Hispanic Heritage Month – Profiles
Chair of the ACBA’s Hispanic Lawyers Committee
Staff Attorney and Operations Coordinator at the Pittsburgh office of Justice at Work
Tell us about your heritage.
My mom is Bolivian and came to the United States when she was 19 years old to study at the University of Buffalo. My abuela, who is a dual citizen of Bolivia and Chile, still lives in La Paz, Bolivia. I am bilingual and only speak to my abuela in Spanish. I am proud to identify as Latina.
How do you like to celebrate your Latinx heritage?
By eating good food and dancing to Latin music with my family.
What do you find inspirational about Hispanic Heritage Month?
I love that this month reminds people of the power and resilience of Hispanic, Latinx, and Latino-identified people by highlighting and reminding the general population of our contributions to American society.
What movie, TV show or book would you recommend to someone who wants to be a better ally to Hispanic people?
Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano. This nonfiction book takes readers through five centuries of exploitation and really opens your eyes to all Latin America has given to the world. It is my favorite book on Latin American history.
Do you have any suggestions for people who would like to travel to Latin America?
They should do it! My two favorite countries in Latin America (probably because I spent the most time there) are Bolivia and Colombia. Bolivia is amazing because of its biodiversity. My top suggestions for Bolivia are: the Salar de Uyuni, Lago Titicaca, and riding mountains bikes down death road to Coroico. My suggestions for Colombia are limited to the Caribbean coast because that is all I know. They are: Carpurganá and its surrounding towns, Tayrona National Park, and the famous romantic city of Cartagena.
What advice would you give to a young Hispanic lawyer just starting out in their career?
Be yourself and know that you can always reach out to others if you need help. There is a community of Hispanic and Latinx attorneys in Pittsburgh who are always willing to offer support.
What advice would you give legal employers about what they can do to make workplaces welcoming and supportive for Hispanic lawyers?
Remember that the work to create a supportive and accepting workplace is ongoing. It doesn’t stop because you’ve successfully recruited and hired diverse attorneys. Employers need to also focus on retention of diverse attorneys.