Raquel Leal is #MadeForKnoxville.
When Raquel moved to the states with her family, she had two bags and a long list of unknowns. In the midst of adjusting to a foreign culture while still staying true to her roots, she realized that her feelings of homesickness were shared by other Latinas around her. So she created Latinas Time, a community that has formed its own sense of belonging, living in the gap between two homes.
Latinas time is a community of women that are united by a mutual love for their Latin roots. Together, they celebrate their differences and seek to uplift one another. They focus on empowering each other to build relationships with one another and the greater community of Knoxville, so that everyone benefits.
“This group has been a place to belong, embrace our homesickness, and just be together. ”
In Their Own Words…
My name is Raquel Leal and I created Latinas Time. I wanted to create this community to form a sense of belonging for people who are not rooted here in Knoxville. We are immigrants and we feel like our roots are in our countries, so this group has been a place to belong, embrace our homesickness, and just be together. We want to be a little part of the big picture of this community, so we have a lot of workshops and meetings in Spanish to talk about mental health, entrepreneurship, entrenamiento and lots more. Those who are a part of this community encourage one another to do more for our community and to embrace ourselves and our heritage.
I’m an immigrant, and I came to this country with two bags full of dreams, challenges, and fears. I started to look for women who speak Spanish, and I just discovered that they were feeling the same way I was feeling. I was homesick, my roots are not here, I didn’t speak English, and I didn’t understand the culture. So what we started to do was to build bridges to bring the whole community together.
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