Yalitza Aparicio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are officially two of the world's most influential people. On Wednesday morning, both ladies were named two of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2019, joining other prominent icons, including Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Yalitza and Alexandria were honored by Alfonso Cuaron and Elizabeth Warren, who both wrote essays praising the women.
Yalitza Aparicio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were named two of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2019
Alfonso, who directed Yalitza in her first Hollywood role ever in Roma, wrote that the 25-year-old was meant to play the part of Cleo in the Netflix flick. "I knew this from the moment I met her, after searching Mexico for almost a year and watching more than 3,000 auditions; I knew Yalitza was the one as soon as she walked in the door," he wrote. "When I offered her the role of Cleo, she candidly told me she had just finished school and was waiting to become a teacher. Then she said, “I have nothing better to do, so yes.” I burst into laughter. But you know what? She meant it. That’s the beautiful thing. She really meant it."
He continued: "From the start, that honesty has been the greatest quality in Yalitza. She’s incredibly grounded in her truth and not easily swept away by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. She focuses on being a force of change and empowerment for indigenous women, embracing the symbolic value of what she has done and carrying that responsibility with dignity and grace. I deeply admire Yalitza and am so lucky to have met her and worked alongside her. I hope she chooses to continue acting and evolving her craft. Selfishly, I want to see more of her onscreen. She has an amazing gift, and I’m very glad that when I asked her to do my film, she didn’t have anything better to do."
Besides Yalitza, New York congresswoman Alexandria was another Latina Powerhouse that was named one this year's most influential people. Before winning the Democratic primary last year and becoming the youngest woman to be elected in Congress, the 29-year-old politician was working as a bartender.
The two women were honored by Alfonso Cuaron and Elizabeth Warren, who both wrote essays praising the women
"Her commitment to putting power in the hands of the people is forged in fire. Coming from a family in crisis and graduating from school with a mountain of debt, she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like," Elizabeth Warren wrote.
"A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her. She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started."