Yalitza Aparicio is a Mexican actress best known for her film debut as Cleo in Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma (2018), which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first Indigenous American woman and the second Mexican woman to ever be nominated.
Yalitza was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca in 1993. She holds a degree in education and aspires to become a teacher upon completion of her exams but also has additional opportunities ahead of her since the film has been completed. Yalitza went to her local community center to accompany her sister to the casting call and ended up trying out and being selected. She is very close with another actress from Roma, Nancy García, who lives in a nearby town in Oaxaca. Yalitza also developed strong relationships with the child actors that formed her family on set. Yalitza took advantage of working in Mexico City and visited Chapultepec Park and the pyramids of Teotihuacán. She loved being on set and seeing how spaces were transformed. She also enjoyed working with Cuarón and building the relationship of trust they came to share.