2017 Year In Review: Latinas Faced Challenges But Came Out On Top


2017 has been a bizarre year. It’s a year that’s been filled with frustration and heartbreak. The Trump administration continues to cause much fear and uncertainty, particularly within the Latino community, and Hurricane Irma and Maria left Houston and Puerto Rico completely devastated. But through it all there’s been moments in between that have been pretty remarkable, especially for Latinas.

As we look back at 2017, here’s some highs and lows that are unforgettable.

The year began with Donald Trump’s inauguration that left the majority of American in pure disgust, so much so that there was a definite decrease in attendance from previous years. However, one radically different event occurred just a day later where there was a huge crowd and that was the Women’s March. Thousands upon thousands of women all over the world gathered to march for women’s equality and women’s rights issues.

While many were disappointed with the presidential election outcome, there was an overwhelming turnaround in other elections. More political candidates that were elected into office that were minorities and women of color.

We also saw a huge resurgence of Frida Kahlo. Although the icon has never left our hearts, it feels as if this year Frida was everywhere. From makeup to festivals, we were never short of having Frida somewhere in our lives. One of the most memorable moments though had to have been the Frida Fest Guinness World Records event, which brought out hundreds of Frida look-a-likes.

We also experienced a rollercoaster of emotions when it came to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. One moment it seemed as if Trump was on the side of DACA beneficiaries, and the next it came to an end.

But one of the most amazing things we have seen come out of this turmoil for so many undocumented immigrants is that they have risen to the occasion and brought a huge movement of resistance.  It’s been extraordinary to witness so many people stand side-by-side with undocumented immigrants.

Music wise, there’s only one song that dominated the airwaves. That of course was the Justin Bieber “Despacito” remix. This bilingual track broke records and put Spanish language back into mainstream America. But one of the coolest part of the success of this song was the woman behind it. Erika Ender was one of the writers behind this hit and we loved that!

Another huge hit this year was the release of Coco. This Pixar animated film about Day of the Dead was a huge thrill for Latinos everywhere and the all-Latino cast was the icing on top. You could say there was Coco mania and we were along for the ride.

Latinas also made big moves the small screen. Ilia Calderon became the first Afro-Latina to anchor a major news program for television when she took over after Maria Elena Salinas left the Univision program.

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In Charlottesville, we saw the worst in human beings. The hatred felt there was intense but we also saw people fighting against the white nationalist movement. While protests there led to the death of Heather Heyer, we also met a young survivor, a Latina named Natalie Romero.

However, the biggest Latina to win 2017 has to be, without a doubt, Cardi B. The Dominican queen broke records on the charts with her smash “Bodak Yellow.” The Bronx-native was everywhere singing about her “money moves” and we could not get enough. We can’t wait to see what she brings in 2018.

We of course have to mention some amazing moments including Selena Quintanilla’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her Google Doodle. We also had our first Latina superhero in La Borinqueña.

As 2017 comes to an end, we’d have to say that women came out on top. Thanks to the #MeToo movement, we finally heard from women about the endless harassment they face and how it finally has to end.

Women all over the world shared their #MeToo story and it made big waves. Men finally had the rug pulled from under them and we are seeing some changes already. While it was hard to hear some of these stories, the truth lies in their openness and Salma Hayek was one of those leading the way.

And with that we say goodbye to 2017 and are ready to take on 2018!

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