When I met Orlando Ruiz, he unabashedly told me of his propensity for playing Pokémon Go, love of hockey and weight-lifting, and pride in his ride – a Subaru WRX that runs on E85. Ruiz has many interests that play a huge part in the way he identifies as a true “melting pot of cultures,” and makes him immediately likeable.
A 2013 study stated that women only make up 24% of the workforce in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Even more startling, only 3% of workers in the field are Latina. Jessica Cáceres is counted in this 3%. Working for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), she merges her passion for environmental advocacy with her interest in community development.
Adam Hernandez’s art will take you to another place. A land where surreal creatures meet heroic figures cast in vibrant hues. You’ll find yourself immersed in this world, which is Hernandez’s very intention. Since moving to Columbus nine years ago from the Bronx, Hernandez has expanded and refined the realm his art encompasses in the city he finds both calm and gracious.
On their way to school each day, two sisters passed salon Azul Violeta in their hometown of Michoacán, Mexico. The constant presence of the storefront inspired them to one day operate their own beauty shop. Years later and thousands of miles away, the sisters opened a salon in Whitehall, Ohio. They named it Azul Violeta Salon, commemorating their hometown’s business. When the sister’s decided to sell the shop to care for an ailing loved one, the salon became Cristal Galloso’s. The acquisition fulfilled yet another aspiration for the 24-year-old Galloso, who dreamt of one day running her own business.
Amarelis Martinez was born during one of the most devastating storms in recent memory. The category 5 tempest, Hurricane Hugo, robbed Puerto Rico of electrical power. Martinez’s mother gave birth in a lightless and waterless hospital room with nineteen other women while the hurricane raged on outside. Her birth, Martinez suggests, set the tone for the rest of her life. She can go without much and still make it – head first.
The term “power-couple” is often used to refer to two individuals – dating or married – who are independently successful. At times, this phrase seems somewhat trite – terming “power” as economic success. Yet, in many ways, I am tempted to use this label for Maylin Sambois-Sanchez and Javier Sanchez. These two look to strengthen the Columbus community through their focus on youth programming. The vision they each have for improving children’s lives coupled with their support for one other lends a special kind of power to their endeavors.
Seven large canvas frames lean against a corner of Natalia Sanchez’s new studio space. She spent most of this Friday building, breaking down, and then rebuilding these wooden rectangles. This CCAD graduate appears the perfect combination of exhausted and exhilarated. The canvases are slated to feature a series of paintings inspired by chakras – or psychic energy centers.
In the 1950’s, representatives from a steel company in Lorain, Ohio traveled down to Puerto Rico to recruit much-needed factory workers. They succeeded in convincing Crucita Flecha’s maternal and paternal grandparents (among many others) to move from their small town in Puerto Rico to the Midwest. Flecha’s grandfather worked in these Ohio steel mills until retirement, while her father found work at a Ford Automotive Plant in the neighboring city of Vermillion, Ohio.
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.
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.