Gender Inequality

Meet these 5 badass Nicaraguan women who are at the forefront of change

In the high conflict areas of Central America, women are leading protests, confronting authorities, and demanding freedom – all while changing perceptions along the way. In Nicaragua, young women are on the front lines fighting against the country’s authoritative president of Daniel Ortega.

On April 18, 2018 protests broke out in the country after cuts on social-security benefits and a nationwide discontent which had been simmering for years. 

Amid the uprising, countless Nicaraguan women were aiding the injured. They organized, protested, were incarcerated, and were inside the barricades.

Between the months of April and September, Nicaraguans took to the streets to demand change. However, protesters were violently attacked by police and paramilitary groups. As a result of the brutality 300 people have died and 100,000 Nicaraguans are living in exile. Meanwhile, the government continues to illegally arrest civilians and commit crimes against humanity.

Amid the uprising, countless Nicaraguan women were aiding the injured. They organized, protested, were incarcerated, and were inside the barricades.

They were everywhere, doing everything.

Two years later, women are still playing an active role in anti-government movements in Central America. To give recognition to the resilience of Nicaraguan women, The Tempest is highlighting the plight of five young Nicaraguan women.

1. Emilia Yang Rappaccioli

Emilia speaking at AMA event
Attribution: Madres de Abril [Image description: Emilia speaking on the microphone at one of museums events. ]
Emilia is an activist, artist, and researcher who focuses her work on the role of memory. When the protest broke out in 2018 Emilia was in Los Angeles working on her PHD at the University of Southern California (USC). She returned to Nicaragua weeks later. When she arrived she immediately joined and made her mark on the anti-government demonstrations.

On June 26, 2018 paramilitaries killed Emilia’s uncle. After this tragedy, Emilia joined the Association of Mothers of April (AMA). This is an association which was created with the mission of uniting, and representing, the mothers and relatives of the people murdered from state repression in Nicaragua.

Today, Emilia is the director of the Museum of Memory against Impunity. This museum was built in conjunction with the AMA in order to dignify the victims of the state and honor their memory.

Emilia along with Nicaragua Mother of April
Attribution: Madres of Abril [Image description: Emilia is third one on the left, joined by members of AMA.]
Emilia recalls that setting up the museum’s first exhibition was emotionally draining. She interviews around 200 victims about who they were, what happened to them, and how they remember the events.

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When the museum opened its first exhibition in Nicaragua, at the University of Central America (UCA), people were able to reach out to the victims in AMA. She says this has helped Nicaraguans come  to terms with much of the pain that was caused. Most importantly, she sees how the museum has really helped people to mourn as a collective. 

Regarding the country, Emilia says there needs to be work done which is centered on understanding women rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the rights of black folk.

2. Karen Guido

Karen dancing
Attribution: Karen Guido [Image description: Karen dancing for last day of exhibition for the Museum of Memory against Impunity.]
Karen joined the uprising from her native home of Monimbo, Nicaragua’s most rebellious town.

Traditionally, the people of Monimbo have used dance as a form of resistance and for Karen this is especially true.

In the time since the demonstrations, Karen is part of two youth led groups and gives yoga classes in the name of resistance. She describes how the on-going crisis is detrimental for one’s mental health. Yet through yoga youth will be able to cope.

She emphasizes the need for one to take care of their mental health in order to keep resisting.

One needs to take care of their mental health in order to keep resisting.

For Karen, as an avid lover of all arts, it saddens her to see how the practice of art is controlled and appropriated by the government. She dreams to live in a Nicaragua in which art is no longer politicized. She feels that individuals in Nicaragua should be allowed to express their art freely, spontaneously, and that art should be accessible for all.

Karen continues to dance for events commemorating Nicaragua’s popular uprising, as this is her way to keep the resistance alive. 

3. Nathalie Román

3. Nathalie Roman young with a megaphone
Attribution: Nathalie Roman [Image description: Picture of Nathalie Roman holding a megaphone in a manifestation.]
Nathalie is a political science student and prominent member of the Student Movement to Support Democracy (MEAD). When conflict broke out, she primarily focused on aiding the university students who were barricaded inside of the universities. At the time, she also helped construct one of the first youth movements that emerged from the protests.

Nathalie focuses her activism work on organizing student movements and advocating for the demands on university autonomy.

Her most recent project is Chacuatol Universitario, an initiative seeking to inform and involve more students in the discussion around recovering, and strengthening university autonomy. 

Nathalie understands that there needs to be change within Nicaragua’s traditional cultural political framework.

In a country in which there are mostly men making political decisions, and women’s voices are set aside, Nathalie believes that it is crucial for women to be appointed to political positions.

4. Rosi Ariana

4. Rosi Ariana
Attribution: Rosi Ariana [Image description: Picture of Rosi Ariana.]
Rosi is from Bullocks Wharf, a municipality in Nicaragua’s South Caribbean coast. She joined the protests while studying political science at Nicaragua Polytechnic University in the capital of Managua.

Due to a law that the government passed which criminalizes any form of protest, Rosi integrated herself into the April 19 Student Movement (ME19A) in order to continue organizing against the government.

Now she is the coordinator and administrator of the ongoing projects of ME19A.

Rosi is concerned with the little to no attention toward the violence Nicaraguan women face. Especially women who live in rural areas of the country, like her hometown. Rosi says that women in these kinds of areas suffer from patriarchal violence. For instance, there are cases where women are killed by their husbands, for not having food ready when they arrive home from work.

There are cases where women are killed by their husbands, for not having food ready when they arrive home from work.

Rosi values the different factors within the feminist movement, but feels there needs to be more organization towards the demands of Nicaragua’s rural women. She hopes that one day she is able to help these women by making sure they receive justice and that their cases are not left in impunity.

5. Liza Henriquez

Liza Henriquez Nicaraguan indigenous woman

Liza is from the Mosquitia region of Nicaragua, living in the municipality of Puerto Cabezas (Bilwi) in Nicaragua’s North Caribbean Coast. She’s an indigenous Miskito woman, one of the many ethnic groups in Nicaragua.

Map of Nicaragua
Attribution: Lonely Planet [Image description: Map of Nicaragua.]
Nicaragua’s indigenous and communities of Afro descendant are among the populations which have suffered the most. Liza explains that her community, predominately those of Afro-descendant, has been involved in anti-government demonstrations way before the protests of April ’18.

Liza joined the protest of April ’18 while she was living in the country’s capital of Managua. After receiving threats from government sympathizers she went back home to Bilwi in order to continue protesting.

Once she arrived there, Liza summoned herself to help organize marches, hunger strikes, and participated in putting up “tranques” or barricades. She recalls seeing a 15 year girl shot in the head by a militant during one of the demonstrations.

Liza explains that there are more cases of young indigenous and Afro descendants who have been assassinated by armed groups – yet most of these cases are left in impunity.

Now Liza continues to organize through meetings with other young indigenous from different territories. It is during these meetings that she listens to the testimonies about how colonists or invaders are exploiting the land which belong to the indigenous communities living in these territories.

As for Liza she is always going to advocate for the end of exploitation of indigenous land, justice for the fallen, the inclusion of indigenous, and Afro-descendant women in politics. Lastly, also for a real implementation of Autonomy for Nicaragua Caribbean Coast. 

Liza is always going to advocate for the end of exploitation of indigenous land, justice for the fallen, the inclusion of indigenous, and Afro-descendant women in politics. Lastly, also for a real implementation of Autonomy for Nicaragua Caribbean Coast. 

Liza says that Nicaragua is not free until the country meets those demands.

Two years since massive protests, Nicaragua continues to be an area of high conflict. Despite the risks, these 5 young Nicaraguan women continue to organize, changing the panorama of the country’s traditional political framework.


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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. 


Here’s why unpaid internships are such a problem

“So do you have like, uh, a major?” interrupted the illustrator. That morning when he had walked into the office, he veered straight for his computer. No interest in the unfamiliar young body in the office. Just an intern.

I decided I wanted to try my own hand at a career I could possibly more-than-stand (if you haven’t heard, we do live under capitalism) when my undergraduate tenure was already at its end. Whatever ‘in’ there may have been at university, into the carefully gatekept and strangling media industry, had already passed for me.

I was—and still am—luckier than most. I could go home with my degree (to New Jersey, which is only or inconveniently a train ride into New York City). I can live in my parents’ house and eat my parents’ food, make money irregularly and watch my savings shrink, all the while blindly applying to hundreds of jobs and internships and fellowships I likely will not get, all in hopes of breaking into an industry that appears every day to be at capacity.

“If you’re really serious, the only way is [DEBT, DEBT, DEBT]” was the flat advice from the director of NYT fellowships and internships, whose Twitterfeed is riddled with excitement, promotions, and advice for new journalists, or the 13 young people who have already managed to snag a possible livelihood.

“There are no jobs in journalism!” joke high-profile staff writers to their high-profile writer friends everyday on Twitter. “Go away if you know what’s good for you!” Oops.

So when I was offered an internship with an independent, ‘leftist’ publisher, after receiving more and more proof that there truly are no writing jobs [for me], I accepted eagerly. At the end of the interview, an editor mentioned casually the position was unpaid before describing a Christmas party four months away.

When it comes to internships, not all of them are unpaid. In a Fall 2017 issue of CUTE Magazine, Amélie Poirier and Camille Tremblay-Fournier describe the gendered nature of labor that is deemed valuable enough to pay for. Certainly, internships in engineering or computer science are “almost always paid.” Perhaps, the issue is industry money. After all, new declarations of journalism’s approaching demise are announced daily. Presumably, independent book publishers sacrifice the potential financial security of corporate collaboration.

And yet, Poirier and Tremblay-Fournier argue that who exactly gets paid for their work is no coincidence. As of 2010, in the US 77% of unpaid interns are women. As my supervisor introduced me to the editors, publicists, and accountants in our small office, he quickly came upon Christina, a young woman about my age. Another intern, I was told, though one who had interned throughout the summer as well. An hour later, in our first staff meeting, our publisher re-introduced Christina to me. “She’s, uh, sort of an intern, but now paid as a part-time freelancer. Like a paid intern.”

I looked around to see if anyone else, in this supposedly leftist publishing house, might wince at Christina and I existing at the table side-by-side. No one batted an eye. Of course interns need to earn payment, and Christina has proved herself.

I don’t think this is a question of money. Perhaps this is publishing culture, but new and old books are shipped out all day—gratís—on a moment’s notice, to whomever may desire a copy. My internship program is not new, in fact my publishing house relies on the seasonal fresh-faces of “college students or recent graduates.” This semester, there has been a struggle to reproduce their youthful cohort, and apologetic expressions form on the faces of full-time staff unloading their clerical duties onto the current three (one paid and two…not) interns. It seems to me that, if the issue were money, a truly independent company would not encourage free labor. It seems to me that, if the issue were money, a company would not hire staff they could not afford to pay.

Rather, the office presumption seems to be that we interns are their occasional students who are conveniently around all day to mail press orders, answer phones, arrange travel, research potential reviewers, walk around the street corner to the book basement, proofread e-blasts, type up hard copies (only sometimes…this is a special task), and bind manuscripts. I get $120 dollars a month for travel apparently—at the end of month, which I have yet to receive to pay my train tab (just kidding, there are no train tabs).

An actual student, contend Poirier and Tremblay-Fournier, is producing value. They are reproducing the workforce, along with giving professors someone to teach and colleges a reason to exist. Perhaps a small amount of editorial knowledge is trickling down into my equally small, young brain, but I do not think it is the most radical thing in the world to desire payment and recognition for building the foundation of this cute little bookstore. If payment were radical…do you think a leftist company might go for it?

I can afford to swallow compensation for 25 hours of work a week, and the actual self-investments sobbing for me to come back. My GRE whispers to me all day, I’m sure you’ll do fine. My graduate school applications sink further into my Chrome tabs, you’re coming back when you can focus. Canceled shifts and paid jobs smugly move on without me. Most and many others, the people that would transform an industry that is overwhelmingly white and suckish, cannot bear the dependency on an not-paying employer, and cannot eat or pay rent or have a baby or get ill with hopes of future payment. 

All of this might just seem an unfortunate experience, one I have certainly and stupidly volunteered myself for, but the constant implication that people at their place of work are “resisting,” are doing The Good Work of Good People simply by turning a profit, is grinding. Congratulations are offered around the table, to staff for having done the good work of advocating for justice at the last book fair. Were I written into a book, I would be more real.

Gender Love Inequality

12 incredible women under 20 taking the world by storm

Millennials are so 2015. Now, it’s the Gen-Zers we’re watching. These youth have grown up with technology at their fingertips, and what they’re creating showcases their ability to utilize technology and social media to make a name for themselves.

From the fields of science to fashion, these young women are striving to make the world a better place for everyone.

They’re smart, they’re humble, and they’re outspoken. They are taking the world by storm.

1. Sushma Verma

This prodigious 15 year-old adamantly believes people should be judged by their talent and not their age. She’s a case in point, considering that she is the youngest postgraduate in history. The daughter of a wage laborer, Sushma hasn’t had anything handed to her.

Despite financial barriers and age restrictions, what she’s achieved is nothing short of remarkable. Sushma is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in microbiology at Lucknow University in India.

If she continues on this track- and we have no doubt that she will- she will have her PhD at the tender age of 17.

2. Zora Ball

Huffington Post
Huffington Post

At the age of seven, Zora created a mobile video game. She is the youngest person to date to create such a program.

In order to create her game, Ball mastered the programming language Bootstrap, which is usually taught to students between the ages of 12 and 16. Zora is a role model for girls who want to code, in an industry that has historically underestimated our ability.

3. Ann Makosinski


Ann takes being an overachiever to the next level. She’s already been featured in TIME Magazine’s venerated “Thirty Under Thirty” list, received a $25,000 scholarship, and given three TED talks.

This young Canadian has been competing in science fairs since she was six-years-old. Her most notable invention is a hand-heat-powered Hollow Flashlight, which was exhibited at the Google Science Fair. Ann undeniably has a bright future ahead.

4. Asia Newson

Asia is nothing if not ambitious.

At 10 years old, she became Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur. With the aid of her father, she runs a candle company called Super Business Girl.

Asia eventually aspires to enter the world of politics. She wants to become mayor of Detroit, and ultimately, has her sights set on the Presidency. Could she set the bar any higher?

5. Yara Shahidi

Getty Images
Getty Images

Yara is an actress and model recognizable for her role as Zoey on popular ABC sitcom Black-ish. The 16-year-old uses her role on the show to propel two of her passions: acting and activism. Yara has spoken out against the lack of diversity in Hollywood and the on-screen perpetuation of stereotypes.

This young woman has a vision for the future: “It is through my character and characters like [Zoey] that the barriers that racism, ageism, sexism, and other -isms can be broken down.”

6. Quvenzhané Wallis


The youngest ever Academy Award nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Wallis is a superstar in the making. She’s even caught the eye of Beyonce. Queen Bey cast her in Lemonade among other notable Black woman like Serena Williams.

She received her nomination at the age of nine for her role in film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which she auditioned for at the age of five. Quvenzhane has achieved more in ten years than many actors accomplish in their entire careers.

She’s definitely one to watch.

7. Lily Born

Lily Born might be the perfect grandchild. After witnessing her grandfather’s everyday struggles with Parkinson’s, Lily invented a cup specially designed for persons with the disease. The cups have a no-spill feature that make them incredibly useful.

At the age of 12, she has sold over 11,000 of the cups. Lily’s philanthropy doesn’t end with helping the elderly and sick. She donates a portion of the profits from Kangaroo Cups to support STEM education for young girls.

8. Muzoon Almellehan

The migrant crisis is one of the most critical issues of 2016, and 17 year old Muzoon provides a voice of action and compassion. Almellehan has been referred to as the “Malala of Syria” and has campaigned with fellow activist Yousafzai about the important of educating young women.

It is stories like Muzoon’s that help a crisis worlds away feel real to those of us who have the privilege of being unaffected.

9. Evita Nuh

Jakarta-based Evita doesn’t let her disability hold her back. After being diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, a type of Autism that impedes communication and social skills, Evita found a safe space to communicate on the web.

She created a fashion blog called JellyJellyBeans that shares her raw thoughts along with her insights about style and design. The looks she creates are expressive and effortlessly cool.

10. Avie Acosta

Avie, who heralds fellow trans activist Hari Nef as her inspiration, is a force to be reckoned with in 2016. To Avie, gender is completely culturally created and therefore, can be completely culturally revolutionized.

The 19-year-old recently relocated to the Big Apple from Oklahoma and is working for Wilhelmina modeling agency on the men’s board (and is the first trans girl to do so). With her laissez-faire attitude and striking looks, Avie is at the forefront of diversifying the modeling industry.

11. Kyemah Mcentrye


Kyemah skyrocketed to international acclaim when her African-print prom dress went viral online.

Her designs are a platform for black women’s rights: “I am tackling social issues through fashion design, by influencing the way women feel and look in their clothes, with grand African prints and revealing silhouettes. My paintings and designs dismantle European beauty standards, which is why it became therapy for myself and other Black women.”

Kyemah intends to use fashion to fuel change.

12. Barbie Ferreira

If you don’t know her name, you probably recognize Barbie’s face from Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign. The 19-year-old model- whose real name is actually Barbara– proudly showcases her size 12 bombshell figure. What sets Barbie apart is her refusal to let her photographs to be retouched, which is still rare in today’s modeling industry.

Barbie is on a mission to eradicate impossible standards of beauty forged by the retouching and photoshopping of models. Like fellow plus-size model Ashley Graham, Barbie advocates for body positivity and teaches young women that size has no correlation to beauty.

She’s not the prototypical Barbie, and we love that about her.