5 Underground Latina Artist You Must See

Kali Uchis Underground HipLaitna

The Woman is now!

This new generation of badass Latinas is a wave of unapologetic, strong, confident, resilient, fearless and outspoken beings who are changing the minds of those who think women should be quiet and docile.

Here are 4 Latinas and 1 Music Feminist movement that is changing the underground music scene foreva!

DJ Bembona

Panamanian y Boricua, Brooklynite DJ Bembona brings consciousness and social awareness through her blending of contemporary and classic Latin/Global sounds while implementing excerpts of social issues such as gentrification. Check her out around New York in places like Camaradas in East Harlem and Starr Bar in Bushwick.

Kali Uchis

Colombian-born, Virginia-raised pop singer Kali Uchis is one of the younger Latina emerging artists who are undeniably unforgettable. With her unapologetic style, personality and sensual R&B-inspired rhythm, Kali is one artist to look out for. Check out her upcoming shows.

Princess Nokia

Nuyorican rapper Princess Nokia is becoming a more veteran artist as she continues to develop her craft and sell out shows around the world. But what makes her so “underground” is her resistance to sign to a big music label and continue to perform at all kinds of venues such as a small nightclub or on a big stage. Rejecting over 30-something big music label offers, Destiny Frasqueri stays true to the type of music she wants to put out and how she wants to represent it. Brujas music video is a perfect example. Check out her upcoming shows here and here.

Ruidosa Fest

Ruidosa Festival HipLatina

Ruidosa Fest is a music feminist festival who promote feminism in music consisting of conversations and concerts. The concept is to put the woman at the forefront and be part of the dialogue in the music industry. The festival tours around the world. The next festival will be the weekend of March 9th in Santiago, Chile. Check out their website for more details.

Yotoco

New York-based Latin band Yotoco comprises of a 5-member band with one female – one of the two lead singers, Natalia Lopez. With a blend of salsa, son, cumbia, merengue, psychedelic rock, rumba, funks, bomba y plena, Natalia and the rest of the band create music inevitable to dance to. Listen to their music here and stay updated on their upcoming shows here.

11 East Coast Latino Film Festivals for 2017

Caribbean film festival

11 Latino Film Festivals 2017 in the East Coast

Visual art is an important tool used to promote or disenfranchise people. Film is one of those art forms used to portray peoples in a certain perspective. For too long, people of color haven’t had agency in telling their own stories. But things are changing! Here are 11 Latino film festivals on the East Coast that have created spaces for filmmakers who are rewriting the narrative.

RHODE ISLAND: Providence Latin American Film Festival

Providence Latin Film Festival

Founded in 1992, the Providence Latin American Film Festival claims to be the largest of its kind in all of New England. For five days straight from September 27 to October 1, 2017, the festival features films from Spain, Portugal, and all of Latin America and conducts panel discussions, music concerts, and exhibitions. This is a competitive film festival where a jury selects a winner of the Fernando Birri Award for the Director’s Opera Prima.

Secrets of Staying Fit and in Love: A SoCal Entrepreneur Couple

Carmen Gustavo Feature HipLatina 500x300

Carmen Gustavo primary image HipLatina

Carmen + Gustavo

Her name is Carmen Melgoza and she is proud to wear the #bosslady tag these days. A consummate professional and confident go-getter, she is the founder of Latino Fit Club by Fit With Carmen, an online health and fitness community. She motivates others to find a healthier lifestyle with motivational speeches, messages, and even demonstrations on cooking and exercise.

In addition, she is a fitness coach at Beachbody, LLC and just co-founded a media company, GuMel Media Agency with her fiancé, Gustavo. Her audience has increased immensely in the last year boasting over 2 million views on her YouTube channel, and over 25,000 followers on social media.

Gustavo Gutierrez Magallanes is a communications professional turned social media and fitness guru. He is the founder of AVivirLA, a wellness lifestyle blog, a certified personal trainer, and the CEO at GuMel Media Agency.

Both dedicated to helping the Latino community develop and follow a healthier lifestyle, Carmen and Gustavo are also planning their wedding, which will be taking place in Mexico later this year. We caught up with the couple and asked them about life, their fitness journey, and of course, romance!

HipLatina: You have become the Latino fitness power couple in LA. How did you decide to get involved in this field?

Carmen: For my personal well-being. I was 45 pounds overweight and it was really affecting my self-esteem. My insecurities got to a point where I wasn’t happy, so I decided that it was time to prioritize my health. I’m a Latina that loves food so I wanted to find a way that I could maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing my yummy Mexican food. As I began working on myself, I saw that my journey was inspiring many others. Before we knew it, Gustavo and I saw that our social posts about our workouts together were leading hundreds of people to get motivated!

Gustavo carmen hiplatina Gustavo: Growing up I wasn’t the healthiest person. I didn’t play sports and I suffered from a lot of bullying for being overweight, a minority, and an academic overachiever. Growing up, my family lacked both resources and information on nutrition, so we weren’t living the healthiest lifestyle. It was in my early twenties that I decided to focus on my fitness by distance running and educating myself more on nutrition. Some of my close family members suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, and I did not want to see that in my future. I took action early on and simply started sharing my healthy weight loss journey—where I lost over 30 pounds—with people and they began getting inspired.

HL: You were both born in Mexico—tell us a bit more about your journey to the United States.

C. I was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico. I came to this country when I was 18 years old. I’m an accountant (degree from Cal. State University, Bakersfield) with a BIG passion for health and fitness and I love coaching people on starting new healthy habits. I’m also a blogger, founder of www.latinofitclub.com, a website that started as my weight lost journal and now it’s a an amazing resource where I share tips, ideas and yummy recipes, as well as information on how to start a healthy lifestyle.

G. I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and I came to the U.S. when I was 4 years old. I’ve lived my entire life since then in California. I was raised in Northern California (Stockton and Modesto areas), then lived in San Jose for 4 years before moving to LA. I graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Communications and Marketing and went on to receive master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California. For the past 8 years I’ve called Los Angeles my home, and I find that LA is my ‘element’. I cannot see myself living anywhere else! Here I became a lifestyle blogger, certified fitness trainer, and launched www.avivirla.com, a bilingual blog for the modern gentleman and lady that want to live healthy and enriching lives.

HL. Is the Latino culture a big part of your interest in helping couples stay fit?

C. YES! Unfortunately, Latinos suffer disproportionately from obesity and I’m planning to keep learning and sharing tools that can help them to start and live a more healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the delicious foods that our traditions provide.

G. Yes, I have always been a proud Latino and I’ve seen firsthand the huge gap in misinformation and misconceptions about staying healthy because my family lived it. Though that has changed with my family because I’ve shared what I know with them and they’ve adopted healthier habits, there is still a lot of work to be done with our “comunidad” in educating them on how to stay fit, healthy and happy.

Fit Carmen Gustavo hiplatina

HL. Carmen, tell me about Latino Fit Club by Fit With Carmen. What is your main goal?

C. Latino Fit Club is an online publication and community focused on health, fitness, and well-being for the Hispanic community in the US and Latin America. Latino Fit Club’s main goal is to encourage people to start living a healthier lifestyle in a really fun and enjoyable way. Fit With Carmen understands that taking the first step to living a healthier lifestyle can be challenging for many, and this is especially true for Latinos. Food is a big part of our culture, traditions, and social life. With Latino Fit Club I share and promote delicious traditional recipes that include a healthy twist but maintain the familiar taste that anyone in the family can cook and enjoy. Latino Fit Club shares the tips and knowledge that allow many people to realize that living a healthier lifestyle can be easier to achieve than imagined. In simple words; Latino Fit Club is the starting point to a person’s healthier lifestyle.

HL. Gustavo, you are a Latino health and fitness blogger, founder of AVivirLa.com What is your message to those men that are trying to find a healthier lifestyle. Where should they start?

G. Start somewhere! Stop over-analyzing and most importantly, don’t be lazy. I see how advanced technology has enabled some of us to become seriously lazy. I only say that because at one point I found myself there. I would say: Prioritize your time and learn how to manage your ‘down time’. Nowadays everyone says: “I’m too busy”, but are you really? Get out there and get moving! Don’t wait until a doctor tells you the ‘list’ of illnesses and conditions you’ve acquired because of your poor habits. Start taking small steps into what will become a healthy lifestyle. Often times I see many men wanting to go weight lift since the beginning or on day-one, and they have all these grandiose goals. This often fails because they have neither a plan nor are they informed about what they should be consuming. Educate yourself, do your research, but most importantly, get off the couch!

HL. Tell us about your FB Live, #Compromisodedos. How do you decide what to talk about every week? Is it always a message for couples?

C. Gustavo and I have an amazing relationship and this LIVE segment is the result of an open communication as business partners, best friends, and as a couple. We started to get comments from our audiences on the chemistry we have together and the fun relationship that is perceived through social media. People began reaching out asking for relationship advice, so we decided to get more personal. In our FB Live segments we share real-life experiences, the way we like to educate and inform ourselves on certain topics, and how we deal with different scenarios in our not-so-perfect relationship. #CompromisoDeDos is not only for couples, it applies to any kind of relationship because to make things work you want to always maintain great communications. Relationships are a two way street, and the commitment between 2 people and applies with parents, children, friends, co-workers, etc. it doesn’t have to be only couples.

G. Every week it’s a different topic and we always try to make it relatable. Sometimes topics may apply a lot more to couples than others, but in the end if you really sit back and watch people end up realizing that the way they may be with their significant other is exactly the same way they are showing up to other people. It’s great to see how some of them have their “a-ha” moments during our live video. Carmen and I recognize that the impact we can have if we can be the vehicle for saving a breakup or divorce, or just improving relationships with open communications.

HL. In addition to working out together, what else do you do for fun?

C. We have our dates and we enjoy going out once a week to explore a new experiences in the area. We love going to restaurants, or for a hike. We love to travel as much as possible, to visit our families. But we also enjoy just being at home relaxing and cooking. We love food!

G. The same as Carmen’s answer above (“Yes, Honey”).

HL. How do you keep the romance going? Is there anything specific you do daily for each other to keep the romance alive?

C. We both fully understand our love language so it’s easier to do things that I know he will enjoy. It can be just a little note saying: “have an amazing day” or “I love you”. I like to be spontaneous and also do things for him that I know he will enjoy and will keep showing how much I love him. We have a date night every week and we try to do different things.

G. She cooks for me every day, and of course I wash the dishes. LOL! You see there’s always a commitment and a give and take in any relationship. It’s all about communicating and understanding our love language fully. We are both very similar when it comes to our love language so we compliment each other quite well. I like to spontaneously surprise her with flowers for no apparent reason, writing a love note, sending her an inspiring message, doing chores that she later won’t need to do or simply spending quality time together.

HL. Who inspires you?

C. Of course the love of my life. <3 We are perfect for each other and each day we learn from each other. We are not perfect, but we give our best to become better versions of ourselves so that we can deliver our best to others.

G. My love, my family, and people that don’t settle for less. I love reading stories of people who strive for greatness.

HL. How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

C. Honestly I don’t believe in having just one specific day to celebrate love. We celebrate love every single day and are grateful for this life. We try to not take anything for granted, and live every moment to the fullest. My advice is: don’t hold anything back, be yourself and do what the heart tells you. Remember that communication is the key in every relationship so make sure you always keep an open communication with your significant other, this will create a strong trust level and a very powerful relationship #JustDoIt #BeYouAlways.

G. We don’t necessarily buy into the commercialized celebration that it this has become. We focus on consistency and yet try to surprise each other. Remember that gifts are not always materials items they can be experiences that will be cherished forever. Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day every single day?

HL: We thank you for sharing your inspirations with HipLatina.

Keep it up you two!

Why This 16-Year Old Is A Keynote Speaker for American Heart Association GoRed Lunch

Lola Keynote Speaker 2017

Honoring National Heart Awareness Month with the Newest HipLatina, Lola Montilla

February is National Heart Awareness Month, and what better way to honor this month than with a new contributor to the HipLatina family! At only 16 years old, Lola Montilla from Puerto Rico is our youngest contributor. But I think you’ll agree she has a lot to share, no matter what your age is.

Lola was born with Ebstein’s anomaly—a rare defect that accounts for only 1% of congenital heart diseases and causes the heart to work at a much more accelerated pace than normal. This disease does not always result in harmful complications, and until Lola entered middle school she lived a mostly normal life. Though at that point things began to change—Lola felt a shortness of breath from normal daily activities like climbing the stairs. When she started to become so short of breath that she was turning blue in the face, Lola needed increased attention from her doctors in Puerto Rico. They began to discuss her condition with advanced specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who believed she would be a good candidate for an innovative cone reconstructive procedure for the tricuspid valve—the crux of what causes the Ebstein’s anomaly in itself.

As you might imagine, this is something more than any 13 year old should have to stomach. When most kids her age are thinking about when summer vacation will start or what gifts they’ll be getting for their next birthday, Lola was thinking about much more serious matters, and was forced to grow up very quickly. Before even setting off for Rochester to meet with specialists, Lola had a special request for her parents. She stated, “I know you guys want to keep all of this a secret, and I know you want to protect me, but I need people to know what’s going on because I don’t want people making up stories. I want people to know exactly what’s going on, and that I’m going to be fine.”

From this early point, Lola took action and knew that she could become a strong role model for others. She knew that she needed to be a fighter—living in fear would only bring her down. She didn’t let it get to her when just hours before the surgery, doctors discovered that she also had an arterial septum defect which would make the procedure more complicated. But Lola went through the surgery courageously, and was ready to head back home to Puerto Rico after just one week of recovery—despite some initial hesitations from her madre as to whether she was ready, of course!

Lola was lucky to have a strong team fighting for her throughout her journey. The Team Lola Facebook page and blog drew lots of support from across the globe—even from celebrities like Sofia Vergara. But Lola took this support and turned it into something much larger. Following the surgery, she channeled the support she received into inspiration for others who may be going through similarly difficult situations. The surgery left a scar down her chest, which Lola states she “really really likes.” She particpated the #RockYourScar campaign to voice her support in ending issues surrounding self-esteem and body image shame. That really puts things in perspective when you’re thinking about that bad hair or bad makeup day.

We sat down with Lola to chat with her about her journey, and what an inspiration she is to HipLatina. Her most impressive achievement to date—meeting with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama last year through the Make a Wish Foundation. She’ll also be the keynote speaker at the American Heart Association’s Go Red Event on February 23, 2017 in Rochester. Check back for our next installment of Lola’s Perspectiva to read our interview with her, and be ready to be inspired.

Dr. Diego Chaves-Gnecco a Community Profile: Salud Para Niños

Salud Para Niños

The Pittsburgh Latino population is one of the smallest in the country, but it’s quickly growing. Between 2013 and 2014 the Pittsburgh Latino population grew by 4.2 percent, much higher than the national growth rate among Latino which is 2.1 percent. For an area that has experienced population loss for so long, this is welcome growth. However, there is much catching up to do in terms of building a social infrastructure that can accommodate a young population that is both multilingual and multicultural.

Dr. Diego Chaves-Gnecco MD, MPH, FAAP

That is where Salud Para Niños comes in, they are a trilingual (English, Spanish and Portuguese) pediatric clinic located in Pittsburgh, PA. It was founded in 2002 by Dr. Diego Chaves-Gnecco MD, MPH, FAAP. Dr. Diego (as he is commonly called by the community) is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the Founder / Director of the program SALUD PARA NIÑOS. In 1998, Dr. Diego came to Pittsburgh after completing his medical education and residency in Colombia, as a Visiting Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Clinical Pharmacology where he worked until 2002. He then started his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and joined its Community Oriented Residency Education (CORE) program, an area of concentration in the pediatric training program that aims to train leaders in community health and child advocacy.

During his first years in Pittsburgh Dr. Diego observed a total lack of linguistic and culturally competent pediatric services for the growing Latino population. As part of his CORE training, Dr. Diego created the First Pediatric Bilingual-Bicultural Clinic in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Since its creation, this clinic has expanded into the program Salud Para Niños, providing competent primary care for Latino children and families. The clinic is complemented with activities oriented toward prevention and empowering the community about its own health.

The vision on which Salud Para Niños is built is that all children grow up to become healthy, educated, and contributing members of society. The goals of the clinic are to:

1) Address all barriers to healthcare access, 2) Ensure all children have a pediatrician, and 3) Reduce all health disparities. Activities of Salud Para Niños include weekly clinics in Oakland at the Primary Care Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, a monthly free clinic at the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and at the Birmingham Clinic, participation in the organization of the community fairs, and translation of health prevention materials into Spanish.

The clinic also focuses on preventative care and addresses barriers to education. This includes targeting obesity by hosting free soccer events, open to all, where professional soccer players play alongside families as a way to get people moving. Hosting a once a year “Latino Car Seat Check Day”, where families can bring their car and car seat in order to ensure the seats are installed correctly and are the correct size for the child. Promoting literacy by giving each patient an age appropriate free bilingual book each time they come in for a checkup supports the learning of English as a Second Language. To help fulfill their vision that every child receive a post-high school education, the clinic has worked with the The Pittsburgh Promise to translate program materials with the goal to raise awareness of this available college scholarship in the Pittsburgh Latino community.

When asked about the outcomes of his work, Dr. Diego tells the story of a Latino family that was involved in a serious car accident but walked away unharmed because they had had their car seat checked by the clinic and the parents were wearing seatbelts. Over the years he has had the pleasure of not only attending graduations but also becoming the pediatrician for the families of his former patients. He cites statistics that show the Latino pediatric population is better served in Pittsburg when compared with other Latino pediatric populations in other parts of the United States.

Dr. Diego credits the dedication of volunteers and community partnerships with contributing their time and energy to making the clinic so successful. He is proud about the work they have done since 2002 and looks forward to the future where they continue to provide quality care to Latino families in the Pittsburgh region. He asks of the community to continue to support the clinic, stating that the support of the community is the heartbeat of the clinic.

For more information on Salud Para Niños you can visit their website.

Book Recommendation: We Never Asked for Wings

We Never Asked for Wings HipLatina

In the novel We Never Asked for Wings, Vanessa Diffenbaugh offers a unique perspective on the immigration experience. The New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers explores what happens to many Latinos who come to the United States to achieve the American Dream. For many, especially children, illegal entry into a foreign country where you aren’t welcomed, picked on because of the color of your skin, and poor, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

This book tells a story about the difficult choices a family must make to survive and thrive in America, but living with the nostalgic question, would it have been better to return to Mexico or to have never left in the first place? We quickly see how immigration, motherhood, broken families, and young kids forced to tell lies and live in shame, are entangled in a complicated web of survival and hope inside a poor neighborhood in Northern California.

The story begins when Letty Espinoza, an unfit mother of two, is faced with raising her children for the very first time after 15 years. Her parents played the role of mother and father to Letty’s son, Alex (15), and daughter (6), Luna, until they decide to return to Mexico and leave Letty to step up and become a mother. Letty, Alex, and Luna live in a tiny apartment in the unfavorable wetlands near the bay. As Alex falls in love with a young girl, and learns that his real father lives close by, he struggles to give his mother a chance. Little Luna just misses her grandparents in Mexico and wants to be near them. Letty, wanting to prove herself capable of providing for her children, comes up with a plan to escape their seedy neighborhood with hopes for a better future in a wealthier neighborhood close by: Mission Hills. As things grow more and more difficult, the call home to Mexico is always there.

Diffenbaugh writes beautifully on the complicated themes of motherhood, illegal immigration, and the trappings and hopes of the American Dream. According to the reader’s guide provided at the end of the book, Diffenbaugh said, “she was inspired to write We Never Asked for Wings after working for a non-profit that offered after-school art and technology programs in East Palo Alto, a low-income community in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was struck by the intense isolation felt by the kids who live there.”

When I think of the American Dream, the focus seems to be on the promise of a better life, if one just works hard and never gives up. But rarely do I hear that perhaps the costs involved in attempting this dream (poverty in America, broken families, living under the radar), are not all it’s cracked out to be. Now, more than ever, Diffenbaugh’s unique perspective on whether one should stay or go, may become the common view as the pursuit of the American Dream falls just out of reach.  

Monica L. Dashwood is a freelance and blog writer.

Recovering from Sugar Addiction

Do you use food to soothe yourself? If you have a bad day, does sugar make you feel better? When you’re feeling low on energy, do you use sugar to boost yourself back up again?

Happy Healthy Afi HipLatinaAs a person who suffered miserably from eating disorders and chronically low self-esteem I used sugar, junk foods, and carbs to hide my feelings. The truth is I didn’t even know how I felt. I hated myself so much that I ate to numb myself. Unless you’ve been there too, you probably can’t fathom the level of self-imposed suffering that was my daily existence. I used candy, ice cream, chips — whatever I could get my hands on — to eat until I couldn’t feel anymore. It’s taken me years of self-love, practice, and compassion to understand why I once habitually made choices that kept me in a self-imposed prison.

I was told as a child that I was to be seen and not heard. My elders told me this because they thought it would ultimately protect me from harm as a woman of color. An outspoken brown baby in the Deep South during Jim Crow would have suffered from backlash (a literal lash of a whip during my family’s history of slavery and sharecropping) or some other real physical harm. There was even one auntie in my family who had a multi-colored face because she had been burned with lye as a result of speaking “out of turn.” So this concern for my safety was not rooted in paranoia, but rather painful experience. Still, as a child, I couldn’t understand why someone would tell me to “shut my mouth.” Over time, shutting my mouth led to stuffing my mouth — stuffing down my feelings, habitually turning to food (especially sugar) to numb my pain. Food was my drug of choice and food is a really hard addiction to break, because you can’t give it up — we all have to eat.

I finally learned through self-examination and facing my misguided self-perceptions that it’s safe for me to open my mouth. I trust the choices I make now. Choosing unconditional love and forgiveness for those who have hurt me set me free from the habits which once made me as a prisoner in my own body. I no longer choose addictive patterns and habits unconsciously. I actively use the tools in my toolkit of self-inquiry, mindfulness, and self-love.

Maybe you’ve been there too. Maybe you’re ready to unpack why you do what you do, if sugar is your go-to comfort. Perhaps you’re tired of suffering and long overdue for a health orgasm. What is a health orgasm a.k.a. full body bliss? It’s delicious. It’s delectable. It’s divine. It’s choosing full body bliss from the inside out. There are many ways into a health orgasmso many ways to allow ourselves to taste, touch, smell, hear, see, and truly feel this beautiful life we embody in our sacred feminine forms! As women we’re often taught that to truly experience pleasure in our bodies is taboo. As mothers, wives, daughters, and lovers, we are caretakers and chronic nurturers. To focus on our own self-care, let alone pleasure and contentment, is all too often the last thought. In this fast pace of our modern day existence, constantly tethered to audio reminders of technological tweets, posts, and alarms, our emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual body screams from a lack of over-processed food-like substances. We all know that we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Afi Yoga HipLatinaThis is where self-care becomes a radical act of self-love. To pay attention to the multi-dimensional journey of womanhood is a narrative that requires committing ourselves to simple daily acts of self-compassion and kindness. If you want to put a spring in your step, a sparkle in your eyes, and have boundless energy to enjoy your busy life, a great place to start is with regular cleansing and detox. Your body is continually ingesting and trying to eliminate toxins from your food, air, and water. Why not help your body out? It’s asking for a break. Or if this seems too radical, consciously take a breath and choose something calm as an act of neurological freedom to rewire your nervous system.

What do you choose? Do you choose daily to live in a perpetual state of anxiety or do you choose to practice radical self-love? You can choose a new response versus practicing frantic, overwhelming, and anxiety-driven habits. If you want to choose a different path to self-compassion, one simple long calming breath can serve as a beacon to your lighthouse on the journey to your soul.

-Afi studied at Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she was immerssed in a variety of dietary theories and practical lifestyle coaching methods and is a certified yoga instructor.

Why Majoring in STEM Will Help with Your Career

 

Based on nationwide data in the United States, Hispanics are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career fields. This means that there are fewer Hispanic decision makers in these fields. For the most part this is because many college students have chosen to major in humanities or social sciences rather than STEM fields.

So what’s wrong with this picture? Some might think this situation represents a “problem” for occupations in STEM in lacking diversified cultural representation along with other experiences that are uniquely associated with Hispanics, including, but not limited to, their bilingual skills or socio-economic status.  Under this assumption, the notion is that it is important that cultural diversity exists in all fields because all fields are meant to be serving all Americans in one way or another. Our government would agree, which is one of the reasons it has provided incentives for public educational institutions to assist with increasing the number of students majoring in STEM fields.

Per recent government research, it is projected that STEM occupations will increase in the next few years, at least in the United States. To assist in expanding ethnic and cultural diversity and make it more equitable in STEM fields, many states along with the federal government are establishing financial incentives for public schools that have a population that is at least 25% Hispanic, with the intent to increase the number of minority students majoring in STEM.

STEM occupations cover a diversity of occupations that include, but are not limited to, engineers, research analysts, computer programmers, mathematicians, scientists, and economists.

Traditionally, Hispanic students don’t tend to study STEM majors. Instead, humanities, education, and social sciences have been the most common areas of study for Hispanic students living in the U.S. Certainly, one could speculate about students’ motivations for entering certain fields over others, but the government has taken a more proactive approach and is interested in filling those inequity gaps via various financial incentives.

So, what does this mean for parents? Here are three reasons why Hispanic parents and the whole family might want to assist their children at a young age to become interested in STEM fields:

More jobs will be available in STEM fields. Per recent research, there is a shortage of U.S. workers qualified to meet the job-market demand for STEM occupations. Of those qualified for these jobs, few are Hispanics.

STEM majors are aligned with multiple student support services, such as supplemental instruction, tutoring, and counseling, free of charge.

There is less competition in these fields. If/when competing against students with similar profiles and backgrounds, STEM majors are more likely to secure a job.

And here are ways the entire family can help the kids to get motivated to get involved in STEM fields:

Visit science museums and aquariums. When you are exposed from an early age to museums and aquariums, you develop an interest in and fascination toward science.

Expose your child to science books. Again, early exposure to what is unfamiliar to our children is a step forward into new territories, which makes them feel more comfortable around topics presented via science books.

Encourage a love of nature and animals. As simple as having a pet at home teaches children sensitivity towards nature and may make them passionate about topics in which they might develop long-term interest.

For more valuable resources, check out STEM-Works and Science Pioneers. Exposing children to fields that are new to us allows us to learn together and witness the potential of their imagination!

Latina Bloggers to Check out Today! 5 Blogs to Read on Your Coffee Break

We often think of blogging as a way for people to express their ideas, introduce new products, and develop a sense of community—and sometimes it’s just a way to show yourself off! We love the #bloglife for all these reasons. And if you’re not already a blogger yourself, you can get a window into the lives of the other people living in our diverse país y mundo by reading their blogs.

At HipLatina we may be biased (just a little), but Latina bloggers are our fave! From makeup tips to identity politics, there’s something for every reader. And if you’re like me, it’s not unlikely that you’ve ended up talking about both identity politics and makeup within ten minutes of a group chat—they sometimes go hand in hand, so why not just chat about both. With a little digging, you can find an incredible range of blogueras sharing their thoughts and experiences.

If you haven’t had the time to do the digging, that’s what we’re here for! Here are some of our fave blogueras that are taking the internet by storm. Don’t wait to check them out.

Yvonne Guidry’s SpoiledLatina.com aims to empower women through beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. She has partnered with Wal-Mart and Dove to bring awareness to the subjects in her blog. Be sure to check out her many upcoming events and annual SL Day in July to celebrate the Latina community.

Spoiled Latina HipLatina Favorite

In The Healthy Latina, Michelle Rivas looks at health, nutrition, and disease prevention from the perspective of Latin American culture. She provides an honest exploration of what a healthy lifestyle means for Latinas y todas mujeres. She may just have the blog that makes it fun to go to the gym and make that next lunch a bit healthier.

Healthy Latina HIpLatina Favorite

The Trendy Latina is a blog by trendy Brazilian mom, Claudia, who writes about fashion and beauty. She promises to deliver style with some sabor latino. And it’s likely she has something to catch your eye, whether it’s activities you can do with the kids or how to enjoy your alone time after putting them to bed.

Trendy Latina HIpLatina Favorite

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