Maritza Ramos (portrayed by Diane Guerrero) is best friends with Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales; their friendship compels Gloria Mendoza to call them “Lucy and Ethel without the charm.” She has a one-year-old daughter. She began working in the kitchen in season two under Gloria. She is best known for her fiery attitude.
Before she was arrested, she worked in a upscale night club where she scammed customers out of their money. She would fill empty vodka bottles and, as she was serving them to the customers, she’d accidentally trip and break the bottles all over them. She’d begin crying and pleading with the group not to tell her boss, mentioning her small baby she had to support, in order to manipulate the customers into chipping in for the bottle so she could pocket the cash. However, one customer catches onto her scam and instead invites her to a gig where the take was more lucrative in one day than what she typically made a year ($50,000).
Now a con-woman sales girl at the Miami Ferrari Maserati Dealer, she posed as a sales girl to the customer and as the customer’s wife to the men handing over the keys. However, she didn’t account for the salesman about to hop in the back seat and begin asking questions about their “marriage.” When the questions became too much for her, she blasted the music and then pretended to have to get sick, so when everyone left the car to check up on her, she ran back into it and drove away with the car. It’s likely that this is the job that landed her in jail.
In season one, she ran for the Women’s Advisory Council (WAC) with the slogan “If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza.” Seeing as her definition of love is having a pizza, it is safe to say that it’s her favorite food.
Maritza has never been a main character; however, we gain a greater glimpse into her values at the Mother’s Day celebration. When her daughter is brought to visit, she worries about her child being the prettiest. From her conversations with her coworkers in the kitchen, we learn that the most important lessons her mother taught her were how to put on makeup and how to “duct-tape her tits together.” She will likely pass down the emphasis on appearances down to her daughter.
When discussing motherhood with Daya after she gives birth, Maritza explains that she opted for a c-section in favor of preventing her parts from “flapping” in the wind. We can deduce that she is not dedicated to being the best mother for her child, for when her child has an accident, she is quick to hand her off. Interestingly, Maritza didn’t know she was pregnant until she was seven months in.
Season 4 brings its challenges for Maritza. Though we were led to believe that she would have to suffer C.O. Coates‘ perversity, he shows no interest in her, and C.O. McCullough soon takes his place. This doesn’t mean, however, that she is not still degraded by the prison guards. While driving a bunch of guards back to the on-campus housing, the new guards tease Coates about having sex with her. Instead of fearing this topic of conversation, Maritza says, “You know what gets me so hot is when guys compare me to breakfast and when they talk about me like I’m not even here. How about you call me that oatmeal in the front seat, and I’ll totally be yours?”. Although a comment like this inside the walls of Litchfield would ensure her a shot, the guards laugh instead of punish her for back-talking.
She continues to work for Piper‘s Felonious Spunk business until Maria Ruiz begins, and her loyalty switches because she’s offering red slipper socks, which are more preferable to Maritza. Though she thought she was getting more perks in switching over to Ruiz’s operation, she soon plays an integral role in the operation, moving the panties out of the prison and having Ruiz’s cousin, Alonso, coming by and taking them from underneath the van.
The gig was supposed to be easy, for Maritza prides herself in manipulating men; however, when C.O. McCullough starts accompanying her, she finds herself having to buddy up with her instead of manipulating her sexually. Though the operation goes well, one of the guards catches Alonso and begins interrogating him. Thinking quickly, Maritza tells him in Spanish to follow her lead with the story she comes up with, but unfortunately for her, C.O. Humphrey understood what she said to him.
Feeling the pressure build with C.O. Humphrey watching her every move, Maritza approaches Ruiz about backing out of the operation because she’s anxious all the time and has trouble eating. However, Ruiz makes it known that she has no choice but to continue her job. The next time Alonso comes to pick up the goods, Maritza gets the guards suspicious about Alonso and has him chased off campus. When confronted about the situation, she claims to have protected the operation because of Humphrey’s threats, but she also admits that she believes Ruiz would push her under the bus when they were finally caught, so she was acting out of self-preservation.
While she might have saved herself in one department, C.O. Humphrey has overheard her conversations, specifically the one with Flaca about their “would-you-rather-eat…” game. He brings her into the house and holds a gun to her head, forcing her to choose whether to eat flies or a baby mouse. Preferring to live, she suffers to swallow the baby mouse, which is not at all like a little “jelly bean.” Later, she tells Flaca that she felt its feet in her throat as she swallowed it.
This incident causes Maritza to vomit for several days following the incident. Though the guards notice this behavior as well as know that Humphrey was with her a few days earlier, they don’t do anything to protect her or investigate.
Maritza apparently bounces back as quickly as humanly possible once she learns of the opportunity to look fabulous in front of the cameras that are heading to Litchfield to report on Poussey Washington‘s death.