#ChingonaFest Fridays: Elisa Camahort Page

  Welcome to WEEK 12 of #ChingonaFest Fridays on Aspiring Mama!

If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purposeLas Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you it does.

Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies? I interviewed myself to mark my year anniversary as Latina Magazine's Dimelo Advice Columnist right before Lorraince C. Ladish made me look  bad in last week

s interview by referring to books I pretended to read in high school.  Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.

Today’s featured Chingona is …Elisa Camahort Page.

Camahort Page is a BlogHer co-couner  and, amongst other honors, was also a Fortune Most Powerful Entrepreneurs, 2013.

And now? It’s time for the interview!


Elisa Camahort Psge


Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?

Elisa Camahort Page: Vanilla

PC:  A straight-shooter. I like it. Favorite book and why:

ECP: That's a tough one, I love many books. Perhaps Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer had the most impact because it articulated a philosophy I already subscribed to in terms that were relatable to regular people who might not have my same activist fervor on the subject.

Pauline Campos: *blinks* My IQ just developed a complex. Do you consider yourself a feminist?


PC: There's that straight-shootin' again. I like a woman who tells it like it is. Who inspires you?

ECP: The BlogHer community inspires me every day. Every day *someone* tells an amazing story, does something incredibly brave, makes real change in their life, their community, or the world. It's crazy actually. Crazy how much talent and passion are out there...this despite the regular conventional wisdom proclaiming the death of the very blogging that creates that inspiration.

PC: Who is it you hope to inspire?

 ECP: The BlogHer community has so many new folks still flooding into this space every day. I hope to inspire them to do social media and blogging *their* way. There is no one right way. There is no single one-size-fits-all approach. There is so much opportunity...knowing what you want to grab from that grab bag is important.

PC: I was just gong to say "Anything dipped in chocolate" but I think that you've got a T-shirt quote somewhere in that last one. Lemme have my coffee first... Do you dream in color or black and white?

 ECP: I don't remember, actually. Why, do you know what that means?

PC: Not a single clue. Also? I should Google that one so I have a slightly smarter answer the next time a featured Chingona throws this one back in my court. Speaking bad words redfined... Let's play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say...?

 ECP: Huh? You're the chica who introduced me to the term :)

PC: ummmm... *blinks slowly* Well? The short answer is DON'T SAY CHINGONA IN CHURCH. Also, it's probably not a good idea to yell the word out randomly in public, 'being as I like you, and and all. Also, did you know "pinche" is a bad word in Mexican Spanish but means "barette" in Chilean Spanish? You're *welcome*. Why are you giving me the side-eye? Focus, Woman! Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they've grown and flown the nest...

ECP: Not applicable...no kids :)

 PC: Fair enough. Do you feel "Latina enough"? 

ECP: Definitely not. I don't even call myself Latina, although I will say I'm Hispanic. But, for example, I never learned Spanish...I think when I was growing up there was a lot more assumption that immigrants would assimilate and less expectations that their children would retain any culture. Add on top of that my family is a mixed family originating from Spanish immigrants to the Philippines. So much of my connection to the culture is through food...which was actually kind of a mix of Spanish and Filipino. And being spanked with a slipper...which I think is more of the Asian side of that equation ;)

PC: Don't take this the wrong way, Elisa, but we gotta talk. Because every Mexican reading this just choked and simultaneously yelled out "LA CHANCLA"! Anyway, you have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON? 

ECP: Stephen Sondheim. Why? Because I'm a #theatrenerd and he is completely brilliant and my idol.

PC: You are totally smarter than a fifth grader, aren't you? *runs off to Google the name the smart lady just said* Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)

EC: That is definitely just a you thing.

PC: Admit it. You think I'm adorable, don't you? Gimme one Latina stereotype you despise?

 ECP: Oh, I guess it's the whole kit and caboodle...fiery Latinas, sexy Latinas, spicy Latinas...and then there's the indomitable Latina matriarch. The problem with any stereotype is that it ignores the diversity within diversity. That Latinas are not a monolithic bloc, just as women aren't, just as no group is like the Borg.

PC: You win the Internet for using the Borg to bring that last point home, Elisa. *High five* Describe your perfect day.

 EC: Well, it would start with actually getting a full night's sleep #damnyouinsomnia. Then I would probably chillax with my cat and my iPad full of all the books I never have time to read. I'd be playing music. And my S.O. could join for a couple of great meals of #vegan food!

PC: One Latina stereotype you embrace (or is there one?)

 ECP: Yeah, in case it wasn't clear, not very into embracing stereotypes :)

PC (grinning):  Nope...everything is crystal...



And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at aspiringmama@gmail.com or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. Girlfriend needed a reality check…so I gave her one.

Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to dimelo@latina.com.


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AspiringMama on MultiCulti Pride - Ananda Leeke Interview


It's crunch time for BlogHer '13, you guys. That means (if you're going or want to learn more about it) that you'll be writing about and talking about and tweeting about the conference and parties and excitement so much that you won't mind my current state of mind.

For those of you not going or the conference thing isn't your thing, feel free to take a blog and social media break and stop by in a week or so.

Then again, maybe stick around. Not for conference talk, but because if you are proud of your cultural identity, you'll want to read up on the fabulous women I've got lined up for interviews on AspiringMama. Thanks to my BlogHer MultiCulti party cohostess Ananda Leeke for my interview on The Digital Sisterhood Network and for sharing her answers (and questions) with me!

Click here for my interview and read on to learn about what multicultural pride means to Ananda Leeke!



Pauline Campos: Why is celebrating Multi-Culti at BlogHer important to you?
Ananda Leeke: It gives me an opportunity to be a part of something that celebrates UNITY in the digital space.
PC: Describe your family's Multi-Culti melting pot (ethnicity).
AL: My African American family’s roots represent a mélange of West African, Native American, Canadian, and European cultures. The historical data from the American slave trade has helped my family conclude that our African ancestors who were brought to North Carolina and Virginia came from West African countries. Knowing this to be our only factual tie, I traveled to the slave castles on Goree Island in Senegal in 1994 and Cape Coast, Ghana in 1997 and 2003, to honor the spirits of our African ancestors. Based on family records, research, and stories, I know I am the great-great-great granddaughter of Hence Daniel, a Native American man who married Ann Daniel, a former enslaved African woman who lived to be 113 years old in Kentucky. I am the great-great granddaughter of Ida Goens Bolden, a woman with African, Native American, and Portuguese blood running through her veins. In addition, I am the great granddaughter of James Ebert Leak, a French Canadian man born in Winnipeg, Canada. My grandfather John Leonard Leeke told me his father James Ebert Leak also had Irish blood running through his veins.
As you can see, my family like many American families is a melting pot of people from all over the globe.
PC: What are your top 10 Multi-Culti favorite musical groups and/or songs?
AL: Japan's Keiki Matsui, Cuba's Celia Cruz and Omar Sosa, Haiti's Emiline Michel, Benin's Angelique Kidjo, Afropean songbirds Les Nubians, England’s Sade and Julie Dexter, Jamaica's Bob Marley, and Peru’s Susana Baca.
PC: What is your favorite Multi-Culti fashion (clothing/jewelry/designer/accessories/shoes)?
AL: When I was in Cuba, I purchased a black opal ring that I adore. A few years ago, I purchased a Thai jacket from this store Thai store called Stem in neighborhood. Franco Sarto is one of my favorite shoe designers.
PC: What are your top 5 favorite Multi-Culti foods?
AL: I love Thai, Indian, Cuban, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Mexican cuisine.
PC: What are your top 3 Multi-Culti wines or cocktails?
AL.: Ethiopian honey wine is DIVINE. A Cuban Mojito rocks my world. A French martini is lovely!
PC: What are your top 3 Multi-Culti artwork/artists, books, and films?
AL: Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. My favorite books include anything written by Isabel Allende, The Altar of My Soul by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, and all of Thich Nh?t H?nh books. My favorite film is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Children of Midnight by Deepa Metha, all of Deepa Metha's films, and all of Mira Nair's films.
PC: What are your top 5 Multi-Culti travel experiences?
AL: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Paris, Egypt, and Senegal.
Be sure to check back in to see who's next! And please share what multicultural pride means to you!