How Diane Guerrero From ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Uses Her Fame To Teach Young People About An Issue Deeply Important To Her

More likely than not you'll recognize Diane Guerrero from her roles on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black and The CW's Jane the Virgin, where she plays Maritza and Lina, respectively. But when she isn't busy starring on critically-acclaimed television series, the 29-year-old actress is using her voice to spread awareness about human rights, immigration reform, and encouraging others to follow their dreams. For example, Diane Guerrero is partnering with Marriott's #LoveTravels campaign, where she is inspiring others to not only travel more, but pushing them to explore what they love by traveling the world. "Marriott's #LoveTravels campaign is encouraging travelers to explore their personal passion through travel, [where] they may discover who they are and share stories through their travel," Guerrero explains via phone.

For Guerrero, #LoveTravels' purpose really drew her in. She says, "Right now, my career is taking off. I'm evolving with this new process in my life and it entails a lot of traveling." Her life is continuously impacted by exploring different places, including when she visits her family in Colombia and Spain. "I'm inspired by travel [whether it's] for work or for leisure or to discover a new place or something that's gonna remind me that I'm alive and that I'm here with a purpose."

There's no doubt that the actress has a purpose, especially when she is influencing others to use their voices for important causes. While chatting about #LoveTravels, Guerrero also opens about how her life continues to be impacted by the United States immigration system. In November 2014, she wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, where she discussed the emotional journey of her parents being deported back to Colombia when she was 14 years old. Human rights and immigration reform are two things that Guerrero is hoping to change in our country.

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She says,

Right now, my focus is on educating people about what the laws are out there and keeping an open mind [about] the different situations that can occur in this system and during anybody's journey through the immigration process. I'm trying to open people's minds up [about] what kind of immigration system we have in this country, what seems to be working, and what is not working. In particular, [with] my story, I know exactly what hasn't worked and that's what I'm talking about right now. The lack of information that is out there on our immigration system is lacking. So, that's why I'm out there expressing myself and using my voice in that way, because I know that as a kid and even growing up, I was not very knowledgeable about it.

It's extremely important to the TV star to help others, especially young people in the Latino community, educate themselves about immigration and what needs to change. "I want people to become — especially the youth — to become more involved," she explains. "You know, especially the Latino community, who often feel that they don't have a voice or that they can't really give much input in our political system. I'm out there kind of encouraging people to see that they have a voice and to use it."

Well, there's no doubt she is doing just that through her human rights activism and also through the #LoveTravels campaign. It's all about enlightening others and pushing people to impact themselves and the world in a positive way. As Guerrero says, "I hope to enlighten others to not take my exact same path, but to see the beauty in my path and to maybe one day do something similar or something different."