An intensely curious person by admission, Ani Palacios’ fascination with all matter of subject seeps into her writing. Each book is different: one gives advice to new immigrants in the United States, another shares the journeys of a handsome (yet fictitious) Peruvian Texan musician, No Strings Attached shares the secret to unconditional love, and her award-winning novel Nos vemos en Purgatorio is a semi-autobiographical story of a Latina in the corporate world. We met at Columbus Metropolitan Library and discussed Palacios’ journey as an author and her creation of Pukiyari Publishing which promotes Latino authors from around the world right here in Columbus, Ohio.
Even if you haven’t met Luisa Talamás, you’ve surely encountered her work. As art director assistant for ¿Qué Pasa, Ohio State?, Talamás crafts the layout and design of the magazine. She continues to explore connections between art and function as a student of industrial design at Ohio State University. We met in her campus haunt (Hayes Hall) where she spoke of her passion for industrial design and decision to move to Columbus, Ohio from San Marcos, Texas.
Darsy Amaya is “all of it:” an immigrant, single mother, interpreter, entrepreneur, and artist. Seeking greater economic opportunity in the United States, Amaya’s mother moved her young family from Honduras to New York City when Amaya was only thirteen. Identifying as both an immigrant and an American helps Amaya serve as a cultural bridge for the Latinx community in her work as an interpreter and artist here in Columbus.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Andrea Magaña Lewis serves as Public Policy Officer for the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission (OCHLA). In this position, she develops programming that promotes community engagement and civic education while introducing Hispanic leadership in the state to government and elected officials. She bridges the state government and Ohio’s Latin American community to advocate for the state’s New American community.
Rubén Castilla Herrera was the first interview conducted for ¡Dímelo, Columbus! We met in September, the week following the Tyre King shooting. He has long been involved with many social justice issues in Columbus, Ohio – advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement, for migrant workers, immigrant rights, and refugees. Our conversation focused on the importance of recognition and understanding as well as the power of difference.
For a collective of community members and Ohio State students, dance is the key to cultural preservation. Álvaro Lozano and Maria Patiño are members of Folclor Hispano, a group at the Ohio State University dedicated to performing traditional dances from Spanish-Speaking countries. The organization highlights the uniqueness within Latin America by showcasing dances from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, and Spain.
Luis Fernando Macías not only co-edits ¿Qué Pasa Ohio State? Magazine with Marie Lerma, he is also a doctoral candidate in Ohio State’s Department of Teaching and Learning’s Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education. His lifelong interests in education and immigrant rights are present in his dissertation work which analyzes the tuition equity movement in Ohio led by diverse youth and young adults raised in the state, but with uncertain immigration status.
Dr. Jesus J. Lara works to create spaces that promote general well-being and contentment. As he puts it, he is in the business of “making people happy” by improving their surrounding environment. As an associate professor and Master’s Program Chair in the Knowlton School’s City and Regional Planning Section, Lara focuses his research and teaching practice on sustainable design while minding the relationship between people and space. Part of his studies considers how Latinos revitalize de-industrialized communities – both adapting to and transforming their surrounding environment.
The Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OCHLA) is one of longest-standing Latino serving organizations in the state. Founded in 1977, OCHLA seeks to advise, to connect, and to build the Latino community throughout Ohio. As OCHLA’s Community Liaison, Lair Marin-Marcum is making lasting connections between entrepreneurs, community, and institutions to improve Latino lives locally and state-wide.
Omar D’Angelo moved to Columbus from Mendoza, Argentina with his family in 2000 three days following his high school graduation. He arrived in Columbus with no knowledge of English. With the help of tutors, he learned the language and sought to pursue a college education. D’Angelo started school at Columbus State before transferring to Franklin University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Throughout his education, D’Angelo continued to assist his family with growing their business.