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“Parade of Voices” Latinos changing America

Latinos have become leaders in arts, education, science, business, and politics. There is no denying the contributions we have made to, what for many of us is, our adopted country. Whether we are U.S. born or naturalized, we are making strides and making our mark in society.

Peter Yang

Parade magazine will be publishing a year-long series on the contributions of Latinos in America.

 For the debut effort, PARADE conducted a roundtable, led by NBC Today anchor Natalie Morales, with four notable Latinos of very different backgrounds and experience: from Texas, San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, 38, and Republican state representative Larry Gonzales, 42; Linda Alvarado, 61, president and CEO of Denver’s Alvarado Construction and a co-owner of MLB’s Colorado Rockies; and Cristina Jiménez, 28, managing director of United We Dream, a nationwide network of youth-led immigrant rights groups. 

Highlights of the discussion include statements from the participants:

Replenishing America: “When I think of what Latinos are going to mean to the United States as the population grows, it’s going to be a replenishment of exactly what made the United States a great nation: a great work ethic, faith, aspiration, community.” —Julián Castro

 Hispanic values = American values: “It’s about opportunity and access. Those are American ideas, not just Hispanic ideas. … What we’re looking for in America—like in baseball—is the opportunity to try [to find] that level playing field.” —Linda Alvarado 

 The importance of immigration reform: “There’s a certain brain drain in this country. When these undocumented students are graduating in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—we want them to stay.  We need that kind of brain trust.” —Larry Gonzales

 Life without documents: “I grew up here as an undocumented student. Everything around me said, No. No scholarship, no fellowship, no internship, no access to higher education. What makes me proud is the community and my family around me really pushing me, with a lot of courage and faith, to continue moving forward.” —Cristina Jiménez

The great thing about this year-long series is that Parade doesn’t just want to highlight the people whose names normally appear in bold type. They want to hear from you also. If you are interested in participating, and telling your story, or your family’s story, hit the link and tell your tale.


About Eileen Rivera

Eileen was born in The Bronx, to Puerto Rican parents. She grew up thinking the whole world was Latino. Moving to Rockland County in upstate New York taught her it wasn’t. One more move in 1976, brought her to Hudson County, New Jersey where she currently resides. She attended Rutgers-Newark where she majored in Social Work with a minor in Puerto Rican studies. Eileen credits her history professor, Dr. Olga Wagenheim, for the spark and impetus to search out her roots in a pre-computer era. The daughter of a minister, she credits her father for the activism, volunteerism and search for justice that have characterized her adult years.

The mother of two adult daughters, Eileen has worked in the Juvenile Justice system for twenty-eight years. She acts as a liaison between the Juvenile Detention Center and the Juvenile Court.

Writing was something she shared with family. Stories and songs for her children and Christmas tales for the extended family. She now shares her writing with a larger family, the Being Latino family.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Why just not have a story about Americans making America great? Who cares what ethnic group they are from as long as they bring greatness to the nation and not just “change” for the sake of “change”! Look what happened the last 2 times a product of a Kenyan Hawaiian union promised us “change” – and now we are royally screwed.

  2. Let’s hope Julian Castro’s view is the right one and God help us if it goes the other way.

  3. I really want to like Julian Castro, looks like a smart person, too bad he’s a Democrat and pro abortion though. Can’t vote for that however his vision of Latinos in America I actually like.

  4. Pro-Choice does not equal Pro-abortion…You sound like a moron Mario; seriously…

  5. Pro Choice is pro abortion because he still allows it to happen. Stop changing the language.

  6. LOL but Mario you just change the language. Pro Choice is Pro choice you just change the language for pro abortion.

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