By: Lena Hansen
Francisca Lachapel hopes to inspire other young Latinas to pursue and actualize their biggest dreams with her new book Una Reina Como Tú (“A Queen Like You”), even if they’re struggling with a lot of hard knocks. The Dominican TV host and former beauty queen talked to People en Español about her debut as an author in the March issue of the magazine. “The path to achieving your dreams is very difficult and you tend to throw in the towel,” she says. “The important thing is to keep fighting until you get what you want.” Her life, which she shares in generous detail, is evidence that persisting through hardships could result in great rewards.
In the book, the 28-year-old actress and co-host of Univision’s morning show Despierta América, reveals obstacles she faced prior to being crowned Nuestra Belleza Latina‘s queen in 2015 and achieving fame. Before winning Univision’s reality show pageant and getting an exclusive contract to work with the Spanish-language network, Lachapel had a childhood plagued by scarcity and bitter moments in her native Dominican Republic. Francisca’s mother raised her as a single mom after her father passed away from a heart attack when she was five years old. One chapter details how her father’s absence affected her life: “I don’t even remember his face,” she once said, “I just have a photo of the two of us where he is carrying me as a little girl. That’s all.” She longs for the guidance he might have provided her through her life.
Lachapel also describes a tumultuous home life when her mother remarried. “My mom got remarried later to a man and it was a very painful period in our lives. She would leave him and go back to him. They were like cats and dogs. That experience really marked me,” she has said.
The star, now a woman of significant means, gave her mom the gift of a lifetime last Christmas when she transformed her humble home in the Dominican Republic into a mansion. Despierta América aired a moving segment showing construction workers re-building the TV host’s modest childhood dwelling into the house of her mother’s dreams.
She hopes her book will inspire other young Latinas to fight for their dreams and shore up the strength to surpass troubled and difficult circumstances. “People can’t lose faith,” she tells People en Español. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. No matter how far-fetched or impossible an idea you have in your head may seem, if you fight and work hard for your dreams, they will come true.”