Latinos Making a Difference (LMD) is the latest initiative of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino. Our mission is to tell the story of how Latinos have contributed greatly to our nation throughout its history—both then and now—from the founding of our nation to making a difference during the COVID-19 crisis.

For over 500 years, Latinos have played an instrumental role in the founding and building of our nation; serving, fighting, and dying in every war we have ever had. Whenever our nation has faced a turning point or a crisis, the Latino community was there to have an impact and make a difference.

The current COVID-19 crisis is no different.

The Friends of the American Latino Museum campaign was created to highlight not only the stories of America’s past but also from today. That is why we are presenting our Latinos Making a Difference (LMD) initiative: a series of stories of Latino leaders, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and ways that you can be part of making a difference.

If you have an LMD story to share, please send a short description of the story along with a photo and links of any media coverage by clicking below. We look forward to showcasing the strength and impact of our community through our networks for the benefit of all.

Featured Latino Making a Difference

Award-winning chef & Nobel Prize nominee José Andrés, along with the incredible team at World Central Kitchen, have worked tirelessly to distribute meals to those in need, activate chefs to help meet the need for meal service, and keep local restaurants working. Thank you for all that you do!

According the World Central Kitchen website, “after six weeks of WCK’s Relief Team working around the clock, our #ChefsForAmerica response to COVID-19 has served more than 3 million meals to vulnerable communities and frontline healthcare workers in over 155 cities in more than 25 states and territories. We are now serving nearly 200,000 meals each day across the country.”

The Time magazine article can be found HERE.

Latinos Making a Difference

Jesus Contreras – Paramedic and DACA Recipient in Houston, Texas

Jesus Contreras, 26, is a DACA recipient and paramedic in Houston, Texas. He helped fight Hurricane Harvey three years ago and says COVID-19 is a far bigger threat. Contreras told USA TODAY, “We haven’t seen its full potential yet.” Despite the increased risks that come with his line of work, he continues to proudly serve […]

Wendy Ramirez – Donating 50% of Face Mask Sales to Frontline Workers

Wendy Ramirez, Founder of fashion brand Intimalena, began selling face masks amidst COVID-19. In April, she raised $6,000 in sales and donated 50 percent to the Farmworkers COVID-19 Relief Fund to help frontline heroes. She continues to donate 50 percent of sales to important causes. Do you know a Latino Making a Difference on the […]

Luciana Gomez – Serving Coffee and Pastries to First Responders

As a small business owner, Luciana Gomez faced significant challenges after closing her coffee shop Café Victoria Dallas due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Her priorities were clear: keep her staff of four employed and help the local community. “I did not want to put more people in the unemployment pool,” Gomez said. Her small shop, […]

Melizabeth Santos – Turning Team USA Jerseys Into Masks

  Melizabeth Santos partnered with the Chicago-based U.S. Soccer Federation to use old jerseys worn by Team USA players and turn them into masks for frontline workers. Taking sewing lessons from her grandmother and mother since the age of five, this project requires Santos to combine her two biggest passions: sewing and soccer. Santos is […]

SBA’s Jovita Carranza – Helping Save Our Economy

Jovita Carranza is the 26th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). She was previously, the Treasurer of the United States. A true American dream success story, this Chicago native, had a distinguished 30-year career at UPS, where she rose through the ranks from part-time box handler to become the company’s President of Latin […]

Veronica Velasquez – Physical Therapist Helping the L.A. Community

Veronica Velasquez, 27, is a DACA recipient and physical therapist at a Los Angeles community hospital. Her job has become riskier as the number of coronavirus patients rises. She is one of about 27,000 DACA recipients working as doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health care workers.