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Nixia Quintero was born in Panama. Her paternal grandfather was from Panama and her paternal grandmother was a Frenchwoman who came to Panama because of the building of the Canal. Her maternal grandfather was Panamanian and her maternal grandmother was from Colombia. Her father was a voracious reader and worked as a scientist, studying animals (mostly reptiles) and bugs. As a youth, Nixia was a talented runner. She participated in the first and only Panamanian Youth Games in 1983. Nixia now has two young children and is proud of her African heritage, believing that it is important to fight against racism. Her message to the youth of Panama is “you should not be ashamed of your race—everyone is equal, black, white, and indigenous—the person is important, not the race or religion.”
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