‘100 Latina Birthdays’ Podcast Putting Latinas’ Health in the Forefront

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsAs Latinas continue to outpace their counterparts in the U.S. in areas that include business and education, when it comes to health, myths, misrepresentation, and stigma can negatively influence a Latina’s relationship with her own journey to wellness. With that notion in mind, a new podcast aims to chronicle the milestones of a Latina’s life touching on salient health-related topics in the form of interviews in an effort to spark dialogue and what it means to be one’s own health advocate. LWC Studios, an award-winning organization, launched a new original documentary entitled, “100 Latina Birthdays” which delves into the lives of Latinas in the Chicagoland area to hear personal experiences in regards to puberty, miscarriages, the importance of bilingualism, infertility, and so much more.

“By 2050, Latinas will make up a quarter of the country’s population, they are fastest growing population,” said LWC Studios Founder and CEO Juleyka Lantigua. “Latinas are in all kinds of roles, whether it is in business, in the political sphere; we expect them to excel, we expect them to be good leaders, good moms, and in order to achieve all of that they have to be in good health. Unfortunately, being in good health always takes a backseat. The idea behind the show is ensuring that we are paying attention to what is affecting the Latina community, starting a dialogue, and tackling key health issues.”

Supported and funded with grants from several health and women’s organizations, including the Healthy Communities Foundation, this podcast, launched in October, 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. The first season focused on issues of safety, the reframing of healthy eating habits, and the myths and gifts of bilingualism.

“The goal of this podcast is to ensure that we place a priority on our health and equip the listeners with the tools to be prepared, to know what questions to ask their healthcare provider,” said Program Director of Healthy Communities Foundation Nora Garcia. “The podcast does a great job of normalizing the issues that Latina women face on a daily basis and helps to build an awareness so that we can push back with questions. We want people to feel seen and heard. We hope this podcast will be able to provide a mirror for all.”

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, Latinos are three times more likely than white non-Latinos to be uninsured. In 2021, data showed that Latina pregnant women in Chicago were hospitalized for COVID at a higher rate, heart disease is the second major cause of death among women who are Hispanic, Hispanic women have a 50 percent higher death rate from cervical cancer than non-Hispanic women, and Latinas have far higher rates of high blood pressure and obesity. The “100 Latina Birthdays” Podcast aims to address all those issues and so much more. “We hope this podcast inspires women to talk to each other and not shy away from certain topics,” said Lantigua.

The series is made possible by grants from the Healthy Communities Foundation, Woods Fund Chicago, the Field Foundation of Illinois, and the Chicago Foundation for Women. Mujeres Latinas en Acción is the series’ fiscal sponsor. Subscribe or follow on Apple, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts. For episode transcripts in English and Spanish and all episodes, visit 100LatinaBirthdays.com. The “100 Latinas Birthday” Podcast is royalty and license free and available to share as an education tool.

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