Her AncestryDNA test had a powerful impact on her, so she asked others to take one, too.

“I never genuinely understood what it meant to be Peruvian as a child, ” says Connie Chavez.

Chavez is a self-taught videographer who works at Latina magazine in New York. Growing up in New York, she didn’t really have an opportunity to be around other Peruvian people. Her friends dismissed her background, assuming it was the same as any other Latino culture.

“Nobody understood what Peru was, ” she tells. “It induced me genuinely feel bad.”

Now that she’s older, Chavez has had the opportunity to learn about the rich, unique culture that she is a part of. “I’m Peruvian, and I’m proud, ” she tells. Her parents taught her about the history and cultural activities of their Incan ancestors, and thats what resulted her to eventually embrace her heritage. “Because of that knowledge, I feel powerful, ” she says.

Learning about her background boosted Chavez’s confidence in who she is and it built her wishes to get others involved. Watch her tale below :