The Many Different Smiles That Make Up Miami

Mar 14, 2014

This story, as told by Marcos Oliveira, is part of an oral history series. 

Oliveira with his daughter when he first moved to Miami.

My experience here in Miami has shown me that here you have the opportunity to make relationships with many kinds of people. This gives you ample possibility to be flexible with people and at the same time with yourself. 

Why? Well at the same time that you’re at a meeting, you can sit in a table with someone that’s from Colombia, another from Venezuela, another from Chile, another from here in Miami, another from Europe. Then you have to maintain a dialogue with those kind of people.

You have to accommodate to these cultures. It’s not the people that have to accommodate to you. It’s you that has to accommodate to this lifestyle.

In terms of the culture itself, I believe that here in Miami you have the possibility to make interface with these kinds of situations. If you explore, you can find here many cultural events. You can expand your mind because you are observing new things, new cultures, etc.

Another important thing are the beaches. We cannot talk about Miami , without mentioning the beaches. Beaches are a part of the city. It’s part of South Florida. We have to know how to use the beaches and take advantage of the beaches. It’s not the beach itself, it’s for your health as well. Because we know that the water from the sea has a lot of energy and at the same time you are among another people as well that you can divide your time and all the benefits that this can give you. 

There's also tourism. Here in Miami, if you do not consider the tourism part of the city than you might as well be divorced from the city. When you are walking in downtown Miami or even in Miami Beach, you will find a lot of people with different clothes, with different hats, with different smiles. But everybody that appears here comes with a purpose. They come to be happy and to receive the sunlight that this beautiful nature can offer to you.

You have to participate in these situations and be one of the tourists. In all the ways, be flexible. Go to the beach, go to the museums. Look for the big variety of events that the city offers to you. This is the integration between yourself and this city that opened its arms to receive you. This is Miami. 

Miami Stories is a project by WLRN, the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and HistoryMiami. To share your story, click here.

Credit HistoryMiami