NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — There’s no doubt she’s in love with New Orleans. You might have seen her on the cover of a magazine posing in Jackson Square.

Samira Medina smiles big when she talks about her job and her adopted hometown.

“I work at the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and I handle all of their marketing and communications. I love it, it’s so much fun,” says Medina.

She was born and raised in Honduras but has been in love with New Orleans since 2016, when her mother and two sisters traveled here to reunite with her father.

“I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and my family always knew that we were going to end up in the U.S. somehow. God really helped us move here and specifically New Orleans because we knew that here felt more like home,” says Medina.

She says the people, the art and the food of New Orleans provides a welcoming feeling for the Hispanic community.

“I love it so much, especially for my mom because she’s still learning English and she feels very comfortable just going to the store. They have so many Hispanic stores here where we can get the stuff that we use to cook with in Honduras and that really brings me joy.”

One of her greatest sources of joy was gaining citizenship earlier this year, after piles of paperwork and passing a 100-question exam.

“When I actually became a citizen, it was in March of this year. Fun fact: I received that letter on my birthday, March 14. The biggest thing is that now I’m able to vote.”

She says the waiting stage, five years as a resident, was the hardest part of the process, but it’s important to have hope. She’s cheering on her husband and several other members of her family who are in the waiting stage now.

“I’m from Honduras and I was born and raised there, but I’m able to do so many powerful things here in the U.S., that to me is just big,” says Medina.

When she’s not working at the chamber, another passion she has is promoting healthy living with non-toxic products.

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