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Hi, my name is Kristina Marie Castañeda. We landed in Dubuque when I was about four and my brother was one. We came from Madison and prior to that from Guatemala. My dad is from Guatemala and he wasn’t yet a citizen when we came here. My mom was a Holy Cross, Iowa girl and she got a job at Clarke College. She was and still is a pioneer in the women in computer science field.

I’ve lived a couple other places and honestly came back a little reluctantly after getting pregnant with my first child 15 years ago, I was 25. I realized quickly that Dubuque was becoming something far different than the Dubuque I had grown up with. It was the beginning of the big renaissance that hasn’t lost any momentum.