Things That Matter

Latina, Proud Feminist, Civil Engineer And Looks Good In A Hard Hat…Take That Boys

CREDIT: YANA PASKOVA / THE WASHINGTON POST

For Patricia Valoy, feminism comes naturally.

She’s a 29-year-old Dominican who worked hard for her Columbia University education and her career as a civil engineer. She was raised by her mother, Rayna, who left her abusive husband with her three daughters and found herself a job as a caretaker to make a living.

“She lived it,” Patricia said of her mother’s feminism. “She didn’t talk about it or wear a T-shirt.”

READ: Do You Consider Yourself a Latina Feminist?

And that’s exactly what Patricia is doing. She knows she’s in a male-dominated field and in order to prove herself, she works harder and makes herself be heard in a room full of men. That means, instead of eventually becoming a feminist activist, she’s going to stay in her field and beat the odds, unlike many women who leave mid-career.

And while she’s at it, she’s determined to make a change, starting by changing all the signs that read “Men Only,” “Men Working,” “Train Men” and “Crewmen Lockers.”  She explains: “They could all be unisex.”

Go get ‘em girl!

Read more about Patricia’s story and how her entire family is beating the odds from The Washington Post here.

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A Selena Lullaby Album Will Be Released Next Month And We’re Certain Babies Will Love It

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A Selena Lullaby Album Will Be Released Next Month And We’re Certain Babies Will Love It

Since the death of Selena Quintanilla in 1995, new generations of people have come to know of her in the various ways others have celebrated her. Some may have discovered Selena through the 1997 film starring the incomparable Jennifer Lopez or by attending the Fiest de la Flor festival. Perpahs even newbie fans discovered Selena recently through the special collection created in her honor by Forever 21. Well, in the coming months, there’s going to be another wave of Selena projects that will surely get the next generation of  Selena fans doing the washing machine dance in no time because there’s also no age limit to Selena fans either. 

They come in all sizes — even little tiny ones because it’s never too early to become a Selena fan. 

A new album of Selena classics is set to be released all in the form of lullabies. 

Courtesy of Rockabye Baby Music

The Rockabye Baby! label has released lullaby renditions of Bob Marley, The Beatles, Coldplay, Adele, and now Selena is next! The label takes the music parents love and transforms it into soothing instrumental lullabies. So instead of guitars and drums, the label uses xylophones and bells. They’re actually really beautiful and relaxing songs that are great for adults too! So how did Rockabye Baby! convert Selena cumbias and rancheras into sleepytime music?

With the passionate sounds of her popular music transformed into soothing, beautiful instrumentals, using woodblocks, glockenspiels, xylophone and more, your baby is sure to fall asleep snuggled by the soft melodies of one of the greatest Latin artists of all time. As you gaze at your sleeping angel, your heart will melt con tanto amo,” Rockabye Baby! said in a released statement.

The album, titled “Lullaby Renditions of Selena” drops on Sept. 20, and includes 12 Selena classic songs. 

Here’s a sample below. 

Here’s the entire tracklist: 

  1. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom
  2. Como La Flor
  3. Baila Esta Cumbia
  4. Amor Prohibido
  5. La Carcacha
  6. El Chico Del Apartmento 512
  7. Si Una Vez
  8. No Me Queda Más
  9. Fotos y Recuerdos
  10. Tứ, Solo Tứ
  11. I Could Fall in Love
  12. Dreaming of You

This isn’t the first time Rockabye Baby! has released a Spanish-language album. Earlier this year, they also released lullaby renditions of songs by Juanes.

Their award-winning rock lullaby series consists of more than 90 releases to date, and more than 1.8 million CDs sold and over 567 million streams. The albums are available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, and other music streaming services. 

We’re certain this album is going to be a hit with most parents (and kids), especially because this Selena children’s book was a best-seller last year.

Credit: Instagram/@stephrpowers

Last year, the creators of Lil’ Libros released The Life of/La Vida de Selena and the book was an instant hit on Amazon.

“This is our way of saying thank you, Selena. Thank you for your music, energy, and love. The love you had for us – your community. But most importantly thank you for allowing us to dream just like you did. This is how we can thank you,” creators of Lil’ Libros’ said on Instagram after the release of their book. “By never forgetting you; by sharing your smile, music, and life with our children. By reminding them that you were us. That you loved and sang in two languages. That wherever you went you were proud of who you were and where you came from. By keeping you part of our family just like our parents did when you were here. This is for you. Thank you.”

It’s been well-proven that babies and children need music stimulation to strengthen cognitive and sensory development, and also grow a healthy sense of self.

Instagram/@rockabyebabymusic

There’s a reason why parents play music to their babies even before their born, and not just so they can listen to some cool tunes. It’s actually to help them grow and develop in a healthy way. 

A 2016 study conducted by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, their results showed that a “series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds.”

Music simply helps with babies cognitive skills, which means it is up to the adults to nurture these artist forms of development. Without music, a child’s growth could be hindered dramatically and cause irreversible damage. 

How can we be truly sure that babies will love Selena as much as we do?

It’s been certified and tested at least by one Twitter user. We can’t wait for this album!

READ: Ali Wong Is Teaching Her Daughter Spanish And Listening To Her Baby Say ‘Feliz’ Will Bring Your Heart So Much Joy

Texan, Fulbright Scholar Passes On Words Of Wisdom To First-Generation Latina College Freshmen

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Texan, Fulbright Scholar Passes On Words Of Wisdom To First-Generation Latina College Freshmen

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A new fall season is upon us, which means it’s time to hit the books and go back to school. For some of us, “back to school” can ignite dread, anxiety, and stress. For others, it could mean a time to reunite with friends or go full-throttle into our studies. For most of us, going back to school fuels feelings that teeter between anxiety and utter joy. It’s a confusing time, especially for those incoming freshmen Latinas that will be entering a whole new world of firsts, doubts, and loneliness.

College life isn’t just about studying for so many children who are first-generation immigrants. Instead, for many, education and the potential paths it can lead us to, weighs heavier.

Valeria Alvarado, a Texan Fulbright scholar, wrote an incredible Facebook post that highlights the hardships that first-generation Latinas will face as freshmen in college.

Credit: Facebook/@valeria.alvarado

Alvarado, who’s currently in Serbia as an English Teaching Assistant, began her letter of advice to Latinas by saying, “You’re gonna see all the other freshmen moving in with their families, taking box after box into their rooms, while you’re standing there, alone, with your two maletas [suitcases] and backpack. It’s sucks; I know. And you’re going to be meeting so many different types of people and students. You’re going to see the other students sometimes online shopping during class. You. Can. Not. Be. Like. Them.”

“You. Can. Not. Be. Like. Them” was the overall general theme of Alvarado’s post, and it hits home for so many of us who have been in those shoes.

Credit: Facebook/@valeria.alvarado

Alvarado’s post went live 24 hours ago and has had almost 8K shares.

She goes on to say in her post that while other students may be partying it up, and taking school for granted, Latinas have to remain focus because our life depends on this privilege of being able to go to college. There’s no slacking off in school for us, she wrote, “Estás becada y no puedes actuar como los otros.” You have a scholarship, and you cannot behave like the rest of them.

Your duty, as a first-generation Latina in college, is to help your family out of poverty. You’re able to have a college education because of their hard work and sacrifices.

Credit: Unsplash

Alvarado, who became a U.S. citizen in 2013 and has been an advocate for the Latinx community since the Donald Trump’s election win, noted, “This education is for you, for your papis, your siblings, your community.” She also expressed concern over your mental health which will be immensely affected by this new period in college. She reminds you, though, that you have much more strength than you know because your family has strength.

You will want to give up, she wrote. You will be frustrated, but rest assure your work in college will pay off.

Credit: Unsplash

It will feel like the future of your family depends on your studies, and it does. That means you have to know that your worth is what put you in college in the first place, she offered. That is what will pull you through your college days when you’re feeling frustrated and lonely.

Alvarado not only offered words that were 100 percent on point, but she also provided words of encouragement and support.

Credit: Unsplash

“You have people who LOVE you. You have little Latina girls that you are INSPIRING. You have abuelitos, abuelitas, tías, y tíos that BRAG about you cuando están chismeando. You have friends and neighbors that are so PROUD of you. Eres el orgullo de tu familia.”

She finished her touching post by giving tips which including a message to Latinas to call their abuela when they want to make comfort ford.

More than anything, Alvarado wants first-generation Latinas to know that their self-worth and that dedication makes us stand out above the privileged elites who take school for granted.

“You are the first, but not the last,” she wrote. “So unpack those two suitcases with pride. You are powerful.”

People loved her words of wisdom and shared their own stories of going away to college for the first time.

Ashley Cruz commented on Alvarado’s post by writing, “Oh freaaakk I remember moving to San Francisco with 4 maletas, $100 in my pocket, and no family to move me in but it is so fucking worth it.” Merrina Mendez-Itima wrote, “I seriously felt this so much! If you’re reading this you got this mama and you have a team behind you who did it before you!”

Share this with any college freshmen you know!

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