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Latina Still Standing

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By Diana Bejarano

Despite betrayals, divorce, hardships and numerous tragedies and losses, I can say without a doubt that I am truly a blessed woman. Thanks to my faith, my family and my friends, I am – a Latina Still Standing.

What is a Latina Still Standing?

In my own definition, a Latina Still Standing is someone who is resilient. She is a woman who stands strong despite having faced traumatic, life-changing events. She is an overcomer, who exudes beauty through her strength. She is beautiful from the inside out, and she is a Latina who refuses to quit.

“Resilience” is the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it unharmed, or even better, for the experience. It means facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience – refusing to give up. It is the quality of character that allows a person, or group of people, to rebound from misfortune, hardship and trauma. 

I am resilient. I am a Latina Still Standing.

A Latina Still Standing is not perfect. Like many others, she has regrets; she has made mistakes and has hit bumps in the road along the way. But, even though she has fallen, she refuses to quit and she chooses to get back up.

A Latina Still Standing wants the best for herself, her family and her community. She is committed to helping other Latinas stand tall, and relies on her faith, family and friends to help her get through tough times. 

A Latina Still Standing respects herself and others. She smiles in the face of adversity; she handles challenges with grace and courage. She knows that strength and courage run through her veins, and is encouraged by the other Latinas that have gone before her. 

I want to share my story and the stories of other strong Latinas that I have met along my journey. I want to open up a dialogue and share experiences about how we each have managed to rebound from tremendous adversities and hardships. I want to share how we didn’t let those moments define us, how we overcame and are still overcoming, and how we keep standing. 

There is a common thread in the stories of the Latinas that I have met and interviewed. The stories of their faith, families and friendships play an integral role in helping them to stay strong, not to give up and to keep standing. 

Latinas have generations of strength and courage in their DNA; they also have strong support networks that consist of madres, tías, hermanas, comadres and amigas to help them get through any challenge that may arise. 

Our faith plays a tremendous role in our resilience. 

I know that, without my faith in God, I would not have been able to survive any one of the traumatic events that I have endured. I have experienced tremendous loss in my 40 plus years on this earth: losing my two cousins who were murdered within a few months of each other, surviving my father’s suicide, enduring horrible betrayals, surviving a divorce, and many other tragedies. 

In spite of it all, I know that I am Still Standing because of my faith, my family and my good friends. Of the three, my faith has been the key ingredient that has allowed me to overcome each experience that has tried to knock me down. 

I am Still Standing. 

I look forward to hearing your Latina Still Standing stories and how you have overcome and are still standing.

Diana Bejarano’s professional background includes more than 15 years of marketing and communication experience. She was named “Forty under 40” by both the Phoenix Business Journal (2005) and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2007). She is also a Hispanic Leadership Institute graduate (2007). She is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach her at latinastillstanding@yahoo.com or latinastillstanding.blogspot.com

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