Arte: Reseña Teatral: Obra de teatro del día “V”

Escrito por Por las reporteras juveniles de Latinitas
Traducido por Joy Díaz

Veamos, ¿puedes decir que amas tu vagina?, ¿escribes acerca de ella en tu diario y hablas de ella con tus amigas? Si respondiste que no, entonces quizá no has visto la obra de teatro “Los Monólogos de la Vagina. Todos los años, algunas escuelas y comunidades producen la obra de Eve Ensler para crear conciencia de la violencia contra la mujer y para que uno piense en su propia vagina. Este evento normalmente se hace alrededor del Día de San Valentín.

La obra consiste en varios monólogos (actuaciones de una sola persona) que hablan acerca de lo que otras mujeres piensan sobre su cuerpo, y revela las batallas personales que libramos las mujeres y las jóvenes. Otro aspecto que explora la obra son temas de los que normalmente no hablamos en público. Estos confrontan situaciones que enfrentan las mujeres como el lidiar con la imagen de su cuerpo, el trato en las relaciones personales, en los conflictos raciales, la violación y la violencia doméstica. La obra combina algunas historias chistosas y otras tristes con el fin de educar a millones de personas sobre la terrible realidad de la violencia hacia niñas y mujeres.

Desde el año de1998, Los Monólogos de la Vagina recauda fondos para grupos anti-violencia en comunidades del lugar y para asuntos actuales de las mujeres. Se han convertido en un movimiento a nivel nacional para ponerle un alto a la violencia contra muchas niñas y mujeres. Todos los años, Eve Ensler, la escritora, escoge un proyecto específico al que dona el 10 por ciento de los ingresos de la obra, el 90 por ciento restante lo dirige a organizaciones locales. En 2004, su enfoque fue “Las Mujeres Desaparecidas y Asesinadas en Juárez”. – Por Verónica Castill y Hannah Otis.

Ver “Los Monólogos de la Vagina” fue una experiencia diferente y agradable. Me gustó el desarrollo de la obra y cómo me hizo sentir emociones diferentes. Primero me moría de la risa y después me llenaba de una tristeza inmensa. ¡Fue una experiencia fascinante!

– Michelle Ortiz

A mí la historia y la obra en general me enseñaron que nadie tiene el derecho de forzarme a hacer algo que no estoy preparada para hacer. Ni nadie puede forzarme a hacer algo que no quiera que pase.

– Jennifer Grijalva

Se me hizo padre ver la obra. Muchas chicas nos preocupamos por nuestra “V”. Pero fue divertido oír los diversos temas que trataron las actrices. Fue entretenida y me gustó que la obra tratara el tema abiertamente. Creo que si más gente viera la obra, se sentirían más cómodos consigo mismos y tendrían una autoestima mayor.

- Krystella Rangel

Para más información visita el sitio de Internet www.vday.org

Marzo 2006

Big Sis: Elizabeth Gonzalez

Vea este artículo en español aquí

Name: Elizabeth Gonzalez
Age: 17
Cultural Background: Hispanic
Grade: High School Junior

What is your favorite subject?
Well, I love English. For college, I am between law and communications, but its something that I love doing in my own time and know I will make an impact.

What are some of your classes?
I’m in an early college program. I have taken communication courses: photojournalism, film, mass media and society, publications and intro to electronic media.

Describe a typical day as a high school student.
My typical day is a combination of a high school and college classes. I usually have meetings for student council after school and National English Honor Society. I do event planning with the officers and sponsor and am running back in forth to the office and around campus, dealing with classes as well.

What is the most challenging part of school?
For me, taking high school classes at the same time and being involved in organizations clash with each other.

What is your favorite part of school?
My favorite part is the independent part, somehow in high school I would get trouble with administration over trying to get classes. But once I enter college I will be able to organize my schedule.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t in school?
I usually spend time with my family, go to the movies. I like to read and do art projects.

What extra-curricular activities are you involved in?
I am Secretary for Student Council, President of NEHS, a member of Mayors 100 Teens, and write for the Tejano Tribune newspaper

What volunteer or community service experience do you have?
I have volunteered with Latinitas and helped at afterschool programs. I’ve volunteered with the environmental club in school: animal shelter, La Posada home, etc.

What made you decide to go to college?
I am still in high school, but I am going to college once I graduate. I want to really do something I love, and education has always been my focus.

How are you preparing for college?
I try to set high goals for myself. Currently, I’m attending the Valle Verde Early College High School Program. It has prepared me to challenge myself in taking all these courses and I am in the Dean’s List.

What are your long-term goals for the next 5 to 10 years?
I hope to attend one of my dream schools that fall under Ivy Leagues. Whatever major I choose, I plan to write for the paper and go to grad school. Whatever path I choose, I know I will be making a difference as being a Latinia and hope to be an influential role model.

What advice would you give to younger girls?
I would recommend that you realize that you choose your own fate. Whatever circumstance you are in, everyone has a choice. Education is really important to achieving your goals and should do something you love.

July 2010

Tennis Player Gigi Fernandez

Gigi Fernandez is an Olympic medalist, a tennis player, a youth fitness activist, a mother and an entrepreneur. Latinitas members talk about how Gigi Fernandez serves as a leader off and on the tennis court.

“Gigi Fernandez was born on February 22, 1964 in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is a professional tennis player, the first female in Puerto Rico to turn professional. Gigi won 17 grand slam doubles titles and also won 2 Olympic gold medals. She has been a tennis coach and entrepreneur.”
-By Adriana

“Gigi was born on February 22, 1964. She started playing tennis when she was 3. Her real name is Beatriz and her nickname is GIgi. She is pretty and awesome. She won 17 grand slams. She has 2 twins and they are girls.”
-By Katya

“Gigi Fernandez is an icon for all Latina girls and women because she is the first female from Puerto Rico to turn into a professional athlete. And also the first female to win an Olympic medal and the first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the International Tennis hall of fame. Fernandez won 17 grand small doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals representing the United States, and reached the World No. 1 ranking in women’s doubles. She reached a career high singles ranking of 17 in 1991. Since retiring from the professional tour in 1997at the age of 33, Fernandez has been a tennis coach and entrepreneur. “
-By Esperanza

“Gigi Fernandez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started playing tennis at 3 years old. She went to Clemson University. She became a professional tennis player. She became the first Puerto Rican girl to become a professional. She won 17 grand slams and 2 Olympic gold medals. Gigi retired in 1997. On April 7, 2009, she had 2 kids and became a mom. Her kids are named Madison and Karson. She is now a youth fitness advocate. She now lives happy with her two twins.”
-By Natalie

June 2011

Girl Diary: A Day In My Life

Vea este artículo en español aquí

Hello! My name is Cynthia Cervantes and I am 12-years-old. I am a seventh grader in California, and my favorite subjects are history and math. In my spare time, I like reading, watching TV and playing school with my little sisters.

My experience with scleroderma began more than a year ago when I suddenly would get weak, my body ached, and my vision was getting worse. Some days it was hard to get out of bed. My feet got so swollen that calcium would ooze out. That is when my parents took me to the doctor.

It took the doctors awhile to figure out what was wrong with me, but last October they determined that I had scleroderma. I was really surprised at first because I did not know what scleroderma was. All that time, I thought my symptoms were related to a flu that would not go away or maybe from playing in the dirt too much. I felt sad because I was told I would have to wear gloves all the time and my finger tips began to hurt.

My life since then has changed. I can no longer eat foods I used to eat. I also had to change from drinking regular milk to soy milk, which I do not like very much. Basketball is one of my favorite sports to play, but because I get tired it is harder to keep up with the other kids.

A day in my life is very busy. I wake up early to take my medications and get ready for school. After school, I have to eat again and take more medicine. I take even more medicine before bed. On Saturdays, I have to drink this yucky vegetable juice because of my scleroderma. My mom says I have to drink it because it helps with my medicine.

Living with scleroderma can feel strange at times because I am the only one who has to wear gloves and a jacket, even on a hot day. My bed is angled because it helps me to digest my food better. Every month, I have to see the doctor and get more shots, which I do not like. Luckily, the doctors and nurses who treat me are really nice and funny.

August 2008

Bring your daughter to work day, everyday!

Take Our Daughters (and now sons) Day has passed (April 28), but there is a group of young Hispanics who work with mom everyday – assisting with or learning how their mamis make an income.

Mia Azul, a 7 year old first grader, interns at her mom’s studio at home. Unlike the traditional experience of Take Our Daughters to Work Day (April 23, 2009 and now including boys), when daughters would be dragged to her mom’s workplace and possibly forced to do some tedious stapling or copying, Mia Azul gets excited to “go to work” with her mom. Even though it is just another room in her house.

“It is interesting and fun.” says Mia. Mia’s mom, Evelyn Escamilla, is an artist, graphic designer and founder of Avocado Street Designs. She designs magazines, posters, and shirts and is a photographer, also.

Mia used to work with her mom all the time in Chicago, IL before they moved to Austin,TX and she started school, “Now, I work with my mom whenever she needs my help and I’m not in school. I like to do my homework in the studio and watch what she is doing on the computer. My brother Diego and I have to be extra quiet when a business call comes in.” Her mom mostly works at home in the studio and sometimes she gets to go out and see clients or goes on photo shoots.

Some of the things Mia has learned from watching her mom are how to use a computer, how to set up a photo shoot and go over a checklist, how to use only four colors and make up a rainbow of options, and how to print.

“It is a good opportunity to learn about art. Kids love to be artistic and watching my mom create helps me learn how to do it myself.” she says.

Mia loves art and sometimes when her mom gets a call from a satisfied client or when her mom designs something she likes, “She (her mom) dances around.” Mia feels influenced by her mom and is considering a profession in graphic design, just like her mom, or is thinking about becoming a veterinarian.

May 2009

Career Spotlight: Angela Sustaita, Klothes Lime Boutique Owner

Angela Sustaita is the owner of Klothes Lime Buy-Sell-Trade in El Paso, Texas. The resale boutique sells fashionable secondhand clothing for women and men. The concept is used to encourage people to reduce, reuse and recycle. Customers can bring in their items that are just hanging in their closet and trade them for a stylish outfit or buy a resale item. With a commitment to helping the community, the boutique sells accessories created by local artists and hosts charity days sharing proceeds with area nonprofits.

What are some of your job responsibilities?
As the owner of Klothes Lime, my responsibilities range from managing the finances of the business to ensuring the restrooms are clean. Klothes Lime is less than a year old and currently has no employees. However, I have been blessed with family and friends who have pitched in their time to assist with duties at the store. As the owner I am responsible for the following: marketing, accounting, appearance of the store, inventory and merchandising and forming partnerships throughout the community.

How did you get started in your career?
I earned a Bachelors in Finance and an Masters in Business Administration from UTEP. I was blessed to begin a career in the nonprofit community. This is when I realized that the primary need for most nonprofits is support, whether it be monetary or support from their community. I decided that I could open a business, work for myself and continue to contribute to the nonprofit community. I knew I wanted to own a business, but the question was what? One day I was shopping a thrift store and I remembered the joy that I got from shopping at Buffalo Exchange in Las Vegas. This is where I found an opportunity, since we did not have a place to trade clothing in my hometown. Aside from the love of shopping for cool things at a low cost, it would promote reducing, reusing and recycling. I want Klothes Lime to be more than just a thrift store to people. I want them to consider our location as a shared closet amongst friends. I am selective of the items that come in, and I plan to keep prices low. My ideal customer is someone who wants to look good but is also financially responsible.

What did you do to prepare for this career?
The first step was to draft a business plan, which is the road map when opening a business. To compile the business plan, I had to research every aspect of the business. From location, beginning inventory, fixtures and equipment, name, logo, financial projections and competition. Once the business plan was complete I was able to apply of a business loan. After that it was a little hard work and a lot of support from people around me.

What is your favorite part of your career?
My absolute favorite thing about the store is when people are shopping and I hear them tell their friends how cute something is and how cheap it is too! I love meeting new people everyday and the relationships that are formed with the customers.

What is the most challenging part of your career?
Money. It is difficult when there are so many things you would like to do, but you are restrained by the lack of funds. Everything takes time to flourish and patience is key.

What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a career in the culinary world?
Take care of yourself before anyone. Save your money, take care of your credit and invest wisely. Your possibilities are endless. Do well in school and take advantage of programs that are offered to you and apply for scholarships. These are all things that I neglected to do and am paying for now.

What do you do for fun when you are not working?
Spending time with my 3-year-old son. I take Eli to the library and museums on my days off. I enjoy yoga, hiking and great food. I love watching movies and relaxing.

What websites do you recommend?
NPR.org because it is informative and unbiased. It helps me to stay informed in world news as well as great music and book finds.

April 2011

Chica Who Cares: Jo Marie Duran

Latinitas is recognizing Chicas Who Care by featuring young Latinas who are making a difference in their community.

Name: Jo Marie Duran
Age: 15
Grade: 10th grade

Tell us about a cause that you are passionate about.
Recycling, I thought many people in my school didn’t contribute to it.

Why is this problem important?
Because I feel everyone should be a part of it – of helping our community and planet.

What did you do to help your community?
At my school, I started a recycling program. My club HPA (Health Professionals of America) adopted a highway a few months ago.

Who benefited from your service project?
Other students, volunteers and teachers.

What other activities are you involved in?
My HPA club does volunteer projects. I’m also in ballet, Skills USA and church activities.

How can others get involved in this issue and help make a difference?
Start your own recycling program and be aware of what our world is coming to look like.

May 2011

Living with Lupus

At age 13, Gabby Castillo sits down once a month with people double, triple her age that are going through what she is going through. She drives with her mother one Saturday of the month from her hometown in Lockhart, Texas to San Antonio to discuss her struggle with Lupus with other members of the Lupus Foundation of America.

Anyone can be diagnosed with Lupus, but 90 percent of the people diagnosed are women, according to the foundation. Gabby is the youngest member of the support group, but she doesn’t let the stories of others discourage her.

Gabby goes to middle school, has crushes on boys, plays sports, and dreams of becoming a doctor or dentist. She makes A’s and B’s in honor classes at Lockhart Junior High School despite the time she must devote to doctor visits, medical exams and surgeries. At the age of 13, she was in the hospital for a week due to surgery on her kidney. She was determined to catch up, so she went to tutoring every day.
She is currently playing volleyball — her favorite sport. She smiles before going on the court and then puts her game face on when the ball is in the air. She is always in the perfect passing position, her eyes are locked on the ball as she anxiously waits to make a pass. Almost every one of her passes goes perfectly to the setter.
“I wanna play volleyball for UT or Texas State,” Gabby said.

She was diagnosed with Lupus last year and battles the symptoms that come with it. Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that attacks healthy organs. Unlike other common diseases that weaken immune systems, Lupus makes the immune system strong, so strong it doesn’t know when to stop attacking or what to attack.

“It kinda scared me cause I didn’t know exactly what it was. So for a while I thought I was gonna die. But my mom was like, ‘You’re not gonna die! It’s just a condition you’re gonna have to live with for the rest of your life.’” Gabby said.

She experienced hair loss along her forehead, but Gabby said her confidence wasn’t affected. She simply got bangs to cover her hair loss. If one side of her hair lost more than the other, she’d angle her bangs to cover it.

“Someone who’s young and has a real optimistic outlook on life, it’s not a big of a deal to them. I think it doesn’t hinder them as much,” Evelina Solis, a member of the support group, said.

At the support group meetings, Gabby listens to adults share their stories about Lupus affecting their lives. She wishes there were more kids around her age, but having her best friend there helps her feel comfortable.

“Most of them don’t want to scare Gabby, but I tell them to just get it out. It’s better to know what to expect,” Melanie Castillo, Gabby’s mother, said.
Gabby said the meetings are a little scary, but she’s glad to know she’s not alone.

“Some people have crutches and they have to walk with those now cause their legs or their bones are all messed up. But they told me that was a reaction to the medicine they used,”

This scares Gabby since she loves to play volleyball year-round. She was moved up in her club volleyball team to play with 15-years old girls. She’s 4 feet 11.5 inches- she emphasized the half inch- and plays in the back row as a defensive player, a passer.

After her volleyball games, which end around 7 p.m., she’s energetic, smiling and ready to eat. As Gabby sits in the family car to go home, the Lupus puts a toll on her body.

“I get sore in the car when sitting down and I’m just like, ‘Ugh I’m so sore.’ But my doctor told me that after games I should stretch after every game… It helps a little bit,” Gabby said.
Lupus hasn’t stopped her from succeeding in volleyball but it did stop her from running track. People with Lupus cannot be in the sun for a long time. When she was in the seventh grade, she tried out for track. On the third day of tryouts, she had to go to the hospital. She spent a week there because she had a kidney failure caused by Lupus. Gabby doesn’t believe running caused her kidney failure her mother did, and wouldn’t let her run.

“My mom, since I went to the hospital on the third day, was like, ‘I don’t want you to do track but you can be a manager,” Gabby said.

Gabby seized chance to remain a part of the track program. She has to wear a cap and a lot of sunscreen when outside to avoid getting a rash.

“We’ll [friends] be outside and I’ll get really red. And they’ll be like, ‘Gabby why are you so red?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh I’m flaring.’ I’ll sit down [inside] for about five minutes until I turn pink and then I’ll go back outside,” Gabby said.

The most common side effect of Lupus is fatigue and Gabby feels it every now and then. She takes Vitamin D to help with exhaustion and soreness after every game and practice, and to avoid being lethargic the next day. She said she goes straight to bed after volleyball games so the following day could be better, but some days are still tough for her.

Friday afternoon, the day after her volleyball game, she didn’t have lunch with her friends because she was too tired. She considers these her bad days.

“On my bad days, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I go to the nurse’s office and sleep,” Gabby said.

Gabby continues to dream high when thinking about her future. She wants to go to the University of Texas at Austin or Texas State University. Lupus doesn’t affect her positive mindset and she’s come to accept it and deal with it.

“After a while I got kinda used it. So now, I don’t even know it’s there,” Gabby said.

December 2010

7 Steps to Get Involved

1. Pursue Your Interests
If you’re doing something that you love, it shows. Not only will you feel better about yourself but you will give more effort and more time. If you’re a soccer chica, you love kids or you’re interested in art there is most likely an organization for you. Chances are you will be surprised by the amount of places you can volunteer your time while doing something you love. Just like you want to volunteer somewhere that interests you, you also want to be able to offer your own skills and expertise to help out. If you have experience with computers, offer your help in an office. If you’re fluent in Spanish, then you can help out at a bilingual organization.

2. Make a List of the 5 W’s of Volunteering
Besides knowing what you’re interested in, you should know the 5 W’s of volunteering. The possibilities of volunteering are endless. To narrow you search, begin by asking yourself the following questions. Once you figure out the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of how you want to spend your time volunteering.

· What are the needs in your community?
· Who or what do you want to help?
· What can you do?
· Where do you want to volunteer?
· When do you want to volunteer?

3. Get Creative & Look Locally
National campaigns and ads for large non-profit organizations may make it feel as if the only places to get involved are the big organizations. Although there are many national organizations out there that you can get involved with, don’t forget that there are even more locally-run organizations that also need your help. Call up your local vet or after-school program offices and find out where your help is needed. Get creative! If your interest lies in the health field, don’t think that the only place you can volunteer is at hospitals. Contact neighborhood health clinics, blood donating organizations, pediatrics, and even retirement homes.

4. Bring a Friend
If you are not too sure about volunteering on your own; bring a friend, your sister or a cousin along with you. Volunteering is a great way to expand friendships and get closer with your favorite chica. But remember just because you may be the only one who wants to volunteer at a certain place, do not be afraid. The people you meet at some of these organizations are some of the nicest people you will meet.

5. Meet with the Organization
Finding a volunteering position is much like finding a job. You can do as much research on the internet or read as many brochures about a certain non-profit organization or volunteer cause but the best way to figure out if it’s a right fit for you is to actually go down to the place and meet the people who work and volunteer there. If you’re thinking about volunteering at a certain place but you’re not sure, then call the organization or e-mail them and set up a date to meet. Most places would love to accommodate a viewing or meeting session with prospective volunteers.

6. Don’t Over-Commit Your Schedule
While it is good to give as much time to volunteering as you can, committing too much time may come in way of family and school time. If you hardly have time for homework or to spend with your family, then don’t feel bad to ask for fewer hours or to work around your school schedule. Learning these time management skills will not only allow for more time to do the things you love now, but will become life-long skills that will come in handy for when you have your first job or when enter college.

7. Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks
Volunteer organizations will usually accommodate you and your experience level. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse or a doctor but you’ve never had formal training in nursing and you have no prior experience in the medical field, do not fear applying for a volunteer position in the hospital. Volunteering is a great first step to working in a certain field. After all, we all have to start somewhere so why not gain some hands-on experience while giving back to the community.

To find out more about how to get involved and to see some cool things teens are doing across the nation visit http://www.dosomething.org. And to find volunteer opportunities near you, enter your zip code at http://www.networkforgood.youthnoise.com.

April 2011

Advice By & For Girls

Question: Dear Latinitas, My mom and dad are divorced and I miss my dad. What should I do? -No Longer Daddy’s Girl

Answer: Divorce is a very hard thing for everyone – your parents, brothers, sisters and you. I’m almost positive it is just as hard for them as for you. Everyone has their own way to deal with things. As far as keeping in touch with your dad, you should write letters and send him pictures. Ask for the same in return. You can even turn to technology, create an IM, or a video chat and set a schedule each week. Just remember to stay strong and I’m sure your parents love you very much. So do whatever you can to keep in touch and there will always be times when you can meet them in person. Advice by Jackie

Question: Dear Latinitas, I have my first boyfriend. I really like him and want to know how I should act. What are your tips to having a good relationship? -New To Dating

Answer: You should always be yourself. No girl or boy likes a show off. You have to show them how you really are. If you want to keep your relationship, than you should show that person your real personality. If that person has no interest in you, then you are in a bad relationship. You can always find the right relationship follow these tips.
Advice by Aliris

November 2010

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