Salvadoran born, she was raised in the Westlake and Pico-Union areas in Los Angeles. A President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the English Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (2007–2009), she has taught on U.S. Central American, Chicana/o, and Latina/o literature and communities at Scripps college (2010) and UCLA. She currently lectures in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UCLA where she designed undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. Central American cultures, literatures, racial constructions, and cultural memory production, practices, and performativities. She is interested in intercultural and gendered Latina/o narratives, cross-textual representations of Latinidad, and U.S. Central American transnational cultural recuperations. A published poet and artist, her poems are found in The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts in Los Angeles (2016), Mujeres de Maiz Zine,hispanicLA.com, La Bloga, and ¡Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature (2012). Alvarado’s articles are found in Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature and in Latino Studies Journal. She also coedited a book, "U.S. Central Americans Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance" to be published by Arizona University Press in spring 2017.
Ph.D., Ethnic Studies, University of California at Berkeley.