Expert Tanya Salcido leads the way for technically savvy Latinas.

Tanya Salcido, co-founder of the delightful and empowering website #LatinaGeeks™, feels very strongly that “Latinas need to embrace their strengths to overcome stereotypes that technology is a man’s world. At times we can be our own obstacles, so it’s important to allow ourselves to shine and let the world know what we are capable of.”

This can be a challenge for young women being raised in traditionally patriarchal Hispanic households, where girls are typically expected to share their fathers’ viewpoints. Tanya feels young Latinas should be encouraged to seek their own paths as early as grade school and high school.

Her own father, who wanted Tanya to have a better life than the one he’d known as a youth in Mexico, had a specific direction he wanted her to follow. “I was encouraged by my father to enter the medical field for job security,” she says, and she entered college with the intention of studying radiology technology. She discovered divergent interests, though, and like many first generation U.S. Latinas, she found the courage to pursue them. “With the explosion of the Internet in the late 90’s, my career path and passion re-focused; I fell in love with the Internet and all things digital. I taught myself  HTML and began designing websites using FrontPage and Dreamweaver, and spent many hours online exploring different communities. I earned a degree in graphic design and used my skills to express myself visually in print and online. I spent years immersed in the design and marketing world, and in 2007 I began helping brands with their social media presence.”

Tanya found a kindred spirit in another L.A. Latina, LaLa Castro. One day, they were bemoaning the lack of support for Hispanic women with a passion for technology. “We went to a digital conference,” she says, “and most of the panelists were men…and they weren’t Latinos.” Resourcefully, they started a brand new website, #LatinaGeeks, with the mission “to empower and inspire Latin women by spreading knowledge of entrepreneurship, social media and technology.” It’s more than educational…it’s fun! Tanya and LaLa speak in a friendly, understandable voice as they present a wealth of information about social media, new developments, business, lifestyle, and people who are making a difference…including unexpectedly geeky Latinas like Gina Rodriguez, the star of the movie Filly Brown!

Cable TV technology is one area in which Tanya feels exciting things are happening. “The mixture of social media technology and second screens in cable TV has dramatically changed the way we can view a television show. Social elements, such as hashtags are prevalent in television shows and encourage viewers to take their conversation to Twitter. There is one case where the outcome of a novela was determined by the audience! This is an exciting time for us. Technology is enhancing the way we live our everyday lives.”

It’s not surprising that Tanya appreciates that programming today is portable, since she is always on the go. Does she ever relax? Sure! Tanya and her husband are avid campers, and they are also wine lovers who like touring California and sampling its rich vintages. She is also a baseball fanatic, and once won an Ultimate Fan grand prize from the Angels. But even at a game, Tanya has been seen with her mobile device in hand, connecting with her hermanas on various social media sites. Make sure you connect with her—you can learn a lot from Tanya, especially by visiting her website, www.latinageeks.com.

Where does Tanya Salcido go for information?

For those of us who think of Tanya Salcido and LaLa Castro as the Latin girl’s go-to tech gurus, there’s only one Internet page with which to start the day: latinageeks.com. But who guides these experts, and shows them the new gadgets and gizmos on the horizon? These are some of Tanya’s favorite destinations:

1. mashable.com

2. techcrunch.com

3. twitter.com/vistahispano

4. twitter.com/PewHispanic

5. marketingprofs.com