2018 Latina of Influence | Maritere (Mari) Rodriguez Bellas

Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize award winning Author Maritere (Mari) Rodriguez Bellas as a 2018 Latina of Influence. Ms. Beskar along with our entire list of 2018 Latinas of Influence are invited to participate in Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2018 Latina Conference taking place April 4 and 5, 2018 in Ontario, California.

Maritere is a bilingual and bicultural, award winning author, influencer, features writer, and speaker with a degree in communications from Pepperdine University in California.  Realizing she could combine her two life passions, writing and motherhood, Maritere became a voice for Latino parents long before the existence of online parenting resources.  For twelve years, Maritere wrote a highly regarded and influential parenting column for La Opinión, the largest Spanish language newspaper in the country. During that time, she also wrote for the national magazines Ser Padres and Healthy Kids en Español and Exito! Chicago. For four years, her articles appeared in Vista magazine, distributed nationally and online via the ImpreMedia group, in the top 15 U.S. Hispanic markets.  A parenting blogger since the fall of 2014, she is a contributor to Connect Her Media and HipLatina, a guest writer for Huffington Post, and has been featured in Alegria Bilingual Magazine, Latina Style, todobebé.com, mamásporelmundo.com, El Nuevo Día, and El Post Antillano, among others. Most recently, she has been collaborating with MomsRising.org/MamásconPoder as a bilingual resource for video messages and blog posts directed at parents raising children with two or more languages. Her website www.maritererodriguezbellas, where she blogs, is a place where she shares her wisdom as a Latina and as a mom.  She shares her parenting expertise regularly on Spanish language media (Univision and Telemundo).

Maritere’s first book, Raising BilingualChildren/Cómo Criar Niños Bilingues, was published by Simon and Schuster as an e-book in English and in Spanish, the fall of 2014 and received a finalist award at The International Latino Book Awards in 2015. Raising Bilingual Children is an easy, user-friendly, how-to guidebook for the new and technologically savvy immigrant parent.  This is the book that busy parents will go to when searching for advice and direction about the everyday joys and challenges of raising a multilingual child.

Her second book, Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie: Raising Bicultural Children, was published in March 2016 and received a finalist award at The International Latino Book Awards in 2016. The Spanish version of the book, Arroz con Pollo y Apple Pie:Cómo Criar Niños Biculturales just received the First Prize award in the parenting category this past September.  In this book, Maritere distills her wisdom into one unified tome, offering immigrant parents a comprehensive guide for understanding their emotions, solving their problems and finding joy in their multicultural reality. Topics include everything from understanding the stages of assimilation to the differences between the American Way and the Hispanic Way, to the benefits and advantages of being raised bilingual and bicultural.

For the last three years, Mari has served as a panelist or moderator for CABE, (California Association of Bilingual Education) REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) and for the LA Times Festival of Books. This was her first year presenting at ATDLE (Association Two-Way Dual Language Education), at Connect Her Media Conference and at La Cosecha Dual Language Conference. She has been the recipient of the Los Angeles County Women’s Commission Volunteer Service Award, the Latin Business Association Associate Member Award, served as an Executive Board Member of the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles and was a founding member of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality) and HPRA-LA (the Hispanic Public Relations Association).

Currently, Mari is working on a bilingual children’s book series, Yunito’s Bicultural Adventures.  The first book, “Español No, Mami” (Spanish No, Mommy) finds Yunito motivating children ages 4-7 to feel pride for their family’s native language.

A member of Connect Her Media, We All Grow Latinas Network, Latinas Thing Big, the International Society of Latino Authors, DiMe Media, Multicultural Bloggers Forum, Wise Latinas Linked, and LatinasinBusiness.us, Maritere was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She is the mother of two young adult children, a boy and a girl, raised with two languages and three cultures, and she lives with her Greek American husband in Southern California.

Nominated by Maria Salinas
I am happy to nominate Mari Bellas (Maritere Rodriguez Bellas) for a Latinas of Influence award.  Mari has excelled as an author and has travelled the country to speak about biculturalism. Her accomplishments are many in the journalism field with organizations like La Opinion. I have known Mari since the early days of HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality.  She would be a wonderful honoree.

Author: Richard Sandoval

Richard Sandoval is an award winning journalist who produces Hispanic Lifestyle a television program broadcasting on several PBS stations throughout the United States. editorial@Hispaniclifestyle.com

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