Here’s What You Missed If You Didn’t Attend This Year’s #WeAllGrow Summit

The 2019 #WeAllGrow Latina Summit brought together more than 500 influential leaders, creators and storytellers on a mission to elevate the voices and stories of Latinas through the power of community. The annual three-day event gives attendees the opportunity to build their networks and work on skills like creating an engaging social media feed and growing an online business.

This year’s tickets sold out in a record-breaking three hours and six minutes. If you weren’t able to score a ticket this time, below is what you missed. On top of major activations, there were countless workshops that provide valuable information on networking, entrepreneurship and overall just how to make bigger moves. If you missed out on the event or couldn’t attend all of the sessions — or if you want to give this experience as a gift, there’s a Digital Pass that exists! The Digital Pass gives you access to full HD videos of select keynotes, panels and workshops. You’ll also gain early access to #WeAllGrow Summit 2020. PS, if you purchase now, using the code mitu10 you’ll save $10 — that’s almost a pedicure!

Click here to purchase your Digital Pass.

1. The #WeAllGrow Summit kicked off with a special performance by Las Cafeteras during the welcome party.

#WeAllGrow attendees kicked off the annual summit with a fun night of dancing and music by Afro-Mexican band, Las Cafeteras. The East LA-native group fuses hip-hop, cumbia and rock genres with spoken word and zapateado dancing to help celebrate different cultures and bring communities together.

They’ve previously shared the stage with acclaimed Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs and other major acts like Juanes and Talib Kweli.

2. Attendees enjoyed a tasty breakfast in bed by #WeAllGrow’s Changemakers Collective.

#WeAllGrow attendees didn’t have to go very far to have a tasty breakfast in the morning. The Changemakers Collective provided everything to fuel a full day’s worth of workshops and networking.

3. Stressed? No worries. The event provided a calming and energizing morning yoga session with Jennifer Ibarra.

Yoga instructor and CEO of MindfulMamis, Jennifer Ibarra led a group morning yoga session to calm nerves and help set the tone for the rest of the day. Ibarra believes in connecting with others on a soul level.

During the morning session, she used her peaceful voice to lead poses and stretches to reach both the hearts and minds of attendees.

4. An audience fist pump session with #WeAllGrow storyteller Veronica Castagno.

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The past couple of days have been a total extreme rollercoaster, just like the story of my life. I like to say that my life is a tango, all drama, all passion. For some reason, since the moment I found out I was going to be a storyteller on @weallgrowlatina Summit, I took it as if it was one of the most defining moments of my life. That’s how it felt since day one and like every project I do, I had to do it obsessively good, as good as I can possibly make it. And I wanted to be 1000% myself, even if that means being a lion, throw fire, a warrior that will stand up every time she gets punched to the floor. But to be 1000% myself, I had to let go of all my fears: what are they going to think of me if they see ME, with all my fire and all my lights? What will happen when they find out that I’m so much more than the fun girl who makes cakes? Will I be embraced or rejected? That scared me extremely. But 1 hour before getting into that stage, all the fears disappeared and I was ready… to roar, to throw fire, to do kickboxing, to be the fighter I am and to show all my true colors. With my immense strength and my most honest vulnerability. There was a moment when I broke down, talking about something that was heartbreaking, the moment I left my mom and my dad to chase my dream… everyone in the audience started chanting my name… like in a soccer stadium! Vero! Vero! Vero! ???????? I never in my life felt more accepted and embraced! That’s what the community of @weallgrowlatina that @laflowers created 5 years ago is. The most loving, empowering women who will lift you up if you fail and let you be their guide if you can somehow inspire them. I’m counting the minutes until I get this video so I can share with everyone. Right now, I’m still digesting felling overwhelmingly grateful to @weallgrowlatina and @wordpressdotcom for this unique and magical opportunity. I climbed another ????and built another ????! I want to see all of you FLY too! ????☄️???? . ESPAÑOL en primer comentario #storyteller #weallgrow #wordpressdotcom #poweredbywordpress #inspiring #uplifting #motivational #latinablogger #youtubecreator #youtubelatino #latinabloggers #bold #fierce

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YouTuber and 2019 #WeAllGrow Storyteller, Veronica Castagno energized the audience with fist pumps before sharing her inspiring personal story. Castagno is a self-taught pastry chef and owner of Vero Sweet Hobby.

With nearly 130,000 followers on Facebook and over 70,000 subscribers on YouTube, Castagno has established herself as a leader in online bilingual desert and pastry tutorials.

#5. WeAllGrow Latina Network founder Ana Flores led an incredibly inspirational fireside chat.

During a talk with #WeAllGrow founder Ana Flores, Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio opened up about how the lack of Latina representation in film fueled her desire to succeed. Aparicio is best known for her role as Cleo in Alfonso Cuaron’s critically-acclaimed film Roma.

As the first Indigenous American woman to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, Aparicio is a trailblazer and symbol of strength for all Latinas.

6. Yalitza Aparicio accepts the inaugural #WeAllGrow Changemaker award.  

After the fireside chat, Yalitza Aparicio was awarded #WeAllGrow’s inaugural Changemaker Award for her efforts in promoting indigenous representation in the media and the fair treatment of domestic workers. This year’s award was a hand-painted portrait of the actress by Latinx artist Denise Cortes.

A tear-filled audience cheered as Aparicio graciously accepted the award and thanked the #WeAllGrow team and its attendees.

7. The event also ensured there was a place for attendees to get pampered and Dove was there to style and freshen up people’s hairstyles.

Dove’s on-site hair lounge ensured picture-perfect curls in between workshops and sessions. Creative director and fashion stylist Sherly Tavarez made sure to stop by the hair lounge for a few touch-ups and encouraged attendees to join in.

The hair lounge featured hair artist Leonardo Rocco and Dove favorites like their Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.

8. Snacks were provided by California Strawberries.

Who says salsa can’t be sweet? California Strawberries served a mouthwatering strawberry salsa using simple, fresh ingredients. With California’s special climate, it’s no surprise to hear that the state produces 90% of America’s favorite fruits, strawberries.

This energizing snack had attendees lining up for seconds, que rico!

9. A mobile Latinx bookstore by Alegria Magazine was parked to promote Latinx authors.

Alegria Magazine parked its mobile bookstore at the summit and displayed the work of influential Latinx authors. The bookstore was started by Alegria founder Davina A. Ferreira and aims to help teach kids and youth about Latinx storytellers.

Authors also dropped by for book signings and photos throughout the event.

10. Kim Guerra got people to stand on their feet after sharing inspiring words during #WeAllGrow’s poetry slam hour.

Author and poet Kim Guerra took the stage to share an inspiring message about the importance of self-love in the first-ever #WeAllGrow Poetry Slam Hour presented by Curated by FB and UnidosUS. She was joined by Yesika Salgado, Melania-Luisa Marte, Kim Mercado, Melizza Lozado-Olivia and moderator Nicoletta de la Brown.

Attendees were left feeling proud, inspired and motivated.

11. Did we mention there were churros? A delicious collaboration between La Lechera and LA’s Churro Catering Service gave everyone the munchies.

La Lechera and LA’s Churro Catering Service joined forces to host a churro stand with decadent La Lechera sweetened condensed milk and endless golden churros. The brand also ran a #ToqueSweet Instagram contest that had attendees snapping pics while indulging in their treats.

Congrats to the lucky winner!

12. #WeAllGrow Latina Summit always provides field trips and this year part of the group headed over to YouTube’s LA headquarters.

Attendees went on a full tour of YouTube’s LA headquarters, had a VR experience and watched a panel discussion with Doralys Britto, Dulce Candy and Jenny Lorenzo.

The day was filled with laughing and learning, and aspiring influencers were left feeling empowered and motivated to create their best content. ¡Se pusieron las pilas!

13. Self-esteem is important and this year there was a self-esteem workshop with a surprise Instax camera giveaway.

Those who participated in the Dove Self-Esteem Workshop left with great skills, practices and free Instax cameras. During the workshop, attendees became mentors for local girls from the Boys & Girls Club.

Together, they participated in an important conversation about self-esteem and beauty standards.

14. Dove also provided a custom perfume station for a personalized scent experience.

Dove brought a custom perfume station to #WeAllGrow and gave attendees a memorable scent experience. With fine fragrance and essential oils by Sarah Horowitz Parfums, creating a unique formula was fast, simple and fun.

What better way to recall the wonderful memories made at #WeAllGrow than with a mood-boosting, personalized perfume.

15. Every corner of the event was instagrammable, including these inspirational neon signs.

The mitú and FIERCE by mitú corner was the place to lounge, gather with your comadres to take photos under these inspirational neon signs and shop!

Don’t you have major fomo? On top of all of these activations, there were countless workshops that provide valuable information on networking, entrepreneurship and overall just how to make bigger moves. If you missed out on the event or couldn’t attend all of the sessions — or if you want to give this experience as a gift, there’s a Digital Pass that exists! The Digital Pass gives you access to full HD videos of select keynotes, panels and workshops. You’ll also gain early access to #WeAllGrow Summit 2020. PS, if you purchase now, you’ll purchase at a discounted price!

Click here to learn more about the incredible offers that come with the digital pass.

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Mexico’s Famed Día De Muertos Events Are Going Virtual, Meaning It’s Easier Than Ever To Join The Celebrations


Mexico’s Famed Día De Muertos Events Are Going Virtual, Meaning It’s Easier Than Ever To Join The Celebrations

In Mexico, traditions are sacred and family is everything. So when the Coronavirus pandemic hit Mexico and threatened to take away many of the country’s prized traditions, people sprung into action to think outside the box so that communities could continue celebrating the year’s many traditions but in a low-risk way.

It’s this commitment to tradition and ingenuity that is helping Día de Muertos traditions live on this year, despite the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

Día de Muertos is usually celebrated across Central and Southern Mexico with large celebrations that include people from the entire pueblo. Well, obviously this year that isn’t exactly possible (or at least safe) so authorities are creating new ways to bring the important celebrations to Mexicans (and others) around the world.

Thanks to Covid-19, our Día de Muertos celebrations will look a lot different this year.

Typically at this time of year, Mexico bustles with activity and cities and pueblos across the country come to life full of color and scents. The cempasúchil – the typical orange marigolds associated with Día de Muertos – are everywhere and the scent is intoxicating.

However, things look exceptionally different this year. Mexican authorities have said cemeteries will remain closed for the Nov. 2 celebration, meaning that people aren’t buying up the flowers as in years past. In fact, according to many growers, less than half the typical amount have been grown this year.

Along with the cutback in flowers and typical holiday purchases, nearly all of the country’s major events have been cancelled by authorities. However, officials say that families can still celebrate but in more private ways or by tuning into online, virtual events.

Mexican authorities are urging people to practice sana distancia and avoid large family gatherings – including for Day of the Dead.

For many Mexicans, however, this year is especially important to celebrate the holiday in honor of the loved ones they’ve lost to the pandemic. Mexico has been one of the world’s hardest hit countries as there have been more than 855,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 86,338 deaths. Although those numbers are said to be highly skewed thanks to one of the world’s lowest testing rates.

“This year is very special because my family members died of COVID-19,” said Dulce Maria Torres in an interview with NBC News, who was buying flowers at a traditional market in the Mexican capital. “It’s important to me and we want to make them a beautiful offering.”

However, authorities are pleading with people to help contain the virus’ spread by avoiding the traditional family gatherings associated with the holiday.

As Mexico works to curb the spread of Covid-19, most events are going virtual this year.

Authorities across Mexico are working to maintain a balance between tradition and safety as they work to bring Día de Muertos celebrations to an online audience.

In an interview, Paola Félix Díaz, Director of the Tourism Promotion Fund, said that “Events such as the Day of the Dead are an opportunity to generate a tribute to all the people who have left because of this disease but also as a reminder of all the traditions that cannot be stopped.”

Officials are working an app called “Xóchitl, Mexico’s virtual ambassador for the world” that will work as an interactive digital platform featuring AR (Augmented Reality), which will include content related to Mexican traditions, culture, and entertainment.

The platform will give access to virtual events, live streaming for the promotion of beautiful Mexico City in a safe way without putting anyone at risk. The parade will be held inside a stadium or a recording studio, without public and following all COVID-19 protocols. The event will be broadcast in many different online platforms”

Even Mexico City’s famed Día de Muertos parade is going virtual this year.

Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade is one of the country’s biggest tourism draws. Just last year the city had more than 2 million people at the parade. In addition, it’s a widely sponsored event by large companies such as Apple and Mattel. It brings in millions of dollars of revenue to the city.

Félix Díaz said that the possibilities of a virtual parade or “looking for these new trends such as drive-ins or a car tour are in talks. We are planning it.”

Cancun’s Xcaret park will be hosting an online festival to celebrate the holiday.

Although the sustainable park based outside Cancun has suspended all of its events and activities for 2020, in accordance with WHO recommendations, the park will host a virtual celebration for Día de Muertos.

Although the official date hasn’t yet been confirmed, the group says that they are excited to bring the event (now in its 14th year) to people around the world via an online celebration.

Events in the U.S. will also be taking place online – from California to New York.

One of the country’s largest Día de Muertos events, held in LA’s Grand Park will take place with 12 days of virtual celebrations. You’ll find arts workshops, digital ofrendas and storytelling online, as well as in-real-life art installations at the neighboring Downtown locations. Self-Help Graphics & Art—which hosts its own Day of the Dead event—has curated 11 large-scale altars for socially distant viewing, with audio tours available online.

Downey moves its annual Day of the Dead celebration from the city’s civic center to the internet with this virtual celebration. In the lead-up to the event you’ll be able to find recipes and crafting tutorials, and on the day of you can expect a mix of movies, music, ballet folklorico performances, shopping opportunities and a pair of art exhibitions.

And for those of us who can’t wait and/or want 24/7/365 access to Día de Muertos events, there’s always Google. The platform brings tons of Day of the Dead exhibits and information to users around the world through its Google Arts & Culture site, which you can view here.

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Building Community: Latinas Take Media Representation into Their Own Hands


Building Community: Latinas Take Media Representation into Their Own Hands

Tickets for the upcoming We All Grow Latina Summit — a networking and empowerment conference that draws over 500 women from across the U.S. and beyond — sold out in a record-breaking three hours and six minutes. The annual gathering, geared toward Latina bloggers, content producers, and creative entrepreneurs provides a vibrant networking space for attendees to share their professional journeys and provide inspiration and support for aspiring Latinas in the digital space. The event also features prominent beauty and lifestyle bloggers, TV, radio and social media personalities and company founders that share a common message — high-paying, professional careers are attainable, despite historic underrepresentation of successful Latinas in mainstream TV, news and magazines.

“Once you see it done, you can see yourself reflected and you have a path,” says Ana Flores, founder, and CEO of We All Grow Latina Network, the organization behind the popular summit. With a motto like “When one grows, we all grow,” the network is providing the representation Latinas need to continue to pursue goals such as one-day producing award-winning content, becoming spokespeople for major brands, or even starting a business.

Although Latinos continue to be one of the fastest-growing demographics in the United States, a gap in ethnic representation in the media persists. By producing informational webinars and workshops to help social media influencers monetize their content, connecting bloggers to brands for paid partnership opportunities and hosting events for creatives to engage with one another, the organization provides the tools necessary for Latinas to feel empowered to achieve career success in the face of lingering marginalization.

“I couldn’t see myself represented,” says Flores. As a working single mother, she felt that the online content she came across did not speak to her particular interests, nor did it come from a source that felt familiar to her. She explains that while she followed several popular parenting blogs, they often fell short in featuring content on topics like raising bilingual children in the U.S. and cooking traditional Latin dishes — that’s when she saw a need and decided to jump in.

“I’ve had to carve my own path,” she adds, “(I realized) I can create it on my own and reach to that community that doesn’t have anybody talking to them right now.” She first launched the online network in 2010 after recognizing a need for Latin American online content by Latin American bloggers, content creators, and entrepreneurs. Her mission to uplift and empower the Latina community by providing tools, community, and representation has grown into a national conference and an online network of nearly 10,000 connected Latinas that now leverage their newfound relationships for opportunities for advancement within the digital sector.

Representation at its core definition means “the description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature.” When put into the context of career advancement and opportunity, seeing someone achieve a particular milestone may have a galvanizing impact on one’s confidence, but the absence thereof may magnify negative feelings of self-worth.

According to a study by the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, these effects can begin to form as early as the childhood years. “Media-based experiences contribute to users’ knowledge structures, including their person schemata (i.e., typical characteristics of people or groups of people) and their behavioral scripts (expectations of how people behave in particular situations),” say the researchers. This impact on how a child sees others, and in turn, how they see themselves has fueled Flores’ passion for her network.

“We have so many entrepreneurs right now, so many bloggers and influencers that have come from being teen moms, in gangs, growing up in South Central, talking about LA or Chicago et cetera, now being able to transform and share those stories and really give mentorship and inspiration to girls that think that there is no path for them because nobody is offering them that,” says Flores.

Representation, mentorship and role models have one thing in common: inspiration. “It’s so important to have someone to look up to — not one, but many people that can inspire you,” says Davina A. Ferreira, founder and CEO of Alegria Magazine. Founded in 2012, the bilingual media company praises the achievements of prominent Latinos and celebrates the beauty of Latino culture through the curation and publication of a luxury magazine distributed digitally and in print.

Before starting Alegria, Ferreira recognized a void within both English and Spanish mainstream media. “I saw that everything for Latinos and for Latinas was very low end,” says Ferreira, “I wanted to create a platform that was inspiring and high-end and shows respect to our community.”

As a Latina who’s passionate about providing representation and role models for the next generation, Ferreira noticed that most of the Latinos that made it to top network news were celebrities and entertainers. While Alegria covers pop culture topics as well, there’s an effort to feature stories of other Latinos, such as Spring 2018 cover girls Millana Snow, Edna Chavez, Julissa Arce, and Sarahi Espinoza, who have achieved success as social activists, authors and company founders, and deserve a moment in the media spotlight.

Although more Latinos are going to college than ever before, many tend to be the first in their families to pursue higher education, which can make professional career mentorship an entirely new experience. “Latinos living here (in the United States) don’t see a lot of those role models growing up or in their family,” says Ferreira, “It’s so important for them to really look forward and pursue their dreams and get the confidence to just think a little different outside of their environment.”

While some major news sites may seem like they’re focused on covering people and companies that already have more press than they can list in their ‘about me’ section, Entrepreneur Magazine says they’re always in search for unique entrepreneurial stories. “We’re always looking for stories that will be valuable to our reader, so that’s our priority,” says Stephanie Schomer, Deputy Editor at Entrepreneur. But where does representation come into play? Though she is a white woman working for a 41-year-old American magazine founded by a white man, she explains that both she and the magazine recognize that their readership is diverse and needs to feel both represented and acknowledged.

“It’s not just about checking a box,” says Schomer, “Covering the entrepreneurial journeys of women, people of color, and women of color is how we can best serve our audience.” With successful spin-off magazines like Women Entrepreneur, it’s clear the publisher values serving specialized content to targeted audiences. “Different points of view and different opinions are the bread and butter of entrepreneurship, so to do our job well and inspire our readers, we need to make sure they’re hearing from many voices,” Schomer adds. As far as the rest of the major news sites, Schomer admits that there’s work to be done in both storytelling and newsroom staffing. It will take a combination of strong diverse voices and mainstream leadership that’s willing to listen to a new generation of innovators in order to turn the spotlight on inspiring stories that would otherwise go unnoticed by major publications. The Latino population throughout the nation is projected to undergo significant change when it comes to growth, education, representation, and career opportunity. Armed with a mission to establish a more accurate representation of what success looks like in the US, Latinas like Flores, Ferreira and many others are continuing to build online and offline communities to grow their networks, ignite empowerment and feel represented. “I know we’re there,” says Flores. “I know that there are incredible women that can be featured and doing everything from astronauts to entrepreneurs, to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) — we’re there.

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