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March 13, 2023

Women’s History Month Feature: Ana, Marco and Mariel, and their WHM heroes!

We’re continuing to highlight Tierra Encantada staff members and their Women’s History Month heroes! Meet Ana, Marco and Mariel, and then meet their heroes- a trailblazer in the music industry, a Colombian war hero and family members that double as teachers of life lessons!

Photo- El Hormiguero

Ana Pineda-Ponce 

Ana is coming up on one year with Tierra Encantada, as our Receptionist and Administrative Assistant!

Ana’s hero is self-made and successful- and she goes into more detail about why those things matter.

“Becky G inspires me because she comes from a humble background. She is one of the most successful crossover singers on the US/Latin market. Not a lot of people can say they have hits on both charts!”

“Not only is she a successful artist, but she also has her own makeup line, she’s involved in her community and is great at giving back to those in need. She inspires me because we have a similar background and that encourages me to keep going and working hard, and to make an impact in my community.”

Photo: Guillermo Vasquez

Marco Suarez

Marco started at Tierra Encantada- Windom in 2021 as the Center Director, and began his journey as a District Manager in December. 

His hero this month is Policarpa Salavarrieta, also known as “La Pola”. Marco went into detail on La Pola’s meaningful contributions to his home country of Colombia.

“She was a heroine of the Colombian war of independence, a seamstress and helped the Revolutionary Forces during the Spanish Reconquista. She was a liberal woman, open minded, with a huge vision of the future of the nation, and her goal was to liberate the country from the slavery and the oppression of the Spanish empire. That was her main consideration for actively participating in political issues. She uncovered information about the Royalists and their influences, and secretly recruited young men to join the Revolutionary cause. The Spanish officers eventually uncovered her activities and captured her, and she was sentenced to execution by firing squad.”

“Her last words yelling were “I have more than enough courage to suffer this death and a thousand more.” When the squad began shooting she turned around to face the squad.”

“In honor of the anniversary of her death, November 14th was declared in my country as “The Day of the Colombian Woman”. She is a great inspiration for me and for others. She died for her principles, and she is an example of integrity, empowerment, leadership and the power of women.” 

Photo: Jim Forest

Mariel Vrtis

Mariel is our HR Generalist- meaning she wears a lot of hats within her department. That flexibility and fluidity of her position is what she loves- and her ability to be a resource for our Spanish-speaking employees. 

She touches on three different heroes- two she knows personally, and one that has gone down in history.

“My mom and my sister have always been teachers for me throughout my life. They help me when I’m struggling and support me when I am not. They are both hard workers- that is something I got from them.”

“Another historical hero of mine is Madre Teresa de Calcuta (Mother Teresa). Because of her big heart and how she constantly helped those in need, she is one of my biggest inspirations.”

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