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We Live Here Auténtico! | Ricardo Martinez | DACA Dreams Realized

Ricardo Martinez
Ricardo Martinez
Ricardo Martinez

For Ricardo’s immigrant parents, DACA meant their children would have temporary, renewable permission to be in the United States without documentation of their own. For Ricardo, DACA was an opportunity to keep moving forward.

[WLHA 011]: We Live Here Auténtico! | Ricardo Martinez | DACA Dreams Realized

Today we are talking to Ricardo Martinez. Born in Mexico, Ricardo is a DACA recipient who grew up in Illinois. His passion for helping Spanish speakers with financial literacy is fueled by his entrepreneurial journey and of course, his love for St. Louis.

Ricardo came to the United States when he was five years old and spent most of his life in central Illinois. At heart, he would say he was a “mid-Midwesterner”. He never really understood how different he was different until later.

Ricardo’s parents were immigrants and they jumped at the chance for deferred action. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, enabled roughly 832,881 eligible young adults work lawfully, attend school, and plan their lives without the threat of deportation. It provides temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and grants authorization to work for young undocumented immigrants.

For Ricardo’s parents, it meant their children would have temporary, renewable permission to be in the United States. Meanwhile, they had to learn how to make things work without documentation of their own. Every two years they essentially lived day-to-day without knowing, for sure, if DACA would continue or not. For Ricardo, DACA granted the opportunity to keep moving forward.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, more than 1.3 million U.S. residents were eligible for DACA as originally implemented and it is estimated that the average DACA recipient arrived in the United States in 1999 at the age of 7. More than one-third of DACA recipients (37 percent) arrived before the age of 5.

Ricardo’s background, culture and journey are an integral part of what led him to help the Hispanic community.

Ricardo founded JuntosAdelante.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Spanish speakers understand the American personal finance system.

He then founded CentralJA, a digital marketing agency focused on helping Spanish speaking business pivot their business online.

What does living Auténtico mean to you?

Living Auténtico means understanding who you are and being able to share that with everyone. It means understanding and being able to embrace that you can be yourself, learn who you are and keep building on that. You do not have to be what everyone refers you to be.

Mentioned in this episode:
DACA Source:
Launch code

Connect with Ricardo Martinez
Central JA
Juntos Adelante

Music Guide:
Little Lion Man - Mumford and Sons
Natalia Lafourcade - Para Qué Sufrir
Day Trip - Desmond Cheese
Calle 13 - El Aguante

Everything I Am · Kanye West
Calle 13 - Latinoamérica

Calle 13 - La Vuelta al Mundo
Calle 13 - Latinoamérica

Before creating the We Live Here Auténtico Podcast, Gabriela worked as an educator, diplomat, community advocate, business counselor, restaurant owner, marathon runner, author, co-founder and small business owner.
Alejandro Santiago Ortega is a foreign attorney and community advocate. He also volunteers for several organizations in the St. Louis region, looking to create meaningful change in the community. Alejandro is committed to improving the quality of life for all in the region.
Jade Harrell has been part of the programming team since October 2018 as an announcer on weeknights and weekends. She is now Director of On-Demand & Content Partnerships and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.