Asian Latinxs are throughout Latin America and in the U.S. and they’re making major contributions in various industries. Raeka Morar created beauty products inspired by South Asia while astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz has lived his Chinese-Costa Rican made it all the way to space. May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month so we wanted to recognize some of the AAPI Latinxs entrepreneurs and leaders. They are inspiring the younger generation and showing kids with similar cultural backgrounds that they are not alone and anything is possible regardless of your background. Here are 10 Asian Latinx trailblazers you need to know.
Michelle Lam is the founder of True & Co, a bra and underwear company that aims to provide comfortable options and the best fits. The business started from a “fit quiz” that was taken by 9 million women, asking for their personal opinions on fabrics and style as well as support and fit. Lam and her brand have donated to organizations like I Support the Girls and the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Raeka Morar is an entrepreneur based out of Austin, Texas who owns and operates Raeka Beauty, a skincare line that incorporates traditional Indian beauty. When asked what being South Asian meant to her, she replied “It means being a trailblazer and advocating for more South Asian inclusivity in the beauty space.” Give the Turmeric Peel Off Facial Mask a try, turmeric is common in South Asian cuisine but it’s also anti- inflammatory with purifying qualities.
Sailaja Joshi is a storyteller and founder of Mango and Marigold Press and 1001 Diverse Books. She is bringing to light the South Asian tales that have gone untold and providing children in underserved communities diverse books that highlight people of all cultures.To date, Mango and Marigold Press has produced 14 books for ages 1 to young adults.
Chloe Diaz is a first generation law student at ASU Law, focusing on employment, labor, and health law. Looking for scholarships? Diaz has all the info, plus she hosts bootcamps for Latinas looking to get into law. She’s open about her ADHD and shared resources on how to ask for learning/testing accommodations writing, “Being a JDHDer can be isolating when you don’t know what help is available to you.”
Hana Teresa Park
Hana Teresa Park is an entrepreneur, coach, and public speaker who works with Latinas. She founded the Mujeres del Futuro group on Facebook to provide Latinas with support and community. She also offers business and life coaching with unique curriculums she’s developed.
Nadya Okamoto is the founder of It’s August and the Period Movement, author of Period Power, and host of the Tigress Podcast. Her mission is to help women gain access to period health education and utilize more sustainable and comfortable period products. Okamoto uses her social media platforms to share information and resources related to menstruation. She even developed a Glossary for the Global Menstrual Movement to break menstrual taboos and enhance menstrual wellbeing.
Helen Mack Chang
Helen Mack Chang is a human rights advocate who fought for justice in Guatemala. Her actions have influenced change in the country’s justice, security, national defense, and intelligence systems. Chang’s journey began when her sister was assassinated in 1990 by a military group and has since then inspired Guatemalans to follow in her footsteps. In 1992 she received the Right Livelihood Award and used that reward money to create the Myrna Mack Foundation, a non-profit that fights to defend human rights.
Tilsa Tsuchiya is a Peruvian artist who brings her Japanese-Peruvian heritage to life through her paintings. Many of her pieces interpreted classic Japanese-European folklore tales and she even created her own myths in her Mitos series, which featured works like El mito del Guerrero rojo, Mito del arbol, and Mito de la mujer y el vuelo. In an interview with El Comercio, Tsuchiya said “It’s like they are seeing inside me,” when asked about her audiences and her paintings.
Eizi Matuda was a Mexican-Japanese botanist who had several plants and animals named after him – a cactus native to Mexico, an alligator lizard, a snake, and two different types of frogs. Throughout his lifetime he has identified 185 plant species and now has a statue on display at the botanical garden of the Cosmovitral in Toluca, Mexico.
Franklin Chang Diaz
Franklin Chang Diaz is a Costa Rican-born physicist, mechanical engineer, and NASA astronaut who is also of Chinese descent. He founded the Ad Astra Rocket Company and was the first Latin American immigrant and the third Latin American to go into space, completing seven NASA space shuttle missions. He’s in the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame and a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions.