Hispanic and Latinx creators making their mark In 2022
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Author’s Note: Each creator interviewed in this article was asked if they identified as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, or Latinx. For the sake of brevity, I have used Latinx as an umbrella term to include those identifying as Latino or Latina. Additionally, to make the differentiation, “Hispanic” refers to individuals who speak Spanish or come from Spanish-speaking countries, and Latinx is the gender-neutral term to describe individuals who have an ethnic background from a country in Latin America.
Latinidad. There’s a certain kind of pride that comes from the Hispanic and Latinx community that I have always admired. It’s a love and celebration of identity that creators are infusing into their stories to make content that embraces their culture and authentic life experiences.
I particularly remember when channels like mitú and Pero Like were launched in 2012 and 2016 to cater to a need for online Hispanic and Latinx content. The content was multicultural and cross-cultural, relatable to those identifying as Hispanic or Latinx and those who just had a love for the stories and could see themselves in them. With the U.S. Hispanic population reaching over 62.1 million in 2020 (an increase of 23% since 2010), there are even more stories to tell. Now media and entertainment brands like Refinery29, Netflix, and HBO Max are following suit with their Latinx community-centric pages like Somos, Con Todo, and Pa’Lante. Now, what do all of these brands have in common aside from celebrating and shining a light on Latinx culture? Creators—the people bringing the content to life.
I recently interviewed eight creators and influencers carving their own path in the creator economy. From beauty and lifestyle content to activism and entrepreneurship, these Latinx creators are making their mark and doing it for the culture… or por la cultura.
Meet The Creators
#1 | Mike Alfaro
📍Los Angeles, CA
Mike is the creator behind the famous board game Millennial Lotería—the parodic, millennial-themed take on classic Lotería, which is a traditional game similar to bingo, played throughout many countries in Latin and Central America. At 18, Mike came to the U.S. from Guatemala and has infused his experiences as a young adult in the United States into his content. He describes it as creating content for Latinos who feel pulled between two different worlds and cultures. For Mike, it was essential to have representation for those navigating life in the U.S. while still honoring and practicing their traditions and customs.
He also worked in marketing and advertising as a creative director for almost 12 years, building campaigns for major brands like Taco Bell and Southern California Honda dealers. While in the industry, he realized that many clients wanted Latino content; however, their views on Latinidad were limited to common tropes and stereotypes in the media. Eventually, he took a sabbatical and refocused on creating the content he wanted. During this time, Millennial Lotería came to life.
Mike has become the face of his brand, creating fun and engaging videos focused on not only the product but also experiences that are relatable to other Latinos. Millennial Lotería has had such commercial success in major retailers like Target and independent, Latino-owned businesses throughout the country that Mike has been tapped for partnerships with global brands like Disney and DC Comics. While he is grateful for these collaborations, he takes great pride in the community he has had since day one.
“I’ve always been creative. I’ve always been a creator. Before, I didn’t have the means or audience to be able to put something out there that connects with people. Now that I do, I realize that I don’t need a corporate machine behind me to help me create content. I can do it on my own.”
#2 | Melonie Torres
Hailing from New York, Melonie is most known for her comedic and relatable content featuring herself, friends, and family. After working as a therapist for children with special needs, she decided to pursue content creation full-time. Much of her original content was based on her experiences growing up in a Dominican household, often reenacting what it was like to live with a mother from the Dominican Republic.
Brand partnerships soon followed as she began growing her community and testing different types of content. She has worked with national and global brands like Always, Aunt Jackie's Curls and Coils, Café Bustelo, and Applebee’s, just to name a few. She also founded Bendecidx, a brand focused on sound meditation and word affirmations, and creates content designed to help people find inner healing. Between her personal brand and Bendecidx, Melonie is prioritizing building a safe space for people to laugh and get their minds off the stresses of life.
“I would describe my content as light and entertaining. I enjoy bringing laughter into people's lives, especially when so many negative things are circulating on social media. I love to have people relate and connect with each other through my content.”
#3 | Syanne Centeno-Bloom
Syanne identifies as a mixed-race Puerto Rican of Spanish, Portuguese, African, and Taíno descent. She creates content around civil rights issues with a heavy focus on disability rights, racism, politics, and intersectionality, frequently posting content to normalize disabled bodies.
In addition to being a civil rights and disability activist, Syanne is a college student pursuing her history and political science degree and works as a signed model and influencer. So far, she has partnered with brands like Dove and Thistle and Spire, a woman-founded and operated lingerie brand placing inclusion at the forefront of their brand. For Syanne, authenticity is her number one priority as she builds her community and grows her brand.
“My personal brand is really just my life, and it isn't super curated because it's meant to be real. My life is filled with so many different things, so you will never see just one specific topic on my profile.”
#4 | Lucas Lopez
Lucas is a 23-year-old content creator from Toronto, creating short comedy sketches that highlight everyday tropes found in the dynamics between family members. While much of his content is relatable to Latino audiences, Lucas feels that laughter is a global experience.
Lucas's only goal is to make people laugh, from poking fun at how Latinos pronounce rappers’ names to a visual representation of what Latino road rage looks like. So far, he has partnered with brands like Manscaped, Twisted Tea, Stōk Cold Brew, Lobos, and Nord VPN. This September, he’ll also be flying out to Miami to develop content for Inter Miami CF, which will be featured on Major League Soccer’s (MLS) TikTok and Instagram. In the meantime, he has his eyes set on the entertainment industry and wants to pursue opportunities in film and television.
“I became a content creator because I have a passion for entertaining, and I love making people laugh and keeping my comedy very light-hearted. It brings me joy to know that I have made an impact on someone's day.”
#5 | Melissa Tovar
Melissa is a Colombia-born former teacher who creates beauty and lifestyle content on social media. Leveraging her background in education, she is creating high-value content that her community can use as a resource to make their lives easier. Melissa became a content creator because she wanted to share the small things in her life that was helping her become the best version of herself.
With that goal in mind, she now shares educational content about skincare, cooking, travel, and life hacks. She began working with Estée Lauder as a brand ambassador and partnered with them to make video content for their TikTok, and she has also collaborated with other beauty and lifestyle brands like Sephora, Urban Decay, MAC, Caudalie, Sol de Janeiro, and Giorgio Armani. Melissa is living her dream and desires to create content that people can enjoy.
“If my content can put a smile on someone’s face or can teach one person something that will change their lives, then that’s all that matters. I also wanted to become a voice for people who looked like me and show them that there’s room at the table for everyone.”
#6 | Lisa Easton
Lisa, who is of Honduran and Belizean heritage, is a single mom to four adult children, which she describes as the greatest joys of her life. However, she has also found contentment as a business owner, empowering women to take control of their finances and begin creating wealth. Like many entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lisa found herself in a space where she needed to figure out how to expand her business.
Content creation felt like a natural next step. While it wasn’t originally the plan, becoming a content creator has benefited her and her business. So far, she has been tapped for paid collaborations with brands like ASOS, Nutrafol, and Miranda Fry. For Lisa, being intentional about her partnerships is vital because she wants to showcase the world of possibilities that women can strive to have.
“I want to create an atmosphere where women are in control and feel empowered to make major financial decisions. It's my mission to make rich women the new normal. It's important to me that women realize they don't need a man to live a wealthy, luxurious lifestyle. We have the ability to create whatever it is we desire and leave a legacy of wealth for our children.”
#7 | Penny Tovar
Penny is a 27-year-old registered nurse who has worked simultaneously as a content creator for the past nine years. Her parents immigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles, California, where she was born. She now lives with her husband Martin and their puppy Chihuahua in Vancouver, WA.
Penny’s content focuses on beauty, hair care, and capsule fashion. She enjoys sharing aspects of her life in a comedic way that makes people laugh. As a content creator, she has traveled to various destinations, all on the dime of her brand partners like Maui Moisture and Pacifica. From Hawaii and Jamaica to New York and Miami, Penny is sharing content with the hopes of entertaining people with her content and inspiring them to be unapologetically themselves.
“It was never my intention to become a content creator; my plan was always to be a registered nurse. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, told me I would make a good YouTuber due to my personality and eagerness to share my passions. Now, I enjoy creating content by sharing my passions in an entertaining and educational format.”
#8 | Zameena Mejia
📍New York, NY
Zameena is a Dominican-American native New Yorker hailing from the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Her content primarily focuses on tips and honest reviews related to beauty-related products and self-care. She is passionate about uplifting and highlighting women-led, Latinx POC businesses in the beauty, wellness & lifestyle spaces. She also has a media and communications background, starting as a full-time writer for CNBC Digital and has since shifted into communications roles in local government and national nonprofits.
She caught the “content-creator bug” when she began collecting Kylie Jenner's Kylie Lip Kits. Over time, she expanded her collection to other brands like Colourpop and Glossier and began sharing video reviews on social media. This content eventually got the attention of brands like Chillhouse and Pacifica Beauty, where she hosted live streams and product demos. While she has large beauty companies backing her, Zameena remains humble and is focused on building her community.
“I don't take myself too seriously in my content creation because I believe social media is first and foremost a place to form connections with other people and build communities.”
From The Desks of the Creators
From The Desk of the Creator is an ongoing series in my interviews that includes direct insights from creators on how brands, influencers, and creators can work better together.
On the challenges…
“I don't see a lot of diversity in Latinx representation when it comes to who brands are selecting to form partnerships with. There've been times when I've reached out to a number of trendy brands on social media to point out a gap in the shades of skin tones or range of body sizes on their feeds, but a common answer I hear is, ‘Thank you for pointing that out, we'll look into improving this in the future.’ To me, it's less about calling brands out and more about asking brands—especially the people in charge of partnerships—to be more inclusive.” - Zameena
“The one thing I have noticed on a particular social media platform is that it seems like White women are getting more views, reach, and engagement on their content for way less effort than Black and Latina women. I'm sure they would deny this, but I've looked at the numbers, quality of content, and something just doesn't add up. It seems like I have to do way more and still aren't reaching their numbers. I know people will say that's a copout, but not in this case. It's incredibly evident, and I know the amount of effort required for good content. There is a huge discrepancy for sure.” - Lisa
On relationships with brands…
“The easiest thing brands can do is intentionally include Latinx people within their brands. I also encourage them to include disabled Latinx people; most brands that work with disabled people are only featuring white disabled people. BIPOC, particularly Indigenous people (who exist heavily in the Latinx community), hold the highest rate of disability, yet we are non-existent within brands. It makes no sense. Additionally, Latinx doesn't just mean light-skinned people. Latinx is not a race. So include Black Latinos, mixed Latinos, and Indigenous Latinos as well.” - Syanne
“Brands should allow Latinos to take more creative direction when speaking to Latino audiences.” - Lucas
“Don’t reach out to creators just during Hispanic Heritage Month. You can uplift Latino creators and businesses [year-round]. Latinas are starting businesses at higher rates than women of other ethnicities, and oftentimes if you’re a business owner, you have to be a content creator, especially if your business is small. Instead of co-opting Latinidad, brands should support and partner with these business owners and creators. Also, when reaching out to content creators, give creators the room to create what is authentic to them instead of trying to push your own [narrative].” - Mike
Advice for other creators…
“My advice for any creator is to put your content out there. It can be easy to get in your own way and be hesitant to put out content, but the biggest challenge is to put it out. Once we become consistent, our people find us, and we get a better idea of what works and what doesn't-” - Melonie
“The moment my life changed on social media was when I started minding my own business. I stopped comparing myself to other creators, stopped looking at other people's comments and likes, and stopped being obsessed with what kind of partnerships other people were getting. Comparison is the thief of joy, and social media can make it really easy for you to fall into that black hole. Don’t let it consume you.” - Melissa
“My advice is to always stay true to your unique individual passions, but also put in an effort to represent your roots proudly. Representation is important when you have a platform because it contributes to the construction of people's picture of our culture. By being that representation, we can humanize our culture and increase understanding among other people.” - Penny
More Hispanic & Latinx Creators To Watch
Working in marketing and advertising, I have often heard from colleagues and brands that it’s “too hard” to find Hispanic and Latinx creators to work with. Because I wholeheartedly disagree with that, I went ahead and listed 42 additional creators to reach out to when you’re ready to incorporate them into your content strategy. Yes, that’s 50 whole creators from the Hispanic and Latinx community that I’ve listed—from mega-influencers to micro-creators. You’re welcome.
- Leo González (Instagram • TikTok)
- Steven Sharpe Jr. (Instagram • TikTok)
- Mari Wrobi (Instagram • TikTok)
- Murilo Lorran (Instagram • TikTok)
- Chelsea Henriquez (Instagram • TikTok)
- Moi Guiquita (Instagram • TikTok)
- Jason Acosta (Instagram • TikTok)
- Cristine Cruz (Instagram • TikTok)
- Eric Sedeño (Instagram • TikTok )
- Alex Guerra (Instagram • TIkTok)
- Juan Veloz (Instagram • TikTok)
- Alejandra Tapia (Instagram • TikTok)
- Rubeiri Cornelio (Instagram • TikTok)
- Jessica Torres (Instagram • TikTok)
- Bryan Ford (Instagram • TikTok)
- Alexa Soto (Instagram • TikTok)
- Evelynn Escobar (Instagram • TikTok)
- Cami Árboles (Instagram • TikTok)
- Charles Gross (Instagram • TikTok)
- Jay Colindres (Instagram • TikTok)
- JoeWayyy (Instagram • TikTok)
- Selyna Brillare (Instagram • TikTok)
- Nasim Lahbichi (Instagram • TikTok)
- Julissa Calderon (Instagram)
- Jenny Lorenzo (Instagram • TikTok)
- Salice Rose (Instagram • TikTok)
- Alfredo Garcia (Instagram • TikTok)
- Monica Veloz (Instagram • TikTok)
- Alexia Del Valle (Instagram • TikTok)
- Eli Vazquez (Instagram • TikTok)
- Chayanne Munoz (Instagram • TikTok)
- Gabriella Lascano (Instagram • TikTok)
- Carlos Roberto (Instagram • TikTok)
- Ashley Sherengo (Instagram • TikTok)
- Jeannette Reyes (Instagram • TikTok)
- Danielle Guerrero (Instagram • TikTok)
- Victor Ramos (Instagram • TikTok)
- Edgy Ruso (Instagram • TikTok)
- Santiago Albarran (Instagram • TikTok)
- Maria Legarda (Instagram • TikTok)
- Juliana Lopez (Instagram • TikTok)
- Bryan Hernandez (Instagram • TikTok)
As you go off into the world and look for Hispanic and Latinx creators to collaborate with, remember that this community, like other communities of color, is not monolithic. Hispanics and Latinos come in all shapes, shades, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. More importantly, they have varying interests, creative outlooks, desires, hopes, and needs. If there’s one thing that will be consistent across the board, they all deserve to get paid. So, in the words of Adam Martinez (aka Rosa)—another creator you should follow and hire—OPEN YOUR PURSE.