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Using technology to keep cultura alive

Latina mommy bloggers have set out on a mission this summer and that mission is to get your children reading.

An article published by the New York Times in December, titled “For Young Latino Readers, An image is Missing,” set off the alarms alerting to this issue. See, it’s not that young Latino children don’t like to read but it is only when they see themselves in the stories that they can rela

te to and then in turn, fall in love with literature.

Viviana Hurtado, a powerful voice in Latino tech and a Yale graduate with a Ph.D. in literature based out of Washington, D.C., is one of the four Latina bloggers who joined forces to create Latinas 4 Latino Literature, or LL4L.

The program calls attention to the lack of Latino authors and literature, and seeks to change that by providing Latino parents with resources, such as articles, apps, and lists of age-appropriate Latino-authored book suggestions just like this one. The lists are free and provide parents, as well as educators, with worksheets, bilingual reading material good for both summer and throughout the school year, and share tips and lists filled with Latino authors and illustrators for further reading.

“Keeping Spanish alive and keeping connections to our culture alive are important, but that’s a struggle. There’s an untapped consumer market in Hispanic readers who want to read more books published by Latinos,” Hurtado recently told ABC|Univision.

“When there is identification going on because you recognize a last name or see a skin color that looks familiar…there’s a connection and an identification established. If that is one of the inroads that is going to help us access this community and get kids hooked on reading, we’re going full-throttle,” she further added.

The summertime is especially crucial, the program’s website notes, so families are encouraged to come together and challenge their youngsters to read a minimum of eight books and likewise, the website promises prizes to the first 100 families who sign up, along with interactive opportunities with Google Hangout and YouTube – making the challenge that much more fun.

“We’re so excited about this program, which has been pedagogically designed to get our children reading,” said Hurtado over the phone. “And then we’re excited about merging that with technology and getting our children reading about what being Latino is all about.”


By Being Latino Contributor, Vanessa Alvarez.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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