LatinX: When Identity Is Hashtagged Panel - 10/10/18

 October 10, 2018 - Click for RSVP page

October 10, 2018 - Click for RSVP page

I’m honored to be part of this talented panel discussing #Latinx Identity for Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, taking place at Twitter NYC. Thank you to Lauren of Twitter ALAS & Janel of Ain’t I Latina for organizing this amazing event. Free and open to the public! RSVP here

 

Panel Featuring

Juliana Pache, Social Media Director at The Fader
Kat Lazo, Director/Producer/Host of The Kat Call
Yeiry Guevara, Writer/Artist
Gabe Gonzalez, Comedian/Writer
Janel Martinez, Creator/Editor-in-Chief of Ain’t I Latina

About The Event

Join us as we host an insightful panel discussion on how the #Latinx identity and community is celebrated, discussed, and fostered through Twitter during #HispanicHeritageMonth. 

Oct 10, 2018
6:00 pm 

Twitter Headquarters
249 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011

Antidote Anniversary Celebration - 8/25/18

August 25, 2018 - Antidote Anniverary Celebration

Antidote Books turned 1 year old! In the past year, the owners and my dear friends Ruth and Jeremy, have worked endlessly to create a communal space for literature in Putney, VT. To celebrate this achievement, Antidote Books hosted a day full of fun events at the store.

It's a joy to see their efforts thrive in the community and a big honor to celebrate with them. I hosted my workshop titled "Intergenerational Trauma + The Creative Process" which details the production of "Vos Cipota", my zine based on intergenerational trauma. 

Click to enlarge details

About the Event

Antidote Books would not exist were it not for the support, belief and inspiration of our community. To anyone who has ever shopped at Antidote, attended one of our events, taught a workshop, or read their work at our bookshop, we express our immense gratitude.  Join us for this celebratory event with cake, raffle and refreshments! 10% of our one year anniversary event proceeds will go to Community Asylum Seekers Project VT.

 

About the Workshop  

Yeiry Guevara is a first-generation Salvadoran whose work seeks to create representation and visibility for communities of color. After releasing her zine “Vos Cipota,” she saw the need from her community to have conversations about intergenerational healing.

In the interactive workshop titled Intergenerational Trauma + Creativity, Yeiry will share what she learned in the production of “Vos Cipota” by breaking down her process: how to “know” what you don’t know, how to hold space for deep conversation with parents/elders, how to take care of yourself when you do get into the deep end of learning your history, and the role of self-care.

 

Schedule of Events

3 pm - "Skip to the End" Book Launch with Graphic Novelist Jeremy Holt

5 pm - "Intergenerational Trauma + The Creative Process" Workshop hosted by Yeiry Guevara

7 pm - Poetry Reading with Didi Jackson and Major Jackson

 

Location

Antidote Books
120 Main St., Putney, VT 05346
Map

Facebook Event

The Savior - 1 Year Anniversary Reflections

Savior-Author

1 Year Anniversary Release of
"The Savior" 

Reflection on launching a zine, growth as an artist and community building.

Collage Gif

A year ago, my first zine "The Savior" was released into the world. I didn't even know I made a zine or that anyone would want to read my words. I'm forever grateful to those who were involved in the conception of it: My Tio and Dad who wanted to read my work, my sister and friends Suzy and Lizzie who encouraged me to put it on the internet, Zaira of Central American Art & Beauty who shared it with the Central American community. Of course, my eternal gratitude to everyone who has received a copy and embraced it with open arms.

In the last 12 months, my humble words stapled together on copy paper has grown into a new life I would have never imagined. I blossomed into an artist and found strength in my voice. I discovered the power of representation. I found my community of POC creatives and Central Americans. I was nourished by the warm reception, encouragement and support of my community. 

But the work that I do is not just for me. In the last year of sharing my work, I have connected with so many people with similar struggles, histories and all with the same hunger. It's an oddly soothing feeling to be isolated for so long and then to finally meet others who have a similar heartache and heavy soul. I never had a sense of community before but now, we're finding each other to heal with art. 

There is so much healing to be done since our diaspora community of Central American families, refugees and many other vulnerable populations are being attacked everyday. As we're trying to heal, we're constantly slammed against the wall, ripped apart and told our lives mean nothing. How to process nightmare situations on top of an eternal heartache for your people and fragmented history? How do we find survival in the immorality and dehumanization of it all? What value is left when even children are targets?  

I don't have the answer to any of it and I can't begin to process the hell landscape our people are experiencing at the moment. In the disenfranchising waves of it all, it's easy to drown. The hard part is to push forward, that our existence is resistance. As art has taught me, know that you're not alone with these feels. Here's a long list of organizations who are fighting back. Follow LatinaRebels for curated news articles. #CentralAmericanTwitter offers food pics and solidarity.

Yes, the news is draining. Yes, it feels like it's hard to breathe some days. Even more reason to do what you can when you can. No se me agüite con todo esto. Even though we as a community have been through centuries of abuse, we are resilient and together, can move volcanoes. Thank you all for the support y juntos venceremos cualquier pesadilla para seguir adelante.

Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair - 6/30/18 & 7/1/18

Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair - 2018

Summer in NYC is the best! Sunshine, lots of fun events and ice cream trucks in every corner. I vended at Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair for both days this summer.  The event was free and for all ages!

About the Event

Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair
June 30 - July 1
12 - 6 pm

The James Room at Barnard Hall
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

3 Dot Zine presents the second annual Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair, an environment where the creative efforts of Black artists and artists of color working in self publishing and printed mediums are exposed and proliferated. 3 Dot Zine is a collaborative, submission-based zine founded by artist Devin N. Morris in 2014 as a way to extend the reach of important dialogues Morris was having with his peers. For the second annual Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair we are excited to partner with the Studio Museum in Harlem. This Studio Salon program is presented as part of inHarlem, a dynamic range of initiatives, strategies, and activities built on the foundation of the Museum’s artist’s projects, permanent collection, and collaborative programs in the Harlem neighborhood.

Taking place at Barnard Hall, with the support of the Barnard Library, this year’s fair weaves together zine makers and artists within a broader community that has historically acted as a cultural quilt of sorts--composed of Black American life, artistic development, diversity and overall excellence. Like quilts, zines utilize similar properties in their design, composition, and binding. Multilayered publications, filled with visual and written dialogues, advice, and personal and political insights, act as places where care and direct communication are prioritized.

The mission remains to heighten visibility for artists of color and to encourage participation in fair environments and the self publishing industry at large.

Exhibitors:
Nauter xxyz
Khari Ricks 
A. J. Hayes
Celeste Rita Baker
La Chamba
La Liga Zine
Tortillagurl 
Endless Editions
Te Aprecio Foto
Aurora Diaz
tender/cruel
Townies Zine
Waller Gallery
Taehee Whang
Homie House Press
Jasjyot Singh Hans
For Your Eyes To Eat
Yeiry Guevara
Wyeth Moss
Rafia's World
Margot Terc / LUNA RIO
Secret Riso Club
Soumya Dhulekar

Facebook Event

Reading with St. Sucia - 5/28/18

IMG_8307.JPG

I'm a huge fan of St. Sucia and I was so honored to have shared a magical evening with a number of talented poets on Monday, May 28, 2018 at Kaleidoscope Kollective. Lots of happy tears and beautiful words were exchanged. Thank you all who attended!!

 From Left: Isabel Ann Castro of St. Sucia, Eugenia Nicole, Yeiry Guevara, Alma Rosa Rivera, Xitlalic Guijosa, Rebecca Gonzales. First Row: Natasha Hernandez of St. Sucia

From Left: Isabel Ann Castro of St. Sucia, Eugenia Nicole, Yeiry Guevara, Alma Rosa Rivera, Xitlalic Guijosa, Rebecca Gonzales. First Row: Natasha Hernandez of St. Sucia

 Eugenia Nicole Reading with St. Sucia on May 28, 2018

Eugenia Nicole Reading with St. Sucia on May 28, 2018

L.A. Zine Fest - 5/27/18

 L.A. Zine Fest took place on May 27, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Poster designed by  Rich  of  Originals Por Vida .

L.A. Zine Fest took place on May 27, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center.
Poster designed by Rich of Originals Por Vida.

 Vending at LAZF 2018

Vending at LAZF 2018

For the first time ever, I took my art to the West Coast. I was a proud vendor at the 7th Annual L.A. Zine Fest on May 27, 2018. It was a dream come true to share my work with the L.A. community. I met some of my favorite creators from around the country such as St. Sucia, Breena Nuñez Peralta, Frijolera Press, Brown and Proud Press who also vended at the festival. Check out the exhibitor list here. Plus, I gave a workshop on the creative process behind my zine "Vos Cipota" during the festival.

Big List of Thank You's:

  • LAZF organizers for believing in my work and letting me part of this monumental event
  • Everyone who stopped by my table and supported the festival
  • Workshop attendees: it was a joy to chat with you and share insights
  • My sister and Suzy for their eternal support

About The Event:

This year's Fest will feature 200 zinesters, writers, illustrators, comix creators, photographers, and more—selling, trading and sharing their work, and celebrating self-publishing and DIY culture in the community. Free admission!

 A small slice of the large scale festival

A small slice of the large scale festival

Sunday, May 27, 2018
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Conference Center at the Pasadena Convention Center
300 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101

Facebook Event

Festival Website


Shoutout to the GOAT @SheaSerrano for the boost of confidence & support! 


Isthmus Roots: A Celebration of Central American Creativity & Storytelling - 5/26/18

Event flyer designed by Victor of Dichos de un bicho

Los Angeles, you came through on Saturday 5/26 to talk all things Central American. I’m so proud to have been an organizer and presenter alongside such a great panel. It was like #CentralAmericanTwitter, but in IN REAL LIFE! Truly, a monumental evening where stories were exchanged and inspiration swam heavy in the room. Thank you all who attended!

About the event:  

Central American Art & Beauty, Dichos de un bicho, Radio No Jodás, & Yeiry.com present:
Isthmus Roots: A Celebration of Central American Creativity & Storytelling

Saturday, May 26th, 2018
5PM - 8PM
Eastside Cafe
5469 Huntington Dr N,
Los Angeles, CA 90032 (El Sereno)

Attention L.A.! Come and meet talented Central American creatives & storytellers! Utilizing a wide variety of media--ranging from music, comics, zines, art curation, and academic research--each featured panelist utilizes their platform(s) to speak and amplify the stories of their respective communities. Moreover, they represent the strength, resilience, and diverse beauty of the Central American isthmus.

Featured Panelists: 

Moderated by Gloria Figueroa & Henry Nicia, from Radio No Jodás

Music generously provided by  Radio Pulgarcito, (Linda Nuves, Sister Mantos, gfunktrece)

Special thanks to Angela Flores and the Collective from Eastside Cafe for generously providing the space to host this event. Shoutout to Patria Coffee for providing refreshments and to VCHOS Food Truck for their yummy food. Also, much gratitude to Zaira Miluska, Wendy Rodriguez, Yeiry Guevara, Brigette Lugo, Gloria Figueroa, and Victor Interiano for organizing this event.

Facebook Event

Pre-Event Coverage - Remezcla Article

Post-Event Coverage - Next City Article

Event Images below graciously captured by Felix Quintana.
View the full set here: Photo Album by Felix Quintana

Below is the full lifestream recording by Central American Empowerment Network

Twitter Moment based on #IsthmusRoots

VHS Presents: Family - 5/19/18

 VHS Presents: Family, a screening of personal video archives. 

VHS Presents: Family, a screening of personal video archives. 

May, you're too kind to me! Here's to another first: I did my first performance on May 19, 2018. Super excited to be part of the VHS Presents series at Videology, hosted by my wonderful friend Angel Yau and Ross Brunetti. I showed a montage of home movies from 1997. Tons of cute lil Yeiry, see gif for example.

 Lil Yeiry Feeding Cows in 1997

Lil Yeiry Feeding Cows in 1997

VHS Presents: Family
May 19, 2018
Videology in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
2 pm
Free

About the show:

 Adult Yeiry Presenting in 2018

Adult Yeiry Presenting in 2018

THIS MONTH we will be screening videos of our past that highlight our families in all their weird, beautiful, loving, cringey glory. Whether they showered us with embarrassing affection or discouraged (and ultimately inspired!) us through their own repressed problems, we have the videos to prove why we became the people that we are. Come laugh with us at our ridiculous families!

Each month we bring together some of the best comedians and performers in NYC to show you the videos they made in their embarrassing adolescence. We’ve seen school projects, Tarentino knock offs, PSAs, high school musicals, and many other ways that children embarrass themselves before they become adults that embarrass themselves on stage purposefully.

Line up :
Anita Flores
Lorena Russi Serna
Yeiry Guevara
Matt Proctor
Jon Hart

Hosts:
Angel Yau and Ross Brunetti

 

Facebook Event
Event Page on Videology Website

May 2018 News

Wake Up... It's Da First of the Month

 Collage piece and encouragement made by my creative sister,  Mayra Guevara .

Collage piece and encouragement made by my creative sister, Mayra Guevara.

I took April 2018 to work on a few projects and I'm proud to announce the following news for my favorite month, MAY! This first of the month marks a lot of changes, opportunities and my tenacious commitment to doing my best. Thank y'all for the support and peep the updates below:

I Have an Art Show in San Antonio on 5/17
Sadly, I won't be able to attend in person but if you're in the area, check out the amazing artists featured in the show.

I'm Performing with VHS Presents: Family on 5/19
For the first time, I'm showing home movies from 1997-1999. Expect a lot of cuteness. 

I'm Presenting on a Panel in L.A. on 5/26 & I'm Vending at the Los Angeles Zine Fest on 5/27 
Los Angeles, I'm coming to see you!  This has been a dream in the making. I can't believe it's coming true. I'll be leading a workshop at the festival so check me out. I'm also presenting on a Central American panel with a bunch of cool people. Come say hi, beautiful people of LA!

 Me & My Dog Canelo Being All Cute Together

Me & My Dog Canelo Being All Cute Together

I'm Available for Hire
April 30, 2018 marked my last day at my full-time job at a nonprofit. I had a great 7 years at that job and I'm ready to move on to greener pastures. This means I'm available for hire in the following fields: translations jobs (Spanish/English), transcription, freelance writing gigs, business analyst and management consulting (nonprofit/profit). Shoot me a message if you have any leads or words of comfort as I enter this new phase of my career.

I'm Turning 32
I love my birthday so much. I'm thrilled to be aging gracefully in L.A. a few days before the L.A. Zine Festival. Even though I'm another lady without a baby (in my culture, that's a big deal), I am finding peace where I am in life and truly living my best life (especially with my cute little dog). My Venmo and Paypal are open for birthday gifts!

Thank you again for all the words of encouragement and support.
I'm eager to see what the future holds and I'm ready for it!

Shadow Beast: Creating Sin Vergüenza - 5/17/18

 Event Flyer for Shadow Beast: Creating Sin Vergüenza, an art exhibition and mercado in San Antonio, TX on May 17, 2018.

Event Flyer for Shadow Beast: Creating Sin Vergüenza, an art exhibition and mercado in San Antonio, TX on May 17, 2018.

I'm so thrilled to be part this art exhibition in Texas! Gloria Anzaldúa's work played a fundamental role in my formative years. Although I will be unable to attend the event in person, I am so proud to be part of an art show which honors her legacy.

About the Exhibition:

In tandem with the 10th annual El Mundo Zurdo Conference, the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa invites you to Shadow Beast: Creating Sin Vergüenza, an art exhibition honoring the 30th Anniversary of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.  The show is curated by Rebel Mariposa, Jess Gonzales, and Eliza M. Perez

Show Opening: Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 6 p.m.  
At Galeria E.V.A., 3412 S. Flores St. San Antonio, TX 78204

Free and open to the public

This event is sponsored and hosted by The Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (SSGA) and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Facebook Event

Women in The Heights - Artists Talk - 3/28/18

 "Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo.

"Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo.

March 28, 2018 was the last day to see Women in the Heights - Resistance. It was also my first time participating in the Artists Talk where I spoke about my work and my art practice. 

About the Event:
Join the artists of “Women in the Heights-Disruption” as they share their processes and visions followed by the workshop: “Women in the Heights” and Workshop “Artivism - How to develop and fund your projects” led by curator Andrea Arroyo.This session is appropriate for emerging and mid-career artists of all disciplines.

About the Exhibition: 
In celebration of Women’s History Month Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities and The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling present the exhibition "Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo. 

Eventbrite Page
NoMAA Website

Images from the Artist Talk

El Chow: Fruto en Vaina - 3/24/18

 Event Flyer for El Chow: Fruto en Vaina

Event Flyer for El Chow: Fruto en Vaina

I'm so proud to have been part of this group exhibition titled El Chow: Fruto en Vaina held in El Rincón Social in Houston, Texas on March 24th, 2018. 

About the Exhibition: 
El Rincón Social is pleased to present El Chow: Fruto en Vaina, a group exhibition featuring multidisciplinary and multimedia works from 20 Houston-based artists that share an affinity for Latinx cultural traditions and examine their hybrid mentalities as women and queer people of color. El Chow, the second curatorial initiative spearheaded by curator Maureen Penders, runs from March 24, 2018 - April 6th, 2018, with an opening reception for the public on Saturday, March 24 from 7 PM to 1 AM. There will be an Artists Talk Wednesday April 11th, 2018. El Chow: Fruto en vaina is a participating exhibition in the 2018 FotoFest Biennial.

The presented artists/artworks investigate the complex nature of the emerging Latinx identity through themes of mysticism, immortality, transnational relations, communal healing, representation, visibility, among other topics. For some of the artists in particular, El Chow includes a study of gender and of belonging. These artist’s work operate beyond the confines of the readily accepted social, cultural and gender norms.

Big thanks to Moe for curating this show, all the amazing artists who participated and thrive. Also, shout out to my wonderful family and friends who came and supported my work. Mucho love!

Featured Artists

Jessica Alvarenga
Natalia Barrientos
Leticia Contreras
Gabriela Duarte
Chanell Escobar
Theresa Escobedo
Brenda Franco
Tere Garcia
Irene Antonia Diane Reece
Jessica González
Victoria Paige Gonzalez
Yeiry Guevara
Ángel Lartigue
Paty Lennon
Karen Y. Martinez
Arely Peña
Maureen Penders
Isaac Reyes
S Rodriguez
Edna Sandoval

Images from El Chow: Fruto en Vaina

Viva La Mujer - 3/9/18

 " Viva La Mujer " Art Show curated by De Colores Collective on March 9, 2018 at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center in Dallas, TX. 

"Viva La Mujer" Art Show curated by De Colores Collective on March 9, 2018 at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center in Dallas, TX. 

The wonderful team of De Colores Collective organized an art show titled "Viva La Mujer" for International Women's Day on March 9, 2018. I proudly displayed two of my pieces for the show which took place at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center in Dallas, TX. Although I was not able to attend the show in person, I am super grateful for Pat and all her effort towards showing my work in Dallas. Thank you Pat, Eva and Rafa for all the magic your collective creates!

About the Exhibition: 
Join us for our first GREY SPACE of 2018, iViva La Mujer! Stop by the Oak Cliff Cultural Center for an exhibition that focuses on celebrating womanhood and femininity. This show will include work by various artists in different mediums. This event is family friendly, free, and open to the public.

De Colores Collective Instagram
Facebook Event
Art & Seek Cultural Calendar

Photo Provided by Pat Arreguin

Women in The Heights - Resistance - 3/8/18

 "Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo.

"Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo.

Showing love to Uptown on International Women's Day! I was proud to be part of this group exhibition titled "Women in the Heights - Resistance" presented by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Broadway Housing Communities and The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling. The show took place at Rio II Gallery in New York, NY on March 8-28, 2018, curated by Andrea Arroyo. The opening reception was on March 8th, 2018 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Artist Talks were held on the closing night of March 28th, 2018. 
See the event recap for the Artist Talk here.
 

About the Exhibition: 
In celebration of Women’s History Month The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities and The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling present the exhibition "Women in the Heights - Resistance" Featuring the work of 28 women artists of Uptown Manhattan. Curated by Andrea Arroyo. 

Participating Artists: 
Vivian Abuelo
Gloria Adams
Abigail Arguilla
Julie Berman
Chelsea Best
Lenore Browne
Rose Deler
Wilhelmina Obatola Grant
Yeiry Guevara
C'naan Hamburger Selina Hernandez
Maggie Hernandez
Andrea Kornbluth
Lilia Levin
Najá Lewis
Marne Lucas
Nancy Mercado
Alexandra Momin
Ashanti Muniz
Rosa Naparstek
Nancy Palubniak
Nancy Rakoczy
Diana Schmertz
Tasuyo Tanaka
Joana Toro
Ruth Valdez
Tamara Wasserman

Eventbrite Page
NoMAA Website
Facebook Event
Event Photographer, Michael Palma

Opening Night Photos & Video

Platos Fuertes de Tia Lena

Tuve la linda oportunidad de pasar un fin de semana con mi familia en Memphis, Tennessee en los fines de enero 2018. De tantos Tios y Tias que tengo, son pocas las memorias de infancia que tengo con ellos. Cómo muchos de nosotros salvadoreños que somos de familias grandes, la triste realidad es que el tiempo y la distancia desafortunadamente hacen las familias más pequeñas. Mi Tia Lena ha sido la Tia con quien tengo muchísimas memorias de esa época feliz de niñez. Ella es la hermana mayor de mi papá y llegaron al mismo tiempo a este país. Crecieron sus hijos juntos y rodeados con mucho amor.

Los caminos de las vida nos tocaron diferente rumbos, pero a pesar de la millas de distancia en geografía, siempre seguimos unidos. El amor entre familia corre profundamente en la legacía de estos hermanitos. 

Mi Tia Lena ha sido una fuente de inspiración, fé y amor para mi desarrollo. Tuve la hermosa oportunidad de pláticar con ella, aprender su sabiduría y comer un cachimbo de chicharrones y tortillas hechas a mano. Ademas de ser tan sabia, mi Tia es un maravilla en la cocina. Ella le pone tanto cariño en cada cucharada que sirve. La comida tiene un sabroso toque a la experiencia, como de un chile que no se puede comprar. Cuando estábamos en la cocina, me quedaba admirada a su facilidez con el aceite caliente, con su agilidad en cómo palmeaba las tortillas para hechar al comal. Me ponía a pensar de cuantas tortillas había hecho en su vida, de todos los buches que se han llenado con sus tortillas. Nuestras pláticas empezaban en la cocina. La cocina siempre ha representado un espacio sagrado en el hogar, adonde las mujeres pueden compartir y aprender de una a otra en un ambiente sano y salvo. 

Unas de las pasadas que cuenta mi papá es cuando pasaron tiempos duros en Honduras, antes de la guerra de 1969 cuando muchos Salvadoreños vivían y trabajaban en Honduras. Mi Tia Lena, apenas de la edad de 13 años, ya podía hacer un almuerzo para su hermanos con sólo 10 centavos. Lena compraba 2 centavos de chacaras (unos guineos/plátanos gordos). Después con los 8 centavos de sobra, compraba asientos (los pedacitos de chicharrones de puerco, bien fritos que sobran en el aceite) y huaraches (un tipo de pan dulce) para comer con un cafecito. Ella también era buena para pescar chacalines en la quebrada, para que su hermanitos no comieran la tortilla sola. 

Mi Tia Lena demuestra su amor y cariño atravez de su comida. Cada tortilla hecha a mano, cada quesadilla horneada, lleva la tradiciones de su madre, su abuela y todas las mujeres valientes de nuestra familia. Me sentí chiflada con tanta sabrosura en mi visita con Tia que decidí dedicar éste ensayo a la maravilla que es ella, de lo que representa su comida y las fuerzas que ella demuestra en su ser.

Cuando sea grande, quiero ser como mi Tia Lena. 

Toda La Sabrosura

Mami Made

Mami Made is the sewing craft line I run with my Mom. Mami has sewn all her life. She learned  this necessary life skill while growing up in the rural countryside of El Salvador.  Her mother taught her to stitch as well as the insightful tactic of looking at fragmented pieces then making something out of it.  I write in further detail about Mami's handmade magic in My Mother's Hands.

The idea behind Mami Made was that Mami has always made beautiful practical things for me. After a night of listening to the purr of her sewing machine, my light bulb blinked on:  why not share her craft with the world? She thrives in the process of creating something from thread and fabric. My sister is an Art Therapist so the process of making art to heal runs in the family. Mami glows when she gives that item to its new owner. Mami Made is a way to nurture my Mother's creative spirit and share her craft.  

Below is a visual appreciation of the love that Mami stitches in each of her craft. Whether she's making my prom dress, a princess dress for her granddaughter, a vintage style cocktail dress to fit all my curves, Mami pours her humble love in every inch.

Thanks again to Remezcla for showcasing Mami Made

Tamale Gif Set

It has been years since I made tamales with my Mom. Mostly because it's very labor intensive and requires a crew for the assembly line folding. For Christmas 2017, we decided to make the jump and go for it.

With just Mom and I, we managed to stay up all night and made over 100 tamales. Well, I lost count but easily around that number. We peeled garbanzos, chopped potatoes, cleaned farm-raised chickens, all surrounded by anecdotes that started "cuando mi mamá lo hacia asi". The hours in the kitchen provided us the safe space to chat, share chisme and I learned how generations of women in our family cooked. Tamales brought us together and when cooked, they bring people together in a damn delicious way.  Radio Pulgarcito provided the perfect soundtrack to our midnight cooking session. 

In between roasting banana leaves, mixing the masa and getting the achiote spice just right, I managed to capture her movements with a few gifs. 

I definitely teared up when I had my first set of cooked tamales. You can taste our hard work. You can taste the levels of complexities. You can taste how every ingredient makes a melody to this sweet song in your mouth. Tamales are our family history wrapped up in a banana leaf. Savor it. 

The finished product:

Betty Valentine Art + Craft Market - 2/10/18

Betty_Valentine2018

My first vending market of 2018! Very cool to get all romantica and stuff at the Betty Valentine Art + Craft Market on February 10th, 2018 at Secret Project Robot. 

Displayed new Mami Made + Just Plush Play crafts as well. Very exciting since Mami Made just got featured in Remezcla too. Thank you everyone who came out! Check out the event snaps below. 

Participating Vendors:
Bidi Bidi Pom Pom
The Bettys
Bunny Lees World
GRL TRBL
Haywillouis
It's Not Personal
Jennifer Calandra
Kelsey Zigmund
Margot Terc
Panty Hoes
Pop Aesthete
Prayers Zine
♥ Sarvnaz Press
Snatch Magazine
♥ Spicy Mango Comics (jpmata.com | draizys.com | Rachellejade.com)
Thinking In Full Color
Voort Boom Jewelry// The 10th House
Vos Cipota + The Savior by Yeiry Guevara

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Unlearning My Sex Shame & Other Kinks

“Si vienes con una pata más larga que la otra, mejor ni vengas / if you come home knocked up, don’t even bother coming home,” my mother’s reaction when she found out that I held hands with Coco, my high school boyfriend. He was quiet, white and the first boy to actually ask me out. Naturally, my tomboy dweeb self was over the Coco moon. The one time I actually let him walk me to the public school bus, my Mom picked me up by surprise and caught me Coco-handed. She held her anger the whole drive home back to our immigrant, working-class barrio. The sex-shame volcano exploded once we got home.

Nada de Naranjas

Unlearning is 

a real team effort

a work in progress

She obviously thought the worst: that I’m going to get pregnant, that I’ll drop out of school, that I’ll ruin my whole life if I am in the back of Coco’s Volvo, fogging up the windows. That all their hard work would be trashed if I were to get knocked up. I get it. Statistically, I know I was the candidate for teenage pregnancy: poor, first-generation, working class, brown, Catholic in a red state. Also, being first-generation, I have to learn everything the hard way, trial-by-fire. Clearly, sex was one lesson I couldn’t learn hands on. I could understand the anger but I also was accused of something I didn’t do, much less even knew the mechanics of it.

In reality, I was book-loving dork who read the dictionary and newspaper for fun. I was super shy and only had a handful of friends. I wore wide legged jeans and baggy shirts to hide my lumpy growing body. I made my own jewelry and begged my tired parents to take me to the library every weekend. Pro-Hoe Yeiry wouldn’t even make an appearance until after college!

From that tirade, my mother instilled the fear of pregnancy without explaining sex to me. I was left with so many questions.

  • Is my virginity the only significant part of my identity?
  • Why does my hymen determine the integrity and honor of my family?
  • Does wanting to learn and explore my body make me a Puta?
  • Why is being a puta or santa my only options to exist in the world?

There was no Google God to pray to about this issue. All I had was a Catholicism rigidness and a very literal encyclopedia that had medical illustrations under the term “anatomy”. I’m a 16 year old living in Texas, with an abstinence-only education that barely even mentioned a maxi pad. I’m a stranger in my lumpy soft body. I don’t even know the texture of my hair. I have no idea where a tampon goes. But only married women are allowed to wear tampons, right? All I know is that I’m totally alone in this and I’m “supposed” to know things that no one had explained to me.

I internalized and hardened with the sex-loathing lava that exploded all over me. How was I to get pregnant if I didn’t even know what pieces went together? How was I to make sense of things when extreme hypotheticals were thrown at me? It was not a conversation. I had no choice but to obey some archaic belief where my hymen ties the family together. Let’s not break any of it.

Coco broke up with me over the phone during Christmas. He didn’t give a specific reason and just said it was best if we didn’t see each other. I agreed only because I was so confused that he didn’t like me anymore. I never shared with him the shit I got because he was white and he wouldn’t understand. Plus, there is only so much emotional intimacy a 16 year old can hold.

It took 15 years after that explosion to finally make peace with my body.

It took 15 years after that explosion to finally make peace with my body. There was not one road but a series of steps and tumbles that led to my sexual education. I learned more about myself through every relationship and one-night-stands. I healed from the emotional abuse I endured in my 20’s. I learned the cavernous chambers of sexual identity and pleasure. Finally, hands-on learning I can understand!

Unlearning is a real team effort. My older sister’s sex-positive attitude was a light at the end of the cervix. Years of therapy has given me the voice to speak up. A community of feminist peers with their support and communal learning, provided the space to learn and exchange. I have a great gyno who answers all the questions I have. I read books, pamphlets, brochures. I even got the courage to grab fistfuls of free NYC condoms. Anything to further my knowledge. I experimented and learned and laughed, all while shedding my internalized sex-shame one clothing layer at a time.

Unlearning is a work in progress. I still get shy about the topic with my Mom, although now she’s trying to be more open about it since I’m obviously an adult. I’m learning more about my body over time and how to listen to it. How to respond to it and to know what feels good or not. Owning my pleasure meant listening to my body. To be patient with my body. To be accepting of the wisdom it’s telling me; not to reject it because of some other external factor (i.e.: this partner won’t like me if I say this or this is what I’m “supposed” to do).

I am also assertive and vocal of continuous consent, very important for all parties involved. I no longer carry the extra weight of worrying what others will think or say just because I am living my truth. I own every inch of my body and it’s a daily affirmation I make to keep this peace. This body is not for a future spouse, or for childrearing or a trophy for someone’s stupid honor: it’s all my own, no one else’s. Managing my anxiety has also provided me the mental clarity to be present. To enjoy the moment and frankly, to breathe. I am able to be present in the moment, be aware of myself and to accept peace in myself.

No one tells you this about sex: it’s okay to take your time. In this hypersexed/youth-obsessed culture, sex can be weird. Sex can be complicated. The most important part about this sexual education is you: your comfort, your consent, your pleasure, your health, your safety. I don’t have the answers but I’m still learning to not feel any shame or guilt for any piece of me. Solo cuidate / take care of yourself in the process (condoms, birth control, abstinence, whatever works for you). Light up all the candles to the Google Gods and do research to learn.

Sexual education does not mean a direct pregnancy/life-sentence.

It’s a fucking conversation.