Leading Chicas of YouTube

imagesSometimes surfing the internet can either be very fun or very boring. Maybe you have a day where there aren’t any updates from your favorite tweeters, or maybe you’ve spent just too much of your time scrolling through Tumblr. For days like these, Andrea Acevedo, 13, likes to head over to YouTube. “I check out YouTube when I’m bored to see if there are any new funny videos,” she says, “and a lot of times, there are.”

Of course, you might be asking yourself, ‘But where do I start?’ YouTube is a HUGE website with a variety of videos. From the weird to the funny, there are so many different v-loggers (video bloggers) out there and each v-logger has either a little or a huge fan base. Here are five female YouTube stars whose videos you should check out:

Dulce- dulcecandy

Dulce is a Latina from California with 1.5 million followers. She also happens to be the official beauty blogger of Cosmo for Latinas! Her videos focus on makeup, hair, DIY videos, and nail tutorials. Fun fact: She even has a La Llorona costume tutorial.

 

Kathy Cano-Murillo- craftychica

Kathy is a Latina whose channel is all about crafting! If you’re into crafting, or want to do a little DIY with your friends or family, check her out. She has videos on jewelry, art, and clothes, all ranging from easy to hard depending on your level. She has over 11,000 followers, so make sure to subscribe if you like her videos!

Bethany Mota- bethanymota

From sunny California, Bethany has 5 million followers! She has A LOT of DIY videos for those of you who want to fill your summer days with projects. The girl is so popular that she even has her own clothing line with Aeropostle!

Kat Lazo- TheeKatsMeoww

With over 1,000 followers, Kat is a Latina who vlogs about her life as a woman and her experiences in this day and age. She’s open and honest in all of her videos, so if you want to know more about feminism  and women in the media then you should definitely check out her video feed.

Bunny Meyer- grav3yardgirl

From the Houston area, Bunny has almost 2.6 million followers, or as she likes to call them, Swamp Family Members. Bunny’s channel has videos ranging from fashion and thrift hauls to her popular Does This Thing Really Work? In this segment she tests makeup and “As Seen on TV” products. Bunny is very open about her life experiences and has a habit of making everyone feel comfortable and loved during her videos.

Whether you end up liking these particular YouTuber or you click through the different recommended videos and find someone who you really love, YouTube is a great place to check out and connect with those who have similar interests as you. “I’ve learned so much from YouTube, and I love how I’m able to find new and different ways to connect with people,” says Martha Garcia, 17. “It’s even better when they’re Latina because I really like seeing others like me being represented on YouTube.”

Advice: Fixing BFF Troubles

Have you ever been in a sticky situation with your friend and you don’t know what to do or how to face it? Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an extra hand to show you that you’re not alone. Fighting with your bff can be stressful, so what should you do when you and your friend(s) are not seeing eye-to-eye?

friend-fight

I am fighting with my friend because she tells me what to do. Is it wrong of her to do that?

You shouldn’t let your friends tell you to do something you don’t want to; talk to her in a respectful manner and tell her you don’t like the way she treats you. Once you talk to her and if she doesn’t understand, she is not a real friend. Don’t let other people push you around. If she is really your friend, then she will understand that you are hurt and will need to stop treating you poorly.

I have a friend that does not hang out with our other friend. What can I do to fix it?

First, you should ask your friend why she doesn’t like hanging out with your other friend. If it’s a serious reason, for example: they had problems in the past, or because your other friend treated her with disrespect, then respect her decision and don’t force her to hang out if something happened between them. But if your friend doesn’t hang out with the other person only because they don’t know each other, then just tell your friend to give your other friend a chance to get to know one another instead of judging before hanging out. Hang out all together so that your friend can see what a good friend your other friend is, try talking about things they might have in common, make jokes, basically something to avoid awkward moments; sooner or later, they will end up talking to one another and becoming friends.

My best friend has been hanging out lately with another girl that I don’t like so much. Although I have never spoken to this girl, I don’t know if I should get mad or not. What should I do?

If the other girl is being a bad influence and is causing your bff to start acting negatively, talk to your best friend about your concerns. If this is not the case, talk to your best friend about possibly hanging out together so you can meet her. Even though your bff is hanging out with someone else, you’re still her best friend. Perhaps your best friend is hanging out with her because she’s a cool person. Give the girl a chance so that it doesn’t cause problems with your best friend in the future. You might end up liking the other girl.

 My friend and I were supposed to do a big project together. It was really important to me because it counts towards my grade, but for her it was voluntary for her class.  We had to work on it, but every time we tried to work together she didn’t feel like working. This frustrated me so much! My teacher says I have to think about what’s best for me. I am thinking of kicking her out of the group. What should I do? 

Try talking to her first to see if there is a reason why she’s not putting in the same effort. Explain to her that even though she’s not getting a grade the project is really important for you. Avoid yelling or accusing her of being lazy. Instead, talk to her nicely about her behavior and that if she doesn’t want to help out then you will have to take her name off of the project because it isn’t fair that you do all the work and she gets credit for it too.

Have an advice question you want answered by one of our teen writers? Send questions to mylatinitas@yahoo.com.

Rocking Out with Latina Musicians

Music2Being Latina is something to be proud of. What better way to express your inner self than through music! Take a look at some albums by Latinas who are not afraid to express their culture and themselves.

Shakira – Shakira

Being a Latina, Shakira is an amazing and inspiring artist to listen to! Her new and tenth album, Shakira, has a variety of rhythms that are sure to satisfy a variety of music tastes. Shakira and multilingual abilities draws a variety of listeners and other feature singers into her new album so check it out for some upbeat tunes!

Christina Aguilera- Lotus 

Although this album was released in November of 2012, the meaning and message behind each song remains the same. The songs reach out to its listeners as empowering songs and they promote an inner strength that Aguilera was feeling at the time she wrote and sang these songs.

Mariah Carey- Me. I Am Mariah 

From the sounds of the singles released from this album so far seem to be confident songs and of being independent. Even from the title of the album, “Me. I Am Mariah”, lets the listener know that her songs as a Latina are going to be ones pertaining to being your own person.

Paulina Rubio- Pau Factor 

Paulina Rubio is an empowering Latina singer that many younger girls look up to. This is because, as can be seen in this album, her songs are upbeat and meaningful. The lyrics can easily fit your mood and and the beat is so catchy and entertaining. It is definitely worth taking some time to listen to her latest album!

Jennifer Lopez- A.K.A. 

JLo’s latest album features collaborations with Iggy Azalea and Sia. Her variety in this album will be sure to reach the music tastes of music lovers everywhere. Her songs are also known for their upbeat tunes which is another reason to anxiously await her new album!

All these great Latina singers should make you want to listen to their albums when you feel like listening to upbeat and enthusiastic music. Get your headphones and speakers ready to rock these great tunes!

Passport: Lost Maples

p-LMSNA_EntranceInteresting Fact: 

This tourist attraction is called Lost Maples because  of the trees found in this  location in Texas. These kinds of trees are generally only found in the east coast, but this special location in Texas has a lot of them. This state park has most of its visitors during the Fall time since this is when the trees turn into the gorgeous red, orange, and yellow colors.

3 things I was able to do at this travel destination that I could not do in my hometown:

Food I tried: Before arriving to the park, my family and I stopped at a small town that was on the way to our destination. We were not sure if there would be any food at the park or if there would be any other nearby towns on the way to stop at. We decided to stop at a little town called Leakey, Texas. This dine in restaurant is called The Friends Grill. Such a fitting name! The waitresses were very hospitable and the food was delicious even though I am on a strict gluten/lactose free diet due to my health. (Gluten intolerance is when the stomach is unable to digest foods such as wheat, barley, and rye). Although this small town is more or less an isolated town, the mainstream gluten-free diet was not new to them. They knew how to accommodate my needs and I ended up eating one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten.

Favorite Memory:

Every moment of this trip was unique and special in its own way. There is always something new coming up in this park. After all, it was all nature so anything was bound to happen in those trails. I took this trip with my family so we took so many pictures but did not feel rushed in any way from upcoming hikers. The views were beautiful and the experience was priceless.

If you visit this travel destination, you absolutely have to…

Walk all the way to the top of the hill. It will be worth it! From here, you will be able to see a whole bunch of maple trees. The amount of trees you can see all at once is priceless and the colors are so beautiful! Hiking all the up the top of the hill is challenging, but it will definitely be worth your time and energy.

When traveling to this place, don’t forget to pack your…

Water! Water is such a vital thing to pack on this adventure, no matter how cold it may be! Also, you WILL get hungry from hiking up all those windy trails so make sure to pack some snacks.

Review: Rio 2

rio_two_ver6_xlgAs a sequel to the first “Rio” movie, this movie takes place three years later when Blu and his three kids with Jewel, another macaw, returns. Their “humans,” or owners, Tulio and Linda discover the flock from which Jewel comes from. They thought that their macaws were the only ones left in the world. As they investigate this circumstance, they encounter many obstacles such as Nigel, who wants to knock down the rain forest and build stuff which would result in killing wildlife. The new characters in the sequel to “Rio,” which screened in 2011, create a different plot from the first movie.

The message behind the movie is great for both adults and younger ones. Its message is about love and acceptance. This family friendly movie is entertaining for everyone because of the animation, the comedy, the message, and the enjoyment parents will find in seeing their kids take pleasure in the catchy tunes and colorful scenes. The amount of musical numbers adds to the attraction of the film because of its comical animation and entertaining motions and phrases. The 3D animation adds to the adventure and becomes a different take on the well-known family-friendly movie. The film does, however, contain the typical villainous plot which makes it, in a way, predictable. But this type of plot is still enjoyable because the story told in this movie is one that most families and children will enjoy. We all love happy endings so the overall plot of this sequel will be sure to please the audience.

This colorful and vibrant movie is a must-see for children and adults alike! The animation is very appealing to the eyes and keeps your attention throughout the movie. The colors and animation itself is reason to watch this movie, along with the humor that appeals to all tastes. Make sure to grab some popcorn or other favorite snack to enjoy with this movie with family and friends. Even if you think that this movie may be only for smaller children, give it a chance and let your inner child come to life with this adventurous and exotic film!

DIY: Father’s Day Gifts

It is always hard to buy a gift for a guy friend, brother, uncle, or a boy. Your uncle would probably not like a bouquet of roses as much as your aunt. And even though we are all kids at heart, you can’t really buy your grandfather a doll. Now is the time to really think of some gifts you can buy your fatherly figure, or you can even make something yourself if you are a last minute gift-shopper or maker.  If you have nothing in mind, don’t worry! There are plenty of gifts you can make and things you can do to give your dad as a surprise gift for a Father’s Day that he will never forget. Here are some last minute go-to gifts you might want to give on Father’s Day:

Sticky Note Car (Warning: This is very time consuming)

Are you working on a budget? Well this is a surprise that would surely make a bigger impression on anyone and everyone who sees it. Here’s what you need:

A. A pack of permanent markers

B. 100+ 4×4 sticky notes

Start by writing some sweet messages to your father. It is going to take some time but write messages, one by one, on each of the sticky notes. Then, start posting the notes on your dad’s car. Depending on the size of his car, you might need a lot of sticky notes. But try to cover it up the most you can. That is the point of the surprise! If you find yourself stuck on what to write, a simple “I <3 YOU” is enough. Here is what the final product should look like:

png_base64bbea4d724d4757a6

Coupon/Activity Book

A. Construction Paper

B. Scissors

C. Ribbon

D. Markers/Crayons

Do you feel as if you’re not as close as to your father than you wish you would be? Here’s an idea! Why not give your father a coupon book where he can “cash” in on activities he can do with his favorite daughter? Give your father a coupon for “TV TIME” or “Father/Daughter Gardening.” Make him know he has quality time with you and get ready to have a lot of fun! Use markers and crayons to write out different messages on the construction paper, hole punch each one (like a mini-book), and use the ribbon to tie them together. Don’t be afraid to be creative!

 

The Video Message

A. 1 Smart Phone

B. Creativity

C. Computer/laptop

This idea is fun and super easy! Just make a fun plan and tape a nice video message for your father. You don’t have to have video skills to make this gift – all you need is a smartphone. Search through YOUTUBE to get some ideas!

 

The MIX CD

A. 1 Blank CD

B. A computer/laptop

C. I-tunes*

Is your dad a music fan? Is that a passion you both share in common? Well, it can be! Make a mix cd for your dad with songs you like and songs he likes as well.Or make the CD with songs that remind you about him. Whatever it may be, the CD will definitely be something your dad loves! Decorate the CD case or write a nice message for him on the CD. Guaranteed smile every time he listens to it.

*You will need to purchase the music.

Giving your dad a Father’s Day he will never forget will not be difficult at all. What a dad wants the most though is just to really spend time with the family. So on June 15th leave your cellphone at home,  and don’t worry about Twitter, Instagram, or even Facebook! Give your father all your attention.  Make sure to really engage with him in whatever way your family chooses to spend Father’s Day. If you don’t have any ideas yet, you can always plan to do his favorite activity. Does he like to fish? Does he like to play board games? Whatever it may be, do it with him! All that really matters on this day is to show your father that he is loved.

Mi Barrio: Rio Grande Valley

rio-grande-riverWhen you hear someone say “I’m from the Valley,” do you ever wonder what they mean? Do they mean Nappa Valley? Do they mean Silicon Valley? What exactly is the Valley?

“The Valley” is actually located at the Southern tip of Texas where it is most often referred to as the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) or the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It is made up of four counties, and as most recent as 2012, has an estimated population of 1,300,000 people. This makes the Rio Grande Valley more populated than states such as Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

It really is a big place with a culture that changes the more south you go. Somewhere along the cities of Edinburg and McAllen, the culture slowly begins to change – an effect from the close proximity to the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas and the country of Mexico. As stated by the website Rgvpride.com, “this part of the country is a crossroads between American and Mexican cultures.”

Food, for instance, is one of the things the Valley is most known, like Mr. Taco. Mr. Taco is one of the restaurants where people can go for a quick lunch or a late night snack. While the menu is just tacos, they never get old! The Valley also has chain restaurants like Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Italian Restuarant and Five Guys. However, just as any Valley native will tell you, any taqueria, or taco place, is delicious. You will never get tired of them as even the local gas stations have “breakfast tacos”, a trend that is native and most popular in the Rio Grande Valley area.

Photo Credit: Charrodaysfiesta.com

Photo Credit: Charrodaysfiesta.com

Its location adds to the major cultural influence. While New Orleans, Louisiana has their Mardi Gra celebration, the valley has Charros Day.  As stated on the website charrosdaysfiesta.com, the very first Charros Day took place during the Great Depression in 1937. Brownsville was home to a couple of the small battles (Fort Brown is a military post popular in the city of Brownsville). Because of this history, Charro Days celebrates and honors Brownsville’s neighborly location to Matamoros, Tamaulipas with the Sombrero Festival and local parades and festivities.

South Padre Island is the most popular tourist site you will find in the Valley. You have probably been introduced to the island by The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, and MTV2. Whether you’re in the mood for a road trip or a fun weekend activity, South Padre Island is always the place to go.

That does not mean there are not any other attractions. If you are interested in history,the Resaca de Palma State Park and the Palo Alto Battlefield and Park are two of the most historical landmarks you can visit in the Valley. If you are interested in checking colleges, the city of Brownsville has the University of Texas – Brownsville while the city of Edinburg is home to the University of Texas – Pan American.  If shopping is what you enjoy, the city of Mcallen and the city of Mercedes have the two most populated malls in the valley – La Plaza Mall and the Rio Grande Valley Outlet Mall.

While the Rio Grande Valley has faced its controversy in the past due to the rise of drug trade along the US-Mexico border, the Rio Grande Valley continues to be one of the most unique places to live in and travel to in the United States.

Poem: If We Were All the Same

Polet Espinoza

Polet Espinoza

Have you ever wondered?

What life would be like,

If we were all the same.

What would be exciting about life

If we were all the same?

Never learning new things,

Never seeing new things,

Never doing new things,

That would be a waste of a lifetime.

If we were all the same,

How could you know the difference among us?

No one would be special

No one would stand out.

Why would you like to be the same,

When you have the chance

To be different.

Tips for Talking to Mamá

tumblr_mjwvnxzOhf1qdlkkxo1_500One conflict young girls are faced during their pre-teens and well into their teenage year are conflicts with their mom. It is inevitable to not disagree with the woman that has always had the best interest in mind for you; the problem is not always being able to handle the situation the best way. When handling an argument with your mom, always  be honest and keep calm and listen.

Tell the Truth:

Believe me, losing the trust our mothers whole heartedly place in our hands is not worth it. Be responsible and think twice before deciding to lie to your mom. We think it is just a little white lie to say: “Hey mom, I’m going over to Sara’s house for a while,” when in reality you are going to see the guy you’ve had a crush on since the sixth grade. It is not worth it. Your mom has seen you grow up and has given you morals and values to live up to. My mom would always tell me, “I am your mother before I am your best friend,” to set a boundary. She basically told me I could trust her with everything I ever needed. This boundary is called respect and must always be honored; the moment you lie to your mom, you slowly begin to erase that line…. it is not worth it.

Keep Calm and Listen:

Always stay calm and listen to the point your mom is trying to get across to you. Think about the situation from her point of view, and then speak your mind. The basic “you don’t understand!” never works. Our mom is the biggest source of knowledge we, as girls, have, especially when we are still trying to figure who they really are. The pre-teen stage is perhaps the hardest stage of puberty for most girls. The pressures fitting in in society and being popular in school may seem like the biggest accomplishment, but it can sometimes be very overwhelming. This leads to hasty decision that can later have negative consequences.

All relationships are going to have conflicts once in while, but learning how to deal with them, instead of making them into bigger problems than what they are, is important. Whenever you don’t see eye to eye with your mom, relax and take a deep breath. There is always a solution without having to overreact and push our moms away from our lives.

Staying Fit for a Healthier You

Fitness is a mixture of staying physically active and eating a variety of foods to help keep your heart, mind and body balanced. Most people choose a fit life because they want to feel great about themselves, because when you feel good it shows on the outside — great vibes all around!

Benefits of Exercising

Latinitas El Paso - Summer Camp, Yoga Session

Latinitas El Paso – Summer Camp, Yoga Session

Physical activity can reduce stress and help you feel content. Brain chemicals, called serotonin are released during exercise, and they improve your overall mindset. Melissa Gomez, 7, says, “I like to ride my bike on trails. My dad takes me to the park and I ride my bike and he walks. I go a lot with my dad since my friends don’t live around here.”

Staying Active

Working out with a friend helps keep you motivated to have an active lifestyle. Being on a team helps create a tight bond with friends. For example, Angelina Diaz, 27, says, “I like to come to the park with both my aunt and my three daughters. I like watching them have fun.”

Her daughter, Mya, 3, jumps from one end of the hill to the next. “I would like to see my daughters live an active lifestyle. I know they look up to me. I do play soccer. I met some of my best friends on my team. So, as they get older I will encourage them to take up soccer like I am,” Diaz says.

Mya screams out, “Swing!” and proceeds to run from the hill top to the swing at the playground. Diaz says that though her aunt and other family members are overweight, she does her best to limit fast food and encourage more time outside so that her children remain consistently active.

In a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011-2012, it found that Hispanic obesity (being overweight) was slightly higher than any other group at a percent of 22.4% that set off the epidemic into adulthood. Having an active lifestyle at a young age helps decrease chances of obesity into adulthood. The benefits of physical exercise include the prevention of cardiovascular disease and obesity, as well as improving overall health, being more energetic, and being more confident.

Jenna Duenez, 8, says, “I play handball at school every day.” Her mother is quick to say that it isn’t only about being active, but the types of food consumed.

“It’s also a matter of what chemicals are in our foods. We live a no meat, no dairy diet and find that my daughter is growing with these eating habits just fine,” Duenez’ mother explains.

Duenez says, “I like coming to the park with my brother and mom. We like to walk around and play on the playground.”

Eating healthy means having a balanced diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Even though Duenez does not eat meat or dairy products, like milk and cheese, you can lead a healthy lifestyle by reducing the amount of junk food, like chips, coke, fast food, etc., in your diet.

Melissa Gomez, 7, says, ““I don’t drink soda’ cause it rots your teeth…I drink lots of water… it helps me stay cool.”

Finding the Motivation to Exercise

Though overweight children have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self esteem, Kimberly Avalos, 13, and Ana Espinoza, 14, are the best of friends with the same journey. Avalos says, “I used to be a little thicker, well chubby. I was always so depressed.”

Espinoza adds, “Me too! I really wanted to feel better about myself. I was hoping to join the dance team by this year, so last summer Kimberly and me started running at the school park. Then we got into doing yoga to help stay flexible, and,well….”

“Now we’re both on the dance team,” Avalos finishes.

Avalos explains, “I get why we run in gym class. I get that it helps our self-esteem. It’s helped mine. When I see other people in gym who don’t try, Ana and I like to be positive and tell them, “You can do it. Hustle! Hustle! Hustle!”

“We mainly try to say encouraging positive words because we both know how it was to be chubby.”

Having a positive support group, like your best friend, can be the motivation you need to go start exercising. A little “sì, se puede” from a friend can make a 15 minute walk around the park seem like 1 minute!

Ana adds, “Staying active starts off slow.

“There is a lot of pressure to look good from artists like Becky G and Jennifer Lopez, I like to tell myself that I do this to feel better about myself, to be a better person and be body powerful,” Espinoza adds.

Physical education can encourage a fit body and mind. It helps fuel the mind and pumps the heart to alleviate the stress and prepare students to do their best in school.

You too can take small steps in achieving a fit lifestyle. Encourage family and friends to ride bikes to the park or walk around town to find a new location to talk to talk to other kids your age.

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