Sustainably Jennifer

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Piyalli! I wanted to share a cute little shop with ya'll today that I discovered on Etsy by the name of Sustainably Jennifer. The shop focuses on solid lotion bars and whipped lotions which are some of my favvvorite things.

I was so excited to try the sandalwood lotion bar. If you follow me on Youtube you know it was in my last month's favorites because of how thrilled I was with it. Solids are so so so convenient when it comes to traveling because you don't have to worry about how many oz things are, just one less thing to worry about, which for me is a must.

Here are a few words from Jennifer!



-Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a yogi in the making, mother of a 4-year-old and love DIY projects. I am doing my best to align my actions with my values and stack my life in ways that allow me and my family to live whole.

-What inspired you to be more environmentally friendly?
So many things! Experiencing how climate change and environmental injustice impacts communities- high asthma rates, islands disappearing, communities autonomy being disregarded for the profit of a few, farmers’ families with high cancer rates, access to nutritious food.  Sometimes issues around the environment seem so massive and hard for one person or a family to make a difference. I have learned how choosing to eat a plant-based diet and our daily choices around the products we consume can have a tremendous impact.



-What made you decide to open up a shop?
I started making my own skin care and beauty products when I was pregnant with my daughter. I wanted her to have the best start possible so I was very conscientious about what I put on and in my body. I made lotion bars and body butters and when my friends and co-workers learned about them they started asking me to make them some. 4 years later I opened my Etsy shop, Sustainably Jennifer, with these lotion bars and whipped body butters.

-What are some plans for the future?
I have started a blog, Sustainably Jennifer, to share my family and I’s journey to a more sustainable life. For the month of February, we concentrated on reducing our use of plastic and that will continue as we transition to less waste. Expect more body products in the Etsy shop as well!


Also, I have a special coupon for your followers - 10% off their Etsy shop order from my shop good through April 5th. Here is the link https://www.etsy.com/shop/SustainablyJennifer?coupon=JENRIVERABELL  or they can use code JENRIVERABELL when checking out. 
Piyalli! I wanted to share a cute little shop with ya'll today that I discovered on Etsy by the name of Sustainably Jennifer. The shop focuses on solid lotion bars and whipped lotions which are some of my favvvorite things.

I was so excited to try the sandalwood lotion bar. If you follow me on Youtube you know it was in my last month's favorites because of how thrilled I was with it. Solids are so so so convenient when it comes to traveling because you don't have to worry about how many oz things are, just one less thing to worry about, which for me is a must.

Here are a few words from Jennifer!



-Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a yogi in the making, mother of a 4-year-old and love DIY projects. I am doing my best to align my actions with my values and stack my life in ways that allow me and my family to live whole.

-What inspired you to be more environmentally friendly?
So many things! Experiencing how climate change and environmental injustice impacts communities- high asthma rates, islands disappearing, communities autonomy being disregarded for the profit of a few, farmers’ families with high cancer rates, access to nutritious food.  Sometimes issues around the environment seem so massive and hard for one person or a family to make a difference. I have learned how choosing to eat a plant-based diet and our daily choices around the products we consume can have a tremendous impact.



-What made you decide to open up a shop?
I started making my own skin care and beauty products when I was pregnant with my daughter. I wanted her to have the best start possible so I was very conscientious about what I put on and in my body. I made lotion bars and body butters and when my friends and co-workers learned about them they started asking me to make them some. 4 years later I opened my Etsy shop, Sustainably Jennifer, with these lotion bars and whipped body butters.

-What are some plans for the future?
I have started a blog, Sustainably Jennifer, to share my family and I’s journey to a more sustainable life. For the month of February, we concentrated on reducing our use of plastic and that will continue as we transition to less waste. Expect more body products in the Etsy shop as well!


Also, I have a special coupon for your followers - 10% off their Etsy shop order from my shop good through April 5th. Here is the link https://www.etsy.com/shop/SustainablyJennifer?coupon=JENRIVERABELL  or they can use code JENRIVERABELL when checking out. 

EK Bare Beauty

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Piyalli! Today I am excited to share EK Bare Beauty with ya'll! I am always on a quest to find zero waste make up but sometimes I can come to a dead end because price can be an issue. Quality makeup ain't cheap, so when I found EK Bare Beauty I was hooked! Stunning, quality, zero waste and accessible! Now that is something to get hype about!



I was SO thrilled to try the zero waste mascara! I have always been super picky about mascara, it was either too clunky, too flakey, or too damn expensive. But ya'll. I was so pleased with this product! It comes in the cutest little tin container that when finished with I can totally refill with other goodies. I had to get used to the fact that it was in a little container like this since I have only ever used a regular non zero waste packaging for it but sooo worth it. It has such a soft and natural feel that I absolutely love. Perfect for that "No makeup "makeup look.


Here are the ingredients:
  • Agave, for voluminous lashes
  • Castor Seed Oil, to nourish the eyelashes and promote growth
  • Activated charcoal, for color.
  • Bentonite Clay, for thickness.
  • Aloe Vera, for its anti-fungal properties. She uses her own Aloe Vera from plants she grows!
  • Vegan Wax for its slightly waterproof quality. 
  • Shea Butter, for nourishing quality and a smooth application

I also had the pleasure of trying the lip and cheek tint collection which was divine. Giving a subtle yet hella cute vibe. They are very soft and super blendable as well. And they come all nice and cozy in cardboard packaging! Yaay!



ROSE + CINNAMON
Infused with Rose Wax, Organic Rose Petals, and Alkanet Root give this Lip Tint its beautiful rosy color. Infused with organic cinnamon sticks for a delightful warming scent. Matte finish.

HIBISCUS + CLOVE
Infused with organic clove, organic rose petals, and ground hibiscus flowers for a deep red, ruby tinted color. Matte Finish.

RED CLAY + MANGO
Infused with Carrot Seed Oil, Mango Butter, Alkanet Root for nourishing qualities. Infused with cardamom for a warming scent. Matte Finish.

Here is Emily, the shop owner with some words:

I just started EK Bare Beauty about three months ago and I have loved every minute of the journey so far! I have always been into all-natural makeup but started to research a lot more about zero waste and realized the most waste I was creating was my beauty waste. When I started looking into and practicing Zero Waste, I was looking for makeup swaps but didn’t find very many options for anything at all. The few options I found were expensive and unaffordable. I founded EK Bare Beauty as a way for everyone to access beautiful, everyday, sustainable makeup! ✨

Check out EK Bare Beauty Here
Piyalli! Today I am excited to share EK Bare Beauty with ya'll! I am always on a quest to find zero waste make up but sometimes I can come to a dead end because price can be an issue. Quality makeup ain't cheap, so when I found EK Bare Beauty I was hooked! Stunning, quality, zero waste and accessible! Now that is something to get hype about!



I was SO thrilled to try the zero waste mascara! I have always been super picky about mascara, it was either too clunky, too flakey, or too damn expensive. But ya'll. I was so pleased with this product! It comes in the cutest little tin container that when finished with I can totally refill with other goodies. I had to get used to the fact that it was in a little container like this since I have only ever used a regular non zero waste packaging for it but sooo worth it. It has such a soft and natural feel that I absolutely love. Perfect for that "No makeup "makeup look.


Here are the ingredients:
  • Agave, for voluminous lashes
  • Castor Seed Oil, to nourish the eyelashes and promote growth
  • Activated charcoal, for color.
  • Bentonite Clay, for thickness.
  • Aloe Vera, for its anti-fungal properties. She uses her own Aloe Vera from plants she grows!
  • Vegan Wax for its slightly waterproof quality. 
  • Shea Butter, for nourishing quality and a smooth application

I also had the pleasure of trying the lip and cheek tint collection which was divine. Giving a subtle yet hella cute vibe. They are very soft and super blendable as well. And they come all nice and cozy in cardboard packaging! Yaay!



ROSE + CINNAMON
Infused with Rose Wax, Organic Rose Petals, and Alkanet Root give this Lip Tint its beautiful rosy color. Infused with organic cinnamon sticks for a delightful warming scent. Matte finish.

HIBISCUS + CLOVE
Infused with organic clove, organic rose petals, and ground hibiscus flowers for a deep red, ruby tinted color. Matte Finish.

RED CLAY + MANGO
Infused with Carrot Seed Oil, Mango Butter, Alkanet Root for nourishing qualities. Infused with cardamom for a warming scent. Matte Finish.

Here is Emily, the shop owner with some words:

I just started EK Bare Beauty about three months ago and I have loved every minute of the journey so far! I have always been into all-natural makeup but started to research a lot more about zero waste and realized the most waste I was creating was my beauty waste. When I started looking into and practicing Zero Waste, I was looking for makeup swaps but didn’t find very many options for anything at all. The few options I found were expensive and unaffordable. I founded EK Bare Beauty as a way for everyone to access beautiful, everyday, sustainable makeup! ✨

Check out EK Bare Beauty Here

Valentine's Day Gifts || Couples Online Spanish Lessons

Hola! So as some of y'all know I am teaching Conversational Spanish Online! And I am so excited to sign up some new fresh faces for the month of February.



Hola! So as some of y'all know I am teaching Conversational Spanish Online! And I am so excited to sign up some new fresh faces for the month of February.




BaggioArdonDesign || An Obsession of Culture For You, Through Art and Design

Monday, January 28, 2019
Good mornin ya'll y buenos dias. I am so excited to share a Central American artist with ya'll today. I have interviewed Baggio Ardo from BaggioArdonDesign and am thrilled to share his beautiful work.

I found his page on Instagram and absolutly feel in love. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride when I saw his work. It enbodied so much of my love for my culture.  Please check out his shop here for more amazing art work.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Baggio Ardon, a graphic designer by trade and illustrator by design. Everything I draw is reflective of my obsession with culture and heritage, with roots running deep into the hearts of Mexico and El Salvador. 
Few things, I've found, inspire artists more than the persistence of hate and bigotry. And with what our nation faces currently, I insist on showing the world the beauty of my countries and my people as a gay Latino. The main goal of my work, however, is intended to educate and empower. I want to be able to teach and inspire through my illustrations, to help broaden the perspective of what it means to be "Latinx". 



When did you know you wanted to "become" an artist?
I'm not sure I ever really decided to become a creative by any means. It was something I just, always did. As far as I can remember, and even before that, I was always making something. I will say that I hadn't figured out my voice and creative identity until mid-way through college when I fully came to embrace my roots and culture. That's when things really began to blossom. 



What inspires you the most?
I'm inspired by the work of a few of my favorite artists and by my cultures. Fernando Llort, El Salvador's National Artist, dictated my use of geometry and color. Fernando saw beauty in his country above the war and poverty, the very same beauty I see still. Etré, Father of Art Nouveau and queer illustrator, inspired my desire to tell stories in a dramatic and colorful fashion. Erté epitomized fashion, extravagance, and class – a standard I want to elevate the subjects of my own work too. Classical Maya vase paintings and the murals of Bonampak are also heavy influencers. Classical Maya art is regarded as equal to the art of the Ancient Greeks and I fully intend to draw on their use of geometry, color, and composition to continue improving my craft. 



How do you think art impacts our world today?
If all my work ever did was help someone see the beauty that I see from my two countries, I'll be happy. Mexico and El Salvador, along with the rest of Latin America, holds an incredible bounty of truly amazing people and cultures. Too many people have only been exposed to or only speak of poverty, drug cartels, and gang violence. I hope my work contributes to changing the conversion from Latin America's hardships to Latin America's extravagance and empowerment.


Who is your favorite artist?
1. Fernando Llort
2. Erté
3. J.C. Leyendecker


What are your goals for 2019? 
I have a creative goal and a career goal, both dependant on one another: 

1. I'd love to really push my work further in terms of detail, creativity, and storytelling. I've been exposed to so many fantastic artists with so much talent and support and I can't help but feel I could be there too. With hard work, dedication, and a consistent drive to educate and empower my peers, I think I can make it. 


2. This is the year I attempt to fully support myself as a freelance designer and artist. I feel like a crazy person and the entire world has so far told me it's an ill-advised idea, but if I really push myself I'm confident I can make it work. I'm striving to prove any person wrong whoever told me there isn't an audience for my work, that my work was too "Hispanic", or that I need to settle on a job I'll hate. Fingers crossed.  



Good mornin ya'll y buenos dias. I am so excited to share a Central American artist with ya'll today. I have interviewed Baggio Ardo from BaggioArdonDesign and am thrilled to share his beautiful work.

I found his page on Instagram and absolutly feel in love. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride when I saw his work. It enbodied so much of my love for my culture.  Please check out his shop here for more amazing art work.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Baggio Ardon, a graphic designer by trade and illustrator by design. Everything I draw is reflective of my obsession with culture and heritage, with roots running deep into the hearts of Mexico and El Salvador. 
Few things, I've found, inspire artists more than the persistence of hate and bigotry. And with what our nation faces currently, I insist on showing the world the beauty of my countries and my people as a gay Latino. The main goal of my work, however, is intended to educate and empower. I want to be able to teach and inspire through my illustrations, to help broaden the perspective of what it means to be "Latinx". 



When did you know you wanted to "become" an artist?
I'm not sure I ever really decided to become a creative by any means. It was something I just, always did. As far as I can remember, and even before that, I was always making something. I will say that I hadn't figured out my voice and creative identity until mid-way through college when I fully came to embrace my roots and culture. That's when things really began to blossom. 



What inspires you the most?
I'm inspired by the work of a few of my favorite artists and by my cultures. Fernando Llort, El Salvador's National Artist, dictated my use of geometry and color. Fernando saw beauty in his country above the war and poverty, the very same beauty I see still. Etré, Father of Art Nouveau and queer illustrator, inspired my desire to tell stories in a dramatic and colorful fashion. Erté epitomized fashion, extravagance, and class – a standard I want to elevate the subjects of my own work too. Classical Maya vase paintings and the murals of Bonampak are also heavy influencers. Classical Maya art is regarded as equal to the art of the Ancient Greeks and I fully intend to draw on their use of geometry, color, and composition to continue improving my craft. 



How do you think art impacts our world today?
If all my work ever did was help someone see the beauty that I see from my two countries, I'll be happy. Mexico and El Salvador, along with the rest of Latin America, holds an incredible bounty of truly amazing people and cultures. Too many people have only been exposed to or only speak of poverty, drug cartels, and gang violence. I hope my work contributes to changing the conversion from Latin America's hardships to Latin America's extravagance and empowerment.


Who is your favorite artist?
1. Fernando Llort
2. Erté
3. J.C. Leyendecker


What are your goals for 2019? 
I have a creative goal and a career goal, both dependant on one another: 

1. I'd love to really push my work further in terms of detail, creativity, and storytelling. I've been exposed to so many fantastic artists with so much talent and support and I can't help but feel I could be there too. With hard work, dedication, and a consistent drive to educate and empower my peers, I think I can make it. 


2. This is the year I attempt to fully support myself as a freelance designer and artist. I feel like a crazy person and the entire world has so far told me it's an ill-advised idea, but if I really push myself I'm confident I can make it work. I'm striving to prove any person wrong whoever told me there isn't an audience for my work, that my work was too "Hispanic", or that I need to settle on a job I'll hate. Fingers crossed.  




Bail Project

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


        Cualli Tlaneci ya'll. This morning I was so in awe and inspired by 
Robin Steinberg and her work in creating BailProject.org It is an incredible organization that helps provide bail for thousands of folks around the country. 

I want to share some excerpts from their page because I really believe that this project needs more awareness. 


The Bail Project is a national nonprofit organization that pays bail for people in need,
reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.


Today, in America, two people charged with exactly the same thing will experience radically different legal systems based on the size of their bank account and the color of their skin. We’re on a mission to change this. We believe that paying bail for someone in need is an act of resistance against a system that criminalizes race and poverty. Over the next five years, The Bail Project will scale its immediate relief efforts to dozens of high-need jurisdictions and secure freedom for tens of thousands of people, while demonstrating that our approach offers an effective alternative to unaffordable cash bail.



        Cualli Tlaneci ya'll. This morning I was so in awe and inspired by 
Robin Steinberg and her work in creating BailProject.org It is an incredible organization that helps provide bail for thousands of folks around the country. 

I want to share some excerpts from their page because I really believe that this project needs more awareness. 


The Bail Project is a national nonprofit organization that pays bail for people in need,
reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.


Today, in America, two people charged with exactly the same thing will experience radically different legal systems based on the size of their bank account and the color of their skin. We’re on a mission to change this. We believe that paying bail for someone in need is an act of resistance against a system that criminalizes race and poverty. Over the next five years, The Bail Project will scale its immediate relief efforts to dozens of high-need jurisdictions and secure freedom for tens of thousands of people, while demonstrating that our approach offers an effective alternative to unaffordable cash bail.


Minimalism con Mama of Intention

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Good mornin' ya'll y Buenos dias! I feel like I haven't posted on here in forever! But today I have an amazing interview with Mama of Intention on Minimalism. 

Minimalism sometimes seems like it is only for an elite group of super modern fancily dressed people, but that is so far from the truth. I am here to show ya'll this amazing mujer that is rocking minimalism through intentional living. Hope you love it!




  • How do you define minimalism?
  • My definition of minimalism is evolving. Minimalism for me is about intentional living. It’s not necessary about the amount of things we own, although I do live fairly minimally, but it’s how we are consuming and how that consumerism can continue to entrap us in cycles of systemic injustices. Minimalism is about radical imagination, and change. It’s our ability as people of color to live outside of white supremacy, which can take on a lot of different forms; living small, living with less, zero-waste, living off the grid, plant-based/vegan diets, all of this really fits into the minimalist lifestyle. Ultimately it’s about how we can live in such a way that is sustainable, that is in tune with our ancestors, that pushes back against respectability politics and that is freeing.  

  • What brought you to minimalism? 
  • I have been interested in living small and consuming less for the purposes of financial freedom for almost five years now. I started really on a whim, I hated looking at the clutter around my house, and I was tired of never having money to do the things I really wanted to do. Somewhere along the way, I watched the “Minimalist” documentary on Netflix and I was actually really angry. It was clear that minimalism had been co-opted and white-washed when for me minimalism was a form of freedom and liberation. I had never heard anyone else talk about minimalism in the way of freedom until I connected with Black Minimalist. They really brought me back in, but also pushed me to think about my values, and to be unapologetic in seeking freedom and liberation. Once I connected with them I felt more confident in owning the fact that I was a minimalist, especially since it began to reflect my values and way of life.

  • What challenges exist with living simply?  
  • Yes! My kids, my husband, my family. I am actually laughing while writing this. The reality is living simply has always been a desire before I could even name it. I knew I would live with less, and I knew I would be happy living with less. This was definitely not always my husband’s ideal way of living. There is a lot of emphasis on the “American Dream” in our culture. To own a house, cars, and to work hard is a show of “stability” and “freedom.” What is not emphasized is the debt, and fatigue that come with that lifestyle. My husband and I have had to have a lot of deep conversations about our intentions. We have had to evaluate and reevaluate our values and figure out if we are living in alignment with them. We have also had to share these values with our kids. The reality is we are fighting against million dollar corporations that target our children, so teaching our babies and equipping them to fight these systems is a radical way to create change.

  • What lessons have you learned from living simply? 
  • One lesson I have learned from living simply is that I deserve to be free. It’s true I will have to push back against consumeristic ideas, but I can. I can push back against respectability politics, I can live with less, I can live smaller. I can do this because I have the agency to.


  • How do we create space within our culture for minimalism? 
  • We create space in our culture for minimalism by being in community with one another. Real, intentional community that is willing to have tough conversations, is unafraid to ask questions and to push one another to explore and consider different ways we achieve freedom. The community part though I cannot emphasize enough. We need to be able to be in relationship with one another, intentional living is not easy. It is a lifetime process, where we are constantly learning new things, and evolving. We have to be able to reach out and to check-in.

  • Where can we connect with you? 


Tlazo to Amanda for taking the time out of her busy day to do this interview! Check out her blog for the interview she did of me!

Good mornin' ya'll y Buenos dias! I feel like I haven't posted on here in forever! But today I have an amazing interview with Mama of Intention on Minimalism. 

Minimalism sometimes seems like it is only for an elite group of super modern fancily dressed people, but that is so far from the truth. I am here to show ya'll this amazing mujer that is rocking minimalism through intentional living. Hope you love it!




  • How do you define minimalism?
  • My definition of minimalism is evolving. Minimalism for me is about intentional living. It’s not necessary about the amount of things we own, although I do live fairly minimally, but it’s how we are consuming and how that consumerism can continue to entrap us in cycles of systemic injustices. Minimalism is about radical imagination, and change. It’s our ability as people of color to live outside of white supremacy, which can take on a lot of different forms; living small, living with less, zero-waste, living off the grid, plant-based/vegan diets, all of this really fits into the minimalist lifestyle. Ultimately it’s about how we can live in such a way that is sustainable, that is in tune with our ancestors, that pushes back against respectability politics and that is freeing.  

  • What brought you to minimalism? 
  • I have been interested in living small and consuming less for the purposes of financial freedom for almost five years now. I started really on a whim, I hated looking at the clutter around my house, and I was tired of never having money to do the things I really wanted to do. Somewhere along the way, I watched the “Minimalist” documentary on Netflix and I was actually really angry. It was clear that minimalism had been co-opted and white-washed when for me minimalism was a form of freedom and liberation. I had never heard anyone else talk about minimalism in the way of freedom until I connected with Black Minimalist. They really brought me back in, but also pushed me to think about my values, and to be unapologetic in seeking freedom and liberation. Once I connected with them I felt more confident in owning the fact that I was a minimalist, especially since it began to reflect my values and way of life.

  • What challenges exist with living simply?  
  • Yes! My kids, my husband, my family. I am actually laughing while writing this. The reality is living simply has always been a desire before I could even name it. I knew I would live with less, and I knew I would be happy living with less. This was definitely not always my husband’s ideal way of living. There is a lot of emphasis on the “American Dream” in our culture. To own a house, cars, and to work hard is a show of “stability” and “freedom.” What is not emphasized is the debt, and fatigue that come with that lifestyle. My husband and I have had to have a lot of deep conversations about our intentions. We have had to evaluate and reevaluate our values and figure out if we are living in alignment with them. We have also had to share these values with our kids. The reality is we are fighting against million dollar corporations that target our children, so teaching our babies and equipping them to fight these systems is a radical way to create change.

  • What lessons have you learned from living simply? 
  • One lesson I have learned from living simply is that I deserve to be free. It’s true I will have to push back against consumeristic ideas, but I can. I can push back against respectability politics, I can live with less, I can live smaller. I can do this because I have the agency to.


  • How do we create space within our culture for minimalism? 
  • We create space in our culture for minimalism by being in community with one another. Real, intentional community that is willing to have tough conversations, is unafraid to ask questions and to push one another to explore and consider different ways we achieve freedom. The community part though I cannot emphasize enough. We need to be able to be in relationship with one another, intentional living is not easy. It is a lifetime process, where we are constantly learning new things, and evolving. We have to be able to reach out and to check-in.

  • Where can we connect with you? 


Tlazo to Amanda for taking the time out of her busy day to do this interview! Check out her blog for the interview she did of me!


AFJA || Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Hey ya'll! So I wanted to share an incredible non profit with ya'll. They are AFJA Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense. They are an amazing program that is changing so many lives. Here is the interview I did with Steven, the creator of the program. 



Could you tell us a little bit about AFJA?

AFJA, stands for Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense. It is a non profit youth soccer academy located in Canton Los Amates in departamento La Libertad in El Salvador. The focus of this academy is to provide access  to a free and all inclusive academy for at risk girls and boys ages 5-19 in the community and surrounding areas. To understand the need for this work, one really has to see the environment and conditions that these children find themselves in. Our hope is that by providing these children with access to recreational soccer we keep them out of potential recruitment into gangs, drugs, and human trafficking that is so prevalent in the area. The program is 100% free, however there are strict requirements for eligibility (see below). We connect with youth soccer clubs to set up donation drives. We teach American youth soccer players the importance of sustainability and empower them to donate their gear to children in need. By recycling the gear we are reusing the gear that would otherwise end up in the trash. 

Eligibility requirements:
1) Academic: participants must provide monthly academic progress reports from teachers. We identify areas of need and pay for tutor sessions. 
2) Social project: Each month the students vote on a social project. We empower them to come up with their own ideas for community service projects each month and provide them resources and help to execute their idea. For example, we last month we had a clean up day and filled 10 large trash bags full of litter and disposed of it at a proper bin. The kids learn about the importance of maintaining their space clean. Traditionally, the trash is burned emitting toxic fumes into the air, so we also use this opportunity to teach. This is just one example of the many ideas that come from their own bright minds. 
3) Attendance: Their is a strict attendance policy to instill responsibility. 




What made you want to start this program?

This program was inspired by my personal experiences, my mother was born and raised in this community. Every summer, instead of summer camp, I was sent to Los Amates and grew up witnessing the vast disparities between life in LA (Los Angeles) and LA (Los Amates). When I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2015, I wanted to start a new venture. In the summer of 2017, through Crowd Funding, AFJA was born. 



What is it that you love most about creating this program?

What I love most about this project is the amount of support it has received. Personally, I feel that we are living a Central American Renaissance of sorts where we are reclaiming our identities. If you ask any non Salvadoran person what they know about El Salvador, they will more often than not mention two things....MS-13 and Pupusas. The rhetoric coming out from Trump has emboldened negative stereotypes of our people. This project is showing the world that on the other side of their fence are real children with real potential for good. I love sharing each child's story with the world. 



How do you think the children benefit from AFJA?

The Children benefit by not only receiving cleats, uniforms and other tangible goods, but also from the dedication from the adults in the community who volunteer as coaches. We are providing them the opportunity to laugh. We are not just providing them access to soccer equipment, we are helping them simply be kids and have access to joy. 



What are some plans for the future?

We return in July, in which we will have a world cup themed tournaments, an excursion, and watch parties for the soccer games. We also through cinema nights showing movies like CoCo on a big outdoor screen. A lot of our kids have never been to the movies, so we bring the cinema experience to them. 



Please show them some love and support by following their journey on Instagram @AFJA.ES 

Tlazo


Hey ya'll! So I wanted to share an incredible non profit with ya'll. They are AFJA Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense. They are an amazing program that is changing so many lives. Here is the interview I did with Steven, the creator of the program. 



Could you tell us a little bit about AFJA?

AFJA, stands for Academia de Futbol Juvenil Amatense. It is a non profit youth soccer academy located in Canton Los Amates in departamento La Libertad in El Salvador. The focus of this academy is to provide access  to a free and all inclusive academy for at risk girls and boys ages 5-19 in the community and surrounding areas. To understand the need for this work, one really has to see the environment and conditions that these children find themselves in. Our hope is that by providing these children with access to recreational soccer we keep them out of potential recruitment into gangs, drugs, and human trafficking that is so prevalent in the area. The program is 100% free, however there are strict requirements for eligibility (see below). We connect with youth soccer clubs to set up donation drives. We teach American youth soccer players the importance of sustainability and empower them to donate their gear to children in need. By recycling the gear we are reusing the gear that would otherwise end up in the trash. 

Eligibility requirements:
1) Academic: participants must provide monthly academic progress reports from teachers. We identify areas of need and pay for tutor sessions. 
2) Social project: Each month the students vote on a social project. We empower them to come up with their own ideas for community service projects each month and provide them resources and help to execute their idea. For example, we last month we had a clean up day and filled 10 large trash bags full of litter and disposed of it at a proper bin. The kids learn about the importance of maintaining their space clean. Traditionally, the trash is burned emitting toxic fumes into the air, so we also use this opportunity to teach. This is just one example of the many ideas that come from their own bright minds. 
3) Attendance: Their is a strict attendance policy to instill responsibility. 




What made you want to start this program?

This program was inspired by my personal experiences, my mother was born and raised in this community. Every summer, instead of summer camp, I was sent to Los Amates and grew up witnessing the vast disparities between life in LA (Los Angeles) and LA (Los Amates). When I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2015, I wanted to start a new venture. In the summer of 2017, through Crowd Funding, AFJA was born. 



What is it that you love most about creating this program?

What I love most about this project is the amount of support it has received. Personally, I feel that we are living a Central American Renaissance of sorts where we are reclaiming our identities. If you ask any non Salvadoran person what they know about El Salvador, they will more often than not mention two things....MS-13 and Pupusas. The rhetoric coming out from Trump has emboldened negative stereotypes of our people. This project is showing the world that on the other side of their fence are real children with real potential for good. I love sharing each child's story with the world. 



How do you think the children benefit from AFJA?

The Children benefit by not only receiving cleats, uniforms and other tangible goods, but also from the dedication from the adults in the community who volunteer as coaches. We are providing them the opportunity to laugh. We are not just providing them access to soccer equipment, we are helping them simply be kids and have access to joy. 



What are some plans for the future?

We return in July, in which we will have a world cup themed tournaments, an excursion, and watch parties for the soccer games. We also through cinema nights showing movies like CoCo on a big outdoor screen. A lot of our kids have never been to the movies, so we bring the cinema experience to them. 



Please show them some love and support by following their journey on Instagram @AFJA.ES 

Tlazo



@jenriverabell