"I never really understood what it meant to be Peruvian as a child," says Connie Chavez.

Chavez is a self-taught videographer who works at Latina magazine in New York. Growing up in New York, she didn't really have an opportunity to be around other Peruvian people. Her friends dismissed her background, assuming it was the same as any other Latino culture.

"Nobody understood what Peru was," she says. "It made me really feel bad."

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What comes to mind when you think of undocumented immigrants? Probably not Julissa Arce.

This young woman proves there are no barriers — physical or otherwise — when it comes to achieving your dreams.

When you first meet Julissa Arce, you might assume she's like lots of other ambitious young women just looking for her own slice of humble American pie.

And she is. But she also lived with a huge secret for years.

Image by Julissa Arce, featured with permission.

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This bold girl is ushering in a new wave of media representation for Latinos.

Seeing ourselves represented in the media in a fun and fearless way is a wonderful thing for the Latino community.

The second I saw the spark of self-confidence in the little girl's eyes, I knew Bomba Estéreo's music video "Soy Yo" would be different.

You may have heard of Bomba Estéreo — they're a Colombian band that's seen some heightened success recently. Will Smith teamed up with them on the song "Fiesta," and "Soy Yo" plays in a badass recent Target commercial starring Rita Moreno. The Spanish phrase "bomba estéreo" is a term used in Colombia for a really cool, awesome, badass party ... and I can definitely imagine being at one of those, dancing the night away with "Soy Yo" playing on repeat.

The song's title means "I'm Me" in Spanish, and the video proudly showcases a curious and modern little girl roaming a neighborhood. Throughout the song, she comes upon a series of things that could be considered obstacles to anyone who may not be sure of themselves, but she knocks each one down with pure gold bravado.

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