Blog and News

February 17, 2024

For Camila de la Vega Maldonado, Dray’s Manager of Customer Relationships and Experience, working at Dray goes much beyond just a job: it’s personal. Sober and in recovery for eight years this March, Camila is helping to grow a needed community of non-drinkers that hasn’t always existed in Boston.

“Before Dray, there has been little opportunity for the Boston community to question: ‘how do we gather with our people in ways that are special and fun – but not cause self-harm?’” she said. “Dray is a real opportunity for Boston’s people and culture. We can take heed from cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, where non-alcoholic movements have been growing for many years.” 

Camila also sees Dray as a chance to educate others on the benefits – and the sacredness – that NA beverages can bring to your gatherings. “Alcoholic products were once held in sacredness and used only in special times and ceremonies. Tequila was revered; rum was medicinal,” they said. “In using non-alcoholic options, we can gather and understand this is a special time for us to be together. It helps us come back to really being with one another – being present for one another – and not just about the spirits we are gathering around.” 

Camila’s background serves her ability to educate others well. Born in Cambridge to a Bolivian mother and Mexican father, they moved with their family all around the Boston area before spending two years in Bolivia in their high school years. Eventually, upon returning to the United States, Camila ended up working in Boston in the non-profit education sector, with a focus on racial equity, art, and culture. “Especially for younger folks who come into the store, there is such a learning opportunity to try something healthy and new,” she said. “A good teacher meets a student where they're at, and that is the kind of culture we try to adopt at the store. I am happy when I’m able to help folks who are coming in, who are willing to ask questions, be brave, and try something new.”

As Dray and Boston’s non-alcoholic movement grows over time, Camila looks forward to Dray “really becoming a part of the local infrastructure and to work with the government to create more non-alcoholic public events and spaces.”

Stop by Dray soon to meet Camila and our other great staff members!

Camila de la Vega Maldonado, Dray’s Manager of Customer Relationships and Experience
Pronouns: she/they; Favorite NA drink: “I love a good Moscow mule.” Favorite product at Dray: “Honestly, growing up Latina, the NA Corona just has a very special place in my heart!”
A photo of Camila with her eyes closed sitting on a bench with windows in the background.