2020 Top Florida Latino Lideres Award Recipient
Natashcha Otero-Santiago is a Latino Mover N’ Shaker from South West, Florida.
Latin Times Magazine: Where are you and your family from? What is your Hispanic heritage? Natascha Otero-Santiago: I am from Puerto Rico. My family is from the island for generations on my father’s side, and on my mother’s side, they are from Corsica – the island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it Natascha Otero-Santiago: I am a Public Relations / Marketing Consultant focused on businesses owned by Puerto Ricans in Florida and expansions of Puerto Rican businesses from the island to the mainland. For the past 15 years, I have dedicated myself to the growth of these businesses and the growth of the South Florida economy from minority-owned businesses.
Latin Times Magazine: In your industry, what would you say separates you from your competition Natascha Otero-Santiago: The fact that I have been in the forefront of using digital communications with my Public Relations career to advance the message and engagement for my clients. I was chosen as a Social Media Influencer Leader in 2015 & 2016 by LATISM.
Latin Times Magazine: During Covid-19, tell us about your Biggest Challenge/obstacle and how you overcame it/or are overcoming it Natascha Otero-Santiago: My profession is based on the hospitality industry and all my clients closed their doors during the height of COVID in Florida. As a consultant and head of household, the lack of income during this time was a challenge.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related) Natascha Otero-Santiago: I have always defined myself as a mother first, a Latina second, and a professional woman third. So my biggest achievements have been my two sons – one who is 31 and the other 18. My community activism and being part of uniting the Puerto Rican community as well as opening one of the first donation centers in South Florida after Hurricane Maria which gathered ½ million pounds of donations taken to Puerto Rico by the Ricky Martin Foundation; recently being the founder of a 350 professional Puerto Rican women group in South Florida is one of my most recent achievements.
Latin Times Magazine: What is next for you? What can people expect to see from you? Natascha Otero-Santiago: I am a community activist who is always looking for new ways to engage the Puerto Rican community in Florida and nationally. My island, the issues that affect it, as well as the communities of Puerto Ricans statewide are a strong socio-economic, political, and cultural force. They need representation and to be engaged in the US.
Latin Times Magazine: What words of encouragement can you offer? Natascha Otero-Santiago: Never let go of your dreams! when life gives you lemons, don’t only make lemonade, but get a lobster tail to pour it on. Women, and specifically Latinas, are the strongest human beings – never forget that!
Latin Times Magazine: Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to share? Natascha Otero-Santiago: My mentor and hero is my 92-year-old Mother. A Puerto Rican woman who in the 40’s went to study at Barnard University in New York and has always been a futuristic and powerhouse in her own right. An entrepreneur, she started the concepts of gyms in Puerto Rico – having five of them in the major hotels in the island. Nowadays, she still works part-time as a Realtor to keep herself busy!
Latin Times Magazine: What is YOUR comida Latina favorita?Natascha Otero-Santiago: Any Puerto Rican dish! From appetizers like sorullitos, alcapurrias, and bacalaitos to larger dishes like the typical Mofongo with Carne Frita. For dessert, I love tembleque and to finish off a perfect meal with some Coquito!