Jacqueline Arias – Founder

Jacqueline Arias is the founder of the Latino Adoptee Community website. After finding very little online support and few resources for Latino adoptees, Jacqueline decided to create this online community. She hopes this site strengthens relationships for all people in the adoption experience and that this community will strengthen the bond between Latino adoptees and their origin of birth.

When not working on this project, Jacqueline Arias works as a media literacy educator, artist and filmmaker in Jersey City, NJ. She was born in Alejuela, Costa Rica and raised in rural Ohio. This varied geographical and cultural history has inspired a body of work that addresses ideas of heritage, race, and socially constructed identities. She studied photography at Parsons School of Design, experimenting with video art and performance work. Her performance and video work address the invisible social barriers in our society and the feelings of cultural detachment they cause. Jacqueline Arias is also currently in the postproduction phase of a feature-length documentary film about international adoption entitled, Imaginary Mothers.




J. Miguel Jongewaard

Miguel Jongewaard was adopted, along with his twin brother, from Chaparral, Colombia in 1976.  Miguel grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota and graduated from Hamline University with a degree in International Management in 1999. Miguel lived in London during 2006 and then moved to Singapore from 2007 – 2009 while working for Cargill Inc’s independent subsidiary, CarVal Investors LLC.  In 2011, he moved to the East Coast to be an Investment Officer on the Latin American team at MicroVest Capital Management LLC.  At MicroVest, he focuses on investments in emerging markets, specifically micro-finance institutions and agricultural value chains.  From 2009 – 2011, Miguel was a Founding Board Member and Vice President of the Latino Cultural Center of Minnesota, a non-profit organization that focuses on supporting Latino art and artists in Minnesota. Mr. Jongewaard was also a member of the Resource Center for Adopted Adults (RCAA) at Children’s Home Society and Family Services in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Miguel believes strongly in supporting organizations that foster education and connectivity in the adoption community.  Mr. Jongewaard enjoys traveling, salsa dancing, social media, and is fluent in English and Spanish.


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