By NAN Contributor
News Americas, ORLANDO, FL, Weds. June 15, 2016: Three days after the deadly homophobic terrorist assault on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, NAN is learning the names of the victims – the majority of whom were born in the Caribbean and Latin America. We pay tribute here as we remember the more than four dozen lives cut down in hate as Pulse gears up for a Celebration Vigil on Friday June 17, 2016 at 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL, 34746:
From Puerto Rico:
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50, was a Puerto Rican-born dancer. He traveled the world performing Puerto Rican folk dances known as Jibaro and had been at the gay nightclub with two pals, his friend Sara Lopez told Orlando Weekly. Velazquez also worked as a merchandiser for the Forever 21 clothing chain.
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, worked at a Wendy’s in Puerto Rico before moving to Kissimmee, Florida. She was a mother of two — including a 3-month-old son, Sergio and was enjoying a night out with her husband, race car driver Juan Borges, and friend, Jonathan Camuy.
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega was a Puerto Rican journalist who got his start at a Telemundo station in San Juan. He then moved to Florida to work at NBCUniversal Telemundo where he worked in audience management for the current season of the singing competition show “La Voz Kids.” Camuy would have turned 25 at the end of this month. He was a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “The NAHJ familia is heartbroken and offers our condolences to Jonathan’s family in Florida and Puerto Rico,” the NAHJ said in a statement. “We also keep his work family at Telemundo in our thoughts and prayers.”
Anthony Luis Laureano
Anthony Luis Laureano, 25, according to his Facebook profile was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico but moved and settled in Orlando. Friends described him as “an amazing person,” “a special guy” and a talented dancer who loved to Salsa, mambo, tango.
Martin Benitez Torres
Martin Benitez Torres was also born in Puerto Rico. She had recently moved to Orlando and was studying to become a pharmacy technician at the Ana G. Méndez University, Tampa bay campus. He was 33.
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, according to his Facebook profile, was born in Manati, Puerto Rico, and worked at a Speedway convenience store. The 25-year-old had studied health care management at Ana G. Mendez University in Orlando.
Javier Jorge-Reyes was 40-years-old. He was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and was a supervisor at a Gucci store in Orlando. “Our special thoughts are with Javier Jorge-Reyes, who lost his life, and all of our colleagues in Orlando,” a post on the company’s Facebook page said. He is remembered by those who knew him as a loyal pal, a savvy and stylish Gucci salesman and an expert makeup artist.
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36, was born in Puerto Rico but lived in Miami, according to his Facebook page. He went by the nickname “Shaki and was married with a husband. He worked at a Party City and a Sunglass Hut and has a passion for interior decorating and hair-styling. Ortiz-Rivera reportedly decided to attend a friend’s housewarming celebration at the nightclub early Sunday.
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, was a biologics supervisor at the OneBlood donation center off Sand Lake Road, Kissimmee, FL. He began working at OneBlood in 2011 as a biologics assistant and “through his commitment and dedication” was promoted several times,” said a OneBlood statement.
Luis Conde, 39, was originally from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, and lived in Orlando, according to his Facebook page. He co-owned a popular Orlando hair salon, Alta Peluqueria D’magazine with Juan P. Rivera Velazquez who was also killed on Sunday.
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, known as “Juan P.” to friends and colleagues was from Barceloneta on Puerto Rico’s northern coast and went to college at Universidad Interamericana in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He and his business partner Luis Conde owned the popular Orlando hair salon, Alta Peluqueria D’magazine. Conde was killed as well in the attack.
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27, born in Puerto Rico before moving to Florida. He was general manager of a check-cashing store, and he had just purchased his first house less than two months before his death.
Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez flew to Orlando from his home in Puerto Rico on Friday to catch a concert at the Amway Center before moving on to the Pulse where he died in Sunday morning’s shooting. He studied at Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico and went to high school in Lancaster, Penn. He previously worked at a diner in nearby San Juan.
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, moved from Puerto Rico to Florida as a teen. He worked with at a perfume store.
Angel L. Candelario-Padro
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28, was born in Guanica, Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago where he worked at the eye institute, a part of the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), before moving to Orlando in January. He loved music and had played the clarinet in a band in his hometown. He was reportedly excited about starting a new career as an ophthalmic technician in Orlando. He was scheduled to begin employment as an ophthalmic technician with the Florida Retina Institute on July 20th.
Leroy Valentin Fernandez
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25, recently had found a job as a leasing agent for an Orlando apartment complex. He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and was known to be a singer who did covers of Beyonce and Adele.
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Florida ten years ago. He was a dancer who had performed in the past at the Atlanta Bachata Fest as well as at local theme parks, including Walt Disney World, and on the Norwegian Cruise Line. Serrano worked at the Aldo store at Orlando International Premium Outlets and was the father of a son. He went by Eman Valentino on the stage and was always dressed elegantly in a cap, tie and gloves, collecting tips from the audience between high kicks and spins. His partner Wilma Lozano has started a Go-Fund Me page to help pay for funeral costs and for his son Kelvyn’s collage fund. As of last night he raised USD$7,141 of $40k in 8 hours.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37, grew up in Puerto Rico, struggled socially as a young boy. He then moved to Vero Beach, Florida where he managed a shoe store.
Alejandro Barrios Martinez
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21, was born in Cuba. He had recently moved to Florida from Cuba and was still trying to master English.
He was described as outgoing a friend said Tuesday and was a regular at the Pulse Night Club.
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz’s family moved to Florida from Cuba in the 1960s. He was Cuban-American and took business classes at a community college and was hired as a bank teller and worked his way up to become a personal banker.
From The Dominican Republic
Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26, moved with his father, Ambiorix Aracena, from the Dominican Republic to Central Florida as a child. He had just bought a home with his partner, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31. Carrillo Fernandez was also killed Sunday. The two had just returned from vacation and stopped for a brief time at their new Kissimmee home before heading out to Pulse, his cousin, Yamilka Pimentel, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Miguel Angel Honorato
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30, was born in Mexico but lived in Apopka, Fl. He worked at FajitaMex Mexican Catering, according to his Facebook page.
Joel Rayon Paniagua
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32, moved to Tampa, Florida from Veracruz, Mexico in the early 2000’s in search of a better life. The construction worker was looking forward to meeting friends at Pulse for another night of dancing on Saturday night.
Juan Chavez Martinez
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25, was from Huichapan, Mexico. He lived in Davenport, FL and worked for APDC Services, a staffing company partner of Reunion Resorts in Kissimmee, where he was a housekeeping supervisor.
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez was born in Venezuela but studied business administration at the Universidad de Turabo in Puerto Rico. He was 31 and a fast food restaurant manager in Orlando. He and his partner, Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26, had recently purchased a house together. Carillo, and his 26-year-old partner loved to travel. They had been to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Mexico.