Luis Bonilla, a resident of Canton and native of Peru, has worked hard to make a new life here. His experience has required some challenging adjustments but has also brought significant rewards.
Bonilla, who was born in Chimbote, a port city, came to this country for the first time in 2014, with no thought of moving here permanently. He had been invited to visit by a friend, who even paid for his airline ticket.
While Bonilla was in the area, he spent time at New England Sports Academy, then operating in Westwood. There he met Sayaka Yamaki, a Canton resident who works as a Boston University undergraduate advisor in the Earth and Environment Department. The two share a deep commitment to judo; Yamaki had a second degree black belt and Bonilla, a former Peruvian national champion and Peruvian national team judo coach from 2008 to 2014, held his third degree black belt.
Bonilla now has his fourth degree black belt. He attended an eight-day course sponsored by the International Judo Federation in the Dominican Republic this year to become certified as an International Judo Coach. This will enable him to seek USA team coaching opportunities.