Photo by Misha Bruk

Marabina Jaimes is the Emmy Award Winning-Host of PBS’ Storytime! and the voice of Mary Alice Young, the narrator of Desperate Housewives, in the Spanish version of ABC’s hit primetime series. With hundreds of commercials in both Spanish and English to her credit, Marabina has been working successfully as an actress and voiceover talent for more than 25 years.

Marabina also is heard weekly as voice talent for CBS’s Emmy Award winning show The Good Wife. The always busy Marabina is a regular on the Imagen award-winning web series Ylse and also co-hosts on LatinHeat.com’s Let’s Talk, a Latinacentric talk show, and As a cartoon voice talent, Marabina starred as Carmen de la Antchez with Tony Plana (of Ugly Betty fame) in Santo Bugito, CBS’s first Latin-centered cartoon. With an extensive resume, Marabina’s acting and voiceover talents have been on TV (Weeds, CSI Miami and General Hospital to name a few) and film, including Siren in Pirates of the Caribbean, the Oscar-winning Crazy Heart and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

You’re likely to see more of Marabina in the future. She is one of the subjects in the upcoming documentary, …and Now En Español and costars as Paul Rodriguez’s wife in an upcoming web series, Fixing Paco.

A Glendale, California, native, Marabina likes to says she was raised in all the parks:  Glassel Park, Highland Park, Cypress Park. She identifies as Mexi-rican. Her mother is from Xicotencatl, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and father from Santurce, Puerto Rico.  “I’m quite proud of being a tri-cultural Latina: American, Mexican, and Puerto Rican.”

This hard-working actress and voice talent has a strong spirit and some inspirational words to share with women. “Sometimes we really do wish a fairy godmother would appear and turn our pumpkins into carriages, or our frogs into princes, or our auditions into starring roles,” Marabina says, adding that ultimately it within each of us to realize our dreams. Here’s what she had to say about being Latina.

Mamiverse: What is the hardest part of being bicultural? What is the best part?
Jaimes: The best part was being marinated in so much “salsa”:  the food and the music!  My mother was extremely hard working and industrious (there are seven of us).  I still remember the assembly lines we’d set up in the kitchen for pinatas and tamales during Christmas and birthdays. My mother’s slogan was: “If we don’t have it, we’ll make it.”   My father was an amazing pianist, I remember music everywhere and seeing my father at the piano on stage…and me loving to dance to his music.

To be honest, I never felt anything “hard” about being bicultural; I always felt lucky that I could translate for my mother in English and my teachers in Spanish.  It wasn’t until I started auditioning for TV that I realized the abilities my cultures had granted me, would be taken for granted by non-Latinos.  Pues, alla ellos!

Mamiverse: What is a Latina?
Jaimes: A resilient being, with roots as deep as the ocean and possibilities as high as the sky.  Such a good nurturer, that more often than not she can love and raise  other’s children as if they were her own.  Loyal to a fault, but hard as nails when she’s been crossed, undermined, or ignored.  Resilient, knowing that just as the sun rises after the darkest night, so can she…and she does time after time.

Mamiverse: Who are some of the Latinas you most admire?

  • Celia Cruz for opening hearts all over the world with the language of music.
  • Dolores Huerta for making new paths for hardworking men and women wherever she roamed, leaving her  children’s fathers in charge of the children, while she served as spokesperson, mediator, and counsel for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.
  • Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz whose poetry begs men to realize their influence on the women in their lives: “hombres necios que acusais a la mujer…either love them as you make them, or make them as you would love them”…can’t have it both ways, Baby!
  • Former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, who after being tortured and having to escape to Australia and Germany, had the courage to return to her native Chile and run for President…and won!

Mamiverse: What are the challenges most Latinas face?
Jaimes: Believing that they are truly worthy of the dreams their hearts envision. One thing is to think it—it’s another thing all together to know that you are worthy of what you want.  Actions speak volumes…are your daily actions bringing you closer or taking you farther away from your dreams?

Mamiverse: Do you have any advice for young Latinas?
Jaimes: No matter what is going on, have the ovarios to pull yourself out of bed 15 minutes earlier than you are used to and  give yourself “dream time”—meditate and journal and you’ll be amazed at what happens. Give yourself the time to appreciate what is. Give yourself the time to listen to your heart. Give yourself the time to map out your success one day at a time. Appreciate. Listen. Write. Take Action. And no matter what anyone says, just keep moving one foot after another until you reach your goal!