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Meet Annabel Garcia Torres of Latinx On The Rise in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annabel Garcia Torres.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Annabel. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
When I was teaching English as a Second Language to adult Spanish speakers, I felt drawn to telling the stories of Latinx who are everyday hard working people. When Trump announced his candidacy, he made those remarks about who Mexico as a country was sending.

This podcast was really born out of reaction and my history of work with the Latinx community. As a community, I really think we deserve to hear these everyday stories. I have had such wonderful conversations on the podcast that have empowered me, and I am happy to share those with my audience.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, but I enjoy learning from my mistakes. I think early on my focus was broad, and I wanted to interview as many people as I could. I had some tech issues like my mixer was giving out on me. I got lucky in a sense because people have been so gracious and allowed me the time to interview them. Time has been a huge obstacle for me, I work a full-time job aside from the podcast.

There were moments where I stretched myself too thin. However, my mother used to say that if I wasn’t running around with my head cut off, I wasn’t happy. That’s still true. I don’t think it will ever be a smooth road, I need there to be forks in the road in order to make this a growing process for myself and my audience.

Please tell us about Latinx On The Rise.
Latinx On The Rise is a podcast driven to uplift the Latinx community. All of my adult life has been dedicated to working with the Latinx community in some way. I taught English and Citizenship classes, I mentored Latinx teens on the South Side of Chicago, and I’ve been a translator for a law firm that helps abuse victims get US Visas.

During that whole time, I was learning so much more about my culture. It was what was outside of my Latino Art, literature and history classes. I was learning what it meant to be a US Latinx at that time. I formed my identity before Trump arrived on the scene and I felt it was unfair to allow hundreds of thousands of Latinx to hear these things being said about them without an opportunity to talk back. There are other podcasts and community workers out there doing this work for our community, and I love it.

Sometimes I think about the generations behind me, and I think I have to keep reaching back to pull people up. If I have one listener that is inspired to try a career they thought was out of reach or to participate in their Latinx community I would be happy. I have dedicated my life to serving the Latinx community, and I don’t view my role as needing to be set apart from others. In contrast, I crave the community support, and I hope someone would reach behind them and pull me up.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have themed out my seasons. I like the idea of having an entire season of fashion designers or Latinx in activism. I plan on doing this in the upcoming year, but I definitely wish I would have done it before.

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Image Credit:
Gio Solis and Uriel Brito

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