1) Berta Cáceres
Berta was an Honduran environmental
activist. She cofounded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. Cáceres was an outspoken woman who led campaigns for feminism. laborer's rights, the presence of the U.S military bases on Lenca Land amongst others. On March 3rd, 2016, Berta was assassinated in her own home by armed intruders after many years of threat against her life. Berta's legacy continues to thrive among the hearts of the Honduran people.
2) Mary Shelley
The author of the cult classic Frankenstein was a teenage Girl who invented Science Fiction. Mary was only nineteen when she wrote the classic novel. Her ideas of women challenging society generated from her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a renowned feminist writer and philosopher. The Marys embody the significance of empowering one another generation after generation.
3& 4) Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
These two ferocious women proved that girls can be warriors too. These two ladies characterized themselves as males in order to fight in the man-of-war battle in the late 1600s. When they both crossed paths while on Captain Jack Rackham's crew, they were fast friends. Anne and Mary joined forces, when Captian Jonathan Barnet was attacking their ship. The ladies guarded the ship and shouted, "Come up here and fight like men!" they both were pregnant. The other fellow crew members (males) knew that in times of action, Mary and Anne were the WOMEN for the job.
A few weeks ago, I held the first session for Girasoles En Marcha. This year my plan was to target girls ages 5-9. We were able to service 10 girls in our 2017 cohort program.
In the beginning, I wasn't sure how these girls would react to the first session. I introduced them the mission and the importance of leadership and culture, in a manner they would understand. They did seem a bit overwhelmed with the curriculum, but at the same time very curious about it.
As the girls were coloring the Girasoles En Marcha logo, I remember standing there for a second, feeling an intense motivation. For the first time, this program seemed to take flight in a profound way. I felt the motivation from the girls who perhaps did not understand the program fully, but in some way knew that it would become beneficial for them. I aslo perceived the dedication and passion from the mentors, who were alredy building an attachment with the girls. I observed and heard them asking each other questions about their lives. It made me happy seeing Girasoles En Marcha come to life.
We have now added a new sub-program to Girasoles En Marcha: Blooming Petals! Now, this program operates within the same principles from Girasoles En Marcha, but it's geared for children under the age of 9.
"The purpose for Blooming Petals is to not just to help young Latina girls with free tutoring on all subjects, but to instill an understandable outlook on their identity and the importance of self-love, community, and appreciation. "
We have chosen a few of our Girasoles teens that we believe pertain the adept qualities to assist with the young petals.
This project is still in the works and will launch starting the new year.
This is a quick informative letter from Girasoles En Marcha. We are under renovation due to preparation for the new year. The G.E.M. team is currently ongoing lesson plans, planning workshops, applications, and trainings for our new sub-program, Blooming Petals. More information on Blooming Petals will be announced once everything is set in stone. I on the other hand, am leaving G.E.M to trusted team leaders to run our innovations while I'm away. I will be participating in the Tisch School of the Arts Summer High School program for Dramatic Writing (screenwriting and playwriting) in New York City for about a month. Once I return from my trip, I will write a brief blog post about my experience and give precise information on what Girasoles En Marcha has in store for you this year. Thank you and have a great summer!
We would like to announce that our oldest Girasol is off to college.
Briza Ramirez can finally say that she made it through high school! Briza will be attending CSUDH this fall. Her biggest aspiration is enter to the music industry, which is most likely what she will be majoring in, but she's willing to give nursing a try. Girasoles en Marcha as a whole can honestly say that Briza is the frosting of the cake in our team. She has such a jubilant attitude and you can never miss her hymns and lullabies whenever you are around her. As a young child, she dreamed of being a singer and still does till this day. Her biggest influence in life are a collection of all the faces she comes across by in life. "Each and every single person I met has left a piece of them with me that I carry around wherever I go. However, they do not make up me." She lets her past pave the way for her future, but never gives it the ability to control her. Her curious soul is a great asset to Girasoles En Marcha and we are lucky to have her.
Happy Mother's Day!
Today all mothers are celebrated across Latin America.
Here at Girasoles En Marcha, we want to wish all the powerful mothers a very special mother's day. We hope you all celebrate with the souls you love most in this world.
Here is a 2 minute gem...
is an internationally commended Chicana writer. In her podcast with NPR, she shared with us the meaning behind her creation for children books. Carmen Tafolla presented significant points from the podcast; for example, how children at a young age are beginning to distance themselves from their primarily Mexican culture.
It is not their fault this is happening, but we as latinos, who live in America are trapped by both Mexican - American societies and cultures. We begin to ponder on which we belong to, or questions begin to stir on whether both will accept us. Carmen Tafolla has been empowering the youth through her writing. She creates storybooks of characters who are in these situations. Yet, she never forgets to enrich her readers on the roots of the Latino culture. She strikes us with an important lesson on our identity. Yes, we are American, but never forget where you came from. The color of your skin, the traditional tamales, the colorful rebozos, and of course, the Mariachi howls.
Happy Tuesday :)
I wanted to give you more information about me and my childhood. I feel that I, as G.E.M's Program Director haven't shared much information or personal stories that have inspired me along the way. There is a core person that has instilled in me the value of our roots, culture and has exposed me to the beauty of celbrating who we are. As I grew up, I began to understand the need to embrace and be proud of our identity and share it with other teens that may have not been exposed to their history. That is how Girasoles En Marcha began to evolve.
I want to dedicate this blog, to this core person, my mother. Today is her birthday and she is the main reason why I was motivated create G.E.M. Throughout my childhood, it's been my mother and I. My parents separated when and I was one. My father usually came to visit me on birthdays and holidays, but he wasn't an active parent. It's safe to say that my mother is both my mom and dad. We have gone through hard times and the best times. My mom worked hard to support and raise me, but never failed to spend quality time with her daughter. She always used to take me to the Beverly Hills Library and read me all the book I chose and books she felt were essential for my learning. I will always cherish the moments when we would sing-a-long to Coldplay songs. It was always hard in the afternoons, where my grandparents had to hold me from chasing my mom who was out the door, on her way to work. I am blessed to be able to say that even though I did not receive the fatherly figure, my childhood will always be something I would want to repeat. It was my mom and I against the world. Our family of 2 grew when I was 6. She met my a wonderful man who actually loved me and still does after 10 years of being part of our family. When I was 10, they had my sister who I will do anything for. Like I said, the years with my mom where the best, but I am very thankful that God gifted my mom and I with two more members to create memories with. I love them. I love you mom. Happy Birthday.
Winters can be a bit dull. They are usually spent at home, cocooned in your blanket and perhaps watching Netflix. Therefore, I added some suggestions to what you can do to spice up your Winters at home.
1) This was probably expected, but READ A BOOK. This is the perfect time and the perfect setting to do so. I am a complete bookworm so I read whether it's Winter or not. If you aren't a fan of books, don't give up on them so easily. There are millions of books in this world and I know there is one for you.
- The House of Spirits
- The Alchemist
- The Perks of being of a Wallflower
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
- Love Letters to the Dead
- The Great Gatsby
- The Time Traveler's Wife
- Looking for Alaska
- It's Kind of a Funny a Story
2) DECORATE YOUR ROOM. Give it your own personal style. It feels pleasant coming into your room and seeing it all nice and you. Trust me, I always decorate it and it just makes me happy spending time in there.
Check out Pinterest and Tumblr for Inspiration!
3) PAINT. Even if you have never painted or draw extremely horrible, I encourage you to give it a try. Painting is extremely peaceful and it gives you an opportunity to let out your creativity for a while. As your painting, add some of your favorite music in the background. You will be in a completely relaxed zone.
4) LEARN TO MAKE A NEW RECIPE. It can be to fun to mix different types of ingredients. Especially, if it'll add up to a delicious meal. Do a french recipe or an Indian dish. Make it different. Once you mastered the recipe, surprise your family with an extravagant dinner.
5) READ THE NEWSPAPER. I know it sounds so boring and ancient, but it's important for us to be aware of current events and decisions that may impact our future. Plus it'll make you more intelligent. :)
I hope you have a chance to try these soon, :) Happy Holidays.
Happy Sunday :)
We would like to end and begin the New Year with a Los Angeles artist, Melly Trochez. Melly Trochez received her Masters degree in Art Therapy at Loyola Marymount. Her art offers us a tale of tenacious women while including the sensitivity of both perspectives. Melly creates a universe of patterns with simulating colors. She has been featured in La opinion, Chicano Art Magazine and Urb Magazine. Melly's murals are alive all around Los Angeles, in schools, museums, walls, and in Timaru, New Zealand. Not only is she a brilliant Latina artist but she is also a kind-hearted woman who volunteered her time and creativity to give Girasoles en Marcha a face hence an original logo.
Melly Trochez will always have a home in G.E.M's hearts.