Maritza Vega was born in New Jersey from her loving parents Alicia and Francisco. Her parents were very courageous in being the first generation to move to New Jersey. When she was young in age, her parents decided to return to their homeland Peñuelas and Patillas, Puerto Rico. She was fortunate that she learned and became fluent in English and Spanish, which is a good skill to know in both the states and in Puerto Rico. She says her humble upbringing in Puerto Rico is part of what makes her the women she is today. She now lives in the heart of Buffalo New York’s West Side, with her only son Watu in a city she is proud to call home.
Maritza is passionate about getting involved in the community and helping out when there is a need. Her commitment is exemplified by her involvement. She has been involved in several organizations such as; Immigration Reform for America where she led a rally at the MLK park along with other groups in the city of Buffalo, The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade where she was a past Treasurer and Fundraising volunteer. The Urban Chamber of Commerce, committee member. Grassroots nominating committees volunteer. Straight Talk committee as a member she helps organizes events in the community to be inclusive to all minorities. Bicycle Master plan stakeholder committee, organizing diversity of bikeway types for all neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo volunteer. The Buffalo Fair elections committee, this advisory board was set up to limit the public money used in elections.
She has been awarded certificate of appreciations for Kaleida Health, Alianza Latina, and Hispanic United of Buffalo for her service in human services, diversity and advocacy. The most recent award was a community certificate; “Woman Making History” achieving the highest award in community advocacy.
One word to describe this remarkable organizer is "energy" – she is always looking for ways to help those in need. She has a clear view of problem solving, “understand the problem- get the solution and execute” her favorite words. She presently works for Kaleida Health systems for the past 16 years, where she has held several positions for the last 16 years; presently she is a Certified Application Councilor, where she works to obtain health insurance for those with no insurance or are under-insured, using the New York State Market Place.
She commits a large part of her time involved with the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc., where she is the Vice President, the first woman to receive such a title. She hopes to encourage the understanding and knowledge of Spanish-speaking countries and to promote unity within the Hispanic community and with the larger communities of Western New York. She believes in the pay it forward method and the importance of working together in a cohesive team. Her work in this organization as a volunteer and her tasks include organizing events such as the Day of the Child, Dia de los Muertos, Hispanic Heritage Month to name a few.