Renata Soto

Conexion Americas | Casa Azafran
2195 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211
615-320-5152

Born in Costa Rica in 1972, Renata Soto moved to the United States to spend her senior year of college at Kenyon. After working in Atlanta for the Latin American Association, she and her husband moved to Nashville in 1996, where she started working in grant writing and community development for the United Way, a path that helped lead Renata to the vision for Conexion Americas. She saw the need for a holistic organization that would help address the opportunities and challenges facing a growing number of Latino families moving to Nashville.

Founded in 2002, Conexion Americas celebrated its tenth anniversary with the opening of Casa Azafran in 2012, a center that houses Conexion Americas and nine other related nonprofits and government agencies that strive to create a more welcoming and inclusive Nashville through services like healthcare, to language and performing arts classes. It’s also home to Mesa Komal, meaning “table” in Spanish and “community” in Kurdish. The kitchen offers space for twenty-two full-time food entrepreneurs.

Date of interview:

May 17, 2016

Interviewer:

Jennifer Justus

Photographer:

Emily B. Hall


We knew the value of a shared, affordable, licensed kitchen and what that meant in terms of helping somebody grow and start something, but the kitchen actually has brought more value to those food entrepreneurs in the sense of community, mentorship, and networking, and the support that they receive from each other.

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