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Do you know who you are?


You’re not white enough for the white people. You’re not brown enough for the brown people, and it’s our own people judging us.

Summary of what we talk about in the episode:

  • Cultural belonging, financial pressures & mental health – what is it like being a Latino in the US?
  • Vulnerability is strength? From “machismo” to authenticity.
  • What crucial conversations shouldn’t you avoid in a relationship?
  • International development work (and beyond) – how can LISTENING be a game changer?
  • Trailblazers – what qualities can first-generation immigrants tap into to make an impact?


In more words:

Dr. Paul Rivera was raised between worlds. Growing up in the US as the son of a Mexican mother and a Salvadorian father, he spoke English at school, and Spanish at home. And there were more dualities: Blue-collar background, white-collar aspirations. Public appearance, private struggles. Machismo versus vulnerability, people-pleasing versus authenticity.

The latter opposing forces became a fight that defined many years of his life. Limiting gender norms and lack of communication stood in the way of his authentic self-expression as well as a fulfilled marriage.

“I became a very inauthentic version of myself. I got to the point where I didn’t recognise who I was.“

But Paul always knew there was more to life and more to himself. He learned to speak multiple languages, travelled to 115 countries, became a father, a professor, and a diplomat (to name just a few of his roles).

Today, Paul values authenticity more than people-pleasing and makes sure he has all the crucial conversations with Esther, his second wife. With their mutual business “Be. Act. Change”, Esther and Paul help individuals and organisations harness their full potential and achieve more.


Mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Paul Rivera | WHYLD Podcast Episode 46

Dr. Paul Rivera

“I am many, many things…”

photo courtesy of Dr. Paul Rivera

Find Paul on

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