The Mira Costa Community College Chola Panel

Last week, we had a chance to head on down to Oceanside to participate on a panel at Mira Costa College. This event was a gift!

The event was generously hosted by the Latina Leadership Network, which is an on campus group or woke students and their brilliant and powerful advisors. (Thank you Dr. Vanessa Bustamonte!) And thank you to all the students, faculty and staff that showed up from both Mira Costa and Palomar.

The questions were on point. All of the panelist addressed the questions from various perspectives, and each one had had to navigate the systems they grew up in.

When asked “How have you navigated the system of higher education.”

Part of the discussion focused on the work we currently do to serve the community. This is an are we area particularly proud of. Angel mentioned her passion for food justice, homelessness and mental health awareness. She also mentioned her passion for seeing a more representation in technology and using her influence to promote one of her favorite nonprofit organizations, PepUp Tech. If you are in a career transition or interested in finding a way into the tech field, check out PepUp Tech! If you don’t know about that amazing organization, you can watch the interview we did with PepUp Tech Founder, Selina Suarez below.

One of the things Angel forgot to mention was the mission of Living Firme to promote other small businesses. For us, it isn’t enough to do well if we are not also doing what we can to bring others along. When we do events, we do them with the intention to stimulate the local economy. It’s not just about one group making money, it’s about collaborating so that as many people can make money as possible. This is the ABUNDANCE MINDSET at work. We are about wellness in body mind and spirit and financial wellness is part of that too. In addition to all the collaborations we do, we do a weekly online video broadcast to share the work of other businesses with our growing online community.

Anna Alvarado at Mira Costa Community College.

We think that it’s important to mention that different people move at different paces and it sometimes happens that when you grow, some people may not be ready to grow with you. But it ALSO happens that when you grow, you meet amazing people who ARE also growing. Case in point is the lovely artist, Anna Alvarado. When we first met Anna, her work was already being sold out at shows but she needed more connections to get to the next level in her business. We knew she was a gem and although we barely new her, we started working with her. We also knew her story was too good not to share so we interviewed her as well.

30 Inspiring Women Podcast: Artist Anna Alvarado

Happy International Women's Day!Anna Alvarado is a mom of three and an admirer of Sharpies, Latin inspired art, wood panels, bold colors, messy hands, old Spanish tile, the violin, peppermint oil lip gloss & Home Depot. Born and raised in the heart of East Los Angeles. It was through her beloved abuelito’s encouragement that she began to explore her creative side. First in high school through pencil renderings, then in college at the Art Institute of Seattle through graphic design.Like her art, which is always evolving — she learns something new about herself every time she picks up a paintbrush, sharpie marker, pencil or pen.

Posted by Living Firme on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Anna has since, quit her job to be a FULL TIME artist, embraced her story and shared it to inspire others, done several media appearances including one for MiTu and taken the opportunity to share her art with others whenever possible. She has also turned us onto some incredible opportunities. We brought Anna to Mira Costa with us. She was asked to introduce herself and she did. Everyone loved her.

Whether you are a chola reading this or not, you can do something amazing to elevate your life and the lives of those in your community. Plant the seeds of positivity in your mind and in the minds of others and see how that garden grows. We have seen it time and time again.

Al rato.

Celebrating the Women of GRYD

The Mission of The GRYD Foundation is To create safer, healthier and stronger communities that we all can enjoy and be proud of, starting in Los Angeles…one individual and one family at a time.

Last month we had the honor of celebrating a group of Chingonas who make Los Angeles a better place to live. They come from all walks of life but have one mission, to help our kids.

We could not be more proud of our ability to serve the people that serve.

We had a BLAST with these ladies celebrating the women of @grydfoundation Thank you to all the ladies who fearlessly and lovingly serve our communities. Thank you to @iamcecevalencia @straightfromthestreetsradio @sparkles_sparkles_1 @livingfirme @choppedupcherries for your hearts and of course for the laughter. 💕 #goodtimes 💕

We love that the retreat was focused on wellness and self care. Burnout is a BIG issue among first responders. Although, these women are not firefighters PER SE… it’s undeniable that they put out all kinds of fires, on the daily Wellness, mental health checks and self care are a huge component of success for anyone who serves, either as a job or as a volunteer. Bravo to the GRYD Foundation for making this retreat available for these amazing mujeres.

You can learn more about the Gang Reduction & Youth Development Foundation by visiting the website

Fresno Follow Up

How can women empower each other? How do we develop self love and confidence? At Living Firme, the answer is simple. We PRACTICE!

After two AMAZING days of serving both civil servants and inmates in the central valley, Living Firme had the pleasure of facilitating a self care and wellness workshop in Fresno that was open to the public.

Angel Aviles is a latina entrepreneur who most recognize as Sadgirl from Mi Vida Loca. Many people showed up as fans but as you can see from the video, they left with so much more.

@liz.a.fraire thank you for taking a giant leap of faith and opening up your future location @cafealchemyfresno That spot is going to be an incredible space for healing and connection. A huge thank you to our client Reyna Cazares for putting us in touch with such a great spot. And mil gracias to Alex Navarrete aka @LIDIOSX209 for this video and your incredible ability to both film and keep the space sacred. 🙏🏽

Latina self care and empowerment events are so important for our well being as well as for the well being of our community. WE will be doing a video in the future about how you can create your own events. So stay tuned!

If you haven’t joined our FREE Business MasterMind community, you need to jump on it ASAP! Sign up here:

What you will get in this series:
The Wheel of Feria! An Introduction to the money making game. Your 50k RoadMap! If you want 50k a year, month, week or day, this is the easiest way to do it. The ‘Mindset’ Your Own Business Plan! Our way of helping you get clear and stay FOCUSED on your mission.

If you are ready to come join us visit:

You can find out more about our Mastermind at

#LivingFirme #latinasinbusiness

Wellness Fresno
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New Shop Drop: La Mas Extra!

By Angel Aviles…

For most of my life, I have been told I am too “______ !”


The list of things I have heard goes on and on. I used to be bothered. Twisting myself into this or that to accommodate the things I was missing until I realized that… there’s NOTHING MISSING! As a matter of fact I may actually be “too much” for some but I am so good with that. I do me. I wear what I like, say what I feel, serve whom I please, befriend those I choose… I love HARD and let myself FEEL. I am La MAS EXTRA! And I happen to be part of a tribe of La MAS EXTRAS.

Thank you @artbyannaalvarado for capturing this tribal slogan for @LivingFirme! I truly LOVE IT. Thank you also to the printer of these amazing mugs, Maritza of MG Custom Printing