The Alvarez Family: A Legacy of Life Lessons
Jairo Alvarez came to the United States to follow the path to the American Dream. The road thus far wasn’t an easy one, but he was driven to give his family a better life than they could experience in Colombia. He founded Alvarez Construction Company in 1991, after years of hard work. Before succumbing to cancer—one of many hard-fought battles he took on—Jairo built more than homes in the Baton Rouge area. Today, the Alvarez family follows the legacy of life lessons he built for them.
Jairo came to the United States after serving his home country, Colombia, during a tumultuous battle for power. Jairo survived brutal rebel attacks and horrific conditions in the Colombian jungles. He earned his way to serve in the Presidential Guard, an elite corp of soldiers. He learned the value of commitment, loyalty, and strength. He went on to study finance and worked his way up to a comfortable living for his family, which included his wife, Anita, and two children, Carlos and Ana.
When he was ready to build a home for his family, Jairo was dissatisfied with the quality of workmanship, so he undertook the challenge and built it himself. When a stranger knocked at his door and offered to buy the new home for twice what it cost him to build, he sold it. He kept his promise to Anita and built another—a bigger home on a bigger lot. And again, someone else fell in love with it and bought it, giving Jairo a substantial profit.
Then he bought the property across the street and built a new home. He called construction his “hobby”, but the passion drove him to make it a business.
Their third child, Sebastian, came along and the family eventually immigrated to the United States. They moved to Baton Rouge, near Anita’s sister, Elizabeth.
The road to launching Alvarez Construction Company was a winding one, with many detours. But he never wavered from his conviction that something better was within reach. Jairo turned mistakes into lessons and persevered. The Baton Rouge homebuilder was rewarded with what he could only believe were miracles.
His family followed Jairo every step of the way, with a firm belief in his decisions. His children watched and learned. Each one joined the family business. Like Jairo, they appreciated that their role as businesspeople meant they needed to support the community that supported them. Their community outreach, like Wheels to Succeedand St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has raised millions of dollars as well as critical awareness of the needs of so many people in the Baton Rouge region.
Jairo passed away in 2014, but he instilled strong values in his children. Sebastian earned a degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and eventually became Executive Vice President of Planning and Development. The essence of “family” is one of the greatest rewards of his job.
“Being able to share a family vision and working alongside my family and employees to achieve it—that is my favorite part,” said the new father of a baby girl. “I would not see myself doing anything else.”
Sebastian Alvarez also shares his father’s passion for cycling. He rides 100 to 150 miles a week. When he’s not riding or spending time with his wife, Erin, and their baby, Arabella, Sebastian says you can find him in his workshop, working on bikes.
Speed seems to run in the family’s DNA.
Jairo Alvarez’s story is a fascinating one and says so much about the values he has brought to Alvarez Construction Company. His autobiography, ”No Such Thing As Impossible”, is inspiring, not just to the Alvarez family, but to all of us at Alvarez Construction Company. His powerful story has been a strong motivation for our team to work hard for our homebuyers and our community. We echo Sebastian’s sentiments:
“I love the challenge and fast pace of my job. Every day, I feel I become a better person.”