Stella Carrera: A Driving Force for Rhode Island’s Latino Community

Imagine getting to interview someone you admire who just happens to be one of your best friends! It was so much fun to interview Stella Carrera, an absolute pillar of the Latino community.

I first met Stella over 30 years ago when she was a Vista volunteer at Progreso Latino, and I was a GED volunteer, teaching classes in Spanish. We became fast friends, and I remember the first time I went to her house thinking, “ que casa acogedora,” meaning “what a nice and welcoming home.“ She introduced me to “sancocho…y aguardiente!” Sancocho is this delicious stew like soup, and aguardiente is a clear alcohol I call “fire water.” In my opinion, both are an amazing part of Colombian culture!

Stella Carrera

We had so much fun “back in the day” when life somehow seemed a little less hectic and a lot more fun. Stella was thrilled when I told her I was going to law school. I went to law school nights, and Stella was and is one of those friends you can call at 9 o’clock at night to ask if she has anything good left over from dinner! It seems whenever I would call, she always had “sobrados,” (leftovers), and she never hesitated to invite me over to dine on them and catch up on life. She’s just one of those people who’s home and heart and mind are always open.

I was so happy and proud when she and her wonderful husband Fernando bought their beautiful home in Pawtucket. The new house became and continues to be the central meeting place for our grupito de amigos, our circle of friends. We’ve had so many cookouts with conversations that matter, discussing the “altibajos,” the ups and downs of marriage, family, our careers and politics!

Stella has devoted her life to others. She raised two amazing humans: her son Danny and her daughter Jennifer. She has been a devoted wife, mother, sister and aunt. Heading up the immigration program for the Diocese of Providence, Stella has worked and lived in the trenches, helping immigrants and refugees in any way she can. You see, Stella can talk the talk because she has walked the walk. She knows firsthand what it is like to be a newly arrived immigrant, what it is like to be picked up by immigration and deported back to her country of origin.

Join me to hear more about the triumphs and tribulations of my dear friend, Stella Carrera.

Stella Carrera

“¿Que Onda? con Donna” can be seen on YurView – Cox Channels 4 and 1004 – Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8pm.

The author, Donna M. Nesselbush, is a founding partner at Marasco & Nesselbush Law, a Rhode Island State Senator and Municipal Court Judge for the City of Pawtucket. She hosts a Spanish language Saturday morning radio show on Latina 100.3 FM and the “¿Que Onda? con Donna” TV show.