Club Latinitas: Do V-Day You’re Way With A Lesson On Self Love!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Between people clamoring to get gifts and going out to celebrate, today might be so hectic you forget your greatest love: yourself! Here at Latinitas, we’re trying our best to ensure that doesn’t happen. On top of the many things Latinitas does, we also run weekly clubs in schools in Austin and San Antonio for girls between the ages of 9 to 14. I was lucky enough to visit the Latinitas at Palm Elementary for their lesson on self-love and self-care in prep for Valentine’s Day, and it was So. Much. Fun. 

Our incredible Program Leader, Alexandria Garza, got the girls in the Valentine’s Day spirit by asking them who their special someone would be this year. And the answers were hilarious. One girl, 10-year-old Avery replied, “Mine is my bestie.” Fair enough. Another girl, 9-year-old Sophia held up three fingers answering, “Me, myself, and I…and food.” At that point, the students started volunteering answers. Their Valentines are their mom’s, their dad’s, their neighbors, good friends. Refreshingly, there wasn’t a mention of a boy at all.

It was obvious the girls were energetic from a day of being cooped up, and so to release some energy Miss Alex led the students in a fun game of competitive Rock Paper Scissors. The girls paired up, and since I got to participate I was paired with 9-year-old Emma, an exuberant young girl who was filled to the brim with optimism and positivity. It was fierce competition, but I managed to win. And with every battle, the competitors I beat lined up behind me. But my reign, as meaningful as it was, didn’t last long. As only a few rounds in I faced defeat. Fortunately, we got to play two rounds, and though I lost both it was an absolute blast. 

When all was said and done, Miss Alex started the lesson off with some history about Valentine’s Day, asking the girls what it is and what they typically do. “Give people teddy bears,” one girl offered. With others stating things like flowers and chocolates. She explained how Valentine’s Day can be used for romantic love, to give gifts as suggested, or just show you care about someone platonically. But, it can also be a day to indulge in self-love and self-care. “Self-love,” Miss Alex explained, “means having an appreciation for your own well-being, your happiness, and taking care of your own needs.” 

As the girls expanded upon what they do for self-care (skincare routines, watching TV, taking bubble baths, playing games, etc.) Miss Alex explained that today Club Latinitas was going to practice self-care by taking time to color and make Valentine’s Day Cards. It was a casual yet soothing way to start off the Valentine’s Day week. The girls lined up, picking out designs and pulling out all their art supplies, while Miss Alex turned on a Valentine’s Day Episode of the Disney Channel classic, Wizards of Waverly Place. It was shocking to see how many girls didn’t even know the show, yet knew of, and loved, Selena Gomez. 

The girls practicing self-care!

The episode in question, “Potion Commotion” from Season 1, follows wizard Alex Russo (Gomez) as she accidentally drinks a love potion meant for her crush, making her fall in love with herself. Amongst the hijinks and silliness, the show also hits key themes of self-care, self-love, and overall confidence. This was paired nicely with a Valentine’s Day episode of Hannah Montana, and let me just say, the girls were in shock when they discovered “Hannah” was portrayed by Miley Cyrus. 

As we sat and colored, the girls filled me in on their interpretations of Valentine’s Day, “Valentine’s is spending time with friends and getting presents for them.” Avery explained. The other girls took the time to explain to me what they loved about Club Latinitas, “You learn new things.” Sophia M. stated. Meanwhile, Emma said her favorite part was the teachers. Toward the end of the lesson she handed me an adorable Valentine’s Day letter and I have to assume I played at least a small part in that response. 

Joining Club Latintas was such an amazing experience, and I’m so glad the girls at Palm Elementary have fun celebrating Valentine’s Day together!


  • Camila Dejesus

    Magazine & Media Editor, Camila Dejesus has been writing since she was a child and enjoys all forms from creative writing down to narrative analysis. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's in Television and Radio Production and works full-time at Latinitas Magazine. In her free time, she loves writing stories, water coloring, or playing songs on her Baritone Ukulele. Now, her greatest passion is finding new topics that will engage and inspire Latinx youth.

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