Our current Pope, Pope Francisco, is the first Latin American Pope to grace the Vatican. Pope Francisco was born Mario Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina and worked as a nightclub bouncer before entering the seminary to become a Catholic priest. He then went on to become Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and when his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2014 he was voted into the papacy.
In office since the end of 2014, his election caused great celebration throughout Latin America as they cheered on the beginning of a new era, one in which the head of the Catholic Church and one of the most powerful world leaders, was Latino.
Many Latinos remember the moment they learned that a fellow Latino had been named as Pope. Maribel, 18, of Mexican descent and a devout Catholic, says that she recalls watching on television as Pope’s Francisco’s election was announced. She immediately jumped up cheering and screaming and her whole family gathered around to embrace and celebrate. “It’s not just because he speaks Spanish,” she says. “Latin America needs a Latino Pope who knows the problems in Latin America and how to deal with them.”
Laura, 19, says that she was shopping when she found out via text message, and that she left the store almost immediately to go to her parish Cathedral and give thanks for his election. There she found plenty of other Latinos gathered around praying a Rosary for their new Pope. She says, “I know the Pope is one of the most powerful figures in the world. Having him in office while bring more awareness and attention to our region of the world.”
But while most Hispanics were overjoyed that their new Pope was Argentine, others criticized Pope Francisco as ‘not Latino enough.’ An article published in Huffington Post: Latino Voices, entitled “Is Pope Francis Latino?” suggested that because the Pope’s parents migrated to Argentina from Italy before his birth, he is not Latino.
But why can’t Pope Francisco be Argentine just because his parents were immigrants? Latinos in the United States have heard this argument before, as others sometime criticize them as not ‘real’ Americans if their parents or grandparents came from elsewhere. But truth is, the Pope was born in Latin America, speaks Spanish, and is intimately aware of the culture and issues in the region. Discrimination against him based on the fact that his parents were immigrants takes away from the reality of the situation: Latin America has a Spanish-speaking Pope who was born and raised there and is dedicated to addressing their concerns. Pope Francisco himself has demonstrated his concern for Latin American affairs in his numerous critiques of income inequality in the region, and his urging of their leaders to adapt policies that support workers’ human dignity. He has also worked closely with the impoverished and marginalized peoples of Argentina. The world carefully watches and listens to the words of the Pope, and his repeated speeches and efforts concerning Latin America both revives cultural pride and encourages the rest of the world to heed the needs of the region.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “But I already carry all these textbooks and folders! I can’t make room for more things!” Luckily, all of these items are small, so the struggle of squeezing in more things in your backpack or bag won’t be too bad (unless you’re really loaded on those textbooks!).
1. Mint gum
A regular school day lasts around 7 hours, and most students only brush their teeth before school. Your breath during or after the day can feel or smell yucky, so why not bring mint gum to freshen up your breath? You will thank yourself for chewing mint gum regularly when you talk to that crush of yours! (An alternative for gum is mints- still gives you fresh breath without getting in trouble with your teachers!).
Almost everybody’s had some sort of slight injury a bandage could help cover, such as those tiny yet painful paper cuts or a scrape on your knee from P.E. class. Whatever the case may be, bandages are always super useful to have with you. Not only will they be helpful in your small cuts and scrapes, but your friends will probably be happy to know you can help them out in a situation like that by providing a bandage.
If you’re anything like me, you feel pretty embarrassed and annoying getting up a few times during class to grab a tissue. This can especially be awkward during flu season. Drug stores always have to-go sized tissues in stock, so maybe buy a few to clean up your mocos!
4. Hand sanitizer
Again, getting up out of your seat during class to just pump a dab of hand sanitizer in your hand can be a little weird when you can just have your own tiny bottle right in your bag. A lot of hand sanitizers now come in various scents and come with those hooks to hang from your zipper, and even though it’s just hand sanitizer, it’s cute and it is important in order to avoid getting sick.
5. Extra pair of earphones
I cannot stress how many times this could’ve saved my life during high school. Sitting in class or in the bus without listening to my own music was a major buzzkill. I can almost guarantee that there will be at least one day you will forget your earphones. Seriously, save yourself from that misery and keep an extra pair of earphones in your bag.
Maybe none of these things will help you ace your tests, but taking care of yourself is a 24/7 priority. School can get you busy but these five things can help you learn how to accomplish doing awesome in school and taking care of yourself!
This March during Spring Break I had the opportunity, thanks to Latinitas, to attend SXSW. SXSW is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that occur annually in Austin, Texas. This year both Latinos and women were prominently featured, and I attended with the goal of learning as much as I could from figures that are inspiring to Latinitas. One figure in particular caught my attention as I know that she is especially popular among preteen and teenage girls. That person is Michelle Phan, the explosively famous YouTuber who performs makeup tutorials on camera, and also runs her own makeup line called Em.
Michelle, along with Lucky Magazine editor-in-chief Eva Chen, headed a panel about how to remain true to ourselves and to our goals. Michelle started out the panel by noting that “right now is such a hard time to be a female because we are judged on so many different platforms.” She’s right: real life, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat…There are dozens of different ways in which who we are and what we say and how we look are analyzed and judged. So what’s a girl to do?
Michelle said that first off it is important to decide who you are. You must ask yourself: “What do you represent? What story do you want to tell?” It is important to ask yourself these questions because without a sense of what you believe and who you want to be you may fall prey to the lies others tell you about yourself.
Speaking of those with unkind things to say, Michelle says to “ignore the bullies and give platform to those speaking and doing good.” Once you have a vision for yourself and have learned to combat negativity you are ready to begin actively achieving your goals. Surround yourself with those who believe in and support those goals.
Michelle knows what she’s taking about. Behind her glamorous image and creative talent is a woman who endured much hardship to get to where she is today. Born to Vietnamese immigrants, her father left the family when she was very young. Her mother, living in poverty, struggled to provide for Michelle and her brother. She dreamed of Michelle becoming a doctor. Michelle, as much as she loved her mother and wanted to make her happy, knew instinctively that medicine was not her calling. So at the last minute she enrolled in art classes instead and paid her way working as a waitress.
She did not begin filming her YouTube videos until she was turned down for a job selling makeup at the Lancôme counter. She knew that, despite what others believed, she had a talent for makeup and could use it to help others. She began discussing and applying makeup herself on camera, and quickly gained followers. Her “Barbie Makeup” tutorial has 6 million views and counting! Major beauty lines soon noticed her success and talent. Lancôme, who had once turned her down for a job, returned to offer Michelle her very own makeup line with them! A while later, she received an offer for a book deal.
Today, Michelle has over 7 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, a makeup line called ‘Em’ and a published book. But even as she works hard to remain successful she remembers the importance of giving back to those most in need. At the SXSW panel she told the audience that she was headed to China the next day to promote a non-profit that foments education on a global scale. Her dedication to both achieving her own dreams and helping others to achieve theirs is an inspiring reminder that when we discover our life purpose we positively affect the lives of others.
Ever consider going to a film festival and wish it was based around more Latin culture? SxAméricas is the perfect place just for that!
SxAméricas is an extension of SxSW that takes place during the weeklong event held in mid-March in Austin, Texas.
At SxAméricas, there are festivals and panels that connect leaders from the technology, music, and film industry world through U.S. Latinos and Latin Americans.
According to the SxSW website, “SxAméricas is a platform to network, share innovative ideas, and create new partnerships across all creative industries from North America, South America, and Central America.”
Some of the Latina representatives at SxAméricas were Julie Ann Crommett (with Google), Lucinda Martinez (with HBO), Lauren Giraldo (from Vine and Youtube), and even Gloria Trevi.(Expand and briefly introduce their background).
Julie Ann Crommet is the program manager of computer science education in media at Google. Her main focus at work is to add diversity to the computer science field and change the views the media has on computer science. Before working at Google, she worked at NBCUniversal and was in charge of the diversity within the company off camera. She also graduated from Harvard with a bachelors of arts in English.
Lucinda Martinez is the HBO Senior Vice President of Multicultural Marketing. She is responsible for the creation of HBO Lation, and she’s responsible for HBO’s current marketing towards the large group of multicultural shows on the TV station, from African American, Latino, and Asian cultures. Before working for HBO, she worked as a director on Comedy Central. She was also the woman who started the Latino Health Summit with the American Heart Association. Lucinda received her bachelors of arts from Columbia University.
Lauren Giraldo, now 17, started making videos on Vine in 2013 just for the fun of it. She was in high school and didn’t think anything of it at first because only her friends watched her Vines. Before she knew it, she was getting thousands of views on Vine and became “Vine famous.” Her videos are just her doing whatever she thinks is fun — which sometimes includes going up to strangers in public and asking them to marry her. She started posting videos onto her Youtube channel in June 2015 after she had already gotten so many followers and views on her Vine videos.
Gloria Trevi is a pop-rock singer/songwriter from Mexico. She started as a solo artist in 1989 and was immediately successful (after having sung on the streets of Mexico and been in a girl group). In 1993, she was Pop Female Artist of the Year at the Lo Nuestro Awards. She has since moved from Mexico City to McAllen, Texas, and is working on her singing and acting career.
Each one of these women had different things to say about women in media, as well as women working in the business of television and other media outlets.
Lucinda Martinez began to talk about Latinas, specifically, when discussing the viewers for her shows on HBO.
“We’re not a race. Latino is not a race,” she said. “We’re a combination of races. Mixing is Latino. A character can be anybody. We’re so diverse.”
Julie Ann Crommett discussed what made her go into computer science and storytelling. She talked about her life as a Cuban and Puerto Rican.
“I was passionate about finding a place in the world and as a Latina,” she said.
At the panel she spoke at, she was also asked why so many girls were not pursuing computer sciences. Crommett’s answer was:
1) Not enough encouragement from parents and,
2) The girl’s perception of the career itself.
“Computer Science is how you revolutionize the world,” Crommett said in regards to her field work.
Lauren Giraldo spoke about social media and how she got to be where she is today at the panel she spoke at. She was asked what the key to succeeding in social media was.
“Be yourself. They’re already following you. That’s what works,” she said. “Even if you’re really weird, you know, they’ll like it.”
And as far as her “Spanglish” goes, she said it’s great for herself and for her viewers, and they love it. She believes it allows the viewers to relate to her and her family. It’s a different type of relationship for them.
All of the women at SxAméricas main focus was teaching young girls how to succeed in the business. Just remember, if they can do it, anyone else can do it too.
The saying goes that the pen is mightier than the sword. Poetry slams take that concept pretty literally. A poetry slam is a battle of words and rhyme, all to win the hearts—and the high scores—of the judges.
Poetry slams started in Chicago in 1984. Since then, they have spread all over the United States and all over the world. Ireland holds the annual All Ireland Poetry Slam. Competitions can range from local open-signup events to national competitions where qualifying or an invitation may be required.
Regardless of the level of competition, the structure of slams stays pretty similar. Before the showcase begins, a few judges are randomly chosen from the audience. They will be responsible for assigning a score from 1 to 10 for each performer. The competitions are usually divided into rounds with a few poets being eliminated each time. The poets preform a poem that they have written, usually from memory. Poets have three minutes to impress the judges and going over the time will result in a penalty.
The poems and the poets are the real stars of these competitions. Poetry competitions allow them to show off their writing and their bravery to the entire audience. Slam poetry ranges is style and delivery but is made to be read out loud like a high-stakes version of spoken word. Poems can have the rhythm and rhymes of hip hop or they can be fast-spoken rants with emphasis and timing. Slam poetry is all about the delivery. Poetry topics can be political or emotional or just funny. They are usually inspired by life. Slam thrives off of everyone’s uniqueness.
Slam contestants cover a whole spectrum of ages. Recently there has been a rise of a youth poetry slam movement for young people only. Poetry can be an educational tool, a method of self-expression, and a confidence boost. The Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam is on its 19th year in San Francisco. Spoken word and slam poetry is being taught in schools. Slam competitions and open mics are featured in television shows like ABC Family’s The Fosters. Teenagers share their poetry on YouTube for their followers and fans. There are many ways to get involved in the poetry slam world.
University of Texas at Austin student Arati Warrier, 21, has been a part of competitive poetry teams and competed in the Texas Grand Slam last year. She said poetry was always been a part of her life but slam opened up a new dimension of the art for her.
”Writing has always been an important tool for me to cope, vent, live,” Warrier said. “Slam poetry saved my life. To be able to share my work with a community, to watch poets get free on stage and to experience it myself, has been nothing short of religious experience for me.”
For Warrier, slam poetry is a safe place to be bold and explore her life through performance.
“It’s inspiring and cathartic to push my art forward with people who care and feel so deeply,” Warrier said. ”I’m lucky for everything spoken word and slam poetry has given me: better writing skills, empowering performances, and my best friends.”
With a strong following of poets and performers, poetry slams may be around for quite a while. New competitions are popping up in cities all of the time. It may be a relatively new art form, but it has a lot to offer.
Prague is an easy city to fall in love with. Rich with history, architecture, and art, Prague sits at the heart of the Czech Republic in Central Europe as the nation’s capital. A gorgeous castle and endless cathedrals earned the city the name “City of 100 Spires.” Anywhere you walk down the cobblestone streets you can find a story written in history and waiting to be explored.
Two summers ago I was chosen to be a part of a photography class studying abroad in the Czech Republic. This was my first trip outside of the US besides the quick thirty-minute drives across the Mexican border. I was nervous, but I soon learned that Prague felt a lot like home.
Prague is a huge tourist destination. Its history with visitors started years ago. Because of Prague’s central location in Europe, many traders and merchants passed through the Czech Republic during their travels. This created a country that mixes western European and eastern European cultures. The Czech language is spoken along with German, Russian, and English. You can try some potato pancakes and dumplings, or you can play it safe and grab a bite at McDonald’s. A huge five story mall offers a day of shopping, or you can discover some of the small shops on the streets. There is something for everyone.
Getting around to the exciting destinations is easy. The city is packed with things to do, but is smaller than it appears on a map. Walking is a good option in the main city area. If you want to travel a little farther, you can take one of the street trams that go just about anywhere. Just make sure it is going the right. The metro was my first time on a subway, and they can take you to large attractions very fast. Make sure you have a ticket, because officers are strict about fare and will fine you or even arrest you. No one wants that!
So what are some of these amazing attractions? Prague Castle is a must-see. The castle grounds contain the giant St. Vitus cathedral built in the mid-1300s and a garden with a bird-eye view of the city. The castle is said to have inspired the Disney castle. A smaller version of the Eiffel Tower sits in the middle of the gardens at Petrin Hill. Old Town Square has a clock tower with mechanical figures that put on a show for tourists. It was once consider on of the Wonders of the World.
My favorite memory was a festival held in a Prague every summer—the King’s Parade. The King’s Parade is a reenactment of the journey the king and queen would take every year from Prague Castle to their summer home. The parade is like nothing I have seen in the United States. Actors dress up as king, queen, pages, and stable hands. The procession traverses the streets riding on horses and playing music. Unlike parades I have been to before, there were no barriers. People from the crowd could join in and walk with the actors. Photographers darted around horses trying to get the perfect shot. Children waved to the queen and shook hands with the jester. There was so much energy and excitement and I got to be a part of it!
Of course, exploring the quieter sides of town was nice too. This is where I got to see and meet the people at the heart of Prague. Storeowners and strangers on the bus were excited to practice their English with me. I took pictures of a father and son roller skating on one of the only sunny days that month. There was a gypsy festival the first week where Roma people taught a crowd of people to dance.
At the same time, there were plenty of Czechs that were reserved and quiet. We were told that the older Czechs were usually more reserved because they grew up under totalitarian rule. The Czech Republic was under Nazi rule during WWII. The communist party was strong in the Czech Republic and still has an active party in the nation. But through this dark history, the Czechs have prevailed.
In fact, many Czechs have made their mark on art and literature. Author Franz Kafka is from the Czech Republic as well as art nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Rococo and cubist architects designed incredible buildings that have stood for centuries. The Czech Republic has a lot to be proud of.
With so much to do and so much history to explore, the Czech Republic made me realize that every place has a story to offer. If you go to Prague, don’t forget your camera, because you won’t want to miss a thing while you’re making some memories of your own.
It is easy to get bogged down on Twitter by the negativity that flies around sometimes. Maybe you check twitter first thing and the morning and you see the latest twitter battle between celebrities. Who wants to start their day that way?
Twitter connects us with people all over the world. More than a third of young adults under the age of 30 are using the social media site, according to data collected by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of Latinos on twitter has seen more growth than any other group in the past two years. Some of us have done some amazing things and Twitter is a great way to share our accomplishments. Check out some of these amazing Latina women and the great things they are doing. What’s a better way to start your day than with a dose of inspiration?
Maria Teresa Kumar – @mariateresa1
Maria Teresa Kumar is no stranger to Twitter. As the president of Voto Latino, she uses social media and texting campaigns to empower young Latinos to go out and take charge of their government. Her own personal Twitter is just as motivating. She often tweets about issues passing through Congress that we should all be aware. She is great at picking out some inspirational quotes as well.
Ana Roca Castro – @anarc
Ana is an education tech developer and the CEO of PreK12Plaza, an education resource helping students in underserved areas receive a quality bilingual education. Her twitter account shows her passion for education rights and bringing more women into the science and technology fields. She is also a founder of LATISM or Latinos in Social Media, an online movement to bring together Latinos on social media platforms in order to open a discourse for social change. Visit her Twitter and join the conversation.
Cristina Saralegui – @cristinaopina
Cristina is often called the Latina Oprah. She is a Cuban-born talk show host and journalist. She has interviewed countless celebrities and even some political figures. She shows just how far a Latina woman can get with some determination. Always the journalist, she often shares inspiring stories over on her Twitter account.
Maribel Marmol – @food4thoughtnyc
Maribel is a health blogger from New York City. She tweets about food, healthy living, and ways we can stay positive in life. Find out how to cheer up and avoid stress in the first place. Not only is her Twitter feed uplifting, but she is also a great example of ways we can all use our social media accounts to send a positive message to the world. Check out her account to pick up some ideas on how you can follow her lead and tell the world about your passion.
America Ferrera – @americaferrera
America is young, talented, and a very vocal activist for Latino issues. She has supported over a dozen charities including Peace First, Stand UP to Cancer, and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. In addition, she has spoken at rallies for immigration reform and rights. She finds time for all of this while working as an actress! Keep up with the excitement on her Twitter page.
If you still need more inspiring women in your life, check out the #Latism hashtag. You can find Latinos sharing their opinions and discussing ways to solve social and economic problems. LATISM holds weekly twitter parties every Thursday with a different topic each week. Young voices are always welcome and can offer a fresh perspective. So go ahead and tell the world what you think! Twitter can be inspiring and you can be one of the many Latinas that makes it that way.
Accessorizing is a girl’s best friend! Organizing your cute jewelry doesn’t mean having to buy expensive containers. These DIY jewelry organizers are easy, simple, quick, and under $20.00 or less. It is fun and anyone can help you do it.
This cute DIY includes the use of power tools, so ask your parents or an adult for help!
Supplies: 1 Piece of wood, Acrylic Paint (choose a color) & Foam Brush, Drill, Sander, 10 hooks & 2 clips/latches
First, sand around the piece of wood with the sander — this includes the edges including the edges. Second, apply the acrylic paint with the foam brush on the wood of the desired color you’ve chosen. Next, allow the wood to dry. After the paint dries you can get creative and write a small quote on the top corner or you can always paint on a design. Third, you’ll need to drill in the 10 hooks in the middle or bottom. Just be sure you leave about ½ inch of space in between each hook to allow the necklaces to hang freely. Last, drill or hammer in the clips/latches at the back of the wood and hang it up!
Another necklace organizer — seriously, you can never have too many necklaces.
Supplies: Hammer, Curtain rod, Shower curtain hooks
This DIY is very simple and quick. First, you hammer in where you want to place your curtain rod. Second, put the shower curtain hooks on the rod and allow 1 inch of space in between each hook. Last, place necklaces on the heavier side of the hook to balance out. By the way, you could also use it as a bracelet organizer as well, just don’t add on the second step.
Earring Frame Organizer
Supplies: Picture Frame, Chicken Wire, and Picture Hanging Strips
First, buy a cheap, old picture frame and spray paint it the color you want it to be. Second, cut out the chicken wire to fit the frame. Then, put the chicken wire in first with the rest of the frame. Last, flip the picture frame over and stick on the picture hanging strips along the edges of the frame. Then, stick it against the wall. Viola! You’ve created your very own earring organizer!
Storage drawer Earring Organizer
Supplies: Plastic storage drawer, foam, and paint.
In this DIY, if you already own storage boxes, skip the first step. First, you will need to buy the amount of storage drawers you need to fit the amount of earrings you own. Second, cut the foam it to fit the size of the drawer and fill it in. Last, insert your earrings. Prefect way to sort your earrings.
Latinitas share their self-esteem advice, thoughts on true beauty, ideas on how media impacts girls and their confidence tips.
How does media negatively impact girls’ body image?
Media affects girls by making them think they are not pretty enough or that they are not wearing a pretty size and it makes girls want to change themselves in the wrong way.
-Jacklyn, Nicole & Kayla
Why is it important to have a good body image?
- So they don’t have to feel bad about themselves.
- So you could stay healthy.
- So young teenage girls won’t self abuse themselves because they think they are ugly or hideous.
- They will be happy with themselves and love life and not hate it.
- So they could think good things about themselves and not think they are not pretty.
- So they won’t lower their self-esteem.
-Destiny, Kendrea, Desiree, Julia, Lanal
What are the negative consequences of having a low self-esteem?
- Harming yourself
- Feeling less confident
- Thinking low of yourself
- Being angry
- Feeling depressed and unpleasant.
-Layla, Ashley, Alex, Iris, Savanna
Why do you think photoshopping model photos is bad?
- Because if they don’t like your picture they change it.
- Because it is not the real you.
- Even if you think you are pretty, they change you up.
- You don’t look the same.
-Nevaeh, Chriss, Katelyn, Nicole
Do you think altered photos can hurt girl’s self-esteem?
- It is awful because they don’t look that way and girls wish they were them.
- It makes me angry because we want to be appreciated for who we are and not just what we look like.
- It makes girls sad because they don’t appreciate how they look.
- It makes girls sad because they don’t actually look that way.
-Avan, Dyani, Aileen
Why is it important not to compare yourself to models?
- Because you are beautiful the way you are
- You should just be yourself all the time
- Models aren’t perfect they just use photoshop.
-Ayla & Amanda
What would you tell a friend if she wasn’t confident in herself?
- To believe in yourself
- To think positive
- Don’t listen to other negative opinions
- Be who you are
-Natalie, Alyssia, Natalia
What advice do you have to help girls boost their self-esteem?
- Remember people don’t all look the same.
- You are pretty in your own way.
- We should focus on the brain and not just the body.
- You are perfect the way you are.
- You don’t need makeup to look perfect. You are beautiful the way you are.
- Everyone is different.
- We can’t all be models.
- Say positive things about yourself.
- Remember a lot of the models are photoshopped and don’t look that way for real.
-Amree, Tatiana, Johnnie, Diamond