Safe Sex or Save Sex?

by Katherine Lozano

Holding handsTeen pregnancy is a huge problem and everyone talks about “safe sex,” but how about “save sex?”.  It is the number one predictor of poverty in our country.  If a young girl becomes pregnant, she will be faced with extraordinarily hard choices, each of which hold life-long consequences; she can choose to keep her baby, abort her baby, or give her baby up for adoption.

But as bad as teen pregnancy might be, it is not the worst thing that can happen, not by a long shot.  Pregnancy is not a disease, and it won’t kill you.  Yet, if you ask a teenager what her biggest fear about having sex is, she will likely answer, “getting pregnant.”  The average  teenage girl is not aware of the fact that sex can lead to diseases that can drastically affect her health, the health of her future spouse, and the health of her unborn children.  We have been indoctrinated with the idea that there is such a thing as Safe Sex.  But what most people refer to as safe sex only deals with birth control, not the prevention of deadly diseases.

Safe sex, is a misnomer of major proportions.  There are dozens of inventions and medicines out there designed to prevent pregnancy: pills, shots, patches, devices, etc.  But none of these things keep people safe from diseases.  Condoms can help protect against viral STDs, but they do nothing to prevent bacterial STDs, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  Also known as Genital Warts, HPV is contracted through skin-on-skin contact, and is one of the deadliest STDs out there and the leading cause of Cervical Cancer.  According to the Center for Disease Control, over 80 million people currently carry HPV, and over 14 million people contract it each year.  Young people are infecting one another at exponential rates because they do not realize that all it takes is skin contact in the genital area to pass on HPV, often which does not display symptoms until it is too late.

HPV is only one STD that is infecting young people.  There are dozens more.  So why isn’t the healthcare industry making abstinence its first recommendation in the prevention of pregnancy and disease?   Obesity is also a major health problem.  But doctors are not suggesting pills or shots to people by the millions to lose weight. They are suggesting diet and exercise.  Why?  Because these are the most logical solutions to the problem.  Abstinence is the most logical solution to the problem of teen pregnancy.  Abstinence costs nothing.  Abstinence has no adverse effects on the environment.  And abstinence, like diet and exercise, teaches people self-control and respect for their bodies.
The simple truth is this: abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy and disease.

My Familia is My Inspiration – Who Inspires You? #McFarlandUSA #Giveaway

This is part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Buena Vista Home Entertainment. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

McFarland_MiInspiration_EnglishOnce in a while you hear of a story that may seem just too incredible to believe, such as the REAL-life story from high-school students in California’s Central Valley, McFarland High School. #McFarlandUSA tells the story of how a coach (Jim White) discovers a few students’ exceptional running ability and leads them not only to achieve physical prowess but also builds them up for success but not without the help of their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team.

There are incredible stories like #McFarlandUSA that may not be told on the big screen but are happening in smaller scale with our familias and inspiring those around us.

#MiFamilia #MiInspiracion

In my familia education is important but there was never money to go to school. My dad, a truck driver his MiInspiracionentire life, and my mom, a nanny and cleaning lady till this day, knew that they would not be able to pay for our school because they migrated from a very poor country. So they gave us the best next thing: a great example of hard work, perseverance, excellent work ethics and our cultura that includes how to be resourceful and use the little means to survive no matter what – because they knew these would be the tools we needed take us further than tuition could.

My parents were right, they gave us values that helped us reach our goals and never allowed us to forget our roots. I had the privilege to be the first of my family to graduate from college followed by my recent little sister graduate who is also an Army veteran and my baby brother a Marine veteran and a police officer; together we achieved more than what our parents could have imagined – We have our own McFarland story and I bet you do too! #SiSePuede #VivaLaRaza #MiInspiracion

I Can Only Hope

JacobToday I can only hope that my niece and nephews NEVER forget where they come from and the people that helped pave the road for them. From that poor life in Nicaragua to migrating to the U.S. and living a hard life, I will make sure they grow up knowing who they are and where they came from and learn from the stories of struggles and perseverance of the Montalvans and other great examples such as the students at McFarland High.

The release of Disney’s McFarland USA now on Blu-ray, Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere, has all of my family and The Orphaned Earring team excited. My team and I were among the first to stand in line to watch the movie release and now excited to be able to own the movie and have countless movie nights with our nephews, little cousins and friends so they too can be inspired and realize the sacrifice and work that younger Latino generations invested in their future.

We don’t want to be greedy about owning the movie, thanks to #McFarlandUSA you too can own the movie and experience the joy and inspiration we felt when we watched this movie.

Giveaway

McFarland_SeSepuede_JuntosDisclosure:  No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.  Giveaway ends June 10th.  Sole Sponsor: The Ophaned Earring.  The prize was provided to me by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and I have been paid to blog and promote the film.  Buena Vista Home Entertainment is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ‘Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.’

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Inspiration: Paintor James Kessinger – No Vision? No Problem!

Artist Jamesby Kat Lozano

Once in a while you meet or read-up on someone extraordinary that makes an impact in your life and artist James Kessinger is one to be noted. An inspiration to other creative minds that might face struggles and overcome obstacles for the love of their art and passion.

Famed artist, James Kessinger has been making headlines in recent years, not only because of his development of a new artistic painting style called, strata reduction, but because James Kessinger has the use of only 3% of his vision. Kessinger was born and raised in Kentucky having always demonstrated a flare for innovation. In his childhood days, he invented toys and painted pictures using whatever meager supplies he could find around his family’s farm. James grew up and joined the Army, eventually fighting in Viet Nam. After returning home, he owned and operated successful businesses in the areas of science and electronics. But at the age of 32, James Kessinger began to lose his sight due to macular degeneration. Now, in his sixties and only able to see what can be viewed within one inch or less of a special glass monocle, Kessinger has begun his life as a professional artist.

Humble and oh so gifted, James Kessinger has made an indelible mark on the art world. Making the biggest impact are his abstract pieces that have been described as “pure and non-derivative.” In the world of modern art, that is a rare compliment indeed. James describes his abstract pieces as being envisioned through his mind’s eye. Not confined by the limitations on his physical sight, he has stunned art critics around the world with his unique style called, strata reduction. Strata reduction, as Kessinger describes, is the practice of painting layered pictures on top of one another, then sanding away portions of the top layer. The results are truly breathtaking.

James’ process, like any artist’s, is unique to suit his needs. His studio, as he describes, is structured in such a way that all of his colors are placed in a unique order. His memory of color makes it easy for him to be in tune with what he is painting. For James Kessinger, blindness is not a setback, but an opportunity to express what so few sighted people can. His intuitiveness and ability to express color and life should inspire every artist to find and bring to life that which is intangible until it reaches the artist’s hands.

Next time you may feel discouraged, think of James and how love, passions and perseverance such as his can, and will take you to where you need to be.

 Who is James Kessinger
Who is James Kessinger

MAY: 31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge

 

BLM_logo_horizontal_finalMay is #‎BilingualLiteracyMonth‬ and you’re on time to join the “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” to raise awareness among parents on how to raise a bilingual child for a more successful future through the use of our FREE resources at www.ReadConmigo.com ‪#‎31libros‬

The “31 Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” directs parents and children to the Read Conmigo library, www.ReadConmigo.com where free books can be downloaded. A RC book will be recommended for nightly bedtime reading through social media, daily, throughout the month of May. According to research,, bedtime reading provides a strong parent-child bond, prepares children for a good night’s rest and boost a child’s brain development.

To sign up and participate in the Bilingual Reading Challenge for free, parents and teachers should:

Visit ReadConmigo.org and register for the Read Conmigo program.
Click on the banner for the “31-Day Bilingual Book Reading Challenge” and pledge to read daily to their kids during the month of May.
Follow Read Conmigo and hashtag #bilingualliteracymonth on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Instagram (@ReadConmigo) for daily reading suggestions, weekly trivia questions, and chances to win prizes.

The Magical World of Playing with Dolls #ViVaDolls Giveaway!

 

IMG_20150426_170824Dolls are toys #obvi but they can also serve as tools packed with potential for teaching children about themselves and the world around them. As little girls grow up, they can use dolls for self- expression and to play out the dreams they have for themselves, creating a magical world where they rule.

We work with so many girls in our orphanages and the common activity for girls is playing with dolls who take the roles of moms. Our girls use the dolls to imagine a world where their mom is with them, loving and showering them with kisses. They also pretend to have their sisters, cousins and abuelitas (grandmas) with them creating the family they so long for. You may think this is a sad thing to see but in reality it’s a way they can express their feelings and desires and ultimately get healing from their reality. So it’s clear the dolls play a big role in their life.

Children’s imagination seems like magic! It’s great to see when they can see themselves not only through dolls, cars or on a board game; but there’s something even more powerful when they can physically see themselves in the doll they are playing with.

Vi and Va is a recently launched fashion doll line inspired by Latino cultures. Vi and Va (pronounced like Viva!) are two teenage sisters: Viviana (Vi) and Valentina (Va). For these girls, every day is an adventure and a reason to celebrate the bonds of family and friendship. Vi and Va, along with their best friends, cousins Felicia and Roxxi, were created to help girls honor and embrace their heritage. The themes and storytelling within the line focuses on both family and culture. And as it is common in Latino families, the four main characters are not just friends, they are also family!

Some magical benefits to play with dolls include:

  • Self-help skills – role play to express their feelings
  • Speech language – encouraged by conversation with dolls and other toys
  • Social emotional skills – children can explore how to grow up and take on the role of the future adult and we help develop the ability to give selflessly and to care for others, as children and when they grow into adulthood.

You too can win the #ViandVa dolls for a special child in your life, available exclusively at Target.

This is sponsored post in collaboration with Vi and Va Dolls and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Maryvale Picnic: Love, Fun & Self Esteem Event

SheaMoistureWe’ve focused on children in Latin America not because that’s the only place we want to help but those have been the centers that God has put on our path. But God once again has led us to children that live so close to us in the city Rosemead, CA at Maryvale Residential.

Maryvale’s Residential Treatment Program caters specifically to girls, ages 8-17, who have been removed from their homes and profoundly traumatized by prior abuse, abandonment or neglect and suffer from the effects of numerous failed placements in foster care facilities.

The Orphaned Earring​ will be hosting an event at Mayvale because we want each girl to know they are loved and inspire each to visualize a better future for themselves as successful women. We plan to do that by sharing personal stories from a few The OE friends, to see examples of real-life success!

This event is only possible because of the kind donation of Shea Moisture who donated hair products #ABetterWayToBeautiful, Mitsubishi for lending us a car to transport donations #DriveMitsubishi and Alegria Magazine for helping us with lunch cost! #AlegriaLife

EVENT DETAILS

Maryvale
Outdoor event of about 45 girls and we’ll have five themed picnic areas plus lunch:
1. Beauty and make-up led by Curves and Chaos
2. Food and goodies led by Presley’s Pantry
3. Tech and Education led by #LatinaGeeks​
4. Art & face painting
5. Bracelet making led by Katherine Lozano
Entertainment provided by MayaInTheMoment.com
Special guest Nataly Valenzuela​

If you’d like to contribute, PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING from the girls’ wish list:
* Art Canvas
* Black Hair Care Products
* Sports Balls
* Bikes (adult size)
* Helmets
* Easels
* Beach towels
* Flip Flops
* Journals
* Backpacks
* Cameras
* Yoga pants/socks
* Alarm

You can also give a monetary donation to help with food expenses.

Additional info on the girls as FYI:
Age 9- 1 girl
Age 11- 2 girls
Age 12- 1 girl
Age 13-7 girls
Age 14 -10 girls
Age 15-11 girls
Age 16-7 girls
Age 17-8 girls
Age 18-1 girl

Small/3
Medium/15
Large/10
XLarge/12
XXlarge /5

Any questions please email Denisse Montalvan:
denisse@theorphanedearring.com

#RedNoseDay Sweepstakes! A Good Laugh for a Good Cause

RedNoseDayIt’s time to be silly, put on a red nose and join a national event to help lift children out of poverty! A good laugh for a good cause!

It was 5 am when I was awaken by a pain in my throat and immediately went to my local Walgreens to buy medication, I was convinced my day would be a bad one. As I payed at the register for my medication, I saw a little box of red noses and immediately knew my day was about to change to a happy day!

As the exclusive Red Nose retailer, Walgreens  is selling red noses at only $1 so everyone can help money raised for Red Nose Day USA supporting poverty-focused charities working both in the United States and around the world. Go get one!

 

RedNoseDayWHAT IS RED NOSE DAY?

Red Nose Day is the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event that is now coming to America in a spectacular star-studded special live on Thursday, May 21 (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC who will close out the 2014-15 regular season with a three-hour live Red Nose Day charity telethon. Inspired and supported by Comic Relief U.K. – the British charity behind Red Nose Day – NBC will televise the benefit featuring hilarious stand-up comedy, clever parodies, sketch comedy, incredible music performances from A-list artists and short, compelling films about the cause.

Red Nose Day is all about having fun, raising money and saving lives.

#REDNOSE SWEEPSTAKES

Everyone wins! Once you buy your nose at Walgreens, you can also enter a Red Nose Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for two to New York City to attend the Red Nose Daytelevised star-studded event on May 21!

Entry is easy:

1. Snap a photo of yourself wearing your Red Nose

2. Share it with #RedNose, #Walgreens and #Promo on Twitter or Instagram

Post away your Red Nose pictures and GOOD LUCK!

L.A. Volunteers Needed: Special Olympics World Games 2015

Special Olympics

Special Olympics World Games 2015 is coming to Los Angeles and they are recruiting enthusiastic and committed volunteers to serve in many capacities. There are volunteer opportunities for you as an individual or with a group!

#ReachUpLA

This summer, the World Games will be hosted in Los Angeles  from July 25 to Aug 2 and in order to maximize this experience for special Olympic athletes and their families Mission Ebenezer Family Church is hoping to help spread the love of Christ through participating and attending the Games – because that is least we can do for all the daily blessings that come our waySpecial Boy!

Mission Ebenezer Family Church is hosting an Info Summit on Saturday April 11th from 9:00 am -11:00 am. The meeting will take place at The Rock Youth Facility on the church’s campus. Church leaders are working with World Games, Kim Villa, Director of Community Engagement and specifically works with Faith Based Organizations in L.A. and enlisted the help of church leaders to spread the word with Churches down in the Southbay Area BUT all other areas are welcome. 

If you or someone you know is interested in attending you can email Coba Canales at cobacanales@gmail.com or through the Facebook event.

Let’s get together for one common purpose of showing the love for these amazing young men and women as they come from all over the world to LA this Summer. Blessings!

 

Alegria Magazine Celebrates its 3rd Year Anniversary with fun and social change!

Alegria Magazine Kicks-Off the Season with the 2015 Spring Issue Celebrating Latin American Culture and a donation to The Orphaned Earring!!

Alegria's donation will help bring over 350 smiles!

Alegria’s donation will help bring over 350 smiles!

Alegria Magazine,  the leading luxury and bilingual Latin Arts and Lifestyle magazine in Southern California, celebrates the richness and beauty of Latin America culture in the U.S. during the magazine’s 3rd year anniversary event and launch of the 2015 Spring Issue: Somos Alegria, Somos Latin America!

On Wednesday, April 8th, Latin leaders, artists and media influencers  will enjoy an evening of music, fun and celebration while enjoying the stunning views from the Skybar Lounge, courtesy of title sponsor Inca Kola USA. The star studded event will kick-off with a red carpet, complimentary cocktails from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and entertainment by recognized DJ Canyon Cody from Subsuelo.

“I am most proud of our Spring Issue because it brings together so many internationally known artists and leaders who share their inspirational stories and passion with our readers,” said Davina Ferreira, Founder and Publisher of ALEGRIA. “From an exclusive interview with superstar J Balvin, to the talents of celebrity hair-make up stylist Jomari Goyzo and the beautiful Jackie Guerrido, this issue reflects the colors and passions of our culture.”

“We are proud sponsors of the 3rd anniversary of Alegria Magazine and this celebration of Latin culture as we too celebrate the  growth of our product  in the U.S. We are so happy to give back to our community and support other Latina entrepreneurs” said  Liz Berman CEO of Inca Kola USA.

Among special guest will be  Gil Saldivar, top dancer for some of the world’s biggest pop stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera and from the recent box office hit Mc Farland USA, actor Omar Leyva.

Alegria Magazine also lends its platform for philanthropic efforts to encourage social change. By partnering with the non-profit organization The Orphaned Earring, Ferreira will support over 350 orphaned or abandoned children living in Latin America. Twenty percent of event tickets sales will benefit a total of five impoverished orphanages in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia and Dominican Republic. “Many talk about wanting social change but its only with women like Davina, that take action and inspires others to help, that we will be able to truly change our communities,” said Denisse Montalvan, Founder and Director of The Orphaned Earring.”

You are invited!

To purchase tickets, please visit Eventbrite: Alegria Magazine 3rd Year Anniversary Celebration

 

Event details:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skybar Lounge

8440 Sunset Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA 90069

8:00 pm

The One #WAG Thing You Didn’t Know!

For the past few months I’ve been consumed with joy over the one detail about the We All Grow Summit you might not now…

A portion of the We All Grow Summit proceeds will benefit The Orphaned Earring as the Official Charity Partner!!

Ana FloresIf you have met Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect in person, you know that even with all her accomplishments, success, prestige and almost celebrity status, she is one of the most helpful, loving and genuine person. Her genuine desire for all Latinas to grow was palpable during the 1st conference she launched this year where even the name reflects her heart – because when when one grows, we all grow!

And true to the conference slogan, Ana Flores adopted The Orphaned Earring so that we can grow to new levels of hope, strength and vision to continue helping over 350 children living in impoverished conditions in Latin America.  There are times where we feel like the underdog with so many other conferences partnering with money-making organizations, but in true Ana fashion, she picked the underdog and the cause dearest to her heart.

At this first 2015 Summit you didn’t hear much of me or the partnership but stay tuned to coming years where we will showcase all we’ve been able to accomplish with #WeAllGrow’s support!

IMG_20150311_021714I attend conferences for work and I’m always prepared to turn up my game to network, meet new people and share The Orphaned Earring with everyone I come across. I recently attended the We All Grow Summit #WeAllGrow and the experience was like no other conference experience, it was a pleasant surprise. It was the first-ever bilingual conference designed by women in the forefront of digital marketing and content creation, #WeAllGrow Summit, was specifically created to empower Latina bloggers and digital content creators and share with us the tools we all need to foster meaningful relationships with followers and amplify our voice to truly become digital entrepreneurs. The conference was led by Latinas and boy you could feel that female influence throughout with the loving, understanding, cheerful and uplifting tone that was palpable.

More than a summit, #WeAllGrow felt more like a women’s retreat.  Neutrogena pampered guests with facials, hair and make-up and used Neutrogena products which I loved! Crest gave us a very important tool, they took professional headshots which is a must for conducting business and ViveMejor filled up our goodie bags with the essentials!

Neutrogena

IMG_20150228_095550

The highlight of the conference for me was story telling by successful Latina women. During this time we got to learn and be inspired by the personal stories from our peers, reminding us that with hard work, perseverance and community love we can achieve our dreams.

I can’t wait for next year – yes, it was that good that I’m already thinking about the next one. Congrats to a great team!IMG_20150301_000208