While it is true that Latinas’ obstacles are twofold — as Latinas and as women — tenacity and resilience are in our nature. Linda Alvarado is a testament to that.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1952, Linda had to overcome a hernia diagnosed at age five and the harbinger of life without greater ambitions, precisely because she was a woman.
While as a young girl, many looked down on her because of her gender, now as an adult, many do so because she does not look “Latina enough.”
“My whole life, I have been told I don’t look the part,” she told La Vida Baseball.
As a Latina, she says she has been judged for not fitting the typical look, noting, “I had blue eyes and peach skin.”
However, nothing anyone could say about her could stand in the way of her destiny: success.
After graduating from Pomona College in Claremont, California, with a degree in economics, Linda borrowed $2,500 from her parents and started her company at 24.
Alvarado Construction started out building concrete sidewalks and quickly moved on to larger projects. Today, her company is considered one of the fastest-growing construction companies in the United States and one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the West.
“I was told I was bound to fail because of the double whammy of being Hispanic and a woman,” she told Forbes. “But I thought to myself, in math, when you multiply two negatives, you get a positive.”
During the 1980s, Linda opened her first Taco Bell franchise in Denver. Today, her Palo Alto is the 28th largest restaurant franchise operator in the country, with annual revenues of $325 million from units located primarily in Colorado, New Mexico, and California.
These early experiences paved the way for Alvarado’s foray into MLB. In 1991, with her construction company a monumental success, Alvarado became part of the ownership group of the National League expansion team, the Colorado Rockies.
In doing so, Linda Alvarado became the first Latina owner in Major League Baseball history.
“I’m really proud of being a Latina, but it’s really who we are as Latinas and Latinos in community involvement and not just being a member, but getting involved in leadership not for ego but to help other people,” she told La Vida Baseball.