The Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago | Reyna Torres
Posted by Paola Meinzer on Sep 16, 2022 8:00:00 AM
On Mexican Independence Day, Paola Meinzer sits down with the Mexican Ambassador in Chicago: Reyna Torres. While Paola was born in Colombia and raised in South America, she has become very close with the Latino and Mexican community in Chicago.
Reyna’s parents were both involved in the medical field, while Reyna was growing up in Mexico. Yet, despite not having anyone in her family in the political arena, Reyna has always had an interest in worldly affairs and shares her motives behind her career choice.
“My brother is a doctor, my sister is in education, so I'm the only crazy one that decided to pursue a career in diplomacy. I was always very much interested in what was going on in the world. I wanted to know, to learn and travel.”
As the first woman appointed to the office of Mexican Ambassador in Chicago, it is a sign that we are progressing in the right direction. It is a grand responsibility to oversee such a large demographic. As she points out, Chicago is actually the second largest Mexican consulate in the United States.
“Chicago is part of our consulate network of 50 consulates in the United States; five in Canada. So it's very, very large. Out of those 50 offices undoubtedly the most important are the biggest ones where our community resides in large numbers.
Chicago is always in second place after Dallas in the amount of services that we provide. People may think that perhaps LA is the largest one.”
The Latino community has grown exponentially in population, in the United States, in recent years. Yet it is Mexicans that make up the majority. Making up 35 million people, 11 million of those individuals were born in Mexico. So, while the population is mostly Spanish speaking, Reyna shares how the consulate is pivoting to accommodate the times.
“Mexicans here, we're very paternalistic. We try to make them speak Spanish. Stay close to the culture of Mexico. That's something positive. Both those things are positive, but cannot be all the programs that we have. We wanted to do more.
So now that we have changed like 180 degrees, what we’re doing is promoting a Mexican American community that is bilingual, that is bicultural and binational. We want them to feel stronger because they have a foot on one side of the border and on the other.”
Tune in to learn more about Reyna Torres and the work the Mexican consulate is doing in Chicago and across the country.
Paola Meinzer, Vice President of Tax & Beyond immigrated to the United States as an adult and turned her passion into pioneering for Latina women.
Paola’s pride and passion for being a Latina and a part of this amazing community of women has led to her co-founding a networking organization called Latina Executive Entrepreneur Network (LEEN). The mission of LEEN is to bring together a diverse group of high-growth Latina business women from different backgrounds and organizations to inspire, empower, and educate.
For Paola, LEEN has been something God placed in her heart. It stemmed from her own journey coming to America not quite having the business network of women like her and wanting to create that space for the next generation of Latina leaders.