Hispanic Heritage Month is here and as a Latina-owned and operated small business, this month is important to us because it represents us. We wanted to take the opportunity to really share who we are. Last time we introduced the team, we were a slightly bigger team with more “departments,” but as all small businesses do, we’ve had to adjust and reduce personnel in the last year. So, here we are – the mighty 4 that are currently keeping Tragos alive and running.
As 4 first-gen Latinas, we obviously each have a story that I’m sure you’re bound to relate to. Our team currently consists of Carolina (obvio!), Aralis, Maryuri and me, Johanna. Carolina and Aralis are cousins from their mother’s side. Que cute, no? Working with your family member isn’t nepotism when you’re latina/o. It’s a way of supporting your family and creating more work for our community because, let’s face it, it's just a little harder for us in the workforce sometimes. Pero, that’s a conversation for another day.
Here are our stories…
Hey guys I’m Johanna. I’m Peruvian-born but raised in Connecticut. My parents moved to the US because of terrorism in Peru, and after lots of hard work, they achieved the (90s) definition of the “American Dream.” Bueno, todo menos los papeles (insert eye roll). A few months before turning 21, my immigration lawyer told me that my papers (that I had been waiting for 10 years for!) were not going to be a thing and I should get married. Since there was no freaking way that was a possibility, I moved to Peru two months later to a country I knew nothing about, and at a time that I didn’t identify as Peruvian (ahora soy más Peruana que la papa haha). In the last 11 years, I have taught English, gone to culinary school (and quickly realized que no era para mi) and worked for some American small businesses that have allowed me to work remotely in a language I’m more comfortable with. I got married 5 years ago and have a 2.5 year old named Miles and yes, he’s bilingual 🙌🏼
In 2021, I joined the Tragos team and I did not realize how much my soul needed to be a part of it all. Tragos introduced me to a virtual community of Latinos that for the first time I could identify with and have helped me so much in discovering my own identity. I have had the pleasure of discovering content creators, small business owners, health coaches and so on that have inspired me so much. These days I do a little bit of everything for Tragos, from Customer success to Social Media and Marketing and am looking forward to watching our small business continue to grow.
Hola mi gente! My name is Aralis. I am the Head of Marketing and Sales for Tragos. At 33, I am the oldest team member of Tragos 👵🏽. I am from Jackson Heights, Queens. My parents met over a love for olives (hence my passion for dirty martinis🍸). I am a first generation Latina, from Colombian and Dominican descent (wepaaaa💃🏽). I went to the NY Fashion Institute of Technology where I majored in Advertising and Marketing Communications. After college, I began to work in restaurants and fell in love with the hospitality industry. I bought my first home at 22 and waitressed for 7 years to help pay the mortgage. I also became a big workaholic 🥴. While at work, I was offered a job as a marketer and event coordinator. That job ignited my career in this industry. Since then, I have worked with various clients nationwide on their marketing and project management needs. In my free time, I love to entertain, cook, and make cocktails!
I started working at Tragos in 2019, when my cousin, Carolina, asked me to help with a sponsored event in LA for a game she has recently created. I immediately fell in love with the Tragos brand and its mission to unite Latinos. The past (almost) 4 years have not always been easy but they have been extremely rewarding. Working alongside such amazing Latinas and seeing the Latino community come together is one of the best accomplishments for Tragos and for myself. I look forward to what else Tragos and our team will bring to the world next!
Hi international internet people, I’m Maryuri (sounds like Marjorie). I’m 29, SINGLE and I’m a Honduran born, Miami raised copywriter and psychologist. I moved to the US when I was 8 years old for a medical procedure and didn’t leave till I was an adult. The medical procedure didn’t turn out as planned (Diosito sabrá por qué) but I gained a whole new perspective on life, friends and family from my time spent in the US. I’ve traveled to many countries since I left and even lived in Spain for a couple of years. Currently, I’m in Honduras trying to figure out what my next move will be.
I started working for Tragos in 2019 after my friend Carolina started the company, and it has been a wild ride from the start! I’ve witnessed my friend grow the vision she had in her mind, I’ve worked with some incredible women and I’ve learned so much about what it takes to run a startup. But, my favorite part hands down has been seeing the impact Tragos has had in Latines all over the US. From donating to charities and hurricane relief to being part of great memories made through game nights… Tragos truly has brought so much joy to its community and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Hi, I’m Carolina, the founder and CEO of Tragos. I’ve shared my story of how I started Tragos in the past but looking back, I see it really has been a lifelong journey in understanding my latinidad that has eventually led me down the path of creating this business. Although I grew up always feeling way less Hispanic than everyone else around me, I can’t deny I was raised by Colombian and Dominican immigrants and was as immersed in their culture as much as one could living in the US. Growing up in Jackson Heights, New York, I had best friends with backgrounds from all over Latin America – Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Ecuador, Honduras. Circumstances also led me to go to three different high schools, one of them being in Miami, which exposed me to Cuban culture. As an adult, I got the chance to live in Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. Every single one of these places I’ve lived in has given me the greatest pleasure in learning a new culture, meeting people of different backgrounds and stories, and preparing me for the project of uniting our community through games that are made for all of us. When I’m not working on Tragos, I continue to do freelance graphic design, watch the best shows (currently on House of the Dragon and Killing Eve), and party with my DJ boyfriend and friends at more raves than I ever thought I’d go to in a lifetime.
After having worked with so many startups as a graphic and UI/UX designer, I thought to myself that starting a business was never going to be something I particularly wanted. I can say now though that it has been a truly gratifying experience and although accidental, one I don’t regret at all. It’s allowed me to learn so many skills, and meet and work with amazing people along the way, including family and very good friends. Best of all, it’s allowed me to make a mere impact on the lives of others, making fun memories for players and helping raise proceeds for nonprofits aiding the Latino community. Although some days I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing or would be better off making bank at an office job, I try to think of how far we’ve come and remember the mission of our games – representation para todos. I thank my team of chicas and family for helping me stay true to this mission and continue this journey that I hope is far from over.