What makes you proud of being a woman but also a Latina?
Pride for my culture and gender has always been essentially tied to my growth as a person. My culture, race and gender would always be labeled together. My experience as a women would always be solely singular. I could never experience the world as anything other. I made it fundamental for my development to derive pride from who I am. I remember as a child my father, who's an artist, painting our country's flag on to a canvas. I clearly recall looking at the carefully draw representation of my parents country with honor and respect. When I became a mother the knowledge that I wanted to raise a strong daughter only reinforced my perspective within my self. I was raised to believe I was no different than any other child. The fact that I spoke Spanish and had relatives in a different country made me special not foreign. I raised my daughter to hold herself identity with honor and self worth, for nothing is as powerful as a self assured human being.
Is there someone you look up to?
I have been extremely fortunate to have my mother as not only my role model but my guide through life. She is one of the fiercest women I have ever known. She came to the US at 22 without knowing the language or culture but with the strength of her convictions and the desire for a better life. I've never doubted my strength or power as a women because growing up I was never told or shown otherwise. My mother's strength, tenacity and courage have shown me not only how to be a resilient human but also have encouraged me to strive as a woman, a mother and Latina.
Do you feel Latino culture has had a big impact on who you are?
My development as a person has been shaped by my culture. My traditions, language and beliefs were cultivated through my lens of being the daughter of two Salvadorans. This has also shaped the way I raise my daughter. Pride in being Latina has been a badge of honor I carry with me. While I am many things in life that I take pride from being like a mother and a daughter, being Latina is my source of cultural guidance. While growing up many of my peers would assimilate into the US culture and forego their parental identities, I took pride from mine.
Do you have any current projects you are working on and accomplishments that you would like to talk about?
With the current political climate in this country, my main objective is to not only continue to be politically active but to also actively shine a light on the importance of political involvement. I am a proud supporter of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, two organizations that are very important to me. I want to keep promoting the need to march in rallies and to boycott companies that don't support the inclusive ideals we need in this country. But voting is the single most important call of action in political change that I want to continue to promote. Our most powerful tool as a people is our collective choice and it's most demonstrated in the polls. The way to change is always marked with action and powerful words spoken by people who want to stand up to those who would like nothing more than to suppress those ideals.
Do you have any words of advice and encouragement to future generations of all women?
I truly believe that we are at the verge of an unprecedented social and political change but with that change comes responsibility. We are all responsible to continue the momentum to make sure that women, POC, LBGTQ+ and immigrants are all represented equally within the new spectrum of change. We must be involved and continue educating those around us of what's happening not only in our country but in our communities. If we as women stand together and show our unprecedented power this world will have to acknowledge our equality. We must arm ourselves with education, passion and an unwavering need to protect and support each other.