Quiz: What’s Your Learning Style?

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Have you ever studied intensely for a test but were extremely disappointed when you received your grade back? Don’t fret, chica! We have all been there. Instead of going out and buying a pint of ice cream to cure your study blues, take a moment to fill out this quiz and learn some techniques that will help you take your next exam by storm.

1. Where do you prefer to sit in class?

A. In the front row so I can see the board clearly.

B. It doesn’t matter as long as I can hear the teacher.

C. Towards the back so I have a good view of everything.

 

2. What past time do you prefer?

A. Watching my favorite tv shows and movies.

B. Listening to my favorite music.

C. Sports or any type of physical activity.

 

3. When I study I like to  ____________.

A. Be alone in a quiet area/

B. Be in a group.

C. Play games that reinforce the material.

 

4. If I’m trying to remember something I like to ____________.

A. Write it down over and over.

B. Record it and listen to it over and over.

C. Write it down and read it aloud over and over.

 

5. What subject is your favorite?

A. Spelling

B. Foreign Language

C. Science

 

6. When you first meet someone, what do you remember about them the most?

A. Appearance

B.  Name

C. Personality

 

7. How do you get your news?

A. I scroll through online content.

B. I like to listen to it on the radio.

C. I like to flip through a news paper or magazine.

 

8. What word best describes you?

A. Artistic

B. Listener

C. Active

 

9. How would you describe your style?

A. Very colorful, my style is always changing.

B. I like to keep up with trends.

C. I like comfort.

 

If you answered mostly A, you are a visual learner.

Visual learners grasp concepts best by seeing the material. You excel at spelling and like colors and fashion.

Study tips for visual learners:

  •          Study in a quiet area
  •          Create outlines and diagrams when taking notes
  •          Use highlighters, circle words and underline when reading
  •          Watch videos that reinforce the concepts
  •          Make color coded flashcards

 

If you answered mostly B, you are an auditory learner.

Auditory learners grasp concepts best through hearing things. You are good at remembering names. You are not afraid to speak up in class, and you also really enjoy music.

Study tips for auditory learners:

  •          Form study groups
  •          Record lectures
  •          Play word association games
  •          Read assignments and directions out loud
  •          Create rhymes

 

If you answered mostly C, you are a physical learner.

Physical learners grasp concepts by experiencing or doing things. You can’t sit still for long periods of time, and you enjoy adventure books and movies.

Study tips for physical learners:

  •          Take breaks when reading and studying
  •          Role play
  •          Go on field trips
  •          Use flash cards
  •          Draw pictures in your notes to reinforce material

 

Sometimes you can by a hybrid between two different learning techniques, so don’t be afraid to try out study habits from different learning styles. Test these tips and adjust them to your study habits and prepare to be amazed. Happy studying, chicas!

Sorority Sister Spotlight: Arlina Garcia

gammasDo you remember the last time you were in a brand new setting? Making friends and being yourself isn’t so easy when you’re not in your comfort zone, but sometimes there are ways to ease these transitions. Arlina Garcia is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and a sister of the “Oh So Fly” Xi Chapter of the Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority. Through this sorority, she has transitioned into a college student who proudly embraces her heritage in her daily life.

What was the most difficult part about transitioning from high school to college?

 The most difficult part about transitioning from high school to college was definitely the culture shock. I pictured UT to be very diverse, but when I arrived I was surprised by the large number of White students on campus. I felt out casted at times in my classes. I grew up in Houston, in a predominately African American and Latino community. The environment was a lot different at UT than my previous schooling institutions. Joining SLG definitely helped me transition.

Why did you decide to rush?

 Even though I knew a good number of people at UT from my school district, I still felt alone at times. I did not feel like my peers had the same goals and mind set as mine. I came in to UT wanting to join a sorority, but I never would have thought I’d join a Latina based sorority. I saw the Gammas perform a step and stroll and “Go Greek”, an event the Latino Pan-Hellenic council puts on every semester, and it sparked my interest. After attending an informational I knew Sigma Lambda Gamma was the right sorority for me. All the sisters had accomplished so much during their time at UT. I could see Gammas were ambitious, confident women and that is exactly what I wanted to be surrounded by. A positive influence to push me to pursue all my aspirations.

How has being a UT Gamma influenced your views on your culture?

 I have become very proud of my heritage and have gained so much knowledge of not only my own culture, but others as well. I truly value diversity in my everyday life now. I studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa this past summer, my first time leaving the state of Texas, and now I want to travel the world! Because: “Culture is pride, Pride is success.”

Describe your sisterhood in 3 words.

 “Hermanas por vida.” 

What’s your favorite memory?

 I have too many memories with my sisters to choose one. I would have to say my probate was an amazing day. A probate is a coming out show, after pledging a semester. When I took off my mask and revealed myself as “Arlina ‘Ambiciosa’ Garcia,” and stood next to my line sisters with my letters on for the first time, it was unforgettable.

 Has being a member in your sorority made you feel closer to your roots? Why or why not?

 Definitely, my family is very Tejano, so learning from my sisters who grew up with a more traditionally Mexican family is so interesting. I have learned to appreciate the values my parents strived to instill in me. 

What does your family back home think about your involvement?

 Being a first generation college student, I do not think my family fully understands the purpose and meaning of a sorority. However, they have been more than supportive. They have expressed that their proud of me for going through the journey of becoming a sister and how involved I have become. They also loved coming to our family weekend we host for all our parents, annually. And I must say, watching my 6’ 3” dad dominate in the sack races was priceless.

What has been the greatest benefit/s? 

Self-growth. I came in to UT very reserved, timid, and disengaged. Since becoming a sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma, I have really learned the importance of opening up. It is necessary to build relationships. You cannot improve by staying in your comfort zone. I have definitely grown a voice. For example, I speak up in class a lot more often, which is beneficial for being successful in college. I am definitely not afraid to provide input or state my opinion. I have learned the importance of networking and am no longer to put myself out there and meet people.

What advice would you give our Latinitas readers about the whole college experience?

DO THE MOST. Branch out. Study Abroad. Get a mentor. Go to different campus events. Join organizations. Do community Service. Do research. Hang out with new people. Do not just stay in your dorm room. Your undergraduate career will contain some of your best memories and you do not want to regret this time. Always remember to keep your academics a priority. Yes college is fun, but the reason you are at your institution is to get a degree. Never give up either. It can get stressful and overwhelming but you have to keep pushing. Use your resources wisely, colleges offer tutoring, skills workshops, office hours, career services, advising, and writing centers. By being a minority and a woman, making the most of your education will make a lot of people proud. Overall, stay committed and open minded.

If you’re interested in learning more about the UT Gammas visit www.texasgammas.org.

Spring Braids

Whether you are studying for a big test or working on your soccer skills, your thick hair always seems to be getting in your face. Do these scenarios sound familiar, chicas? Instead of slicking your hair back in a head ache inducing ponytail, try out some of these braided hairstyles just in time for spring. They are all heat free, quick and abuelita approved.

For all of these looks you will only need bobby pins, hair elastics and an optional styling product to hold your hairstyle all day.

Hanging Low

  1. Start by sectioning off a section of hair from the front of your head. If you have bangs, you can leave them out for this look.
  2. Tie the rest of your hair in a side ponytail.
  3. Begin braiding the sectioned piece of hair towards the back of your head.
  4. Bobby pin the braid behind your head.
  5. Twist your side ponytail into a bun and hold with hair elastic.
  6. Spray your hairstyle with finishing spray to hold the look throughout the day (ex. hairspray or spray gel).

 

Best of Both Worlds


 

  1. Start at the top of your head and begin French braiding your hair.
  2. Stop braiding when you get to the back part of your head.
  3. Combine the rest of your hair with the braid and tie it into a ponytail with a hair elastic.
  4. Spray your style for an extra hold.

 

La Princesa


  1. Section off a piece of hair from one side of your head and begin braiding it towards the back of your head.
  2. Secure the braid with a bobby pin.
  3. Repeat step one on the opposite side of your head.
  4. Secure the second braid by crisscrossing the bobby pins behind your head.
  5. Tuck in any extra hair under the braids.
  6. Spray your style for an extra hold.

 

If you’re feeling some extra springtime inspiration, add clip-on flowers or hair bows for a unique touch. Who said convenience can’t be cute? Now get to braiding, chicas!

Embracing the Salsa

Kids-classSalsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has influences from Latin American and Afro-Caribbean countries. This popular dance style inspires confidence and freedom to improvise with the traditional steps. Whether it’s with a partner or dancing it out solo, salsa is a way to embrace the Latin culture one step at a time.

Claudia Ramirez has been dancing salsa for years and finds it to be a fun, cultural pastime and the best way for her to stay physically and mentally healthy.

“It is so liberating,” Ramirez said. “To many, hitting the gym and pumping iron are ways to relieve stress, but to me, dancing salsa is my therapy. Brings out the total Latina in me.”

History of Salsa
Salsa is a combination of Latin American and Afro-Carribean dances, such as merengue, mambo, cumbia and the rumba. While the roots of salsa are most famously known for coming from Cuba, many other countries adopted this dance into their cultures, such as the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the United States.

In the 1970s, New York City received an influx of Latin American immigrants, who brought along their music and dance styles from their unique regions. Cultures united and created modern day salsa, which continues to evolve today.

The Basic Steps

In any dancing style, practice makes perfect. With salsa, practice is important to keep your rhythm flowing but, when it comes to the basic steps, it’s more about learning how you can make them your own.

Classic Salsa Music
Practice your moves with some classic songs that provide upbeat, shoulder-moving, hip-swaying music for an energetic dance session.

  • “Quimbara” by Celia Cruz
  • “Lloraras” by Oscar D’Leon
  • “Las Caras Lindas” by Ismael Rivera
  • “Pedro Navaja” by Ruben Blades
  • “P’a Bravo Yo” by Justo Betancourt

Below is a guide on how to get into the flow and feel of salsa using simple footwork patterns. 

Salsa Side Steps 

 Step 1: Left, Right, Left
Step left with your left foot, then step in place with your right foot, and then close your left foot to your right foot.

Step 2: Right, Left, Right
Repeat this step with your right foot by stepping right, stepping in place with your left foot, then close your right foot to your left foot.

Salsa Forward Steps

Step 1: Forward Left, Right
Place your left foot forward, then step in place with your right foot. Then close your left foot with your right foot.

Step 2: Back Right, Left
Step back on your right foot then step in place on your left. Close your right foot with your left foot.

As you practice these simple steps, it’s about harnessing the energy of the music and releasing it through twists, turns and feet that won’t stop moving to the beat. In many ways, salsa dancing is an expressive art that allows you to mix fresh imagination with cultural traditions, which make for a style that is timelessly appreciated.

DIY: Cupcake Bouquet

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Photo Credit: Cakecentral.com

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means it’s never too early to start prepping a gift for a loved one. This cute DIY bouquet of cupcakes roses is both memorable and easy to make. A memorable gift for less than $20, this bouquet of cupcakes is guaranteed to make your loved one smile.

First, gather the following ingredients:

  • 6-inch Flowerpot (clean)
  •  Foam Ball 6-in (size may vary depending on the size of the flower pot; make sure the foam ball fits perfectly in the flowerpot)
  • 2 sheets of green tissue paper
  •  6 wooden sticks
  •  3 table spoons of fondue chocolate or normal chocolate frosting
  •  1 packet of Oreo cookies or ANY black cookies
  •  1 box of cake mix
  • Ingredients listed in the cake mix box (oil, water, eggs)
  •  24 white or cream cupcake papers are preferred (or matching colors)
  •  2 cupcake baking pans
  •  1 container of Vanilla Frosting (COLD, not at room temperature)
  •   Food coloring of your choice
  •  1 Cake and pastry decorating set

*** OPTIONAL***

To make the flower pot extra special, you can decorate it by either painting it, adding a ribbon to it, or leaving it as is to make it seem like an authentic bouquet.

GETTING THE FOAM BALLS READY

The first step is to prepare the foam balls by covering the top part with chocolate frosting. In my experience, this step should be the first thing you should do. It takes a long time for the frosting to dry even if you place it in the fridge. You can complete this process by placing enough chocolate frosting in a bowl and heating the frosting in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute.

Tip: Keep track of the time. The chocolate will burn if it’s more than one minute.

After the chocolate has melted, cover half of the foam ball completely; don’t be afraid to use your hands. Lastly, just wait for the frosting to dry.

PREPARING THE CUPCAKES

It’s time for the cupcakes to be made!

  1. First, open your Cake Mixture  and place it in a container and follow the instructions in the back. Mine says to add 1 cup of water, 1/3 of a cup of oil, and 3 eggs.
  2. Next, mix all of your ingredients together until you no longer have lumps in your dough.
  3.   Place the cupcake papers on the cupcake molds and start adding your mixture to each section. For the process of filling cupcake papers, you can use a spoon or an ice cream scoop.
  4.  Make sure to fill the papers about half-way (not all the way to the top!). Remember that cupcakes rise, so, if you put too much of the mixture, it can lead to making a mess trying to pull them out!
  5. Then, when you’re done adding the mixture to the papers, pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Ask a parent or adult to help you with the oven.

TAKE A BREAK

While you wait for your delicious cupcakes to bake (which can take 20-45 minutes; check the cake mix box), start planning out the color of the roses.

AFTER THE CUPCAKES ARE DONE

Let the cupcakes completely cool down; if you do not let them cool down, the frosting will melt and will mess up your flowers.

WHILE THEY COOL DOWN

  1. Add the foam ball to the middle portion of the gardening pot.
  2.  Then, place the white frosting in a small bowl and add enough food coloring to the frosting.
  3. Mix the food coloring and frosting.This will be the color of the rose petals for the bouquet! The amount of colored frosting that you make will depend on how much frosting you want to add to each cupcake.Tip: If you want a lighter color, don’t add a lot of food coloring.

ONCE THE CUPCAKES HAVED COOLED

This part is easier with the help from an adult.

  1. Place your cupcakes in the foam ball using the wooden sticks. If the wooden sticks are too long, use scissors or a knife to cut the wooden stick to a desired length.
  2. Starting from the bottom to the top, place the cupcakes right above the natural line of the gardening pot.
  3. Grab a stick and place it in the middle of the cupcake; do this process slowly, if you do it too fast, you can make a hole in your cupcake.
  4. Do the same for every cupcake, and follow the natural line of the gardening pot as you add them to the gardening to pot.
  5. If you feel that a cupcake is still loose, you can add more sticks in the areas that need additional support.

AFTER PLACING THE CUPCAKES IN THE GARDENING POT

  1. Grab the Oreo cookies, remove the frosting (white part), and break your ores cookies.
  2. Then, place them in the openings of the side of the chocolate foam ball. The ores cookies will be the “soil” of the plant.
  3. Next, you are finally ready to start decorating the cupcakes! Using a pastry decorating set, grab the star figure pattern, fill the pastry bag with your colored frosting, (make sure it’s cool; this will help make it come out smooth instead of runny), and start adding petals to the cupcakes.
  4. Place the tip of the decorating bag almost an inch between the cupcake, slowly squeeze the bag with the other hand, and start decorating the cupcake.
Cupcakes-04

Photo Credit: blog.cookingchanneltv.com

ALMOST DONE!

  1. Grab the green tissue paper and cut the edges of the green paper — this will be the leaves.
  2. Place the green paper near the areas where you placed the crumbled Oreo cookies.

Be proud of yourself, chica! In order to preserve the freshness of the cupcakes, the gift should be given 1-2 days after making and decorating the cupcakes.

Career Prep: Fashion Designer

182577_265003626978181_716790972_nBeing a fashionista means more than only knowing how to sew. If a girl is truly passionate about wanting to become a fashion designer, then she must understand the different skills that are needed in order to succeed in the fashion industry. A fashion designer is usually in charge of everything when it comes to their clothing collection. This is why there are so many schools throughout the U.S. dedicated to offering different programs for Fashion Design! If you want to be the very best, then it’s always best to plan ahead!

What Fashion Designers Need To Know

A successful fashion designer knows the in-and-outs of the business world.  A designer is also responsible for finding opportunities that will be willing to sell some of their creations. That is why being knowledgeable in many business concepts, such as Marketing and Accounting, will be of great help if you decide to become a designer. Since your creations are original, you will mainly be working solo unless you try to collaborate with another designer. That is why knowing all these concepts are necessary because you will have to depend on yourself.

High School Preparation
It’s never too early to start preparing for a career in fashion! First, take an art class. Art classes are a good way to let your creativity flow. Plus, something that a designer must be good at is drawing! Taking a couple of business classes is also a plus, because it will help you become more familiar with how to a business works. When you are ready to take the next step, college, start looking up different programs or schools that offer a degree or classes in fashion. Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons, Pratt, and others are some schools you can look into. Check your local university to see what they offer — who knows, you might be interested in working in another area of the fashion industry!

Internship Preparation
It is no secret that the fashion world is competitive. That is why experience is always key to making your application stand out. If you aren’t doing anything time consuming over the summer, consider looking for an internship! There are paid and unpaid internships available, but the networking and experience is priceless! If you want to see what it’s like to actually work in fashion, then an internship is a good way to go. Don’t think that you have to fly to NYC to get the best internship. You can go to a local fabric or design shop and ask about any opportunities they may have. There are people out there that would love to help you with your dreams, so never be afraid to ask! Internships in college and high school will help you the experience you need to get your foot in the door. You may not be super famous right out of college, but the more experience you have, the higher your chances are of finding the perfect opportunity to succeed in the fashion industry. Remember chicas, networking is a HUGE factor for succeeding in the fashion industry!

It may sound like a lot of work, but finding your dream job comes with hard work. Planning ahead will make things simpler in the future.  Start planing chica!

Quiz: Which Latina Actress Are You Like?

film-reel-2Ten years ago, Hollywood was a place of limited opportunities for Hispanic actors, where most roles fell under stereotypical Latino portrayals. Since then, times have changed to where Latina actresses are making their presence known to mass audiences through not only snagging lead roles but through empowering their fan bases to be bold, ambitious individuals who stay connected to their culture.

1. How would you describe yourself?
A) Artistic

B) Energetic

C) Smart

D) Caring

 

2. How would your friends describe you?

A) Creative

B) Hilarious

C) Loyal

D) Adventurous

 

3. If you were a Disney princess, who would you be?

A) Mulan from Mulan 

B) Ariel from The Little Mermaid 

C) Belle from Beauty and the Beast 

D) Jasmine from Aladdin

 

4. One life goal you have is to:

A) Learn a foreign language

B) Be a star

C) Write a book

D) Make a difference

 

5. Pick your favorite subject:

A) Art

B) P.E.

C) English

D) History

 

6. If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?

A) Start a business

B) Go traveling

C) Give to family

D) Donate to charity

 

7. How do you make yourself feel better after a tough day?

A) Express it by writing, drawing, singing, dancing, etc.

B) Talk about it with friends or family.

C) Have quiet, alone time to relax.

D) Go out for a walk/run or for fresh air.

 

8. What is your spirit animal?

A) Owl

B) Peacock

C) Elephant

D) Dolphin

 

9. Which singer inspires you?

A) Taylor Swift

B) Selena Gomez

C) Ariana Grande

D) Demi Lovato

 

10. What activity are you most likely to join?

A) School newspaper

B) School play

C) Sports team

D) Volunteer club

 

No matter their differences in background, acting choices or lifestyle, they are Latinas who have worked towards building their reputation as respectable, accomplished women. While we have seen them in movies, TV shows and commercials, they are more than pretty faces. They are inspirational figures, in their own respects, for younger generations in the Latino community.

 

Mostly A: Rosario Dawson
You are warm, compassionate and an independent spirit. You have a unique intelligence, creative talents and a love of knowledge. Your friends and family think of you as dependable, patient, and down to earth. When things are tough, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

 

Mostly B: Sofia Vergara
You are a lively person who enjoys being active and having fun with friends and family. You speak your mind and aren’t afraid to try something new or do the right thing, no matter what people think. People like to be around you because of your motivating, fun attitude. You like to look at things a different way and aren’t afraid of exploring out-of-the-ordinary things.

 

Mostly C: America Ferrera
You’re a strong, kind and dependable person who believes in working hard and finding success. People trust you and respect the attitude that you have towards your goals. You have natural leadership skills, which prompt you to take the initiative in everything you do and believe in always having the freedom to express yourself. You see challenges as exciting and have a fearless attitude about diving into something new.

 

Mostly D: Eva Longoria
You’re generous, supportive and honest to others. You are realistic about situations and have a strong will of thinking about your own life decisions. You are aware of other people’s feelings and take them into consideration, along with your natural instincts. Because of your imaginative nature, you excel in creative situations and never lose sight of doing the right thing.

Tips to a Stress Free Holiday

christmas-gift1The joyful holiday season can sometimes feel like one of the most stressful times of the year. Between shopping, entertaining and parties, we tend to forget what the holidays are about: happiness. Here are some tips in order to avoid letting the stress take over and bring down your joy.

Get your list done early:  Buying and wrapping gifts takes a while. It is a good idea to get a head start by buying things early when there is more of a selection. If you’re baking something, buying the ingredients days before the actual party will take off a lot of pressure. Also don’t do everything by yourself; cleaning the house and decorating is a job for more than one person. If for whatever reason you end up doing it all, start early one spot at a time. Asking people what they want relieves us from the constant wondering of if they’re going to like what we got them.

Go tech- free: “My mom always taught my sister and me to not use any technology at the table, and it’s a custom we also use on holidays. The whole family goes tech-free because once we’re all together we don’t need anything else,” said Diana Palma, age 15

Avoid expensive gifts: Almost nobody is at the top of the mountain when we’re talking about economic situation, and sometimes the holidays just make us resent it even more. It is not easy to buy gifts for every single member of the family especially in Hispanic families because we tend to be very large. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars in gifts, search for alternatives. DIY gifts are always a good optional. There are dozens of websites with great ideas to copy. If you’re not a crafty person, you can always look for coupons or start a family gift exchange. The American Psychological Association recommends being open with family if money is an issue.

Focus on the season of giving: Helping others can five us a warm feeling. Volunteering to aid those in need also helps us appreciate what we have. “Every year my family gets involved in some kind of volunteering. We are picky and try to do just one or two volunteer projects together,” shared Claudia Escobedo, age 16

Learn to say no: You’re only one person and can’t always attend to every single party you’re invited to. You may think that it is rude to say no, but it’s not. Besides what is the point of being at a party that you’re clearly not enjoying? People will appreciate your presence more when you are stress free and in a good mood.

Connect with Family: After not seeing your relatives for a long time, holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with them. According to the American Psychological Association, being with those who care about you can help alleviate stress. With this purpose in mind, you can organize get-togethers where each member of the family brings something to the reunion, so the load is not only on one person.

Career Spotlight: Journalist

Photo Credit: http://www.kint.com/artist/rosy-zugasti/

Photo Credit: http://www.kint.com/artist/rosy-zugasti/

As a Latina, it brings a lot of pride watching other Latinas excel in their careers. This is the case with Rosy Zugasti, a Mexican reporter whose passion for journalism brought her to begin her education in the United States and whose language barriers did not prevent her from succeeding. In this interview, Rosy Zugasti explains the steps she took in her career.

What are your job responsibilities?
My responsibilities are to investigate everything that happens in the communities of El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces that in someway affect the people. Primarily, I inform the audience without bias.

What is your educational training?
I studied for my professional career in journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. Before that, I studied English, communications and my basics in high school in Cuidad Juarez and then EPCC. Throughout my studies, I was involved in journalism activities like the newspaper and other school projects that helped me learn about being a reporter. I was also a radio announcer for KCCR when I was at community college. During my senior year in college, I did an internship with Univision El Paso

How did you find your current job?
I found my job because  I did an internship at Univision my last year of college. During my internship, I focused a lot on demonstrating that I was a hardworking person with a willingness to learn. That is why I was selected for a full-time job with the news station.

How did you prepare for this career?
I prepared during school and with extracurricular activities. For a future reporter it is very important to get involved in media early because that will open many doors for you.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is being able to have direct contact with the people. I like being able to give voice to those who need to be heard and to help the community.

What is the most challenging part of the job?
It is difficult when I have to report on tragedies or death. It makes me very sad to see people suffer. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate when a family is suffering.

 What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
I like to spend time with my family, playing the piano, going for walks in the park or going to the movies.

 What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
I would recommend that they start now connecting with people who work in media. There are TV stations and newspapers that allow youth to do internships at a young age to learn about the the work and get informed about media. It is also important to learn about all the aspects involved in mass communications.

Sylvia Orozco: The Mind Behind Mexic-Arte

mam-logoIf you’ve ever been to Austin, Texas, you have probably seen the museum Mexic-Arte that is located in downtown Austin. The museum, which was founded in 1984, started out as a small gallery in a 300 square foot warehouse. The mission for this museum has always remained the same: to teach the people of Austin about Mexican-influenced art.

LATINITAS: When did you realize you were interested in art?
SYLVIA: My father was a boot maker from Guadalajara. He worked in a boot shop in Cuero, Texas and I would go with him on Saturdays and watch him make boots. I liked watching him create something. I always liked drawing. I won a contest for best drawing in 2nd grade of a little dog that I drew (laughs). I guess I was always comfortable drawing and was told I was good at it.

LATINITAS: How did you end up in Austin?
SYLVIA: I transferred to UT and studied Studio Art and Painting from 1975 to 1978.

LATINITAS: What made you decide to stay in Austin?
SYLVIA: I didn’t. I went to Mexico City and got my master’s at the Autonomous University of Mexico. It was there where I learned a lot more about museums and galleries.

LATINITAS: I see, so how did that partake into the formation of Mexic-Arte?
SYLVIA: Well, while I was in Mexico City I kept in touch with organizations that I worked with while I was studying at UT, like Mujeres Artistas Del Suroeste and LUChA, the League of United Chicano Artists. I wanted to bring what I saw in Mexico City to Austin.

LATINITAS: Racism is still alive and apparent, have you come across this issue in your career?
SYLVIA: We’re located downtown and we’ve been told before that we should be in east Austin (a high percentage of Latinos reside in east Austin). What most people don’t know is that Republic Square (located in downtown Austin) was a Mexican neighborhood. I believe there is an $8 million budget for art and Latinos need to get an appropriate share. In the 90’s, 17% to 19-% went to Latinos, now it’s only 12%.

LATINITAS: What do you feel art is so important?
SYLVIA: There’s a lot of negative things out there about Latinos, we have a lot of positive things and art helps bring that forward. Art connects us to our history. If people feel connected to something positive they feel stronger. Art contributes to the quality of life, it stimulates your brain and helps you develop creativity.

LATINITAS:What is your advice for future Latinas and career women?
SYLVIA: Those are difficult years. I would say to be aware of how hard it is and how those times can make a huge difference in the future. Be careful and make wise choices so you can have a better future for yourself.

LATINITAS:What do you aspire to see Latinas accomplish in the future?
SYLVIA: I hope that Latinas get more involved in art, even in politics. They shouldn’t be intimidated. I would want to see them embrace the arts, whether an artist themselves or a supporter but to at least become involved. [Art] enriches your life. Latinas are encouraged to do other things, but there isn’t enough encouragement to become involved in the arts.

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