By Julia Figueiredo, Director for Latin America at PFG
As we embrace Latin Heritage Month, from September 15th to October 15th, I reflect on my journey from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to Silicon Valley and now Miami. Eleven years ago, I set foot in the US with dreams, aspirations, and fears. I had no connections in San Francisco, and for the first few days, I thought I had made a colossal mistake. Why leave my family, friends, comfort, and everything I knew to share a small apartment in Berkley with someone I met off Craigslist?
The years went by, and I made many friends I would take for the rest of my life. I am a first-generation immigrant; English is my second language, and I had to learn to adapt to a completely different culture. However, Latinos are known for being resilient, and I was. As I had no background in technology, it was exciting to learn about it in the booming streets of San Francisco. From joining a pre-seed startup to working at the Product Marketing team at Evernote (one of the first unicorns in Silicon Valley) to helping start Latinas in Tech, to being the head of Latin America at Silicon Valley Bank.
Today, I’m incredibly honored to lead the practice for Latin America at Partners for Growth, where I have the privilege of supporting passionate and innovative entrepreneurs from Latin America. Our shared stories, diverse backgrounds, and collective aspirations drive us toward creating impactful changes in LATAM and globally. I also sit on the board of Endeavor Miami. Miami is the gateway to Latin America and is the perfect location to combine my passion for tech and honor my roots.
The United States is home to a significant percentage of Latin Americans. According to the United States Census, its Hispanic population is 63.7 million as of July 1, 2022, making it the nation’s most significant racial or ethnic minority — 19.1% of the population. We’ve woven our traditions, values, and dreams into the very fabric of this nation. I am inspired and proud of the achievements of many fellow Latin Americans in the US, our home countries, and globally. From revolutionary startups to groundbreaking innovations, our community is making waves and challenging the status quo.
Latin Heritage Month is not just a reflection of our history but a celebration of our present and the promise of an even brighter future. We are writers, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists. Our influence is vast, and our potential is #limitless.
As we celebrate, let us remember our roots and the vast horizons that lie ahead. Our Latin heritage is a testament to resilience, creativity, and an undying community spirit. Here’s to the Latin Americans making a difference, those who’ve paved the way, and future generations who will continue to shine even brighter.
Feliz Mês da Herança Latina!
¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Latina!
Happy Latin Heritage Month! 🌟🎉 #LatinHeritageMonth