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12 ways to support Latinx creatives… and be very stylish while doing it

Are you trying to make more responsible purchases? Look towards supporting smaller businesses rather than large corporations? Over the past few years, there has been an influx of Latinx creatives showcasing their work on social media. and posting their creations on online stores.

By switching to supporting local entrepreneurs, you are owning original pieces. You can purchase unique bold earrings or necklaces made by organic seeds from South America. Through Etsy, you can even support Latin American creatives living in Latin America.

Here’s a list of my favorite findings that I think you’ll love!

1. Make a statement with these bold earrings

[image description: parrot earrings.]via Etsy

 Francis Zeledon is the founder of Pitahaya. They are a Nicaraguan designer who is known for making jewelry inspired by nature and her country. Francis’s collection of earrings go perfect for a night out, or even a cute indoor outfit. She makes each piece with color and love. So if you want to be bold take a chance with Pitahaya.

Get it from Etsy for $22.99. 

2. Get in touch with nature with this earthy hairpin

Aleishla jewelry and hair pins
[Image description: Echo brass hair clip] via Etsy
This hair clip is the perfect hair accessory for a loose top knot bun. The hair clip is handcrafted with attention, and love from Aleishla Lopez’s studio in Puerto Rico. She is notorious for her contemporary hair accessories and jewelry.

Get it from Etsy for $36.00.

3. Add your favorite feminist icon to your wall! Purchase these vibrant pieces.

[Image description: feminist wall art.] via Etsy
Violeta is a spunky Nicaraguan artist. She’s a mother, a feminist, and has been painting since she was 9. She is known to create colorful, vibrant illustration pieces that will save your bedroom from looking boring.

Get it from Etsy for  $38.00.

4. This illuminating painting will allow you to feel the sun in Guatemala

[image description: a painting of three Guatemalan siblings resting against each other.]via Etsy
Claudia Tremblay honors her Guatemalan ancestors with her art. You will feel like you’re eating Tapada when you buy one of her paintings.

Get it here for $33.90

5. These distinctive Yerba Mate Gourds would make a great addition to your household

[Image description: a black and yellow yerba mate gourd.] via Etsy
Do you like drinking Mate? Then Argenthings is the place for you to shop for your own original yerba mate gourd. Each mate gourd is handmade with love by Argentinean artisans. Every purchase comes with the yerba mate gourd, and 2 straws bombillas.

Get it from Etsy for $14.99.

6. These stirringly beautiful pots will light up your garden

Tropical flower pot
[Image description: Yellow Hibiscus flower] via Etsy
Are you need to give a plant a new home? Then Art by Sir has the perfect pot for you. She is a Puerto Rican artist that dedicates her time to her art, creating different types of jewelry and paintings inspired by her culture.

Get it from Etsy for $55.00.

7. Diversity your jewelry collection with these striking necklaces

La joyatagua made by Colombian women
[Image Description: Colombian women wearing tagua necklaces.] via Etsy
La Joya Tagua offers jewelry made of natural seeds. Sully Gomez a Colombian fashion designer who helps empower Colombian women who were victims of violence. She does this by teaching Colombian women the art of making jewelry by using tagua, a special seed that is found in South America. Each eco-friendly jewelry piece is made by these Colombian women. With one purchase, you uplift these women.

Get it from Etsy for $40.50.

8. Feel clarity with these purely Costa Rican pouches

I[mage description: a green and white pouch.] via Etsy
“Pura Vida” means “pure life” and it is a common saying in Costa Rica. You can purchase these from Dolores’s Shop. They come straight from Carolina Calvo studio in Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica. Carolina makes sure each bag has unique fabric combinations, and at her shop, you can find unique designs.

Get it from Etsy for $25.01

9. You can approach anything with these classy, durable clutches

[Image description: a white leather clutch.] via Etsy
You can purchase this clutch from Maracas Bags. Maracas Bags is a shop from Nicaragua that designs and manufactures leather bags and accessories with high-quality textile details. Each of their pieces is handmade with the love and dedication of Nicaraguan artisans. Maracas bags will guarantee you a unique experience through each of their creations.

Get it from Etsy for $45.00.

Free Shipping & Returns at Zola

10. Add some interlucent art pieces to your home

Kentura by Lazy beam arte
[Image description: an art piece called  Keturah by Manuela.] via Etsy
Purchase a stand-out piece from Lazy Beam Arte. Manuela Guillen is a Cuban-Salvadoran American artist and educator. She is inspired by plants, tropical colors, and her own cultural upbringing. Through her art, Manuela aims to bring awareness to art education and sociopolitical issues. Her art would be a great touch to the walls in your room, or for a gift.

Get it from Etsy for $13.00.

11. Feel the power in this boss t-shirt

JZD designs
[Image description: Latina Power Shirt.] via Etsy
Jen Zeano Designs (JZD) is a South Texas lifestyle brand with the mission to empower Latinas. Their merch is quoted with empowering messages. JZD will have you feeling like a boss.

Get it from Etsy for $30.00.

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12. Spread awareness about the patriarchy in this irresistible t-shirt

Body positive shirt by NalgonaPositiveShop
Image description: Body Positive T-shirt: My Body Is a Decolonial Act of Resistance Against Patriarchy Decolonize Nalgona Positivity Pride.] via Etsy

Get this resistance against patriarchy shirt through Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) – a community eating-disorder and body-positive organization. The organization was created by Gloria Lucas with the purpose of putting the spotlight on Black, Indigenous communities of color and accumulating resources for these different groups. By purchasing their merchandise, you help support the work of NPP.

Get it from Etsy for $26.00

Support Latinx creatives, and do not forget to tell your friends to do the same.

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Culture Life

Why I am constantly drawn to lavender

I find that my most blissful moments remind me of the strong, calming scent of lavender. For one reason or another, I relate it to a lot of the more meaningful aspects of my life. To me, lavender is like a feeling; like the wind brushing up against your skin.

While I think that lavender is largely optimistic, I also find a certain sorrow that is comfortable, even humble, in its presence. I’ve come to appreciate it in every shape and form – the color, the flower, the scent. Its hard to place; not sweet or bitter, but rather musty. 

Lavender manages to incorporate itself into my life seemingly on a whim and in the most fleeting of moments. We have a peculiar relationship. I am stomach-knottingly anxious in the presence of many, especially when I first meet them. But, with some, I sense lavender, and I know that something great is about to happen. It is more of a feeling than anything else. Just talking to some people can be rejuvenating, and perhaps it is because our meeting reminds me of that warm, soft smell of a mid-spring day when the sun is bright and pure, and the entire day lies ahead.

Nowadays, when I am feeling an emotion that is simply beyond words, I say that I am overflowing with lavender. 

According to etymology, the English word “lavender” is derived from the Latin “lavare,” which translates to “to wash.” It is a necessary refinement – a cleanse. I am purified with every utterance of the word. 

Perhaps it’s not just me. In literature, lavender has been used significantly as a token of love. To me, it’s more like a notion of love at first sight. Shakespeare offers a bouquet of “hot lavender” in The Winter’s Tale. Cleopatra also roots lavender with love, as she is said to have used its sultry perfume to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Christians are also known to have used it as a repellent of evil. The plant is said to have been taken from the Garden of Eden and is sometimes found hanging in a cross shape above the doors of some Christian households as a means of protection. There are so many songs with the title lavender, my favorite being by The Beach Boys, and there have also been many poems written about it, too. Take, for example, this quote by an anonymous writer, “as rosemary is to the spirit, lavender is to the soul.” 

Lavender is swift, like a movement, carrying me in and out of perfectly imperfect moments. The vision of it is rather uplifting as well. It stands delicately tall among the rest, but it is not intimidating either. I adore its confrontation. In fact, I look forward to it. 

Travel Science Now + Beyond

15 surreal places you have to visit before you turn 30

Your 20s is a time to see the world.

You’re young, you may not have many commitments, and you’re flexible enough to make day trips, sleep in hostels, or travel with a minimalistic mindset. There are a number of beautiful places in nature that are right here in the United States. Some of which you may recognize, others are the epitome of hidden treasure. These 15 spots are found across the country, so even if you can’t see them all … you can certainly see some! Get out there and get your travel on with these breath-taking natural destinations!

1. Yellowstone National Park

beautiful places, trout lake yellowstone national park

This one is a given and probably on many travelers’ lists. Yellowstone National Park spans Idaho, Minnesota and Wyoming and is the world’s first national park. It has mountains, lakes and forests as well as copious wildlife. You can visit for a day or spend a night at one of the park’s campgrounds.


2. Na Pali Coast

napali coast, beautiful places,

Hawaii has a lot to offer in terms of natural wonders, but the Nu Pali Coast is arguably the most impressive. It sits along the 17-kilometer Kalalau Trail and is full of lush, green mountains and ridges. Explorers can only access the coast by a long hike or boat.

3. Biosphere 2

beautiful places, biosphere 2

Located in Oracle, the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 houses seven actively researched model ecosystems. The ecosystems include a mature rainforest, a 2600 m^3 ocean, forested swamps, a tropical savanna grassland, a coastal fog desert, three hillslope grass-shrubland landscapes and an urban ecosystem.

4. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields

beautiful places, skagit valley

Thousands flock to Mount Vernon, Washington to see the Skagit Valley Tulips in bloom during varying dates each year. The festival lasts 30 days and features art shows, galas, concerts and local tours.

5. Hamilton Pool

beautiful places, hamilton pool

Created when the dome of an underground river collapsed, Hamilton Pool is a natural pool located just west of Austin, Texas. It is home to the endangered Golden-Cheeked Warbler and open for swimming reservations.

6. Northern Lights

northern lights, beautiful places

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a well-known natural wonder. The lights are best seen in Alaska, if you’re staying in America. They are caused by the collision of gaseous particles in the Earth atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere, creating beautiful yellow-green lights in the night sky.

7. Thor’s Well

thors well, beautiful places

Thor’s Well is a natural hole on the Oregon coast that seems to drain water from the ocean. Also known as the drainpipe of the Pacific, the well is very dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, adventurers and photographers visit the spectacular site.

8. Cache River State Natural Area

beautiful place, cache river state natural area

Situated in southern Illinois, these wetlands total almost 15,000 acres. You can hike, bike, boat, fish or hunt in the area.

9. Niagara Falls

beautiful places, niagra falls

Niagara Falls is another natural wonder on most travelers’ lists. It is America’s oldest state park where you can hike its incredible landscape. There are also a plenty of birds for those interested in bird watching, and golf courses for players of all skill levels.

10. Mammoth Cave

beautiful places, mammoth cave

Mammoth Cave Natural Park is a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place,” said early guide Stephen Bishop. What’s not to love?! It is the world’s longest known cave systems. Plan a visit to catch a tour, hike, canoe, picnic, go horseback riding, cycling and more.

11. Blackwater Falls State Park

beautiful places, blackwater falls

Named for the amber-colored waters of the Blackwater River Falls, the West Virginia park offers lodging, restaurants, and even Wi-Fi access! (Though we recommend you disconnect on your visit.) The park sports magnificent views and could the perfect place to plan your next event for nature lovers.

12. Sequoia National Park

Giant trees span this beautiful park located in the southern Sierra Nevada. There are places to camp, lodge and eat, and chances to explore hiking trails in a forest that is home to the world’s largest living tree: the General Sherman Tree.

13. Great Smoky Mountains

beautiful places, smoky mountains

Part of a national park located in both Tennesse and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains are a world-renowned, beautiful place in nature. The mountains are home to a diverse selection of plant and animal life, and there are plenty of activities to do including camping under the stars and hiking. Bring pepper spray!

14. The Everglades

beautiful places, everglades

The nearest city to the Everglades is Florida City. It is a 1.5 million acre wetland on the southern tip of the state. Many rare and endangered species call the Everglades home.

15. Glacier National Park

beautiful places, glacier national park

Glacier National Park is a wilderness area of roughly 1,600 square miles in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. It has more than 700 miles of hiking trails and opportunities to backpack, cycle, and camp. It is home to mountain goats, grizzly bears and more.

Science Now + Beyond

17 GIFs that explain the weird things in this world

1. You can relight a candle from its smokey vapor trail:

2. This is what happens when you put soy sauce on a dead cuttlefish:

3. The craziness of hydrophobic sand in water:

4. Dry ice and dish soap together make a spooky smoke bubble:

5. This is how a vine finds something to hold on to while it grows:

6. When a star gets sucked into a black hole:

7. How the human face develops in the womb:

8. This is what happens when you throw boiling water in below freezing temperatures:

9. This is how dogs actually drink water:

10. An octopus can hide itself much better than you ever thought:

11. This is how chains are made:

12. What a water balloon popping looks like:

13. This is how a slinky falls:

14. An egg underwater keeps its shape (so why are they so hard to poach!?):

15. There are such things as flying snakes:

16. What a day looks like without a sunset in the Arctic summertime:

17. This is how keys work:

Is your mind blown?
Science Now + Beyond

Genetically modified babies are going to be the wave of the future – get ready for it

Discussion around CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing has become increasingly popular in the past two years, yet it is a mechanism that is poorly understood by those who may not have the patience to dig through papers full of genetic jargon. Short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, it is a piece of technology that allows scientists to ‘cut and paste’ pieces of DNA, enabling the editing of genomes at will.

A Brief Introduction to Genetics

Genetics is the study of how living things receive common traits from previous generations.” Your genome, as well as those of all humans, animals, and plants, is made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is located in all living cells, and contributes to the construction of genes. These genes determine your particular traits, and when all combined, make you who you are.

Half of your genetic material is transferred to you by each of your parents. Genes such as BRCA1 have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer, but much more research needs to be done to uncover the origins of many other diseases and disorders. And this is where CRISPR comes in.

What can it do?

CRISPR may just hold the key to finding genetic causes for diseases and even treatments, but it also has the possibility to wipe out entire populations of crops or animals. It will be able to save scientists both money and time, and indeed, scientists have already been successful in partially treating some forms of muscular dystrophy in mice by using CRISPR/Cas9 to cut out a defective section of DNA that causes the disorder!

On the other hand, there are broad (and genuine) concerns that abuse of this power may lead to the creation of so-called designer babies. However, it must be noted that there is a fine line between using this technology for gene therapies in humans and intentional (malicious or otherwise) genetic manipulation. Experimentation with human DNA, no matter how well intentioned, may have wide ranging and unpredictable genetic effects on future generations. David Lemberg, the founding editor of Bioethics Today, put it quite succinctly, “just because we can do a thing doesn’t mean we should do the thing”.

What has been done?

Applications for the use of such a technique on human embryos have already been made, with the Francis Crick Institute in London being one notable example. This particular application has been accepted, to a variety of reactions around the world – though this was expected. Many scientists will no doubt have their eyes and ears peeled for any results from this lab, whether they be positive or negative.

Even though the Crick Institute may only be using such embryos for the sole purpose of research, this ignited debate through the scientific community regarding the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for clinical applications. Many scientists are also worried about private biotechnology companies using and appropriating such technologies and techniques for nefarious purposes.

different pot plants
CRISPR might even be able to get us more weather resistant plants!

A group of Chinese researchers reported the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in non-viable human embryos (human embryos that would never be able to become a physical human being) in 2015 in order to potentially treat beta thalassemia, a genetically inherited blood condition.

The use of human embryos, including human embryonic stem cells, has long been an ethical issue for scientists. Some consider the use of such cells as the equivalent of destroying a potential human being, while others argue that such research could have the potential to save many more human lives down the track.

In any case, the Chinese study was published to much controversy, even after several scientists had written editorial in Nature, calling for their colleagues to err on the side of caution when considering the use of CRISPR to modify the human genome. It is interesting to note that this study did not yield any particularly conclusive results, but did show that use of CRISPR/Cas9 still needed to be refined so it did not cause more harm than good. Interestingly, both Nature and Science refused to publish the paper on account of its controversial nature, and the repercussions of this study will probably be around for years to come.

CRISPR can also be used on animals and plants!

Even though most of the discussion around the use of CRISPR/Cas9 is centred around its application in humans, it can also have wide ranging effects on animals and plants. There have been suggestions that it can be used to eradicate diseases like malaria and possibly even the Zika virus, which is currently reaching endemic levels in the Americas. Scientists have already edited genomes of plants such as tobacco and rice without the introduction of any foreign DNA. This has put most of the concerns around genetically modified crops to rest, and may also lead to the introduction of healthier and more viable crops in countries where food is scarce.

However, it can also wipe out total populations, by cutting out genes that make one species of animal or plant different from its relations.

What are the possibilities?

Opportunities abound as a result of this technology, including the development of software to predict possible outcomes of genetic engineering ( and It is both an exciting and frightening time for geneticists and the wider scientific community. There is the potential to do much good, but also much harm. There are many reasons mice are used as experimental models, but human DNA is more complex and continues to surprise scientists to this day. As a result, most scientists are cautiously optimistic about the future of CRISPR/Cas9 and its impacts on the world at large.

Kathy Niakan, a group leader at the Francis Crick Institute, is diplomatic but honest about the future of such research, telling The Guardian, “There are suggestions that the methods could be used to correct genetic defects, to provide disease resistance, or even to introduce novel traits that are not found in humans. However, it is up to society to decide what is acceptable: Science will merely inform what may be possible.”

It is a big decision for society to make – and we can only hope that in time, society manages to make the right ones.