Irisneri Alicea Flores worked for 20 years in human resources when she decided it was time to pursue a dream.
She created Descubre tu Historia, a genealogy business that helps Latinos/Latinas/Latinx find their family history.
“I always had a love for history. It kept growing and growing as time went by,” said Flores, who was a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 8, which was International Women’s Day.
She spoke as part of a virtual Café Con Leche event hosted by the Hispanic Association of Higher Education (HAHE) of Springfield Technical Community College. Flores, who had worked at STCC in Human Resources, was active in HAHE. (Click to watch the full video.)
“You guys challenged me in the best way,” she said, then noted she is now doing public speaking. “You’re still challenging me. Look what I’m doing today!”
Flores said she was inspired by Denise Soler Cox, who spoke at a breakout session during a professional development day at STCC on April 18, 2019. Soler Cox is a filmmaker and creator of Project Eñye, a multi-platform media project for first generation American Latinos.
Flores said she connected right away to Soler Cox, who has dedicated herself to helping Latinas. She told Soler Cox about her genealogy idea. “She looked at me and said we have to talk. You have to do this,” Flores said. “I never looked back.”
In her presentation at Café Con Leche, Flores discussed the best strategies in researching your family history. First, you should decide who you want to know the most about. For example, pick one grandparent. Gather details such as dates and places of significant event such as birth, marriage and death. “The more information, the better,” she said.
Speak to family members to gather information. “If they’re ready, they will talk to you. Sometimes, that’s where the great information is,” she said.
Another good resource is old Bibles. She noted that families sometimes recorded information about baptisms, marriages and deaths in Catholic Bibles.
People can conduct their research on familysearch.org for free or used some paid services.
Flores says her work as a genealogist helps descendants from the Caribbean, Central, South and North American former Spanish colonies start the journey of healing and empowerment through the knowledge of their family history.
To learn more, visit descubretuhistoria.com.