When I read about the project that photographer Jaime Moore did with her daughter when she turned five, I just knew I wanted to do something similar with my daughter when she turned five but my twist was choosing five important Latinas who have transformed the world. Janine Harper and her husband Marc Bushelle who is a photographer also made their own version with their daughter to highlight African American heroines.
I am not a photographer and I didn’t really have a budget to come up with better outfits so I do apologize for the photos not being a exact copy but we did the best we could. I contacted Melinda Torres of Creating an Image who is a professional photographer and this is the result of the project:
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz learned to read and write Latin at just three years old, in a time when it was forbidden for women to read. But she didn’t care and kept on reading and learning in secret. Knowing that the only way she could continue her studies was by becoming a nun, she entered the monastery of the Hieronymite nuns in 1669 and kept writing and studying science, music, history and everything in between. Of course she faced critics within the church who insisted she stop learning and devote herself to religion, and though in some ways she complied to avoid censure, she stands today as one of the bravest women in the “New Spain” or what is now known as Mexico who fought for her right to education for herself and other women.
She was a Mexican surrealist painter who learned how to use both her physical and internal pain to make beautiful art. Many of her paintings are self-portraits, and represent elements of her life that she struggled with.
When she was 18 she had an accident that marked her life and her work. The bus she was riding crashed with a trolley and she broke her spinal column, collarbone, ribs, pelvis, and really most of her body was crushed. She was able to walk again but had to go through 35 surgeries and had to deal with debilitating pain for the rest of her life. One of her famous quotes is: “Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly.” A true warrior.
My daughter had the hardest time trying to look angry for this photo. Funny, because she has no trouble getting angry when I refuse candy… anyway I think she was having a lot of fun.
Co-Founder and first vice president emeritus of the United Farm Workers union, she is a labor leader and civil rights activist. She helped farm workers organize with Cesar Chavez and has earned recognition for her work in the labor movement and women’s rights movement.
Digna Ochoa was a human rights lawyer from Veracruz, Mexico. She defended activists in Mexico from Guerrero and others who were presumed to be members of the Zapatista movement from Chiapas. She was kidnapped numerous times and even left to Washington D.C. for some time but returned to Mexico City to continue her work. Ochoa died in 2001. Her body was found in her office where she worked with a note warning the other members of the Human Rights Center that the same thing could happen to them. Mexico City Officials ruled a suicide although many senators and public opinion disputed the claim, given that initial reports and evidence points to her being shot from the back and from the left to right, while she was right handed.
I apologize for not having a more suitable shirt. I think I might redo this one later on because I don’t think is a good enough homage to this beautiful lady. She is an amazing inspiration, and I hope my daughter and I learn more and more about her. My daughter has Guatemalan ancestry from her father’s side so it’s very important for me that she knows where she comes from.
Menchú has fought for the rights of indigenous people. She is a member of the K’iche’ ethnic group. She became a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1992. The quote on the above image says “Peace is not just the absence of war; as long as there is poverty, racism, discrimination and exclusion we will hardly be able to reach a world of peace.”