Dealing With Diabetes


One of the things I remember most about growing up is that my family rarely sat down together to eat a home cooked meal.  The

majority of our meals were spent eating out. We ate big, paying no attention to fat or sugar content.  All that changed when I was in the 4th grade when my father suffered a major heart attack.  Thankfully, my dear dad pulled through and made a full recovery after an eating habit makeover.  Little did we know that two years later I would be diagnosed with Type II Diabetes which would require me to undergo a lifestyle makeover of my own.

I was almost thirteen when I was diagnosed.  Change would not come easy or anytime soon.  I did not want to follow a diet and I definitely did not want to be checking my blood glucose (sugar) or taking an insulin shot before every single meal.  Nobody else my age had to do any of those things.  Why should I have to?  I couldn’t understand what the big deal was, especially because I didn’t feel sick.  Of course I didn’t.  There’s a reason diabetes is known as the silent killer.  It takes years of uncontrolled glucose levels to suffer the consequences.  I was told if I continued with bad eating habits and  uncontrolled glucose levels, I would eventually suffer long term complications such as blindness, amputated limbs, or kidney failure.  Although the thought of any of these things happening to me was scary, it wasn’t enough to make me comply.  I ignored my disease every chance I got- that is, when my parents weren’t looking.

The summer after being diagnosed, my family and I took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a family reunion.  One of my relatives volunteered to take my cousins and I to Six Flags.  After hours of nonstop fun and rides, it was time to grab a bite.  My parents were not there to supervise and I took complete advantage of it.  When my aunt asked what I wanted to order, I asked for a funnel cake even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to.  That night, I had the worst cotton mouth and couldn’t make the thirst go away no matter how much water I drank.  My mother noticed and immediately made me check my glucose.  Needless to say, it was through the roof.  She demanded to know why my glucose was so high and became furious with me after learning about the funnel cake.  The whole ordeal was frustrating.  I wondered why I couldn’t just be a normal kid that didn’t have to think twice about what she ate.  I hated being diabetic.  Aside from the inconveniences it was causing, it also made me different from my peers which is not something anybody entering their teenage years wants.

On one occasion in the seventh grade, I called my mom from school to ask if during lunch she would bring a cake for my friend’s birthday.  She brought the cake accompanied by a bag of sugar-free cookies for me.  I didn’t mind the cookies because I thought they tasted decent.  I remember thinking it was thoughtful of her to bring them.  That thought quickly changed.  One of my friends was curious and wanted to taste the cookies since she’d never heard of “sugar free”.  I was excited by her curiosity and handed her one.  My excitement was quickly turned to embarrassment the second she took a bite of the cookie.  Her face said it all before she opened her mouth and declared, “That’s disgusting!”  It wasn’t her comment that made me angry.  It was my mom’s failure to pretend, just this once, that I wasn’t diabetic.  I wished she hadn’t brought the cake in the first place.  It would’ve been less embarrassing to say, “She’s at work,” instead of “yeah, they’re pretty gross huh?”

I made up my mind that I would ignore my condition and continued with my rebellious ways.  Nothing was going to keep me from fitting in at high school parties or college social events.  That attitude landed me in the hospital twice a few years later.  I was handed a well deserved reality check.  I underwent two surgeries, one for my liver and the other for my appendix.  In order to recover from these operations, my sugars needed to be in control so that the wounds would heal correctly.  My disobedience had finally caught up to me.  One of the wounds became infected and I became very ill.  The physical pain of being sick made me realize just how much I’d been taking my health for granted.  Essentially I had been gambling my life away each time I refused to take my medication and made poor food choices.

Once I recovered from the long and agonizing hospital stay, I knew that I never wanted to feel that sick again.  I had a choice to make.  I could continue to risk my health or I could take responsibility for myself and own up to my behavior.  I chose the latter and never looked back.  I admit, there are days when I don’t feel like exercising and there are definitely days when temptation gets the best of me.  But what I realized is that Diabetes doesn’t have to control me.  I am the one in the driver’s seat and I am fully capable of managing my condition with the choices I make.  And for every healthy decision I make, I am essentially saving my life.

¡Derechos de los Animales! No los Ignores

Escrito por Helen Fernandez
Traducido por Josefa de la Mora

¿Qué es ser humano? El diccionario Merriam – Webster dice “compasivo, simpatía, o consideración por los humanos o por los animales.” ¿Por qué hay tanta gente luchando por los derechos de los animales y aún nada ha cambiado? Las fábricas de carne continúan con sus maneras poco éticas de matar animales. Y los humanos continúan satisfaciéndose con hamburguesas de 99 centavos.

En el 2010 se dio a conocer un documental llamado “Earthlings“, sacan a la luz los procesos tan horribles utilizados por la Industria de la Carne. Dirigido por Shaun Monson y Maggie Q los cuales son vegetarianos. Han habido varios videos que exponen a las industrias de la carne, tales como: “Earthlings, Peaceable Kingdom, y The Witness.”

No es el típico video que rentas para una noche de películas con tus amigos, pero debería de ser. Earthlings se enfoca en temas que ya hemos olvidado. El propósito de este video no es el asustar a la gente hasta convertirlos en vegetarianos, pero crear consciencia en el trato de los humanos hacia los animales. Al yo ver el video, tuve que voltearme en varios momentos. Luché para no llorar. Al ver un video tan poderoso como éste, te deja pensando en muchas cosas. La parte mas impresionante de la película fue el hecho de que las personas que están masacrando a los animales parece que lo hacen sin pensarlo dos veces, con toda la frialdad del mundo. Después de este video me revelé. Ese día decidí volverme vegetariana. El mensaje del video me impactó tanto que ni siquiera dudé mi decisión. Creo que sería hipócrita de mi parte el llamarme amante de los animales y seguir comiéndomelos.

Los humanos deciden cuando, como y donde los animales morirán, en la película, Joaquin Phoenix se dice algo muy cierto “si tuviéramos que matar nuestra propia carne, todos seríamos vegetarianos”. Es una desgracia que las ignorancia de los humanos cause el dolor y sufrimiento de tantos animales.

Pollos botados unos arriba de otros, vacas siendo sacrificadas sin anestesia, puercos quemados vivos, la crueldad a su esplendor. No es tarde para cambiar, debemos de cambiar la manera en la que tratamos a la Tierra, cambiar la manera en la que nos tratamos los unos a los otros, y cambiar la manera en la que tratamos al planeta – ¿Qué es lo que debemos hacer?

Seguramente no todos van a evitar una hamburguesa después de ver este video, pero al ser la especie dominante de este planeta tenemos la habilidad de ayudar a nuestro prójimo, con el cual compartimos la misma Tierra. Una persona puede hacer La Diferencia. Ninguna creatura debe de morir de la manera en la que mueren estos animales inocentes. Debería de ser inaceptable la manera en la que son tratados. ¿En que momento llegó el hombre a este nivel de trato?

Como ser humanos tenemos que darnos cuenta que debemos de cambiar nuestro trato, ayudar a otros tan sólo beneficiará a la sociedad. Queda en todos los humanos que habitan esta Tierra el darles una mejor vida a aquellos que nos sirven como alimento, ropa y compañía.

Todo es por la familia

Escrito por Emilie Hernàndez
Traducido por Josefa de la Mora

Mientras parece que el mundo no siempre estará de nuestro lado una cosa que los Latinos tienen en común es la familia. La familia sin duda, es un tema recurrente cuando hablamos de nuestras vidas, nuestras experiencias e incluso de nuestras penas.

“Lo que me gusta sobre la tradición Latina es el aspecto familiar. No cambiaría eso por nada del mundo,” dijo la venezolana, Cecelia Temponi.

Una gran parte de la tradición Latina es la celebración de la vida. Desde la sobrina que está celebrando sus quince años o una reunión familiar al otro lado de la ciudad, los Latinos disfrutan pasar tiempo juntos. Y no solo es la fiesta lo que hace la constante vibra familiar entre Latinos, sino que es la comida típica preparada por las mujeres,  por lo cual son famosas. Nuestras tías hacen el mejor arroz, nuestras abuelas hacen unas deliciosas enchiladas y nuestras madres siempre recuerdan nuestro platillo favorito.

“Sin importar el motivo de la reunión familiar, siempre sé que habrán mis platillos favoritos hechos por mi maravillosa madre,”  dijo el vicepresidente de la Asociación Hispana de Estudiantes de Negocios del Estado de Texas, Gabby Mendoza.

Los Latinos  son conocidos por organizar las mejores reuniones. “La comida de las mujeres, la ayuda de los hombres, al menos en mi lado de la familia. Las mujeres tienen aquella increíble habilidad para cocinar, la cual yo no heredé,” dijo Temponi.

Conforme envejecemos intentamos ser mas independientes. Es normal a veces no querer escuchar a nuestra madre, aunque sepas que te dirá el famoso “Yo te lo dije.” Nuestras familias están ahí para nosotros como nosotros para ellos. Valora lo que tienes a tu alrededor y agradece por aquellos que son parte de tu vida.

La toma de posesión de Austin (Occuppy Austin): Desde la perspectiva de una Latina

Escrito por Andrea Zarate
Traducido por Josefa de la Mora

El jueves 6 de Octubre del 2011 la comunidad de Austin se juntó en alianza con la Protesta Occupy Wall Street de Nueva York. Los organizadores le llamaron la protesta en el ayuntamiento, la toma de posesión de Austin (Occuppy Austin), la cual reunió  a un gran número de personas sin pedir intervención por parte de la policía.

¿Sobre qué era la protesta, que esta sucediendo en Wall Street, y de que modo nos relacionamos con estos eventos nacionales? La toma de posesión de Wall Street comenzó hace tres semanas para demostrar el disgusto de la gente americana y su frustración debido a la escases de oportunidades de trabajo y el aumento de desempleo. Para decirlo de una manera simple, el grupo consiste de diversos grupos de ciudadanos activistas que protestan en contra de la avaricia en nuestro país y como ésto afecta a la clase media, la clase trabajadora, y pobre, básicamente, todos aquellos que no pertenecen a una corporación poderosa CEO, gente de negocios. Lo que protestan es que nuestro gobierno otorga demasiada oportunidad para hacer dinero a los grandes negocios, mientras existen personas sufriendo la recesión económica por la que estamos pasando.

Por todo el país hay ciudades que están cayendo en los pasos de Nueva York. A través del uso de redes y organizaciones sociales, hechas la mayoría por estudiantes de la Universidad, jóvenes de Austin, se han unido para manifestarse en el ayuntamiento. En ésta toma de posesión de Austin los manifestantes proclamaron la caída de impuestos de los ricos, así como cambios sociales, económicos y políticos.

Como Latina, que viene de una familia de clase trabajadora, ésta es una causa que apoyo. Yo quiero que el gobierno preste atención a las necesidades de la gente pobre y deje de enfocarse tan solo en el dinero. La avaricia provoca muchos problemas, como es una gama bastante amplia entre los ricos y los pobres, recortes en la educación, fianzas corporativas que los ciudadanos tienen que pagar. ¿Porqué no cambiar esto?

Mientras las masas se unían y entre mas veía y oía por parte de mis amigos sobre los mítines, mas cuestionaba las intenciones de algunos de los participantes. La mayoría de los manifestantes eran hombres blancos de clase media. Esto me hizo pensar que esta gente no se da cuenta que las minorías, Latinas/os, afroamericanos y Nativos Americanos, gente con discapacidades y los pobres han vivido con problemas económicos durante mucho tiempo. Los blancos de clase media se levantan y comienzan a hablar hasta que sienten esa avaricia corporativa.

Tienen que mirar a su público y pensar por qué no se les han unido otras minorías. En muchos sentidos, están excluyendo a personas afroamericanas y latinas, ésto esta muy mal pues están dejando al verdadero 99% hasta el fondo de la cadena. A mi me preocupa el conseguir trabajo al salir de la universidad. Pero no me dan ganas de levantarme y protestar cuando los protestantes proclaman que hablan por todos cuando realmente excluyen de su movimiento social a gente de color.

Por esta razón la gente de color no debe de apoyar esta propuesta. Y si alguna vez quieren hacer un verdadero cambio en nuestra sociedad, definitivamente necesitaran de nuestra ayuda y soporte .

Calista Caroline Burns, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Calista Caroline Burns, age 11
Nominated by:  Girls Inc. of San Antonio
Hometown:  San Antonio, Texas

Volunteer Experience:  Calista has fed meals to the eldery during Thanksgiving. She was one of the top 5 fundraisers for the iWin Joe Jonas Fun Run Benefitting the Special Olympics. Calista has also volunteered at a local children’s home during their annual Funlympics Day. Her 3rd place Lemonade Stand for Most Successful Business for National Lemonade Day, proceeds went to a local charity. Calista also participated and helped plan and facilitate a Girls Inc town hall on the topic of nutrition and health for kids at Girls Inc.

Challenges She Has Overcome:  Her parents divorced early in her life. The adjustment from moving between parents was tough. However, both her mother and father keep a healthy relationship for Calista’s well-being.

Leadership Experience:  Calista is a natural giver. Whether it is helping the elderly, children or animals, Calista always wants to give back and help those in need. Calista is a very humble young lady. She knows she is fortunate to have parents that award her of many opportunities and experiences, and she realizes that many are not that lucky. Her big heart is what motivates her to help others. She is always thinking of ways to better serve the needy and the underserved.

Extracurricular Activities :  Calista’s extra-curricular activities include: Kate Schenk Elementary Student Council President; Peer Assistant Leadership (PALs); photography club, patrols, and choir.  Her hobbies include: singing, guitar, swimming, dance, art, modeling and acting.

Positive Role Model:  Although Calista is only 11 years old, she has had ample opportunities to build her leadership skills. With these leadership skills she now possesses, Calista is always willing to help girls her age find their inner strength. Calista spends her summer with Girls Inc enrolled in the Glenda Woods Girls University Summer Camp. She is with girls younger and older than her for 10 weeks out of the summer. Throughout the days the girls are taught different curricula. If a girl doesn’t understand a concept, Calista is the first to help that young girl out. If someone gets hurts during sports, Calista is the first to be by her side to see if she is ok. Calista serves as an ambassador for Girls Inc in which she has spoken on behalf of Girls Inc to board members, community members and media. The girls see her as a role model because she is not afraid to speak to other adults or especially in front of the camera. After they have seen her poise, the girls are always interested in learning about the ambassador program.

Fashionistas Inspire Girls in Benefit Fashion Show (El Paso, TX)

Fashion Show Supports Girl Empowerment Programs

For Immediate Release

Alicia Rascon

WHAT:  The charity fashion show features clothing for girls, teens and women.

WHO: This family-friendly event is hosted by Latinitas and designed to showcase female talent in El Paso.

WHEN:  March 25, 2012 from 3:00pm-6:00pm

WHERE: Always & Forever Ballroom (3333 N. Yarbrough)

WHY:  The charity event is aimed at supporting Latinitas, a nonprofit dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of local Latina youth. Guests will enjoy a fashion show, listen to live music, watch a video screening, view an exhibit of youth artwork, see dance performances and hear an inspirational guest speaker. Our emcee for the evening will be Channel 26-KINT News Anchor Karla Mariscal and our keynote speaker will be UTEP Professor Dr. Irasema Coronado. The fashion show is held in partnership with El Paso Fashion Week. All proceeds support the scholarship fund for Latinitas.

CONTACT: To request more information, please contact or 915.219.8554.



Latinitas College Bound (El Paso, TX)

Latinitas Hosts College Day to Prepare El Paso Girls for College

For Immediate Release

Alicia Rascon

WHAT: Girls ages 11-18 are invited to discover the importance of college and get an insider view of college.

WHO: The event is hosted by Latinitas and is open to girls ages 11-18

WHEN: February 25th, 2012 from 10:00am- 1:00pm


WHY: Girls are invited to discover the importance of college and get an insider’s view of college life in the Latinitas College Bound workshop. Girls will have an opportunity to tour the UTEP campus, meet college student mentors, attend workshops on the importance of education and participate in activities to start preparing for college.

HOW: To register, please contact Latinitas at 915.219.8554, or


Latinitas are V.I.P.s During SXSW: Spring Camp (Austin, TX)

Backstage and VIP passes to shows, exclusive interviews with musicians, producing a music talk show, planning a Flash Mob and making music videos will be just a few activities on Latinitas Spring Break Camp roster: appropriately titled: Get Your Backstage Pass! during the week of SXSW.

Any girl in grades 4-8 can register for Latinitas’ annual Spring Break camp held at their headquarters off of South Lamar. (1107 S. 8th St. Austin, TX 78704).  Latinitas ( is the first digital magazine made for and by young Latinas and also provides outreach programs such as clubs, camps and workshops in Austin and El Paso focused on digital media education and cultural literacy.

Capitalizing on all the free music happening around town, festivities at the Convention Center, visiting Latino and other bands and wonderful promotion partners like Dart Music International and Bravo Entertainment, Latinitas continually hosts local and international talent at this camp and girls are able to put their digital media skills to work conducting interviews, producing shows and developing their own music blogs and magazines.

“In past years, visiting bands included international acts such as Colombia’s Afro-Hip hop group: Las Profetas, as well as local favorites Patricia Vonne, Maneja Beto and Tish Hinojosa, who not only let the girls interview and film them, but provided intimate acoustic and sometimes interactive performances,” said Latinitas Founder Laura Donnelly Gonzalez.

Latinitas Get Your Backstage Pass! Spring Break Camp lays out the nuts and bolts of music journalism using writing, photography, video, radio, graph and web design lessons.  Camp costs $200 for the week, goes March 12-16, 10am to 4pm and scholarships are available.  Call 512.447.4440 x137 or email for scholarship info. Register online at

Inspiring Fashionistas Hit the Runway

March 25, 2012
Always & Forever Ballroom (3333 N. Yarbrough)
3:00 pm to 6:00pm
Fashionistas are teaming together to host a charity girl empowerment fashion show featuring clothing for girls, teens and women. Come enjoy a fashion show, listen to live music, watch a video screening, view an exhibit of youth artwork, see dance performances and hear an inspirational guest speaker.  The fashion show is in partnership with El Paso Fashion Week and all proceeds support Latinitas’ scholarship fund to help young Latinas reach their educational goals. For more information, contact us at 915.219.8554 and





No Name Calling

Bullying stops here. February  marks the month for the awareness of anti-bullying. As advertising and stories surface to stand against bullying, Latinitas Magazine, too, will take a stand.

In the halls of any school in America, you will find the issue of bullying. However academically challenging the school may be, bullying is an issue and it must be dealt with.

Two weeks ago, Anderson Cooper conducted a special report on his study, “Bullying: It Stops Here.” In his research, bullying has been exposed in the limelight. Bullying is no longer the issue to be thrown under the table or considered a rite of passage. With new technological advances, bullying goes further than just school grounds making it impossible for the victim to “get over”. Bullying can lead to acts of depression and cause obsessive thoughts and behavior of self-esteem issues, eat disorders, and even resulting in suicide. Robert Faris, a sociologist at UC Davis, coins the term “social combat” as reason to why so many kids are bullied. The race to climb the social ladder is the consequence of bullying. In his study he found that 56% of kids are aggressors, victims or both.

Most shockingly, 81% of these bullying incidents, which are in fact witnessed by bystanders, are never reported. And 74% of kids do not want to tell their parents for fear that their parents will not take it seriously. 

Of course, it is no surprise that Lifetime is one of the voices standing against bullying. In the new Lifetime Original movie, Girl Fight, bullying is brought to the front in a true story when a girl is brutally beaten up by a group of girls, so they can get their 15minutes of fame by posting a video of the beating online. Their mistake was filming the video in the first place as it gave the police enough evidence to prosecute them.

This story, unfortunately, is not new news. You can YouTube the words “girl fight” right now, and find videos posted online of girls fighting or being beaten up. To kids, it is entertainment, just as bullying is entertainment for the aggressors.

Why is this issue so important to Latinitas Magazine? Since Latinitas targets young girls who are going through this issue, we want to let them know that you are not alone. Latinas girls are more likely to suffer from depression and commit suicide. In fact, in the fastest growing minority, 1 in 6 Latina girls will attempt suicide. That’s why Latinitas is a magazine focused on inspiring and motivating young girls to learn more, achieve more, and aspire more. The more confidence we instill in a young girl, the more likely she will take a stand against issues in her life, whether it be bullying, SAT tests, or getting into college for the first-time; Latinitas is there supporting these young girls every day.

For those young Latinitas, we encourage you to take a stand. Believe in your future. If you see someone being bullied, stand up against them with your friends. The aggressors will back down in a group of people. Take a stand online by signing the “Bullying: It Stops Here” Campaign on Facebook. Take another stand online and report any misconduct or bullying you see on social networking sites. You can even report videos on YouTube.

Our society thrives on negativity. We have become leaches to the bad, the corrupt, and the just plain wrong. Why don’t we turn this contagious behavior and turn it into something positive? Positivity can thrive just the same way. Remember, we make up a society, so that means we are in control.