Now that we’ve all binged season 4 of “Orange Is The New Black,” let’s take a moment to reflect on life outside of Litchfield. Sure, the Latinas have given us a season to admire and love, but what are all of them doing when not behind bars?
Diane Guerrero, a.k.a. Maritza Ramos
Thank you @jorgeramosnews for having me on your show today @alpuntounivision it is always a pleasure to sit and talk to you about issues we both deeply care about. Thank you for being an inspiration to our community. For always being a dedicated and valiant reporter. #InTheCountryWeLove #EnElPaisQueAmamos #TakeAStand
Credit: @dianeguerrero_ / Instagram
When she isn’t using pizza to win an election, Diane Guerrero is offering her voice and story to fight for comprehensive immigration reform. The Colombian-American actor has shared very personal and heartbreaking details of the day her own family got deported when she was just 14 years old. Since rising to fame, thanks to her role as Maritza, Guerrero has written a book about her immigration story and has spent time trying to work with politicians to get some form of immigration reform passed.
Jessica Pimentel, a.k.a. Maria Ruiz
Credit: rhyknowforever / YouTube
When she isn’t playing the tormented mother who was separated from her children, Jessica Pimentel is rocking out. Seriously! Pimentel is the lead singer of not one but TWO heavy metal bands. Now, heavy metal was not always the path she thought she would take. The woman behind Maria Ruiz trained as a classical violinist, touring all over Japan and the U.S. playing her music. But, tbh, girl slays on the stage as she leads the bands into hella awesome concerts.
Elizabeth Rodriguez, a.k.a. Aleida Diaz
About last night. My dear crazy talented friends/family @yuluminati @bobby_cannavale @daphnerubinvega at @labyrinththeater #CelebrityCharades. #fundraiser The love runs deep. This theater company is my #heartandsoul #history #love #inspiration #community. Thank you all who donated,talent,time or money! photo credit: #grahampatterson
Elizabeth Rodriguez has captured our attention as the not-so-kind mother trying to make amends on “OITNB,” but when she isn’t playing Aleida Diaz, Rodriguez is all over the stage. With a background in theatre (and a Tony nomination), she continues to own the stage with different shows since becoming a member of the “OITNB” familia.
Laura Gómez, a.k.a. Blanca Flores
Credit: News Update / YouTube
Laura Gómez might look familiar. After all, as as Blanca Flores, she did tell all those white Litchfield inmates that Latinos are in fact taking over the country. ? When she isn’t in prison, Gómez is trying to initiate a change in culture in her home country and in all of Latin America. The Dominican-born actor is using her voice and position in the media to fight alongside the Latin American LGBTQ community for acceptance, rights and protections. While proud of being Dominican, Gómez wants her country to become a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ Dominicans.
Selenis Leyva, a.k.a. Gloria Mendoza
Thank you to all who came out to support #angelball2015 @mspattilabelle what an honor to introduce you and meet you tonight!!!! @gabriellesangels I'm honored and blessed to serve as one of your angel ambassadors @carmenmarcvalvo thank you for my dress @valerievstar @caravannyc thank you for my makeup and @hairanointing for my hair @lasoulajewelry @javier_pedroza thank you !! #cancerresearch #canceryousuck
Selenis Leyva is the epitome of a philanthropist. When she isn’t running the kitchen as Gloria Mendoza, she is tackling some of society’s most talked about issues. Not only is she an ambassador for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, but she has taken to the talk shows to talk about body positivity for women. During one interview, she expressed her concern that teenagers, like her daughter, are being taught that their curvy bodies aren’t perfect. As a Latina, Leyva says that you need to own your curves because there are people who wish, and would pay, to have those same curves.
Jackie Cruz, a.k.a. Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales
Credit: HeyVivala / YouTube
Sure, we have all seen Jackie Cruz and her tribute to the one and only Selena, but Flaca has been at this game for a minute. Before she was the Flaca of Flaritza (Flaca + Maritza), Cruz was trying to pursue a career in singing. And she ain’t bad, as you can see in this music video from 2010. Now, all we need to know is when she’ll be dropping her very own full-length solo album. You might also remember her days on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
Dascha Polanco, a.k.a. Dayanara “Daya” Diaz
Credit: @sheisdash / Instagram
Dascha Polanco made our hearts stop as the pregnant inmate to a correction officer’s baby (WHY BENNETT?! WHY?). But when she isn’t Daya, Polanco is breaking barriers and using her voice for some good. Photoed above is Polanco when she joined the NFL’s Women’s Apparel push last year. Did we mention that she was the only Latina in the initiative? Way to represent. When she isn’t bringing more Latina representation to sports, she’s using her voice to further abortion rights. She joined the Center for Reproductive Rights as a celebrity voice, reading the stories of those who are brave enough to share their abortion stories.