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Yahaira Uzcategui – Interview

Yahaira Uzcategui – Interview

Nationality:

I was born in Venezuela. I have Spanish and North American nationalities.

What do you do for a living? 

I am a PASOs health promoter at Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. Health Centers.

Why the Lowcountry?

My ex-husband has a brother who married a young woman from South Carolina. We came here on vacation and we both fell in love with the Lowcountry scenery. To me, for a strange reason, it brought back memories of Venezuela. When we returned from a 10-year stay in Spain, we moved to Beaufort.

What does Hispanic culture mean to you? 

It means diversity. Under the same name, very varied traditions, languages, and customs are brought together, with influences from indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans. What unites us? The one that almost all of us speak Spanish.  

Why have you been promoting this culture?

I do not consider myself a promoter of Hispanic culture. On the contrary, I promote much more learning English, adapting to how things are done here, appreciating and respecting the culture of this country that has received us and where we have come looking for a better life. This does not mean leaving behind our languages, traditions, and customs, but rather understanding that we are not in our countries of origin.

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Why work with PASOs? what are your occupations?

Unlike other US states, Latinos have only been living in South Carolina for a few years. PASOs is a community organization, Made In SC, that supports Spanish-speaking people to connect with health and social service resources. When we arrived here we immediately saw that things work differently in our countries and we don’t know where to go when we are sick or need services. PASOs and the promoters of PASOs are that bridge. We are immigrants too and we have had to learn a country different from ours.     

Message to Hispanic women:

Don’t let society and social media tell you what it means to be a woman. We have been created in the image and likeness of God. If He is a King to you, then you are a Princess.

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