Meet The Team: Felix Martinez-Paz
Wednesday, June 30th, 2021
Meet Felix Martinez-Paz, Men & Boys Engagement Coordinator
Where are you from?
I was born in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, but also lived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for many years.
Where do you feel most at home?
I feel at home wherever my family and loved ones are; because I lived in different places, I’ve learned not to take things for granted, appreciate the moments and not “take root” in one place. Otherwise, I prefer to live and carry the good moment, memories, and experiences with me.
What inspires you, professionally and personally?
My family and community inspire me to do what I do every day. To see how the Latino community is discriminated reminds me every day of the importance of raising our voices if we want to build strong, equitable communities and systems. These are to my believe, some of the many ingredients needed for a strong, healthy, thriving Latino communities.
What are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you?
Prior to joining Casa de Esperanza, I worked in the Business Management and the Non-Profit world. Most recently as a HUD approved counselor, where I supported in the majority Latino families and individuals, providing them with financial coaching, Foreclosure Prevention and Pre-Purchase Counseling. Now the topic masculinity brings me a new passion where I can help myself and support other men & masculine folks to become better allies, partners, fathers, advocates, and better role models while we work on deconstructing the patriarchy in our communities.
Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work.
One thing that I have learned in the last year is the importance of self-care. Something not very common among men due to the association of this type of practice with the feminine and being seen as a sign of weakness. In recent years, our communities have experienced countless events that have affected in one way or another the way we live and socialize with our family and friends. Since happenings such as the separation of children at the border, the murder of George Floyd and Covid-19 have occurred, the number of cases of suicide and suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression have increased significantly in the United States and I believe that self-care is a practice that could help us start reducing anxiety, stress and increase concentration, motivation, and happiness.
Who inspires you?
My daughters and my spouse are my inspiration. Seeing their smiles and hearing their laugh makes my day every day.
What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries?
The best way for me to relax, de-stress and recharge my batteries is by traveling. I really enjoy spending time with my loved ones at the beach, going camping, visiting National Parks, playing dominos and Kayaking.
Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?
Being a father of two daughters had made me reflect and realize how our society does not provide equal or equitable treatment and opportunities to women and girls. As a man, it is important to me to take accountability in my behaviors and deconstruct the patriarchal systems that I and we live in. I do it from the ways that I socialize, calling in when I see unhealthy behaviors, and by being and ally. By making small changes we can create a bigger impact not only at home but also in our circles and communities.
What is your favorite food?
I like Caribbean cuisine, but I love Puerto Rican food. I believe that there is no better food that a nice Bistec Encebollado with rice, beans, tostones or a nice Mofongo de Yuca with shimps.
What is your favorite book?
I’m not a big reader but on my nightstand, you can find “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown, “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo and The Book of dares” by Ted Bunch & Anna Marie Johnson Teague.