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'It's a constant reminder of who I am': Hoosiers reflect on Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted at 7:37 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 19:57:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV honors Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hoosiers share some of their challenges, history and inspiration.

"For me, it's just like a constant reminder of like, who I am," Mareoyn Pasadas-Cuaya said. "The constant struggles that we have. The oppression, and just like the constant trauma that we face."

Owning a business in America was once a dream for Mareoyn Posadas-Cuaya and Allen Lopez.

"I am a DACA recipient as well as first-generation Mexican immigrant," Posadas-Cuaya said. "College was a struggle starting your own business is a struggle, especially in beauty industry. There aren't many that look like me."

She opened Latin Baddies Studio inside Plaza Urbana on the east side in hopes to connect with the community.

Eyelash and nail services are performed.

"I just thought about what I needed when I was a child and what would've been nice to have and that's how my business came about," Posadas-Cuaya said.

"I have smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, all sides made from scratch, nothing frozen. Nothing is canned. I mean, everything's fresh," Lopez said.

Lopez, inspired by his father and former job, opened LU LAE'S Grill and Catering three weeks ago.

His goal is to provide affordable Latin home-cooked meals.

"It makes you feel good. It's like, you know, the Spanish population growing and businesses are coming up," Lopez said.

The Indy Chamber, Hispanic Business Council, says the Hispanic/Latino community is the fastest growing across Indianapolis by roughly 30%.

According to 2021 U.S. Census data, roughly 110 thousand live in the Circle City.

"We have students from different countries, Hispanic countries, but not only from Mexico. They are from Guatemala El Salvador and Honduras, and all dialects and languages are different," Magali Torres said.

Spanish and English signs are found in Indianapolis Public School hallways.

Magali Torres is an English Language Arts teacher at Harshman Middle School.

60% of students speak Spanish.

"I become a teacher because I am from Puerto Rico. I am proud of it. the knowledge I have I can translate to studios and help them do well," said Torres.

Ms. Torres is a proud Puerto Rican on a mission to make her students confident and proud of their Hispanic heritage.

"It makes me feel really, really happy when I see the smiles on their faces," said Torres. "We are going to learn from each other. We have different skills even Ms. Torres but we are going to make one."

There are several resources available for any Hispanic or Latin Hoosier that is looking to start a business, find rental assistance, and more.

That information can be found on the Indy Chamber's website.