Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Maria came to the States at nine years old when her father became a Statistics doctoral student. She grew up in Texas, earned her B.A. in politics in Florida, briefly (but memorably) lived amongst the Ojibwa in North Dakota, and spent four years in Australia (where her children were born). She brings her love of her Mexican and Amerindian heritage to her professional life. Pulling upon her own experiences as an immigrant and armed with an acute sense of the injustices of US immigration law, Maria worked previously as a paralegal in immigration law, specializing in Asylum law. In 2015, Maria’s son was diagnosed with Autism, which brought her closer to the disabilities community and ultimately led her to discover the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC). On behalf of CCDC, she is part of the Immigrant Health Coalition, where she has enjoyed learning and advocating for immigrants who experience major barriers to basic health services. Within CCDC, Maria enjoys the chance to work with those populations nearest and dearest to her heart: families impacted by disabilities, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and low-income communities who experience barriers to health equity. As CCDC’s Vaccine Equity Coordinator, she’s had the opportunity to bring together state agencies, non-profits, and private individuals with the common goal of vaccinating Colorado’s most vulnerable. Outside of CCDC, Maria adores cuddling her two beautiful children, Christof and Isabella. She is also a complete nerd for all things math and data (pursuing a second degree in Math at CU Denver), is always on the hunt for the best tamales, loves a good hike, depends on coffee, and is hopelessly devoted to her dog, Velma.