Nataly Uriegas

Photography by    Diana Ascarrunz

Photography by Diana Ascarrunz

Tell us about yourself. Include where you’re from, what you do, how you’re thriving and anything else everyone should know about you.

I am a graduate student at UT Health Science Center at Houston-Austin Regional Campus. I am originally from Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros Mexico. In other words, I am a border town girl. I recently moved to Austin on August 2016 to pursue a Master’s in Public Health. I am on the Health Promotion program and would like to focus on sexual health. Additionally, I recently co-founded an organization called Más Humana. Más Humano. in Matamoros which focuses on providing support to the community by creating events focused on topics like sexual health, mental health, gender equality and so forth.

How do you identify culturally?

I am Mexican and American, I consider myself to be 100% of both.

Nataly Uriegas

How does your cultural background inform your thinking and sense of being in the world? How has it informed past decisions, successes, failures?

I am both an American and Mexican citizen. I have spent half of my life in both Mexico and the US, which is part of the unique experience of being from a border town. Being bi-cultural and having two nationalities is the best thing that has happened to me because it has defined my passions, it has strengthened my fight against any type of injustice or inequality, it has empowered my voice, and it has challenged me to think outside the box.

What inspires you and who do you look up to?

The Mexican women that came before me and resisted sexism and poverty inspire me; my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother inspire me. Because of their persistence I am here—I am showing them what they could have been capable of if they had not lived in a sexist environment and if they had been given the opportunities that have been given to me.

I look up to the strong and hardworking women that surround me. I am their biggest fan and cheerleader and I am always wishing to be as successful and determined as they are.

What is your best piece of advice to anyone who may be struggling

Fortunately, nothing lasts forever. Therefore your struggle will eventually end. Please do not give up, be persistent, be a fighter. Surround yourself by people who will give you love, support, and positivity. Love them and appreciate them, as love and friendship will always the best cure to any affliction.

What are your future goals and aspirations?

My professional goal is to be part of the Texas fight in providing sex education that will empower teenagers into making the correct decisions for their lives and future. As for my personal goals and aspirations, I aspire to empower Hispanics/Latinxs, women, adolescents, and so forth with my organization and by creating community-based programs and projects.

Nataly Uriegas
A large percentage of the Latinx community in the US is made up of visionaries, fighters—people with persistence who decided not to settle for poverty and lack of opportunities. They are people who made the hardest decision by risking their lives and leaving behind everything they had in their countries of origin to provide a pleasant future for their offspring. The Latinx community is not known for giving up, we are known for working the hardest. Currently, during the harsh situation we are going through with the new presidency, I know we will not yield and that through community organizing our voices will be heard more than ever.

What is your favorite Latinx driven project and why is it your favorite?

Latina Institute for Reproductive HealthMexic-Arte Museum, Cesar Chavez (civil rights activist), Rosie Castro (activist), Selena Quintanilla (artist), Joaquín and Julian Castro (Politicians), and Sandra Cisneros (writer).

Where can people find you on the internet?