is a well behaved family member. Once again, education proved to be worthwhile.
I truly think he is the coolest and pawsomest dog you will ever meet, however I recognize I could be biased. If you want to judge yourself and learn more from our adventures, you can follow him in his Mr. Brownie The Fluffiest Instagram.
My role as father of Hannah
Just when things began to look more stable at home, another tremendous blessing knocked at our door. We were expecting our first baby daughter! It is difficult to describe how enriching this experience was, or how much I learnt from the endurance of my wife. After nine months of an amazing ride, Hannah Maria was born at Duke University Hospital on July 2018. You can read multiple books about paternity or watch videos describing how you would feel, but nothing will be even closer the one in a kind experience of holding your healthy baby for the first time. It redefines everything in your life!
Since she was born, she has permeated our life with meaningful lessons. Now, when we mention our goal to “build a sustainable future for future generations”, we are referring to her. We understand it is our responsibility to provide an environment where she will develop all the skills required to become a societal leader devoting her life to improve the life of others. What lessons we could deliver to help her on this purpose?
A good example happened when she was three months old, when the 2018 Nobel Peace Price Laureate, Nadia Murad, was invited to Duke to share her life experience working with victimized women and children. The invaluable opportunity of attending to her conference, motivated us to attend together bringing Hannah with us. After the conference ended, we stayed for the signing event of her most recent book “The Last Girl”. When we arrived the desk where Nadia was signing the books, she looked at Hannah with such love and gentleness that we will always remember the scene. Then, Nadia held Hannah, whispered some sentences to her ear and bid farewell with a kiss. While were not able to hear what Nadia told her, we believed it was one of the first lessons about the role of women leading positive societal disruptions.
As a family we will continue to raise Hannah as an empowered woman aiming to lead a societal change that improve life conditions of those who whose voice does not traditionally have a representation.
Want to learn more? Contact me!
If you want to learn more about my history or think we can help each other, I encourage you to contact me (see Contact section of the web page). Lets walk this journey towards a sustainable future together.