Roots: Puerto Rican
How She Changed the World: The legendary singer, dancer and actress has had an amazing career. She won acclaim for her role as Anita in the film adaptation of West Side Story, had a successful Broadway career and even performed at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. She was only the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award and is still the only Latino who has earned the prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).
How She Changed the World: She is an activist who has dedicated her life to helping the world recognize the plight of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples during and after the Guatemalan Civil War. She has promoted indigenous rights in the country, ran for President of Guatemala in 2007 and 2011 and even received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2991 and the Price of Asturias Award in 1998. Her fight for the people of Guatemala has forever inspired recognition of indigenous rights in South America.
Dilma Rousseff (Brazil’s First Female President)
How She Changed the World: The current president of Brazil also happens to be the first woman to hold the office. She served as the Chief of Staff to the President of Brazil from 2005 until 2010, and then assumed the role of President in January 2011. Her distinguished honors include receiving the Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award and being named one of Forbes’ most powerful women in the world.
Guadalupe "Lupe" Ontiveros (September 17, 1942 – July 26, 2012) was an American film and television actress of Mexican descendent, best known for playing Yolands Saldivar in the film Selena. Ontiveros acted in numerous films and television shows, often playing a maid or, more recently, an all-knowing grandmother. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on Desperate Housewives and received critical acclaim for her role in Chuck and Buck, for which she won the National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress, and was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Awards.