Yalitza Aparicio became the first indigenous woman to be nominated for an Oscar and the second Mexican woman to do so

By Alexia Fernandez
February 25, 2019 06:07 PM
Advertisement

Alfonso Cuarón‘s muse, Yalitza Aparicio, was honored by her Mexican hometown with an Oscars party that celebrated her historic nomination.

Aparicio, 25, was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Cuarón’s Netflix film Roma. While the actress didn’t take home the Oscar (Olivia Colman snagged the award) she was celebrated in her home of Tlaxiaco, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, where the town’s residents gathered at a viewing party to watch the award ceremony on Sunday night.

The actress became the first indigenous woman to earn an Oscar nomination and the second Mexican woman to do so after Salma Hayek’s nomination for Frida in 2003.

Roma is Aparicio’s acting debuting after she auditioned during a casting call in Mexico. The film follows Cleo (Aparicio) a housekeeper and caretaker who struggles through personal issues while taking care of the family she works for.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Oscars coverage to get the latest news on film’s biggest night.

Viewers watching the Oscars at a live watch party in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico.
CARLOS BAUTISTA/AFP/Getty
Wall art of Yalitza Aparicio from Roma on a building in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The role thrust Aparicio into the awards season circuit and also saw her land the cover on Vogue Mexico and an appearance in Vanity Fair.

Aparicio told Harper’s Bazaar in an interview published on Sunday that she felt blessed to have been a part of the film.

I feel that this is an opportunity to see that we are diverse, that we do not all have the same skin color or the same appearance or anything,” she told the magazine.

Yalitza Aparicio at the 91st Academy Awards
Steve Granitz/WireImage

“I have read comments where they say things like, ‘[The movie] does not represent Mexico.’ In a way, they are right, because Roma is not trying to be representative of all of Mexico,” she said. “It is simply one representation of a diverse Mexico, it is one of the many faces that exist, it is one of the many colors that we have.”

She added, “I feel that it is also the opportunity for us to reflect as Mexicans, that we are diverse, and we must accept ourselves as we are.”

The 91st Academy Awards were broadcast live from Los Angeles on Sunday.