Early into the conversation, one of the first words to come out of our interviewee’s mouth is “excellent”. That’s how he defines the professional windfall he is currently experiencing.
“Upon graduating, I prayed that as an Engineer, I could build two houses a year, and own my own truck, mixing cone and compactor. Today, we have an entire fleet, and we develop two hotels a year. Life has multiplied my wishes more than tenfold”.
“I manage several positions under my own position as CEO; from meetings to budgets, quotes, accounting, insurance, human capital, social responsibility, publicity, etc. It is a very interesting job, and I’m never bored. Each day brings about a new adventure; a new opportunity; a new beginning”.
Hugo Pérez Ovalles showcases a critical and knowledgeable understanding of his field, hence making him a firsthand observer of the current urban state of Santo Domingo. Reason why he never hesitates when he says “As a developer, I feel proud of the numerous modern buildings that are currently developing in Santo Domingo. Our city is on the path towards becoming more modern and avant-garde when pointing out the recent architectural designs”. “We are paving the path towards a secure future. Yes, I am worried about transit with regards to the increase in housing facilities”.
There is an infrastructure scarcity to attend to the real needs. I don’t see an urban development plan that supports this increasing transit flow”, Pérez added. Hugo then referred to a renowned filmmaker, when we asked him how he faces forward every new challenge.
“Billy Wilder said it best in one of his characters: “This earthly life is a battle, my friend” To me, life is a battle, each day is a battle, and I go from one battle to the next, and by this I mean, on the day-to-day, I can lose a battle but never the war. Step by step, day by day, every minute…. His personal definition of a perfect day is the following: “A perfect day is when you leave your house with a full-day agenda of meetings, activities and appointments, and at the end of the day, you come back having met the entire agenda. Everyone welcomes you, nothing was postponed, and you didn’t even get a flat tire”.
Are you a beach or mountain lover?
My day-to-day is spent under the sun, facing the sea. On my free time, I’d never think of going to the beach. I’m a mountain man, I love the cold, and freshwater.
How are you when it comes to food? Do you cook?
I haven’t yet run into something I wouldn’t eat. I don’t have a favorite dish, I can eat anything and everything. I’m not a picky eater, so, I eat to live, but I don’t live to eat. Yes, I’m learning how to fix sandwiches.
What does traveling mean to you? Any destinations you visit more than once? What’s on your travel bucket list?
One day, I told myself “enough!” “I’m tired of seeing the world on a TV screen, magazines, books and the web. I’m always in Miami, Cuba, and NYC. I visit Aspen every year, and I never tire of it. But I still need to see the world: Australia, Thailand, Australia, Russia, etc.
How do you feel about the other streams of art? Architecture, Painting, etc?
I’m very lousy at drawing; once, I tried to draw a horse for my daughters, and it turned out looking like a very ugly dog; at least we thought it looked like a dog. From the arts, I like music and dancing.
What do you wish to leave behind, as your legacy?
I’ve always thought, that when my time comes, even if a Street, a park or a building bear my name, it would be enough for me to feel fulfilled. I don’t want my time in the world to end, leave it behind as just another passerby. I would like to change several things about my country, but it’s beyond my control. I hope to change some lives and influence others with my way of thinking and acting. That would be my legacy.