“Chicana, Latina, Mexicana, Americana. We place labels on “what we are” but I see those labels as a “way in which to live our lives”.  I embody the belief that my actions, education and relationships are for the greater good of my community while embracing the similarities and differences we have with others. My familial roots in Mexico & the US are strong and allow me the opportunity to be part of the democratic process and encourage others like me (woman of color, first generation college student, first time home owner) to succeed.  As a bilingual National City Councilmember, I know that when I fight to remove polluters, provide affordable housing and create healthy neighborhoods; it is not only for present generations but for many generations to come. That’s what it means to be Chicana, Latina, Mexicana, and Americana.” Alejandra Sotelo Soli 

“Born in San Diego to Mexican parents Luis Morones from Mexico City and Laura Careaga from Culiacan, Sinaloa they always taught me to be proud of being Mexican. They also taught me to be respectful of the country where I live and to get an education. All five of us children are bilingual, bicultural, college educated and involved in social justice. I have had the honor of being President of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (1995-1998); Vice President of Latino Marketing for the San Diego Padres (1995-2001); founder of the House of Mexico (Est. 2001); but my best known work is as Founder and President of Border Angels ( “saving migrant lives”. In 2009 Mexican President Felipe Calderon presented me with Mexico’s National Human Rights Award. Que Viva Mexico!” Enrique Morones Careaga


“I am the oldest of four children; I was born in Tijuana and raised on both sides of the border. Growing up I had the best of both worlds, I am a product of my Mexican heritage–a loving, encouraging family that emphasized the importance of both formal and informal education and giving back to the community. My parents were open-minded and supportive. They taught me to be independent, to have my own opinions and thoughts while making sure we gave back. Through HOPE, MANA de San Diego, Planned Parenthood and other organizations locally and internationally those core values are the foundation of my work in advancing and engaging Latinas over the last two decades. Family and community are the cornerstone of my proud Mexican heritage.” Nora E. Vargas

“My parents raised seven children in a small town in South Texas.  They embraced hard work, respect for others and valued education highly.  At the age of 14, I started driving the family to states such as Michigan, North Dakota, California and Colorado following the migrant stream.  We would leave on the last day of the school year and were always back home the day before the beginning of the academic year.  We all completed high school. I went on to earn my master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business and Economics, and at the age of 29, I received my doctorate degree in Educational Administration. I have always attempted to emulate my family’s values. I know firsthand the impact of education as the gateway to opportunity and diversity.  My volunteer work on local, state and national Latino organizations reflects my commitment to ensure our Latino children have access to quality education and are given equal opportunity to succeed.  Through my work as President of the National Community College Hispanic Council, I established a national Fellows program to train future Latino Community College presidents.” Ted Martinez


Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots
Southwest Airlines

Lidia S. Martinez 2014