For the past 33 years, Dr. Fredy Perez has been an integral part in providing care for local residents through his optometry work.
He attributes his long-term success to his passion for the community, something that was instilled on him at a very young age.
When Dr. Perez was 14 years old, he and his family moved from the Dominican Republic to New York City. Coming from a tropical climate, the harsh winter chill shocked him, and he remembers a very rocky transition.
“I didn’t know any English,” Dr. Perez recalls. “I was also going through my adolescence, so it was very awkward. I just wanted to learn English and fit in.”
Eventually, Dr. Perez learned the New York way of life, which to him meant socializing with the many people who lived in his borough, the Bronx. He also saw the uniqueness and the benefits of an active local community.
This type of socialization, Dr. Perez notes, is not common in most parts of California with the exception of Echo Park where the local community, to him, is very vibrant.
A Love of Community
Since Dr. Perez has been a community member for over three decades, he understands the community very well and witnessed a gradual change in lifestyle and culture locally.
When Dr. Perez first arrived in Los Angeles in 1977, Echo Park was a very different neighborhood than the one most residents know today.
“Now you see young people walking around at night,” Perez says. “That used to not be the case because it was not safe.”
Over the years, Dr. Perez slowly began to see a positive change within the community as local residents began to develop more confidence in the area.
“People started buying homes,” Perez says. “When you own property, you want to protect it and keep your neighborhood clean.”
Investing in Echo Park
With this newer backing, Dr. Perez expanded his own practice by building his own office space. He says it was his way of investing long-term for Echo Park.
He and his practice, which is located on Sunset Boulevard near Echo Park Avenue, work to foster a welcoming environment.
“I’ve always looked at Echo Park as home,” Perez recalls. “Home is where you want to provide the best for your family, and I’ve always wanted to provide the best for my Echo Park residents.”
With this philosophy, Dr. Perez further extends his care of the community through his affiliations and charity work.
He heads the Los Angeles Host Lions Club, which has a mobile clinic designed to give local residents free or affordable optometry treatment, and he also is apart of the, which mentors teen away from gang violence.
Dr. Perez really attributes his success and longevity within the community to his accessibility. Whether it is through his actual practice or through his charity work, there truly is “no place else” he would rather be.