Recording a podcast Unsplash.com/Kelly Sikkema

As Latinas continue to strive in the U.S. in sectors that include health, wellness, and the economy, there are not many instances of media that chronicle their passage through their lives in America, a situation that an award-winning studio wants to revert to.

With "100 Latina Birthdays," LWC Studios delves into the lives of Latina individuals in the Chicago area to hear their personal experiences on life and health hoping to impact the nation with their narratives.

Supported and funded with grants from several health and women's organizations, this podcast, launched earlier this month, consists of five seasons —10 episodes each. Each season will focus on a 20-year life span and speak of significant challenges that Latinas face within certain stages of life.

"100 Latina Birthdays" starts off with the crucial topics of bilingualism and pregnancy loss in the first two episodes. Later on, the show will focus on feminine issues, such as navigating through a girl's first period, the adultification bias of Latina eldest daughters, and college season.

The executive producer of "100 Latina Birthdays", Juleyka Lantigua, told The Latin Times that she wants to emphasize "how Latinas need to step into their leadership (...) Latinas are the epitome of what it means to be a true leader. They are businesswomen, game-changers, teachers, doctors, mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and beyond."

Though Latinas are hardworking women (a report by UnidosUs sees them as the future of the U.S. workforce), they face many emotional hardships. Breast cancer, Infertility, and stereotypes are among the many issues that cause Latinas to mentally struggle due to a lack of access to resources. According to the Review of Health Equity in Chicago, 2019, "Latinas (27.4%) were more likely to be depressed than white women (16.3%)."

According to Lantigua, "It is really impacting our mental health, it is impacting our ability to get the support that we need, it is impacting our ability to advocate for ourselves. We have to get over the cultural taboo of not talking about infertility, not talking about abortion, not talking about contraception. Like in some instances, Latinas are scarred psychologically because they did not get the support that they needed through one of the most difficult experiences anyone can have in their lives."

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100 Latina Birthdays Podcast cover Reyna Noriega/100 Latina Birthdays

The podcast aims to research and educate all generations on how Latinas are empowering but not getting heard about as much. "We want this to become a tool. The podcast is available to anyone to use on a licensed free and royalty-free basis... we want people to use it in their classrooms, to use it in their workshops, to use it when they are doing community teachings. We want everyone to use it," comments Lantigua.

Latinas have been the force in the expansion of hispanic culture, "By 2050, one in three American women will be latina. We are after black women, the second highest educated cohort in the country," Latingua adds.

The executive producer told The Latin Times the inspiration behind the podcast, "During the last election the nation was riveted by the elections in Georgia, and Stacey Abrams was fierce for years before the election harnessing the black cloud and mobilizing tens of thousands of black women in Fulton County and beyond to get black voters to the polls and essentially without exaggeration black women save the country because they were able to organize in Georgia. Now a little story that did not get told was the story of Latina organizers who signed up 300,000 new Latino voters and that 300,000 constituted the 1% and turned the election in Georgia."

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