For Isabel Rafferty, her Latino roots have always been a priority. That’s why, when she began her career as a marketing and business expert, she did so in large media companies that were focused on the Latino market.There, she realized the great power and volume of the Spanish-speaking population in the United States — as well as the lack of quality content to entertain them.
So, after a while, Rafferty decided to quit her job and found Canela Media, an ambitious digital media project focused on first-, second-, and third-generation Hispanics living in the United States.
Canela Media seeks to help Latinos discover or remember their roots and feel proud of them. The platform reaches more than 20 million Hispanics through its more than 180 premium Spanish-language sites and its database of influencers in the United States.
However, Rafferty is aware that original audiovisual content for Latinos in the U.S. is still “in an early stage.” That’s why she recently founded Canela.TV, the first streaming service dedicated to all Spanish speakers.
Canela.TV aims at changing the classic style of television and being the place for top-quality videos at home or anywhere. It currently features over 8,000 hours of entertainment for adults and children, including comedies, documentary series, soap operas, cartoons, drama, and action movies.
“The main idea of Canela.TV is to bring content with which Latinos can feel represented and learn more about Hispanic culture through entertainment,” said Rafferty.
She says Canela.TV will continue to innovate with original content, especially in the areas of sports and news.
Working for Latinos not only fills Rafferty with pride but also represents a great challenge, since even though the language is the same, she must try to please hundreds of communities with different cultures and traditions.
However, she does not regret having aimed her business model at the Latino community, with which she fully identifies. “The Latino culture is extremely rich, and many of us are hungry to connect with our roots more deeply. There is also an element of nostalgia; many Latinos miss their country of origin, and through Canela.TV, they can feel a little closer to their land. For second-generation Latinos in the United States, it is different, as they are very curious and eager to learn about their roots. The platform of Canela.TV allows them to learn and connect with their culture from the comfort of their home,” said Rafferty.
Rafferty is sure that being Latina has not been an obstacle to achieving her goals, but rather has become her key to success so far, since it has been her culture and upbringing that have allowed her to be persistent, determined, creative and to never accept “no” as an answer. “It is an honor to be part of a community of strong workers who support each other and make us strive to be the best version of ourselves every day,” Rafferty said.
The marketing and business expert says there is plenty of talent in the Hispanic community. She also believes it is important to not settle for what you know, but to keep expanding your knowledge to get where you want to be. “Many people are going to intervene in your path by making you change the direction of your destiny, but you should always keep your purpose in mind. Determination and hard work will be your best friends. And most importantly, don’t give up,” said Isabel.
Rafferty is an example of a hard-working and successful Latina. Her perseverance and love for her roots have allowed her to not only fulfill her dreams, but also help meet the needs of an entire Spanish-speaking community. Her story shows us that nothing is impossible when the goal is clear.
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