Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Jennifer Vasquez

Safe Harbor Voice  |  September 21, 2021
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Jennifer Vasquez

Lea en español aquí.

What is your name? 

My name is Jennifer Vasquez Saldarriaga 

What do you do in the community? 

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have been with Safe Homes Rape Crisis Coalition in Spartanburg for 4 years providing bilingual therapy services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Recently, I opened my private practice, Oasis Counseling Associates, where I provide virtual therapy services to adults and families in the state of South Carolina.  

What is your country of origin?  

I was born and raised in Colombia, South America

What is something that stands out about Colombia? 

What stands out about Colombia is its people and the beautiful scenery.  Colombian people are resourceful, resilient, kind, and friendly.  The weather in Colombia varies from city to city (we do not have seasons) and it allows for diverse scenery that ranges from beautiful mountains and natural parks to the amazon jungle.  

What is something that you miss from Colombia? 

I miss my family and the food.   

What is something you wish people knew about Colombia? 

I would like for people to know that Colombia is so much more than what the news portrays. The kindness of its people has been the main reason why many foreigners have decided to stay and call it home.  Even though Colombia is considered a third-world country, there is so much development and exciting things going on. For instance, Medellin has been a leader in innovation in science and technology.  

Is there something you wish were different about Colombia? 

I wish that the government would work harder to eliminate corruption and improve the quality of life of all Colombians.  

What is your favorite food from Colombia? 

It is very difficult to choose a favorite. I love Bandeja Paisa, Arepas, Empanadas, Sancocho and fruit I can only find there such as Granadillas.  

What is your favorite song by someone from Colombia? 

When I think of Colombia, I think about Lucho Bermudez's song "Colombia Tierra Querida". I believe that every Colombian feels emotional and excited when listening to this song.  

Is there anything else you want to add about Hispanic Heritage Month? 

We should celebrate our heritage every day of our lives, every time we can.  Diversity is beautiful and we should feel proud about what we bring to the table in terms of culture.


I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



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