That’s the message a prominent Latina wants to pass on to the next generation of leaders.
“Latinos are going through a real coming together,” says Juana Bordas with the Mestiza Leadership Foundation. “You can see it in our politics. You can see it in our economic strength.”
Bordas made an appearance on Radio La Jefa, 1550 AM during “Pulso Latino.”
Bordas says Latinos are not just day laborers and house keepers but owners of businesses.
“We also have the fastest growing business sector,” she says. “We work. We have the highest participation of any group in the labor market. Latinos are here to make a contribution.”
Bordas is also the author of the book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit. Her website says the book is about “incorporating Latino, African-American, and American Indian approaches to leadership into the mainstream has the potential to strengthen leadership practice and inspire today's ethnically rich workforce.”
She also runs a Denver based group Mestiza Leadership Foundation to teach the next generation of Latinos to become leaders in their own communities.
“I want young Latinos to understand our history and what our leaders have had to do to where we are today,” she says.
Bordas says in order to succeed, everyone in the community plays a leadership role and all are welcomed.
“We have wonderful values and we to infuse America and put salsa in America and bring America to a new level where we embrace all our people,” she says.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, issued a report claiming future immigrants would be a burden for taxpayers. The report released Monday claims immigrants who become U.S. citizens will rely on social services.
Bordas says that's not the Latino way.
“We're here to contribute, not to take,” she says. “That's our philosophy. In fact we have a saying in Spanish, ‘no trabaja, no come.’ If you don't work, you don't eat. Everybody has to work. Everybody has to do their share."
Bordas is in Salt Lake and will be the main speaker the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Friday.