In Remembrance: Tatiana

Tatiana Cordero Velásquez, our Sister, Tati, Executive Director of the Urgent Action Fund Latin America & the Caribbean, became an ancestor on April 13, 2021.

Tati was the embodiment of feminism, a wise and soulful being, a beloved friend to feminist movements globally, a mother, sister, daughter… a Bruja.

Tati’s presence in a room brought you in and commanded your attention. She was the embodiment of her land; the spirit of her people. She radiated love and light. Her voice was full of strength and grace; her words infused with infinite wisdom. She held a conviction and rigor in her politics. She lifted, always, the voices of feminist movements of the Global South. She reminded us to see each other’s humanity. She urged us to pause; to live with intention and care of each other; to connect with our spirit, our ancestors, our indigenous lands.

To know her was to be transformed by her.

Tati reminded us to be joyful and live life abundantly and in its fullness. She was a lover of dance, music, food, and wine. One evening in 2018, when the Sister Fund staff were gathered in Fiji, Tatiana organized everyone onto the outdoor dance floor. There we all were, doing the limbo under a scarf, dancing to new music, holding our drinks in one hand while we copied each other’s moves. Tati’s footwork was fast and she laughed from the pure joy of sisters getting down.

Over the years, as the collective work of the Sister Funds deepened, Tatiana was instrumental in putting care at its center. She saw our work as at its most powerful when we supported one another, codo a codo. She urged us to take risks, to break free from the power dynamics of traditional philanthropy, to deepen the work in our own regions, and to express our collective understanding. 

Tatiana also taught us the value of well-applied lipstick. Rarely was a photo taken without it.

Over the last three years, UAF Latin America & Caribbean hosted three Encuentros (convenings) bringing together activists, healers, and movement leaders from around the world to discuss collective care. Tati’s vision for care was threaded in the curation of each event. For example, each participant received a personal note and gift when they arrived, honoring their participation and unique contribution. She also believed that care was political and that this included language justice. The Encuentros were held in Spanish, with simultaneous translation for those who needed it. This kept the conversations rich and real, centering their Latina roots.  By the end of the Encuentro, each person left feeling deeply connected, nourished, loved, and renewed.

We lift up her legacy. We celebrate a life lived with authenticity and fullness. We remember her beautiful and vibrant spirit and we feel it with us now. We wish her peace and a smooth journey to join the ancestors knowing that her wisdom and her vision of care lives on.

We are humbled and grateful for the messages of love and remembrance that we have received from around the world. The magnitude of love and the impact she had on so many lives around the world is a reminder of the deep power of her spirit.  

Tati leaves behind a song of care and love that will forever reside in our hearts, collectively around the globe. We send love and comfort to the many people, organizations and feminist movements around the world whose lives were touched by Tati.

Let us celebrate her life and lift up her legacy of collective care as political and integral to our movements. Let us be encouraged and in deep gratitude to have known such a blessed person.

We miss you Tati.