2018 continued to be a challenging year for the Latino community. Past anti-immigration rhetoric now turned to action in the form of immigrants being denied asylum as well as families separated at the border. The political instability in Venezuela continued and Mexico and Puerto Rico continued to rebuild in the wake of natural disasters that befell the regions in 2017. Yet, there were moments, in which perseverance was on full display, heroes rose, and the community shined brighter than ever before. Here are some of the most inspirational cultural moments of 2018.

Emma Gonzalez Calls BS

In February tragedy stuck at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as another mass shooting occurred on school grounds. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, students became activists for gun control reform. Chief among them was Emma Gonzalez. A survivor of the shooting who challenged the establishment. Famously and publicly “calling bs” on the NRA and those in Washington who refused to implement sensible gun reform in the wake of the tragedy. 2018 saw Gonzalez transform from victim, to activist, to example for generations young and old.

Guillermo del Toro Wins Oscar Gold

In March, Guillermo del Toro scored a one-two punch at the Academy Awards. Nabbing Best Picture and Best Director for his film Shape of Water. His wins come on the heels of Alejandro Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuaron just a few years prior. Showing again that some of the very best in film making today is coming from Mexico.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Makes History in Congress

No list would be complete without including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In June, Cortez pulled off the biggest upset of the U.S. mid-term elections. Defeating long-time incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district. More impressively, she did it without corporate money. The feat became official in November when we won the general election. When she takes office on January 3, 2019, at the age of 29, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman to serve in Congress in the history of the United States. Yet, perhaps more important, is that Cortez does not hold back and is looking to shake up the status quo in Washington, like no other before her.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez 2

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