Our Very Own DJ Thelma of Los Sunny Daze

Thelma Uranga ringing in the New Year with her booty shakin' music!

Thelma Uranga ringing in the New Year with her booty shakin’ music!

Take Control of Your Story!

Photo courtesy of Mark and Angel http://www.marcandangel.com

Photo courtesy of Mark and Angel http://www.marcandangel.com

Mujeres Maravillosas On The Move – 2013

Stories-to-Tell-2Are you wondering where the year went? I know I am. While it’s been a blur for me filled with ups, downs, and side-to-sides I can say that Latinas are doing fantastic work telling our stories in Chicago. I wanted to take a moment to recognize these women who inspire, create, and tell our stories fiercely in a variety of mediums. Please note this is not in any order. These are women I’ve made note of in my head because in one way or another they  inspire me to write. It’s important to recognize that these ladies bust their ass everyday of the year to make our stories happen.  They strengthen the Latino community through their work in the arts, media, community organizing, and creating spaces for stories to take root. Gracias Mujeres Maravillosas!

Irene Tostado, La Raza Newspaper

Moira Pujols, Contratiempo

Diana Galicia, La Catrina Cafe

Coya Paz, Free Street Theatre

Maria Zamudio, The Chicago Reporter

Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Writer & Editor of Rebeldes Anthology

Irasema Gonzalez, Writer / ElevArte Community Studio

Thelma Uranga, Los Sunny Daze

Patricia Carlos, Carlos Theatre Productions

Stephanie Manriquez, FMEL/Contratiempo

Tanya Saracho, Screenwriter

Luz Chavez, Editor, Gozamos.com

Stephanie Diaz Reppen, Writer / Actor

Mayra López, Immigration Community Organizer, TRP

Diana Solis, Visual Artist

Gisela Orozco, Journalist, VivaloHoy

Adriana Gallardo, Story Corp.

Marilyn Camacho, Founder of a Latinos in Film Think Tank

Giselle Mercier, ElevArte Community Studio

Christina Rodriguez, Curator, Expo Collective

Hope you will support their creative efforts in 2014! Feliz Año Nuevo to all of you from Proyecto Latina and I wish you much  joy, abundance, and challenge you to take leaps of faith with your writing.  -abrazotes fuerts, Diana Pando




Proyecto Latina On CAN-TV

Did You Get Your Copy Of Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology?

Cover art by Diana Solis, "Mama Bird," hand-cut paper, 2009

Cover art by Diana Solis, “Mama Bird,” hand-cut paper, 2009


Our book launch of Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology was released this week. We thank everyone who joined us to celebrate this wonderful literary accomplishment! Special thanks to all of our Madrinas y Padrinos who helped make this possible. It filled me with lots of joy to see everyone smiling as they  walked away with their copy of our  much anticipated anthology.

It was truly a beautiful blessing to come together to share our stories, tell a little chisme and drink some wine. We hope that those of you who have purchased the book will feel empowered to tell your stories.

For those of you that didn’t get a chance to make it out and want a copy of the book you can order it online via Paypal.

 What makes this book unique is that it contains the writing and artwork of 26 Latinas and a cameo appearance by our Chisme Box. Some of the themes that appear in the book include: gender, sexuality, family, identity, culture and is written in English, Spanish and Spanglish. The writers included in this anthology range from women in their 20′s all the way to their 70′s reflecting a diversity of work being created by Latinas!




Our beautiful Madrina de Papel y Tinta Vanessa Alvarez

Our beautiful Madrina de Papel y Tinta Vanessa Alvarez


Books are on sale for $15.00.

You can place your order via the buy now button below.

Please include a full mailing address, phone # and email. If you have issues placing your order please email: diana@proyectolatina.org.

Please note all sales are final no refunds.

All orders will be mailed on Saturdays standard mail.





Who Are You to Write a Perfect Poem?

Paloma Martinez - Cruz photo credit: Mike Travis

Paloma Martinez – Cruz photo credit: Mike Travis


I want to dedicate this La Neta post to the adventure of being a creative.  It was at Proyecto Latina’s open mic Mondays that I first started playing my songs for an audience. Now I am playing out frequently with my band Tijuana Jai Alai.  The ska and punk music scenes are heavily male dominated, and I have to wonder what it would look like if more women had access to a safe space like Proyecto Latina in which to share their creativity?  My work of editing the upcoming volume Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology comes from my gratitude at having such a space.  It is a compilation of poetry, art, prose, drama, chismes and reflections from the Proyecto Latina community and beyond, and happily it looks like we’re on track for a late summer release date.

My fear of sharing my art, and my relationship to this fear, is a long one.  When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in the second semester of my sophomore year, I withdrew from college to help with his care. He smoked two packs a day since he was a teenager, and led a swashbuckling life of non-stop community action and partying. He was now skeletal and bedridden, and relied on me for all his needs, but I still found him intimidating.

My father’s approval had always been elusive, but that summer I enjoyed an exciting victory: he was proud of a 120-page poetry collection that I had authored over the course of my second year at college.  I called it The Chicana Who Built the Earth.  Dad wanted me to read him something from my collection, but I knew that I had already read him the ones that he was most likely to enjoy, so I was challenged at that moment to choose from the ones that didn’t say something explicit about love or sexuality, and didn’t indict the way I was raised.  Flipping through the pages of my book, I knew there were no more poems that fit these criteria, so I did what young and nervous performers do.  I began to apologize for what he was about to hear.

You know what, he said.  Get off it.  Who are you to write a perfect poem?  All that shy crap.  It’s just ego to think anyone cares what you do.

There wasn’t much you could say after that. I read him a poem I had written about Grandma, how she lived her life on her knees in the kitchen, a model for the banality of domestic violence in our universe.  It had images of Mission Indians escaping to “fornicate,” and a repeated refrain of, I feel a fever, I feel a fever.  Dad liked some of it.  Other parts he felt were too preachy.

Who are you to write a perfect poem?

I wanted to edit Rebeldes: A Proyecto Latina Anthology because I believe that the fear and awe and isolation that it takes to write and share our stories are what define perfection. Our rebellion is not in plucking the right verse, but rather in taking the risk to embrace our own danger and strangeness.  The bad art is the sound of us apologizing for who we are.

*This post is part of La Neta: A Latina Guide to Losing it All