R29 Somos

Where la comunidad Latinx is seen, heard, and accurately represented. ✨
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I’ve never been on a girls’ trip. As a first-generation Latina from New York, my teens and 20s mostly consisted of family trips to my parents’ homelands of the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica — save for my semester abroad in 2013 and short work trips. That’s why when I got an invitation to The Pink Retreat, billed as the “most colorful girls’ weekend getaway in Palm Beach,” I immediately said yes. The four-day retreat is an annual gathering of women of all ages who love Lilly Pulitzer...
As a Latina, Women’s Retreats Felt Unwelcoming. But This One Taught Me About Sisterhood
I’ve never been on a girls’ trip. As a first-generation Latina from New York, my teens and 20s mostly consisted of family trips to my parents’ homelands of the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica — save for my semester abroad in 2013 and short work trips. That’s why when I got an invitation to The Pink Retreat, billed as the “most colorful girls’ weekend getaway in Palm Beach,” I immediately said yes. The four-day retreat is an annual gathering of women of all ages who love Lilly Pulitzer...
In 2003, before I had an iPod, my uncle gave me a CD player for Christmas. With this heavenly gift, I could escape my parents’ screaming matches as I sound bathed in Avril Lavigne’s Let Go, OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Maná’s Revolución de Amor. I was elated — until I realized my CD player and I were destined to break up. After all, even at 10, I knew all my nice presents would end up with my Mexican cousins que “no tenían tanto.” Though I can now see my parents were doin...
As a Kid, I Hated Sending Clothes Back Home — Now It’s My Way of Giving Back
In 2003, before I had an iPod, my uncle gave me a CD player for Christmas. With this heavenly gift, I could escape my parents’ screaming matches as I sound bathed in Avril Lavigne’s Let Go, OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Maná’s Revolución de Amor. I was elated — until I realized my CD player and I were destined to break up. After all, even at 10, I knew all my nice presents would end up with my Mexican cousins que “no tenían tanto.” Though I can now see my parents were doin...
a woman standing in the grass with her hands on her head and looking up at something
Why Autistic Latinas Often Get a Late Diagnosis
Sara Mendez, 23, started to think she might be autistic after one-too-many jokes from her then-boyfriend who attributed her insect collection and love for mole crickets to autism. At first, she brushed off his comments, but a year later, those quips were why she went on a deep dive into the topic. “I was like, ‘Wow, it actually kind of fits,’” Mendez, who often talks about her experience with autism on TikTok, tells Refinery29 Somos. But even with the language to explain her suspicions, s...
a smiling woman sitting on the ground in front of scuba gear at las palmera
Black & Brown Women Are The Driving Force Of This 800-People Island — & It’s Thriving
With a population of just 800, Little Corn Island is a hidden gem in the Caribbean, and it holds an inspiring secret: Women keep it going. Hailing from diverse backgrounds and spanning different generations, these women are pioneering entrepreneurs who, through community initiatives and sheer determination, have transformed Little Corn Island into a model of sustainable, women-and-family-led tourism and way of life. Little Corn Island has a long history that begins with the Kutra, native ...
three women walking down the street in short shorts
As Tourism Booms in Latin America, Sexual Harassment Against Latinas Has Too
On a Friday night in 2023, Monique Brasil, a 37-year-old Black community organizer, entered a swanky club in the Brazilian capital of São Paulo for a lively night with friends. As she approached the bar for a drink, a stranger came up to her, asking in an accent: “How much?” She immediately discerned the situation: The man was a foreigner who had confused her for a sex worker. Startled, Brasil retreated to her friend group and decided to cut the night short. But as she left, the man traile...
three women in white dresses with long black hair, one holding a baseball bat and the other wearing an orange dress
I Took Up Folklórico As An Adult & It Saved My Mental Health
“Cinco, seis, siete, ocho. Metatarso. Dos a la izquierda. Tres a la derecha.” These are the only words occupying my brain on Wednesday and Friday evenings. But after a tough bout of postpartum depression, these counts have become more than a sequence of steps; they’re an anthem of perseverance in the most unexpected way. My second pregnancy was difficult from the start. The restless leg syndrome came on nightly like clockwork; the hernia made it difficult to walk; the brain fog was so ...
a woman wearing a veil and holding her hands to her face with henna tattoos
Palestinian-Chilean Artist Elyanna Won’t Stop Advocating for Her People
“Seeing everything that has been happening in all of these universities in the U.S., I just want to say how proud I am to see our generation speak their mind. You guys inspire me. Thank you,” Palestinian-Chilean artist Elyanna told a crowd of Brown University students during her performance at the annual student-led Spring Weekend concert on April 21. “I will always speak for my people,” the 22-year-old singer-songwriter tells Refinery29 Somos during a Zoom call in April, ahead of her...
three different pictures of women in bikinis next to a swimming pool and an image of the same woman
The 7 Must-See Titles You Should Stream On Max Right Now
When it comes to the Latine experience, the entertainment industry has only ever operated in one way: to underrepresent us on-screen and behind the scenes, to take our stories and turn them into one lived experience, to generalize us in ways that not only harm us but misrepresent our multitudes of identities, and to create narratives that either glorify Latine pain and struggle or reduce it to tales of drug lords and cartels. We’ve seen great Latine stars get passed over for roles or f...
a woman in tights and heels is holding a handbag while wearing a jacket
Hit Man’s Adria Arjona Is Stepping Into the Leading Lady Spotlight As Madison
Good people may do bad things, but that doesn’t make them bad people. Or does it? That’s the philosophical crux at the center of the movie Hit Man, now playing in select theaters and streaming on Netflix June 7. Part neo-noir, part sexy thriller, part riotous comedy, the film follows Gary Johnson (Glen Powell), a square, straight-laced professor who stumbles into an unexpected side gig: fake hit man. As his double life deepens, he becomes entangled with an attractive, alluring woman n...
a person holding up a yellow sign in the air with writing on it that reads ser que quien soy no esun enfermebao efrmed es mt decision
Peru Lists Transgender Identities As “Mental Health Problems,” But There’s “Nothing To Cure”
Weeks before the start of Pride month, when many companies and politicians choose to court the LGBTQ community, Peru was making headlines for the opposite: the government passed a health decree that referred to transgender people as having a “mental health problem” and “gender identity disorders.” Outrage and protests followed. Using the hashtag #NadaQueCurar, nothing to cure, advocates locally and abroad argued it was a shocking show of ignorance that is exposing LGBTQ people to furth...
a woman with her arms crossed and eyes closed, looking up at the sky while smiling
Mexico Elects Claudia Sheinbaum Its First Woman President — But Some Have Mixed Feelings
On June 2, 2024, Claudia Sheinbaum, the candidate of the governing Morena party and a former Head of Government of Mexico City, made history becoming Mexico’s first woman president after winning a landslide election. After the electoral authorities released the first preliminary results, Sheinbaum took the stage to thank voters and emphasized the significance of the moment for gender equality in a country known for its machismo: “For the first time in 200 years of the Republic, there wil...
a woman with black hair holding pink roses
Mon Laferte Is Ever-Evolving. Her Autopoiética Tour Encourages You To Reinvent Yourself, Too
Mon Laferte is in the dressing room of the McAllen Performing Arts Center in McAllen, Texas, when she logs into the video call. When we speak, she is relaxing before her performance. I ask her how she prepares to face the public. “I usually watch concert videos,” she says. “I love to watch Freddie Mercury performances, for example. For me, he is one of the best-performing artists in the world.” But she isn’t ready to step onstage yet. She still has to complete her pre-performance ritu...
At 8, Child Protective Services removed Elvira Laguna from her mother’s house and placed her in a foster care home in Pasadena, California, with around 60 other kids. Laguna’s mother struggled with addiction and wasn’t capable of taking care of her children. In that home, Laguna, who is Afro-Puerto Rican and Indigenous Mexican, suffered abuse from the staff, including sexual abuse, which manifested into drug addiction and self-harm. Until the age of 16, Laguna bounced from institutionaliz... Indigenous Mexican, Child Protective Services, The Foster, Pasadena California, Foster Care, Puerto Rican, Home Care, The Fosters, Mexican
Why Are Latinas So Overrepresented In The Foster Care System?
At 8, Child Protective Services removed Elvira Laguna from her mother’s house and placed her in a foster care home in Pasadena, California, with around 60 other kids. Laguna’s mother struggled with addiction and wasn’t capable of taking care of her children. In that home, Laguna, who is Afro-Puerto Rican and Indigenous Mexican, suffered abuse from the staff, including sexual abuse, which manifested into drug addiction and self-harm. Until the age of 16, Laguna bounced from institutionaliz...
a woman with long dark hair and large hoop earrings smiling at the camera, in front of a window
After Grief, I Quit Traveling. But This Trip to Mexico Reminded Me That I’m Never Alone
I used to love traveling. With my best friends by my side, I was nearly swept away by the Reynisfjara waves in Iceland, spun like a princess outside of the Royal Palace of Madrid, rock-climbed Las Tetas de Cayey in Puerto Rico, and danced nights away on Havana streets. But after the death of my best friend, I haven’t gone on new expeditions. The magic of globetrotting and sightseeing, in many ways, felt like it died with her. If I couldn’t travel somewhere new with her, then I wouldn’t at...
three women with different sports uniforms holding basketballs
Where Are The Latinas in Sports? Allow Drafted to Show You
Growing up as a queer Latina in Southern California, Karina Martinez found comfort in playing sports in high school. Martinez, who came out as queer at 16, felt alone in a school of 700 other kids who were either straight or closeted. But when she played sports, those feelings of standing out went away. “When I played sports for that hour or two a day, I felt like everybody else,” she tells Refinery29 Somos. The power of sports also aided Jennifer Yepez-Blundel’s personal development. ...