Javiera Caballero (1978 - )

JAVIERA CABALLERO WAS BORN IN SANTIAGO, CHILE but her family emigrated to the US when she was 2 years old. Her father was completing a graduate school program in the US but also looked to escape the country’s dictatorship. She grew up as an immigrant and remembers when her family could first afford to move into a bigger apartment. The only negative they saw was that it was close to the railroad tracks. Little did they know that it also divided two rival gangs. Despite the difficult circumstances of her childhood, Javiera thrived and went on to study at the Appalachian State University, where she received a degree in Political Science. After she graduated from college, Javiera found her passion in education. She received training and became a Montessori teacher for schools in north Carolina and Illinois. Javiera moved to Durham in 2005 and has been an active member of the community since.

Javiera helped the community organize and raise funds to open a cooperative bakery, Bread Uprising, where she also worked as baker. Bread Uprising focused on food security and giving low-income families access to sustainable food sources. After her time as a teacher and baker, she began working at Cross & Joftus, an education consulting firm that is dedicated to helping the leaders of schools to support their students. Javiera assisted in developing principal strategies for many school districts.

She is involved in her own children’s education and is the President of the PTA at Club Boulevard Magnet Elementary. Even in her role with the PTA, she quickly found ways to build bridges, fight hunger and provide translators for parents. She helped organize a Community Fresh Food Delivery and Pick-Up and has even joined families at community rallies. The fear of immigration checkpoints for many families helped her seek out tech gurus to make an app for carpools.

In January of 2018, Javiera became the first Latina ever to be appointed to the Durham City Council. Javiera came to the council meeting thinking that she hadn’t wont the position and was surprised with the appointment. However, she is proud to be part of such historic moment in Durham’s history. Shortly after being sworn in, Javiera gave her first remarks in both English and Spanish, promising to “fight for all of us.” Since her appointment, Javiera has remained involved with the community, advocating for the importance of education and supporting Latinos in Durham.