Fierce

This Jefa Googled How To Self-Publish, Now She Has A Top-Selling Salvadoran Kids Book

Maggie Carranza had a bicultural upbringing in Southern California. At school, she spoke English, ate pizza and learned about U.S. history. In her home, she listened to her parents talk in Spanish about their home country, El Salvador, while chewing down pupusas for dinner. Tales about life, food and resistance in the Central American country filled the first-generation Latina with pride. Since those early family meals, Carranza, with motivation from her mom and dad, has wanted to share her traditions and history with the world. At 26, she is realizing those childhood aspirations with ABCs of El Salvador, a picture book shedding light on Salvadoran culture, geography, vernacular and more.

“My parents always encouraged [my sister and me] to be proud of where we come from, share our culture and be open to that of others, and that’s what I’m doing with this book,” Carranza, an event planner and part-time illustrator, tells FIERCE.

Salvadorans make up the third-largest population (tied with Cubans) of Latinos living in the United States. An estimated 2.3 million Salvadorans call the U.S. home, and the demographic is among the fastest-growing Latin American populations in the country.

Despite Salvadorans’ presence and influence on both of the coasts, however, portrayals of the cultural group in mainstream media, entertainment and the arts remain rare. 

@local.loca

Attempting to fill the void, independent artists, performers and media makers have been producing creative works that offer much-needed representation, provide a sense of belonging and preserve culture and history. From zines featuring the works of Central American artists who are typically snubbed in the Latino art world to podcasts that keep the Salvadoran diaspora informed of the country’s former and present political and social struggles, Carranza’s picture book is the latest example of how everyday salvadoreños are serving their communities.

The colorful five-by-five hardback makes for an educational children’s book or a conversation-starting coffee-table book.

@local.loca

Inside, the pages touch on numerous cultural products, cuisines, heroes and localities. For instance, S is for Salva Cola, a Salvadoran brand of soft drinks; X is for Xuc, a folk music and dance; and Ó is for Óscar Romero, a bishop who was murdered after speaking out against poverty, social injustice and violence amid the Salvadoran civil war. While Salvadoran culture is popularly celebrated with pupusas – and P is of course for the stuffed corn cakes – Carranza goes beyond hackneyed symbols and shares items about the Central American country that many aren’t as aware of.

“The Salvadoran community, and Latinos in general, has been surprised. They’re like, ‘wow, I can’t believe so much comes out of such a small country,’” she says.

Carranza started the project in June 2019. At first, she just wanted to illustrate some pieces for herself. But a few designs in, she had the idea to complete the alphabet. After showing her work to a few friends and relatives, she was encouraged to turn her art into a picture book.

Without any former experience in books, she turned to Google to answer all her self-publishing questions.

@local.loca

By November of that year, she released the vibrant hardback through her Etsy shop Local Loca and sold out her full stock of 200 copies within the first month. She soon ordered 300 more, and those were also gone six months later.

“It was so wild to me. I don’t have a big following. No one really knows who I am. It just shows that representation matters. People really wanted this,” she says.

Carranza’s community has also been eager to support. Since publishing the book, and its accompanying prints, stickers and tote bags, Salvadoran Instagram has helped boost her products, with artists and influencers purchasing and sharing the ABCs of El Salvador with their followers.

While the community’s embrace was unexpected, communal love and education are what inspired and brought the book to life.

@local.loca

The project developed from a family vision to promote Salvadoran culture and commenced because of their collective efforts. When creating the book, Carranza often called on her parents and relatives in El Salvador to help her come up with items to highlight on its pages. Her family was delighted to participate, and they were moved to tears when they first held the book in their hands.

“I did this in honor of my parents and all they sacrificed for me and my sister to be in this country and get an education,” Carranza says. “This is a fun book to have, but there’s also a meaningful message: embrace your heritage, share it with friends and love those who are different from you.”

Purchase ABCs of El Salvador, or any of its accompanying products, at the Local Loca Etsy shop.

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

Update January 21, 2021

A Missouri woman named Emily Hernandez had a court hearing in St. Louis after her involvement in the Capitol riots. Hernandez, 21, is facing several federal charges after participating in the deadly Capitol riot.

Emily Hernandez is facing the music after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

According to KSDK, Hernandez, who is from Sullivan, Missouri, has been released without bond after her first hearing in St. Louis. She has been ordered to stay in the Eastern District of Missouri until her next court date in Washington. Part of the terms of her release is that she is not allowed to travel to Washington other than for her court date.

During the hearing, she was recorded saying, “I’m sorry, I’m nervous.”

Hernandez is facing the following federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business, steal, sell, convey or dispose of anything of value in the United States, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

Original: After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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