Things That Matter

Estolia’s Salsa Is Helping Charities One Jar Of Salsa At A Time

Estolia’s Food Products is on a mission to help Los Angeles charities one jar of salsa at a time. The company, which is beginning to making a name for itself with its salsa, donates part of its profits to different charitable organizations. The inspiration for the salsa? Well, a recipe passed down to the owner from her abuela.

Estolia’s salsa packs more than just a punch; they also pack some social good.


The company creates four kinds of salsa and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to causes specific to the salsa.

Classic Salsa = Leukemia research; Pineapple Salsa = homelessness and hunger; Salsa Asado = animal rescues; and Salsa Verde = Alzheimer’s research.

“When we began this journey a few years ago, we had no idea that it would blossom into a line of salsas dedicated to saving lives,” reads the Estolia’s website. “We were inspired when we began attending and exhibiting at the Los Angeles non-profit event ‘Race for the Rescues’. It was then that ‘Salsa Saves Lives’ was born. Choosing the causes for ‘Salsa Saves Lives’ was easy because each one touched our lives in a powerful way.”

And none of it would be possible if it wasn’t for the owners’ very own abuela, who brought her salsa recipe with her to the U.S. when she fled the Mexican Revolution.


“During The Mexican revolution in 1917 my grandmother, Estolia Santana, accompanied by her mother and six siblings, left their native homeland Tepospizaloya, Jalisco for El Paso, Texas,” reads the Estolia’s website. “After five long years of hardship in Texas, the family set out for Los Angeles, California in search of opportunity and the American dream. Out of desperation, Estolia took a job as a cook where she created a revolution of her own and developed her legendary cooking skills while providing for her five children she raised on her own.”

Now, salsa isn’t the only thing sold by Estolia’s Food Products online.

WOW! We sold out our first time on HSN. #awesome #mexicanfood

A post shared by Estolias (@estolias) on


While the salsa is doing some serious good, Estolia’s sells prepared meals that you can find on the Home Shopping Network and Williams Sonoma.

Or, if you are lucky, you might catch them selling tamales as special events.

Day 2 of the tamale Festival and were killing it!

A post shared by Estolias (@estolias) on


Their salsa, however, is one way to literally put your money where your mouth is.

Thank you Good Day L.A. For representing our mission to help our community. #salsasaveslives

A post shared by Estolias (@estolias) on


Buen hecho!

Check out more about Estolia’s Salsa below.

‘Salsa Saves Lives’ thanks to abuela’s recipeUsing her abuela’s recipes, this chef is donating 100% of profits to Alzheimers, leukemia, animal rescue and feeding the hungry… depending on which flavor you get.

Posted by Circa on Saturday, March 25, 2017


READ: One Photo On Social Media Changed This Farm Worker’s Life

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How ‘Latinx With Plants’ Bloomed From Instagram To An L.A. Shop Reconnecting The Gente To Plant Healing Properties

Fierce

How ‘Latinx With Plants’ Bloomed From Instagram To An L.A. Shop Reconnecting The Gente To Plant Healing Properties

Growing up, Andi Xoch’s aunt encouraged her to speak to plants. Her relatives usually laughed at the sight of a woman talking to her in-house flowers, but Xoch was intrigued. As a little girl, she acknowledged that there was life inside the pots, so conversing with them seemed standard. More than two decades later, that seed of curiosity about flora bloomed into Latinx with Plants, a digital community and IRL Los Angeles-based shop that teaches Latinxs of their ancestral relationship with herbage.

Sprouted in the spring of 2019, Latinx with Plants started as an account on Instagram. Through the page, Xoch wanted to provide representation of Latinx plant parents that she felt was lacking despite the community’s deep and vast connection with herbs and gardening.

“We’ve had a long connection with plants even before the trend started,” Xoch, a Mexico City-born, L.A.-raised organizer and artist, tells FIERCE.

“I wanted to represent that, to show that we’ve been part of this world even if it’s not presented in an Instagrammable form.”

For the past few years, so-called plant porn has dominated Instagram content. With hashtags like #plantgang and #urbanjungles, the growing trend has helped produce a new generation of young people with green fingers that are boosting sales of houseplants and inspiring even the basement recluse to be a plant parent. In fact, a National Gardening report found that 83 percent of the people in the U.S. who took up gardening in 2016 were between the ages of 18 and 34. Even more, it reported that 37 percent of millennials grow herbs and plants indoors, more than the 28 percent of baby boomers who do the same.

However, with the exception of a few accounts, including Xoch’s friend D’Real who created @blackwithplants and inspired her to make a similar account, many of these digital spaces are overwhelmingly white. This, Xoch says, ignores the history Latinxs have with plants and the sustainable practices they developed while gardening for decades.

“You walk onto our people’s front yards and you see their food: plantains, avocados [and] chayotes. And it’s all sustainable; they use pots made out of buckets and cans. It’s beautiful,” the 32-year-old says. “This is who we are. This is our culture.”

As Latinxs, Xoch says that our Indigenous roots have been forgotten or intentionally kept from us but that we can reconnect to our origins through inherited practices. Among them is ancestral medicines. At her shop, several elders come in and casually inform Xoch about the healing properties of her different plants. While the whitewashed mainstream plant blogosphere has co-opted much of the everyday traditions practiced within low-income communities of color, she finds comfort in knowing that these remedies are being passed down across generations through word of mouth and are not being commodified. 

These informal educational encounters is one of the reasons why Xoch established her brick and mortar in August. Aside from selling an array of plants at the Boyle Heights-located shop, she wanted to create a space where new plant parents and señora gardeners can enter and feel welcomed, experience the joyous power of verdure and learn from one another. 

She says that her mission is to build community and help people who feel depressed, anxious and alone, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic, experience the healing power of plants.

“Plants can be an asset to you because, whether you think it’s just for the plant’s sake to be alive, you are actually participating in a self-care act by nurturing your plant,” Xoch says. “They force you to get up every day and help you realize a lot of beautiful things about yourself that you forget to acknowledge: the caregiving, the attention, the love, the dancing, the singing — all the things that make it bloom are also exercises in self-love, self-care and self-preservation.” 

A newbie business owner, Xoch says she now has another objective, though: to offer a non-traditional example of success and to be honest about the struggles of entrepreneurship. 

On paper, Xoch’s road to becoming a boss seems swift and simple: She learned the location of a potential property on a Sunday, visited it on Monday, signed her lease on Wednesday and opened up shop the following weekend. However, the reality is much more complicated. A high school dropout, her lifelong dream to open a business was halted because she lacked the confidence, capital and connections to get started. Even when she did launch the store, the experience was far from easy. Xoch opened her small business from the ground up on a tight budget amid a pandemic and while her father sat ill at a hospital where doctors thought he would die.

“I want people to know this is real shit that people go through. We have the load of the world on us, we are caring for our relatives and we are trying to make sure our business is doing well,” she says. “I walk in [my store] and that alone is defying the odds.”


Follow Latinx with Plants on Instagram. For those in Los Angeles, visit the shop, which is complying with Covid-19 regulations and operating by appointment only, at 2117 E Cesar Chavez Ave.

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A Mexicana Just Broke A World Record By Making The Fastest Ascent Of The Earth’s Three Highest Mountains

Fierce

A Mexicana Just Broke A World Record By Making The Fastest Ascent Of The Earth’s Three Highest Mountains

Joe Mitchell / Getty

Mexican climber Viridiana Álvarez Chávez, might just one of the few people in the world to know what it feels like to actually be on top of the world.

Recently, the climber managed to scale three of the world’s highest peaks to break the Guinness World Records title. And she did it all in under just two years.

Incredibly, Viridiana climbed to the top of the three highest mountains in a year and 364 days.

According to the Guinness World Records, Viridiana’s quest to break the record started on May 16, 2017, with Everest (8,848 meters; 29,029 feet high), followed by K2 (8,611 meters; 28,251 feet) on July 21, 2018, and ended at Kangchenjunga (8,856 meters; 28,169 feet) on May 15, 2019.

Viridiana is the first Latin American to climb K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. To celebrate her amazing accomplishments, Viridiana was honored with a remote ceremony in which Raquel Assis, the Senior Manager of Guinness World Records Latin America Records Management Team, also attended.

Speaking about her accomplishments, Assis congratulated Virdiana saying “We continue to inspire the world through our record holders. Records motivate people to recognize their potential and look at the world differently.”

Before Viridiana, the Guinness World Records title was held by South Korean climber Go Mi-Sun who climbed the three mountains in two years and two days.

Viridiana says her next mission is to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world which would make her the first North American to do so.

Besides being a climber, Viridiana is a public speaker who encourages young people to break standards. Her talks emphasize the importance of accomplishing goals through emotional intelligence, positivity, discipline, and consistency.

“My career as a mountaineer started with an unusual and inspirational purpose: a simple personal challenge to exercise, but I ended up giving up my office job; risking comfort to experience the magic of the mountains, Viridiana told Guinness Book of World Records. “It was proof that dreams do not have to be lifelong dreams and that anyone who sets them can achieve even what are considered ‘unattainable goals,’ such as breaking a world record.”

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