2016 HIPGiver Series: Arturo Castro
“Inspiring hope is the best gift you can give your community.” Arturo Castro Actor, Producer, Content Creator The value of influence is not lost on Arturo Castro. As a recurring character on Comedy Central’s hit show, “Broad City,” as well as the creator of the new digital sketch show, “Alternatino,” he is in a unique position to inspire, and he does not take this role lightly. “Inspiring hope is the best gift you can give your community,” Castro said. Castro was born and raised in Guatemala. When he was 19, he moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Vassar College. Since then, Castro has worked in theater and television on a variety of productions and shows. “I never saw somebody [on TV] that I could aspire to, growing up as a Latin kid in Guatemala,” he said in a segment for Mic.com. “I never saw anybody that looked like me on television and, if they did look like me, they were either in the field, or getting shot by Antonio Banderas.” Castro said that, through his work as an actor and content producer, “My hope is that I’m changing the conversation on what Latinos are or are not…I’m trying to improve our image on a worldwide level. We’re as much a part of this community as anybody else.” Part of this desire to change the narrative on Latinos comes from a deeply rooted sense that giving is just a part of life. Castro recalled that everything in his house growing up was shared, and that this sense of generosity was simply second nature. Castro is also quick to credit his mentors and those who have helped him succeed. “The reason I do what I do is because I love my community and the people who have supported me thus far,” he said. In working with youth at alternative learning centers in impoverished neighborhoods in the Bronx and in Brooklyn, he sees the importance of this type of personal and community support. “I do drama therapy and teach kids how to deal with their emotions through acting,” he said. “Kids who have gone through trauma are very closed off; having them open up to me has been incredibly inspiring…” “It’s easy,” he added, “to throw up your hands. But inspiring hope in somebody – goals in the younger generation – it’s the best gift you can give to a human being.” When asked to consider how others can inspire giving in their own communities, Castro said, “If this planet is going to be fixed at all, we need an army of inspired young people.” In a world that can feel full of hopeless inequity and strife, taking a cue from Arturo Castro is not only wise, but inspired.