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a monkey sitting on a tree

In BOP faces we talk to local legends: the people of Punta Cana that make this place so special. In this edition Shereen Miranda on calling Punta Cana her true home, connecting celebrities to Dominican culture and on breaking herself free from a bad moment in her life.

“I am having some friends over for the weekend” Shereen Miranda says in an unapologetic British accent, as she walks into the Coffee Shop. She points into the direction of two ladies sitting on a bench on the square in front of the location. Her hands move vividly, and she can’t stop smiling as she speaks about her life and her passion for her work.

Shereen Miranda (35), is a busy bee. “I need to keep moving.” Working as a manager for Iberoservice, she manages all the representatives that sell tours and other services. But the real joy comes from another activity outside of her work. The one where she connects local culture and companies to celebrities that visit Punta Cana and other places on the Southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

London born Shereen made a career for herself as a singer, actor and presenter in England, but decided it was time for a change. She found a job with a tour operator that had job opportunities in the Dominican Republic where she came to live 9 years ago. Having a master’s degree in international law, made her overqualified for her job as a representative. So, the company decided to send her to Turkey to work as an overseas manager. “When I was in Turkey I cried every night. I even listened to the Dominican radio on my laptop. Because I was missing Punta Cana so much, I decided to quit and come back”, Shereen explains.

Punta Cana as a home

“I had to start over. I took a job at a tourism company that paid 300 USD a month. For me it was important to keep moving, showing myself and letting myself be seen. Waiting in the house for a better job does not work. I am very social and do not have problems with going out by myself. You need to humble yourself to and come out of your comfort zone. And it worked! I was promoted to work for one of the biggest tour operator in the Dominican Republic, Funjet vacations. Unfortunately, I had to stop working there and go back to the UK to help my grandmother who suffered from Alzheimers.”

“I stayed in the UK for three years. I was going to the hottest parties in Mayfair, driving a convertible and living in a penthouse, but it did not mean anything to me. Punta Cana was always lingering in the back of my mind. How could I leave again? No car, no job and no family in Punta Cana? I am not materialistic, and I believe that your gut instinct is always right. That is why I followed it and came back to Punta Cana.”

“I have a Jamaican background. There is saying that everyone has a homing pigeon that brings you home. I always joke that my pigeon heard the sounds of salsa from the Dominican Republic and decided to go there!”

Returning to Punta Cana

“This time I was sure that Punta Cana was my home and I approached it differently. When I got here I spent a month in solace. I watched no television, hardly went out and meditated a lot. It was a transition from life to life. I found myself a job in the marketing and promotions department of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I wanted to be out there again and build a foundation.  Finding out when celebs were checking in was one of the things I started with and building connections with them. But I found myself pregnant after 6 months. A lifechanging moment so, I quit the job.”

During the seventh month in her pregnancy Shereen flew back to the UK to deliver her baby boy Gabriel in 2016. Only to return to Punta Cana after 5 weeks of giving birth to her little man.

“I started working the next day after we arrived. To keep a connection with the UK, I travel there every 4 months.”

Breaking free

Although working and her new born son gave Shereen joy, other aspects in her life where not that sunny.

“During that time, I was in a very toxic and physical abusive relationship. I forgot who I was. 6 months ago, I broke the chain from that relationship. A friend gave me advice to remember who I used to be. When I got out of that situation my energy started to flow again. The phone calls started coming in. Although they were coming in during this relationship, I was not able to really see it or receive the good things that were happening. I truly believe in the law of attraction. That what you focus on you attract in life. I broke free and my whole life started opening again. And that is where the interesting chapter of my life really begins.”

New Chapter

Shereen Miranda shows a tattoo that is inked on the inside of her wrist. The words ‘imaginable is possible’ appear. “This is what I truly believe.”

“Hotels and guest services started calling me. For example, they tell me they have a celebrity who wants to experience different things in Punta Cana. I contact local suppliers and arrange the activities for the celebrity. The supplier is happy, because they get the exposure from a celebrity with 1 mln followers on Instagram. The hotel and guest services are happy because the celebs had such a good time on behalf of the hotel. I also produce videos for artists in the Dominican Republic.”

” Richard Sherman, the best corner in the NFL was here. I showed him around Punta Cana with his 50 guests. We did a buggy ride and other activities on the island.”

“UK rapper Sneakbo just left, I also organized activities for him.”

Shereen Miranda does not get paid for her services.

“I have my job at Iberoservice that gives me income. As soon as I start getting paid by local suppliers, it forces me to only work with that specific supplier. Now I am free to work with whoever I want. Because I work like this, hotels, guest services and celebs trust me that I am genuine. I also do this because I love the lifestyle. Hanging out with inspiring people, hearing their stories of how they made it in life and doing fun things. I know that eventually it will grow out in a business though. As my mom says: ‘Do what you love and the money will follow.’

New opportunities for Shereen Miranda

“Amazing things have been happening already. I am meeting President Danilo Medina to give a presentation and talk about the future development of tourism. Sony music wants me as their Brand Ambassador for their artists when they come to the Dominican Republic. For me, I am doing what I love and all my experience comes together. As a singer working with artists, as I writer meeting writers, as an actor working with actors, and as someone who organizes events working with local suppliers, and my experience in travel.”

“In the future I want to have a nice balance with motherhood. Continuing to grow in business. When Oprah comes to Punta Cana, she will already know to tell her assistant to call Shereen!”

Favorite spot

“My favorite spot in Punta Cana is the arrivals hall in the airport. I love watching people reconnect while embracing each other. It makes me think of the times I returned to Punta Cana. My home.”

See what Shereen Miranda does on Instagram.

Be inspired by more people who live in Punta Cana on BOP faces. For example artist Tiano Solana, or Sylvia who rescues dogs from the street and Juan Bautista who was born in the jungle of Bavaro.