Having California one of the biggest Latino population in the United States, Latinas came from around and over the border to spend a day in Celebrando 2012, the largest Latina conference in Spanish, with a focus in health, beauty and business.
With a program from 8am to 4pm, the conference took place Saturday, June 2 at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina, near the San Diego International Airport. El Latino, newspaper that organized the annual event, that had over 500 attendees in 2011, hosted more than 900 ladies this year.
This event attracted women from all the Latina community, including the Colombian actress Danna García from “El cielo en tu mirada“, that appeared with María Cristina, editor of Siempre Mujer magazine, and her costar/actor José Yenque (in movies like Traffic, Lost and Heroes).
“I identify myself with the women that came here,” said García in a press conference during the event. “We follow our dreams, we do what we want, and we are not stopped. We never stop.”
After registering, the attendees received a gift bag with sewing kits, small health items and information about the event. Medical, beauty and fashion providers filled the lower level, warmly lit, with tables and screens for their organizations, as well as raffles to make sure the ladies return. The attendees were able to enjoy product and service samples, specifically designed to Latinas’ lifestyle.
Vicky Lebrón, a certified nurse, made free mammograms and pap smear exams from UC San Diego. She is part of a program to promote free medical assistance to women.
“We are promoting and fomenting the self-examination to prevent cancer,” said Lebrón. “In 2011, we have completed over 2000 exams and 12% came back atypical. It is important that women self-examin themselves to identify ailments at an early stage.”
Before 1pm, all the attendees enjoyed lunch at the main room in the first floor, where they were served salad an entrée of chicken with mole, while they heard from the special guests. One of the biggest likes in the crowd was the fashion show sponsored by Macy’s and the shopping center Westfield Plaza Bonita that showcased its new clothing and accessories collections that will debut in several stores in Plaza Bonita, including the luxurious wallets from Tous, which was raffled with a value of over $600 at the event.
After finishing lunch, the exhibit hall was full again, one corner was up to the top with cosmetology students, like Dana Ballinger, a student from the beauty school Marinello located in El Cajon. She and her partners were providing free hairstyling.
“Today, I think I made 30 people’s hair”, said Ballinger, while she was curling a woman’s hair with her curling wand. “This might be a low number, anyway. The only thing I know, is that we have filled more than three pages with names.”
While the experience got to an end, the attendees made their final purchases. The line in Macy’s booth were long. Bianca Yáñez, from sales and coordination from Lancôme mentioned it was the first time she attended Celebrando. “It is very inspiring to me, to see Latinas in our culture,” said Yáñez. “We are here because we are Latinas, and all of us want to empowered as women, and the makeup makes us look beautiful, as beautiful in the exterior as in the interior, it is just a way to empower women.”
The good comments and positive reaction of the people that participated in Celebrando 2012, shows that this conference is here to stay.