I am my Grandmother’s Wildest Dream: Celebrating Latinx Excellence
Vanessa from the blog Wander Onwards is a Mexican-American living the digital nomad life abroad, so it's important for her to feel rooted as she travels and works thousands of miles from where her family has its roots. Her Utz Threads Ixkanul bag is a way to proudly wear this heritage on her sleeve while also helping her live her best digital nomad life.
"My bag from Utz Threads brings attention to the type of community I was raised in and allows me to continue to support those from a similar background as I carry on with my career."
I'd like to think some of my earliest memories set the foundation for who I am today. In 1995, my mother, father, newborn sister and I all lived with my grandma in a three-bedroom house. The third bedroom was occupied by my mom’s brother and his son, so our family of four were left to Tetris our beds within a single, cramped space. Even at a young age, I was confident enough to test the boundaries of my kingdom – two streets in each direction – to explore worlds unknown. I befriended loads of children in my area, from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds and languages, because I felt most at home as a guest in someone else’s home.
Little has changed today.
I’m still that curious child – blissfully unaware of my own limitations – and you can find me running through the streets of major cities like Paris or Prague, chatting away with anyone who will speak to me.
"I have a powerful passport and an even more powerful mind. I am a modern LatinX woman."
I’m not ignorant to my own privilege. I can hardly feel the impact of the same limitations and discrimination she faced all those years ago as a Mexican immigrant. With my flawless American accent and private university education, I am living her vision of the American dream. As a result of this privilege, my career has taken me across oceans and borders beyond what she could have possibly imagined. I have a German husband and Chinese cat (Xiao Huang) whilst living in the United Kingdom.
My grandmother was always so surprised when I ventured so far from our house as a child, can you imagine what she would think now?
"I can hardly feel the impact of the same limitations and discrimination [my grandmother] faced all those years ago as a Mexican immigrant."
Everything I have today, I owe to the men and women of my family who built dreams out of dust. Like those who came by choice to America so many years ago, my ancestors migrated north to follow dignified dreams of better wages, working conditions, and circumstances. Today, this continues to be a dream for many across the world, but unfortunate circumstances and strict immigration laws make this impossible for most.
By creating better living and working conditions in other markets, we are contributing to a greater goal – to bring dignity back into clothing production. This allows hardworking individuals to create a life for themselves that’s fair, dignified and provides social mobility. Instead of migrating in search of a better life, people can remain with their family, friends, and community while pursuing their own dreams within their local market.
"By creating better living and working conditions in other markets, we are contributing to a greater goal – to bring dignity back into clothing production."
This is where Utz Threads plays a role. Utz Threads is a cooperative-based accessory and clothing company that supports sustainability, growth, and empowerment in Guatemala. Everything that’s made is handcrafted by the women in the cooperative with love. Every piece bought contributes to better opportunities for the women, their families, and Guatemala’s trade industry. Every purchase puts power back into the hands of the artisans.
When I travel, I try to bring a little bit of my heritage with me wherever I go. Representing the Latinx community abroad allows me to be an ambassador beyond what the media (or politicians) spew to demonstrate the value that Latinx people add. My Ixcanul bag from Utz Threads brings attention to the type of community I was raised in and allows me to continue to support those from a similar background as I carry on with my career.
"I buy better, not more - because I want my money to speak on my behalf...put people before products by bringing a piece of Utz Threads along with you on your travels. "
Today, you can put people before products by bringing a piece of Utz Threads along with you on your travels. Whether you’re traveling through the Philippines or Poland, you’ll be carrying opportunity along with your most prized possessions.