Making Latin America Go Viral
Coming to JeffreyGroup was no accident, since my life has led me to a career working in Latin America.
I was born in the United States to Mexican parents. As the daughter of a diplomat, I was constantly surrounded by different cultures and languages, while learning to honor and celebrate my Mexican heritage. At home, we always spoke in Spanish and celebrated popular Mexican holidays and traditions, regardless of where we were living. To this day, when people ask me about my nationality (which happens quite often in the culturally diverse city of Miami), I respond without hesitation, “Mexican.”
But I also have had the opportunity to experience other Latin American cultures. After living with my family in Canada for three years, I moved to Brazil at the age of 7, attending school in São Paulo and learning to speak Portuguese. And while most American kids spent their summers by the pool or at camp, I traveled extensively throughout the region, visiting Machu Picchu and other Latin American tourism attractions others only dream about.
You can imagine my culture shock when at the age of 17 I moved back to the United States, a country unfamiliar to me except for what I had seen on television or in the movies. I suddenly found myself at a Kansas high school, relearning English and confronting my classmates’ lack of knowledge, misperceptions or even prejudices about Latin America. Few of my fellow students were aware of the region’s rich culture; but there were always a few that had an insensitive joke to tell when I said I was Mexican, or a stereotypical comment about samba or soccer when I said I had lived in Brazil. That is when I decided to become a sort of Latin American brand ambassador, promoting the region by sharing my experiences, passion and knowledge with others. While I did meet with resistance from some people, I’m happy to say I’ve succeeded in opening many people’s eyes about Latin America’s rich culture.
Since joining JeffreyGroup, I’ve gotten the chance to put both of my experiences— as the child of a diplomat and as a Latin American brand ambassador—to good use. I’m reconnecting with my Latin American roots while helping global brands connect with Latin American audiences. I’m working with colleagues in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico; professionals from Miami who have lived and worked in Latin America and are passionate about it; and international clients across different industries who either already understand the importance of Latin America or are interested in learning more. I have never felt more empowered or excited to continue to help make Latin America “go viral.”