College Student Creates Social Media Accounts to Celebrate Her Central American Heritage

Zaira Funes got tired of the media’s take on her Central American heritage so she created social media accounts as an antidote. (Photo: Getty Images)

Salvadorian-American Zaira Funes grew up in southern California surrounded by white people and some Latinos who were Mexicans. “I didn’t meet a lot of people from Central America growing up,” Funes tells Yahoo Beauty. “I didn’t even speak Spanish with the Salvadorian accent, it was more of a neutral Mexican accent.”

It’s not that she wasn’t proud of her roots. But the lack of representation in the media in the United States made her forget — momentarily — who she was. So she decided to take matters into her own hands by creating social media platforms to bring attention to the beautiful part of the world she comes from.

The various Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts highlight the diverse people from this region of the world, who according to Funes are “so different and unique and we all come together to empower one another.”

Since opening the accounts this past February, they have a grown a loyal following whose fans are incredibly grateful for the work Funes is doing.

Funes has involved her whole family in her project and often asks guidance from her parents who she says “have experienced the culture first-hand having lived there for many years,” unlike her who has visited El Salvador only a few times.

From actors and models to writers and philanthropists, Funes aims to showcase all the diversity and beauty of the isthmus.

Funes is majoring in political science and hopes her project keeps expanding. “I started this as a hobby but it’s truly becoming my passion, I am very proud of who we are and I feel my community needs more of this,” she says.

“I ask all my followers to share with me content to post, I did this project for them, I want our voices and what is important to us to be heard,” Funes says.

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