Posts

What you should be reading and watching this Hispanic Heritage Month 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and talents of Hispanic Americans. First established 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, it was later expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan. 

The month honors Hispanic achievements and also celebrates the independence of various Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile. 

Another area of focus is celebrating Hispanic art and culture. Hispanic culture is diverse and vibrant, with each country bringing their own unique traditions and style. From literature to film and arts, Hispanic Americans have contributed greatly to American culture producing stunning and thought-provoking works. 

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, here are a few books and films by Hispanic creators to celebrate and educate. 

Books to read this Hispanic Heritage Month 

For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez  

The founder of Latina Rebels and a “Latinx Activist You Should Know”(Teen Vogue) arms women of color with the tools and knowledge they need to find success on their own terms. — Google Books 

In For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez  offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all women of color. She crafts powerful ways to address the challenges Brown girls face, from imposter syndrome to colorism. She empowers women to decolonize their worldview, and defy “universal” white narratives, by telling their own stories. Her book guides women of color toward a sense of pride and sisterhood and offers essential tools to energize a movement. 

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria

 In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers. 

A powerful exploration of what it means to be Mexican American. — Google Books 

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz 

Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Natalie Diaz weaves together her Latina and Indigenous identity in a collection of tender, heart-wrenching and defiant poems that are an anthem against erasure of people like herself.

Postcolonial Love Poem is a timely piece that explores various aspects of identity and life as a Latina and Indigenous woman in America today and what it means to love and be loved in an America troubled by conflict and racial injustice.

Latinx Art: Artists, Markets, and Politics by Arlene Dávila  

 In Latinx Art Arlene Dávila draws on numerous interviews with artists, dealers, and curators to explore the problem of visualizing Latinx art and artists. Providing an inside and critical look of the global contemporary art market, Dávila’s book is at once an introduction to contemporary Latinx art and a call to decolonize the art worlds and practices that erase and whitewash Latinx artists. Dávila shows the importance of race, class, and nationalism in shaping contemporary art markets while providing a path for scrutinizing art and culture institutions and for diversifying the art world. — Google Books 

You might be interested: 10 Books by Latinx authors to read summer 2021 

Hispanic Cultural films to watch 

In the Heights – In the Heights is a celebration of Hispanic culture and community set against the backdrop of Washington Heights. The film weaves together the stories of various members of the community, telling a tale of love, family, friendship, and culture. 

Lights up for In the Heights, a joyous celebration of heritage and community fueled by dazzling direction and singalong songs.” —Rotten Tomatoes 

Coco – A movie for the whole family, Disney’s Coco tells the story of a young boy in a fictional Mexican village who dreams of becoming a famous musician like his idol. The moving coming-of-age story celebrates culture and family in a fun-loving, heartfelt tale about learning from our elders. 

Frida – Celebrating a cultural icon, Frida tells the bold and controversial life of artist Frida Kahlo. The biopic chronicles the artist’s life, starting in Mexico City, and explores her relationships, politics, and art in a poignant and moving film. 

 

The Graduates – This documentary mini-series explores the many issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States, shining a necessary light on the hardships Latinx students face. 

“These student profiles offer a first-hand perspective on the challenges facing many Latino high school students, including over-crowded schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, teen pregnancy and pressure to contribute to the family finances.” — IMDB

The series can be viewed on PBS.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating and honoring the contributions of Hispanic Americans

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15th to October 15th in the United States. The month is a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and  a time to recognize and honor the contributions of Hispanic Americans in the nation’s history, culture, and achievements. 

The history and why we celebrate 

National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson.  Twenty years later in 1988 it was expanded to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan. 

Many who are unfamiliar with Hispanic Heritage Month often wonder why the celebration begins in the middle of September rather than at the beginning. September 15th was chosen as the start date to recognize and commemorate the anniversary of  the independence day for various Latin American countries. 

September 15th marks the independence of five Hispanic countries who declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively. 

Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

In addition to recognizing the independence of various Latin American countries, the month is a celebration of Hispanic accomplishment. We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month as a reminder of all that Hispanic Americans have achieved and helped shape the nation. 

“Our communities are represented by Hispanic elected officials, and our children are taught by Hispanic teachers.  Our future will be shaped by Hispanic engineers who are working to develop new technology that will help us grasp our clean energy future and by the skilled union workers who are going to build it,” said President Biden in White House proclamation

The U.S. Hispanic population is a powerhouse that continues to grow to new heights. According to the 2020 census data, the Hispanic population reached 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the total population in 2020. Additionally, the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network revealed that the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown 34% over the last 10 years compared to just 1% for all other small businesses. Were it not for the growth in the number of Latino-owned firms, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would actually have declined between 2007 and 2012.

“National Hispanic Heritage Month is an important reminder of how much strength we draw as a Nation from our immigrant roots and our values as a Nation of immigrants,” President Biden continued. 

Ways to observe Hispanic Heritage Month 

Hispanic Heritage Month can be observed in many ways. As a celebration of culture and history, individuals can honor the month by engaging with Hispanic created content such as books, films, music, and more. The National Hispanic Heritage Month website, hosted by The Library of Congress, offers many activities, events, and resources to help celebrate and educate. 

Another way to honor the month is to support Hispanic-owned small businesses. Minority small businesses have suffered the most in the past year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many Hispanic-owned businesses struggled to stay afloat or are still struggling. Supporting these businesses helps put money back into the community and honor the work of Hispanic Americans, ensuring that these businesses will continue. 

You might be interested: 10 Books by Latinx authors to read summer 2021 

Hispanic Heritage Month asks us to look around and take in all that Hispanic Americans have achieved, both in history and today. It asks us to remember we are a diverse and extraordinary community. It asks us to be visible and speak our history. We celebrate by remembering. We celebrate by learning. We celebrate by supporting.

HipDot x Tapatío

HipDot is turning up the heat with new limited edition HipDot x Tapatío collection

If you’re a makeup lover who’s into bold, unique looks, then get ready for the hot new collab between cult favorite cosmetics brand, HipDot, and Tapatío–yes, the hot sauce brand! HipDot x Tapatío is a brand new, limited edition collection that’s turning up the heat with a combination of bold, bright shades and neutrals that bring the essence of the renowned and much loved spicy sauce to the world of makeup. 

HipDot x Tapatío Collection (Photo courtesy Tyler Williams)

HipDot x Tapatío

The collection, which launched yesterday on HipDot’s site, includes two eyeshadow pallets, a lip gloss set, an exclusive Tapatío Drip sponge, and a limited edition Tapatío Collector’s Box. The collection will also be available at ULTA in early November.

Spice up your look with two new eyeshadow pallettes. (Photo courtesy Tyler Williams)

HipDot Cosmetics has always been a brand for the truly free: the Experimental, the Obsessed, the Creatives, the Pioneers. HipDot prides themselves on  celebrating “the weird, the wonderful, and everything in between.” So a collaboration with a hot sauce brand is nothing unusual for them! On their unique collaborations HipDot says, “When we collaborate, we do so with purpose and intention and we aim to please. Every new release relentlessly amazes. We leave you on the edge of your seat, eager for more and desperate to discover what’s next…completely unpredictable, must-have, covetable, collectible, limited edition and exclusive makeup collaborations.”  

The HipDot x Tapatío collaboration is no different. Wholly unique, a little odd, but absolutely stunning, the collab brings out the vibrant flavor of the Tapatío brand with gorgeous packaging and beautiful, pigmented colors. 

“Tapatío is a household brand that many of us grew up with, so we’re honored to be collaborating on their first ever makeup collection,” says Jeff Sellinger CEO of HipDot Cosmetics. “HipDot has made a name for itself in the industry for unexpected and epic collaborations, so we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with our favorite hot sauce brand.”

Indeed, Tapatío is a household name for many. Started from humble beginnings in 1971, Tapatío Foods is still a family run business 50 years later and has grown to become a staple not only in Hispanic households but in most homes across America. It’s the number 1 hot sauce in the west, and the number 3 hot sauce in the country. Available in many sizes, Tapatío is a sauce that can be used with everything! And now, you can even have a little essence of Tapatío in your makeup too! 

Tapatío Lip Gloss (Photo courtesy Tyler Williams)

You might be interested: How this Latina owned makeup brand is inspiring self-confidence and empowerment

A closer look at the collection 

Tapatío El Dorado Eyeshadow Palette ($14) – Drip in gold with the El Dorado Palette which includes 6 high pay-off, soft and buttery shades in brights and neutrals in matte, shimmer, and glitter finishes.

Tapatío La Diabla Eyeshadow Palette ($14) – Get red hot with the La Diabla Palette which includes 6 high pay-off, soft and buttery shades in brights and neutrals in mattes, matte sparkle, shimmer and glitter finishes.

Tapatío Collector’s Box ($72) The Collector’s Box includes the Tapatío El Dorado Palette, Tapatío La Diabla Palette, Lip Gloss Set, and the Drip Sponge for a full-flame look. Comes in an exclusive collector’s box which includes a bottle of Tapatío hot sauce

Tapatío Lip Gloss Set ($24) – Spice up your life and lips with the Tapatío Plumping Glosses. These high shine glosses are pepper infused to give you the perfect pout and that Tapatío feel. They come in a set of 5 wearable shades in clear, neutrals, reds and berries.

Tapatío Drip Sponge ($10) – Drop it like it’s hot with the HipDot x Tapatío Drip Sponge. This red hot non-latex sponge is the perfect texture and density to apply any of your favorite creams and liquids.

All HipDot products are vegan and certified cruelty free, free of parabens, talc, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil and other harmful ingredients. Shop the products here.

spanish children's books

How these personalized Spanish children’s books are helping to raise bilingual children

Maria Victoria Sanchez is the creator and founder of Libro Magico Amarillo, a publishing company that creates personalized Spanish children’s books. Her books offer a mix of adventures and educational content that keep children engaged and reading longer, all while playing and having fun. Her books also serve as a tool for parents raising bilingual children, helping them foster a love and appreciation of Hispanic language and culture in their children. 

Spanish children's books

Maria and her son reading “Adventuras en Troya” (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez)

Rediscovering the magic of stories 

Libro Magico Amarillo officially launched in June of this year, but before that it spent 30 years simply being a dream in Maria’s mind. Creating Spanish children’s books was something she always thought of doing but procrastinated for many years, never knowing when was the right time to start. As a child, her mother instilled in her a love for reading and writing. Stories were magical and they became her greatest passion as a child. However, as she grew up, the magic spark receded in her mind. She let her dreams of telling stories fall away to a small corner of her mind where she would think of the idea from time to time but never act on her dream. 

Before Maria would make her book business a reality, she first spent a good portion of her professional life having a successful career in the corporate world. Born in General Roca, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina, Maria earned her degree in law. After graduating from law school in Argentina, she then came to the U.S. to do her Masters at Harvard Law School. 

“I worked for big names in the corporate world including Greenberg Traurig, JP Morgan, and Mastercard. I got to live in different countries and travel extensively. But with the arrival of my two children, I realized that I was no longer interested in corporate life or business trips,” says Maria. 

With her priorities shifted, Maria did some soul-searching to figure out what she wanted to do next with her career. She was searching for the magic spark. She soon found it in one of her earliest loves: stories. Maria realized that happiness for her also meant doing things that had a social impact. Libro Magico Amarillo would provide her with the platform to do just that. 

Starting from zero

Maria officially began working on making her dream a reality a year ago. At the time she had no knowledge of the industry, e-commerce, or digital marketing. It was completely new territory.

Maria in her office working on her latest projects (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez).

“I had to start from zero,” she says, “but I decided that it was now or never and that I did not want to die without having tried to build my own business venture.”

Over the next year, Maria met with illustrators, printers, writers, and delved deep into the amazing world of book publishing. She faced some obstacles along the way, from not having access to lines of credit or a name in the industry to other entry barriers such as the high cost of marketing and having to make tough choices because of limited funds. Then of course there was the Covid-19 pandemic which threatened to halt the process and launch of Maria’s dream venture. 

“The pandemic was not going to stop me,” says Maria. “It has certainly created hiccups, but also it has proven to be an opportunity for connection.” 

Launched on June 6, 2020–what would have been the birthday of Maria’s late mother–Maria’s personalized Spanish children’s books have served as a bridge to connect family and friends during the pandemic. Family members can gather together virtually to read together and share stories, all while helping to foster a child’s bilingual education and growth. 

Sharing the magic with others 

Maria’s driving force through the struggles was her love for books and her desire to make an impact. One of the ways she’s using her platform to help others is by donating a percentage of all new profits to JAFCO, an orphanage that is doing great work for children. The other main area of impact for Maria is in education and sharing the magic of stories with others while also helping parents raise bilingual children and foster an appreciation for Hispanic language and culture. 

bilingual children

Maria Victoria Sanchez, sharing her love of stories with her daughter. (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez).

“As a mom, immigrant, raising bilingual children, I bring a new angle to children’s books, focusing on the Spanish language, with stories thought and written in Spanish and not just translated by AI,” says Maria. 

Her books bring Hispanic values and culture to bilingual children and act as an educational tool for parents who want to instill a love and appreciation for their home culture in their children. 

Libro Magico Amarillo’s books keep children engaged and by making the children themselves the protagonists of the stories. The personalized Spanish children’s books allow parents to customize the books with their child’s names and each book is printed on demand so that each child receives a carefully designed adventure personalized just for them! 

The books also cover a variety of topics including history and geography, which allows children to learn as they play. 

Recently, one young reader shared a video with Maria of her reading experience. In the video, the 3 year-old and her mom were reading Adventuras en Troya together for the fourth time and she was so excited and engaged, asking questions about the story. 

“The little one was asking her mom, “Tell me about Menelao!!!” He was the King who was married to Elena, who was kidnapped by Paris, giving origin to the Trojan war. That just made my day,” says Maria. 

spanish children's books

Libro Magico Amarillo’s current Spanish children’s books

Most 3 year-olds are not asking about characters from ancient Greek stories, which just shows the amazing power of reading and storytelling. Libro Magico Amarillo’s books immerse children in fun, educational stories and take them on adventures all over the world–literally, since the books characters are personalized based on the child. 

You might be interested: How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Finally, Maria is also using her platform to uplift other entrepreneurs. During her journey, she had many supportive people to uplift her along the way and she wants to pay it forward. 

“I want to be an advocate for the need to provide more support to local business owners and entrepreneurs who do not have access to the same loans or health insurance as others.” 

Maria knows how beneficial it is to have a strong support system and mentors when starting out. To aspiring entrepreneurs she says, “First, count on me, give me a call! I’m happy to pay it forward. Additionally there are a lot of women networks or alliances of fantastic ladies who are doing the same or have done it before and want to help you. Second, believe in yourself. The sky is your limit. Do not let them tell you otherwise. Third, think of how you want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as someone who was not afraid of a challenge or giving a shot to impossible dreams.”