Get and Give with Latinitas’ Holiday Photography Fundraiser!

Latinitas Holiday Photo Auction Fundraiser

Give the gift of great photography from around the world this holiday season by participating in the Latinitas  Photography Auction Holiday Fundraiser! The auction features images by some incredible photographers such as University of Texas Professor Donna De CesareFloria Gonzalez, Mexico-based Remezcla reporter and producer Itzel Alejandra Martinez, Laura Bustillos Jaquez, and many more!

The auction runs from Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Noon until Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Noon.

All proceeds benefit Latinitas’ programming, which empowers all girls to innovate through media and technology.

Place your first bid today at https://www.32auctions.com/LatinitasPhotoFundraiser!

We’re Getting a New Look!

Copy of New Website

We’re hard at work on a new website, so stay tuned!

Latinitas Austin 2017 Volunteer Opportunities

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 5.18.30 PM

Join the Latinitas Team this fall and gain a rewarding volunteer experience! We have opportunities for students, professionals and anyone interested in working with children, supporting our office or connecting with the community we work with.

This fall, our volunteer opportunities include:

  • After-school Club Assistants
  • Community Event Volunteers
  • Office Support

 

After-School Club Assistants

Blazier1Help facilitate media and tech lessons that focus on digital media publishing, production, cultural literacy, design, and more to elementary and middle school girls. We are seeking college students who can commit 3 – 5 afternoons for our after-school clubs throughout the fall semester (September – December). Click here to learn more about this volunteer position, duties, and requirements.    

 

 

 

Community Events Volunteers

Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 4.26.17 PMLatinitas is a part of many events throughout the year to share our programs with the community. Become a Latinitas representative at these events and connect with families, students, or professionals to share who we are, and what we do. Duties include managing an information table (this includes setting-up and taking-down), handing out flyers and brochures, and overseeing e-newsletter sign up sheets.

 

 

 

 

To sign up as a volunteer for community events, visit the Latinitas Austin SignUpGenius account and select the events you’d like to be a part of.

  • Saturday, December 9th: Cherrywood Art Fair
    • Location – Maplewood Elementary, E. 38th 1/2 Street & Maplewood Ave.
    • Time – 9:00am to 3:00pm
    • Morning Volunteer Shift – 9:30am to 1:00pm
    • Afternoon Volunteer Shift – 1:00pm to 4:00pm
    • Volunteers can sign up for both shifts

 

Office Support

We are seeking office volunteers this summer to help us organize our supply room, print flyers and distribute to local businesses, and update our contact data base. The schedule a date and time to visit our office, e-mail Briseida Diaz at bris@latinitasmagazine.org.

 

For questions or comments about our volunteer opportunities, contact Briseida Diaz at bris@latintiasmagazine.org.


 

Summer Camp Volunteer Assistants

IMG_0296 IMG_0285 (1)

Latinitas Austin Summer Camps: Latinitas provides 4 weeks of summer camps for all girls ages 9 to 14 interested in exploring how media and tech can be used for self-expression and storytelling.

  • Dates:
  • Shifts available: 8:30am – 12:00pm (Morning) & 11:30am – 4:00pm (Afternoon)
  • Location: 4926 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78702
  • To participate as a volunteer camp assistant to any or all of our summer camps in July, please fill out the Latinitas Summer Camp Volunteer Form.
  • Volunteer duties: set up camp space, checking in girls, help camp leader distribute supplies and equipment, monitor behavior, support camp participants during activities, provide feedback and motivation throughout lessons, assist camp leader with behavior management.

Latinitas Announces New El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Latinitas Hires New Executive Director for El Paso Chapter

Native Daughter Isis Portillo will oversee El Paso operations following founder’s departure

Austin/El Paso, Texas (May 1, 2017) – Latinitas, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young Latinas using media and technology, announced today that Isis Portillo has joined the team as the new executive director in its El Paso office. Portillo will be bringing to the table 19 years of broadcasting experience as well as a background in marketing and advertising.

El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

A Del Valle High School “Conquistador” and University of Texas at El Paso graduate, Portillo comes to Latinitas after spending the last three years working in IP marketing and consulting for Jack Key Auto Group/HoyFox Automotive. Prior to that, she worked for multimedia conglomerates such as Entravision Communications, Univision Communications and NBC News. As the new executive director at Latinitas El Paso, Portillo will lead new charges in program growth, relationship building and strategies focused on the success of El Paso youth.

“It means giving as many young Latinitas an opportunity to aim higher,” Portillo said about what it means to her to join the Latinitas team. “It’s opening the door for them so that they can do it better. Someone is willing to stand with you so you can get there.” Read more about Portillo on our Medium blog: http://bit.ly/2pqSYZk.

Portillo will be replacing Alicia Rascon as the head of the El Paso chapter of Latinitas. Rascon co-founded Latinitas magazine and outreach programming 15 years ago in at a class at the University of Texas at Austin.  She brought Latinitas programs to El Paso in 2008, providing services to thousands of girls in the city’s school districts, public housing and cultural centers.  Rascon left the organization in January and to join the student engagement and leadership center at the University of Texas at El Paso.

ABOUT LATINITAS

Latinitas is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).

# # #

 

Spotlight: Diane Guerrero’s “In the Country We Love”

Latinitas and Diane

Latinitas and Diane

Written by Ari Gonzalez

Diane Guerrero is best known for her work on the hit TV shows Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, however, Diane is also a huge activist for immigration reform and the author of the book In the Country We Love. She is the daughter of two Colombian immigrants who were deported when she was only 14 years old, leaving her completely alone in the United States. In her book In the Country We Love, Diane discusses the hardships her parents had to face during their time in America, and how she was able to get to where she is today without her parents and older brother. We had the pleasure to speak to Diane at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas. about her book, as well as what it is like being a Latina in the entertainment industry.

Who did you turn to when you were afraid after your family was deported?
“I turned to my friends, I had family friends and I called them and they took me in.”

What advice do you have that may be in the same situation you were in?
“They need to inform themselves, it’s a matter of educating yourself, your family, and your community. I would say being involved as much as you can, you are a political being and you have a responsibility, and knowledge is power and once you have that under your belt then you can find different avenues where you can defend yourself.”

You have such great comedic timing, how are you able to stay so positive and be so funny after everything that you went through?
It’s the way I deal with things. If I don’t laugh, I cry, so I do my best to continue laughing. I also love laughing at my own jokes. It is something that I definitely got from my dad, he would always be so funny and laugh at his own jokes and I think that is where I get it from.”

What is it like being a Latina in the film industry?
“It is certainly difficult but not impossible as you can see. I think the first step is believing that we can, and making ourselves heard. I think it is so important that we represent ourselves and realize that we are a part of this narrative, and that we are a part of this country and that is our country too. I think it is getting better, and I am certainly not going to give up and I hope others join me in this. I think all we have to do is just show up.”

In The Country We Love tells the moving, inspirational story of a young Latina who beat the odds and accomplished her dreams. Diane Guerrero’s bravery to share her story inspires me and Latinas everywhere to try and make a difference. If you haven’t had the chance go read In The Country We Love and inform yourself on how you can help make a difference and bring more awareness to immigration reform.

Self-Love is a Revolution

Above my bedroom wall you will see a piece of paper and written on it is Love Yourself. It serves as a reminder to do just that, love myself. There is no magic book, no magic cure to self-love. Self-love can only come from one source and that is you.

You are the person that is going to get yourself out of bed, that is going to look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself the love that you deserve. As a self-identified queer Xicana, it can be hard to wake up and see the beauty in myself. As anyone who identifies as a Latina in this world, it can be difficult to see the beauty of who they are when the world is telling them that their bodies, skin and language is not enough.

You have to realize that you are worthy of living, that you are capable of fighting your past and present and that you can give the love that you’ve always needed. Whether it be repeatedly going to therapy, setting your limits, telling others to respect your boundaries, taking some time off, exercising, writing your heart out, whatever it may be, do it.

According to Ovc.org (Office for Victims of Crime), it is possible that “by the year 2050, the amount of Latinas who have experienced some form of sexual violence could reach 10.8 million.” Toxic relationships, abusive households, are a result of this sexual violence. Let go of toxic relationships, people and places that give you no growth. Realize that you are made of pure gold and deserve the best. Self-love is not easy. You will fall down, you will relapse, and you will question yourself. And that’s okay. That’s more than okay. You are a complex, multidimensional human being and with that comes flaws, mistakes and regrets.

Remember that your being is a revolution. That your hair, your body, skin color, everything that you are made up of is a revolution. And when all aspects of your life are telling you otherwise realize that self-love is an extraordinary revolution.

Letter to a Younger Me

Young girl,

You never walk alone, just misunderstood.

Yes, you are unique,

But life’s conditions, those are few and we’re all afflicted.

So don’t be scared to tell about yourself,

You’d be surprised when people open about themselves

How much like you they are.

That being said,

Always take their good advice,

And be able to tell wrong from right.

And if you fall get back up,

And if you fail…

Well lets just say, you shouldn’t,

Because every day, every hour, every second,

That’s a second chance.

And if for some reason you look back and feel regret,

Well then that’s a reason to try again.

And once you do that you have no longer failed,

You simply had a minor set back.

As for where you’re going,

You probably don’t know yet,

And if you do,

well I wouldn’t be surprised if the destination changed.

But what I will say is that that’s OK.

Follow your dreams,

Do what makes you happy,

And do all you do with passion,

I know that sounds cliché.

But it’s true,

in life everything falls into place,

even chaos has some order to it.

So in the meantime just be.

Just Be you.

Favorite Cultural Traditions

Chicas share their favorite cultural tradition. 

“My favorite Mexican culture tradition is the food. Which is not exactly a tradition, but it’s the best thing ever.

Mexican food is great! What I love the most about it is how there’s a classic dish that we all love at every family gathering. This is what makes me feel happy, not only for enjoying the food, but also because of what it means. After years and years of trying different types of food, nothing tastes as good as Mexican food to me. I always go back to tacos (the real ones), to enchiladas, mole or whatever is on the table.

Mexican food makes me proud because it is recognized everywhere in the world. This food is from where I belong. Mexican food is best prepared in my home country and, even if someday I get to be far from home, I’ll always remember my family and my hometown because of it.” – Fandi Zapien, 19

 

“My grandmother has always been devoted to La Virgen de Guadalupe. Since we were young she taught us her story, her prayers and how much faith she had in her.

I remember loving when December 12 would come around. Buñuelos, calientitos, champurrado, and posole were some of the food items that were never missing. My favorite part, of course, were the matachines guadalupanos, dancers that would move to the beat of the drums. They would make  so much noise with their colorful attires with every step they took. Also, they would dance in front of a statue of La Virgen de Guadalupe, decorated with flowers and twinkly lights, and would carry her with so much love and care and would dance for her and in her honor. Then, these men dressed in black and with very peculiar masks would dance around, play tricks on people and try to distract the dancers with no success. My mother would tell me it was all part of the performance and it would reassure everyone’s faith.

I also loved how the whole neighborhood would gather around. After the dancers performed they were invited to eat with us. We would serve them and everyone would eat together all the delicious food my grandmother and her vecinas cooked all day long.

At that age I only understood that it was a religious tradition. Something my grandmother, tías, mom, and everyone I knew, had so much faith in. When I grew up I learned more about it. Why people dance for her, why they continue to have faith in her and her whole story, which many don’t know goes way back to when her name was actually Tonantzin. I was so glad to find out that this was something that connected us to our indigenous roots, something I’ve always loved, and it only made me love this day and her story even more.

Now it is my favorite tradition. To me it is more than a religious ceremony or event. It is about family traditions, cultural values and indigenous roots. Things I believe one should never forget.” – Itzel Barraza, 24

 

“My favorite cultural tradition is September 16. I love Mexican food, so I really enjoy this celebration, as well as the dances. I think that this celebration makes people who are far from Mexico become close with their beloved country. The food is so delicious! I love the taquitos, enchiladas, churros, entomatadas, the beverages like limonada, jamaica. GOD! I can go over everything. I really enjoy that people dress as charros and adelitas. I mean, what other cultural tradition can be better than this one? If I were far from my Mexico, this would be the tradition that I would celebrate to get close to my culture. Mexico has many rich and colorful cultural traditions that make it unique and special.” – Ariadne Venegas, 23

 

“My favorite part about my culture is definitely the food. It’s what makes me, me. I love it, I worship it! (not really) but it is awesome! The Enchiladas, the tacos, tostadas, the spiciness, flautas, guacamole, and everything in between! When I think of the food, my face transforms into the emoji with the heart eyes and a smile!– Polet Espinoza, 23

Hispanic Heritage Month Video

This Hispanic Heritage Month, Latinitas show off their cultural pride, talk about their heritage and share their culture vision board describing what makes up their culture. Check out the videos created by Latinitas below. This video series is sponsored by Sprint.hhm-latinitas-videos

 

Benefits of Community College

College Chica, 2013

College Chica, 2013

Towards the end of my sophomore year, I began the process to enroll into Austin Community College as an Early College Start student. When I began my junior year of high school, I started the year enrolled in Composition 1301 and U.S. History 1301, basic college freshman courses. The second semester I was enrolled in college sophomore courses and during my senior year, I earned enough credit hours to be in sophomore standing when I enroll as a full time college student this upcoming fall.

Without community colleges offering these programs, a lot of low-income students would have to spend an extra year that they cannot afford in higher education. Because of my sophomore standing, I will be able to double major and still graduate within four years.

While high school students like to boast about being enrolled as Early College Start students when they are juniors, come senior year they look down on the same community college that offered them opportunities and gave them the necessary tools to succeed in the first place.

Many of my peers whom also took college level classes with me scoffed at the notion of enrolling full time in community college post graduation, saying that community colleges are too “easy” and only for slackers. It’s funny how things change – I don’t recall our community college classes being easy at all. In fact, as a top Advanced Placement student, I struggled to make my way into an A in all of my dual enrollment classes.

Community colleges shouldn’t be looked down on because they’re an equalizer. Community colleges open so many doors for low-income students, especially, when it comes to cost. I have so many friends who could have gone to the University of Texas at Austin or A&M but opted instead for Austin Community College because of little to no cost.

Community college, for many, is the smartest choice anyone can make and I will always be grateful for the opportunities it offered me. Without Austin Community College, I wouldn’t be about to enroll in Texas State on a near-full ride as a double major while pursuing a teaching certificate and an interpreter’s license. It simply wouldn’t have been possible at all.

Attending community college isn’t something to be ashamed of. You’re furthering your education and that’s all that matters in the end.