Delsy Sandoval describes herself as a creative thinker. This Guatemalan-American licensed therapist has dedicated her recent years to creating community and connecting with others in meaningful ways.
A native of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles but based in New York for the past seven years, Sandoval has had a career path in continuous motion.
“Overall, I have been weaving between the worlds of Social Services and Art,” she told BELatina in an interview. “Throughout my career, I have worked as a full-time Mental Health Clinician, Arts program director, and even a Career Development Services Director for immigrant communities.”
Although Delsy Sandoval has remained immersed and active in the art world, she has dedicated her work primarily to the service of others, taking on roles that promote social change and uplift the community.
BELatina had the pleasure of chatting with this incredible Latina. This is what she had to say:
What inspired you to dive into becoming a therapist, counselor, visual artist, and podcaster?
Therapy, Art, and podcasting have been vehicles I have used to create spaces that allowed me the opportunity to directly empower people and communities. I have always been interested in people and their stories. Beyond my curiosity regarding the development of individual creativity, I have been curious about how Art can empower people to achieve a better quality of life. I am an avid Podcast listener and often search for a show that would highlight the creativity and magic I know so well and exists within my community. I wanted to listen to a show that would encourage listeners to infuse self-expression and artistic engagement into their daily life. One day it struck me, why not take a leap of faith and create this show myself? And so Ocu-Pasión came to be. Since then, it has been a wild ride filled with excitement and surprise!
What have been some challenges you’ve experienced, and how have you overcome them?
Like many first-generation Americans, trying to find my authentic place in the world has been the basis of many of my challenges. The pressure to live a conventional life is strong, especially when understanding the massive obstacles immigrant families have faced in creating a stable life for their children. Taking great risks or following an unconventional path can often be difficult in a collective society seeking to alter generations’ trajectory. I wouldn’t say that I have overcome these challenges, but more so have gone through a process of understanding the origins of this perceived influence. In essence, I work towards being able to separate my dreams from that of the larger collective with empathy, understanding, and respect while also exploring new routes and reminding myself that I must trust my instincts and ability to seek happiness.
Why does the intersectionality of culture and creativity matter? I believe understanding the complex and intimate relationship between culture and creativity is important because it plays a profound role in uplifting our lives, expanding our futures, and nurturing our spirits as a community. The creative process can be a tool for enriching our culture, and in return, Culture can underwrite the creative process. This feedback loop can positively impact our society and carry us to new heights!
What is the connection between mental health, art forms, and quality of life in your perspective?
I have seen, both personally and professionally, the power engaging in the arts can have on expanding the quality of life and healing. The creative arts encourage us to explore our inner worlds, which can help us recognize and process complex feelings, manage stress, and boost self-perception. The act of creation alone can encourage you to forge a connection between the mind and body, enhancing resilience. Apart from creating art, indulging in the beauty that other artists offer can expose us to new ideas and experiences. This may help expand our understanding of who we are and the possibilities of who we can be. I believe this creates hope, which can be a major building block of healing.
What is your vision and mission with Ocu-Pasion to connect artists and visionaries?
My vision with Ocu-Pasión is to provide a space that enhances the presence of artists and visionaries within the culture, allowing creative thinkers of many roots to recognize their shared experiences and celebrate their value. By highlighting the stories of artists and visionaries within our community, Ocu-Pasión creates a platform that celebrates the richness of our creative voices and empowers listeners to ignite their artistic curiosity and bring their visions to life. My hope is that Ocu-Pasión can serve as a social networking channel to connect Latin American and indigenous creators and nurture a long-lasting community.
Anything else you’d like to share with the BELatina News audience?
Yes, I want to say that there are many ways to engage in the arts. You do not have to have gone to art school or be the best in any particular art form. It is plenty to support your local artists, check out local bands, or even try your hand at a craft. Even listening to a podcast like Ocu-Pasión can help immerse your mind in creative thought. Your voice is important, and the world is waiting to hear from you!