Languages: Spanish and English
My siblings and I were born and raised in the small rural town of Elko, Nevada, but we grew up in a bi-cultural home. My father came to the United States from the Basque Country to work as a sheepherder when he was 20 years old and spent almost eight years working in the Ruby Mountains and surrounding ranches. My mother was born in Mexico City, but moved to Elko when she was 5 years old. Even though the majority of my extended family lived in the Basque Country and Mexico, my siblings and I had a very rich cultural upbringing. We grew up speaking Spanish and English in our home and I started traveling abroad when I was 7 years old. Language, food, religion, cultural celebrations, and international travel all had a big impact on my upbringing, but dance has always been my favorite cultural expression. I started to Basque dance in Elko when I was 4 years old and continued until I graduated from high school.
As an adult, I have continued my support of the Basque diaspora as a dance instructor, a member of the adult dance group, and a board member for the Reno Zazpiak Bat Basque Club. In addition, I had the privilege to live abroad for six months in Lo De Marcos, Nayarit. Recently I started to learn dances from different regions in Mexico with Ballet Folklórico Raices Del Fuego in Reno. My 18 years of professional work experience has centered around serving low-income, first-generation college students, with almost 10 years as the Executive Director of Dean's Future Scholars. After a 21 year college career, I successfully completed my Ph.D. in 2019 in Equity & Diversity in Education and strive to be a positive role model to my children and students.