Labor of Love

El Centro, Calif. – There’s more to Labor Day than just good barbecues and three-day weekends, says an open email from the Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor.


And local Brawley sushi chef Vann Lai of Kotori Restaurants couldn’t agree more. He takes the day to acknowledge that his job has purpose.


“My job is traditional. Sushi is an art. It’s hard to master,  but once you get the hang of it, you’re going to love it.”

Lai proudly says that he “creates” sushi for a living. And it’s more than just work for him, it’s a family tradition.


Hairstylist for Master Fades of El Centro, Lorena Verduzco, says, “It’s a passion. To be able to cut hair and be creative and serve others and just to be here for the customers.”


She says that she enjoys the challenge that each customer presents. And she takes pride in giving each one a “good hair day”!
“I love my job. I love what I do!” Verduzco says.


El Centro insurance agent Freddy Terrazas says he sees Labor Day as a time to recognize the hard-working Americans that wake up each morning to make a living for themselves and their families.


“To celebrate the people that wake up every morning and do what they gotta do to make a living. Whether it be in law enforcement or the fields,” he says.

Terrazas explains that what he loves most about his job is not so much the finding of customers, but of making friends.


“What I love about my job is meeting all these great people from here, from the valley, and helping them out with whatever they need. We build a relationship on a personal basis. I don’t like calling them customers. I like calling them friends because that’s what we eventually become,” he says as he faxes out some information for a customer-friend on Labor Day – yes! If his friends need him, he’ll be there for them on holidays, too!

And Terrazas has a word of advice for those who might be down and out about their current line of work.
“There’s always someone out there looking, struggling and trying to find that opportunity to fill in your shoes. Your job. You might not like it, but it’s paying your bills, it’s keeping your family fed,” he says wisely.

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