Soledad is the founder of Latina Republic and is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Soledad lived the immigrant experience in the US, which shaped her as an advocate for immigrant rights. Her passion for the immigrant experience in the U.S. led her to pursue a PhD in US immigration history. She enjoyed over a decade of her professional career in academia, but was pulled in a new direction when she learned about Friends of OC Detainees through a student. She was immediately inspired to volunteer and visit women held in detention in Orange County. By learning about their struggles and the motives for leaving their home countries in Central and South America, Soledad saw a need to understand and communicate the regional causes that pushed migrants outside their homes. By staying in touch with women who were deported to Central America, Soledad gained insight into local problems and encountered leaders and organizations in Central America that were dedicated to making their communities stronger, safer, and self-reliant. What started as a forum for storytelling in an effort to destroy stereotypes that depict migrants in an inaccurate light, turned into a nonprofit formed to help support courageous leaders and organizations that work hard every day to improve their countries. The study of migrants fleeing to the US, led Soledad to develop an equal passion for advancing the rights of Latinx families in Southern California where the stigma of public charge and a pattern of immigrant single-headed households necessitates action steps, information and local partnership. Soledad is an oral historian with a passion for human rights.
Juan Manuel Henríquez, is a Chilean professor of mathematics, and as professor of religion and morality. Henríquez obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Management at the Metropolitan University of Education Sciences (UMCE). He took courses in solving mathematical problems at the Complutense University of Madrid, and educational applications at the Catholic University of Chile. Each year he is improving himself in the different areas that make up his professional profile in recognized universities of the country. He is interested in maintaining contact with professionals in education and management; giving and participating in contributions to exchange ideas, and generate projects that can make education a fundamental role in the growth of people. Between 2014 and 2015, he volunteered as a teacher to help admit vulnerable students to higher education. Between 2016 and May 2018, he served as an Academic Coordinator of the EFIES (Training School for Higher Education Income), “Forming Chile” corporation (non-profit). As of June of this year, he is part of the Advisory Board of the same entity. Currently, he works at the Colegio Cumbres de Santiago (since 2005), where today he is head of the department of mathematics of the entity, with high school courses and courses designed to prepare students for admissions exams for higher education.
Allan Quartucci has over twenty years of experience in the computer networking hardware industry in the areas of Marketing and Web Development. A 1994 B.F.A. graduate of California State University Fullerton, Allan studied graphic design and web development, and has gained additional eCommerce experience over the last five years. A son of a chemistry teacher father and piano teacher mother, he is a lifelong resident of Orange County in Southern California. Allan is married to his wife Soledad, and they are the parents of three adult children. Allan also has had the additional role of webmaster for Latina Republic since the original website, which launched in 2015. He always enjoys looking for ways that Latina Republic can serve up great articles in new and interesting ways.
Katherine Canally is a graduate of Villanova University with a degree in Political Science. During her time at Villanova, she studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco where she interned at a non-profit that helped enrich students in the local community via education and arts. In Salé, Morocco, Katherine strengthened grant proposals to USAID, and The Bill Gates Foundation. She developed outreach and a growth plan for the Rabat and international community, taught English to and developed lesson plans for students aged 8-32. Katherine has also served as a Medical Volunteer in Léogane, Haiti where she implemented improvements to demographic and medical examination forms after surveying and organizing medical clinics in Haiti. Katherine provided basic medical evaluations to hundreds of Haitian patients under a certified doctor. She has also served as the Massachusetts State House intern, working for Representative Cory Atkins on policy and constituent outreach, specifically in areas of tourism, art, and cultural development. She supported Representative Atkins in a successful re-election bid for November 2014. In One for the World in Villanova, PA, she promoted poverty awareness on campus as a Student Ambassador through tabling and social media outreach. Under the Nourish International in Washington, DC, she organized ventures to fundraise for non-governmental organizations globally and supported a travel team who worked in various countries with communities on sustainable development. For the National Charity League in Middlesex County, MA she volunteers with several charities in the greater Boston area including Access Sports America, Red Cross Food Bank and Open Table. Since joining Latina Republic, Katherine has co-developed the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative including reaching out to community partners, drafting portions of the grant application based on research, and implementing administrative needs via allocation of resources. She identifies funders and drafts grant applications on behalf of nonprofits in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Erika is a first-generation college graduate who is passionate about improving the lives of immigrants. Her senior capstone uncovered and analyzed the lives of a population of undocumented immigrants that many do not know exist; undocumented Asians. The capstone discusses the history of the term undocumented, the history of Asian immigration to the US and to understand and analyze the experience and challenges associated with being an undocumented Asian immigrant. After graduating from Soka University of America with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts, Erika went on to serve her nation through AmeriCorps as a FEMA Corps member deploying to three major hurricanes including Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. After completing her service term, she returned to New York City and is currently the Development Manager at Green City Force, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young adults aged 18-24 who reside in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for careers through green service.
Verónica Quezada is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As Xicana and part of the 1.5 generation, she has always identified with and fought for La Causa, for the immigrants. Her parents were undocumented for a long time, she has witnessed the injustice against and invisibility of this community. Now, she would like to help raise awareness and exalt all the great deeds accomplished by Latinx immigrants in this country. Verónica obtained a doctorate degree in Latin American and Chicanx/ Latinx Literatures from the University of California, Irvine. She is an Assistant Professor at Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, in the Language and Culture Program where she teaches all levels of Spanish and Learning Clusters on Chicanx Studies and other topics.
Journalists for Latin America
Astrid Chang has a degree in Journalism with an Emphasis in Audiovisual Production. Since 2018, she has been a journalist at La Estrella de Panamá. Her work in the newspaper was initially as an intern, where she developed in the area of sports, nationals, social networks and the web. Later, she was hired to lead the themes for World Youth Day and to be a presenter for the segment “Flash Economy.” She later became part of the Café Estrella team, a new content proposal by ‘La Decana’. In this booklet she has written articles on the environment, technology, health, sports, society, music, culture, sexuality, art, fashion and tourism. Likewise, she has organized and directed projects with visual artists for the International Book Fair of Panama. She too, was sent special to cover the Lima 2019 Juegos Parapanamericanos, and currently she is the coordinator of sports issues in the newspaper. She has training in journalistic leadership.
Mauricio Alexander Cáceres García is a Correspondent for Latina Republic focused on El Salvador and Latin America. He is a renowned Photojournalist and Documentarian from El Salvador. Migration is personal to him. His father and family moved to the United States as migrants. His work showcases the power of human stories. Among his specializations, Cáceres has reported on “The migrant route” of the Guatemalan border, Mexico and the United States. He personally completed the migrant route to the US on four occasions. Cáceres has a degree in Migration from the Universidad de Centro América, UCA. Cáceres has served as an Editor of the newspaper Más, EDH and elsalvador.com. He has extensive experience in national and international news coverage, studied journalism and has won several photography awards throughout Latin America, including second place in a photographic contest centered on the migrant woman, and earning the Santa Clara de Asís prize for his report on the migrant route.
Dunia Orellana is a journalist, documentary maker from Honduras and director of Reportar sin Miedo. She works for investigative journalistic media such as En Altavoz, Reporteros de Investigación and Presentes. Her investigation “The 280 deaths of Vicky” served as the basis for the Inter-American Court to carry out a trial against the Honduran State for the systematized murder of LGBTI people during and after the 2009 coup.
Turcios graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. He is a News Presenter on Paradise TV, in Santa Bárbara, Honduras. He enjoys telling stories of overcoming, solidarity and perseverance of the “tierra adentro” peoples of rural communities, their way of life and how they work after their dreams. Turcios is also featured in Honduras’ daily news and #Mundo. He is a former public relations officer for UN Women in Honduras, promoting campaigns in support of women in politics.
Immigration Writer Internships
Erica Drufva (she/ella pronouns) is pursuing her undergraduate degree at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. She is double majoring in Hispanic Studies and International Relations. Erica has a passion for oral history, especially surrounding migrant experiences. She aspires to work in immigration law and immigration policy analysis so she can make a positive impact on the lives of people who are migrating to the U.S. In addition to her interest in advocating for migrants, Erica also strongly supports human rights efforts such as the fight for racial justice, women’s rights, indigenous rights, and lgbtq+ rights. She is excited to work with Latina Republic in order to uplift migrant stories and learn more about migrant issues on a deeper, more personal, level.
Nohely Diaz is a graduate from California State University, Sacramento. During her education there, she majored in Government with a concentration in International Relations and doubled minored in Criminal Justice and Peace and Conflict Resolution. She is committed to bringing awareness to topics relating to human security and human rights. Her dedication to public service has allowed her to engage in several advocacy campaigns regarding human trafficking, labor exploitation, and Indigenous rights. In addition, she has served her community through census work. Nohely is now looking to continue pursuing justice and equity for others by starting Graduate school.
Kimberly is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science at UCI. She grew up in a predominantly Latinx community in Southeast LA and is the daughter of two Honduran immigrants. Having seen the obstacles that many immigrants face first-hand has inspired her to pursue a career in immigration law. She hopes to amplify the voices of those in the community during a time where immigration has become one of the most polarizing issues in modern politics. Making sure that underrepresented stories and voices are heard is important in removing the negative stigma around the immigrant community and she hopes to contribute to this change.
Environmental Writer Internship
Clara Rabbani is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Urban and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about poetry and is the editor of “The World is Waking Up: Poetry of Resistance from Youth Around The World”. With a Brazilian and Iranian background, she is also fascinated with the diversity of human cultures and their intersection with environmentally sustainable practices. She will be collaborating as the Environmental Writer for Brazil.
Latin American Correspondent Internships
Dashiell is a graduate of Reed College where he studied Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literature. At Latina Republic, Dashiell elevates the voices of activists and organizers that work to promote human rights and immigrant rights throughout Mexico. His work contributes to the organization’s mission of breaking stereotypes and bringing attention to underreported stories throughout Latin America.
Hannah is a recent graduate of Harvard University who wrote her thesis about the connection between the state-sponsored violence of the Guatemalan Revolution and the lack of prosecutorial and judicial success for women who are survivors of sexual violence in the country today. In the fall, she will be attending University of Wisconsin- Madison for law school where she plans to focus on immigration and criminal law. Hannah has been working with Latina Republic since October 2020 and her favorite part about writing articles is using quotes from interview subjects to emphasize their voices and experiences, telling their stories as they want them to be told and highlighting the successes of organizations and movements working to make their communities better.
My name is Nancy Ortega and I am a current undergraduate student at UC Davis majoring in Animal Science and Spanish, but began my studies at Rio Hondo College. I am the proud daughter of two immigrants and the sister of a Dreamer. My interest in Latin America emerged due to the passion from my high school Spanish teacher. I became interested in the variety of cultures, the unique people, and the history still to be uncovered from underrepresented countries. In Latina Republic, I want to expand the beauty and complexity of Latin America and enrich my mind, as well as that of the readers, throughout this new experience. I look forward to meeting interesting individuals, hearing new stories, and coming out with a fresh mind set.
Social Media Internships
My name is Zoë Ortiz and I am a sophomore at Tulane University. I am double majoring in Latin American Studies and Marketing through the Altman Program in International Studies and Business. I am writing to apply for the position of Social Media Intern for Latina Republic. I think its mission and the work it as accomplished is both impressive and paramount in uplifting Latinx communities both domestically and internationally. I would be delighted to join the team, specifically in the capacity of increasing exposure of all the amazing stories Latina Republic seeks to tell.
¡Adelante! Virtual Tutoring Program
Elena Gutierrez | University of California, Davis
My name is Elena and I am an undergraduate at the University of California Davis. I am majoring in Spanish and minoring in Arabic because I have a love for languages and decided that in my career I would like to translate for others who struggle with the language barrier. I plan to also expand my career options with my major and tutoring/mentoring is something that I have a passion for. As a mentor I want others to feel motivated to learn and to have fun with it, to build confidence and get creative. I value education and hope to help others on their educational path because I care about their futures. Outside of school I enjoy writing to my penpals, upcycling, gardening and reading.
Cristina Castillo | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Cristina Castillo and I am a first generation student at UCLA. I am majoring in Psychology and Chicanx & Central American Studies, and I am also pursuing a minor in Education Studies. Most of my life I have lived in the Antelope Valley alongside my sister and parents who immigrated from Mexico. I am passionate about social justice, education, abolition, and mental health. Upon receiving my B.A. I hope to go into education and work on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and the deficit perspectives educators hold of students of color. I also would like to eventually attain a PhD in clinical psychology to treat and inform on trauma within marginalized communities. When I am not studying or working, I enjoy talking about all things books, films, and creativity.
Sylvia Dosal | Florida International University
My name is Sylvia, and I was born and raised in Miami. I am 28 and I have always considered languages to open the doors to many opportunities. Languages not only help you learn linguistics but opens the doors to learn about different cultures. I am bilingual in English/Spanish and have studied German and Portuguese in the past. I am currently finishing my bachelors in Spanish with a minor in Education.
Ava Gibler | Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
My name is Ava Gibler, pronouns she/her/hers. I am a fourth-year student at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. My major is Liberal Studies, with a concentration and minor in Mathematics. After completing my degree, I hope to become a middle-school or high-school math teacher. At Cal Poly, I am involved in the dance program, along with virtually tutoring high-school math through the Center for Engineering, Science, and Math Education (CESAME). Outside of school, I love to spend time outside. My favorite activities include going to the beach, hiking, and skiing.
Simran Kaur | University of California, Davis
Hello, my name is Simran Kaur, and I am a second-year biology major at UC Davis. As a brief introduction of my own education, I plan to complete my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and afterwards, join a PA program in order to become a Physician’s Assistant. A large part of my ambition to work in medicine comes from wanting to help others in whichever way possible andas a member of the Latina Republic organization, I’m interested in tutoring students to not only help them reach their academic goals, but to also assist them in succeeding in their chosen field. I have always set school as my highest priority, and I understand the difficulties and stress learning can bring, especially in these times. I strongly believe that with determination, passion, and patience, weaknesses can instead be replaced by strengths. Thus, I am prepared and excited to bring my enthusiasm and knowledge to the best of my ability as your tutor and friend. In short, Iam looking forward to helping students grow both on a personal and academic level.
Anthony Olea-Romo | University of California, San Diego
Hello, my name is Anthony and I’m a 3rd-year student at UC San Diego where I’m majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology. With this knowledge I hope to get into the forensic field of toxicology and be able to aid in solving criminal cases. And along the way, I’d also like to learn more about ecology since I am intrigued by animals and the ecosystems they roam. It’s a topic that I’ve found to be engaging and especially important to me, and this leads me to why I joined Latina Republic as a tutor. I want other students to also explore and learn about topics they find interesting, ones that spark a deep connection with them, whether their interest is scientific, mathematical, linguistic, etc. I want to be a part of the effort that educates students on what they’re passionate about so that they could pursue that passion and even create a future for themselves with what they’ve learned.
Dan Tran | University of California, San Diego
I’m Dan (he/him) and I was born and raised in sunny Southern California. I’m currently a senior at UCSD majoring in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and minoring in Global Health. I’ve worked with refugee communities before so I understand the struggles that many students face, particularly those who are first-generation and/or low-income. I hope to become a teacher in the future and educate the next generation of bright minds. I’m excited to be part of Latina Republic by helping students develop confidence in themselves.