Viviendo MY Own Story
My name is Mikaela Lombeyda. I am 22 years old and raised in the beautiful country of Ecuador. That puts me right in the heart of the highly coveted Generation Z cohort that will make up 27% of the entire cohort in 2025! Most people in the U.S. call me “Mika” because pronouncing my name may be tricky for some. Being raised in Ecuador has had a profound impact on my identity in three primary ways: family, Latina culture, and career. Growing up in this South American country meant that I was always surrounded by lots of family. Some of my fondest memories and traditions revolve around Latina culture and I can always reflect on the beautiful views that I was able to experience growing up. For as long as I can remember, my life was filled with warm memories of being at my Grandma’s (Mamama) house, playing in the backyard with my ñaña, and watching my mom make delicious meals for us. As I reflect back, my upbringing gave me the confidence to believe that I could achieve my dreams as long as I worked hard.
From a young age, I was fortunate to learn both English and Spanish, making the question of what my primary language is extremely hard to answer. Mi hermosa madre decía: “Hay días donde uno habla un poco de todo y nada a la vez”. Those are the days when my brain can only think of certain words in one particular language.
In addition to stressing the importance of being bilingual, my mami and papi instilled in me the importance of education. This was in sharp contrast to what I was exposed to in the media where Latinas were typically portrayed as only mothers and homemakers. Although these are important roles, I was not exposed to Latinas who went beyond family and friends to pursue education and professional careers. In addition, the concept of beauty that was portrayed outside my circle was misconstrued due to the lack of diversity. Back in the day, the predominant idea of beauty was women with blond hair and blue eyes. I definitely did not fit that stereotype because I have brown eyes and dark hair. I’ve always strongly believed that all women are beautiful, even those that look like me. Growing up and having popular culture not consider you beautiful can be harmful, and not everyone is lucky enough to have a family that teaches them self-worth. It is this learning that has propelled me to write MY own story.
A critical factor in writing my own story was my decision to move to San Diego to pursue my higher education. I am proud of the hard work and dedication that I invested to earn my bachelor’s degree in General Business Administration and graduate Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University. Graduating with honors reminded me of the little Latina girl who grew up in Ecuador, knowing she was more than what the media portrayed her to be.
Today, it is refreshing that brands are finally starting to understand how to genuinely portray and connect with Latinas like me. This inspired me to seek a career where I could couple my background and culture with my education, and Captura Group represents a perfect first step. For over 20 years, Captura Group has respected and celebrated culture, and as a Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business, our team brings this vision to life each and every day for our clients. As I embark upon this journey, my goal is to acquire knowledge that will support me in transmitting culture and ideas while empowering future Latinas to write and share THEIR own story.