‘La tía’ challenges norms to pursue her dreams

Oswaldo’s aunt, Sara at the restaurant, El Hurachito, in Lincoln Heights in 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Vázquez family)

Oswaldo Vázquez’s aunt, Sara Shakir, emigrated from Mexico City to the United States alone when she was 20 years old.

Sara is Oswaldo’s maternal aunt, the third of five siblings. Oswaldo’s sister, Sandy, refers to their aunt Sara as the black sheep of the family—the rebel, the one who challenged the norm and moved out of her house at a very young age to freely pursue her aspirations.

Sara admits that she has made many mistakes, but says she carries a “growth mindset.” In Mexico City, she took journalism classes and once in the United States, she eventually worked as a radio producer at KPFK 90.7.  In 2007, she won the Rubén Salazar Award for Best Radio News. Oswaldo and Sandy often refer to their aunt as an example to follow.

Oswaldo and aunt Sara at Sandy’s UCLA graduation ceremony in 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Vázquez family)