Posted inOpinion

COMMENTARY: On Prosperity, Featuring Tessie Rios

As I was driving through one day on the way to buy chicharrón carnudo at the Sahuayo Market on Pomona street in Santa Ana, California, I saw a street sign for a community crop exchange. I stopped to buy some calabazas and began talking with one of the volunteers, Tessie Rios. I asked her if she lived in the area and she told me that she was on the board of the neighborhood association.
I felt like I had found a needle in the Mexican haystack to uncover a Puerto Rican homeowner in Floral Park. One of the nicest areas of Santa Ana, called Floral Park, is mostly white. Still, the former mayor of Santa Ana, Miguel Pulido, lives there, and so does Congressman Lou Correa.
Around 76% of the Santa Ana population is Latino, according to the U.S. Census. Many of them hail from Sahuayo, Michoacán, México, and the two cities have a sister city agreement.
We sat in a nearby park and Rios told me her life story. Homeownership wasn’t an ambition to generate wealth, rather it was a story of survival and a search for stability caused by the diaspora. Rios lived an intense and traumatic childhood being shuffled in and out of Puerto Rico from birth until the age of 40. That’s when she made the purchase of her forever home and finally pivoted from insecurity to security.

Posted inOpinion

COMMENTARY: Raíces, Growing up in Puerto Rico

So many people in the U.S., including Latinos, are uninformed about Puerto Rico. I’m not an immigrant, and by the way, neither is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor even though several elected officials called her that during her nomination hearings. Countless times I have been asked by people who should know better what kind of money is used on the island (yeah, the U.S. dollar), do they need a passport to travel there (um, no), and how is that I speak English so well.

Posted inGender

Activist JOANNA CIFREDO fights for equality for Latino Trans communities

Pride Month takes place every year in June and is celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community as a time to express themselves freely. Most major cities hold “Pride Parades,” where organizations and individuals come together to have one big celebration for those part of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. 
Joanna Cifredo, 36, is a transgender activist and transgender woman from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She started her work in activism due to being a millennial and seeing the need to be a voice for the voiceless. 

Posted inOpinion

Mother’s Day means a lot to Latinos, where would we be without our Moms?

My mother was everything to me. Mentor. Protector. And she filled me with pride, confidence and the will to get things done. My mom removed all artificial barriers. She told me I could do anything. I believed her and became the first writer in my immediate family. My point is, when you are blessed with a beautiful mom, you should cherish every moment with her. I did not learn that lesson until my mom was gone. For many of you reading this, it is not too late.

Posted inHealth

KAT NOVOA, founded Babes of Wellness gym for body and mind

In addition to being a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach and certified Olympic weightlifting coach, Novoa is also a domestic violence advocate. Witnessing domestic violence, which, according to Esperanza United, affects about 1 in 3 Latinas (34.4%) in their lifetime, during her childhood, Novoa shared a blog post about her own experience in 2017. Soon after, she received an overwhelming amount of feedback from survivors and invitations from different shelters in Orange County, LA and Long Beach to speak and share her story. “I felt that we needed to, again, start having these conversations because, if we don’t have the conversation, nothing’s going to happen, and domestic violence is going to continue,” Novoa said