August 12, 2009

A Celebration of Latina Bloggers

On more than one occasion I’ve been told that I don’t appear to be a Latina. In some cases it’s because of the way I look; in others it’s the fact that I speak English with no Spanish accent. Sometimes it’s my name (Jennifer) or that I was born in Chicago to an American mother. Never mind that I was raised in Central America, my father and two younger siblings were born in El Salvador, and I speak Spanish fluently. Or that I make a mean Huevos Rancheros, would eat rice and beans daily if I could, and I love all kinds of musica latina (except maybe Rancheras). I guess you could say that I’m cursed by the stereotype of how a Latina is supposed to look and sound.

I realize that this is nothing new. But recently, I chatted on Twitter with some Latina bloggers about how the stereotype issue has extended to the blogoshphere; one of them blogged about it here We laughed heartily as we talked about our “gringa” names and whether or not we wear the stereotypical hoop earrings (we do – silver only). But the undertone of the conversation was that, while we can laugh about it, the issue of stereotypes is a serious one. One blogger says she’s had PR people ask her to “sound more Latina” in her blog posts. And at the recent BlogHer (, Latina bloggers were clearly under-represented. To be clear, I’m in no way implying that there’s any discrimination going on here. Rather I’m making the point that – to the surprise of many – a really broad community of talented Latina bloggers exists.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have met many of them over the last several months. They’re an impressive and diverse bunch of women who write about everything you’d expect ANY blogger to write about. They’re talented, funny, insightful, political, creative, and more. Yet they approach their craft with a Latina flair that makes their blogs extra special. They blog in English. Or in Spanglish. Or in Spanish. Some even keep bilingual blogs.

While these talented women are working feverishly to connect and network with each other, I can’t say they were easy to find. I found them the way you’d meet friends “IRL” (that’s online speak for “in real life”). I found one, who led me to another and so on through blog rolls, Twitter streams and old-fashioned “hey, check this out” referrals. And while I’ve only met a few of these fabulous women in person, I consider many of them my friends.

I wish more people knew about them and read their blogs. Because maybe then people would understand that being a Latina is not about your name or what you look like. It’s about a shared cultura that brings us all together. So it’s in that spirit that we’re kicking off our company’s blog roll with a list of some of the chicas fabulosas we’ve come to know and love. The list is by no means exhaustive. Rather, it’s intended to demonstrate the diversity of talent in the Latina blogging world. It’s meant to celebrate the collective force of their voices – of their words and their opinions. And we look forward to adding more.

Please support them. And I hope any of you Latina bloggers who are not on this list – or who we haven’t connected with yet – will reach out. We’d like to get to know you.

A sampling of some of the bloggers we know: (NY City based travel blogger and mami to 3 boys) (Single mami to 2 boys enjoying NY life to its fullest – frugally) (Two Latina mamis whose site is dedicated to the subject of raising bilingual kids) (L.A.-based Latina mami whose posts are written in both English and Spanish) (Una Cubanita living in Tennessee!) (Otra Cubanita who writes about balancing living as woman and Mami in New England) (Orlando-based Puerto Rican working mom who blogs about all things mom) (LA-based Latina whose site is a resource for women who have found themselves single as a result as a break-up, divorce or death) (SoCal based Cuban mami blogging about living life as a Cuban-American)

Jennifer Vides is Senior Vice President at RL Public Relations. She can be reached at