Generations of Giving Back

Generations of Giving Back

Here’s one powerful Latina’s rich family history – and her story of giving back.


I’ve always known Latinas to be savvy, strong, wise, beautiful, community-focused leaders.

My introduction to powerful Latinas began in my own household. No matter how busy her days were, my mother always found time — after a full workday — to review homework, prepare meals, teach meaningful lessons and instill important values in our lives.

My Rich Honduran History
My abuela, who risked so much to reunite with my abuelo in the U.S., with my mother in tow, constantly sacrificed to raise and support three women, a handful of grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Each makes sure she supports and gives back to her native country of Honduras, and our family members still living there.

Growing up, Honduras’ significance was known. It was evident to me during visits – and when watching my aunts, abuela and female cousins — that women lead the charge. Knowing women went to the mountainous areas of Colón, where my parents grew up, to get their crops or handle business, it was clear that I was among matriarchs.

I didn’t always know how I would give back, but I knew one day I would do something that would leave a mark on the lives of women in Colón and Latin America as a whole.

Giving Back: Mani Mamí
My mother, father and I were planning a trip to Honduras in April 2015. I was excited to visit after nearly six years, and I wanted to give back to women during the trip. While we have the luxury of going to salons, which can be found here with ease, many women in certain areas of Latin America don’t have the same access, time or funds to do so. Oftentimes, women are more concerned with taking care of their families that “me time” isn’t top-of-mind (or even on her list). I wanted to give these women some time to sit back, relax, and get pampered.

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Little did I know my blog, AintILatina.com, a site that highlights and celebrates Afro-Latinas*, would spark a social initiative that fuses beauty and social good. Hence, “Ain’t I Latina?”’s social arm, Mani Mamí, was born. Mani Mamí is designed to gift women in rural areas of Latin America with manicures and spa services, as well as the products needed to recreate the experience.

I launched Mani Mamí in early 2015. I began mapping out how I’d execute bringing the initiative to Honduras. I was able to secure a natural hair care brand as a product sponsor, donations of a selection of products, and I provided the nail polishes.

On May 2, 2015, the inaugural Mani Mamí event took place. Roughly 50 women gathered in Ciriboya, a town in Colón, to paint their nails and receive free products. Words can’t express how much this experience meant to me. Yes, I provided these women with products, manicures, pedicures, and time to unwind, but they gifted me with something far greater.

I’m a daughter, sister, aunt, friend and champion of women. Most importantly, I’m a human being. It’s my duty to leave this world better than I found it, and I aim to do so daily.

How have you given back to your community? Share your comments below!

* Women of African descent in Mexico, Central and South America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, as well as those of African descent in the US whose origins are in Latin America and the Caribbean.


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