Hispanic Heritage Month Community Partner Spotlight: Vanessa Rodriguez

Safe Harbor Voice  |  October 7, 2020
Hispanic Heritage Month Community Partner Spotlight: Vanessa Rodriguez

What does being Hispanic mean to you? 

To be a Puertorrican is a privilege that brings me the eyes to see the world from the perspective of an island woman. To be Hispanic gives me the opportunity to value the resources, the people, the diversity, the language, the food, the weather, and also to have challenges to move forward in life. To be a Hispanic means to work hard for what you want and to demonstrate the value of our culture to the world. To respect my identity and to love what I am.

What do you do for your community?

I Created and manage Descalza - @vdescalza - a personal blog on Facebook and Instagram. In this blog I share daily messages of optimism and faith to more than 6,000 Hispanic women from all over the world, with the mission of spreading hope, encouraging women, and outreach.

How do you keep your culture with you while living in Greenville SC?

I speak Spanish at home and with our friends, cook our traditional food with the ingredients from our country, hear our music, dance merengue and salsa and celebrate who we are every day. Also I share facts about Puerto Rico with everyone interested to know about.

What is something you wish people knew about you or your culture?

That we are different, but also caring and educated people. We are happy souls, we love to talk and to share. To be part and to connect and help each other. That the ¡Ay Bendito! moves us! And if you are Puertorrican Grita ¡¡WEPA!!

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


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

I am a survivor of domestic violence.


“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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We are available to provide domestic violence education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.

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