Meet Yenory Garcia-Pouncil , Afro-Latina from, Honduras now living in St. Petersburg, Florida.
What does being an afro-latina mean to you?
Growing up I had no idea I was an Afro-Latina. Being a Garifuna from Honduras, I always identified as Garifuna and nothing else. When I moved to the United States, at just 10 years oId, I realized I was "different". Often feeling like I was too black to be considered Latina and too Latina to be considered black. This was tough to understand as a child because I was both. More importantly I wanted people to know I was Garifuna and most had no idea what I was talking about. It wasn't until college when I embraced the term Afro-Latina and began using it to describe my identity. Not because it was my preference, but because people finally "understood" which boxed I checked. Over the years, I've grown to appreciate the term Afro-Latina because it does bring together different elements of who I am. More importantly, I've learned, that I'm not alone. There are millions of Afro-Latinos around the world, who wished to be acknowledged and seen. The term Afro-Latina (o), has helped amplify our voices and bring us together. It has showed us that we're all one family, no matter what part of the world we come from.
Do you speak Spanish? Do you speak any other languages or dialects? If so, what?
I speak, Spanish, Garifuna and English.
When did you realize you were afro-latina?
While I knew I was different in middle school, it wasn't until high school that I understand what Afro-Latina was and that I was one of them. It explained why this dark-skin girl spoke fluent Spanish.
Share an experience about being Afro-Latina.
When it came to dating, I struggled with some of the "compliments" and comments people would say to me. I remember being described as "exotic" a lot because I am an Afro-Latina. Before getting married, I dated a lot of African-American guys and their friends would say things like, "at least you're black", so it's cool. Although I was different, it was like melaninated skin gave me a pass. I didn't know how to respond to these comments. Today, I'm more confident in my skin and feel secure enough not to laugh these comments off but instead I take the time to educate which is at the core of being an Afro-Latina.
What is something you would like to share with other afro-latinas?
You are not alone. We are here and we are here to stay. You don't have to fit into a box to make other people comfortable. Let your light shine and people will get with the program.
What Latin traditions do you stick to (do you cook native meals, listen music, etc)?
My mother is the queen of keeping traditions. I listen to a lot of Garifuna tunes. I am currently loving the album Landini from Aurelio Martinez right now. I'm fortunate to know how to cook a lot of traditional Garifuna dishes and blessed to have my mom a call away when I need direction. I have also learned to make healthier versions of some of our meals because a lot of foods are prepared for flavor not nutrition. I think of this as my way of becoming one with Honduran traditions while adding my spin.
What is Your Occupation or What Are You Best Known For:
I’m a Wellness Advocate for Women of Color and a Podcaster. I am also the Editor in Chief of www.iAmHealthyFit.com, a wellness community empowering women to live healthily and honor their traditions.
What is a beauty routine you could not go without?
For a while my beauty routine was basic, I used to wash my face with a warm towel and apply raw shea butter. It worked for me but a few months ago I began using Jacq’s healing face cleanser and their nourishing face moisturizer. My skin loves it. Being in Florida and exposed to the sun more than when I lived in Washington D.C., these products keep my dark skin looking fabulously kissed by the sun.
Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for your amazing platform and giving me the opportunities to share a piece of my journey with your readers. To my Afro-Latinos, "Para adelante porque en la union esta la fuerza!"
Connect with Nory and support your fellow Afro-Latina by engaging with her website and following her on social:
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