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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Angelina Santos

Escrito por: Alexa Figueroa 馃嚫馃嚮

Headshot of Angelina Santos (Diana Rivera)

Angelina Santos felt an intense adrenaline rush right before every concert. Her only ritual was re-learning how to breathe every time. El prospecto de competir musicalmente a nivel estatal y del condado con otras bandas le ense帽贸 disciplina y continu贸 iluminando su pasi贸n por la m煤sica. Receiving her point by point breakdown was the highlight of the end of each concert.聽

Music was her entire life up until freshman year of college. Whether it was being a singer, a music teacher or a producer, she dreamt of being immersed in the music world: until March 2020 and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.聽

Santos, a UMD communications major, suddenly found her proficiency in guitar, the clarinet, the ukulele and alto sax dwindling鈥 along with her passion for music. COVID restrictions meant limited access to all her instruments, because she could no longer practice at school.聽

鈥淚 kind of just got burnt out; like it was my whole life for a really long time. It was the biggest thing I was ambitious about in high school鈥,鈥 said Santos.聽

Creci贸 en Gaithersburg de padres puertorrique帽os, algo que a pesar de tener una comunidad latina y diversa a su alrededor, se sent铆a desconectada del lado puertorrique帽o. En vez de vivirlo, mantuvo su cultura cerca de su coraz贸n durante toda la vida. She often felt like she was a 鈥渕inority within a minority.鈥澛

鈥淔or a while, I thought it was my appearance, like my skin color, because I am a very pale Latina. So for a while, I thought, oh, they just don't know that I speak Spanish like they do,鈥 said Santos. 鈥淚t wasn't until I was older, when I realized it wasn't that. It was just a majority of them were from one place.鈥澛

She adds that the differences in the vocabulary across Spanish-speaking countries in her community added to the disconnect.聽

Santos asisti贸 a una escuela en Bethesda durante los fines de semana desde los 4 a los 17 a帽os. donde los ni帽os hispanohablantes aprendieron y practicaron la lectura y la escritura en espa帽ol. Ella dice que pod铆a hablar "el espa帽ol de mi manera; puertorrique帽a."

鈥淒onde no hab铆a cultura latino en mis clases, o en la escuela o en otras partes de mi vida, pod铆a practicar con otras personas que ten铆an mi edad y tambi茅n ver otras culturas que no eran dentro de mi escuela porque hab铆an argentinos, hab铆a gente de chile, mexicanos: it was such a big mix que creo que me abri贸 los ojos.鈥澛

She initially started her college career at Salisbury University but transferred to UMD her sophomore year. Decidi贸 centrarse en una carrera de relaciones p煤blicas dentro de la carrera de comunicaciones. During her time at UMD she worked as a marketing intern at Montgomery Community Media and has served as a managing editor for La Voz Latina.聽

Additionally, Santos, along withYobany Matos Jr., who has Dominican and Jamaican roots, started the Puerto Rican Dominican Association their senior year. Santos says that she enjoyed connecting with other Caribbean students on campus and their friendship inspired her to want more of it.聽

鈥淎lthough I do feel a part of the community, it's not in the way that is always needed. I feel like sometimes you want to feel like you're at home. And like you want to be able to speak the way you speak and hear it also,"said Santos.聽

Santos is currently searching for jobs in public health, public affairs, communications and lobbying. Similarly to how she once felt at the close of a concert, she can now take a breath of fresh air as she begins her new chapter filled with brand new opportunities and songs to dedicate to her future endeavors.

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