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This Ecuadorian Wants Girls To Feel Comfortable With Their Period, So She Wrote A Beautiful Book To Walk Them Through It

Do you remember having your period for the first time? Were you relieved, scared, or confused? Did you think you could bleed to death, or believe that you couldn’t swim or go to gym class? Did you hear someone make joking references to women being “nasty” and think, “I’ll die of embarrassment if anyone knows?” Did you feel like you were prepared? This Ecuadorian writer wants girls to reconcile with their bodies, so she wrote a book to walk girls through menstruation.

In a world that is increasingly progressive, menstruation is often still a taboo subject.

More often than not, what information girls do hear around their bodies is often negative or incorrect, and even school health classes that discuss the subject often focus on the theoretic and biological “systems” that make it work, without ever touching on the real, practical experience of a monthly cycle. As a result a girl’s first period is still likely to be disconcerting for her.

Ecuadorian academic and menstrual educator-turned-author Paulina Vásquez Quirola wrote a book on the subject.

Taking readers on a fantastical trip between awakened states and lucid dreams she tells the story of a girl’s reconciliation with her changing body.

The book, published in Spanish, walks girls through the mystical celebrations of the female body.

From classroom scenes, where periods are shamed, to celebrations in mystical women’s circles, the book offers an alternative to the negative connotations that menstruation still holds in schools when it comes to periods.

The book talks about the ancient Andino wisdom surrounding menstruation.

‘Tribu de Mujeres’, illustrated by José Rafael Delgado, explains the wisdom of the Andes transmitted by elderly women like its protagonist, Abuela Killa. When passed on from one generation to the next, young people learn that menstruation reveals the creative urge and cyclic nature of all living beings and life itself.

Parents, friends and teachers can make the experience a much more positive experience.

By providing girls with accurate information, real-life experience, and practical advice, they can learn to view their menstrual cycle in a totally different way: as an important element of their female nature. “I discovered the importance of understanding ourselves cyclically, of understanding ourselves as part of nature, as part of a whole,” explains Vásquez. “I think that is one of the big issues. Modernity and the system in which we live makes us disconnect from ourselves, from others in the sense of community and nature, the universe, from something much bigger.”

An important way to make girls more comfortable with menstruation is to make sure that they have accurate information.

Not just about how and why it works, but also on the day-to-day, real life business of it. “We live it as something tiresome, as something exhausting. So it’s like, shit, it came! It’s time again! When is it over? Many of us have that negative view of our cycle,” says Vásquez. The more comfortable women and girls are with our own bodies, the more we will learn to handle both the first mentruation, and the ongoing experience.

Tribu de Mujeres is available in Spanish. Visit Vientres Libres to get a copy.

Eco-Friendly Period Products That Will Save You Money In The Long Run

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Eco-Friendly Period Products That Will Save You Money In The Long Run

Catherine Ivill / Getty

It’s expensive being a woman with a period.

On average, women menstruate from age 13 to age 51 which means the average woman has over 456 total periods over a course of nearly 40 years. According to research conducted by San Francisco State University, 2,280 days of a woman’s life is spent on her period. Or, 6.25 years of her life. While there are other options, nearly 70 percent of women use tampons during their periods. SFSU states that as women are instructed to change their tampons every 4 to 8 hours, with 6 hours being the average and a box containing 36 tampons costing $7 at a Pharmacy, women spend $1,773.33 in a lifetime on tampons (that’s if that price of tampons stays the same). That’s a pretty big chunk of change but…

Here’s the thing, to some people that might not be a lot of savings in a lifetime, but what about in terms of the environment? Traditional pads and tampons are typically made of plastic, rayon, and toxic chemicals like bleach which fill topple landfills and clog sewers. Each year, 20 billion menstrual products are ultimately dropped in North American landfills. With the average woman throwing away 250 to 300 pounds of “pads, plugs, and applicators” in her lifetime, that’s a heck lot of space on our planet to be taking up.

Fortunately, that can be saved. From cotton pads to menstrual cups there all kinds of comfortable, affordable, and easy ways to save the planet with your period alone. Check them out!

Cloth Pads

Sea-Sponge Tampons

Padded Panties

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbgWPFHXSP/

Menstrual Cups

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𝐘𝐦𝐩ä𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭ö𝐲𝐬𝐭ä𝐯ä𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐤𝐮𝐮𝐤𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐭.⁣⁣⁣ *𝘺𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘺ö 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘶𝘴 @nomaicup 𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘴𝘢*⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Vuonna 2018 pelkästään Yhdysvalloissa ostettiin 𝟓.𝟖 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐣𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐚 tampoonia (𝘭ä𝘩𝘥𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘤.) Voitte siis vain kuvitella miltä luku näyttää kaikki maailman tampoonit ynnättynä. Tähän lisätään vielä kuukautissiteet ja jätevuori on valmis.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Suurin osa myytävistä siteistä sekä tamponeista on kierrätys kelvottomia, ja osa näistä päätyy myös kaatopaikan sijaan viemäristöön ja sitä kautta mereen sekä rannoillemme.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Meille markkinoidaan murros-iästä alkaen erilaisia kertakäyttöisiä siteitä sekä tampooneja eikä juurikaan kerrota kestävistä vaihtoehdoista.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Mutta entä jos kuukautiset voisivat olla ympäristöystävällisemmät sekä samalla edullisemmat?⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Kuukuppi on monelle vielä tuntematon kuukautistuote, mutta ympäristön kannalta erittäin oleellinen. Itselläni on ollut kuukuppi jo vuoden verran käytössä ja voin sanoa, että paluuta siteisiin ei enää ole.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yksi kuukuppeja valmistava yritys on suomalainen 𝐍𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐢, joiden kuukupit ovat tehty 100% lääketieteellisestä silikonista ja näin ollen ne sopivat myös lateksi allergikoille. Tuotteet ovat kotimaisia ja valmistus tapahtuu Sastamalassa.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yhden kuukupin hinta on 29,90€ ja koko vaihtoehtoja on kolme: S, M ja L. Ne ovat suunniteltu eri tarpeisiin ja tietoa kupeista löytyy yrityksen sivuilta.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ Itse valitsin koot S ja M. Kupit ovat helppo asettaa sisälle ja oikein laitettuna ne eivät tunnu miltään. Kuppien mukana tulee myös kätevä pussi, jonka avulla kuljetat kuppia helposti mukanasi.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Kuukuppi voi tuntua hintavalta verrattuna siteisiin ja tamponeihin, mutta tiesitkö, että oikein käytettynä yksi kuukuppi voi kestää jopa 10 vuotta käytössä? Siitä voit siis laskea kuinka paljon rahaa säästät, puhumattakaan kuinka paljon vähemmän roskaa tuotat.⁣⁣ ⁣ Suosittelen siis vahvasti kokeilemaan kuukuppia.⁣ ⁣⁣ #nomaicup #menstrualcups #periods #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #sustainablelife #zerowasteswaps #zerowastebathroom #kotimaisuus #kotimainen #kuukautiset #ecofriendly #plasticfreeoceans #ecohome #ekokoti #sustainableswaps

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Ecuador Is Struggling To Combat The Covid-19 Crisis As Victims Are Being Buried In Cardboard Boxes

Things That Matter

Ecuador Is Struggling To Combat The Covid-19 Crisis As Victims Are Being Buried In Cardboard Boxes

Eduardo Maquilon / Getty

Around the world, governments are trying to figure out how best to respond to the pandemic – often with limited resources and little planning. Hospitals and morgues are at capacity – or in many cases, overflowing with Covid-19 patients.

In Latin America, Ecuador has emerged as the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic. The country has been hit especially hard as the government struggles to respond to the growing crisis.

Many fear Ecuador could be a frightening sign of what’s to come as the virus begins to spread across Latin America, a region that so far has fewer cases than the US or Europe – but also has more severe shortages of doctors, hospital beds and ventilators.

Ecuador is giving a glimpse into the pandemic’s potential impact on Latin America.

Credit: Luis Perez / Getty Images

In Ecuador’s Guayas province, where the bustling city of Guayaquil is located, the crisis is so bad and hospitals and morgues so overwhelmed, that bodies are being left in the streets.

The unfolding disaster in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, offers an ominous look at what could soon spread to other parts of Latin America – where inequality, weak public services and fragile economies are common.

“What we’re seeing in Guayaquil is what can happen in most of South America’s large cities, where pockets of cosmopolitan richness coexist with widespread poverty,” said Alexandra Moncada, director of international aid organization CARE, in an interview with the New York Times.

A country of 17 million, Ecuador has one of the highest official rates of coronavirus infections, and deaths, per capita in Latin America.

Ecuador’s official coronavirus death count rose to 272 on Thursday, the latest number available — higher than its larger and more populous neighbors Peru and Colombia.

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, has warned that the real figure is much higher, but that because testing is limited the true extent of infections is impossible to determine.

The government is working on measures to accommodate the growing number of fatalities, according to Reuters. They’re preparing an emergency burial ground on donated land in Guayaquil and plan to bury about 100 people a day in the area, which can accommodate about 2,000 plots. Space has also been made available at two public cemeteries in the area that can hold roughly 12,000 plots.

Meanwhile, hard-to-watch videos and images on social media show a growing humanitarian disaster that’s taking its toll on victim’s families.

Credit: Marcos Pin / Getty Images

With health services, cemeteries and funeral homes overstretched and a strict curfew restricting movement, collecting and burying the dead has become a critical problem in Guayaquil.

Videos posted on social media in recent days show families burying their loved ones in fields or keeping bodies in their homes for days as they wait for them to be collected by the authorities. Lines of vehicles with coffins in the trunks or strapped to roofs have also been seen forming outside cemeteries.

Relatives who have lost loved ones say burying their family members is as agonizing as trying to get them care.

Hundreds died at home, left in family living rooms for days before overworked coroners could retrieve their bodies. Those who perished in hospitals were put in chilled shipping containers that serve as makeshift morgues.

The lucky ones are placed in cardboard caskets because wooden coffins have become too expensive or scarce. Their relatives then wait for hours outside cemeteries in pickup trucks to bury their dead.

Authorities admit that the situation is out of control but that they’re committed to providing a “dignified burial.” However, the current crisis in Ecuador is a heartbreaking reminder of what many countries, especially across Latin America, are facing as the pandemic reaches their borders.