Natalia Vasquez is a visual artist, holistic practitioner, and a photographer who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 2017, she founded Heart in Brain Studios as a space to combine holistic and creative practices for processing trauma and provide photography for heart-led professionals and organizations.
From a young age, she learned to speak Spanish fluently because her parents dedicated a lot of energy to teaching her and her siblings within their home. Now, Natalia speaks and writes multiple languages.
In 2004, after having lived in Miami, Florida for many years, Natalia decided to move to Prague, Czech Republic. When she first moved there, she began working on translation projects. However, that quickly expanded to doing more interpretation work.
Once she returned to Miami in 2013, she met Hispanic Access network members Virginia Ansaldi and Shley Suarez-Burgos at a yoga studio. This would not only be the start of a great friendship, but also an opportunity to work for Hispanic Access Foundation. At the time, Virginia was working on an opportunity to get Latinos outdoors in Biscayne National Park in collaboration with the National Park Service and Hispanic Access. Virginia invited Natalia to come on as a photographer and document moments of Latinos in the national park. Since that opportunity, Natalia has continued to work with Hispanic Access Foundation and she currently serves as the main interpreter for Hispanic Access meetings and events.
“Hispanic Access Foundation is doing everything they can to educate, motivate, inspire, and bring people together in nature. They are an organization that is walking the talk.”
For Natalia, language is a powerful tool and she knows the potential that comes from it when used to bring communities together. Prior to interpreting for Hispanic Access, she was invited to virtually work with indigenous communities from around the globe to help bridge the language barrier. In Miami, she has been lucky to meet elders and receive healing and community based experiences. It has been and continues to be an honor to be invited to those sacred spaces. Natalia sees all the pain and the wisdom within that pain. She finds hope in seeing that wisdom and pain turned into healing for the planet.
“Language is such an important way of communicating, it is something that unites us all. There are so many other ways to communicate as well, such as through the arts and photography, but being able to use one of the languages I know for the dissemination of such valuable information just feels like a good way to spend my time.”
Now at Hispanic Access Foundation, Natalia feels grateful to not only bridge the language gap but also provide resources to the Latino community nationwide. From Latino Conservation Week, Latino Advocacy Week and Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Week events, to interpreting for board and advisory meetings, as well as sessions with senators and federal agencies, through interpretations, Natalia feels she is making a difference in Latinos lives.
“I love the direction that the foundation is taking, opening up to different nations and communities, all to elevate each other and serve our planet.”
Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and working with leaders like Natalia Vásquez, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation