Latinos contribute significantly to the U.S. economy — that's why Lyanne Alfaro is making financial literacy more accessible

·3-min read

According to a report published in 2019 by the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), if the U.S. Latino community were its own country, its total gross domestic product (GDP) would make it the eighth largest economy in the world and the third fastest-growing. In 2017, the American Latino GDP was $2.3 trillion.

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The co-author of the report, David Hayes-Bautista, described Latino post-millennials (born 1997 or later) as the “secret sauce” for America’s economic predominance. 

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To Lyanne Alfaro, this comes as no surprise. Alfaro is a first-generation Mexican who grew up in Chicago surrounded by a community of other Latinos and people of color. From a young age, she understood the importance of money meant and how race could affect economic mobility. 

When she graduated college and started working in business news, Alfaro could not believe the lack of Latinx coverage.

“I saw entrepreneurs. I saw people contributing to the economy, I saw homeowners. I saw people who were coming here and really trying to generate business, really trying to generate opportunities for themselves. And I wondered, well, this has everything to do with money. Why is it that we don’t cover it?” she told In The Know.

That’s what inspired Alfaro to launch Moneda Moves, her platform for and about Latinos, their personal finances and their contributions to the American economy. 

“Imagine the impact that we could drive,” Alfaro said of Moneda Moves’ potential. “Imagine the intel that we could share. Imagine the boardrooms that we could enter and the windows and doors that we could open for others. There are just boundless possibilities to be unlocked the moment we start talking about it.”

Alfaro started to seek out journalists covering people of color in business and Latinx businesses to highlight on the platform — made up of a newsletter, podcast and social channels. 

“We cover the intersection of Latinx people and money,” she explained. “We cover everything from our contributions to the American economy, our relationship with money and our entrepreneurship in the U.S.”

The podcast includes original interviews with people within the fintech industry who can provide listeners with financial literacy, as well policy workers actively trying to make changes on a larger scale. 

But her biggest point in starting Moneda Moves is to form a community of trust between Alfaro and her users. 

“The more we’re reserved, the more we continue to hold to our true insecurities about what we don’t know about money, or our history with money, the harder it is to move forward,” she said. “Money and trust go hand in hand.”

At the end of the day, Moneda Moves is all about making sure Latinx people are seen and understood. Regardless of socioeconomic background or education, financial literacy should be easily accessible to everyone.

“I really encourage everyone to come into the fold, come into the conversation and start with just one thing that you can share about money, whether it’s from the textbook, or from your home [or] from your learned experiences,” Alfaro said. “That’s the kind of shared knowledge that we bring into Moneda Moves.”

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