Have you heard the saying, “ni de aquí, ni de allá?” I’m not from here, nor there.
I grew up in the small Texas border town of Eagle Pass, and I’m the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As a first generation born in the U.S., I often felt like that. My life has been braided by cultural strands that are impossible to untangle. It’s taken me some life experience to realize that living in nepantla, or that space in between culturas, is actually among my superpowers.
When I became a journalist in 2003, I made it my personal mission to amplify underrepresented communities through my writing. I didn’t often see families like mine featured in mainstream news outlets – except when something bad happened.
Austin Vida aims to change that. We want to help lift our comunidad by focusing on solutions storytelling. Our stories are part of what make Austin special. We are movers, shakers and glass ceiling breakers. Our stories are worthy of being told and deserve to be uplifted.
In the summer of 2020, while a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, I headed to Austin Police Department Headquarters to cover the massive protests following the killing of George Floyd during the height of a global pandemic.
Austinites were on the streets demanding for change. I knew, too, that the time had come for me to step up for my community and bring back Austin Vida for a new generation.
While Austin Vida had previously published online, it had ceased publication during a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric ramped up across the country. But Latinos are a big part of this community’s rich history, present and future. We make up about 33 percent of the city’s population and our historias should not be ignored.
In the midst of the uncertainty that the pandemic brought, I decided to leave my job and dedicate myself to a grassroots effort of amplifying, informing and celebrating local Latinidad.