Nati del Paso

Nati del Paso is an author, counselor, and faculty in Race, Indigenous Nations, and Gender Studies (RING) at Portland Community College. Before PCC, she was a counselor in the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity at the University of Washington in Seattle for seven years. Her legal name is Maria Anastasia Sefchick del Paso. Still, she chose her nickname, Nati, and her mother’s last name, del Paso, as a pen name to honor her Mexican, indigenous, and maternal influences and roots.

Nati was raised in Mexico City by a Mexican mother and an American father and moved to Reno, NV, in 2001. There, she studied creative writing, managed the community college’s writing program and annual writers' conference, and wrote for Ahora bilingual newspaper.

Nati has a B.A. in Communication and Philosophy from Universidad Iberoamericana, CDMX, and a Master’s in Counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a Liberation, Indigenous, Community, and Ecopsychology student at Pacifica Graduate Institute and of shamanism with Carlos de Leon.

Del Paso is from a long line of storytellers. When not teaching or writing, she presents indigenous myths and the wisdom in their archetypes in schools and libraries. She weaves psychology and magic realism into suspenseful tales surrounding the immigrant experience, women, environmental, race, and cultural identity issues.

Del Paso published Women of Fire and Snow, a collection of contemporary stories of women straddling the Mexican-American border while finding their place and voice in Spanish and English. Cultural identity, gender violence, forced migration, sacrifice, love, and resiliency give birth to suspenseful tales in which stark realism is tempered by the supernatural and mystical. The Kirkus Review said, “ Powerful, engaging tales that make vivid use of magical realism.”

Del Paso is working on her third novel and developing her bilingual website Curarse en Salud into a YouTube channel for Mexican women living in the US.

Del Paso’s professional life has centered on improving access, retention, and opportunities for BIPOC, especially Chicanx students. She has worked at three community colleges and two universities teaching psychology, teacher education, multicultural education, and ethnic studies. Her work with the Chicanx community includes teaching for the College Access Latino Indigenous summer bridge, ALITAS mentorship (professional Latinas mentoring middle school Latina girls), serving on the board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Reno, NV, DACA renewal workshops and fundraising, Citizenship workshops, Know your rights workshops, and developing and teaching wellbeing in a social justice context for students of color at University of Washington.

Nati lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Vito de la Cruz, and their three dogs, Canela, Luna, and Yoali. During the summers, she does research in Mexico on gender violence, community psychology, and indigenous healing practices.

Professional Links


Selected Publications

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