This March 8th, the world observes International Women’s Day and underscores the importance of the fight for gender equality in all spheres.
The history of humanity is marked by the oppression of the female gender and is narrated around the achievements of men. But we know this is not an accurate narrative.
Here we bring you six Latinas who are the perfect example of how our society advances if we move forward together.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1958 and daughter of Mexican parents, Ellen Ochoa is known for being the first Latina astronaut to travel to space. NASA recruited Ellen in January 1991, and in July of that same year, she became the first Latina astronaut. A couple of years later, Ellen would be making her first trip into space and making history.
Today Ellen has accumulated more than 978 hours in space and became the first Hispanic to be the director of NASA’s Johson Space Center.
Carolina Herrera was born in Caracas in 1939 to a wealthy family in the Venezuelan capital. Carolina did not enter the fashion world until she was forty-two years old. Encouraged by her friend Diane Vreeland, who was at that time an important figure in US fashion, she decided to make her first collection and present it in New York.
Carolina quickly gained popularity, becoming Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ favorite designer, and today she is established as one of the most influential designers in history.
Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1957. She had to flee with her family to Miami just a few months after the triumph of Fidel Castro in her country. Gloria began her artistic career with the musical group Miami Sound Machine, and in 1987 she would become its leader.
After a terrible accident, the singer decided to rethink her musical style and released the ‘Mi Tierra’ album, which won her a Grammy and catapulted her career. Today Gloria is one of the most influential Latin singers in the world and was the one who opened the doors in the United States to hundreds of Spanish-speaking singers.
Isabel Allende was born in Peru in 1942, and when she was three years old, she moved to Chile with her family. Isabel started working as a journalist in Chilean television, and during the coup, she had to go into exile in Venezuela. There, she wrote her first book, the one that would change her life, ‘La Casa de Los Espíritus’ (The House of the Spirits).
Today, Isabel Allende is the most widely read Spanish-language author in the world, and her novels have been translated into more than 40 languages.
María Elena Salinas is a Mexican journalist, author, and news anchor born in 1954. Salinas began her career in 1981 as a reporter and anchor for Univision’s KMEX-34 in Los Angeles. In 1987, she became the host of the national Spanish-language news program ‘Noticiero Univision.’
Maria Elena is the longest-running news anchor in U.S. television history and the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
Professional swimmer Dara Torres was born in California in 1967. She began her career breaking records, and at the age of 17, she participated in the Olympic Games and won the Gold medal. Dara is the only American swimmer to represent the United States in five Olympic Games and has won 12 medals throughout her career.
In addition to all of these accomplishments, Dara also holds the record for being the oldest member of the U.S. swim team.