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Distinguished Speaker Series "LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority" with Author Marie Arana

  • March 07, 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Hall of Nations


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The San Diego World Affairs Council Presents the 

Distinguished Speaker Series


Marie Arana


"LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority" 

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Hall of Nations, Balboa Park 

2191 Pan American W Rd, San Diego, CA 92101

About Marie Arana:

Marie Arana was born in Lima, Peru. She is the author of the memoir American Chica, a finalist for the National Book Award; two novels, Cellophane and Lima Nights; the prizewinning biography Bolivar; Silver, Sword, and Stone, a narrative history of Latin America; and The Writing Life, a collection from her well-known column for The Washington Post. She is the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress and lives in Washington, DC, and Lima, Peru.

About the Presentation:

“To tell the truth, we have no name. We never did,” writes Marie Arana, “We were simply tribes of this hemisphere, inheritors of a natural world… We gave ourselves a multitude of names. Thousands of years later, when we were invaded and conquered, first by Spain, then by a battery of occupiers and usurpers, we became colonies to power—united by the boot, the sword, the crown, the cross, and the Spanish language.”

In LATINOLAND: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority (Simon & Schuster; February 20, 2024), the award-winning author and historian Marie Arana offers readers a sweeping, personal portrait of the largest racial and ethnic minority in the United States. 

“Latinos” does not represent a single group – they were some of the earliest immigrants to what is now known as the US, and they are some of the country’s newest arrivals; they are White, Black, Indigenous, and Asian; they are domestic workers, day laborers, successful artists, corporate CEOs, and US senators. Once overwhelmingly Catholic, they are now increasingly Protestant and Evangelical. Once faithfully Democratic, they now vote Republican in growing numbers. In LATINOLAND, Arana tells stories that often go ignored, encapsulating Latinos’ “grand diversity that defies any one label.”

Based on prodigious research, hundreds of interviews, and Marie Arana’s own life experience as a Latina, LATINOLAND unabashedly celebrates the resilience, character, diversity, and little-known history of our largest and fastest-growing minority. The author of several award-winning books – American Chica, Bolivar, and most recently, Silver, Sword, and Stone – Arana is a beloved member of the literary community, serving as the inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress and previously a columnist for the Washington Post. Arana has devoted her career to exploring Latinos’ origins, identities, and histories in the United States, and is uniquely qualified to tell this massive story.

About Dr. Julia Medina, Moderator:

Julia M. Medina is Professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Literatures at the University of San Diego. She earned her Ph D from the University of California, Davis in nineteenth and twentieth centuries Latin American Literature, with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.  Her research focuses on non-fiction, visual culture and environmental humanities in Central America. Medina is on the executive committee of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of San Diego and is a member of the selection committee for the San Diego Latino Film festival. She was born  and raised in Nicaragua and grew up in northern California.

Special Bonus Opportunity

from our Community Partner, Classics 4 Kids, below!

As a special treat, we are thrilled to offer complimentary tickets to SDWAC members attending LATINOLAND on Thursday, March 7th, 2024:

Immerse yourself on an extraordinary musical journey as the Classics Philharmonic Orchestra joins forces with the trailblazing SABROSAS LATIN ORCHESTRA, San Diego's exclusive all-female salsa band. Feel the heartbeat of the rhythms, guided by the mesmerizing artistry of acclaimed dancer and teaching artist Juan Carlos Blanco from the Center for World Music. Get ready to be moved, inspired, and captivated by the fusion of classical mastery and the vibrant energy of Latin beats.

Choose from two exciting showtimes on Friday, March 8th, at 9:45 am or 11:45 am at the prestigious Balboa Theatre. Each performance is a dynamic 45-minute showcase.

Please email for your complimentary tickets.

Additional support for this program is made possible from Mana de San Diego, an organization with a mission to transform communities by empowering Latinas to achieve upward mobility and a better quality of life


Mailing Address

San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC)

PO Box 34010

San Diego, CA 92163


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