Student tries to change views on Latinas

Miss Latina Texas courtesy photo
Juan Arturo Ramirez, center, is surrounded by some of the pageant girls of Miss Latina Texas.

It all started as a charity event for his church. He never foresaw competing at a national level, much less in an international event.

The event is Miss Texas Latina, which will be hosted in Amarillo in April. It is being led by Juan Arturo Ramirez, state director of Miss Texas Latina and a mass communication major at Amarillo College.

The event started as fundraising event for young women of his church to help the church out of a financial problem. It was then that Ramirez saw the potential the young women had and how under-represented the Hispanic ladies of the Texas Panhandle were.

“I didn’t think they had the opportunity to display their full potential,” Ramirez said.

He continued to direct the event and with hard work and perseverance was able to attract sponsors to make a bigger event year after year.

Armed with help from his coordinators, he was able to move the event to a larger venue, the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts. After a couple of years, Ramirez was able to meet prominent people in the pageant community and was invited to attend various events throughout the country. One was Miss California Latina.

Ramirez caught the attention of the directors of Miss Latina and was invited to take over as Miss Latina director for Texas.

This is the first year any such event has reached Amarillo. Young women are invited from all over Texas to compete for the Miss Texas Latina title.

Other state titleholders will attend the event, including Miss Utah Latina and Miss California Latina. The winner of the Miss Texas Latina title will compete at the Riviera Maya in Mexico.

At just 23 years old, Ramirez has been able to make something out of nothing.

“Something that many young adults don’t understand is that we need to work for our community no matter how hard the endeavor might be,” he said.

Ramirez also is interning at the local Spanish TV station, Telemundo. He is working with the news anchors and translates news stories from English to Spanish.

Although he is majoring in mass communication, his career of choice was studying law.

“It’s my commitment to help my community that made me think about pursuing a career in law,” he said.

“He is very ambitious and admirable at such a young age,” said Vanessa Abuchaibe, a Telemundo reporter and news anchor.

Abuchaibe also is one of the hosts of the Nuestra Belleza event; she is a former Miss Illinois Latina.

At a young age, Ramirez was able to create something out of nothing when the need presented itself while not losing focus on what he needed to do for himself to get to where he wants to be.

“Whatever it is he wants to be or do with his life, I know that he will achieve it, because he is a hard worker,” said Juan Carlos Ramirez, an engineering student and relative of Arturo Ramirez.

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