2022 has been quite the year for us. Latino representation is stronger, prouder, and bolder than ever in the United States. Across the entertainment, sports, business, and political fields, Hispanic jefas have been blazing trails, shattering paradigms, and changing the world. So, who do we have our eye on in 2023? Here are 10 Latinas who will own the new year.
1. Jenna Ortega
Wednesday Addams (Merlina in Mexico, thank you very much), we love you. Jenna Ortega has appeared in her share of small and big screen roles, but starring in Netflix's Addams Family spinoff, Wednesday, made her an instant icon. And after breaking Netflix's viewership record previously held by Stranger Things, the Mexican-American Ortega is set to soar in 2023. You'll find her in movies and shows like Finestkind, Scream 6, and Miller's Girl, among others.
GALE may not be a household name yet, but chances are you've heard her. An accomplished songwriter with a storied career, she just earned her first Latin Grammy credit as a writer on Christina Aguilera’s Aguilera, which won best traditional pop vocal album. She's also up for Best Latin Pop Album at February’s Grammy Awards. The Puerto Rican native is ready to break out with her own voice, and we are ready for it.
3. Xochitl Gomez
There was a time (and not too long ago) when "gay Latina superhero" would have sounded like the beginning of a bad joke. Today, it presents an exciting new generation of super heroes for Marvel Studios, thanks in no small part to Xochitl Gomez's infectious smile and energy. The portal-hopping America Chavez was the breakout role Gomez never thought she would get as a 14-year old, but has taken on with relish. Born in Los Angeles, the versatile Mexican American actor has even gone behind the camera to co-direct music videos. And people can't wait to see what in the multiverse she'll do next.
4. Delia Ramírez
The next Congress will have the most representation among the Latinx community in history. And Delia Ramírez is one reason why. The first Latina elected to Congress from the Midwest, Ramírez has a long history of championing the Latino communities of Illinois. She is the daughter of working-class Guatemalan immigrants, and has served in the Illinois House of Representatives since 2018. In Congress, she plans to continue fighting for housing justice, healthcare for all, public education, safe public spaces, economic development, and LGBTQ rights.
5. Mayan Lopez
For Mayan Lopez, art certainly imitates life. She is a producer and co-star of the new series "Lopez vs. Lopez," opposite her real life dad, comedian George Lopez. The series is inspired by her often-contentious relationship between the young woman and her famous dad, and has helped heal the rift between them. A leading role on an NBC sitcom which also helped reconnect her to her father is a pretty solid way to enter 2023.
6. Sasha Calle
Fans of "The Young and the Restless" will recognize the name of Sasha Calle. She played on the long-standing soap opera, and was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. And she's about to get millions of new fans. The 26-year-old Colombian-American actor is set to be DC's new Supergirl, and will be the first Latina actor to take on the iconic role. She'll make her film debut in 2023's The Flash.
7. Ana Castro
Ana Castro has been making culinary waves since at least 2019, when she was named a James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef." But 2022 was certainly a banner year for her. Castro was tapped as one of the Best New Chefs of 2022 by Food & Wine, and her New Orleans restaurant, Lengua Madre, was named one of the 50 best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit. It's the cherry on the pastel for an uber-talented chef who learned how to cook in her grandmother's kitchen in Mexico City, and cut her teeth in the unforgiving kitchens of some of the top restaurants in New York City. At Lengua Madre, she's applying the lessons learned to instill a healthy, ethical working environment in her kitchen ... one of the country's best.
8. Silvana Estrada
Silvana Estrada might well be Mexico's answer to Adele. The soulful Mexican singer tied for Best New Artist at the 2022 Latin GRAMMYs, and her album, Marchita, was named one of the 15 best Latin albums of the year by NPR, joining musical powerhouses like Bad Bunny and Natalia Lafourcade. Estrada's music is raw emotion and poetry, with the lilting melody of her cuatro guitar matching her powerful vocals.
9. Melissa Barrera
Melissa Barrera launched her career in Monterrey 10 years ago as a telenovela star, but she burst onto the U S film scene when she starred in Lin Manuel Miranda's movie-musical In The Heights. She also gained a legion of horror fans when she took on the role of Sam Carpenter in 2022's Scream. Spoiler alert: she survives, and is set to appear in the hotly-anticipated Scream 6 in 2023.
10. Anna Paulina Luna
The future of the Republican Party might rest in the hands of its Latina leaders. In 2022, Latina GOP candidates won major victories in Congress. Anna Paulina Luna led the way and made history in the process by becoming the first Mexican American woman elected to represent Florida in Congress. The Trump-endorsed candidate and Air Force Veteran ran on a platform described as “pro-life, pro-God, pro-gun, and anti-socialist."
Latino culture has never been more relevant and resonant in the United States, and with a new crop of jefas leading the way, 2023 promises to be an even bigger year for Latino communities and their inspirational leaders. ¡Vamos!