Four years ago, Carmen Martinez knew little about Delaware. Today, the Mexico native is the new president of the International Women’s Club of Delaware, and she’s loving life in the First State. Martinez moved to Wilmington for her husband’s job, and she’s also lived in New York City, Miami and Pennsylvania before leaving Mexico City, where she was a dentist at her family’s practice and was also a public relations consultant for brands including Colgate, Oral B and Crest.
She’s a fan of Delaware: “I have been so impressed with the natural beauty of the state— rivers, woods, trees and animals. Everyday I am in awe with something different, either foxes, deer, hawks or cicadas; and people! Delawareans are always willing to help with directions or share a smile with newcomers. It’s a beautiful place to live in.”
Read on to find out a little bit more about Martinez, her new role at IWC and multiculturalism in Delaware.
TSD: Explain a little bit about what IWC is and does, and why you care about the organization.
CM: I’ve always worked with people, so being alone was never an option. The person who was in charge of helping us with the relocation process in Delaware is from the U.K., and she recommended me to join IWC. I arrived in July and joined in September. IWC is my home away from home in Delaware. It was created 27 years ago by a group of ladies whose husbands worked for DuPont. The four of them had lived in Geneva and other foreign cities, and they wanted to continue learning about other cultures and traditions. Specifically, they wanted to create a women’s network to support and befriend women from other countries who came to live in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley.
TSD: Is there anything that might surprise native Delawareans about Wilmington’s multiculturalism?
CM: Yes. Year after year for 27 years, we have had members from more than 20 different countries. Our annual membership, on average, is 220-230 women from different countries. The numbers vary because there are always women who are leaving and arriving in Delaware. We try to participate and support our community with projects like Adopt a Family, the food bank and the DuPont Children’s Hospital.
TSD: Congrats on the new position— what will be your responsibilities and goals as the new head of IWC?
CM: My main responsibility is to become family for new members. We simply care for each other. Our motto is that we may have different beliefs, religions and countries we identify with, but we all smile in the same language.
I’m excited about giving the best classes, lectures, activities, cuisine and cultural experiences to all our members, and I invite more people to join us. If you have studied or lived abroad, if your husband is from a different country or you speak a different language, we would like to hear from you!