It was seventh grade in English class when I got my first thesaurus. Neither of us knew it at the time, but my teacher had handed me the one tool that would forge my future. From that day forward I became a word nerd, obsessed with the arsenal of words I now had at my disposal. Day in and day out I would flip through the pages of my thesaurus, sometimes even dictionaries, acquiring words and understanding how to use them simply for my own enjoyment.
Learning to communicate was like a Rubik’s cube I had to solve: getting the right words in a specific formation to communicate a precise meaning. I couldn’t get enough of it. In retrospect, I realized that my interest in linguistics went beyond a simple pastime I developed during my childhood. It’s been my lifeline as I’ve learned to navigate the world as an expat.
See, I was born in Mexico City, but have spent my lifetime everywhere else: from a variety of cities in the United States to the tropical lands of El Salvador, all the way to Ukraine, and back to the Americas again. As a result, I became intrigued by how language shapes culture and vice versa; how the power of words can influence narratives, and therefore how we relate to the world and each other. This added another layer of complexity to my Rubik’s cube that was essential for me to master in order to adapt, integrate, and connect with my surroundings.
Every city I’ve moved to has had a culture of its own, but there’s always been a commonality that I’ve observed within myself and others – the need to connect and belong. This common ground exists, but various barriers prevent us from achieving a state of mutual understanding. Learning how to communicate effectively and cross culturally allowed me to break these barriers down.
As a lifelong foreigner, I’ve found myself trying to make my world seem smaller, bridging the gaps between my current self and other parts of me that reside elsewhere. Realizing that I’m not the only one who faces this disconnect, I asked myself, how could I use my love for words to break barriers and build bridges on a larger scale?
After years of working in a global capacity, two communication degrees, and a firm belief in diversity, equity, and inclusion, I can say that I have found my purpose. As a multicultural, and bilingual communicator, I use my skills to help brands better connect with and represent the Latinx community. How? By bringing a heightened awareness of the cultural nuances behind the groups of people they are trying to reach. Essentially, I help brands ensure that their marketing and comms do not miss the mark, nor get lost in translation.
Ironically, words cannot express how excited I am to be fulfilling my purpose at Barefoot as their newest PR associate. What I can say is that I can’t wait to collaborate with this group of amazing people with a shared passion for using our skills to create a positive impact in the Denver community.
Written by Nadia Rendón, PR Associate at Barefoot PR