FIRST THOUGHT: Immigrant Influx
In late October 2018, there were over 7,000 men, women and children trekking through Guatemala and Mexico from the poverty, violence and corruption in Honduras. It’s the largest caravan on record. Images of exhausted individuals seeking asylum spread. Girls, who dowse their faces with water given to them by compassionate Mexicans, make the trek alongside their mothers.
While this event has been politically polarizing, I want us all to remember something: Many of us are born in an environment full of opportunities, but many of us are not. Many of us are born in an environment in which our basic needs, like food and shelter, are met. Many of us are not. If you were part of the latter, would you make the journey, too?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 93 Percent
Paid work is the kind of opportunity these migrants are searching for. According to The Pew Research Center, between now and 2050, 93 percent of the growth of the nation’s working-age population will consist of immigrants and their children born in the United States. UN ambassador Nikki Haley, retired figure skater Michelle Kwan, and actress Reneé Zellweger are just a few notable second-generation immigrants.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Rebecca Garcia, Creator of Blaquita's Salsa
Today’s Woman to Watch, Rebecca Garcia, is also a second-generation immigrant. Rebecca’s grandparents relocated to American from Mexico with a dozen—yep, a dozen—kids in tow. Her grandparents provided for their family by making and selling traditional Mexican dishes. As with anything downright delicious, people fell in love with the recipes. Rebecca’s uncle seized the praise and opened the doors to Blanquita’s Mexican Restaurant.
As Rebecca worked in her family’s restaurant growing up, she learned the ins and outs of what it takes to maintain a flourishing business. What Rebecca learned is there are many different ways to look at a biz, and that’s how Blanquita’s Salsa began. Using her mother’s initial recipe for memorable salsa, Rebecca has now grown this Mexican staple into a product line sold in 10 locations.
This entrepreneur has developed four flavors total, steeped in memories, history and a ton of flavor. From chile de arbol to spicy jalapeño, Rebecca’s concoctions have been influenced by her ancestry and heritage. But she also knows it’s a different thing to be a business owner in 2018, with anything and everything now available on the Internet. Got a question about distribution and packing? Google it. Need to buy salsa but don’t live nearby? Order online.
Rebecca says her “self-motivated, persistent entrepreneurial spirit” is in her blood and part of her family. Looking back at what she’s accomplished, Rebecca firmly believes that age is just a number. No matter how young you might be, this salsa-maker urges you to start on your dream today.
A way to ensure you’re consistent in remembering the passion or the “why” behind your biz is to write it down on a piece of paper. Rebecca puts that message in a place where she sees it every single day. It’s a reminder that you can’t worry about what will happen or what has happened; you can only worry about what your purpose is right now.
One thing’s for sure: La familia lo es todo. Family is everything.
Being young in today’s social media age means one thing: a heck of a lot of self-doubt. But that doubt shouldn’t stall your journey to success! Check out our five tips for how to thrive as a young entrepreneur by clicking here or, if you’re listening via podcast, head over to OnTheDotWoman.com!
QUITE THE QUOTE
One of my favorite former Women to Watch is Reshma Saujani. She’s the founder of Girls Who Code, an organization that has reached 90,000 girls in all 50 states. Let Reshma’s words speak for themselves:
"I'm the daughter of refugees. The immigrant mentality is to work hard, be brave, and never give up in your pursuit of achieving the American dream."