My Story in hyphens



I’m Chicago-Raised, Quito- Born,and Brazil-Livin´Petite Cumbiera with a Samba Soul.  Una Viajera who writes in Spanglish cuz my mind is split into two hemispheres and between cultures. The World is my office. Welcome. Güelcom. Bienvenidos. Bem- Vindo. Current “office”right now:  Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, from my desk..aka Hammock.

On a personal journey with a backpack on-hand to find my identity  and  vocation within all my hyphens. These are chronicles of a Female Nomad in South America.

The worst part of travel is actually traveling. Confession:  I don’t actually like traveling. I enjoy staying.  Staying in a place to be greeted across the street from the “vizinhos” or “vecinos.” My “destino” is South America. More than a GPS destination this is  my personal journey of a U.S -raised and educated latina trying to figure out all these hyphenated identities society attaches and find this space to figure out myself as a human, a mujer, a latina, an immigrant to the U.S and an “expat” in South America.

I have backpacked. I have lived.  I have worked. I have volunteered throughout South America.  Quito and Salvador are my great chapters for my book called life. So far I have the chapter ” My so-Called Ecuadorian Life” about my three years living back to the place of my birth. “ My so-called Brazilian Life” is about my time in Brazil with almost a year living in Salvador da Bahia, and temporary hopping in Rio de Janeiro.

What was a two-month backpacking vacation has now turned into more than three years since I left my Chicago life. In a  journey of finding myself within all these hyphens, I went to be (re)rooted in South America to find those answers of identity and my personal mission in life.

I travel beyond wanderlust. I want to know, interact, connect, share stories, and tell you about these stories.  Human connection more than “likes.”

And as it turns out, I love to tell stories- the stories of the untold. Among my passion projects being worked on is my lemonade stand Samba Wallet and community and resource gatherer for BeVisible, a community career platform for Latinx utilizing peer-to-peer social capital for empowerment.

Now I’m in the current chapter of my book of trying to weave all my passions: travel, Latin America, storytelling, education, entrepreneurship, and feminism.

This is my-so-called-life.  Güelcom

Join the journey.

contact: cruz.michelle04(at)gmail(punto)com


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My work desk, my hammock





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