Today we’d like to introduce you to Angelo Solera.
Hi Angelo, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
My name is Angelo Solera, I was born in Spain and immigrated to the United States at the age of 17, and have lived and worked in Baltimore since then.
Over 25 years of experience working in the Latino community, a long-time community leader, advocate, activist & health care professional, having held several positions in government, health care, and community-based organization including a political candidate for city council in Baltimore City District one in 2003.
Currently, I am the owner of Solera Trasportation LLC this is what I do to pay the bills, my volunteer work is being the Founder and Executive Director of Nuestras Raices Inc, which is my passion.
Nuestras Raices Inc “Our Roots” is a community based (501 c 3) Hispanic/Latino cultural organization whose mission is to educate promote and preserve the richness and diversity of the Hispanic/Latino culture and artists’ heritage throughout the Baltimore metropolitan region.
Our goals are:
To change the narrative & misconception about the Hispanic/Latino community by showcasing the richness and diversity of our culture & artistic heritage. To reconnect Hispanic/Latino US-born children and parents to their native culture and heritage through educational, artistic & cultural programs and events.
Organize and sponsor educational, cultural & artistic events, including art shows, musical performances, parades, festivals, workshops & conferences.
Develop a network of Hispanic/Latino cultural organizations, associations, and Latino artists to provide mentoring programs and professional and financial support.
Develop a network of partners, sponsors & businesses to work together to help generate and acquire funding to accomplish our organization’s mission.
Organize “Fiesta Baltimore” an annual cultural event including the parade of Latino Nations & a Latino cultural festival.
Create “La Casa de La Cultura” a Hispanic/Latino cultural-educational & empowering center where culture, art, music, folklore, and artistic heritage can be experienced, enjoy, and thrive.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Defiantly not a smooth road, my experience is the experience of many immigrants like me, adjusting and overcoming many cultural and language barriers in the United States has not been easy but I have made it.
Being a member of a minority community like the Hispanic/Latino community without a voice has also presented many challenges and tribulations, experiencing racism and discrimination and a lack of opportunities in a black and white world, but despite all of that, here we are, a thriving and growing community searching for our American dream of justice and equality.
America does offer many opportunities and with a lot of hard work, sweat and tears, I am able to have my own business and provide for my family and be able to help my community by doing what I love making a difference in peoples lives.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
At this time in my life. my passion is working in the Hispanic/Latino community as the Founder and Executive Director of Nuestras Raices Inc’s” Our Roots” The purpose of our organization in many ways is to have a voice in our community and be able to tell our own story.
Often when you hear news about the Hispanic/Latino community on the local, state, and national media it’s usually on negative terms about the same thing illegal immigration, Mexicans, we take American jobs, we are criminals. etc.
But we are much more than that, but unfortunately many do not know or seem to care who and what we really are, a rich and diverse community that has and continues to make tremendous contributions to this city, state, and the USA.
A community without a voice often just gets lip service by politicians and political parties and at the end of the day, we are treated in many ways as second-class citizens.
But we continue our struggle hoping that one day we reach the top of the mountain and reach our American dream of justice and equality.
What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
No matter what you need to keep going, keep dreaming, and praying for God to help you along the way, America can be a very lonely place for people who come from other countries in search of the American dream.
You are not alone, do your best in whatever you do because you never know who is watching you and remember never underestimate the power of the human spirit.
- Website: www.nuestrasraicesinc.org
- Facebook: Nuestras Raices Inc.