The Harlem-born Ecuadorian who has a Masters Degree in Economics from Columbia University began his promotional career while attending Syracuse University, throwing parties for his fraternity, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, as a means to generate money. It wasn’t until he returned to New York and found himself being asked to recruit people for parties, that he saw an opportunity to put his degree to use. The result? Soulatino, the most influential and recognizable Latin event planning and networking company in New York City. What began as the chance to bring young professional Latinos together, has developed into a networking database that, to date, contains 200,000 names. It’s the networking within the Latino community and its prospects that hold a special significance for Cueva. “The networking opportunity brings other things. You might have someone from within the community who has become successful and has made money and is looking for a way to give back, but doesn’t know how. They can meet someone at one of the events and make a connection and find out how to give back.” Practicing what he preaches, Cueva works with The East Harlem Tutorial Program providing inner-city kids trying to go to college with incentives to continue their education. He credits his success to his family, the neighborhood he grew up in, and his education. “I’m hungry every day. I want to make a change, not just for myself, but for others.” Cueva is certainly on the path to doing just that.
Photography by Josh Dehonney