Making it work

Intercultural and interfaith marriage


  • Alicia Maldonado-Zahra


interfaith marriage, intercultural marriage, marriage, cultural differences, conflict


There’s a beauty of intercultural relationships that is often admired but rarely discussed beyond the superficial. For the last five years, I have been married to a man—and married into his family—that adds a new cultural dimension to my already intercultural family. While I have navigated cultural differences my entire life, I have learned a new way of being with others who are unlike me. I have also learned that, though we are bound together by marriage, being family is more a choice that requires intentionality, grace, and patience.

Author Biography

Alicia Maldonado-Zahra

Alicia Maldonado-Zahra is part of the second generation of her Puerto Rican family to be born in the United States. Originally from Fort Myers, Florida, she now resides in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband, many animals, and her parents—who are their neighbors. She is a graduate of Hesston College and Eastern Mennonite University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in social work and another in global development. Alicia is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in theology and peace studies from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She works with the Intercultural Competency and Undoing Racism department at the seminary, collaborates with her church community in leading their youth, and manages her conflict transformation business, Prodigal Processes.