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These 7 Latina TV Characters Are The Relatable Role Models We All Needed

Although Latin America is built upon the diversity and culture of seventeen countries in total, it took some time for the representation of its people to be showcased in pop culture — especially TV. With the popular feisty Latina trope and reductionist, negative stereotypes perpetuated through side-kick or comic relief characters. A lot of the plurality and complexity about the Latin identity has been set aside to make room for entertainment. 

As recent productions held heritage as something important,, we’ve been able to come in contact with more diverse, empowering, and well-rounded figures in media. Different personalities, moved by different interests and beliefs, have become fan favorites and sources of inspiration for its viewers, appearing as something other than the main character’s quirky best friend. 

In entertainment, representation and looking up to someone who looks and grew up like you can be important. With that in mind, here are ten Latina characters that many consider strong and, most importantly, relatable role models. 

1. Amy Santiago and Rosa Díaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Besides being practically opposites, Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Rosa Díaz (Stephanie Beatriz) make up an iconic duo to look up to in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Conquering a predominantly male space with their humor, strength, and intelligence — and, sometimes, with brute force —, the characters have gone beyond the typical “fiery” Latina stereotypes by showing that they can come with different interests, upbringings, and beliefs while also being strong and unapologetic. 

2. Santana Lopez, Glee

Growing up watching Glee during the early 2010s meant seeing Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera), an openly queer and Latina character, smash it on screen. Even though her Spanish wasn’t the best on the show, her determined and sometimes hot-headed stance conquered the hearts of fans far more deeply than her cheerleader persona, positioning her as a powerful LGBTQIA+ icon throughout time. 

3. Jasmin Flores, On My Block

The quirkiness of Jasmin Flores (Jessica Marie Garcia) makes her not only a loveable character, but someone Latinas can look up to on the series On My Block. Apart from her loudness and comic relief moments, the character is unapologetically herself and is never afraid to speak her mind while expressing her thoughts and interests. 

4. Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, Pose

Mother of House Evangelista, Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), went through a lot in Pose — but even after being diagnosed with HIV, losing her closest friends to the illness, and leaving her ballroom house, Blanca perservered and fought for her ambitions and dreams. Strong and always optimistic, Blanca showed viewers how you can build your own family and help others with love without expecting anything back. 

5. Amy Sosa, Superstore

Portrayed by America Ferrera, Amy Sosa was always driven, sarcastic, and thoroughly entertaining in Superstore. From Honduran descent, the protagonist embodied the meaning of strong, independent woman in Cloud 9, growing in her career despite getting pregnant at an early age and being unable to attend college. 

6. Maddy Perez, Euphoria 

Although she can be a little… intense at times, Euphoria’s Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie) is considered an inspiration thanks to her fashionable outfits and her attitude. Heartfelt and heartless at the same time, the character’s constant and fierce defense of herself and her loved ones can be admirable to viewers, as well as her “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, all which cement her as an outspoken, strong, Gen Z Latina character. 

7. Elena Alvarez, One Day At a Time 

Another young, queer Latina representation, Elena Alvarez from One Day At A Time (Isabella Gómez) showed how important individuality really is. The geeky, enthusiastic teenager gave a realistic portrayal of the challenges behind discovering your sexuality, interests, and, basically, yourself when growing up. 

Isabella Gemignani

Casper Libero '23

Isabella Gemignani is a National Writer for Her Campus and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Casper Libero. She covers everything culture-related for the national website - and oversees her chapter's content production, which involves editorial, social media, podcast and events verticals and makes up a team of over 100 girls. Beyond Her Campus, Isabella writes for the architecture and design magazine Casa e Jardim, Brazil's oldest magazine currently in the editorial market. With a 70-year-old history, Casa e Jardim is known for its traditional culture, gastronomy and lifestyle curation. When not writing – which is rare –, Isabella can be found reading classic novels and looking for new music releases that remind her of the feeling she had when she listened to AM for the first time.