Diane Guerrero is a Colombian-American actress best known for the role of Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black and of Lina on Jane The Virgin. Guerrero grew up in Boston and remained there after the rest of her family was deported to Colombia.
Guerrero was born in New Jersey to Colombian parents and raised in Boston. Both of her parents and her older brother were deported to Colombia when she was 14. As the only American-born child in her family, she remained in America when the rest of her family was deported back to Colombia. She was raised in the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury neighborhoods in Boston after being taken in by other Colombian families.
She has had an interest in acting since a young age and took advantage of free opportunities in the neighborhood or at school. Then she attended Boston Arts Academy, which is a performing arts high school, where she was in the music department. Among her high school activities was singing with a jazz group, but she anticipated pursuing political science and communications in college.
Her first job after college was in a law office. At age 24, she decided to pursue a career in acting. In 2011, she moved to New York City and studied acting at the Susan Batson Studios where she met her manager Josh Taylor. Guerrero's life experience compels her to advocate for immigration reform and is an influence that she draws upon in her acting.
She auditioned for a role on Devious Maids, but ended up with a role on Orange is the New Black. She also had a recurring role on Are We There Yet' She has appeared in Emoticon ;), Peter and John, and Happy Yummy Chicken. Guerrero also has a reoccurring role in The CW's series Jane the Virgin.
After publicly speaking about her immigrant parents in an article for the Los Angeles Times, Guerrero became an advocate for the immigrant community. She volunteers and is an ambassador for the Immigration Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate people about issues in the immigrant community. She is also a board member for Mi Familia Vote, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to engage communities for social justice.
In September 2015, she was named one of the Presidential Ambassadors for Citizenship and Naturalization by Barack Obama. On May 24, 2018 she was recognized at the 2018 Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards for her work.
In 2016, Guerrero released In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, a memoir about her parents being detained and deported when she was fourteen years old. She released a second book in 2018 titled My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope.
One of the main reasons she wanted to cater this book to a younger audience is because she felt like kids who were in similar situations as her own had no knowledge on how to deal with it. In an interview with the Washington Post, she says "I never read anything close to my story. I had no reference point. I felt really alone."
Since 2018, she has been part of the cast of the DC Universe series Doom Patrol as Crazy Jane and has hosted the Hello Sunshine podcast How It Is.
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