Latina to Latina

Happy 100th Episode Beloved Listeners!!

Episode Notes

We did it!!!!! Together, dear listeners, you and our team reached 100 episodes today. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude and love. Thank you for showing up every week, for sharing the show, and for letting us know how much celebrating inspiring Latinas means to you. In this special episode, Alicia and Juleyka reflect on what it's meant to them to make the show, their favorite interviews, and the new goal they've set: reaching 1 million listens by January 1, 2021!! We also hear from some of you, the best part of it all.

Follow @latinatolatina on Twitter and Instagram. If you loved this episode, listen to our Mother's Day episode and Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Show your love and become a Latina to Latina Patreon supporter! 

Episode Transcription

Alicia Menendez:

100 episodes. 

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams:


Menendez: In some ways, it feels like we should have 500 episodes. 


It does.

Menendez: Right? Like the amount of work that goes in. 


I have to say, though, I don’t have as many gray hairs as I thought I would have by the time we hit 100, so I think that that’s testament to our endurance, but also to like… At some point, we figured out how to do it and not die in the process. 

Menendez: Oh, that’s funny. I was going back through old transcripts to pull some of our favorite clips for this episode, and your notes to me were clearly notes from a stranger. It was like, “Alicia, yet another great interview. Here are some things I would change for next time.” Where like now the feedback’s just like, “Yo, you gotta do this differently the next time.” The courtship phase versus the marriage phase. 


Agreed. Agreed. I think that that’s part of what makes the show so good and so relatable. 

Menendez: It was about a year ago that we told everybody that we had hit the big 100,000-download marker.


Yeah. And we were freaking out. That was amazing. 

Menendez: Huge. Freaking out. 


And then very casually, like three weeks ago we hit 600,000, and I text you, and then something said, “Well, check that.” And I went back to when we had sent out the 100,000 email, and I was like, “No way.” We got half a million listens in the same amount of time. No way! And then I just… I was floating, honestly. I was floating. 

Menendez: It is wild for me as someone who has spent so much time chasing video and television as a primary form that this podcast is the place where I have finally found and been able to build the community that I have been seeking out in the 15 years since I graduated college. 


Amen. Totally agree. 

Menendez: And so, thank you for finding us, thank you for showing up week after week. Thank you for sharing us with the people in your life. I can’t tell you the joy it brings us, how grateful we are, and how grateful I am to now be a part of your lives. This is the beauty. I know that there are some of you who are listening for whom this is a podcast, and that is the only way that you interface with us, but there are also a lot of people who are now having conversations on our Instagram platform, having conversations in our Twitter thread using our hashtag, #LatinaToLatina. Having conversations without us. 


Oh yeah. Totally. We’re just like eavesdropping. 

Menendez: Which is how you know they’re family, that they’re now just having conversations about you without you. And you, when you and I met, you were a year into Lantigua Williams & Co.? 


Yeah, I was a year in, and it was through sort of like the freelance writing, and some other odd jobs, and some other things that I did, that I was able to get to a year later, when you and I met, and still have the company. And so, I’m so happy that all of the sacrifices that led to us working on Latina to Latina, that I was able to make those sacrifices, because making this show was what helped me to solidify who my audience was for everything else that I do. Like this show is what gave me the clarity to say, “There is a huge audience that deserves great content and that deserves attention, and that’s who I’m gonna focus on,” and if you look at everything that we’ve made, we are making it for this audience. 


Where do we go from here?


We’re going to a million, baby. And we’re taking everybody with us. So, here’s the infomercial: We have set the goal to hit one million downloads on January 1st, 2021, or before, but that’s our deadline, and we want every single one of you listening to be part of it. One, I think it would be amazing to do that, but more importantly, we want to send the message to podcasting as an industry that we are here, and that they have to take us seriously, and that there is a huge, untapped, sophisticated, smart audience that wants this show and many other shows to meet their needs. And so, we need your help. We want you to do this and cross that finish line side by side with us, so listen, and share, and share again, and listen again. We want to get to one million by January 1st, 2021. And we’re gonna keep you updated on our progress. 


Hey, Latina to Latina listeners, it’s Juleyka, executive producer of this show. I want to invite you to listen to How to [Mamí and Papí] About Anything. It’s my show that I host, and every week I talk to adult children of immigrant parents, like me, and you probably. We talk about things that are difficult, especially conversations that we’ve been avoiding with our loved ones. Things like mental illness, being the first to go to college, politics, we get into all of it. Subscribe to How to [Mamí and Papí] About Anything wherever you listen to your favorite, Latina to Latina. Thanks!

Menendez: First there was the pandemic, which we also watch disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities. We’re living through it, covering it as journalists, and then just as that story felt like it was beginning to subside, it gave way to the peaceful protests that we’ve seen calling for justice, accountability, and reform. 


Yeah. That’s been very difficult to watch, and you and I have talked about it, text about, and you’ve been really great about checking in on me. Just for context, my husband is African, and so I’m raising two Black boys in the United States right now. And so, I just see their faces everywhere. When anything happens, I just see their faces, and so it’s been difficult, but Alicia also took the leadership, and she had the clarity to say, “We need to do something.” And I was so thankful that she did, because I was caught up in my feelings, and we would have missed an opportunity, and so she really quickly put Marisa and Rosa’s episode together, and I was so proud of us for being able to do that, and for understanding that it was important to do that for our audience, and to have our show acknowledge. Beyond participating in Blackout Tuesday, to have the show really acknowledge the gravity, and to talk about Latinos’ role in bringing racial justice to this country. Thank you guys, for coming along. I love that you trust us and it’s not an easy trust, and it’s a trust that we hold in a very sacred space, and that we always take into consideration when we’re making decisions about who to bring on the show. 

Menendez: I will tell you, there are a lot of moments from the past 99 episodes that I find myself thinking about on a pretty regular basis, like things that people have said that I go back to in my mind. I know when I said to you, “Oh, we should pull some of our favorite clips for this hundredth episode, there was one that jumped to your mind immediately.” 


Oh, because I’ve took it as a personal mantra. As soon as I heard, like I was listening to the episode to edit it, and Christy Haubegger was talking about her experiences, and she said, “I don’t fail. I either win or I learn.” And I was like, “Hallelujah! Amen! Light a candle.” I will never forget that, because it crystallized for me the importance of understanding that you grow from everything that happens to you. That yes, you can mourn things that happen to you that don’t go your way, that you can deem as failures, but you cannot miss the opportunity to grow from them and the opportunity to learn from them. And so, I think about that all the time, and I hope that other people were able to pause on that message, because that was an amazing interview. I think about it all the time and I ask myself, “What am I learning from this? Like what is the thing I’m supposed to learn from this?” 

Menendez: Have you ever failed at anything? 

Christy Haubegger:

Oh yeah, I fail all the time. 

Menendez: Like what?

Haubegger: I failed to go to the gym this morning. But I think there’s a great opportunity in failure. I always say I don’t fail. I either win or I learn, right? If you can get rid of your dignity and use every failure as an opportunity to learn, because you’re willing to ask people, the question is what could I have done better, what didn’t work for you here, all of those things I find to be really, really easy to ask. 

Menendez: I’m still not buying it. 

Haubegger: Oh gosh. 

Menendez: Can you tell me about a time that you failed? 

Haubegger: Oh, yeah. I mean, let’s see. At one point, I realized for Latina, I had hit up 200 investors. I got 5 yeses. I got 195 nos. You could call each of those a failure. There are people that I’d like to represent that we don’t represent. I’ve failed so far. 

My job is one of persuasion and I often fail to persuade people. If I hadn’t failed so much, the industry would look like the world and it doesn’t yet, so I feel like until that’s righted, I’m not done. 


But Alicia, you also picked out a really good one. 

Menendez: It feels like yesterday that I was talking into Univision and having this conversation with Ilia Calderón, and what struck me is Ilia in the interview is pretty reserved, but there was this one moment where I felt like she let her guard down and was just like, “No, this is the way it is.” Like she wasn’t cerebral about it at all. She was like, “You just go for it.” And the ethos and the energy of this exchange has stuck with me. 

Menendez: Talk to me about 2001 and making that leap from Colombia to the U.S. market, because I have to imagine that was the biggest leap you’ve made in your career. 

Ilia Calderón: I was in Colombia working for CM&, one of the main newscasts in primetime. I came to the United States on vacation and I wanted to know-

Menendez: I love how people come to Miami, and they go to live in South Beach. You swung by Telemundo. 

Calderón: No, I wanted to go to Telemundo to see how the journalists that I used to see worked, so I went there through a friend of a friend that works there. They gave me a tour, and when I sat down with Maggie Van de Water, I want to mention her name because she was the one that changed everything. She told me, “What do you do?” I said, “I’m a news anchor in Colombia.” 

“But why didn’t you do the casting in Colombia?” I said, “What casting?” “Well, eight months ago we went to Colombia and we had a casting. We brought the main anchors in the country and you were not there.” I said, “Well, no one told me about a casting.” She said, “Would you do a casting now?” I said, “Of course.” Then she called the Vice President of News in Telemundo, and he told me, “Let’s do a casting.” 

Menendez: What? I mean, I’ve heard people say right place, right time, but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a story like this before. 

Calderón: That’s it. He came, we did the casting. The very same day, I was sitting with Jim McNamara, the President of Telemundo, and he was offering me a job. 

Menendez: is there any part of you that’s like, “We gotta pump the brakes. This is all happening too fast.” 

Calderón: But you know what? Like you said, being at the right place at the right time. But at the same time, making decisions and not being afraid of making big decisions. 

Menendez: Right. 

Calderón: I had a relationship in Colombia for two years-

Menendez: Like a romantic relationship? 

Calderón: Yeah, my boyfriend, and we’re in a serious relationship. Not engaged, but in a serious relationship. When this opportunity opened for me, I said like-

Menendez: Bye. 

Calderón: Bye, everything. Bye, everything. I had my mom and my sisters by side. He understood, of course. He was not going to ask me to stay. I was not going to ask him to come with me, because he had his own career there. So, in those terms, everybody was good. Sometimes when you see those big opportunities come to you, you have to say, “Yes.” You have to leave all the fears behind and say, “This is mine. It just happened for a reason and I have to take it.” 

Menendez: We imagined this to be very much conversations about Latinas’ professional journeys, and that certainly is where we’ve put our focus, but it is a lot of the personal moments that have really stayed with me. 


Same. I definitely agree with that. I mean, I’ve definitely learned a lot from hearing about people’s professional journeys, but the imprints, the things that have really lingered with me, have been things like hearing Nina Vaca, who started a company with $300 and now is the sole proprietor of a company valued at $1 billion, right? Hearing about how they lost her father and how that emptiness that losing a parent leaves in you, in your spirit, how that has really propelled her not just to achieve, but to bring a ton of people with her. Honestly, hearing her talk about her dad helped me to think about my dad, which is a subject that I basically just avoid. And it gave me a little bit of pause about the need for me to create a place for that emptiness, and to acknowledge it. 

Menendez: Your parents owned a travel agency. By 15, you were basically a travel agent. 

Nina Vaca: For sure. 100%. My sister and I would race to see who could do a reservation faster than the other, and everything changed when my father brought a Sabre dumb terminal to the business. It was our first computer. It was with the green screen and it transformed my father’s business. It revolutionized it. It was a very manual business. Back then, you used to actually hand write tickets, and so we used to keep the ticket stock in the back room, along with the plates in  a safe, and that was very valuable to a thief. 

Menendez: Because that is the challenge of talking about the travel agency, which has both brought incredible opportunity into your family’s life, and also incredible tragedy. 

Vaca: Yeah. 

Menendez: Can you tell us what happened? 

Vaca: When I was 17, I woke up one day and I found out that my father had been murdered in his travel agency. Because we kept the ticket stock in the back, and they were blank, and the plates of every single airline was there, it became very valuable. My family was devastated. My father left behind five children and we were devastated. My father didn’t have any life insurance. There was no 401(k) program. To say that it was a devastation in our family would be an understatement. And so, we decided that the best way for us to propel the family is to actually get an education. And my sister made me promise. She said, “It’s either me or you.” And we decided that I was gonna go to college. 

So, I went to my mother and I asked her if she would put me through school. I told her I didn’t want to run the business any longer. My sister backed me up and encouraged my mother to sell the business, and my mother sold the business, and my mother and my older sister put me through school. If it weren’t for my sister and my mom, I wouldn’t have a college education, and that college education is the beginning of a 23-year story. 


All right, so you guys know Alicia cries on average one out of four episodes. 

Menendez: I mean, I’ve already cried this episode. Thank you very much. Round it up. Round it up. 


Okay, so 1.7 times out of every 4 episodes. But her interview with Julissa Prado, the founder of Rizos Curls, had me crying. 

Menendez: We caught Julissa in this amazing moment, where she had just learned that her product line was going to be picked up at Target, and so-


Huge deal. 

Menendez: Very often when we’re sitting down, we’re talking with people, those milestones are in the rear view, and she was in it. And so, the emotion and the reality of it was so real. But I think part of the reason that you and I remember that, and you’ll hear it in a second, is there is a lot of emotion, a lot of gratitude, a lot of love, and then she pivots so fast to the reality of the moment we are in when it comes to opportunity for Latinas, that that second part gave me whiplash. Take a listen. 

Menendez: You posted a video on Instagram after you received the first photo of a customer seeing the product on shelves at Target, and there was something you kept saying in the video, which was, “I’m not supposed to be here.” 

Prado: Oh yeah, so that makes me really emotional, because it’s true. I feel like… I don’t know if it’s like imposter syndrome, or what it is, but I feel like it’s different when you grow up in communities where that just never happens, you know? Like when you don’t see, when you think of entrepreneurs, I feel like a lot of times that word never gets attributed Latinos, never gets attributed to somebody who comes from immigrant parents. So, I feel like for me, and my customer, and my family, being on that shelf, it isn’t just like a product being on the shelf. It’s a testament to all of my family and my community’s hard work and determination. And for me, it’s like I think about seeing that product on that shelf, I think about all the work that went into it, from my dad wanting to come to this country, going through a rat-infested sewer, to working so many jobs, to sacrificing so much so that I could have everything, so that I could have access to better schools, so that I could have education, so that I could be more than what he had. 

Like my mom never went to school at all, like she barely learned how to read and write when she was like already an adult. So, I think for me, when I say that, it just means people that grow up like that, you just think, “That could never be me.” That’s where it comes from.

Menendez: I’m gonna ask you one last question. What is your advice for other Latinas who want to make products for other women? 

Prado: Oh my God. So, my advice is, so I don’t know if you guys have read the… I think it’s a 2019 Nielsen report on Latinas. Latinas 2.0. 

Menendez: Sorry, you just hard pivoted back to your MBA school demeanor. 

Prado: Let me just tell these women. 

Menendez: You’re like, “Let me just wipe this tear off and talk to you about some statistics.” 

Prado: And take you all to school real quick. Let me just tell y’all. I don’t know if you guys have read it. If you haven’t, download it. Look up Latinas 2.0 Nielsen report. It’s about a 55-page report analyzing Latinas in every single industry as consumers and showing how much power and how extraordinary they are, and how they are drivers. Economy drivers. They are trend drivers. They are drivers in every single industry, from music, to art, to culture, to food. Everything, right? 

Take that report and know that that report told every single big company, that probably doesn’t care about us, doesn’t understand us, that has a workforce that doesn’t look like us, and they’re out here trying to now capture this market. But you guys have an advantage. If you Latinas, the first, you don’t just create a product, you create a solution to a problem. Y’all already have an advantage in that you understand these problems, so therefore creating a solution is so much easier for you, because you come with this insight. What they have to pay so much money, and research, and hire, onboard all these people, and do all these things, you already know innately, because you are who you are, and you know how to speak to your consumer better than anybody with millions of dollars. 

My mantra has always been, “What you lack in marketing dollars, you make up for it in creativity and hustle.” And let me tell you, so many of these Latinas that I meet whenever I do these events, y’all are mothers, y’all have a side job, y’all make hats, y’all have like… You guys wear so many different hats and are just so talented. You can create things. You’re a producer. You are an innovator. You have so much more power and insight than you know. 

Menendez: We asked for you all to send us notes in honor of the 100th episode and you did not disappoint. 


Not at all. 

Menendez: I will say I cried listening to these the first time. I cried listening to these the second time. So-


I only cried the first time. 

Menendez: I know. Listen, we get it. You’re the strong one. Let’s let them play, because they speak for themselves. 

Ana: Felicidades Latina to Latina on your 100th episode. Wow. 100th was just added to the list of difficult words for me to pronounce in English. Anyways, I cannot wait for 100 episodes more of conversations that are simultaneously deep and funny, and íntimas and geniales. What I love most about this podcast is Alicia’s way of crafting the perfect question every single time. Everyone sounds like they are being their authentic selves, and that is truly precious. Gracias, Latina to Latina. ¡Un abrazo grande!

Damaris: Hi, Latina to Latina. Your podcast is one of my favorites. I absolutely love all the stories. I loved learning about The Likeability Trap. I loved Lilliam Rivera’s quote about how for us Latinas, failure is simply not an option, and your podcast allows me to unpack so many different things, which is great and allows me to figure out different things, too, and it opens up conversations with me and other Latinas in healthcare, which is what I am. And it inspired me to start my very own podcast. You guys are amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you. 

Diana: Hello, beautiful people over at Latina to Latina. This is Diana, your biggest fan. I just wanted to say congratulations on your 100th episode, and I want to tell you that I absolutely adore the show. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been inspired by listening to all the interviews, and you inspired me to create my own podcast, and also you helped me overcome my fear of driving, because I drove all the way out to New Jersey to see you talk to Dolores Huerta, and that was one of the best days of my life, literally. I overcame my fears. I met Alicia and Juleyka in person. And I met Dolores Huerta, so it was an all around awesome day. I wish you much, much, much, much success, lots more amazing conversations, and keep lifting up all the voices and the stories of all the amazing Latinas! So, congrats again! 

Joaquin: Alicia, congratulations to you and Juleyka and the rest of your team on your 100th episode. It’s my ride or die podcast and the only podcast that I look forward to week after week. Thank you for creating this space for Latinas to share their stories, honor their sacrifices, and celebrate their accomplishments. Especially that episode with Julissa. Am I the only one that cried listening to it? I’m proud to be a listener and a supporter, and here's to 10,000 more episodes. ¡Felicidades! 

Tina: The first Latina to Latina episode that I listened to was Ramona Rosales. This was the first time that I was listening to a podcast that was really directed to the Latin community, and I, being Puerto Rican on my father’s side, I always felt that I identified as Puerto Rican, but that others didn’t see me that way, and I downplayed maybe parts of that. And listening to your podcast has made me feel so much more connected to my community, to my family, to myself as a Puerto Rican woman, as a Puerto Rican artist, and I’m forever grateful. Thank you. 

Vanessa: Hi, Alicia and Latina to Latina, congratulations on this 100th episode milestone. That is such an impressive body of work, of which I’m sure you’re very proud, as you should be. I am a Latina myself that recently relocated from San Diego, in Southern California, to Portland, Oregon, for the editorial job that I had been chasing for some time, and while I’m super proud to be here and happy to be here, I am definitely still struggling to make connections with other people of color, mainly because I am now inside all the time thank to our girl, Rona. But this place definitely is just not as diverse as where I come from, but having podcasts like these in my ears to at least digitally introduce me to activists, directors, producers, musicians, women running billion-dollar companies… You are just spreading the word about Latinas that are out here forging paths bravely, unapologetically, and often imperfectly, which is just so inspiring to hear for those of us trying to do the same in our fields. So, please keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you again for the content that you create. I hope you get to do so for hundreds of episodes more. 

Menendez: That was Ana, Damaris, Diana, Joaquin, Tina, and Vanessa. Thank you for your beautiful words and thank you to all of our listeners who sent us your voice notes. We’re always curious about how you experience this thing that we’re putting into the world and making with so much love. Literally, Juleyka and I run to read your reviews. So, again, one million episodes, January 1, 2021. Let’s do this. Or before. It’s in your hands. Even with my entire family listening, and Juleyka’s entire family listening, we cannot get to one million downloads without you, so please keep doing what you’re doing. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way. 

Menendez: Thank you as always for joining us. Latina to Latina is executive produced and owned by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams and me, Alicia Menendez. Cedric Wilson is our sound designer. Manuela Bedoya is our intern. We love hearing from you. Email us at and remember to subscribe or follow us on RadioPublic, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, wherever you’re listening. And please, please leave a review. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to help us grow as a community. 


Menendez, Alicia, host. “Happy 100th Episode Beloved Listeners!!.” Latina to Latina, Lantigua Williams & Co., June 22, 2020.