Born Abroad, Calling Weston Home, and Living the American Dream…

The American Reality

Rodrigo Azpurua’s journey from Caracas to Weston is a reminder that dreams do come true. | By Eric Edelman

As a young man in Caracas, Venezuela many years ago, Rodrigo Azpurua heard a phrase uttered by Hugo Chavez that still gives him discomfort. “Private property is not meant to be forever.” The words were not only a disturbing harbinger of what was to come, but it was a sign that it was time for Azpurua to fulfill a wish his father always had for him and his brothers—to start a life in the United States. “Since early in my life, my dad wanted me to move to the U.S.,” he recalls. “My two older brothers attended school in Vermont. We were raised with a lot of exposure to American culture.” A love of business, opportunity, and a chance at a future of his own were alluring for Azpurua, who not only saw potential for great success in the United States but also being a part of a nation with values he embodied. “The American Dream is the potential to achieve your dreams, the desires of your heart based on your work ethic and tenacity, and going through that journey” Azpurua says.

Prior to arriving in the U.S., Azpurua earned a law degree from the Universidad Santa Maria in Venezuela in 1993. Upon arrival in sunny South Florida in 2001, Azpurua immersed himself in civil and real estate matters, and shortly after made Weston home. Showing an obvious prowess and passion for real estate development, Azpurua’s property and real estate talent earned him prestigious designations by the National Association of Realtor and Project Management from the Project Management Institute, in addition to other realms of construction management. Rather than the ominous words of Hugo Chavez, the words of a friend still ring true in his mind after his friend from Venezuela paid him a visit for the first time in Weston. “After four hours of doing errands for the barbecue at Markham Park, getting the coal for the charcoal grill, the meat, ice cold drinks in the cooler, my friend looked at me and said, ‘You didn’t move to [another] country… You moved to [another] planet,’” Azpurua muses. 

Noting the drastic culture shock of coming from a chaos-stricken country to picturesque suburban beauty, it was a place where Azpurua wanted to do something simple but something his father discouraged him from doing back home in Caracas: Azpurua wanted to build things. “Since [I was] little I wanted to be an architect and build things. My Dad didn’t support me on the subject and convinced me that in Venezuela as an architect I would’ve end up driving a taxi and selling modular closets as a second job. So, he convinced me to look for another path and I [chose] law,” Azpurua confesses. “Moving to United States when I was 30 years old was a second opportunity to do with my life what it was in my heart: to build things.” Following his heart, Azpurua combined his desire to build and his knowledge of legalities and real estate to form Riviera Point Invest + Develop, a real estate company that now has over 11 years of experience developing, constructing, and financing commercial projects in the United States. The firm has emerged to become a juggernaut, harnessing the functionality and practicality offered by the EB-5 Visa program with a team of well-versed professionals in different skill sectors, helmed by Azpurua. Aside from the challenge of new projects, it’s the beauty of Weston itself that continues to inspire him. “A city that is well planned, with beautiful architecture in the houses, perfect landscaping, a police department that is active and responsive, with [a] healthcare facility just minutes away, sport courses for every sport you can imagine. A city with an almost zero crime rate. It’s just a dream of place to live.” Given the beauty of the city, Azpurua continues to chase the rush of completing every new project in the city he’s proud to call home. “Seeing a project completed, it’s a thrill that you can… never can get tired of,” he marvels. “The passion is on the path from vision to reality.”

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