Andrea Londo identifies as a border child, and is proud of her unique upbringing. She was raised primarily in Tijuana, Mexico, though she was born in the U.S. and crossed the border to attend school in San Diego, California, every day. With her feet planted firmly in both cultures, Londo had big dreams to become an actress in Hollywood and, through her perseverance and incredible adaptability, that is exactly what she’s done. We’ve teamed up with Kia to spotlight Londo’s outstanding talent as part of our new Driving Forces series, which profiles Latina creatives who have Kia’s “Give It Everything” spirit, are breaking down barriers and embracing their bicultural identity in everything they do.
As a proud Latina, Londo is nurtured by her Mexican heritage and her connection to her family, and she is energized by her life in Los Angeles. From a very young age, Londo has felt a sense of duality. She explained, “Being Mexican-American, for me, is very interesting, because I feel like I grew up as a nomad between two countries, two cultures, two different groups of people with completely different points of view and ways of viewing life and thinking. … But I very passionately defend my right to be 100% American, because I feel it, and I also feel 100% Mexican. And I defend those two things, because I am both, even though I’m never fully just one at a time.”
Londo has leveraged her bilingual and bicultural identity to realize her dreams: Her acting career has flourished since she moved to Los Angeles when she was 18. She is best known for playing Maria Salazar in the third season of the Netflix hit show, “Narcos,” and she’s currently at work on a number of other exciting projects, including starring in the film “Ice Cream in the Cupboard,” which premieres this August. But her unique background has brought about even greater benefits. “Being bilingual has opened so many doors for me,” she said, “not just in my work, but also in understanding a completely different kind of worldview.”
For others who have had similar experiences, Londo offered some advice, “I would tell people growing up like me, as a border child, that you do have an identity, and that it’s OK to feel like you don’t belong somewhere all the time. I definitely felt that a lot.” She added, “But that’s actually to your advantage because you can mold to different environments more easily, and you can understand different points of view [more easily] than if you just belong to one place.”
Londo’s unique identity has been a great driver of her own success, and she hopes that she can help encourage others to embrace their individuality. “I want to inspire others to [be] unapologetically who they are,” she said.
Watch the video above to learn more about Londo’s inspiring story, and stay tuned for additional uplifting stories in Kia’s Driving Forces series, coming soon.
Kia’s new series, Driving Forces, profiles Latinx creatives like Andrea Londo who are constantly challenging themselves to achieve greatness, while simultaneously embracing their bicultural identity. As a foreign brand adopted by the U.S. consumer, Kia knows all about dual cultures. The new 2020 Kia Soul is a prime example of how Kia combines its Korean roots with American life, offering customers the highest quality brand, an unbeatable value and tech features that come standard in Kia vehicles. Most importantly, Kia is grounded in values. As a once-underdog brand itself, Kia stands with those who, like Londo, “Give It Everything” to adapt, morph and transform, but still embrace their individuality.
This article was paid for by Kia and co-created by RYOT Studio. HuffPost editorial staff did not participate in the creation of this content.