The following is a guest post by Carla Curiel, owner of Lanugo. Her company has been a strong supporter of L4LL and Latino children’s literacy, and now continues to support with a free eBook for Latino families.
Since this is my very first time writing a guest post for Latinas for Latino Lit, I want to introduce myself first, not so much because you need to know my name, but because you will most likely connect with my story. I am a mom of two healthy and happy little Latina girls. A mom who also realized during pregnancy that my life had evidently changed when I noticed that I had started worrying about issues that were not even happening yet.
My twins were just tiny babies in the womb, still full of Lanugo, when I found myself concerned about how I was going to pass on to them our Latino values and traditions being so far from ‘home.’ How would I help them develop a positive emotional connection to their Hispanic heritage? Yes, in my mind and in my heart, I felt that as their mom, it was my duty to make sure that those two pretty Americans girls could also experience the joy and the gift of being proud Latinas.
Little did I know at the time, that I would search and search for attractive and engaging tools that would support me on my ‘mission’ to develop in them that strong and proud sense of identity – of belonging – that I feared they would lack, perhaps feeling ‘not enough Latinas’ nor enough ‘Americans.’ Being a true Mamá Pata, when I realized the lack of culturally relevant Latino products available for preschool children, I was depressed, surprised and empowered, at the same time.
As Latinos, we were either getting flat translations from English to Spanish, or we were being represented under numerous stereotypes – usually involving a pair of maracas, piñatas and a sombrero… And although those are fun props, we are more than that, and I wanted my daughters to know that. So, I committed myself to create the tools I needed to build the world that I wanted for them. The passion I felt within me, mi corazonada, was just too strong to fight, and honestly, I didn’t want to.
Ironically, I quickly found myself devoted to a new mission as a means to fulfill my initial objective. Today, I have an unequivocal responsibility to bring my girls a world of pride, a world of good, a Latino-inspired world of joy that will help them have a proud and strong identity, and that is Lanugo.
Lanugo was truly founded for the betterment of our children. It is to restore values and traditions. It is a warm and welcoming world that celebrates our culture by highlighting the positiveness and the sazón, of being Latino. It is a world of good, of respect, of admiring the little things in life, of celebration, of music, of art, all for our children and their innocence.
With that said, it is also a world that believes in the power of literature, and books will always be a preferred medium for us to share our Lanugo world with our children. Therefore, Maria Alejandra Fondeur, a Latina Mamá Pata and a Harvard graduate in early childhood education, and myself developed a book series concept focused on promoting particular aspects of the Hispanic culture through our fun loving characters.
Our first Lanugo eBook “Volando con Quique” was devised with the goal of introducing children to Latino-influenced music with its unique repetition and rhyme through the adventurous spirited storytelling by father and son, Don Juan and Quique. I particularly love this book because it proves that el ritmo se lleva en la sangre sin importar por donde andes.
To encourage all the Mamá Patas whom I have personally vouched to support in their mission of raising proud Lanuguitos, we are offering free unlimited downloads of our “Volando con Quique” book through our website www.BebeLanugo.com. We are also super excited that next month, we will be distributing the eBook through both iBooks and Amazon.
From one Mamá Pata to another parent, we truly hope that we can help you make a positive difference in your Lanuguito’s life.