2024 Speakers

Tinabeth Piña

Tinabeth Piña

Creator and Executive Producer, Globe Scholars ™
Tinabeth Piña is an EMMY® award-winning multi-media journalist who has worked on air and behind the scenes for ABC, FOX, PBS, A&E, The History Channel & Oxygen to name a few! She is currently the creator, executive producer and host of the nationally syndicated and EMMY® nominated travel show GLOBE SCHOLARS™ – a program that documents students as they study abroad. She is also the managing editor at CUNY-TV – The City University of New York’s EMMY® award-winning television station as well as the creator, executive producer, and host of LATiNAS – the channel’s monthly award-winning magazine show that celebrates the women of the Latinx community nationwide. And as if that’s not enough, Tinabeth is also a travel vlogger for — TinabethTravels.com, the author of CHA-CHIING! The Unemployed’s Guide to Finding Your Next TV Production Job and is also a commercial actress who has been seen in TV ads for SEARS, XFINITY, IBM, SAP, and most recently PNC BANK. Follow her @tinabethpina
Joseph Rios

Joseph Rios

Content Creator

Joseph is a Real Estate professional and Travel Enthusiast. He has been using the points system to travel in some of the world’s best Business Class products since 2021. His main focus is to get the most value out of your points while spending the least amount of money possible. His goals are to continue to travel the world while enjoying the journey.

Claudia Mendoza

Claudia Mendoza

Founder | Mami Chula Social Club

Claudia's Bio
Claudia Mendoza is a Dominican-American entrepreneur and philanthropist dedicated to creating safe spaces for women of color to heal and become empowered.

Her work has been recognized by national media outlets like the New York Times, CBS, and Telemundo. A proud Dove partner and global ambassador, advocating for the inclusion and representation of women of color in the beauty industry. Prior to establishing the Mami Chula Social Club, Claudia worked in public service where she worked on expanding opportunities to immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Her proudest accomplishments to date are raising $20,000 in 3 days for Latinas y Lideres, an all-girls leadership camp in the Dominican Republic through a bilingual production of the Vagina Monologues in 2020 and creating Mami Chula Social Club so that her mother can make friends.  

Yenelsa Duran

Yenelsa Duran

Founder of Hay Planes to Travel Agency + Travel Content Creator

Yenelsa is an Afro-Latina who fell in love with solo traveling in 2016 and has not looked back since. She shares content on her solo travel experiences, safety tips, and inspiration for your next destination. Her passion for travel ultimately led her to become a travel professional and in 2022, she founded her travel agency—Hay Planes to Travel. As a travel consultant, she leverages her own travel experiences to support her clients in booking their dream trips. She aims to be a resource for people of color so that they feel like well-informed and empowered travelers.

Meliza Fernandez

Founder of Killer Bodies NYC

Meet Meliza, the dynamic force driving KILLER BODIES, a movement that’s reshaping the fitness world with a blend of passion, empowerment, and inclusivity. When Meliza peered into NYC’s fitness scene, she envisioned a future where every body type is celebrated, where dance and movement are powerful tools for empowerment, and where every woman owns her space unapologetically. KILLER BODIES is more than a fitness regimen; it’s a declaration of self-ownership, a challenge to societal norms, and a celebration of every stride toward personal growth. Meliza has inspired countless women to find their ‘killa’ selves, fostering transformations that transcend the physical to touch on deep-rooted confidence, empowerment, and self-love. IN 2019 she took her message worldwide. KILLERCATIONS are the one of a kind transformative fitness retreats, guaranteed to not only changing how you see yourself, but also change your views on how you travel. Community, adventure, culture and fitness all wrapped into a dreamy, lively and unforgettable experience.

Maribel Monsalve

Maribel Monsalve

Blogger/Content Creator

Maribel is a first-gen, elder millennial, and seasoned solo female traveler, travel blogger, and content creator with a passion for exploration. Since 2007, she has ventured into the world independently, blending work and leisure seamlessly. Having volunteered at the Latino Travel Fest last year, Maribel is dedicated to empowering Latinas to embark on their solo travel journeys. Through her experiences and insights, she inspires others to embrace the freedom and adventure of solo exploration. Join Maribel at the Latino Travel Fest and discover the transformative power of traveling alone.

Ivonne Morales

Ivonne Morales

Content Creator

Content creator based in New York, Ivonne’s passion for travel and photography has grown over time as she has journeyed to over 50 countries. She is dedicated to showing her Latine community how to fuel their wanderlust by traveling smarter and more purposefully.

Mariela Regalado

Educator & Storyteller

In 2019, Mariela made a bold move, relocating to her hometown of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. There, she worked as a professional development coach at a local non-profit, helping to uplift her community and make a difference in the lives of others. Mariela lives a dual citizenship life, splitting her time between the Dominican Republic and the United States with her daughter, who is also an andariega. Through her experiences, Mariela wants to inspire others to know that returning to their homeland and living a dual citizenship life is not only possible but also fulfilling. In addition to her advocacy work, Mariela is a talented writer, expressing her experiences through poetry, prose, articles, and blogging.

Porfirio García

Director of Marketing for the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce & GoElizabethNJ/Elizabeth Tourism

Porfirio is an accomplished creative design and marketing professional with over 24 years of experience, currently serving as the Director of Marketing for the Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Tourism for Elizabeth, New Jersey. He has a proven track record of delivering impressive results, such as generating $122 million in educational construction projects and securing significant client acquisitions like Wal-Mart. Additionally, his military service in the 101st Airborne Division, where he earned accolades such as Division Soldier of the Quarter, has equipped him with discipline and leadership skills that have been invaluable throughout his career.

Rafael Peña

Rafael Peña

Content Creator

For the last 10 years travel expert and journalist Rafael Peña has committed his life to changing his community’s perspective of travel. Focusing on transformative food experiences and luxury travel through travel hacks, Peña offers poignant personal knowledge of how to travel the world like a pro.

Kevin Sandoval

Kevin Sandoval

Travel Content Creator

Kevykevvworldwide is a passionate first-generation Latino traveler, content creator & advocate for LatinX representation in the travel industry. Having explored 56 countries and counting, Kevin shares his captivating stories and experiences from around the globe via his social media platforms.

With a focus on travel and food content, Kevykevv, who is based out of Boston, Massachusetts, offers a unique perspective on affordable luxury experiences, proving that travel can be enriching without breaking the bank. Deeply rooted in his cultural Dominican heritage, Kevykevv celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity within the travel community.

Through his engaging content and advocacy efforts, Kevin inspires others to embrace exploration, celebrate cultural diversity, and pursue their travel dreams, regardless of background or budget. Join Kevykevv on his journey as he continues to empower and uplift latinX travelers & beyond, worldwide.

Rosa Castillo

Rosa Castillo

Digital Creator

Based out of the vibrant NJ/NYC area, Latina digital creator Rosa embodies the joy of simple pleasures, particularly the thrill of exploration. Whether embarking on faraway adventures or local getaways, Rosa finds equal delight in the journey itself.

Her expertise in photography, photo editing, and content creation shines through her work, making her a captivating collaborator. As a blogger and content creator, Rosa leverages her engaged audience to amplify brands and craft compelling content across various advertising, marketing, and social media channels.

Carlos Ivan Martínez

Carlos Ivan Martínez

Author & Content Creator

Carlos' Bio
Travel Blogger and Puerto Rico Tourism influencer. Author of children book “Carlitos the Wanderluster”.

Carlos is the first Puerto Rican to visit all 50 states and has traveled to many countries as well.   

Jose Espinoza

President of Eaterie

Jose Espinoza is the President of Eaterie, an AI-powered social foodie app. A serial technologist, Jose has a proven track record in developing innovative solutions that enhance user experiences. His expertise in business development has driven multiple successful ventures, fostering growth and expansion in competitive markets. As a dedicated community builder, Jose emphasizes creating strong networks and collaborative environments, ensuring that technology serves to connect and enrich communities. His leadership at Eaterie is marked by a commitment to integrating cutting-edge AI with social engagement, making dining discovery and social sharing more personalized and dynamic.

Carla Vaca Pinacho

DEI Project Coordinator at Miles Partnership

Carla Vaca Pinacho is a dedicated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Project Coordinator at Miles Partnership, a strategic marketing agency specializing in the travel and tourism industry. With the help of her team, she plays a pivotal role in spearheading and implementing Miles’ organizational strategies centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As well as, managing the seamless execution of an array of DEI-focused internal and external projects.

As an advocate for multicultural groups and communities, she has been able to contribute to numerous internal initiatives at Miles Partnership. Which has led to an increase of knowledge and participation from the employees. She has helped to support the development of conference work, client deliverables, projects and third-party partnerships. While currently helping to support Miles’ internal education efforts and employee-led DEI Committee.

Beyond her role at Miles Partnership, Carla serves as a distinguished member of the Board of Advisors for Travel Unity, volunteer for Latino Travel Fest planning committee, and founder of Lati(nos) in Travel.

Carla’s educational journey at the University of South Carolina, where she graduated as a Tourism Management major, further solidified her passion for creating multicultural events and promoting international travel. Her immersive experience in sustainable tourism during a transformative study abroad program in the Galápagos Islands underscored her commitment to responsible and ethical travel practices. Notably, her active involvement as a research intern for the Richardson Family SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, coupled with her participation in the Time for DMOcracy study by Miles Partnership, highlighted her dedication to shaping impactful industry insights.

During her time at the University of South Carolina, Carla engaged as a proactive contributor and leader in various advisory boards and student organizational roles underscoring her dedication to fostering an inclusive and vibrant academic community.

Carla’s extensive hands-on experience in the tourism and customer service industry has been instrumental in shaping her versatile skill set and leadership capabilities. Having honed her expertise in various hospitality and tourism environments, including country clubs, luxury hotels, and retail establishments, she has adeptly navigated complex operational challenges and cultivated a keen understanding of customer-centric service delivery. Her experiences have positioned her as a seasoned industry professional, equipped with an astute understanding of the dynamics of the tourism and hospitality sector.

George Torres

Founder, Sofrito Media Group

George Torres is an award-winning dynamic storyteller, producer, workshop facilitator, change agent, and social media visibility consultant who passionately elevates Latino culture. With a strong focus on preserving and promoting our heritage, George works tirelessly to raise awareness about brands and initiatives that celebrate the richness of Latino culture.

In today’s ever-changing world, George recognizes the critical role of social storytelling in building engaging cultures for success in a competitive marketplace. His areas of expertise include digital storytelling, social media strategy, live and virtual event production, workshop and training facilitation, campaign project management, Hispanic/Latino content marketing, and influencer talent recruitment and development.

George collaborates with a diverse range of clients, including brands, startups, corporations, and organizations seeking to reach Latino audiences across the media spectrum. His deep understanding of the community enables him to forge meaningful connections and help his partners effectively engage with their target audience.

His newest project, Siembra Academy is a digital media platform that creates conversational events, channels, curriculums, and social campaigns. These initiatives promote healthy and sustainable entrepreneurship for digital creators like you.

Originally an organic grassroots movement for creators impacted by the pandemic, today, Siembra Academy is a vibrant haven for digital entrepreneurs seeking to ignite their creativity, forge meaningful connections, and redefine success in a supportive community.

Jennifer Luna

Founder of the Moon Moments

Jennifer Luna, an avid traveler and Mom of 2 has learned to adjust her traveling once my youngest was born with some medical concerns and developmental delays. She hopes to inspire parents of children, with special needs, to create memories and build connections while increasing learning opportunities with their children during traveling. She has a big passion for travel planning and an appreciation of culture. But most importantly love reminds moms that self-care is important, and they are not alone, especially with all the challenges one is faced with when raising a child with special needs.

Daniela Pérez

Founder of Explora Magazine

Daniela Pérez is a bilingual teacher, a traveler, and the founder of Explora Spanish magazine. She became a writer for kids while avoiding doing the dishes, and grading school papers. She takes procrastination to new levels by mapping out and journaling about all the places she will go with her familia. Born and raised in Chile, a global citizen, calling Minneapolis, Minnesota home.

Vanessa Gonzalez-Hernandez

Tourism & Hospitality Marketing Expert

With my story and experience, I’d like to inspire and encourage attendees to join the tourism industry to create a more diverse ecosystem, where Latinx are taking senior roles and making decisions. It’s about time that Latinos start taking space in leadership positions, where we also enlighten others on the impact of Latinos in travel, tourism, and hospitality.

Mauricio Vega

Founder of Latin plug

Vega, an entertainment entrepreneur and visionary, founded Latin Plug in 2017, an educational and advertising platform that promotes emerging talent in the entertainment industry. Through events like The Conference and Festival and the Latin Plug Awards, he has honored renowned artists and expanded his presence across Latin America. As a professional member of The Recording Academy, he has demonstrated his commitment to music. Additionally, his philanthropic work includes establishing homes in South America and organizing marches in support of social causes. Vega continues to make his mark in the world of entertainment and the global community.

Johileny Merán

Disabled Traveler

Johileny Merán is a RestorativeDC program assistant at SchoolTalk DC who supports the restorative justice senior project manager in maintaining stakeholder relationships, leading programming in schools, and aiding the RestorativeDC implementation team. A Disabled Afro-Dominican immigrant raised in NYC, she’s passionate about advocacy, education, and empowering youth. Previously, she coordinated programs at Mobility International USA, focusing on disability inclusion in international exchange. With a BA in Global Public Health and Sociology with a minor in Disability Studies from New York University, Johileny champions inclusion in study abroad programs, college communities, and emergency response. In her free time, she mentors and shares her travel experiences.

Cindy Y. Rodriguez

Cindy Y. Rodriguez

Founder of Reclama

Cindy Y. Rodriguez (she/her/ella) is a writer, editor and storyteller who has worked in journalism for over 15 years for companies like NBC, HuffPost, CNN, and, presently, as a senior digital producer at WNET/Thirteen, the local PBS station in New York.

She specializes in creating impactful and diverse content for English-dominant Latinos with a focus on identity, culture, and race. Recently, she shared her wealth journey as host/producer on “Hay Dinero”, a five-part docuseries that provides practical financial planning tips for the Latinx community while shedding light on the connection between culture and generational trauma.

She co-founded Morado Lens, an award-nominated feminist podcast discussing sex, culture, and embracing our inner bruja where they interviewed powerful Latinas such as Alexandria Ocasio, Dolores Huerta, and Rosario Dawson. In 2018, she created Reclama, spiritual hiking and journaling which has organized over 65 outdoor events and created a safe space in nature for more than 850 women of color. Cindy was born and raised in New Jersey by her Peruvian parents and identifies as indigenous.

Vanessa Fondeur-Adams

Vanessa Fondeur-Adams

Founder, Latino World Travelers

Vanessa's Bio
Vanessa Fondeur-Adams is a fierce and adventurous Dominican Jefa. As a NYC educator with insatiable wanderlust, she wanted her hugely underrepresented high school students to experience the world beyond the textbooks and become more global-minded so Vanessa began leading students on educational tours to countries such as China, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, and Spain. Now as founder of Latino World Travelers – a global community for Latinos, she looks to expand on her passion for travel one Latino/x at a time, one passport stamp at a time. Her mission is to empower Latinos/x to experience the world, and diversify the face of travel. In her fight to have Latinos represented in the travel industry, this past March, she launched the first-ever Latino Travel Fest with over 50 speakers in 16 different panels and 5 culturally immersive experiences. The goals are to educate the Latino/x community about how they can make travel part of their lifestyle, and provide a platform to spotlight travel creators, bloggers, and thought-leaders.

Flavia Cornejo

Flavia Cornejo

Founder of Latina Traveler

Flavia Cornejo, better known as Latina Traveler, is a travel blogger, writer, and group trip host currently based in Portugal. She writes about solo female travel, life abroad, and the First Generation Latine experience. So far she has lived abroad in 8 countries and visited 37 countries. Her current goal is to visit 50 countries by 50, she is 2 1/2 years and 13 countries away from reaching this goal! Follow her journey on her blog for more: latinatraveller.com.

Edén Soto Alva

Edén Soto Alva

Content Creator

Edén Soto Alva is a Peruvian journalist based in Dallas with over a decade of experience. He shares travel guides, tips, and experiences on Edén de Viaje, a platform he started on social media 4 years ago. A graduate in Communications from The University of North Texas, Edén made his mark as an anchor and reporter at Univision from 2011 to 2017 and most recently worked as a content creator for Noticias Para Inmigrantes. Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his excellence in journalism, having received three Emmy awards. Edén continues to make a significant impact in the world of media with his dedication and passion for storytelling.

Milka Rodriguez

Milka Rodriguez

CEO & Founder, Globetrotting Dominicana LLC

Milka Rodriguez is professionally trained in Environmental Policy and Law and an avid sustainable traveler having traveled to 23+ countries and many more cities. She is the founder of Globetrotting Dominicana, a social venture that aims to raise awareness of sustainable tourism and decolonized climate education via tours, service learning, and leadership programming in the Dominican Republic. This work has been featured by the Nomadic Network, Nomadness Fest, NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, Latin American Coalition of Environmental Educators, and the Institute of Dominicans in the Exterior. She is also an enthusiast for salsa dancing, cycling, and hiking.

Bernadette Carter

Founder and Content Creator of Our Food Visas

Meet Bernadette of Our Food Visas, a Brooklyn-born Afro-Latinx foodie who’s traded the Big Apple for the Nation’s Capital. With a passion for exploring flavors and cultures, Bernadette has spent years traversing the globe, sampling street food delights and high-end culinary experiences. From the spicy heat of Caribbean jerk to the rich flavors of Latin American cuisine, Bernadette’s taste buds know no borders. Now calling Washington, DC home, she’s on a mission to share her love of food and culture with the world, one delicious bite at a time. Follow Bernadette’s culinary adventures as she discovers hidden gems, meets the people behind the plates, and celebrates the diversity that makes our world a tastier place.

Jessica Gonzalez

Director of InclusiveDC at SchoolTalk

Since 2012, Jess Gonzalez has championed students with disabilities in DC and NYC, serving as a bilingual educator and leader. Passionate about integrating multilingual learners and students with complex needs, Jess was instrumental in designing Sojourner Truth Montessori Public Charter School in 2019 and served as its founding special education coordinator. Additionally, as a travel ambassador at DCPS, she exposed students to global study opportunities, fostering vital global competency skills. Beyond traditional classrooms, Jess enriched students’ lives, nurturing them into global citizens upon high school graduation. She holds an M.S. in School Leadership and Administration from Trinity Washington University and a B.S. in Special Education with a minor in Romance languages from Dowling College.

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