She was born in Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia. Her mother is a homemaker and her father produced cattle for the meat industry. "La Toti" was the nickname given to Vergara by her five brothers and sisters and many cousins, including television news anchor and reporter Carlos Vergara, who currently works for WTVJ in Miami, Florida. She grew up in her hometown of Barranquilla and was raised in a well-off family, attending a private bilingual (Spanish/English) school. She got married at the age of 18, and she gave birth to her son Manolo in 1991 at the age of 19. After the break-up of her marriage she studied dentistry at a college in Colombia for three years. Vergara lived in Miami and then Los Angeles, and brought her mother, sister, and son to live with her.
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