Ginger Raya, Board Member

Ginger J Raya
Latinitas  Board Member & Advocate
Clinical Administrator at TTUHSC, Adjunct Faculty

What is your volunteer position? El Paso Board Member

What volunteer projects have you helped with? Everything from workshop assistance to fundraisers like Tiara Tuesday, Latinitas Fashion Show and Fotos de mi Alma.

How long have you’ve been volunteering with Latinitas? Over 3 years. I started as a volunteer trying to help wherever I was needed.

How did you become interested in volunteering for Latinitas? I have always loved volunteering and I found Latinitas in a volunteer list serv.  I researched the organization and loved the mission and vision.  I believe that Latinas are a strongly underserved in most arenas. Latinitas draws girls in with interesting sessions and interactive workshops. Media and technology is just the hook that opens them up to additional learning and alternatives to poor choice behaviors.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a volunteer? Seeing what new ideas and empowerment does within the girls.  To see their enthusiasm and hunger for more information is an amazing experience for me as a volunteer.

What do you like most about being a volunteer for Latinitas? I love seeing how the mission directly impacts and enlightens the girls.  This is the only reason I am here. That and trying to get the word out about how important this organization is to Latinas.

Why do you think an organization like Latinitas is important? No one directly targets and consequently impacts this at risk population like Latinitas.  So much more needs to be done.

Describe your other volunteer experiences and/or civic involvement:  In the past I was a Big for Big Brother’s Big Sisters in El Paso.

Tell us a little background on yourself. My husband and I have a very young family of two boys (age 6 and 3).  They are very active and play sports like Tball, and Football.  I also am a full time Doctoral student.  I work at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center as a Clinical Administrator and also teach in the evenings at Park University and Dona Ana Community College.  I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s from UTEP and truly feel that educational opportunities are the way we also help to empower young Latinas. As the child of a teenage parents it was very impactful for me as a young girl to see my parents trials and tribulations in order to get my mother through her higher education pursuits.  I was lucky enough to see her earn two degrees from UTEP and have proceeded with my own educational pursuits through their positive examples.


Volunteer Photographers Wanted for Fotos

Fotos de mi alma is a photographic odyssey capturing border life through the lenses of professional and amateur photographers. This exhibit and silent auction features local photographers with all proceeds supporting Latinitas, a local nonprofit dedicated to empowering local girls through media, art, culture and technology. We invite local photographers to you to be a part of this worthy cause by donating a piece of your photographic work and becoming a featured photographer at this benefit photography exhibit and auction. The auction takes place on November 9th from 5:30 to 8:30pm at Loft Light Studio (315 S. El Paso Street) and helps raise funding to expand the work of Latinitas. The deadline for photography submissions is November 1st.

Tri-State Cosmetology Institute, Partner Spotlight

Tell us some background on Tri-State Cosmetology Institute.
Tri-State opened in 1931 in El Paso, Texas and has been a major force in our industry since that time. TSCI offers outstanding courses of cosmetology, esthetician, manicurist and student instructors. Our goal is to prepare students to successfully take their place in the exciting world of the beauty industry
. TSCI has been under the ownership of Carolyn Parker since 1966, Amy E. Parker became sole owner in 2010.  For more information, visit

Describe how your team partnered with Latinitas?
We were contacted by Ana Luz Hernandez ,a board member from Latinitas, and provided information on Latinitas regular fundraiser. She also mentioned that Latinitas was a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young girls through media, arts, culture and technology. She was very interested in us being a part of your First Annual Martinis & Manicures Fundraiser.  Our team volunteered to provide manicures as part of the Tiara Tuesday event.

What made you decide to become a supporter for Latinitas?
We always support as many local non-profits organization as possible. We admire that Latinitas is geared toward helping girls build confidence by offering enrichment programs focused on creative multimedia expression.

What do you like the most about Latinitas? Why do you think it is important for our community t o have an organization like Latinitas to encourage local girls to build confidence?
I like the fact that Latinitas is focused on empowering Hispanic girls. At Tri-Stat
e, the majority of our students are young girls and women from El Paso that are of Hispanic ethnicity. We strive to build confidence in our students and to prepare them to be successful business women who are civically conscientious. We believe in the strength of women and their ability to be empowered and give back to their community. Latinitas is unique in that they are taking the same message to girls starting at a young age.

Why is Tri-State dedicated to supporting local groups?
Tri-State believes that charity starts at home. We are involved with organizations in the El Paso community such as Ft. Bliss, RioGrande Cancer Foundation, La Familia, Aliviane as well as various others. There are too many to mention.

Ana Luz Hernández, Board Member

Ana Luz Hernández
Director of Policy and Programs
Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
El Paso, Texas

What is your volunteer position? I currently serve as a Board Member for the organization.

What volunteer projects have you helped with? I helped on a regular basis with the Teen Leadership Institute and provided assistance at other events as needed (e.g. event planning, promotional events, fundraising events, chalk blocking, etc.)

How long have you’ve been volunteering with Latinitas? Since January 2010.

How did you become interested in volunteering for Latinitas? I was familiar with Latinitas when I lived in Austin, but never got involved with the organization. When I relocated to El Paso and graduated from NMSU I decided it was time to become actively involved within the El Paso community. I believe in the value of civic service and cultivating leadership skills in young girls. Having always enjoyed volunteering and being actively involved in organizations whose cause I truly believed in, I was excited when I learned Latinitas had an office in El Paso and on-going volunteering opportunities.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a volunteer? Being given the opportunity to provide assistance to an organization that is committed to a sector of the population that is often underserved, but faces great need and many challenges. When I see these young girls I see myself. At that age I was looking for role models and guidance, anyone willing to point me in the right direction. I think it’s something we continually search for, even as adults.

What do you like most about being a volunteer for Latinitas? Interacting with the girls who participated in the first round of the Teen Leadership Institute and hearing them share their point of view on a variety of issues. I think youth are often discredited due to their age. I think they have a lot of valuable insight to offer and we just have to listen. My goal for 2011 is to become more familiar with the multitude of activities the organization hosts.

Why do you think an organization like Latinitas is important? It provides a safe place for young girls during a challenging and difficult time in their development. Adolescence is a trying time; I think all of us remember those awkward moments. When you are a Latina growing up in a society that does not particularly value your culture, traditions, language, etc. you question your identity. Though Austin is much more diverse today, this was not particularly the case during the late 80s and early 90s. The majority of my peers were white and from much more affluent backgrounds, which made me, feel quite out of place for a long time. I know I would have benefitted tremendously from being surrounded by Latina role models providing me with the guidance and support I needed during that developmental period in my life. I feel blessed to have had a mother who acted as my personal cheerleader, in addition to coming across amazing mentors as a young adult.

Describe your other volunteer experiences and/or civic involvement: I currently serve as the Class of 2009 Representative to the Board of Directors for the Senator Gregory Luna Alumni Association. In the past, I’ve volunteered for NMSU’s Government Graduate Student Organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, PODER, Southwestern Alumni Association and the National Hispanic Institute.

Saray Argumedo, Writer

(El Paso, TX) Saray Argumedo started with Latinitas in the Spring 2010 as an editorial intern and wrote feature articles for our magazine, contributed blog posts, served as an editor for youth reporters and developed multimedia projects.

She has continued helping Latinitas by coordinating our Chicas Advancing in Media project. She organizes guest speakers who are experts in the media field to connect with high school girls who are interested in a career in media.

Majoring in communications Saray’s biggest source of influence in her writing is the unheard voices that have a unique story to tell. “Our voice is the story of our lives. Without it we will be forgotten and as a writer I would like to be that voice for those stories that have never been told,” shared Saray on her inspiration for writing. Saray has also volunteered at La Casa De Anunciasion, Mujer Obrera and worked with the development of Museo Urbano. She hopes to graduate with a masters and keep fighting for social justice in the future.

I Was the First to Go to College

By Saray Argumedo

“She will never graduate high school! What makes you think she will step foot into a university?” I’ve heard these words since I was a junior in high school from my family. I’m now in my last year of college. These words have been my motivation to get here. I was the first in my family to be born in the United States and the first to ever attend a university.

My mother and father were born in 1943 and I was born in 1988. Their generation is very different from mine. They were born and raised in Mexico and during this time their lives were completely different than the life I know. Their cultural and religious beliefs were and still are very conservative. They hold onto traditional views that a woman should serve the man, a woman should stay home, the man is the man of the house, el de los pantalones (the man wears the pants in the house) and the man has the voice. The woman is the one who cleans, who cooks and who wipes the dirty behinds of all seven kids she gave birth to.

I was born into this family, but unfortunately in a different generation. I was born in a generation that does not understand these ways nor do they understand ours. “Who do you think you are staying at the library till 3 am? ¿Quien cres que eres navegando las calles tan tarde” (Who do you think you are staying out in the streets so late?). “No se mama, perdona me,” all I can do is ask for forgiveness when my mom questions why I spend all my time outside of the house studying, working and getting involved in my community.  I thought that they would be proud of me, but why are they so angry? They don’t seem to understand that as a college student I need to stay late with study groups and studying in the library. I work, I go to school  and I’m responsible! Why can’t I stay out with my friends? Why can’t I stay at the library studying until they close? This has made it difficult for me to adapt to the “America” awaiting me every time I step out of my house. Even if the border crossed us, yo todavia vivo en Mexico (I still live in Mexico). It has been a struggle to work my way through college without much support from my family. I honestly do not know if graduate school will be a possibility for me. My parents are nearly 70 years old and my heart won’t be able to handle the guilt if I turn my back and leave. There is a positive outcome from this though; I have paved a trail for my nieces and nephews to follow.

College has been one of my greatest accomplishments. It has given me that rush and that drive to keep going.  Most importantly, I have found a different me. This seed in me was lacking water, lacking the passion to grow and thirsty for something I did not know – EDUCATION! Education was what my heart was thirsty for. It has been the soil that is allowing my seed to grow into a humongous tree. I have yet to find myself in this world, but education has been my door to a billion possibilities. A world I did not know of, and I want others to find. My goal is to help those who are lost like I was.  I want to help show them that an individual with passion is capable of accomplishing anything their heart desires. Accomplishments aren’t accomplishments if one doesn’t extend that helping hand to someone else.

Get That Great Fall Look

Vea este artículo en español aquí

Fall is a great time for a new look.  New hair and make-up trends are flying in from around the world. The fall is all about the natural look with inspiration coming looks from the past. From Selena Gomez’s fun, fresh, and youthful makeup to Taylor Swift’s natural and flawless hair, the fall look seems impossible to achieve, but don’t worry!


Tip 1: Less is More

When it comes to makeup, the saying is true, less really is more! You don’t have to use a ton of make-up to highlight your favorite features. Make-up is supposed to be used to strengthen your natural look and not make you look completely different. Find a tinted moisturizer that matches and blends well with your skin tone. Avoid using foundation as it ages your skin. Cover Girl is a great and inexpensive brand of make-up that is good for all ages. Add a little mascara to your eyelashes and a hint of blush on your cheekbones to finish off the look.

Tip 2: Liven Up Your Eyes

As the saying goes “the eyes are the window to the soul” so why not make them look good. As the fall trends suggest keep it simple and natural, but don’t be afraid to give your eyes that special look. Light eyeshadows are best for you, because they are age appropriate and don’t make you look older than you really are. Enhance your eyelashes with a youthful mascara like Maybelline’s New Big Great Lash. And if your feeling up to it add a little eyeliner!

Tip 3: Lovely Lips

For the fall keep your lips natural. Stick to neutral shades or use a simple chap stick or lip gloss to give your lips a little sparkle. Stila is a perfect lip gloss for teen girls, because not only is it inexpensive, but last longs and has a little color to it. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is great if you are looking for something to protect your lips from chapping during the fall!


Tip 1: Don’t Over-do Your Do!

When doing your hair, try to keep it as natural as possible. Don’t over curl it, over straighten it, or put too much product in it! You don’t want to damage your hair so keep it simple. The shinier your hair the healthier it is! Neutrogen Triple Moisture is a great and inexpensive product to use on your hair. It is a deep conditioner that repairs damage and keeps your hair looking healthy.

Tip 2: Love Your Hair

At some point in our lives we’ve all wanted different hair. Girls with curly hair want straight hair and girls with straight hair want curly hair, but love the hair you have! The fall look is all about loving what you have in natural and beautiful ways. If you have curly hair embrace your curls! Wear you hair in cute messy buns or leave it down to show off your bouncy locks. If you have wavy hair you can wear it casual and freely or enhance you beautiful waves by giving them a little more curl. If you have straight hair you can wear it down and sleek or in fun braids like the fishtail braid or a braid to the side. You’ll learn to love your hair as all styles are beautiful!

Tip 3: Switch It Up

As mentioned earlier you should love your beautiful curls, fresh waves, and shiny straight hair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change the way you style your hair. Short pixie cuts or bobs are still in this fall as well as side-swept bangs. Add a cute headband or hair pin to any hairstyle to finish off the look.

Club Volunteers Wanted

Make a difference in a girl’s life as an after-school club volunteer. Latinitas hosts media enrichment clubs where girls can build confidence through media and technology. Latinitas partners with local schools to offer weekly after-school Latinitas clubs. Our clubs focus on encouraging girls to build confidence through creative multimedia expression. Girls in our clubs will participate in hands-on activities such as writing, photography, filmmaking, blogging and more. Our clubs connect girls with positive role models and encourage girls to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.  As a club volunteer, you would assist with mentoring girls (in grades 4-8th) at Latinitas’ After-School Clubs and help guide small team activities and motivate girls to foster a positive self-esteem. Volunteers are asked to volunteer one day a week between the hours 3:30 to 6:00pm. If you are interested, contact us at

Become a Latinitas Intern!

Latinitas is now recruiting college students who are interested in becoming a part of our Fall Intern team! Latinitas offers exciting editorial, marketing, fundraising, design and event planning internships. Gain career experience, build your resume, gain skills and make a difference. To apply for an internship with Latinitas, submit your resume to

Teen Internships

Writers & Multimedia Interns Wanted
June-August (80 Hour Minimum)
Latinitas Headquarters
1359 Lomaland, El Paso, TX 79935
Girls in Grades 8-12
Latinitas Magazine is currently accepting applications for high school multimedia interns. Latinitas is the first digital magazine by and for U.S. Latina youth. The award-winning digital magazine is published monthly on-line with articles about culture, entertainment, profiles and youth issues. From quinces to dating, advice to fashion and wellness to culture, Latinas focuses on topics related to being a Latina teen today. High school girls interested in developing their writing and multimedia skills and getting published in are invited to apply by submitting their resume to