35 Mujeristas Share What Empowers Them for International Women’s Day
Around the world, people celebrate International Women’s Day annually today, March 8th. To kick off the festivities, we spoke with 35 Mujeristas to gather their sage stories about what empowers them throughout the year. From career aspirations, fitness goals, traveling to far off places, to being surrounded by inspiring and supportive women, they shared their intimate statements with us.
The one who is making her dreams her reality
“What empowers me is knowing that I have so many goals and dreams in my life, and how much I would love to accomplish each one of them. Knowing that I’m a few steps closer to those goals and dreams, gives me such gratification. Because I know with every sacrifice and the hard work I make each and every day of my life, is getting me closer to my ultimate goal. I really can’t wait for what the future holds for me! As a matter of fact, I already feel like a winner for just truly believing in myself, that I can definitely do it. I don’t mean to sound optimistic, but every woman has the power to do what they put their mind into, every woman can take on the CEO job, every LATINA WOMEN CAN DO IT!”
The one who has girlfriends who encourage her to reach her goals
“I love the African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." I am so appreciative of the strong, intelligent, talented, and resourceful women that I am surrounded by. Together and individually we are accomplishing our goals, always encouraging each other. I am so excited for my daughter to witness these connections as she grows and hope that she builds her own community of strong women to hold her through every storm and celebrate every triumph as their own.”
– Cecilia of Coco Verde Vegan
The one who finally feels represented
“What empowers me as a Latina is seeing diversity and inclusion throughout politics, business and across the board in entertainment. We've made so many waves this past year from Congress to the Oscars, it's a really exciting time to witness barriers be broken, I can't help but want to go after my dreams with that much more tenacity. I'm really grateful for the era we're living and the shift to celebrating the diversity that we're collaboratively creating.”
The one who is empowered by her Latinidad
“I feel empowered by the strength of my culture. My immigrant parents and their incredible work ethic. I feel empowered by my sexuality. I’m beautiful, sexy, and I don’t care if it intimidates anyone. Go ahead. Feast your eyes on all this! 🤣 (the emoji must be included). I feel empowered by my strong immune system and my fertility.”
The one who is moved by solidarity.
“What has empowered me recently, especially as a Latina who has indigenous roots, is the celebration Roma, Yalitza Aparicio Martinez and Alfonso Cuaron's demonstrations of solidarity with indigenous Mexicans. The struggles of indigenous people across Latin America have systematically been ignored and erased. Beauty pageants celebrate bodies that fit the mold of what it means to be white Latina thereby otherizing indigenous women in their own lands. Seeing Yalitza on the cover of magazines across Mexico and the United States is an example of not only of a superficial acceptance, but a sign of white supremacy being challenged. Alfonso Cuaron's analysis of his status as a white Latino in Colonia Roma and using his Oscar's speech to point out the forms of structural violence faced by indigenous people in Mexico is also challenging the status quo.”
The one who knows there’s a long way to go, but still celebrates.
“It’s true that in Latin American countries there is not equality. But, let’s celebrate that women now have a voice and we do what we love without caring what others think. To recognize myself in other women that are doing the same things I do empowers me. I’m proud of being part of the Latina community because we are opening the doors to younger girls to have a better future.”
The one who is a beckon of positivity for her fellow Latinas.
“What empowers me every morning to use my voice and encourage the women around me to be more positive, beautiful, and successful is due to my mother and her way of teaching me self motivation. I was born to an immigrant Dominican woman that made it possible for me to be the first American-born woman in our Family. I’m a proud Latina that continues to travel the world to encourage other women to be fearless, confident, and courageous!”
The one who gives thanks to the women in her life.
“I feel empowered seeing the unity in community, spreading love, encouragement, and inspiration. Women’s Month is a great time to acknowledge the women around you whether it’s family, friends, mentors, or colleagues who have helped you along your journey. I know for myself my mother has empowered me in many ways by always leading by example. From her struggles to strong work ethic, she has made me the women I am today.”
The one who surrounds her self with people who lift her up.
“Being around people who support and treat me as equal. I work in an industry where I need to be tough and show dominance and there have been instances where people who have looked down on me not only for being Latina but from being a woman. When you surround yourself with a group of people who support you and value you it’s such a huge difference in helping you feel empowered and provides you a sense of belonging.”
The one who is empowered by her crew.
“What empowers me the most throughout any journey has been my tribe. Too many people try to go at it - career, life, studies, business development, etc., alone. No one should ever go at anything alone. Make sure to always practice gratitude with the members of your tribe. Never take them for granted. The practice of adding value to one another can be beyond empowering for all members.”
– Roxana of Latina Nomad
The one who is reclaiming her power.
“What inspires me most, is when I see those in my community realize and step into their own power to achieve their dreams. I come from an immigrant family background and it is through their overcoming of challenges that have allowed me to be where I am today. I resonate a lot with their journey. So, when I see people claim their power, own their story, and live unapologetically and authentically to get what they want, I feel empowered to do the same. I feel like all things are possible and we could all be great and do great. So whether it’s been through making a career change, moving across the country, starting a business or simply speaking up for what you believe in, I admire and am inspired by those who are courageous enough to do so. This is and will always truly be the way that we move forward.”
The one who makes time for self-love.
“What empowers me is my love of self. Learning to love myself was the compass that I needed to see my life more clearly. Learning to pour love into myself allowed me to love others better. It's a daily reminder that I deserve all the love and energy that I put out into the world. I wish the same for every woman- we are invincible when we learn to put ourselves first.”
The one who took a leap of faith with her career
“I’ve been reflecting on the many accomplishments I’ve had and the accomplishments my friends and family have done too. Every day should be Women’s Month and that's a fact. I feel proud of myself for taking a huge leap of faith and leaving my 9-5 which took guts. Even after getting those comments back -“but what will you do now?” I’m proud to have overcome this, because, in reality, I didn’t know what the hell I would do next but I knew I was doing the right thing and that's the only thing that mattered. One thing I appreciate about women’s month is the fact we all empowered women to believe in ourselves!”
– Ivy @LatinaChicTravels
The one who knows Latinas will persevere.
“What empowers me is more colorful women in authoritative positions. Watching numerous women of diversity take seats in the House of Representatives last November meant everything to me. It gave me incredible strength. It also empowers me to watch my 98-year old Grandma laugh. Latina women really know how to survive.”
– Vanessa of V Style Blog
The one who has an inspiring mama.
“What empowers me is my mother. My mother came from her country, learned English, applied herself, and has owned a legit business for more than 2 decades. I hope to follow in her footsteps to be that example for my kids. That for Latinos, hard work is in our blood, it's part of our culture. I feel like because my mother had to struggle with being an immigrant and a single mother, I can't be average. I want to make her a proud Latina mom so that she knows all that sacrifice was not in vain.”
The one who is paving the way for the next generation of Latinas.
“What empowers me is knowing that I’m contributing for other women coming after me. I grew up wanting to work in television because I didn't really identify myself with anyone in the industry. I now am part of an organization in Houston that helps Hispanic Journalist students with resources and scholarships. I’m also on my path of entrepreneurship and my goal is to help Latina women with jobs. I want for other women that come after me to know that we have worked hard for our community to respect us as women but also as business owners.”
The one who comes from a family of strength.
“My family and friends empower me. I was fortunate enough to be raised with strong women: my mother and my sisters who taught me how to work hard and be strong. Having a father who empowered me to go beyond our cultural norms and was one of the few people who believed in me when I decided to join the Marines 22 years ago has been the root of a lot of my successes. My daughter empowers me because everything I do is for her. My main goal in life is to make her proud. Just as my parents wanted more for me than what they had, I feel the same about our daughter. My husband empowers me because he's man enough to support my career and be an amazing military spouse. My tight-knit group of friends who I've known since college empower me. They've believed in me for the past two decades. But most importantly, I empower myself. As I get older, I continue to learn and be motivated to be better not only for myself but for my community and my loved ones.”
– Jessica of Dining Traveler
The one who knows there’s a long way to go, but feels empowered by how far we’ve come.
“For me, Women's Month is about taking a moment to collectively celebrate positive change, continue pushing boundaries, and raising awareness of women's fundamental rights. Not all change will feel easy and positive in the beginning and that's the space we're in now. It's important to revel in that and embrace the many forms of change. Looking back at the work of our mothers and our grandmothers and how hard their lives were to get us where we are today, that's what empowers me. We have no option but to push forward and make the world a better place for our own daughters and sons.”
The one who is motivated by the success of other Latinas.
“As a Latina, I find one of the biggest things that empowers me is seeing other Latinas around me being successful and supporting them in their success. I recently got to see Latin fashion designers share their success at New York Fashion Week and it was incredibly empowering to see these females succeeding in their field and be a part of helping them grow.
The one who knows when to dance it out.
“I feel empowered when I stay strong with the boundaries and standards I set for myself whether it be in relationships, how I spend my free time, or what I consume. It’s not always easy to say no, and instant gratification can be so tempting, but when I put my worth and value as top priority I feel unshakeable and strong. Also, dancing to the Bee Gees always brings out a smile and puts me in the mood to take on anything I put my mind too!”
The one who got it from her mama.
“What empowers me is my mother. Knowing everything she’s done for me helps fuel me. She is my biggest champion and without her I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I’m thankful to have her in my life as I feel it is important for every woman to have a strong female figure in their life to empower them.”
– Jeanine of Le Wild Explorer
The one who is fearless.
“Every day I walk in faith and not in fear. That empowers me to be a better version of myself, to be confident, to rise to any and all occasions. To be bold and confident and not fear challenges or uncomfortable situations I'm put in. To believe strongly in myself and most importantly, to not fear failure or mistakes. It gives me the ability to think, create, commit, plan, and make my goals into reality and to seek help when I need it.”
The one who is inspired by the past.
“Women’s History month is near and dear to my feminist heart. The dedicated time to focus on and highlight women's achievements through the years, as well as the problems they’ve faced for equal rights is critical. I’m immensely grateful for our trailblazers and pioneers and re-visiting their triumphs inspires me to keep the dialogue going and continue to contribute (even if only a small part) to the work that still needs to be done.”
– Taryn of Her Travel Style
The one who is empowered by her motherhood.
“I'm empowered when I'm working AND taking care of my baby girl because it really exemplifies how strong women can be. Many girls think they'll have to choose between caring for their family or establishing a professional career, but at this moment in time, there are thousands of exemplary mom bosses (including myself, yes!) who are living proof that you can have the best of both worlds.”
The one who needs her libertad.
“Freedom of the mind and soul is what true empowerment is to me. When you work hard on developing a skill, do it well, and put it to good use, no one can take that away from you. I’m proud of what I've accomplished so far as a Latina living in a foreign country. Knowing that I can reach my goals with hard work and dedication makes me excited! I like to live my life as if “the best is yet to come”. That keeps me daydreaming but also makes me work harder for the future I want.”
– Ana of Muy Delish
The one who is motivated by other traveling women.
“Travel empowers me. Meeting other badass women along my travels, who despite being told that it is not “safe” or that they shouldn’t go alone still do it and enjoy it. Connecting with other women and hearing their stories. Supporting one another even though we don’t know each other is so empowering to me.”
The one who puts wellness first.
“Nothing feels more empowering then honoring my own needs. I have learned that when my mind and body speaks to me, I need to listen. Those are the time I know to lean in or say no.”
The one who is recovering from generational trauma.
“What empowers me is knowing that the healing I’m doing is going to impact generations behind me and generations in front of me. My daily drive is to own my story and use my voice because I know my grandmother came to this country and her voice was not heard. I’m here to speak for her.”
The one who is empowered by good health.
“I want to see my people succeed, especially with their health. It breaks my heart when I hear of their illness complications that could have been prevented with a simple medical check-up and by knowing how to manage their diet better.”
– Sylvia of Hispanic Nutrition
The one who is empowered by her familia.
“My family empowers me. Immigrant families carry so much strength and resilience. I know all about my parent's sacrifices and the struggles they've faced and continue to face in order to give their children a better future. Other women of color empower me, too. When I see women of color breaking barriers and giving back to our community, it motivates me to do the same.”
The one who is following her own path.
“What empowers me is expanding what Latinidad, fulfillment, and representation mean and that there is no linear, traditional or best way to get where you want to be (mentally, professionally, or spiritually, etc.). There is only your way and that’s the best way.”
The one who knows the power of a strong red lip.
“It might seem a bit silly but I feel really empowered when I wear red lipstick. I'm not a huge makeup person but there's just something about that color that makes me feel as if I have a voice. Someone in a writing class even once pointed this out... how my mouth moves differently and I sound more confident when I wear red lipstick. Funnily enough, AOC actually wears the same shade I do! I've been wearing that one for a few years now and it's my favorite. But, really, beyond that, the color "red" just empowers me. It's something small, sure, but when I need an extra dose of confidence... that's what I go for.”
The one who can’t be stopped.
“I’ve been berated, belittled and ridiculed. I’ve been abused physically, emotionally and mentally... Nothing empowers me more than knowing that I broke down into tiny fragments so many times yet I managed to build myself back up over and over again. She Se Puede.”
The one who finds strength in her physical strength.
“Crossfit empowers me like nothing else. Knowing I can deadlift 220 lbs 3 times, knowing a two-mile run scheduled as a portion of a workout doesn’t phase me, tells me I’ve developed incredible resilience and strength.”
The one who knows empowered women empower women.
“Being a young Latina feminist, women empowering women is what empowers me. It is cliché to say but seeing successful women throughout history and today is what empowers me. In addition to that, being a mental health advocate empowers me. Being able to use my voice to help others and reduce the stigma, that is what empowers me.”
Written by Lola Méndez
Illustration by @smugmorenita
About the Writer…
Lola Méndez is an Uruguayan-American travel writer and full-time globetrotter sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored over 50 countries. Passionate about sustainable travel she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities.