10 Latina Life & Career Coaches Share Tips to Thrive in 2020

The pressure to plan for the future and prep to become the best version of yourself is real, but that is easier said than done and for Latinas juggling tons of responsibilities between work and familia it can feel downright impossible


The pressure to plan for the future and prep to become the best version of yourself is real, but that is easier said than done and for Latinas juggling tons of responsibilities between work and familia it can feel downright impossible. In order to help you feel more poderosa sentiment, we’ve rounded up Latina life and career coaches to guide you with tangible tips. In a culture that stigmatizes mental health, seeking out a coach for career or life is not a common practice and it can feel intimidating when trying to find a coach to connect with. The following 10 coaches are all Latina and specialize in career and/or life coaching or spiritual guidance and they shared their different takes on how to approach 2020 with HipLatina.

While these 10 coaches offer different roadmaps to success and self-care, as Latinas they also all agree we can be better advocates for themselves in the face of a culture that encourages modesty. “I like to remind Latina professionals to show how diverse and multifaceted they are — that serves an incredible differentiator — I call it our unique value proposition,” Career Coach Yai Vargas said. Empowerment Coach Cynthia Santiago-Borbón also believes there are certain unique strengths Latinas bring to the workplace: “While so many Latinas are clear about their skills, I have found that many of them are not clear about their strengths. In other words, when it comes to your career it’s not just important to know what skills you’ve acquired and what you’ve learned to be good at. It’s really powerful to know what you are naturally strong in.”

But in order to excel professionally, it’s important to take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically so we made sure to balance between professional and personal advice to make sure you’re doing all you can to dominate 2020. Clarity Coach Jackie Diaz told HipLatina recognizes a problem many Latinas face when it comes to not feeling like they’re not doing enough in life: “Be kinder to yourself. As Latinas, whether you ‘re a child of immigrants or an immigrant yourself, we tend to feel pressured into pushing ourselves, to prove others wrong or ‘making up’ for our parents’ sacrifices. We feel that we can never do enough to repay them. It seems we’re either working on surpassing expectations, brought on to us by family members, or worse, the one we harshly put on ourselves.”

So in the midst of the current craziness, we hope this slideshow of empowering advice helps you feel capable of making jefa moves while taking time for self-care. Embrace your JLo-level fierceness and, as curandera, Erika Buenaflor told us, “When putting into action life and business goals, don’t forget to work your magic. Yes, I do mean the good kind of brujeria magic.”


Wendy Amara – Business and Life Coach


Courtesy of Wendy Amara

Wendy Amara has been in the coaching business for 14 years and offers one on one coaching that can be done via the phone with four weeks to six-month packages. She also hosts a one-day training workshop called “The Future Self Experience” in the Los Angeles area. Her best advice for starting the year off strong is actually to review this past year to list all that you did right and what worked for you. “Too many times we tend to look at places in our life where we want to grow and we spend too little time taking inventory of what is already working in our lives.,” she explained. “We tend to look at what is missing in our life, or the challenges we have, and not enough time looking at what we are accomplishing.” If you’re looking to advance in your career she also advises that you look to what works and how you can bring more value to your job which in turn makes you more visible. Don’t be shy to ask for feedback from your boss beyond the annual review to show not only initiative but to learn how you can improve. One mistake Amara says is all too common is making resolutions without a realistic action plan: “You need to make a realistic action plan and it also gets to be stimulating. Your brain will be more likely to follow through with your goal if it is simple, doable, clear and fun.”


Yai Vargas –  Career Strategist


Courtesy of Yai Vargas

Yai Vargas launched her own consulting agency last year after 15 years in the diversity and inclusion space and works with clients in-person and online. She provides programs on professional branding, ideal career, and client search and strategy creation almost all on LinkedIn. Though she’s clearly immersed in all aspects of career building, her No.1 tip for starting 2020 off right is to make sure you’re prioritizing your health. “If your personal wellness goals aren’t in check, how do you think you’ll be able to successfully use your brain and body to the fullest?” In an effort toward self-care and prioritizing your time properly, she suggests you start your day with specific intentions that benefit your personal, professional, financial or wellness goals. “If you are faced with a decision to attend an event, make a purchase and spend any time or energy and it doesn’t specifically align with your priorities, don’t do it.” So what is the best thing you can do to enhance your career and make those money moves? Share your goals and aspirations with friends and family even though the pressure of living up to them can seem overwhelming. She likens it to the idea of how people discuss items they collect freely and people will, in turn, contribute to their collection and suggests people would do the same if you asked for help finding resources for your small business. “Do you believe that if you keep sharing that need with friends and family that some would open up doors for you? I highly think so.”


Cynthia Santiago-Borbón – Empowerment Coach

Cynthia Santiago-Borbon

Courtesy Cynthia Santiago-Borbon

Cynthia Santiago-Borbón has been an empowerment coach for more than 20 years, providing one on one coaching calls and a six-month mentorship program.  In order to make 2020 better than this year, she suggests you review eight areas of your life: relationships, finances, career/business, health/body image, spirituality, and personal growth, home/physical environment, and fun and recreation. The best way to review is to put pen to paper looking at what you achieve and what you can improve on in order to provide clarity which she considers a fundamental first step to achieving goals. “After making your list of what your desire to achieve it’s important to look at your calendar and set appointments with themselves to work on their goals,” she explains. “I help them eliminate to-d0 lists and use their calendars to write in everything they need to do, then they can set realistic expectations on where they can work on their specific goals. You have to be disciplined and non-negotiable about your goal appointments and show up for yourself the same way you would show up for an appointment.”


Melanie Santos – Spiritual Wellness Coach


Courtesy of Melanie Santos

When Melanie Santos isn’t working as a branding consultant for businesses of color she’s facilitating her online Goddess Guidance program and helping clients through her monthly membership services blending wellness and energy coaching to remind women they are “diosas poderosas.” With spirituality as the basis for her approach, Santos recommends first visualizing who you want to be by the end of 2020 than creating an intentional plan of action to achieve those goals. “Intention is nothing without action and action is nothing without intention. Focus on thinking about how you want to feel instead of what you think you physically need,” she explained. “After you narrow down your intentions for the year, create a list of realistic steps you can take each month to help you align with the life you envision. The key to manifesting a successful year is balancing spiritual alignment and human action.” While improvement requires change. she recommends a moderate approach that rooted in reality versus trying to attain too much too soon. “Trying to run in all directions before you walk in one line isn’t effective, and could have you believe that you’re not capable at all. If you must give yourself deadlines, concentrating on hitting weekly targets. Small steps amount to giant leaps.”


Erika Buenaflor – Curandera


Courtesy of Erika Buenaflor

Erika Buenaflor has been practicing as a curandera for more than 20 years, mentoring with curanderx and shamans in the Maya Yucatecan jungle, Peru, and Los Angeles, and studying Mesoamerican Curanderismo in academia. Grounded in her spirituality, she advocates a holistic approach to the new year encouraging people to envision a year that includes mental, emotional, and spiritual investments in themselves. “Creating holistic investments one step at a time will allow us to better gauge what we can do and commit to. This way the things that we are doing for ourselves do not get overwhelming, rather we are able to follow through with them, build on them, and invest more in ourselves for a greater return.”  On the career end, she recommends being bold and taking initiative while still prioritizing your goals: “Remember things may come for those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.”


Angelica Ogando – Business and Life Coach


Photo courtesy of Angie Ogando

Angelica “Angie” Ogando is the Dominican founder and CEO of Enriched Minds, a company that provides leadership training, and she’s available for in-person and video training and coaching. Rather than just focusing on your personal goals, Ogando suggests you assess your inner circle in order to start the year off with the right people in your life. “You don’t realize how much your core key group, whether it’s family, friends, or colleagues, affects your power of manifestation until you do accountability of how their words and behaviors impact your life.  Get rid of the ones who don’t add value and contaminate your space. Hold on tight to those who are your supporters.” But when it comes to what you need to do for yourself, the biggest mistake people make according to Ogando is setting goals with no time frame or roadmap. She recommends tackling goals one at a time by creating smaller goals with daily action items to ultimately achieve major goals. 


Sujeiry Gonzalez – Love and Career Coach

sujeiry- gonzalez

Photo Credit: Jennyfer Para

Sujeiry Gonzalez is a podcaster, Youtuber, author and coach focused on love through introspection and accountability, in addition to her blog and videos, she offers virtual coaching for women that desire to pursue a career in digital media. Transformation is the common goal for the new year but Gonzalez recommends in addition to asking yourself what you want, you focus on the WHY.  “If the answer comes back to your needs and desires, then make a plan for 2020 and go for it! If you find yourself struggling to find your why or if it comes back to what others expect or wants from you, it’s time to reevaluate your goals.” As an established writer and podcast host she’s a major proponent of being proactive and carving a space for yourself in your desired industry by researching and pitching yourself where you see a void in the market. She’s critical of vision boards that lack a clear path or action plan saying “if you don’t have an action plan to aid you in accomplishing set goals you’re left with pretty images on poster board.” As you focus on 2020 plans, she emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all you’re doing is for you and no one else.


Jacqueline Diaz – Clarity Coach


Courtesy of Jackie Diaz

Jacqueline Diaz is the founder and host of “Amigapreneur” podcast featuring entrepreneurs and creatives of color and she recently launched her “Awkward Goddess” series focused on healing and different spiritual modalities. She suggests starting the year off by being kinder to yourself before you start focusing on what you want to change and taking a moment of self-awareness to recognize your accomplishments. While the start of the new year is a typical marker for people to try new things Diaz empathizes that a new beginning can happen at any time of the year. She advises not to make drastic changes but rather to take things one step at a time and always being grateful: “The Universe rewards being grateful and will give you so much more to be grateful for. I promise.” She also recommends looking to your community for support and being open about your journey, especially as women of color who can feel isolated on their career path. “It is so important for us to create a community, which starts by being vulnerable and letting others into our struggles, to connect with one another past the superficial level. In connection comes healing and manifesting what you wish to see more of within yourself and in the world.”


Michelle Gomez – Career and Life Coach


Photo courtesy of Michelle Gomez

Michelle Gomez has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate world and has simultaneously built her coaching business while also being a mom which has informed her coaching lessons. She focuses on helping fellow moms develop a work/life balance and helping Latinas achieve positions of power in their careers. She offers private coaching via phone and video chats as well as workshops online and in-person and she wrote the best-selling book Own Your Brilliance: Overcome Impostor Syndrome for Career Success. To start 2020 strong, she suggests writing down all your personal goals and prioritizing them according to value and need and then organizing them within the four quarters of a year. “Keep that document visible so that you can refer back to it often, keep track of your progress, record the wins as they come, and make changes as needed.” If you want a promotion next year, schedule a meeting with your management team to let them know you’d like more responsibility and ask for guidance on what to do to get to the next level.


Dariana Moreira – Mindfulness and Somatic Coach

dariana- moreira

Photo courtesy of Dariana Moreira

Dariana Moreira aka DariLuna is a Venezuelan illustrator who has been formally coaching since 2015 as a somatic coach which is a body-based approach to healing and improvement. In addition to one on one video calls, she also hosts an intuitive power circle, a virtual community who gather weekly to discuss goal accountability and learn new practices for personal and professional growth. For 2020 she advises you to identify  your “foundational habits” – these are the habits specific to each person in addition to other essential habits like eating well and sleeping, that are necessary to succeed. “Before setting yourself to embark on a goal check if your foundational habits are working smoothly. Getting them to work smoothly takes time and dedication.” She puts the emphasis on the importance of intuition and alignment with your purpose on a daily basis as a healthy way to approach life in general.  “Find your alignment practice and make it the most important habit of your life.”

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