By Lauren Billing
Farmer Staff Writer
Diana Carrillo is the kind of person that brings a smile to your face every time you see her. She can best be described as a spunky, vivacious Lantina.
Originially from Rigby, Idaho, which, interestingly, is the birthplace of color television, Carrillo moved to Watford City in November. She came looking for a breath of fresh air, as well as following her heart.
Her boyfriend, Jesús Laris, moved to Watford City from Idaho Falls, Idaho, a month earlier. His brother had moved to the area prior and soon convinced Laris to move as well. In Idaho, Laris worked on construction sites. Since moving to McKenzie County, he works for Northwinds of Wyoming, a construction company that works on gas plants, compressor stations, and pipelines. He helps supply parts and assists with mechanical repairs.
Carrillo began working for CarQuest in November. With the start of the new year, she will begin working for Dakota West Credit Union as a member service representative, while remaining part-time at CarQuest.
Tammy Kalberer, COO of Dakota West Credit Union, welcomes Carrillo aboard. “I think she’ll be a great addition to our team and we are excited to have her,” says Kalberer.
Carrillo describes herself as, “A positive and happy person who wants to share some of that with those around me. I love to steal a smile or a laugh from others, especially those who are having a tough day.”
From a family of four, Carrillo received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Idaho State University. She is now working toward her master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Walden University, which she hopes to have completed by 2013.
Back in Idaho, she was a member of the Hispanic Youth Symposium Alumni Association, which focuses on enchancing scholarships and other opportunities for future college students, and advised the Future Hispanic Leaders of America at Rigby High School.
Carrillo has also volunteered as a tour guide for the Museum of Idaho on Spanish Speaking Days hosted by the museum. She sang for the choir at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Idaho Falls. She enjoys dancing, singing, cooking, reading, working out, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family.
Laris too enjoys dancing and volunteering, along with playing soccer, meeting new people, and spending quality time with Carrillo. He really likes bowling and wishes there was a bowling alley here in Watford City. Besides the lack of lanes, however, Laris enjoys the limited activity options.
“I like the fact that there is not much entertainment because my girlfriend and I can be creative about how we spend our leisure time, whether it is watching a movie, going on a walk or going to church.”
Laris, a father of three girls, says he is, “A hardworking man who loves his children and girlfriend, a.k.a. my future wife.”
Of McKenzie County, Carrillo and Laris have felt the big, welcoming heart of the small community. They attend Epiphany Catholic Church and have felt the warmth of welcome there as well. Carrillo says, “I have been blessed with kind and friendly people.”
But there is something Carrillo would like to see more of in her new home - an appreciation for diversity. Carrillo is deeply in touch with her Latin roots and any simple conversation with her is sure to include some cultural fact or nuance.
“Culture is so rich and has so much to offer,” says Carrillo. “It is too bad that there is not a community cultural day or something similar.”
In order to try and bring some of her culture to others, Carrillo plans to host an evening of salsa at Epiphany Catholic Church. The evening will include instructions in both salsa-making and salsa dancing and should prove to be one hot event!
Laris too would like to see more activities offered. He would especially love to help in bringing youth and adult soccer to McKenzie County.
Carrillo leads with her heart in all that she says and does and eminates cheer as a new joyful face. And so we welcome Diana Carrillo and Jesús Laris to McKenzie County.
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