Friday, February 27, 2009

Latinitas Launched New Social Network -

The newest excitement for Latinitas followers is its new networking site, The site already has over 90 members from El Paso, Austin, and even New York have already singed up to connect to the beta site with other Latinitas readers and volunteers.  Girls can join a safe, moderated online community where they can share photos, upload videos, add music, join discussions, add friends, create events, build groups and post blogs about several topics of interest to young Latinas.

One of the most popular blogging themes includes President Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.  As various members tell about the exhilarating feeling that many Americans felt when witnessing this historic moment, one user told about her negative experience involving a schoolmate.  This site is useful for initiating such discussions among Latinas that as ethnic minorities are likely to affect our experiences.   

Other blogging topics have included entertainment, such as book and film reviews, as well as opportunities to apply for scholarships and organizations.  Many members have also used to the site to post blogs about personal interests, and have been able to network with other Latinitas.  

In addition to providing an outlet for creative expression among Hispanic girls, the site also features articles written by LatinitasMagazine staff and interns. 

Not signed up yet?  Join at  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teen Latinitas Council: The Next Generation of Latina Media Makers

Latinitas’ mission "To empower Latina youth through media and technology", is on the move with the Teen Latinitas Council. Composed of 15 teen reporters, the TLC works with some of today's most advanced media to empower themselves and other teen Latinas in the U.S.

Our next generation of Latina media makers works to become more proficient in photography, radio journalism, website design, blogs, film production, poetry, interviewing, advertising, and marketing. By keeping up with the savviest technological media trends, members of the Teen Latinitas Council are preparing for their careers in journalism, as they are mentored by professional journalists who aid them in gaining the necessary tactics and resources to work in such a competitive field.

“My career goals are to one day work with a big time magazine or become a news anchor or reporter”, confesses Amber, a dedicated member of TLC. “I hope to gain the experience and skills that I will need in the future to follow my dream.”.

These skills are learned through a creative process in which the teens get to explore each medium and receive assistance and training to improve their proficiency. In addition to creating their own media, the Teen Council members act as advisors to Latinitas’ editorial board by pitching ideas and evaluating the effectiveness of the webzine. This group is already setting the agenda for what thousands of Latinas read on a monthly basis by contributing constantly to the the first digital magazine created by and for teen Latinas in the United States.

This volunteer internship opportunity allows teens to take on leadership roles and use media as a tool for social justice and cultural awareness. Another primary goal for the Teen Latinitas Council is to shape positive experiences for all Latinitas and promoting Latina pride and a positive image of the culture. The council does this by engaging in media events, such as interviews with musicians Los Lonely Boys, celebrities like America's Next Top Model winner Jaslene and author Isabel Allende. On the webzine, the Teen reporters express their views about geography, Latina history, role models, school and beauty.

The Teen Latinitas Council hopes to continue growing and is always looking for new reporters to help Latinitas reach its followers through the numerous channels that make up journalism today. Their next orientation session for teen reporters will be on Sunday, February 28th @ 1:30 at Armijo Public Library. By joining the Council, Latinitas can share their skills and enthusiasm with the next generation of Latina media makers.

Our Father's Foundation Helps Make Expansion of Club Latinitas Possible

This month, Latinitas begins the expansion of Club Latinitas, the after-school program that began its efforts to serve several communities in the Fall of last year. Thanks to a grant provided by the Our Father's Foundation, Latinitas will be able to expand its after-school programs to a total of 11.

The Our Father's Foundation is a family-based organization that was founded in 2003. Through its efforts, OFF has already helped over a dozen non-profit organizations in El Paso, with a mission to fund programs that empower women and children.

Latinitas will benefit from the Our Father’s Foundation grant with the ability to assist many more girls in gaining media-related skills, such a photography and news reporting at its already beneficial sites like Armijo Library in central El Paso. Latinitas would like to recognize and thank the Our Father’s Foundation for its considerate donation and the help it has provided. For more information, visit

Photography for Scholarships at the "Dos Mundos,Mil Lentes" Auction

Latinitas needs your support in attending the "Dos Mundos,Mil Lentes"
Auction, to take place on Friday, March 6th at La Fe Cultural and

"The Dos Mundos,Mil Lentes Project" is a 24-hour photography
contest, in which photographers of all ages captured hundreds of
images that depict both sides of the border. These photos have
previously been displayed at City Hall and the Abrazos Gallery at the Chamizal, where they are currently available for sale. The remaining
photos will be exhibited and auctioned at La Fe Cultural Center and
the proceeds from this auction will benefit Latinitas’ Scholarship

If you are interested in volunteering at the auction, or helping to plan
the event, send an e-mail to

Students Dedicate Time through Praxis and Center for Civic Engagement

Jacqueline Quinones, Senior Electronic Media major at UTEP, is excited to continue volunteering with Latinitas this Spring. Quinones is one of several UTEP and EPCC students who chose Latinitas as her Service Learning project for the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and Praxis- campus programs that aim to enhance student learning through community involvement.

So far, 20 students have been connected to Latinitas through these programs, contributing a total of 400 hours of volunteerism to Club Latinitas, Saturday workshops and other special events. Not only do CCE and Praxis allow students to receive class credit for their work, these community network programs also serve as link tfor students to gain a positive volunteer experience.

Students who sign up for these programs have the ability to practice their leadership skills, act as mentors and accompany young Latinas through an empowering process.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Quinones. “As a volunteer my task was to help with the day’s activities and to converse with the girls about anything they had on their minds. We talked about school, elections and how we are portrayed as Latinas."

Students who volunteer through the Center for Civic Engagement must complete a 1.5 hour training session and can choose from a flexible schedule to complete their volunteer hours with Latinitas. Although 20 hours is the minimum, other students like Quinones have decided to stay on board as volunteers with the organization.

“Joining Latinitas was one of the best decisions I've made with a rewarding experience. Actually, I'll be volunteering again this semester and encouraging other students to join as well,” added Quinones.

Alianza Para Latinitas Aims to Raise Funds and Awareness

From organizing fundraisers to raising public awareness, the Alliance for Latinitas has remained active in executing tasks that have helped to expand Latinitas’ programs in El Paso. This auxiliary group is responsible for coordinating and executing presentations, volunteer fairs, cultural celebrations and other events. The group of leaders that makes up the Alliance for Latinitas is especially focused on increasing funding for scholarships that benefit the educational endeavors of Latinas in our area, as well as their ability to participate in the programs that Latinitas has to offer.

Ginger Pineda Raya, the Chair of the Alliance explains, “our volunteer-driven organization, relies heavily on creative and effective fundraising in order to raise community support for girl empowerment initiatives.” Past fundraisers that the Alliance for Latinitas has organized include a walk-a-thon, a bachelor auction, and a benefit concert, all which involve much organization and the involvement of volunteers from the range of branches that make up the structure of the Alliance for Latinitas- such as the marketing, public relations and event planning committees. Currently, the Alliance for Latinitas is occupied with organizing the Dos Mundos/Mil Lentes auction, an event which will consist of auctioning a series of photos that were taken to portray life on the border and will take place on March 6th.

At the same time, this group is working to raise public awareness about Latinitas and increase the membership of the Alliance by hosting informational events and socials, including their recent mixer on Tuesday, February 17th from 5-7:30 pm at El Parque Restaurant on the east side. Alianza para Latinitas encourages new volunteers to put the talents to good use as part of a committee. The Alliance can always use some extra help.

When asked why she believes why others should consider joining the alliance Ginger adds, “Latinitas really does empower Latina youth. The various programs that Latinitas offers in the community are impactful and make a difference in the lives of the girls that we work with.”

You can RSVP to the event or find out more information by sending an email to