Not All Latinos Are Mexican
“A People Without The Knowledge Of Their Past History, Origin And Culture Is Like A Tree Without Roots.” – Marcus Garvey
If you follow me on my other social media then you know the recent shift I have decided to take.
In my three years, being a part of this green beauty community somehow always felt out of place. I found myself unconsciously trying to fit a mold and the truth is that mold was not relatable to who I am. It is by no fault of anyone else’s or my own, it is just how the system is set up. What I mean to say is…has anyone ever questioned why cosmetic companies don’t make products that cater to people of color? ESPECIALLY in the green beauty industry? Why is organic food so damn expensive? The ugly truth is most of us don’t have the income to buy organic all the time. Seeing every other person going to Whole Foods to spend at least $300 on one grocery trip can really mess with someone’s self esteem and self worth if they aren’t aware.
You see when I entered this space I thought that green beauty and clean living was innovative and different, catering to everyone’s needs. Soon enough I found that it is very inclusive. There came the shift.
My blog and mission is to bridge the cultural gap through an intentionally conscious lifestyle BUT now with a focus on people of color. I want to be a resource to my people in all things wellness, mental health, green beauty, workshops, bilingualism, social, reproductive, health justice, etc.
“During My Time In The Green Beauty Space I Have Seen A Lack Of Diversity.” – Cindy
THERE I SAID IT. The underrepresentation of Latinas or women of color (I acknowledge and understand my privilege as a light skinned Latina). However, by using my platform I strive and advocate to bring awarness to the issue. So let’s get into it shall we?
Maura, Rebeca and myself are all brand ambassadors for Free Bird Organics. We all live in Southern California and we are all Central American. We just had to collaborate on something, the stars were telling us. We all came to realize that brown girls like us don’t have representation in the green beauty space and finding a foundation match that’s not chemically laden is such a hassle. Our options are narrowed down to very few. We also came to realize that considering today’s political climate and growing up we were all mislabeled as Mexican. Our indigenous roots run deep and we are proud of that. They are so full of life, color, culture and one with nature. All the holistic remedies we seek came from our ancestry, it is in our blood.
Rebeca and myself are half Salvadoran and Guatemalan. Maura is half Salvadoran and Honduran. Being Central American means we all come in different shades and we have our own colloquialisms that would indicate to any other latino that we are not from Mexico. We come from a strong lineage of women in the Mayan and Pipils culture that were the backbone of the community. Like many women today, we wear many hats in our community, families, workplace, etc. Ancestral trauma exists and we see it with modern day Central Americans by demonstrating lack of being in tune with their indigenous roots, lacking knowledge of our people’s history, leaving everything behind in the homeland (including traditional clothing and customs), the list goes on as you can imagine.Guatemala still protects its indigenous roots. Unfortunately, El Salvador like most countries has been Americanized and lost a majority of its roots. The last time I went to El Salvador was in 2010 and found out from relatives that the U.S. dollar had been in effect for 10 years at that point. Needless to say I was shocked and disappointed, where was I supposed to learn about my Salvadoran roots?
“I’m Now Striving To Grow In Understanding Of Where I Came From. My Roots Run Deeper Than The Tallest And Strongest Trees.” – Maura
It is tragic that we have carried this shame for so many generations, to be made to feel less than. The lack in green beauty has brought on a new found awareness to support those brands that support us. To strive and push the limits of green beauty and speak up about those unspoken issues. Why are there only 5 shades of foundation for lighter complexions? Latinos come in all shades ranging from light to dark. We have a right to have access to healthier products too not based on economic advantage.
“I Think It’s Very Important To Learn About Your Roots And Where You Come From.” – Rebeca
Coming from parents who immigrated from their own country and strived to work so hard just to place food on the table, doesn’t shame me at all. Yes, I may not be privileged like many, nor have parents who have amazing jobs. But I have learned to be grateful for parents who never gave up and worked day and night to give back to a country that may not always appreciate us. I have learned to be generous even if what you offer is not much. I LOVE being Latina because we are fighters, we never give up, we stick close to each, and most of all, we give back regardless if we are not welcomed. My family, my roots and how I have grown up has shaped me to be the woman I am now. I refuse to suppress who I am and where I come from because many may not like the color of my skin or my culture.
We stand up today in this new found consciousness and rise up as women of color proud of our indigenous roots. The truth is there are others out there, young girls like us that seek representation. We may not have had it ourselves but we can be that representation for them. Strong and proud for the new generations rising up.
Love and light!
Photography by: Rebeca Alvarez