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What celebrity Latinas have to say

Latin celebrities tend to be fantastic role models for their fans! Here are some inspiring quotes from celebrity Latinas.

america-ferreraAmerica Ferrera (Honduran roots): “I identify with being an American first and foremost—I was born here, I was raised here, this is the country that has given me opportunity and the life that I've had—and so to play a girl who happened to be Latina but really embodied an American life was really refreshing for me. I really did understand the identity issues that Betty [La Fea] dealt with. (photo left)

Ana de la Reguera (Mexican roots): “Despite living in Los Angeles and having done movies there, the best roles for me are in Spanish. I get great offers in Mexico and I can’t turn them down—it’s my country."

Daisy Fuentes (Cuban roots): “[I’m] frijoles negros meets apple pie . . . I always thought of it as, I have a whole other language I can do this in, a whole other culture I can bring to the table. It would make no sense for me to choose one over the other.”

Eva Longoria (Texican): “I was raised by independent, educated, strong women. My mom has seven sisters and I have three. People always tell me, ‘You work so much,’ but the women in my family worked 10 times as hard, so I’m not working hard enough, ever. I want to work hard now so I can relax later.”

Gloria Estefan (Cuban roots): “Our culture has always been front and center in our life, in our music and everything we do, even in the restaurants. Emilio and I always want our kids and our grandkids, eventually, to realize the importance of never forgetting where you come from, who you are, and the fact that that makes you richer and just gives you a more broad perspective on life.”

Jessica Alba (Mexican-French-Danish roots): “There [are] a lot of really strong, really cool, completely dynamic women that are Latina that young women can look up to. I love that because I certainly didn't have those role models when I was growing up and it's nice that I'm part of this generation. So I feel very honored and blessed to be in such good company for sure.” (photo below)

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La La Anthony (Puerto Rican roots) on being Afro-Latina: “Do I look like Jennifer Lopez? No. Clearly, I’m a black woman. However you want to define that, that’s what I am. And I’m also a Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican woman. Period.”

Michelle Rodriguez (Dominican–Puerto Rican roots): “I’m here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that’s what I’ve done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate.”

Natalie Morales (Brazilian–Puerto Rican roots): [It’s] always been my mom [Brazilian native Penelope Morales]. She showed me that you can always dream big dreams and you have to work hard. Great work ethic eventually is what will get you the job and be the key to your success.”

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Rosario Dawson (Puerto Rican, Afro-Cuban, Irish and Native American roots) on starting thenon-profit voter registration organization Voto Latino: “It suddenly felt really important to see unregistered numbers become registered numbers. Because when it’s a landslide, they can’t deny us. Whether people like it or not, this is the revolution.” (photo below)

Rosie Perez (Puerto Rican roots): “When you grow up Puerto Rican…Even before you understand your history there’s a pride that’s instilled in you. It does dictate who you are as an adult when you have roots and a strong foundation that you grow up upon, and it’s definitely made me a very, very strong woman.”

salma-hayekSalma Hayek (Mexican-Lebanese roots): “I believe you have to dream with courage and with imagination. Then you have to see the dream and follow it wherever it leads you. But you have to pay attention when you’re going toward the dream, because it’s usually the journey on the way to the dream that is most interesting. And then, once you accomplish the dream, you have to let it go and dream something new.” (photo right)

Selena Gomez (Italian-Mexican roots): “I feel completely connected as soon as I come back. I smell my grandmother's tamales and rice and beans, and its just like I'm home. It makes me feel so good and comfortable. It’s just about being together. That's the one thing that is a really strong part of my heritage: We're always about family.”

Shakira (Colombian-Lebanese roots): “I grew up in the developing world, I grew up seeing injustice. . . I’ve also seen that, in countries like mine, when a child is born poor, he will die poor, unless he receives an opportunity. That opportunity is education. It’s that helping hand that they’re looking for. Latin America is a young continent, it’s malleable; it’s flexible. We still can change.”

zoe-saldanaZoe Saldana (Dominican-Puerto Rican roots): “As a Latina, I think we should be very proud of our heritage. We tend to look for European roots and reject the indigenous and the African, and that’s disgusting. Being Latin is being a mix of everything. I want my people not to be insecure, and to adore what we are because it’s beautiful.” (photo left)

Zoe Saldana (Dominican-Puerto Rican roots): “My mom has never said a derogatory word against anybody based on race, and that’s how I grew up. So when you don’t have a consciousness of categorizing and separating, you go, ‘I can very much be Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin if I wanted to.’”

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