Raquel Juarez

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 was born in Fort Worth, Texas to Mexican immigrant parents, and grew up there. For my day job I work in HR as a Benefits Coordinator.

How do you identify culturally?

I identify as Chicana and or Latinx.

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

I grew up in a mostly white part of Fort Worth near Texas Christian University. I grew up with mostly white friends and always felt like an outsider. I was different and had foreign habits. However, anytime I was around my family and visited Mexico, I was agringada. I never quite felt like I fit in. The color of my skin and my culture seemed at odds. This has greatly impacted my life and helped inform my decisions. I try to always be open minded about the experiences of others and how differences in culture are what make us interdependent with one another. Our differences matter and we need to validate everyone’s experience.

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What inspires you and who do you look up to?

I seriously look up to the xingonas over at Somar ATX. When I first started my little etsy shop they gave me a shout out on their account and really helped people to hear my brand. They are an amazing group of young women empowering other women of color.

I also look up to Rebecca Anne Ruiz Acosta from Pocoapoco. This lady is one of the most authentic and kind Xicanas I have ever met. She has all of our interests in mind and is always empowering the xicana community in Austin.

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

Don’t give up, and reach out when you feel overwhelmed. It’s a tough time, but don’t forget to love yourself and take time for you.

What are your future goals and aspirations?

I really, really want to expand my etsy store. I want to offer lapel pins, t-shirts, and many other cool things that take an investment to make in bulk. I would love to see my designs on multiple objects that Latinxs are excited and proud to wear.

Share one thing people should know about the Latinx community.

I am so proud of the work we are doing to support other brown and black lives. We work hard and I hope we continue to be motivated, strong, and proud.

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

Oh man. See above to who I look up to. There are so many women I admire who own small businesses.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Etsy: RadicalXicana

Instagram: @radical.xicana

Facebook: @radicalxicana

Latinx Voices is an online photo and interview series spotlighting Latinx peoples in our communities. We want to amplify those voices–reminding people that we are not only surviving, but thriving.