Catalina was born and raised in Woodstock, IL. Her mother and grandmother, legal immigrants from war-torn Guatemala, and her father, a small-business owner from Chicago, taught Catalina and her sister that no matter who you are or where you were born, you are the master of your own destiny.
Growing up in poverty on a small farm in Guatemala, Catalina’s “Abuelita” began working at only 8 years old, picking coffee beans to help put food on the table. Unable to go to school beyond the 3rd grade, what her grandmother lacked in formal education, she exceeded in compensating with her own drive and character. Her hard work and ingenuity led her to start her own food stand which grew into the neighborhood grocery store while raising four children on her own.
Catalina’s mother and her family fled Guatemala’s political instability and civil war in the 1980’s in pursuit of the American Dream, becoming legal and proud citizens of the United States. Grateful for any opportunity, Catalina’s mother worked as a cleaning lady and nanny, while learning English at night. Today, as a public servant for over 20 years, her mother remains a powerful advocate and leader in the McHenry County community.
Growing up in Chicago to depression-era parents Catalina’s father worked multiple jobs and put himself through college. A true patriot and entrepreneur, he taught his daughters the lessons of owning a small business, always with the motto, “We live in America and here, you don’t wait for something to happen, or someone to give it to you. YOU make it happen.”
Together, her parents created the American Dream for Catalina and her older sister, Madeline. They instilled in their daughters the same values that brought them together despite their cultural differences – strong morals, personal responsibility and an unapologetic love for the United States of America and all it represents.
DRIVEN BY PURPOSE
After graduating from McHenry County College with an Associate’s Degree at just 17, Catalina continued her education at Miami University of Ohio where she completed her bachelor’s degree in only two years. Catalina jump-started her career by working in both the non-profit space and the private sector in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. She went on to work for Uber, focusing on community engagement initiatives, strategic partnerships, and her favorite — connecting with the driver community. She engaged with corporate leaders from different industries, sharpened her business acumen, and honed her leadership skills. Most importantly, she developed a deeper understanding of the relationship between the public and private sector and the impact each have on the economy and the American people.
Inspired by President Trump’s historic 2016 campaign, his efforts to Drain the Swamp, and his drive to put all Americans first, Catalina left the private sector for public service. In 2018 Catalina was appointed by President Trump as an Advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce where she was able to serve her country and the Administration by applying her private sector experience to government. In 2019, thanks to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Job’s Act, Catalina left the Administration to help her father grow his business, focusing on a new product launch and leading the company’s sales and distribution initiatives.
LOVE OF COUNTRY
The divisive rhetoric and dangerous policies pushed by the far-left are putting the future of the American Dream at risk. Like many Americans today, Catalina is concerned with the young socialist progressive wing in Congress and their impact on the future. The American Dream is what made Catalina’s life possible. She is running for Congress to help preserve the promise and future of the American Dream for generations to come.