Cuban-born Selenis Leyva, who plays Santería-practicing kitchen queen Gloria Mendoza, doesn't share her on-screen persona's transphobia views. In fact, Leyva is a dedicated LGBT activist who announced she has a transgender sister back in June 2015.
Despite having dreams of acting from an early age, Dominican beauty Dascha Polanco didn't always chase them. Like her OITNB character Daya Diaz, Polanco is a young mother who put her acting dreams aside for a career as a hospital administrator. She began acting while studying to become a nurse, with OITNB being her first full-time gig.
Colombian-American Diane Guerrero, who plays feisty inmate Maritza Ramos, is a passionate activist for immigration reform. The only one in her immediate family born in the U.S., Ramos' parents and older brother were detained and deported back to Colombia when she was 14. A memoir entitled "In the Country We Love: My Family Divided" based on her experiences surrounding the deportation of her family is set to be released sometime in 2016. She also has a recurring role as Lina on "Jane the Virgin".
Jessica Pimentel, who plays inmate Maria Ruiz, attended the High School for the Performing Arts and has a degree in Theater Arts from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts In New York City. The Dominican/Taino Native American actress has also toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan as a classical violinist, lead singer of death metal band Alekhine's Gun, and bassist for metal band Desolate.
Boricua Elizabeth Rodriguez has been gracing the theater stage, TV screen, and independent film circuit since the 90s. With guest spots in shows like "Law & Order", "All My Children.", and "Oz", as well as nominations for awards in theater, Rodriguez was chosen to play inmate Aleida Diaz on OITNB as a recurring character, and is currently a series regular in "Fear the Walking Dead".
LA and DR native Jackie Cruz plays tough, out-of-the-box inmate Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales, and like her character, has had a far from easy life. Becoming homeless after moving out of her single mother's house at 16, Cruz suffered from a collapsed lung as a result of a car accident and had to undergo brain surgery. After a girl group project called Krush Velvet fell through, Cruz got her start at acting after befriending Khloe Kardashian in an art class and later kissing her in a club.
Jersey born Laura Gómez got her start acting in Santo Domingo and trained professionally in NYC, where she currently resides. Aside from playing cellphone-addicted kitchen worker Blanca Flores, Gómez is an accomplished voice over artist for companies such as Covergirl and Suave. She has also lent her voice to audiobooks for titles like "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Díaz and "Of How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent" by Julia Alvarez.
With season four of "Orange is the New Black" premiering in June, it's time to get reacquainted with some of our favorite Latina Litchfield inmates and perhaps learn a fun fact or two.