Hispana and Proud

What I learned at Hispana Leadership Summit

As I sit on a plane NYC bound I think of the amazing experience I have just had. I was lucky to attend the Hispana Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida.  For the past two days, I was surrounded by smart, driven, entrepreneurial creative and beautiful women. And because they were Hispanic women, they were also a warm, welcoming, party-loving bunch.
imageSo happy to have shared amazing moments with these women, and many more!! 
Someone asked me why I was interested in attending HLS. Well, because I want to be a leader in my community. Blogging has allowed me to have a voice and has led to incredible opportunities; and I love sharing my experiences with readers. But, there’s so much more I’d like to give to the community, to those that need help. I have many ideas, and I’m still trying to sort it all out. I’m sure it will come together one day…
Back to the Hispana Leadership Summit… one of the first people I bumped into upon arriving at the Disney Grand Floridian was Elianne Ramos, and meeting her was a big deal for me! I remember when I started becoming active on Twitter and I spotted the LATISM hashtag… I had no idea what it meant! Now, less than a year later, I was meeting Elianne, who is a LATISM leader and a leader in the Hispanic community.
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With Elianne Ramos! Photo Credit: Diana Limongi, 2013, all rights reserved 
Perhaps the most amazing thing about social media, to paraphrase my amazing Editor in Chief at Mamiverse, Lorraine Ladish, is the ability to connect like-minded people.  Once I was there, I realized: We are all interested in different things, yet we share similarities: who want to make a difference, who want to have a voice, and who are proud to be Hispanic.
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Getting on our ZUMBA on to raise awareness for breast cancer research! ZUMBA has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and created the Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention! 
There were many special moments, too many to mention so I’ll just leave you with some highlights of what I learned:
The power of social media! I learned about HLS through social media, and friends I met through social media helped me get there. (Special shout-out to my amiga Migdalia aka Ms. Latina, from Latina on a Mission and Stiletto Media) I’ve created relationships with people I have met through social media. As the women in the “Social Butterflies” session explained, social media helps grow brands, develop relationships and it opens doors. It is a way to have your voice heard, and everyone’s voice is meant to be heard, because everyone’s voice is unique.
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The Social Butterflies panel: Moderated by Cristy Clavijo Kish from Latina Mom Bloggers (middle) From left to right: Myrah Duque, aka Coupon Mamacita, Migdalia Rivera, Latina on a Mission, Elianne Ramos, and Lorraine Ladish, EIC Mamiverse

 Photo Credit: Diana Limongi, all rights reserved. 2013. 

Make yourself a priority! To be a happy mom and happy working mom, it’s important to make yourself a priority! Listening to Luly Balepogi, the author of Balance is Bull$h!t, was inspiring on so many levels!! (and she’s so much FUN!!!)
imageAmen! I definitely came back a better person! Luly B was truly inspiring! Photo credit: Diana Limongi, 2013, all rights reserved. 
Celebrities are real women! We had the opportunity to hear Giselle Blondet, host of Nuestra Belleza Latina, and Maria Alejandra Requena from CNN en Español share personal stories, fears and goals. These very public women showed us that while they’re on TV, they’re normal people! They’re moms who worry about their kids’ health, missing their kids’ karate lessons… things moms worry about! It’s nice to know that celebrity moms worry about these things as well!
imageWith Carla Curiel from Bebe Lanugo and Giselle Blondet. Photo credit: Diana Limongi, all rights reserved. 
We should never forget where we come from!
Our Hispanic culture is SO rich and so amazing. It’s warmth, it’s caring for family, it’s loving food from many different countries, it’s dancing to salsa, bachata, cumbia, vallenato, reggaeton, merengue, tango etc. It’s the richness of the Spanish language, it’s opening your arms and sharing with women you’ve just met, because you know that in helping each other out, we will lift our community up.
Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a Latina working mom from Astoria, NY, mom to a trilingual four-year old. I blog about motherhood, Latino issues, women's issues, work/life balance, food, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural son!

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