Wake and sleep and wake again

Wake and sleep and wake again, every night was broken into pieces by the rough hands of her tormentors, and every night was colder and crueler than the night before. Then I went to Blawan with…


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National Hispanic Heritage Month

GumGum Spotlight: Vanessa Sanoja, Venezuela

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage month is a time of year where I support artists, whether it’s going to an art exhibition, attending a concert or eating at a local restaurant. In my neighborhood there’s an amazing pizza stand, owned by a hispanic family and they make delicious pies right out of their truck and for only 10 bucks!

With COVID it’s been hard to fund these types of events and places but I’ve been involved in different ways. Just reaching out to local businesses that have been struggling and finding methods to offer help or support have made a huge impact. These experiences and moments have brought us even closer together as a community and as a family.

How has your family & heritage shaped your perspective and influenced your life?

I moved to the States when I was eight years old, and before then my life was completely different. I couldn’t believe all the things you could get with a blink of an eye moving here. Walking into a Target was my first experience in a US retail store, and everything was brand-new and shiny, smelling of plastic. We usually received hand-me-downs in my early childhood years, so this was a very exciting time, especially when you’re a kid. Growing up in two different environments makes you really appreciate everything in life and not to take things for granted.

That’s the great part about living in Los Angeles, so many different cultural backgrounds, unique experiences and finding close friends that support your culture as well as theirs.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self navigating hardships or challenges you faced as a minority in the Latinx community?

About 10 years ago, a coworker in a higher position from a past agency approached me and asked “If I was different?” on my first day. I was absolutely insulted at the time but responded with a joke. If I had to give myself a piece of advice, it would be to stand up and teach someone when they are politically incorrect, because the majority of the time they probably don’t even realize that their behavior is wrong.

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