Greetings, visitors! I’m
I’m a Miami, Florida-based cultural anthropologist-geographer, writer, speaker, and educator deeply committed to fostering a more just, inclusive and regenerative world.
The founder and owner of TerraViva Journeys, I offer courses, workshops and content on inclusive and regenerative cultural heritage tourism. I am also a widely recognized expert on Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood and co-authored the book, “A History of Little Havana.” For more than a decade, have led tours of Little Havana and conducted in-depth research on the neigbhorhood.
My speaking engagements encompass topics such as inclusive and regenerative tourism, undoing the “single stories” of tourism, and re-thinking “place.” I also write and speak about the (racial) politics and sociocultural dynamics underpinning public memory and placemaking in heritage and eco-tourism destinations. As an experienced speaker and educator, I have had the privilege of presenting and teaching various courses and workshops at esteemed institutions, organizations and convenings.
Little Havana Expertise
Through extensive archival and ethnographic research, I have gained profound insights into Little Havana’s cultural history, as well as the intricate interplay of race, sociopolitics, and transnational influences shaping placemaking and public memory. Having already co-authored the book, A History of Little Havana, I am currently completing the manuscript for a new book. It delves into the ethnoracial politics behind the development of Little Havana’s touristic heritage district.
The New York Times, NPR, National Geographic Traveler and other prestigious outlets have quoted me for their stories on Little Havana. I have also been showcased in a PBS documentary series celebrating women leaders, profiled in a distinguished urban planning textbook, and featured in an exhibition by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, dedicated to highlighting inspiring Little Havana changemakers.
Commitment & Qualifications
Throughout my journey, I’ve made a point of dismantling divisive “single stories” about people and place. I strive to nurture meaningful, diverse relationships that deepen a planetary ethic. As a seasoned consultant in civic engagement, inclusive and equitable land use decision-making, and creative placemaking, I have actively contributed to systemic change for sustainable democracies.
I hold a Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies, specializing in cultural anthropology, from Florida International University (FIU). For my exceptional research contributions, I was honored with the Alex Stepick Award for Outstanding Dissertation, complemented by graduate certificates in African & African Diaspora Studies and Afro-Latin American Studies acquired during my time at FIU.
Caring For Community
Beyond my professional pursuits, I enjoy immersing myself in the vibrant atmosphere of port cities, engaging in meaningful conversations, grooving the tumbao of Latin jazz, participating in street festivals and processions, climbing trees, civic engagement in my community, and dancing Afro-Cuban rumba, which I have studied for over 15 years.
Ultimately, my work aims to inspire a more regenerative, kind, and equitable world.