Carlotta was Dorian Lord's maid for many, many years. Dorian often called out "Carlotta", but she many times she was never even seen. Beginning in 1995, Carlotta became a major character, who thwarted Alex Olanov's and R.J.'s plans to build an arts center in Angel Square by refusing to sell her home. Estranged from her son Antonio, who had been sent to jail for murder years before, Carlotta struggled to keep her younger son, Cristian, away from the gangs of Angel Square, the Prides and the Arrows.
Cristian started seeing Jessica Buchanan, and in trying to keep the two of them apart, Clint Buchanan and Carlotta developed a relationship of their own. Antonio was released from jail and Carlotta finally let him back into her life when she learned he'd working undercover for the police to catch the person selling guns in Angel Square. Carlotta quit working for Dorian when Antonio bought back the diner for her that she and her husband, Diego, used to run in Angel Square. Carlotta was hesitant to get too deeply involved with Clint and the two of them eventually drifted apart. Her life was endangered when she was held hostage by Ernesto Soto at the diner, but Carlotta got through the ordeal and was let go unharmed.
Carlotta forgave Hank Gannon for prosecuting Antonio for Carlo Hesser's murder and the two grew closer and became lovers. Hank was unsure of the depth of his commitment, but when he finally decided to propose to Carlotta, she turned him down and suggested they just be friends. Carlotta tried to be supportive of Cris and his plan to marry Roseanne, but she was obviously not thrilled with the idea. When Cris found out right after they were married that Roseanne had been lying to him, Carlotta tried to convince Cris to try to make things work. She objected to them getting a divorce, but agreed that it would be alright for them to get an annulment from the church. The two eventually got divorced, and Cris began seeing Jen Rappaport. When Lindsay Rappaport set up a website featuring Cristian, Carlotta was furious and banished her from the diner. But she liked Jen well enough.
But then, Antonio began seeing R.J.'s daughter, Keri Reynolds, and Carlotta was strenuously opposed to the two of them. She walked in on the two making love on the way to drop off a "dating suggestion" for Antonio and was not at all pleased about it. Carlotta tried to keep her son away from Keri, unintentionally hurting Keri in the process. She was angry about the match because R.J. had hired a hit man to go after Cristian after he found out Cris was working undercover for the police. Months later, Carlotta found herself under scrutiny by Antonio when he suspected her of hiding something about Dorian's recently discovered daughter, Adriana Colon.
Carlotta eventually revealed that Antonio was not her biological son. In fact, he was the son of her brother, Manuel. Manuel had married Isabella Santi, and in order to protect his family (the Espinozas) from his criminal activities, Manuel had changed his name to Santi, and he and Isabella had two sons -- Manuel II and Augustico. When Carlotta and Diego had been first married, Isabella had come to them, begging them to raise little Manuelito as their own, and to keep him away from his father. They had named him Antonio, and never let on that he was not their son. Antonio was devastated to learn that his family was not his own, and for a long time turned his back on Carlotta and appeared to be more interested in the Santi side of the family, including his newfound brother Tico.
A short time after Tico's murder, Carlotta was shocked and overjoyed when her son Cristian returned home, and he and Natalie began putting their marriage back together. At the same time, Antonio also began reconnecting with his adoptive family. When the man they had believed was Cristian revealed himself to be an imposter and said that he had killed Tico, Carlotta felt like she was losing her son all over again. But the truth eventually came out that this supposed imposter really was Cristian, who had let everyone believe he was dead because he wanted Natalie to start a new life. When the truth came, Carlotta was thrilled to have her son back and appointed herself as a surrogate mother of sorts to Evangeline Williamson, who had helped free Cristian, and her younger sister Layla.
Once her family was brought back together, Carlotta became a strong presence in all of their lives. She gave her blessing to Cristian and Evangeline when they began dating and was there for Cris when they broke up. She was also there for Antonio when he married Jessica and struggled through the failing marriage. Carlotta also took care of Jaimie throughout all the problems and even came to a truce with R.J. over the care of their granddaughter.
In 2008, Carlotta was devastated when her diner burned down under unknown circumstances. She was grateful when Charlie Banks, a recovering alcoholic and trained architect, offered to help restore the diner.
In March 2009, Carlotta bid her son Antonio farewell as he left on a extended mission to track down his girlfriend Talia's crime lord father, Carlo Hesser. Carlotta agreed to care for Jamie in Antonio's absence. In September 2009, Carlotta was shocked to find Cristian in the possession of a book designed to help gays and lesbians come out to their parents. Carlotta assumed Cristian was gay and said that despite her Catholic upbringing she accepted him for who he was, but Cristian quickly explained that the book was for a friend of his. Although Carlotta refused to attend family friend Téa Delgado's wedding to Todd Manning, she was there for Téa when the marriage quickly fell apart after Todd learned Téa was already married.