Female Led Blogs Worth Checking Out

latina girl on computer

The beauty of the internet is that it serves as a platform to give everyone who has access to it a voice. While there is many negativity throughout the internet, here are a few Latina/Female run-blogs that need more exposure.

Feminist Culture (feministculture.com)

Feminist Culture was started by teen feminist Alexis Moncada in March 2015. The blog accepts contributions from everyone who submits an article. The writers post articles, book suggestions, videos, and other media sources discussing every feminist issue as Moncada’s goal is to make the site as inclusive as possible through intersectional feminism.

LatinxForChange (latinxs4change.blogspot.com/)

This blog is a small time blog with contributing writers from all around. The blog addresses all kinds of issues concerning Latinxs such as racism, culture politics, and change. This is a very new blog and it is worth the read. One of my school friends occasionally submits her own articles and poetry to the blog.

Natalie Sylverster (nataliasylvester.com/blog/)

Sylvester is a more of a personal blog. Sylvester shares her experiences as a fiction writer and freelance journalist. This blog is definitely for the bookworks. Sylvester released her first book Chasing the Sun back in June 2014. Definitely check out this blog if you’re in for a laugh.

Dulce Candy (dulcecandy.com/)

Dulce Candy is a fashion and beauty blog created by Latina YouTube vlogger Dulce Tejada. Tejada posts daily her Outfit of the Day along with helpful information about where she bought her outfits and such. Even if you’re not into fashion and beauty, the blog is very aesthetically pleasing.


Girl Power at Pachanga Fest

MusicAnother success for Pachanga Latino Music Festival! On May 14-16 the music event and Austin cultural staple expanded to include cities Dallas and Houston for the first time. Last year Pachanga proved a huge hit when crowds flocked to see singer Julieta Venegas  and this year, its 8th year running, the fest continued to draw crowds with a mix of well-known Hispanic musicians and bands and smaller, indie ones.

The crowds Pachanga attracts are also impressively diverse, demonstrating the fest’s ability to cater to many different types of people. Earlier in the day families with small children abounded, exploring the many kid-focused activities organized for little ones. A little later, once the big-name bands like Compass and Kinky began to play, the groups of teenagers and adults sans kids poured into the fest. What’s more people came all over Texas, out-of-state and even outside the country as many Mexican tourists showed up to cheer on national favorites like Ceci Bastida and Kinky.

A noticeable theme throughout the fest was the impressive display of musical ‘girl power.’ Throughout the day and evening the fest featured girl bands or female musicians whose messages and styles expressed confidence in their femininity and in their dreams. In fact, one of the first bands to take the stage was none other than Austin, Texas’s own “Tiarra Girls”, a local band that has taken the city by storm. A rock band of three teenage sisters, they delighted the crowd by performing their own songs as well as covers of Selena and Juanes. Keep an eye on these girls – they are going places!

Not long after Ceci Bastida, Tijuana native who began her singing career at age 15, took the stage and bared her soul with pieces that explored politics and violence from a woman’s uniquely deep perspective. She has said in interviews that when she composed such pieces she was pregnant, wondering how to bring new life into such a dark world.  Her singing and lyrics felt uniquely female as they at once explored her fears and sought empowerment through them.

But perhaps the biggest hit of the night was Mala Rodriguez, who traveled all the way from Spain for a rare North American musical performance! Raised in a poor family she became involved in the music scene as a teenager and since become one of the first women to achieve success in Spanish-language hip-hop. At Pachanga she mesmerized the audience with fierce rap sets whose sheer power and speed most audiences are only used to hearing from male rappers.

Pachanga oganizers certainly chose well by including powerful female figures in their line-up. Who would Latinitas like to see in the lineup next year? Any ideas?

Mexican Girl Genius

MexicanGirlGeniusPaloma Noyola Bueno has been called a genius and the “next Steve Jobs.” In 2013 Wired magazine, a popular American publication that covers technology and business, compared this Mexican girl to the technology innovator Steve Jobs. The magazine compared the ten-year-old Paloma Noyola Bueno to the creator of Apple, proclaiming her technological and mathematical genius. She had just achieved the highest math score in the country on an exam similar to the United States’ SATs. She also achieved the third highest Spanish score.

Paloma’s genius comes from a surprising place. When she aced her exams she was jus a little girl living in poverty in Matamoros, Mexico. Her father had died of cancer a few months beforehand and her mother supported the family by selling metal scraps and food. What’s more, the school Paloma attended was next to a waste dump and lacked basic facilities like running water. It was also located in an incredibly dangerous area where drug cartels often battled. Two of Paloma’s classmates had mysteriously disappeared earlier that year. But in an environment dominated by poverty and violence, and without the opportunities or education that someone like Steve Jobs enjoyed, this little girl is proving that anything is possible. In her own words, she told media she believes “if you want it, you can do it.”

Not only does Paloma believe in her own ability to succeed despite the odds, she wants to help others in the process. Speaking to Mexican news outlet Azteca Noticias in October 2013 she said: “No seré la próxima Steve Jobs. Seré más grande porque voy a perfeccionar y hacer más fácil la técnica de la educación en el país.” (“I won’t be the next Steve Jobs. I will be greater because I will perfect and simplify Mexico’s educational techniques.”) She went on to add that she would like to be a mathematics teacher and work to ensure better education for children throughout Mexico. She does not want to just give children work. She believes what is most important is teaching children how to study and how to be motivated.

Since Paloma’s appearance in magazines and news outlets following her amazing test scores she has been low-key, staying out of the limelight to concentrate on her studies. Nonetheless her remarkable mind has catapulted her into somewhat of a celebrity in Mexico. Just a few months ago local government and philanthropists combined forces to buy the young girl and her impoverished family their own home on donated land. Thanks to Paloma’s dedication to her passion her family has escaped the unsafe living conditions of their former residence. What’s more, the entire nation is still praising her talent. Matamoros’s own mayor, Lety Salazar, marveled at Paloma’s determination to fight for her dreams no matter her circumstances.

To learn more about Paloma watch her Spanish-language interview with Univisión Noticias linked here. She is truly an inspiration, and an emblem of great things to come in Mexico. Keep an eye on her!

Girls in Sports

Young Latinas are showcasing their athletic power, strength and competitive side in a wide range of sports. Girls are making a mark on the wrestling mat, golf course, soccer field, dance stage and many other sports arenas. Joining a sport has many benefits such as staying in shape, being healthy, learning how to work in teams, making friends, meeting new people and having fun. The choices can vary from dance, golf, soccer, fencing and even joining a wrestling team. Here are the stories of some Latinitas who are in different sports and love them!

Jessenia Marie Zambrano is a fifteen-year-old musician, artist and athlete from New York City. Jessenia is an active competitor of the sport fencing. She is coached by Buckie Leach, who has helped Olympic champions in the past, at the oldest Fencing School in America, The NY Fencers Club.

Fencing is a very unique sport. Not that many kids grow up and think that they want to be an Olympian fencer because the sport is not as common as swimming, ballet or baseball. I began fencing when I was 6 years old. Going on  10 years now fencing, and its still a big part of my life since the day I started. I love the intensity in fencing and how people have different styles of displaying their flow of the game. Some girls are smooth, elegant and light on their feet. Others can be aggressive, mean and passionate in their yell when they score a touch. It’s an  intense logical sport. It’s also emotional just like any other sport can be. All kinds of people fence. Some do so because they compete and others fence because its simply fun! It’s playing with swords. Who cannot see that as fun? Don’t worry that blades are zero percent sharp.” – Jessenia

Jocelyne Hernandez is a junior in high school and serves as team captain of her golf team. She also likes to play soccer. She encourages other girls to join sports as well because it teaches hard w0rk, goal-setting, team work and discipline.

“I am more of a soccer player, but I barely joined golf. Although I’ve played for a short time, I love hitting at the range. Golf is not an easy sport but I’ve learned to be self- reliant…I think its great that girls join sports… Girls who are in sports do better in school… Playing sports helps build character, you learn what teamwork is all about and you set your goals.” – Jocelyne

Jessie Nicole Barron is a high school junior and has been a wrestler for about a year now. Jessie also thinks that wrestling is a hard sport because it is physically and mentally demanding, but encourages others girls to step up to the challenge.

“I’ve been in wrestling since the summer of 2012… What I love about wrestling the most is that I can get rid of any stress and building muscle… The hardest thing about wrestling is everything! It is not like another sport, it’s not for everyone. In wrestling you need to be mentally, emotional, physically and spiritually strong…Wrestling is a challenging sport; however, if you are interested in trying it, you should! It’s always good to take a challenge and see how far you can go.”

Gaby Werthmann is a freshmen in high school and is in the dance team at her school. She enjoys a sport that lets her get fit while being creative and artistic at the same time. She thinks the most rewarding part of being in dance is the feeling you get when you learn how to do something that you have been working on for a while.

“It is good for girls to start dancing because it is a good way to stay in shape, and there’s always something new to learn and accomplish… Just the smile on your coaches face that tells you you did well, it makes me want to try harder and go to the next level because I know I can do it.”

Leslie Perez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Leslie Perez

Age: 17

Heritage: Mexican-American

Hometown: Galveston, Texas

Volunteer Experience:

She is heavily involved in her community in numerous ways. She is the president of Galveston’s Lulac organization youth council #12. She is a church volunteer at Strong Tower Christian church and was crowned Outstanding teen United Southern States 2010 as well as Miss Galveston teen 2011 and Miss Texas Lulac Sweetheart 2010 & 2011. She constantly volunteers in beach clean ups and at the Ronald McDonald house in Galveston.She is passionate about health issues and children’s rights because she has dealt with a health condition herself.

What challenges has she overcome?:

This amazing young lady is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. It is a huge part of her life and one of the main reasons she is as mature and strong. As she has mentioned every single time she talks about her ‘companion’ as she calls her condition she always makes it clear that her companion “limits [her] but does not stop [her]”. She has faced what others can only imagine.

What makes her a leader?:

She is the president of Galveston’s Lulac organization youth council #12. She is a church teacher volunteer at Strong Tower Christian church. She is a student teacher and a part of the program B.E.S.T.T. She is crowned Miss Lulac USA and supports the American Heart Association as a ‘marina’.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?:

She is a part of Ballet folklorico from Galveston. She played varsity soccer until a few months ago until she was forced to stop because of her companion. She is a student athletic trainer for the soccer team and student teacher for the program B.E.S.T.T. She loves to read, dance, play piano and sing.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?:

This amazing young lady is not only one of a kind and unique. But beautiful both on the inside and out. She has a saying, “I will be the person I would want to follow” and she sticks with this through everything she does. There is never a banal moment with this girl, her ever present smile and personality just light up the room and take over in an exquisite hard to forget manner. Good grades, outstanding personality, and amazing heart she is the girl you are looking for.

Celia Hernandez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Celia Hernandez

Age: 18

Heritage: Mexican

Hometown: South Gate, California

Volunteer Experience:

Celia Hernandez has been a part of the arc Leadership Council since she entered high school. She quickly gravitated toward our civic and arts programs. Throughout her high school career Celia has helped organize various volunteer projects. I met her during her sophomore year when she joined my HerStory club, a club dedicated to honoring and supporting women. During her time as a HerStory member Celia Hernandez helped our team of girls run a successful clothing drive for the Downtown Womens Shelter in Los Angeles. She also helped create an assembly where “Blanket of Stars: Homeless Women In Santa Monica” author Frances Noble spoke to some of our students at South Gate High School about the reasons why so many women are homeless. Celia is always driven to help those less fortunate than her. She feels strongly about issues pertaining to women’s rights and advocating on behalf of those whose voices often go unheard. She also participated in various walks and helped raise funds for the American Diabetes Association as well as the United Way.

What challenges has she overcome?:

Celia grew up in the city of South Gate, it is a small urban community where most of the population is Hispanic. She comes from a low income family where both her parents work to support the family. Although her family does not have much, Celia rarely see’s her families financial difficulties as a burden. She is always upbeat and in a great mood. She is grateful for what she has and understands that others are in worst situations than she is, this allows her unselfishness to shine through and help those in need.

What makes her a leader?:

Celia has been a part of the arc Leadership Council . She has participated in various leadership camps and trainings as part of the LAUSD “Take Action Campaign”. The “Take Action Campaign” is designed to help form the leaders of tomorrow. It motivates students to take action in their communities and schools. As a fourth year in the program Celia has acquired a number of leadership skills. She is a great public speaker and motivator. She has great organizational skills which have allowed her to plan and execute school and community events. She spearheads our annual school talent show, and helps manage one of the stages at our district wide “Spotlight On Success” culminating event for the Take Action Campaign.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?:

Celia is a member of the arc afterschool Leadership Council. She helps plan and execute events at her high school as well as community. She is also a member of the South Gate High School Dril Team where she helps promote school spirit. Celia is also in love with the arts, she enjoys music, singing and performing.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?:

Although Celia has had to endure hardships at home, she uses her situation as motivation to help others. She is an exceptional young lady who is proud to be a women and does her best to make sure other females embrace their gender and strives to make sure the voices of those who are often overlooked do not go unheard. She is bright and full of ideas that always motivate others to get involved. She possesses a great charismatic attitude towards life and all that she does.

Dominique Gonzalez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Dominique Gonzalez

Heritage: Mexican-American

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Volunteer Experience:

Most of the volunteer experience she has is with Latinitas. Because  she is so passionate about the Latinitas mission to empower young Latinas, she decided to devote much of her time volunteering with this organization. Other than being a part of the Youth Editorial Advisory Board, she is also a Latinitas Club Leader in guiding a weekly after-school girl empowerment activities. Every week, she volunteers for a couple of hours after school teaching the girls in the club how to use media and technology, become media literate, and be proud of who they are as Latinas. She has also been a summer camp leader. She really enjoys being a big sister and mentor to all the girls in her clubs.

What challenges has she overcome?

Since she left home for college her grandmother’s dementia has advanced and most of the burden of taking care of her has fallen on her mother. Dominique has previously mentioned, “Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how much my help would have made a difference if I were home. It has really been a struggle for me to leave home for college in general, but to be away while my family needs me is even worse. It has really taken a lot of inner strength to convince myself everyday that finishing my degree at UT is what will really make both myself and my parents proud.”

What makes her a leader?

Dominique’s leadership and vibrant personality make her a valued Latinitas member. Through the Youth Editorial Adviosry Board (YEAB), I have seen Dominique grow as a writer and as an editor. She has assisted others find their true voice through their writing by taking on the leadership role as the YEAB Editor. She offers feedback on the article to each member and ensures each member understand the writing process towards submitting content to the magazine. She is a natural born leader and I am grateful for her contributions to the YEAB program.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?

Dominique is a Club Leader with Latinitas in Austin and is the YEAB Editor for the YEAB program. She is passionate about Hispanic literature and hopes to one day return to her hometown of El Paso to promote both youth and adult literacy. She loves to teach, dance, shop, cook, travel and above all try new things.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?

She is a vibrant and compassionate individual and is not deterred by obstacles. These qualities, on top of her natural leadership qualities, make her a positive role model for other girls. Her involvement with the community and dedication to empowering Latina youth is admirable, because she is representing traits a strong Latina should have: courage and passion. She is passionate about writing and has made an impact towards improving the writing process and helping find the YEAB member’s voice through their writing.

When asked to share advice to younger girls, she says: “Advice I can give to other girls is  to never allow other people to tell you who you are. Every girl needs to search within and discover who they are, especially Latinas. We can’t give into stereotypes and let them define us. I believe learning to love yourself as you are and appreciating where you came from are the most rewarding accomplishments for a Latina.”

Geneva Marie Salinas 20 Latinitas Under 20

Geneva Marie Salinas, age 16
Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
Nominated By:
LULAC Council #1 Feria De las Flores

Volunteer Experience:
She currently volunteers at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. As of this summer, she has volunteered given over 270 hours to the hospital in the past year.  She is also a Youth Leader at her church, Holy Family, where she spreads the Word of God to teens and been an alter server for over five years. She inspired her little brother to become an altar server, like his big sister.  She is passionate about children and her goal in life is to change at least one child’s life for the better.  She plans on becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Her motivation to be the person she is today is her family, and of course God.

What challenges has she overcome?:
She believes that a good education opens unimaginable doors for the future that can make a very significant impact on one’s life.  A recent challenge she is working on is earning a spot in the top ten percent of her class.  So far she has worked her way from top twenty to top fifteen percent.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?:

She competed in the 52nd Annual Feria De Las Flores and placed as the first runner up and Miss Congeniality.  She participated in HOSA, Health Occupation Students of America competing in Physical Therapy and making it to the State competition; she plans to continue next school year. She is also part of the dance department; this year she will be in dance two.  Also, she is in the Health Science Academy at Foy H. Moody High School and applied for a Co-Op Internship at CHRISTUS Spohn.  She will start interning at Spohn Shoreline as a Rehab Tech in the Rehabilitation Department. Her hobbies are playing tennis, dancing and swimming and enjoys medical shows such as Dr. G: Medical Examiner and Bizarre ER.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?:

As someone who cares for the well-being of others, she does her best to try to brighten someones day, one person and one day at a time by always keeping a smile on her face no matter the situation, because she believes that staying positive makes an enormous difference in the end. She believes a simple smile or “Hi, how are you?” to someone can really make their day; one never knows how another’s day is going.

Emma Hernandez 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Emma Hernandez

Organization: Latino/a Youth Collective of Indiana

Age: 18

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Volunteer Experience:

Emma is an outstanding speaker and leader. She talks and leads from her heart and mind.  People listen attentively to her because they know something especially insightful and well expressed will be gained. People sense Emma’s intelligence and her deep kindness together. They are moved by her authenticity and they understand the points she wishes to make because she is able to bring everything down to earth while retaining clarity.  People deeply trust Emma because of her consistency, honesty, her humble but simultaneously strong manner, and her high integrity.

What challenges has she overcome?:

Emma was born into a mixed status family! Both of her parents are undocumented immigrants.  Emma recently co-wrote an article about the immediacy of the Dream Act which propelled her to become one of the Indiana Hunger Strikers. They very effectively secured a “YES” vote from both state senators as well as organize and mobilize alliances and community pressure on all 9 Indiana U.S. House of Representatives. This past summer, she led her Campesine Youth Academy team through a challenging participatory action research process that involved in-depth interviews, surveys, and producing a film that would be used to educate the community. Their film “Mamachismo” is excellent work! The issue they were investigating was the role of women in our society. She is a big reason why Latina/o youth in Indianapolis are standing up!  It is because of her heart and mind that she just received a 4 year full paid scholarship to college where she will double major in art and journalism.

What makes her a leader?:

She knows that education is for liberation and freedom. It is not just skills, higher income, and privilege. She wants an education to be an active agent in the process of cultural formation and cultural change; to get highly developed and go back and to give back to her community in Indianapolis, Mexico and the world.  Emma also sets an example to her two younger siblings and other youth. As an older sibling she has been a role model for not only her family but for aspiring and newly emerging Latina/o community in Indiana.  She is undoubtedly a one in a billion sort of person. She has a calling to make significant positive changes in society.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?:

Currently, Emma works with Indianapolis youth members of the Latino/a Youth Collective of Indiana, Campesine Youth Academy, and the Campecine Film Festival.  Emma operates within the philosophy that regardless of race, culture or social status, all students have the ability to acquire knowledge.  She believes in empowering youth to become critical change agents who are prepared to transform their communities while also developing within those communities.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?:

In addition to her remarkable talent and determination, she remains riveted on the needs of children and youth, their families and communities, and their educational achievements. She pays attention to the goals of the organization, change strategies when necessary, and shares credit for successes. She is a reliable and an insightful critic of her own projects. A gifted, inspiring public speaker, she also knows how to work with small groups and individuals, engage in team building, and capture these interactions on tape. She is a leader and an excellent collaborator and colleague – another rare blend of character and ability.  She wrote, directed, and produced Mamachismo, Huevo Estrellado, and The History of the World as Told by Eggs. This summer she was the first from her family to graduate from high school.  In addition to receiving a full scholarship to college she volunteered this summer to expand the prestigious Campecine Youth Academy in San Antonio, TX. She traveled over 1,200 miles to the southside of San Antonio to work with a grassroots community based organization named Fuerza Unida. She successfully implemented a 10-week summer youth program and trained 13 youth in youth participatory action research, videography, and community building facilitation skills. In short, she is a role model for young women and young men.

Michelle Deaver-Arce 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Michelle Deaver-Arce

College: McCallum Fine Arts Academy

Age: 17

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Honors: In 2010, Michelle was the youngest Artist (accepted by a Jury) to participate in the East Austin Studio Tour of over 400 artists.  She has been commissioned by the Austin Classical Guitar Society to create a painting based on of one of the themes from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”.  One of her paintings was featured at the Austin’s Pictures performance on October 1st, 2011.

What challenges has she overcome?: Never considering herself a public speaker, Michelle has overcome a natural shyness.  She is thoughtful and articulate in her public announcements and introductions–ranging from describing her art and concepts to curators and critics, to fronting for her band in a crowd of peers.  Her artistic commitment empowers her in ever-increasing ways within her own age group and beyond.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?: Michelle’s hobbies include cycling and music.  She plays bass guitar in the band “Charlie Belle” formed with two younger friends.  For three consecutive years, her band has been invited to perform at several different venues for SXSW, an annual music conference and festival held in Austin, Texas.  The band was also invited to play at Pease Elementary’s “End of the Year” Festival for the last two school years as model examples of young locally-inspired musicians. They have also played at Cheer up Charlie’s, Antone’s, The Whip In, KUT Studio 1A, The Austin Convention Center, Planned Parenthood, and City Hall.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?: Her busy artistic and family life often requires her to care for her two younger elementary age siblings, During these times she and her siblings have created handmade cards and paintings for homebound senior citizens, terminally ill patients, and many others. Soft spoken, Michelle has a balance of passion and compassion that is a rare gift in someone her age – yet she is still a very modern teenager.  After participating in the Young Artist program at Arthouse at the Jones Center, Michelle contributed three pieces of her art to be sold at the “Five x Seven” show, which is a fundraiser benefiting Arthouse’s other educational programs and exhibitions.