Marketing Director & Author & Intern
Chelsea DeBarros grew up in Little Guyana, a community in South Queens, New York. Being a first-generation American of Guyanese heritage with ancestral roots in India and Portugal, she often felt torn between American culture and Guyanese culture. Like most children, especially those of immigrant parents, she asked, “Who am I?”
At 18 years old, having graduated from Hillcrest High School, Chelsea became a student at Hofstra University. She conducted anthropological research into the undocumented Guyanese community in Queens and the identity complexities of their American-born children. While listening to these accounts, Chelsea found that they mirrored the lessons she read of in American History class, such as the values of the Founding Fathers: self-reliance, independence, ingenuity, and fortitude. Realizing the strength and inspiration power in these stories, she felt compelled to bring them to light. She turned to Giant Steps Press for guidance on writing the story and later joined the team as an intern editing manuscripts.
With the experience gained from her apprenticeship, Chelsea is making an impact in the Guyanese American community as an author with her in-progress non-fiction book Backtrack Journeys: Life of the Undocumented in Little Guyana. Her goal with her first publication is to share the American identity of the undocumented Guyanese in Little Guyana and empower young people to be their authentic selves and embrace all of the parts that construct their identity.
GET IN TOUCH
Please check out the first three chapters of Chelsea’s book here: Chelsea’s Site, and follow her book writing adventure on Facebook and Instagram to remain updated on her book writing progress and the book’s debut.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Veda Persaud, a college graduate, escapes terror in Guyana, where her father is viciously murdered by racist bigots, and successfully builds a career in America. She meets and marries Gabriel Lopes, a black market tradesman who struggles for US citizenship after first getting exploited by the FBI and then by his legal counsel. Challenged on every front, Gabriel puts his energy into his job as a truck driver. Unlike his peers who doubted him, Gabriel learns the trade and makes a decent living. Together, Veda and Gabriel have Carly Lopes, the family’s first American-born female child. Veda’s cousin, and Gabriel’s best friend, Jal Sukhram, a free spirit working as a waiter on a cruise ship, disembarks in Miami on a whim. He has no visa, and by the time he makes it to New York, his savings are gone. After dreadful work as a tailor in a cramped sweatshop, he re-creates himself as a licensed chauffeur, a job that makes him fulfilled. Experiencing in one another the virtues of self-reliance, independence, ingenuity, and fortitude, these three undocumented Guyanese individuals come to discover just how American they really are at the core of their identity.