ALEXTraveling, Immigration, and a shared love for the Guatemalan culture, we have it all this week with Joy Valerie of Part Time Exploradora on this week’s episode of Immigration MIC!

Her parents immigration from Guatemala, and growing up in Ozone Park NY, Valerie grew up with a mixed identity – starting with her story of her name. Valerie takes me through her journey growing up in Queens, moving to Sufferen, and eventually going to RIT – all while working to understand her identity growing up as a Guatemalan-American in these different settings.

Having attended engineering school, working with AmeriCorps (where she worked with children who had recently been detained at the border), to her current projects, Valerie is constantly innovating and working to open doors for herself.

Over the past five years, she’s traveled to twenty countries, which she frequently documents through her social media, which is a combination of traveling advice, photography, and social analysis through her own unique lens. She opens up about her sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression, and how her work helps center her (the way she describes it, I find to be personally inspirational.)

On immigration – Valerie has an important story to share. When searching for a new car, she learned cars were for sale in her community because people were making plans to leave because of the fear of the new administration. YES. THIS IS HAPPENING.

Valerie’s positivity, drive, enthusiasm, and creative energy is inspiring: I always look forward to all her posts, which you can find on IG at @parttimeexploradora, and shout out Bevisible Latinx for connecting us!

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