Alex Perez-Puelles & Celeny Benitez: Cafecito Chat
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, HEY, EVEN BRAG A LITTLE.
Alex: Hi, my name is Alex Perez-Puelles and I am an Operations Coordinator for a nonprofit in Austin, who used to work in the music industry. I am the co-host of an Austin based podcast, Cafecito Chat and it has been a real passion project. I am a Sociology major, and I use what I study to analyze current events through a racial and gender equity lens. I also like to use my free time volunteering for local nonprofits and being crazily obsessed with my dog.
Celeny: I’m currently at an MEP firm doing engineering work for commercial and residential architecture. I recently graduated from the University of Texas with an electrical engineering degree. I’m involved with a couple different projects in Austin. The first is co-hosting a lifestyle podcast called Cafecito Chat. The second project is designing circuitry for Texas Guadaloop, a SpaceX Hyperloop competition team. At the second competition weekend, we won an Innovation Award. We’re on our way towards the third competition weekend.
TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOU ARE DOING AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.
Alex: There still aren’t that many podcast hosts from the Latinx community, especially women, so to me it is important to provide more representation and diversity to the podcasting community. A few years ago, every single podcast that I listened to was hosted by a man, whereas now, more women have created their own. It is so amazing to have podcasts hosted by women, especially women of color, that I can finally relate to. I really hope that Cafecito Chat becomes that podcast for someone.
Celeny: Latinas seem to be an underrepresented group in science and engineering. As I tread my way through this field, I want to reach out and connect a community of similar minded, ambitious women. The Internet has advanced to many different mediums of connecting with people. I chose a podcast as my way of expressing my life experience, concerns, and hopes for the future.
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN PURSUING THIS WORK?
Alex: For me, I am fairly shy when it comes to talking about projects that I am working on and sometimes that shyness can stifle my creativity. I know it is such a small problem, but it was a really scary moment when I posted about the podcast on my social media to let my friends know about my project. I was so surprised that after I did share it, people were so supportive and wanted to know more. I still have to work on my self confidence on my projects, but I know don’t feel as scared to do so, which I'm counting as a win!
Celeny: Staying informed and current with all the communities I work in requires persistence. While I want to give my best effort towards my passion projects, my career also has its demands. Finding time to make time for everything means learning how to juggle. For example, I always fill my weekday nights with some activity that will better my mind, my body, or spirit. Graphic design, going to the gym, studying engineering topics, editing the podcast, networking with other Austinites -- it’s never a slow day.
WHERE AND HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR QUEST?
Alex: Well first, you can go on your podcast app of choice and subscribe to Cafecito Chat. If you listen to an episode (or all!) and enjoy it, please feel free to leave us a review on iTunes, this helps us in so many ways. Another thing you can do is follow our Instagram where Celeny and I post anything from astrology memes to fashion shoot spreads to news about a rocket launch.
Celeny: Listen to our podcast and join the conversation! If you’re making waves, let us know because we would love to connect and help each other grow. You can find us at @CafecitoChat on Instagram. You can also find Texas Guadaloop on Facebook for our next moves.
Alex, who inspires you?
Honestly, the women in Austin are really something else. I have never been so inspired in my life, there are such savvy women, who have creative side hustles, are entrepreneurs, are creating their own organizations and I love and appreciate it so much. The city that I lived in before just didn’t feel as inspiring or welcoming as Austin does. I feel like every day, I am finding out about a cool, new group of fabulous ladies to meet - such as the women of Venus!
Celeny, what is your mantra?
“This is why I write. This is why I keep speaking. This is why I endure. Because if I don’t tell my stories, someone else will.” - Kameron Hurley, The Geek Feminist Revolution