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Saturday, April 20, 2024

HBO Latino director for "Habla" Alberto Ferreras is from Spain, and people ask him about it.

"Because I speak with an accent, people always ask me where I am from," Ferreras told UF students Tuesday.

That night, Ferreras, a Hispanic writer, filmmaker and songwriter, spoke to UF students at the Hispanic Heritage Month’s forum discussion. He was paid $5,000, said HHM executive director Susel Ramos.

The discussion was meant to encourage students to be proud of their Latinx backgrounds, said Linda Soriano, 22, the co-director for the forum.

"Your experience, and your background, and your story can really push you forward in any career," the UF public relations senior said.

Ferreras showed video clips from the documentary series "Habla," illustrating the power of the Hispanic voice.

He said that when he was younger and lived in Venezuela, he felt like an outsider. People could hear his Spanish accent, so he tried to hide it.

"When you are a child, you just want to blend in," Ferreras said.

Later, he said he realized that being a minority is an advantage. Minority students should know their culture is valuable, he said.

UF animal sciences freshman Emily Santos said Ferreras’ message touched her heart, and she won’t be ashamed of her accent anymore.

"I feel so much better for being Hispanic," the 18-year-old said.

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