Rooted in Two Countries: Inspired by a Fellow Immigrant

Herlinda Zavallos, age six. A native of Peru, Herlinda and her family immigrated to the United States when she was a toddler.

I moved to South Carolina from Lima, Peru as a toddler. I grew up here, so I didn’t fully understand the challenges my parents and my older brother had to overcome.

I’m 23. I’m a social media specialist at the City of Greenville. The journey into my twenties has been a pivotal time, marked by self-discovery. I’m on a quest to figure out who I truly am and what path I want to follow. As an immigrant, it inspires me to hear other’s stories.

I was honored to assist with the interview and profile of Ghisela Eljach for Hispanic Heritage Month. I had no idea what effect it would have on me.

Ghisela Eljach moved to Greenville when she was around my age. By herself. She was not fluent in English. Her family was a world away in Barranquilla, Colombia. She was studying to be a lawyer. When she first moved to Greenville, Ghisela started out in a factory, packing sheets to make a living. That experience reminded me of the many factory jobs my parents worked to provide for our family when we first moved here.

Listening closely to the advice Ghisela shared with me, one part hit closer to home: “Trust the process, because it’s not going to happen overnight. Simply, make sure you are surrounded by the right people and listen to those you need to listen to.”

This piece of advice will stick with me forever, and I’ve shared it because I believe it should reach every ear. Everyone has their own journey of life, but extending a helping hand to those facing a similar situation to yours can make an incredible difference.

Trust the process, because it’s not going to happen overnight. Simply, make sure you are surrounded by the right people and listen to those you need to listen to.
-Ghisela Eljach,
Founder and Editor-in-Chief,
InSouth Magazine

I was truly amazed by the strength and determination she had at that age. I admire the courage she had in moving to a different country alone and taking on the responsibilities of adulthood to provide for herself.

Today, Eljach is the founder and editor-in-chief of InSouth Magazine, a publication dedicated to informing, entertaining, and authentically representing the Latino community in South Carolina. She moved here with her heart in hand and an open mind to follow her dreams. Now, she provides resources to the Latino community, resources that she once sought out on her own.
Ghisela and Herlinda with a copy of InSouth magazine

Ghisela’s story is as inspiration to all who seek to embrace their true selves, share their stories, and create positive change in their communities. It absolutely inspired me. Her journey from Colombia to South Carolina is a testament to the power of perseverance and the profound impact it can have on the lives of many.

About the Author

Herlinda Zavallos

Dedicated. Creative. Strategic. Herlinda Zevallos is a Social Media Specialist for the City of Greenville, working closely to #StartUpGVL. Born in Lima, Peru, she moved to Anderson, South Carolina at a young age. She enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures and is passionate about getting more involved in the Hispanic community of Greenville, SC.
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