Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being Latina to me, means being loud, strong and humble all in one. It means representing a culture that is so vibrant and rich in history yet lacking in representation in the US.

Share a struggle you have faced being a Latina.:

Being a LATINA in a male dominated industry has it challenges. I have to work twice as hard as my male counterparts. If I have a strong opinion I am just being bitchy. It often means being pitted against other females because I believe that is how men believe we operate. I walked into a meeting once with my boss very early on in my career and an executive of the organization we were meeting with said, "Oh I didn't know we could bring dates." I was infuriated and enraged but had to smile and move on, as it was a very high profile client. Sometimes it means having to think about trivial things more then most for example, if I wear hoop earrings to work will I look too ethnic or unprofessional. I write this as my white female colleague is wearing large hoop earrings and was complemented. However, when I wore them, I was told, “Hey you remind me of that ‘Around the Way Girl,’ music video by LL cool J. (true story).

Share something you love about being a Latina?:

I love our stereotypes! Don't make a Latina mad. I love being viewed as feisty.

What do you identify as?: Proud Guatemalan!!!

Where you born in the states? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc. (Share only what you are comfortable with):

I was born in Guatemala and came here at a young age. We came as residents which is why my dad decided we would just live here permanently. We applied for visas to come visit my grandmother who had moved here and we received green cards instead. (it was the 80's so I know that would never happen now) I still have not become a US citizen because Guatemala does not have dual citizenship. I have a certain emotion but will ultimately become a citizen as I have lived here over 30yrs now.

How have you been able to celebrate and honor your american nationality, while embracing your heritage and culture?:

I think I have developed American traditions with my own family while staying true to who I am.

My family is a melting pot so we have merged everything. My husband is half Japanese Half Scottish, my son is Mexican, Guatemalan and a quarter German. So we take a little from here and a little from there. My step son speaks Japanese and My son speaks Spanish.

Do you speak spanish?: Yes, fluently.

Have you experienced colorism, or not being fully accepted by your community? Like you're too dark, or too white, etc. Please share anything you'd like to share!:

I don't know that I feel I have experienced colorism as I am tan skinned so I probably fall right in the middle. I have experienced my family back home saying that my accent is different and I seem more American. lol

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

I love anything and everything that highlights Latinos!