José Hernández. In spite of all the obstacles that he had as a Mexican immigrant in the United States, he managed to become an astronaut. Before studying electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, he had to learn English as a child with his brothers. He confesses that he was not fluent in English until he was 12 years old.
Luis Enrique. This famous singer-songwriter of Nicaraguan origin, arrived almost three decades ago in the United States illegally. He fled the violence in his homeland thanks to the efforts of his parents. "Coming to the United States is obviously not easy for anyone, especially for someone coming from the Third World. I did not speak English, I was not prepared to join this incredible country," he told the AP news agency. Crédito: Getty Images
Levi Strauss. The creator of the most American product one can imagine, the Levi's jeans, emigrated from Bavaria to the United States in 1847 without speaking English. In San Francisco he set up a small shop where he sold clothes. He soon discovered that mine workers were shredding trouser pockets and in 1883 he patented the rivet for these garments. That famous gold rivet made itself a symbol of the sturdy pants, the wild west, adventure and the street. Crédito: Wikicommons
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Born in Austria, he dreamed of moving to the U.S. from a young age. He served in the Austrian army and took up bodybuilding as a way to travel to contests. He arrived in the U.S. in 1968 at the age of 21, speaking little English. In an interview with Fortune in 2004, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what "would now be called child abuse" at the hands of his father: "My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was ... the German-Austrian mentality. They didn't want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform, and whose will could not be broken. Therefore, I became a rebel." Crédito: Getty Images
Adriano Espaillat. He was born in Santiago de Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, and at age nine arrived at his grandparents' home in New York with a tourist visa. Today he is a senator from the State of New York. He is also a faculty member of the faculty of political science at the University of the City of New York (CUNY). Crédito: Ap
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa. He crossed the border from Mexico to the United States when he was 19 and did not speak English. He worked at California farms where he saved enough money to pay for English classes. He got to study at the University of Berkeley, where he graduated with honors, which allowed him to enter Harvard Medical School. Now, 'Dr Q' is a renowned neurosurgeon and teacher who has received numerous awards. Jorge Ramos recently wrote about him in this article. Crédito: EFE
Gloria Estefan. The iconic Miami Sound Machine singer often recalls in interviews how it was thanks to her teacher Dorothy Collins that she managed to learn English at Winston Elementary in San Antonio. When she left Cuba and came to the United States as a child, she did not speak any English. Crédito: Ap
Jerry Yang. Yahoo's founder tells how when he came to the United States at age 10, he only knew one English word: shoe. He soon learned the language, studied at Stanford, founded one of the most successful and innovative companies of the 1990s, and laid the foundations for innovation in Sillicon Valley. Crédito: Paul Sakuma/Ap
Celia Cruz. She left his homeland, Cuba, on July 15, 1960. She could never return to it. She became an American citizen when she barely spoke English, in fact she used to confess that she never finished learning it. But her talent was enough to conquer not only the United States, but the whole world.
Crédito: Getty Images
Crédito: Getty Images
Alberto 'Beto' Pérez was raised in Cali, Colombia, by a single mother. He worked asa street performer before getting a job as a Jane Fonda aerobics instructor. He mixed in some cumbia and merengue and created his own dance workout. He spoke no English when he came to the United States but has managed to make Zumba a global phenomenon. Crédito: Zumba Fitness
Carlos Santana. He is considered one of the top five guitarists in the world. Carlos Santana was born in Jalisco, Mexico, where he learned to play guitar age eight. When his family emigrated to San Francisco he had to learn English, while perfecting his guitar technique. Crédito: Getty Images
Camila Cabello. She got on a bus one night in 2004, when only seven years old. She left with her Cuban mother, but had to leave her Mexican father behind. She arrived in this country with no English. Several years later she auditioned for X Factor, which led to teen success with Fifth Armony, and a solo career. Crédito: Getty Images
César Millán. The famous TV dog-lover is a Mexican immigrant who, in addition to confessing that he entered illegally at age 21, did not speak English either. His first job was as a canine hairdresser, and that's how he met Jada Pinkett Smith (wife of actor Will Smith) who paid for a tutor to help him learn the language. Crédito: Getty Images