Axios Latino

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¡Muy buen día! Today we touch on untapped markets, tackling violence against women and wine-making.

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This newsletter — edited by Michele Salcedo — is 1,212 words, about a 4.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Latinas push ahead in beauty industry

Illustration of three different hands reaching for one lipstick
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Latinas are a growing segment in the beauty and self-care industries, outspending non-Hispanic buyers in the past few years. But many companies have yet to market to them, and Latina founders of beauty companies struggle to attract investors.

Between the lines: Some companies have slightly diversified their products for people of color, thanks to with brands like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty.

  • But experts say the shade ranges and offerings from most brands still fall short of the variations in color and texture in Latina skin and hair.
  • This, despite the fact that Latina buyers represent 18.5% of the U.S. beauty industry's revenue, per Nielsen data.

By the numbers: Hispanic women were the only non-white group who drove make-up and nail care purchases during the pandemic in 2020, spending 13% more than the average buyer on personal care, according to Nielsen.

  • Latinas of all age groups have outspent other groups on personal care items, like lipstick or hair care products, since 2015.

The intrigue: Several Latinas have set out to establish personal care brands that offer a wider range of shades and other options.

  • They include make-up brands like artist Becky G’s Treslúce and Luna Magic, founded by two Afrolatina sisters, as well as hair care product brands such as Botánika Beauty or Bomba Curls, both from Dominican Americans.
  • But similar companies say one of the biggest stumbling blocks remains access to capital, Bloomberg reports. The Frías sisters behind Luna Magic, for example, had to depend on financing through the TV show “Shark Tank” in order to launch earlier this year.

Keep reading.

2. Pushing men to unlearn machismo

The Calma call center in Bogotá, where trained therapists help men unlearn machismo and vent their emotions. Photo: Secretaría de Cultura de Bogotá
The Calma call center in Bogotá, where therapists help men unlearn machismo and vent their emotions. Photo: Secretaría de Cultura de Bogotá

Call centers and group meetings in Mexico and Colombia offer ways to combat violence against women by focusing directly on the men who perpetrate it.

Why it matters: Organizers hope the pilot programs can promote best practices to curb gender violence. They would also like to see the programs replicated across Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with the highest rate of sexual violence against women in the world, as well as alarming numbers of murdered women, according to the UN.

  • Most of the region’s countries have adopted policies to tackle this sort of violence and strengthen punishments, but the problem persists.
  • The programs in Mexico and Colombia are focusing instead on prevention and unlearning harmful stereotypes that compel men, for example, to always project strength and exert power over women.

How it works: The programs, including the Calma call center in Bogotá and AA-style meetings from Gendes A.C. in Mexico City, offer counseling and education.

  • Calma, run by Bogota’s government, has received an average of 20 calls daily since it was formally launched in late September, Francisco Royett, the manager, tells Noticias Telemundo. Psychologists on the other end of the 1-800 line help men process their emotions and defuse potentially violent situations.
  • Gendes A.C. (short for Gender and Development in Spanish) organizes group therapy sessions that touch on how to foster a non-toxic relationship and how to respect women’s sexual boundaries.
  • The group also runs workshops for children and teens, as well as on co-parenting strategies.

Go deeper.

3. Cubans protest discreetly as police watch

A demonstrator is arrested in Havana on Nov. 14. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images
A demonstrator is arrested in Havana on Nov. 14. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

Some Cubans skipped school and work, placed white linens outside their balconies and clapped from home yesterday as part of protests organized through social media.

Why it matters: The mostly at-home shows of dissent follow the seemingly spontaneous mass protests from early July and occurred after the government placed artists, activists and journalists under house arrest and mobilized police during the weekend to try and dissuade people from taking to the streets.

Details: Yesterday’s low-key protests were organized by the group Archipiélago, led by playwright Yunior García (under house arrest), with the slogan Marcha Cívica por el Cambio (Citizens’ March for Change).

  • Activists say there are over 650 Cubans imprisoned for their political beliefs, most after mass trials following the July protests.

State of play: A chronic lack of food is among the reasons for more Cubans to protest this year. The rationing system has made a comeback, with people needing numbered tickets to be allowed into supermarkets.

  • The government of Miguel Díaz-Canel continues to blame the U.S. embargo, consistently criticized by the U.N. General Assembly as too onerous. Yet Cuba had its own customs restrictions, which it lifted after the July protests so visitors could bring food and medicine to the island.

4. A home disadvantage for childhood obesity

An overweight Latino mother and daughter in San Francisco, in April 2005. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A Latino mother and daughter in San Francisco in 2005. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Children from Latino households in the U.S. who speak Spanish are more prone to develop obesity than their English-only peers, according to a study from the Endocrine Society.

Why it matters: Hispanic and Black children in the United States already have a higher prevalence of childhood obesity than their white peers, which carries lifelong health issues. This study shows how a language barrier can expose Latino children even further.

  • The study found obesity among Spanish-speaking Latino children was around 50% higher than that of English-speaking Latino children.
  • Families who predominantly speak Spanish at home seem to struggle to understand health materials and food labels and have less access to health care, say researchers.
  • Spanish is spoken in 13.5% of U.S. households, according to census data.

5. Stories we’re watching

Women dig in a field near Tijuana in search of remains of forcibly disappeared people, November 2019. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP  via Getty Images
Women dig in a field near Tijuana in search of the remains of forcibly disappeared people, November 2019. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

1. The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances started an official visit to Mexico yesterday, its first after almost a decade of requesting access.

  • The committee will meet with authorities in the twelve hardest-hit states and with civic groups that have for years searched suspected cartel “extermination fields.”
  • Around 90,000 people are reported as forcibly disappeared in Mexico, according to official data, with families blaming both criminal organizations and public officials.

2. Ecuador is reeling after a prison riot left around 60 dead this weekend in the same jail where 199 people were killed in another riot this September.

  • Only 80 guards supervised the overpopulated Litoral penitentiary, which houses 8,000 prisoners, some of whom were able to smuggle weapons in, per local authorities. Armed forces were mobilized to monitor the jail on Sunday.
  • The Andean nation is in a state of emergency, with penitentiaries on lockdown, over the violence linked to drug-trafficking organizations.

6. 🍷 1 smile to go: Harvesting from the ground up

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Farmworkers in the Napa and Sonoma valleys, and peeks at the Ceja and Maldonado wineries. Photos: Noticias Telemundo; NBC Nightly News

After they and their parents worked the vines, Latinos in Napa and Sonoma have barreled to the top and aged into winemakers.

Details: Amelia Ceja used her wages from picking grapes to buy land and eventually establish Ceja Vineyards. Lidia and Hugo Maldonado similarly went from helping their dads in the fields to digging their own cellar and producing around 10,000 cases of their wines.

  • They are among the few Latino-owned enterprises in California’s wine region.
  • Ceja wines were among those poured during President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, while Maldonado wines were served during the George W. Bush presidency.

Don’t forget: Mexican Americans have helped harvest wine grapes as agricultural workers for decades, under harsh conditions, with little recognition and low wages.

Thanks for reading. See you Thursday. Have a safe one.