Feature Friday: Friends and Follow-Musts


Guest Post by Juan Alanis (@JuanofWords)

Some people make the list because their fabulous, others because they’re members of an exclusive “Rat Pack,” still others do so because they’re plain and simple red carpet material, and then there are the ones that are just Must-Follows and cannot be ignored!  These people are on the LATISM Feature Friday list, this week, because they are that very breed.  Okay, okay… you’re all fabulosos, and no, not as in the cleaning product only, unless you want it to be, but that’s a whole other story… these folks are for many reasons members of our community that deserve a little recognition, not the least of which is that they are at once engaging, entertaining, and very supportive to all of us on LATISM.  So my simple request to you familia is to take notice of our friends featured here, congratulate them, and if you’re not already following them, do so!

Art Meza (@Chicano_Soul)
Family man, a writer, and a proud Chicano, Art Meza is quite literally the buddy you know you always wanted.  He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s friendly, and he’s quite the source of entertainment on his blog, www.chicanosoul.blogspot.com.  Sorry ladies, the man is already taken!  Married with two kids, his family is part of a new breed of very social, as in social media, Latino familias that are online.  Even his kids are on Twitter.  Here are of their handles so you can drop them a tweet and say hello: wife Anna is @xicanna, daughter Brianna is @youngbreezee, son Anthony is @MEZACAN, and of course our proud papá is @Chicano_Soul.  To know Art, which I’ve had the honor of doing so recently, is to know one hell of a great guy all around.  About himself the humble Chicano says it best:  “I don’t always get it right but I try to be the best father, husband and son I can be.  If I can’t say what’s on my mind I’ll be sure to let it out on my blog where I write posts to my wife and kids and posts about experiences that have brought me to where I am in life.”  The ultimate Family Man, even for this feature Art requested we keep it all in the family by also mentioning his wife’s latest entrepreneurial undertaking, a “unique pet boutique with a bit of a foo-foo rockabilly Chicano twist” known on Twitter as @FROMWAG2SRICHES.  How can you not follow this man?

Marisa Treviño (@LatinaLista)
And from our humble and giving Family Man, let’s jump right over into celebrating one of our community’s most celebrated Latinas online.  Her name is Marisa Treviño, and while that name may not immediately ring a bell, her brand definitely will: Latina Lista.  Marisa has built a reputation for herself on the World Wide Web with this short, simple and to the point, straight talking alter ego.  She started Latina Lista in 2004 as a single-page blog that quickly solidified itself as “the smart news source for today’s Latinas and Latinos,” and since then the growth has only been exponential.  Today, Latina Lista has evolved into a mixture of blog content and original stories covering a spectrum of issues from across the United States and South America with an army of contributors from these regions as well.  In January 2010, Marisa was awarded “Groundbreaking Latina Blogger of the Year” by Catalina magazine, and, never one to stop reinventing her brand, within the next two months Marisa will relaunch her alter ego and brand online LatinaLista.com.      

Christina Elizabeth (@kiki416)
A blogger, writer, lover, eclectic music aficionada, sports fan, journalist, diabetic, Mover and Shaker, activist, and Latina, Christina Elizabeth can be described in three words: anything but dull.  When she’s not writing non-fiction, fiction, and poetry about life, media, and music on her blog Mine & Mine Only, you might find her playing pool – she plays competitively – or hunting around Chicago for inspired musings and/or portraits to capture with her camera and great eye for photography.  With a Master’s in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Christina also blogs about her experience as a Type I diabetic for the website ChicagoNOW.   In her own words Christina says, “I think a lot, talk a lot and feel that writing and thinking out loud is better than going to therapy, by far.  I have friends located across the country that I keep in contact with almost daily and I’m into the whole social media thing.  I write, blog and keep track of an e-newsletter every week while keeping up with the Chicago music scene as best as I can.  I love San Francisco and would move there, had I the money.  I (also) love Chicago and discovering both new and old things about the city.”  Christina is also a guest writer for LATISM’s Salud Saturday.

Muñequita Lala (@MunequitaLala)
And of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without the one and only Muñequita Lala.  A newbie to the LATISM familia, this stuffed doll turned human-sized ambassador of smiles, especially for children, Muñequita Lala spends her days on her Official YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/munequitalala) spreading joy and singing for the world.  Songs in Spanish, canciones infantiles, and also a few in English, are what Muñequita Lala teaches her young viewers, all while encouraging them to sing along.  Parents love her because her lullabies are bilingual and every song performed by the budding entertainer is one that has been carefully selected for its cultural significance and familiarity to Latino parents.  Most recently, Muñequita Lala exported her passion for spreading good cheer south of the border all the way down to Peru.  She was there as part of a missionary trip meant to provide much needed aid to the people of Chincha Peru, and made the most of her time by singing and dancing with local children who were all overjoyed by her colorful presence.  Videos from this trip may be found on her YouTube channel, and now Muñequita Lala is hoping to personally deliver her charisma and entertainment to more children across the United States and in Latin America.

Are there any other tweeps you believe should be in this list? Is it YOU? Tell us about it in the comments below and we’ll feature them/you in an upcoming Feature Friday!! 

About The Author:
Juan Alanis (@juanofwords) is a South Texas based writer living in Houston who owns and operates the blog www.JuanofWords.com.  You can find him on Facebook, where he’s always up to something “bien Latino” at http://www.facebook.com/juanofwordsblog . Also, don’t miss Juan’s hilarious misadventures, personal vlogs and random thoughts on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Juanofwords





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