La Hermandad of the Traveling Mochila fundraiser

They are finally here and ready to sell! 3 years in the making to get to this point: to save, to heal, to organize, and finally to procure. Travel Latina began in 2015 as an idea that has grown into an international community of amazing viajerxs. As we grow we’re always trying to take things to the next level, which means so many different creative options. We are working on hiring someone to help us to configure the sustainable monetization of the website since BIPOC deserve to be paid fairly for their labor, because our travel bloggers and contributors deserve to be compensated for the tremendous work they have put into TL. Even better if we can create full time job opportunities for Latinx. If you believe in our mission, and love the progression of TL and the Mochila Viajerx through the years, please buy one of our products listed below to support our fundraiser. Our goal is to fundraise $2,000 USD from selling these products to cover the cost of the materials, and to hire someone to work with.

Making the Mochila: A 3-Year Passion Project

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez (second to the right) and her friends with their Sisterhood of the Thotty Red Suit

After seeing Prisca Dorca Mojica Rodríguez’s IG post back in April 2018, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Red Thotty Bodysuit”, it gave me another inspiration. What can TL create in order to more strongly bring us together through an ‘hermandad‘, but also to collectively help us move forward not only in our own lives, but with TL too? From 2016 to 2018, I was living in La Guajira, Colombia, a Caribbean coastal department/state known for it’s Wayuu indigenous population and cultural influence. It hit me that I could design a Wayuu mochila in order to create the first prototype for the “Hermandad of the Traveling Mochila”.

Ale, the founder of TL with the mochila in Palomino, La Guajira, Colombia

The orginal mochila was made by a Wayuu woman, Genny, in the Mercado Nuevo in Riohacha, La Guajira for the price that was asked without bartering. I decided to include a journal, local Colombian sage, and 5 locally made cloth bracelets in the bag to share with the hermandad. The Wayuu have one of the last matriarchal societies known on Earth, where the people do not settle in villages, rather matrilineal clans where the woman is the center of the organization. They are spread out between parts of Colombia and Venezuela, many holding dual citizenship in both countries. These resilient people managed to keep their culture and traditions mostly unscathed despite Spanish conquest, and are the largest Indigenous group in Colombia. The Wayuu women have become recognized worldwide for their handmade knit mochilas, hammocks, and more. I am gracious and continuously thank the Wayuu for allowing me to connect with my Indigenous Colombian roots, although my roots are more particularly Chibcha roots from the interior of the country. Furthermore, we experimented with the pilot mochila, as a group of us TL contributors took it all over the world, from Colombia, to Ghana, Guatemala, Spain, and Italy.

The Fundraiser

After two years spent healing and saving back in the US, I finally started to save up for and procure more mochilas starting about a year ago. I sent the initial payment to Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia on December 24th, 2020 during a global pandemic. I had no idea what to expect with the constant and extremely strict lockdowns in Colombia, but the mochilas finally arrived to my house 7 months later after many delays.

Edermira worked on the mochilas this time

At the same time, I was working with Ashley Garcia from Brown Girl Travels to order some zines and stickers from her to include in the mochilas. In addition, I wanted to include small coin pouches from El Salvador to represent our social media manager Cindy Medina’s huge contribution to Travel Latina as a Salvadoreña. This pouch also makes it easier to share trinkets, souvenirs, consumables, dried herbs, and more with the hermandad. Finally, I decided to include a branded eco-friendly mini notebook, as well as stickers of our brand.

Mochila package – 17 mochilas in total, each for a minimum $100 donation:

We have 17 mochilas in total to sell, 5 of them green, 6 of them blue, and 6 of them magenta. Each mochila includes:
-1 mochila Wayuu from Colombia (green, blue, or magenta)
-1 Brown Girl Travel mini zine
-1 artisanal coin pouch from El Salvador
-1 eco-friendly TL mini notebook
-1 Brown Girl Travel sticker
-5 TL stickers (not pictured in above photos)

We are also selling several other smaller packages for those of you who want to contribute to our fundraiser, but don’t have so much to spend:

Brown Girl Travel Zine package – 3 in total, each for a minimum $50 donation:

This package includes:
-1 Brown Girl Travel mini zine
-1 artisanal coin pouch from El Salvador
-1 eco-friendly TL mini notebook
-1 Brown Girl Travel sticker (not pictured in above photo)
-5 TL stickers

Artisanal Coin Pouch & Mini Notebook package – 4 in total, each for a minimum $25 donation:

This includes:
-1 artisanal coin pouch from El Salvador
-1 eco-friendly TL mini notebook
-5 TL stickers

TL sticker package – 20 in total, each for a minimum $10 donation:

This includes:
-10 TL stickers

Payment Process
If you’d like to make sure a product color or package type is available before donating, please check with us via our TL Instagram DM, this blog’s “Contact Us”, and/or our email info@travellatina.org.

We will be taking donations via Venmo @travel_latina, Paypal aletracy4@gmail.com, or Zelle aletracy4@gmail.com.

Your full name, last name, address, and email are needed in order to complete the shipment. The minimum donation requested for each item includes shipping & handling.

How Thrifting Enhances My Travels & Experiences

Ever since most of my suburban classmates growing-up were wearing all the latest seasonal trends from Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and American Eagle, I decided I’d embrace being unique rather than dwelling on the fact that I couldn’t afford the same clothing as them. I mean hey, I was already one of the only Latinas at my school so why does it matter if my style is different too? My Mami and Abuela taught us basic stitching, but starting in Middle School we had one of our close Mexican family friends, Luz Telleria, teach my sister and I to use a sewing machine. We mostly would make our formal school dance dresses from scratch with a lot of her help, not only saving us money but creating pride in such uniquely crafted fashion. I do consider making your own clothing a form of thrifting because the definition states “the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully.” Furthermore, I discovered from some alternative-styled classmates, who inspired me early on in High School with their quirky fashion from the Salvation Army, mostly comprised of unique used clothing for cheap. This helped to change the way I shop and dress myself for the rest of my life.

Some of the formal school dance dresses my sister and I made between Middle and High School with Luz Telleria’s help:

 

 

 

Here is a bag I made from retro pants found at the Salvation Army. The idea was inspired by an American Girl Doll book (since we never owned a doll, we had a book instead):

 

 

 

The 80s dress I bought at the Salvation Army for less than $9 for my Senior Prom. I won Prom Queen with this dress!:

 

 

 

Aside from the Salvation Army, I volunteered at the Catholic Charities Hispanic Outreach Services in Pontiac, Michigan that use to be located in an old mansion with an attic full of lightly used or vintage items that were donated to the Outreach for them to sell for cssfundraising. My abuela use to call that informal store attico-Kohls. Both of these locations plus my ability to make my own items, or tailor used items to my own liking, provided inexpensive alternatives to create my unique style that I will describe as Latina-Vintage-Chic. I loved mixing bright colors, off the shoulder tops, shimery or glittery, flowy or frilly, and/or vintage old school — all on a budget.

Vintage store finds and shots in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2011:

 

 

 

I made a necklace and headband from an old yellow t-shirt that I bought at the Goodwill for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2012:

 

 

 

Thrift store finds in San Diego, CA in 2013-4. On the left is a bright fuschia shiny jumpsuit from the 80s, and on the right a green retro poncho from the 60s:

 

 

 

Fast forward 15 years, and I still do this to create a unique sense of style, but most importantly to save money. Moreover, I’ve learned the detrimental impacts that over-consumption of material things like clothing can have on the environment. Did you know that, the average person in the U.S. buys 65 articles of clothing a year, each item only to be worn a few times? According to Greenpeace, “global clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014. The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago.” This is not only a huge waste of money that could go towards building wealth or traveling, but also a huge waste of resources like vital water supply, overuse of gas for transporting of these goods that contributes to CO2 emissions, etc.  According to Forbes – Making Climate Change Fashionable – The Garment Industry Takes on Global Warming, “it takes more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.” The United Nations Climate Change News states that “the fashion industry contributes 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to its long supply chains and energy intensive production.” 

So who’s ready to join the #NoNewMaterialThings, #BuyUsedOnly, and/or #BuyNothing trend in order to save more money for building wealth, or more importantly for travel? One can argue that traveling can be as harmful to the environment as the clothing industry, so for our sake let’s hope that transportation & travel continues to become more energy efficient, conscious, and sustainable. Furthermore, I will continue to enjoy my more sustainable wardrobe, perfect for traveling the world, while advocating for a more sustainable textile and travel industry. In fact, I consult for my prima Carolina Chavarriaga’s small clothing & accessories business, and convinced her to recycle used materials, fabric, and/or clothing for her products from here on out. Follow her FB page and Instagram, and check out this video announcing her new sustainable business endeavor:

Above in this article and following I share some photography I’ve captured over the years during trips to the park, a nearby city, or to another country. Pay attention to how a homemade, used, or vintage outfit enhanced not only my photo, but the memory of my travels or experiences in general along with a subtle reminder that I saved money and contributed to sustainability by buying used or making my own item. At the end of the day, no material object matches the unforgettable experiences we share with our loved ones or with ourselves (self-care alone time).

I bought this sparkly top at a consignment store in San Diego, CA, but the photo was taken in Palomino, La Guajira, Colombia in 2016:

 

 

 

IMG_9872

Wearing a used dress bought at a thrift store in Portland, Oregon in 2016 while visiting Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia in 2017.

For more Latina Thrifty Vintage fashion inspo, make sure to check out Bomba Estéreo‘s leading lady Li Saumet‘s venture as the co-owner of Soy Banana Life Tropical Vintage Store located in Santa Marta, Colombia (follow @soybananalife on IG):

Virtual Dance Class: Travel from Colombia To Mexico through Cumbia

It’s Fall season, when spirits are said to come back to roam our realm. In honor of the Mexican holiday of “Dia de los Muertos“, our founder Ale will be offering a virtual Rumbaterapia dance class on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST to commemorate our ancestors through dancing Cumbia. This begins “Travel through Dance”, a new virtual dance class series where we explore different cultures in this unique way.

She will lead a 1.5 hour session beginning with a trip that starts in Colombia during colonial times when folkloric Cumbia was born on the Caribbean coast. Join her as she travels to land in Mexico to see the progression of the dance & music of Cumbia throughout Latin America. Of course, no such event can go without honoring La Santa Selena, Techno-Cumbia Queen.

Participants will be encouraged to prepare an altar honoring their ancestors (and/or Selena) before the dance class begins, and close to where they will be dancing. We will start with an introduction to the theme of the class, stretching, music & dance progression from old school Cumbia to modern Cumbia, and then we will end with a ritual to honor our ancestors, a breathing exercise, and then close out with a meditation. Feel free to dress in folklórico outfits, Selena impersonation costumes, and/or overall get as creative as possible to celebrate the dead through dance. It’s suggested to load up on incense, candles, sage, palo santo, or anything that you would like to incorporate into this dance therapy ritual.

There is a minimum $10 donation required for this class since all funds raised will go towards the Mochila Fundraiser to help us monetize our website. Send your payment with your email, and we will send you the virtual class link. Accepted forms of payment are: 1) Venmo @Travel_Latina, 2) Paypal aletracy4@gmail.com, or 3) Zelle aletracy4@gmail.com.

Conectando con Raíces Ancestrales en México: Las Queer Enamoradas

On April 19th, a photo of one of my favorite influencers, Brown Badass Bonita’s Kim Guerra wearing a vibrant red dress with the backdrop of a turquoise blue ocean, grabbed my attention because it was tagged as located in Mexico City, Mexico. BBB usually commands my attention with her colorful graphics and empowering poetry, but this was different. I was confused because I knew that there weren’t any beaches in DF, but I also know that many of us women don’t always like to immediately disclose our current location for safety concerns, especially for someone with such growing recognition like Kim. It suddenly hit me when I quickly remembered some of her recent posts in the past few months, “¡Kim está viviendo en México!” So of course I perused all of her recent posts, none of which I had realized where she actually was, or that she announced or explained outright what she was doing in Mexico with her partner Ana Sheila, the co-creator of Tamarindo Podcast. I was instantly determined to find out their story, as I felt it in my soul that they were living and traveling there to connect with their ancestral roots. And as a queer couple, how must that be for them? I had so many questions already! I can spot the radiating glow of not only empowered mujeres like them, but ones who further this empowerment by making the decision to go back to live in their motherland. Their story is a perfect addition to our “Conectando con Raíces Ancestrales” series, as we share inspiring stories of Latinxs who connect to their land in their own deeply personal way.

Kim’s Artesania Necklace

I had the distinct opportunity to interview Kim Guerra and Ana Sheila via Zoom while they were in their comfortable apartment in Coyoacán. Las Queer Enamoradas, their new joint IG account, provides a space to celebrate queer mujeres in love, the epitome of this perfect pair. I had to calm my fan-girl squeaking right off the bat. Down-to-Earth, free spirits, chingonas. I already knew I wanted to talk to them for hours about their experience in Mexico. Kim was wearing a gorgeous indigenous bright yellow beaded necklace sprinkled with other colors, reminding me of the Indigenous Colombian Embera Chami necklaces from my motherland. They sat comfortably next to each other, embracing with such burgeoning love for one another.

Kim and Ana are from the Los Angeles, California area, and met during the pandemic on a socially distant Zoom call. By January 2021, after dating 8 months, they both agreed that they wanted to live and explore México lindo y querido, something that was possible because of their ability to complete their work remotely. They took their dog Chanchito, and arrived in Mexico City (aka Distrito Federal, aka DF) with their adventurous yet COVID-conscious spirits ready to explore. Ana was actually born in DF, so going back was like a coming home to her roots to connect with her ancestors like her Dad who was raised there but unfortunately passed away just 2 years ago. She still has family in the Mexico City area, a tremendous resource to help navigate the city and travel outside of DF. Kim has family in Guadalajara, Jalisco who they plan to try to visit. Since arriving, they’ve explored 6 remarkable locations thus far: Tepoztlán, La Condesa, Coyoacán, Mazunte, Zipolite, and San Agustinillo.

Tepoztlán
Kim and Ana first visited a pueblo 1 hour outside of Mexico City, Tepoztlán, Morelos considered a Pueblo Mágico or Magical Town, awarded the label in Mexico for maintaining their original architecture, traditions, history and culture. These pueblos normally hold great relevance to the country’s history, and many times hold remarkable symbolism and legends. Tepoztlán is best known for the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec feathered serpent god. The town is also known for its weekly artesania market, and a hiking trail that leads to the Aztec Tepozteco pyramid.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many of the public sites were closed, including the Pyramid,  but it was still possible to do and see many things out in nature and from afar. Kim and Ana spent the greater part of their short trip hiking. Kim describes this location as a perfect spiritual getaway to exercise on the trails, self care with massages, experience an indigenous Temazcal sweat lodge, and to learn about herbal practices via a tea cleanse. Ana described that she felt she connected spiritually with her deceased Abuela and Dad during the Temazcal experience, physically feeling their presence.

La Condesa
At this point, Kim and Ana were ready to figure out their long term living arrangement in the Mexico City area. They chose La Condesa, a colonial borough in DF just 4 km south of Zona Rosa. They booked an Airbnb only for a month to try it out. Although the area had its own charm, Kim and Ana felt that it catered towards the extranjero or tourist, and felt culturally disconnected. After one month living and working there, they decided they were interested in an area where they would be able to interact more closely with locals. This led them to the bohemian burrough of Coyoacán.

Coyoacán
I was not surprised that las Queer Enamoradas fell in love with the area that once was inhabited by Queer Diosa, Frida Kahlo. In Nahuatl, Coyoacán means ‘the place of coyotes’, known for its bohemian colonial style, open artesania market, and La Casa Azul – Museo Frida Kahlo. The burrough is located about 12 kms south of downtown Mexico City. They found an apartment, met with the landlords, and decided to secure 3 months up front. The place has a charming patio shared with neighboring apartments, and it provided a perfect comfortable space for both of them to work remotely. 

Anasheila and Kim at the Frida Kahlo Mural in front of the Mercado Artesanal de Coyoacán

They both reflected that they acknowledge their privilege in living there, expressed their gratitude, and explained that they saved money on rent and food alone by living there instead of expensive California. Even their black labrador, Chanchito, demonstrated having a higher quality of life as they enrolled him in incredibly affordable “doggy day care” every day during the week. As a dog mami myself, I was pleased to find out that Kim had also seen a psychiatrist to certify Chanchito as an “Emotional Support Animal”. She had to prepare to travel to Mexico with him by making sure he had his paperwork in order: a travel certificate, a health certificate with all his vaccines up-to-date, and the Psychiatrist’s note.

Kim explained how she purchased her gorgeous artisanal necklace at the local open market. I was in awe with some of the activities she already had planned, like that of posing as a muse for a circle of artists in the area. How much more of an experiencia Frida Kahlo can you get!? What was clear to me was that both Ana and Kim were interested in making deep connections in the area. They highlighted their desire to contribute to the economy there in a meaningful way, and these statements and intentions gave me escalofríos from the good vibrations. 

Mazunte, Zipolite & San Agustinillo
After a couple of months living the city life, Kim and Ana decided to plan a trip to the beaches of Oaxaca for 4 days. The flight was about 1 hour and 20 minutes from DF. Apart from relaxing in paradise, the most majestic part of the trip was whale-watching – so powerful for them, that both teared up at the sighting. Notably, they visited Zipolite as an LGBTQ-friendly nudist beach they felt welcomed to explore and be themselves. However, they observed that the area was overrun by White Hippies who have lived there long term but barely interact with the local population. 

Living and Traveling in Mexico as LGBTQ
Kim and Ana smiled bright as they explained to me how they loved taking up space as a couple. They walk around often holding hands, and they never feel unsafe. Furthermore, they did note that people do stop to stare often, including people who stop their conversation to stare, and people who nudge “mira” to point them out. Overall they feel proud to take up space as queer enamoradas, unapologetically queer and in love.

Living and Traveling Mexico during Pandemic Times
They made sure to get tested anytime before getting on a flight, wore masks when indoors and around place with people around, and followed the strict regulations enforced in Mexico. They avoided crowded places and destinations like Cancun, Cabo, Tulum, etc and made sure to stay at small, private boutique hotels to avoid having to deal with too many people.

I can’t wait to see where else this lovely pareja will travel to in their motherland. The opportunities are boundless, and I feel that they will make unforgettable connections, catalyze collaborations, and have life-changing experiences enough to write a book about. Let’s hope that in a couple of years we get the opportunity to interview them again to debrief. Who knows, maybe they will live in Mexico for the rest of their lives! May their story inspire you to connect with your native motherland in this unique and unforgettable way. ¡Que viva el amor, y que viva la oportunidad de conectar con tus raíces ancestrales!

The Latinx Traveler – A Latinx Heritage Month Virtual Presentation to TCS World Travel

I’ve never been invited to present anything like this before, which makes it exciting to witness in real time the way companies are taking issues of Diversity & Inclusion increasingly more serious. A representative from TCS World Travel located in Seattle, WA invited me to speak virtually to the company to commemorate Latinx Heritage Month on September 22nd, 2021. The part that I found most incredible was that she wanted me to present on the ideas from my article “Travel is Political.” Growing up Latina and as a WOC, especially during my college years, I was constantly told by mostly White Midwestern people I knew that I was being “too political” and “why do I always have to bring up race” when I brought up serious issues that impacted the most marginalized populations in our society, of diversity & inclusion, and/or of race & ethnicity. Usually they would say it in a way hinting at my moral inferiority, and/or to get me to drop the ‘taboo’ subject immediately. Never in a million years would I have thought someone non-BIPOC would be interested to hear my take on why travel is ‘political.’

The presentation started with an intro to the Latinx/Hispanic identity, data on the Latinx Wage gap, and market research on the Latinx Traveler. Unfortunately, the “Travel is Political” section was at the very end, and because of time constraints, I was forced to speed through. Nonetheless, I would love it if you would watch my presentation in the video below and give me some constructive feedback to improve.

I’m excited for and hoping for more opportunities like this in the future!

Free Workshop: Credit Card points with Traveler Charly Money Coach

On July 20th at 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST, we will be offering a FREE virtual workshop with Traveler Charly Money Coach and specifically our founder Ale Tracy Chavarriaga. The workshop will focus on how we have used credit card points to afford our travels, because we’re committed to making travel more accessible through financial literacy.

We will show you how to decide which credit card welcome bonus offers are worth it, how to build your credit score, and debunk common myths around credit cards. 

If you’re interested in learning more about credit card hacking in the smartest ways, don’t miss this FREE workshop! Please sign up for the workshop through this link.

Travel is Political

I’m getting tired of people telling us to keep politics out of our page. Newsflash people, travel is political. Most things in life are inherently political, whether you want to accept it or not. Communities, schools, work, religious groups, sports, and even families all have some sort of political occurrences in their structures, interpersonal interactions, and more. Yes, it’s annoying and greatly concerning how much division and anger the uncomfortable topic of “politics” can create. We despise when people take sides, like sports teams, instead of seeing the need to help the most vulnerable or marginalized people.

So how is Travel Political? Let’s dive in:

1) Access to Resources: if a group has generational wealth or greater access to resources than other groups, they have greater access to leisure time to relax and more privilege and liberty to plan and pay for leisure like travel. Policies and laws established by politicians have historically impacted who has greater access to resources over others.

2) Immigration Status: people have traveled across oceans, mountains, and rivers to seek a better and/or safer life since the dawn of humanity. Animals do this to survive. It’s unfair to label someone as “illegal” and “criminal” when they may have had to uproot their whole family and life from one country due to war, poverty, environmental collapse, discrimination, disease, etc. The USA was founded by the colonization of European immigrant settlers who rampaged Native American communities and benefited financially from forced enslavement and migration of Africans. The USA has also created issues by meddling in other countries’ politics, like in Central America, or Palestine-Israel, of which has caused the huge waves of migration of refugees from those regions. People’s movement will never end so long as there are incentives and freedom to do so, whether it is for survival, or whether it’s for leisure. Topics of migration, immigration, refugees are travel-related and significantly impacted by policies and laws.

3) Saviour Complex: The idea of “saving poor unfortunate souls” is nothing new. Christianity wiped out indigenous tribes, their culture, and spiritual practices worldwide because they were deemed savage, inferior, and evil. European monarchies were closely allied with the Catholic and Protestant churches because together, they held greater power and wealth. Therefore, religion in those times was highly political. Nowadays, when most prefer to see a separation of Church and State, we still observe that people like to travel to feel better about themselves and get the feeling they are making a difference. Some examples of this can be seen by trips planned to convert Africans to Christianity or clean up trash with a non-religious organization. But how much are their efforts hurting versus helping and centering the more privileged person’s experience? Shouldn’t their wealth and efforts be used in political power to help sway policies that have a much more significant impact on people abroad? There are also highly political non-religious organizations that perpetuate the Saviour Complex, like the US government’s Peace Corps or the US Department Agency International Development (USAID). This mindset not only shapes a culture of what is seen as charitable giving through travel, but it also shapes foreign policy and laws abroad.

4) Passport Privilege: This one almost goes hand in hand with immigration status and access to resources. Are you a citizen who can afford to buy a passport and use it? Do you have legal status that allows you to receive a passport? Does your country passport allow entry into all countries? Or does your country’s standing in the world only grant you and your passport access to a select few countries? The citizens of Japan and Singapore have the most passport privileges as they are able to visit 189 countries each. In comparison, Afghanis have the worst passport privilege as they are only able to visit 25 countries. Politics shape the policies and laws that shape our passport privilege in the world.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that travel is political. We stand for ethical, sustainable, educational, and conscious traveling. We cannot stay silent about injustices, especially if they negatively impact our communities, vulnerable communities like BIPOC/ LGBTQ+ / low-income/ disabled, the environment, and ultimately ANY travel experience (whether forced immigration or for leisure). Many of us have a voice and ability to sway our political representatives, boycott unethical products or companies, and more. We remain a non-party affiliated platform with a strong desire to encourage holding our politicians accountable no matter which party – and even if one side needs accountability A LOT more often.

Did we miss any important subtopics to this topic? Please add your take on this subject in the comments below.

The Latina Helping Other Latinas Reach Their Remote Work Goals

  • It’s been 3 years since we interviewed Andrea Valeria, Remote Work Expert from It’s a Travel O.D. How incredible to observe her progress with her own business, and most importantly how she’s helping people land remote jobs. Recently, she helped 6 Latinas land a remote job after they took her new course. SIX! Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has reached it’s 1-year anniversary, many have had the luxury to work for an employer that has enabled a fully remote work environment. Unfortunately, there are still many non-essential workers who had to attend their jobs in person perhaps because of inflexible and traditional employers, or some were laid off because their employment went out of business with the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic. Andrea wants to help these people land a remote job, and set you up for full time nomadic remote work success for when the pandemic ends and you’re ready to travel all over the world. 

Andrea started with one full-time remote job in 2015. With all the flexibility remote jobs provide and all the time saved in commuting, she had time to begin her platform AND work on her brand. While Andrea is now a self-employed remote worker, she didn’t begin like that and she wants you to know the easiest way to start is by landing a remote job by working for an employer. Andrea shares remote jobs in her directory, including full-time, part-time, for different levels, in different industries. Furthermore, her virtual course will help you prepare and search to actually land a remote job.

Andrea offers a course called “Land Your First Remote Job” for those who have no previous remote work experience and have no idea where to start. There are currently 90+ students enrolled to learn how to land a remotified job. This course is not for people who want to start a business or to be self-employed. The registration to this course includes:

-One year access to all of the videos and course content materials
-6 modules of video lessons
-Workbooks to complete along with the videos
-Templates for remotified resumes (text & design), cover letters, and pitches for email & social media
-Community in a private Facebook group (lifetime access)

It’s possible to either pay this course in full, or pay by installments. If you pay in full, students will receive personalized feedback on resumes created after completing module 5. Andrea will send a video while reviewing your resume with edits and suggestions. This course can be completed at any time and at any pace you choose. If you’re still not sure if you want to take this course, check out Andrea’s free Introductory Training video on how to land a remote job to get a better idea of what you will learn in the course.

Happy Remotifying!

INFLUENCERS we love

Whether you love it or hate it, social media is here and entirely integrated into every aspect of our society. It is ever-evolving. There always seems to be more and more content overflowing our screens. In 2018, Nielsen’s Total Audience Report indicated that U.S. adults spend on average 10 1/2 hours each day consuming media (social media, streaming, news, etc.). Without a doubt, that number must have increased in 2020. Now the question to you is, how does the content you are scrolling through make you feel? Does it serve a purpose in your life? Does it spark joy? Does it make you laugh? Is it helping you grow? Is it helping you heal? These are essential questions to ask ourselves when we find ourselves in the rabbit hole of scrolling. Here at Travel Latina, we have the honor to connect and follow so many wonderful content creators who are making social media worthwhile. We want to share some of our favorites with you!

Financial Empowerment: @yoquierodineropodcast, @evamacias, @travelercharly, @laurarealtorwithapurpose

Wellness/Self-Care: @LatinxGrief, @LatinxTherapy, @Dancing.Healer

Business/Marketing: @buildwithjoy.co, @LatinxMktg, @itsatravelod

Visionaries: @brownbadassbonita, @marivetteinmia, @janelm, @jessiemedinaofficial

Travel: @marty_sandiego, @brown.girl.travels, @viajesconmami, @hownottotravellikeabasicbitch

Celebrating Love in Villa de Leyva

After turning 30, I had a sudden desire to shift around many things in my life and dive into new experiences. My writing was really picking up, I was ready to let go of some responsibilities at work, and I’d caught the travel bug, hard. I was also recently engaged to my partner of 6 years, the father of my children, the man I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with, even if we never decided to make things legal. Luckily he had other plans. 

As fate would have it, my cousin got engaged to his fiance the same night me and my partner were engaged. And a few months later, we got a save the date for their wedding… in Colombia, in a tiny town named Villa de Leyva. My heart leapt with joy. I was ready to book all four of our flights so we could spend a weekend in a new country with my extensive family. My fiance, in a surprisingly sensible moment, slowed me down. Given that I was going to be working in a different city during the summer, he reasoned that it would be better if I took the trip alone, especially since I still had never taken a solo trip. It could be one last hurrah before our own marriage. 

And with that, our plan was settled. He would officially win the father of the year award and care for his kids while I spent my summer away for work and play. I couldn’t wait for July to come. 

Late one night in early July, I made my way to Miami airport for my trip. With just my passport and backpack in tow, I boarded my flight on Viva Air (Colombia’s answer to Spirit Airlines) and landed in Medellin in a few hours. I had such romantic notions of a whirlwind adventure involving sleeping in airports and catching random flights… then I tried to sleep on some airport benches for a couple of hours before my connecting flight. Let me tell you, my 30 year old hips were not ready for that night. After a fitful 3 hour nap, I made it to my gate and boarded my next plane, catching a few more minutes of sleep on the way to Bogota. 

Once in Bogota, things got complicated. You see, through the incredible network of my dad’s new wife, tias in Colombia, and Whatsapp, I was connected with a ride to Villa de Leyva. However, we’d never met in person and I had trouble describing where I was in a newly renovated airport. After an hour of texts, calls, and near misses, we finally met. He was an incredibly kind older gentleman who took me to his home first so I could eat a home cooked breakfast of arepas de choclo, scrambled eggs, and hot chocolate. Once finished, we hopped back in his car and raced across the Colombian highways towards Villa de Leyva (a nearly 4 hour drive). 

views from the car ride

Views from the Car Ride

The heart of Colombia was like nothing I was expecting. With rolling hills, cows and sheep along the roads, and farm houses dotting the skyline, I was reminded of the Scottish hills I’d seen just a year prior. And though summer was in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere was just hitting fall. We stopped for tamales made of sweet corn and cheese, more hot chocolate, and an extra serving of fresh cheese. By the end of our snack, I was so full. I immediately fell asleep in the car during the last stretch of the drive (bad etiquette, I know). 

We finally made it to Villa de Leyva with less than an hour to spare before the ceremony. I thanked Hernando for his kindness and met my father at the hotel. He helped me check into my room where I quickly showered and dolled myself up in a black velvet dress I’d only worn once before. Together with my father and his wife, we took a shuttle to the small church, bouncing over the cobblestone along the way. 

Villa de Leyva is a sleepy, touristic town, a vestige of colonialism in many ways. The entire town is comprised of white washed buildings and Spanish roof tiles. Once the shuttle dropped us off at the Plaza Mayor, we posed for some pictures and sat in a wooden pew. The ceremony was a traditional Catholic one with a bilingual twist. My uncle, a deacon, gave the homily. Though I myself am not religious, nor was I raised Catholic, I was sucked into the beauty of the rituals and the ornate altar. In my evangelical upbringing, I was raised to praise through song and dance and speaking in tongues. In this church, I found worship through the ornate sculptures and tradition. As the ceremony ended, we made our way back to the church doors, packets of confetti in hand, ready to send off the bride and groom. They hopped into a 1940s car and road around the Plaza. Nearby, a folklorico group was warming up for a performance. The shuttle came to take us back to the hotel. 

Latino Ken and Barbie

Latino Ken and Barbie

Due to my quick change for the wedding, I didn’t get much time to explore El Duruelo, a sprawling campus of rooms, spas, and naturaleza. We trekked up to the courtyard where we were greeted by cocktails and, to everyone’s surprise, an incredible Cuban band playing classic chachacha, son, salsa, and bolero songs. I took a moment to slip away with a cocktail and basque in the sunset views from the bar’s balcony. I was enchanted by Cuban music swirling against Colombian mountains, a perfect blending of cultures perfectly encapsulating my cousin’s marriage. My cousin Elaine soon found me and we welcomed the newly married couple as they took an impromptu first dance near the fountain. We then took our seats in the dining room where we were served course after course of delicious Colombian delicacies. I was able to connect deeply with my father’s wife; we bonded over family loss and new love, and college (her daughter attends the rival to my alma mater). 

Soon, plates were cleared, more wine was drunk, and we all found ourselves dancing. The band was replaced with a DJ who’s playlist spanned from 80s salsa to swing music to top 40 hits from around the world. After a few hours of dancing, I slipped away, exhausted from travel and fun. I kept a window open, the fall breeze keeping me cool as I drifted into a deep sleep.

I awoke just after sunrise, and after dressing for the day, took some time to read on my room’s patio. My father happened to pass by, and we decided to head up to the restaurant for a light breakfast before heading to the town for some souvenir shopping. We walked into town from the hotel, popping into side shops. I purchased a hand knitted sweater for my daughter (which she loves). This area of Colombia is known for its wool, and many shops held beautiful knitwears.

Me and Dad shopping

Me and my father exploring shops in Villa de Leyva

After an afternoon of shopping, we made our way back to the hotel where we lunched poolside with family. After bidding our farewells, we met with a family friend who gave us a ride back to Bogota so we could make our flights in the morning. We made several stops along roadside restaurants, mostly to ensure we didn’t violate the pico y placa laws (to curb air pollution and traffic, Bogota has strict laws on when citizens can leave and reenter the city). I spent the night in a modern apartment, sad I wasn’t able to extend my trip. 

In the morning, I was given a ride to the airport by another friend from the Whatsapp network. I spent my afternoon layover getting caught up with work and talking to family. Not before long, I was back in Miami, back to the real world, but somewhere in the distance, I could feel Cuban rhythms and Colombian meals calling my name.

Inspiration to Organize Your Finances

Let’s uplift each other and help our community build wealth, not only for traveling but for a healthy sustainable financial future.

I’m usually a frugal, organized, budget-obsessed type of person, but two years living on a volunteer stipend while ending my 20s and going into my 30s sent me into one of the most stressful whirlwinds of my life. It’s taken over a year to get “back in the black” since completing my service (excluding student loans of course), and get back to my happy state of savings. This article is a culmination of me finding inspiration while I work on gaining back financial stability, but also wanting to further help other Latinxs take charge of their finances. The following is a compiled list of expert women budget-ers, savings gurus, and financial advisors to follow or reach out to.

Eva Macias
Her Instagram profile description states “✨Teaching women they’re worthy of having it all & how to master their finances to get it”, which is crystal clear thanks to her carefully curated coral-hued feed. Her website offers a free e-book “A Latina’s Guide to Money“, a financial bootcamp, appointments with her, and all of her services are offered in Spanish or English.

 

Natalie Torres-Haddad – Financially Savvy Latina
If “2TEDx Speaker 🔴, International Award winning author📗, Financial/Mental Health/higher Ed advocate” doesn’t inspire you enough, I’m not sure what will. Purchase her book “Financially Savvy in 20 Minutes“. Check out her website to see all of this inspiring Latina’s accomplishments in all things budgeting and finance.

 

Bernadette Anat – Hey Berna
“Budgetin’ dreams & money memes” is an accurate description with Berna’s curated memes that will have you both scrolling entertained for hours and educating yourself. On her website, she describes herself as a “financial hype woman” and “Fin-fluencer.” She explains that she is “dedicated to making financial literacy more funny, more accessible, and more Brown for young people everywhere.” Make sure to check out her Budget Camp: A BadA$$ Mini E-course which includes an exclusive video, digital worksheets, access to a chat community, and a 30-minute 1:1 call with Berna herself.

 

Yanely Espinal – Miss Be Helpful
Self-described as a “Financial Educator & YouTuber 🤑”, she has over 37k+ subscribers on her Youtube Channel. With over 147 videos uploaded, Miss Be Helpful is dedicated to educating on anything that has to do with being smart with your money.

 

Clever Girl Finance
“Personal finance courses & 1-on-1 mentorship when you need it. Empowering women to achieve real financial success!” Their website offers courses, a free financial road map, and a look into their Clever Girl Finance book – ditch debt, save money, and build real wealth.

 

Jessie Susannah – Money Witch
Jessie’s Instagram account “Money Witch” is everything you would want from an Intuitive Financial Coach. The tag line “Heal Your Finances” on her website invokes more than just brujería, it’s clear Jessie wants to educate and uplift women. Make sure to read her article “What your horoscope says about your spending,” published on Refinery 29. Jessie sells her own Money Magic Shop products, offers intuitive financial coaching sessions, and even an online workshop called “Business Basics for Not-So-Basic Business Babes.

 

We Bravely Go
They describe themselves as “Events, Tools, + Community at the intersection of finance and feminism. We help you get better with money.” They offer investing webinars, a Small Business & Freelance Starter Guide, money coaching sessions, and the Bravely Values Based Budgeting Workbook.

 

Money and Flow Podcast
This podcast coins “making financial planning 💸 relevant and accessible for #WOC.” Listen to their podcast on Itunes, check out their informative blog, or sign up to talk to a Modern Money Advisor.

 

Tiffany Aliche – The Budgetnista
America’s favorite financial educator explains that she is “dedicated to making life-changing financial education accessible to women worldwide.” Through her website, you can access free online resources, as well as join her exclusive Facebook group community.