EXCLUSIVE: Mayra Veronica Talks New Music, Cuban Heritage, and the USO

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You’re from Cuba originally, but you immigrated in the 80s, right? 

Yes! I grew up in Miami, but came here in 1986, when I was six-years-old. 

Do you remember anything about Cuba?

I just went back two years ago. It was totally different from what I expected, because you get so much bad press about it from a lot of the older Cubans that came before. So I was expecting to see it as a third world country, and when I got there, it was amazing. It was honestly like being on South Beach -- it was like like being in Miami with a European feel, because all the architecture from the Spanish had a big influence. I love the country, I was really happy to go back.

How was it growing up in Miami?

Honestly, everybody is Cuban. When I first got out of there, I came to New York City. I was represented by Wilhelmina Models, and they told me I was perfect for the Latin edition. I was like 'What do you mean Latin edition?'  I had no idea! Growing up Latina was everything. I didn’t even know there was anything beyond that. It was a culture shock for me.

Get the scoop on her favorite Latin dishes on page 3 >>>

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Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

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