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.
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
Mitra is a junior studying Political Science with a minor in Sociology at Washington State University. She was raised by a Latina mother and an Iranian-American father. Through her family’s experiences, she has seen the hardships of immigrants from all walks of life. Wanting to create progressive social change, she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy after her undergrad. She strongly believes that grassroots movements that amplify marginalized voices and push for policy change will be the foundation to a more just, equal world. She is passionate about social change and understanding how to better uplift the Latinx communities.
Valeria is a junior pursuing a major in Political Science/Law and Society with a minor in international relations. Coming from two immigrant parents who were born in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico, she has seen first hand the hardships immigrants face when moving to America. Seeing the difficulties immigrants deal with on a daily basis in America, it has inspired her to pursue a career as an immigration and civil rights lawyer. She has a passion for fighting for the rights of not only immigrants but for individuals who face racial and social injustices. She wishes to raise awareness about immigration issues such as the inhumane conditions children and adults experience in detention camps as well as helping families attain their documents to be able to work and live in the U.S. In the future she would like to start a charity that helps immigrant families overcome the difficulties that come along with living in a foreign country that is not always welcoming to immigrants. Valeria hopes that her work as an immigration writer will allow her to spread the stories of immigrants and that her career in immigration and civil rights law will allow her to create change for the Latino immigrant community.
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.
Alexa Baez Ramos was born in Havana, Cuba and moved to the United States in 2012. She is pursuing a Bachelor of International Relations at Florida International University, where she also works as a Writing Assistant for humanities courses. When she’s not working or studying, she can be found under a tree listening to music and reading poetry.
Family Resource Specialists
My name is Fatima Alfaro, I am an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology this upcoming Spring of 2021. I am also minoring in Community Engagement and Social Change because I am passionate about using my education and research to study the best approach to give back and create resources for the Latinx community. I am a proud born and raised Salvadoran who migrated to the United States at the age of 15, and my experiences as an immigrant have shaped who I am as a student in higher education as well as my professional career interests. I am committed to earning a Doctorate’s degree in Clinical Psychology and working particularly with members of the Latinx community who may have a harder access to mental health resources. I would like to specifically focus on providing resources to have and manage healthy relationships in the form of a podcast or presentations that can be easily accessible to all generations. I hope that my story and my experiences can guide me in a way that can help me be of service to many other immigrant families like mine.
My name is Jamie Román Núñez. I am a first-generation 4th year at UCLA majoring in Spanish, Community, and Culture and double minoring in Education Studies and Chicanx/Central American Studies. I am very passionate about teaching, everyone deserves equitable access to education. I have volunteered in various tutoring opportunities, including Bruin Tutor Network and Casa Durango. I love meeting new students and families; watching them learn and be proud of their hard work makes the tutoring experience so fulfilling. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, baking, traveling, and reading motivational books.
¡Adelante! Virtual Tutoring Program
Valeria Flores | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Valeria Flores, I am Mexican, and the daughter of immigrant parents. Also, I am the first to go to college in my family. I study at UCLA specializing in Spanish and linguistics. I am in my last year of college and will graduate in July. As part of my future plans, I would like to be a university professor, as well as take part in research on issues related to bilingual individuals. For now, I work as a children’s Spanish teacher, but outside in my free time I really like literature, and writing poetry.
Youlhee Cho | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Youlhee Cho, and I am a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in Spanish, Community and Culture. Growing up in Mexico, I was privileged to form personal relationships with diverse groups of people from different states of Mexico. These relationships have shaped my identity and passion for Latin America. I am interested in the education of the children and adolescents of the Latin American countries because education is crucial for the awareness and protection of one’s human rights. I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to provide children and adolescents the resources necessary to pursuit an education, including academic and emotional help. As a student who has immigrated from Mexico, I hope to be of help to students who have difficulty adapting to the education system of the United States.
Cristina Arroyo | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Cristina! I am a first-generation college student from UCLA and I am currently double-majoring in Sociology and Chicanx & Central American Studies. I was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA and I have experienced first-hand the difficulties students face in underrepresented and under resourced schools. As a first-gen student these obstacles are often more difficult and overwhelming. From the language barriers amongst education and our parents, to expressing difficulties we face to our families, it can be overwhelming. As I now navigate college, I hope to provide some guidance for other students who are facing the same challenges I have faced. In doing so, I hope to help students and their families in any way that I can.
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.
Ana Delgado | University of California, Los Angeles
I am Ana Delgado and I attend UCLA. My major is Chicano and Chicana studies with a minor in Labor Studies. I come from an immigrant family and I am currently a DACA recipient. I am a first-generation college student, and my goal in life is to give back to my parents since they sacrificed so many things to immigrate and offer me a better life. I plan on obtaining a job and also get my license in real estate, and eventually work as my own boss.
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.
Jessica Gallegos | Claremont McKenna College
My name is Jessica Gallegos and I am a freshman at Claremont McKenna College, majoring in environmental analysis. I’m a first generation Mexican American coming from a low-income family. Growing up, my parents always taught me about the importance of having a good education, and I have been very fortunate to have their support. I’ve realized how much their encouragement has meant to me and I would like to help marginalized communities have access to the help and resources that they may need.
Cinthia Gonzalez | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Cinthia Gonzalez Reyes. I am a university student at UCLA and I am currently in my third year of studies. I lived in Mexico for a while so I can speak Spanish very well. During my high school studies, I would visit the schools in my community to help students with their homework. Similarly, I am currently working with a school as a teacher support assistant. In the future I would like to be a high school teacher and I would like to have as much experience as possible with students.
Vickie Kuo | University of California, San Diego
Vickie is a fourth-year UCSD student, majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Law and Society. She is excited to be a tutor, as she believes learning is a form of empowerment that allows for a wider range of decision-making. In the future, she hopes to be an optometrist and continue staying involved with global communities. She loves learning and staying informed about trending scientific topics, as well as reading mystery and science fiction books. In her free time, Vickie can be found running, drawing frogs, or color coding her planning binder.
Keely Loh | University of California, Davis
My name is Keely Loh. I am an undergraduate student at UC Davis pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and French. Throughout my studies, I have developed a keen interest in linguistics and education. I am passionate about helping students from all backgrounds succeed, and in particular strive to make a difference for those from underprivileged communities. I have been a volunteer tutor at my university and a teaching assistant at a local middle school, but tutoring for Latina Republic is extremely meaningful to me because of the impact that I am able to make! I strongly believe in using the knowledge and skills that I’ve acquired to help those who need or simply could benefit from extra support. Outside of academics, I like drawing, painting, and fiber arts such as crochet and embroidery!
Marvin Lopez | Los Angeles City College
Marvin Lopez is a third-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles enrolled in the Spanish and Community and Culture program, an underground program that provides preparation in language, linguistics, literature, and culture, with a focus on the Hispanic heritage communities in Los Angeles and the United States. Marvin was a Spanish tutor at Los Angeles City College helping college students maximize their pronunciation (phonetics and phonology), conjugation, syntax, and typical / daily conversations in Spanish.
Evelyn Martinez | University of California, Los Angeles
I am Evelyn Martinez and I am a first-generation Mexican-American college student studying Sociology and Chicana/o & Central American Studies at UCLA. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and prior to attending UCLA, I attended Los Angeles Pierce Community College. I am currently completing my senior year as an undergrad and am working as a resident assistant! In the future, I hope to become a college counselor at my local high schools in order to help students prepare for and apply to colleges/universities. In my free time, I love having karaoke sessions with my family and friends, and trying new foods!
Berenice Morales | California State University, Monterey Bay
Berenice Morales (she/her/hers/ella) is a Junior at the California State University of Monterey Bay where she is majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Sociology/ Social Work. Berenice comes from a heavily agricultural dependent community on the Central Coast of California. Her interests in social justice, advocacy, family/child services, and educational disparities began through her personal adversities as a dependant of welfare services. Coming from a Chicanx low-income family, headed by a single mother of six children, Berenice has faced an abundance of social and personal challenges that have given her the determination to seek solutions and provide support for the flaws within social institutions. Learning and living through the inequalities and disparities that impact marginalized and agricultural communities has produced a motivation to facilitate a bridge between the cultural divides that create inequalities for minority populations. Berenice is inspired by her passions in family support, mental health, and child welfare.
Madelyn Preiss | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Maddie Preiss. I am an undergraduate senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, where I am majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish. I developed a passion for teaching throughout my time volunteering as an English teaching assistant at a high school in El Salvador for one summer and my time as a tutor at a local underfunded elementary school for a couple of years. Through these experiences, I learned the importance of mentorship in education, especially among students who lack resources and social support. As a tutor at Latina Republic, I am excited to continue helping students learn to the best of their abilities despite difficult circumstances, language barriers, or any number of obstacles, as I believe the extra support can go a long way and make a lasting positive impact. In addition to my passion for teaching, I love to read, take all types of dance classes, do psychological research, and learn new research in my free time.
Yoanca Reyes | University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Yoanca Reyes, I am an undergraduate senior at the University of California, Los Angeles. I am a Mexican American, first gen student from a mixed status family. My background has taught me the importance of higher education and the difference that support, and service can bring into this journey. As a first gen student I understand the inability to rely on your parents or closest family members for schoolwork or seeking resources which is why I would like to extend a hand to those in similar positions. I will be graduating in the Spring of 2021 with a Major in Sociology and a Minor in Spanish. Once graduated, I wish to complete a master’s program in school counseling to support underserved populations academically and beyond.
Laura K. Rivera Morales | Hartnell Community College
Hello! My name is Laura Rivera. My pronouns are she/her/ella and I am 18 years old. This is my first semester at Hartnell community college and my major is Spanish. I enjoy reading, volunteering, researching, and learning! I hope to become a teacher and later on a congress member to make a positive impact in my beloved community.
Patricia Sanchez | University of California, Los Angeles
Patricia Sanchez was born and raised in Pomona, California and is currently a third year at UCLA. She is double majoring in Political Science and Chicanx & Central American Studies. Her interests include going to coffee shops, spending time with her family, and going on Target runs. For the last two years she has worked for a retention program at UCLA called MEChA Calmecac which helps retain students through academic and holistic peer counseling sessions that help the students navigate UCLA. After graduation she hopes to become a teacher and give back to the community she grew up
Isabella Venturini | Florida International University
My name is Isabella! I’m 22 years old and recently graduated from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. As a first-generation Bolivian-American, I really wanted to help other first-generation kids with anything they need, such as boosting their confidence about succeeding in school and attaining whatever dream job they want. My previous internships include working at diplomatic missions, think tanks, and the federal government. I usually was the only Latina in these positions. I am excited to begin grad school this fall and get my Master’s in Security Policy because we need more Latinos in our nation’s capital.
Latin American Correspondent Internships
Noelani is a rising senior at UChicago, pursuing majors in Global Studies and Romance Languages with a particular focus on Latin America, Spanish, and Portuguese. Originally from Southern California, her interest in studying Latin American culture cultivated while she was enrolled in a K-12 Spanish immersion program. Since then, Noelani has worked to expand access to higher education in Mexico and Brazil through EducationUSA, taught English to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities, studied Portuguese and Brazilian culture intensively in Rio de Janeiro, and conducted research on the cultural impacts of rapid environmental change on vulnerable communities primarily in the Brazilian Amazon. As a Latin American Correspondent, Noelani hopes to shed light on grassroots movements that give a platform to communities who face the brunt of environmental change, all while making their stories more accessible and relevant to U.S. readers.
Laura is a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, pursuing a major in Spanish and Portuguese. Her passion for Latina America first stemmed from her personal connection to Brazil. Although she was born and raised in Europe, her mother is Brazilian, and she is a native Portuguese speaker who grew up frequently visiting Brazil, and considering it home. As a high schooler, Laura developed a keen interest in social problems, and specifically the role of NGOs in working towards their solution. She had the opportunity to volunteer at an educational NGO in Paraísopolis, a favela in São Paulo, over two summers, an experience which highlighted the discrepancy between the reality of favelas and their sensationalized depictions in the media, as well as the underreported work of individuals within the community to create educational opportunities despite their socio-political marginalization. Laura’s study of Spanish throughout middle and high school piqued her curiosity about Latin America beyond Brazil, and once in college, she embraced the opportunity to further connect with her Brazilian heritage, while diving into the greater region academically, studying its history, cultures, literature, art, and social problems. As a Latin American Correspondent, Laura hopes to bring stories about the intersection of art, resistance, and social change to the forefront, as well as to highlight non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs and community leaders working to solve social problems in the region.
Hannah is a senior at Harvard University studying the History and Literature of Latin America, Government, and Spanish. She’s currently writing a 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. When writing about communities she isn’t a part of, Hannah emphasizes 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. Hannah wants to go to law school and practice some form of social justice law; whether that’s immigration law or criminal defense with a social justice lens, she wants to focus on using her privilege to help marginalized folks get the justice they deserve. She currently volunteers with a bilingual preschool program, La Escuelita, near her hometown in Wisconsin and works with the Small Claims Advisory Service to offer legal information to Spanish speakers in Massachusetts going through the small claims process. As a Latin American correspondent, she hopes to further her understanding of women’s movements and legal advocacy in Guatemala, as well as elevate the stories of survivors of sexual violence through articles and her own thesis.
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.