We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My name is Cristina Garcia and I was born, raised and still reside in South Los Angeles. Growing up as a first generation Latina in South LA, early on in life I had to learn that life is what we make of it. I come from a working class family that constantly drilled into me that hard work and education are the key to success. Watching the struggles of poverty in my community and my own parents crossing the border and coming to the United States and having to navigate this new world made me resilient and created this fire within me to be the change. Growing up my parents were not able to give us experiences like vacations or family friendly events. Our parents lived in survival mode and were not always able to nurture our interests. Today my biggest motivation are my children and creating the best life possible for them. I am currently on a journey to heal generational trauma and parent with empathy and compassion. As a content creator I have the privilege to provide my children with experiences that my own parents were not able to give to me, while doing something I love. This platform has given me the opportunity to break through borders as a content creator by modeling for my children the importance of taking up space through valuing your story. I hope that in this way my children and other Latino children can thrive by following their passions in fields that are non traditional.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Latina, mom content creator sharing my motherhood journey and family friendly experiences in SoCal. On my social media platform @vivacristina you can find me sharing the latest exhibit at our local children’s museum as well as what toddler phase we are in and how I’m coping with it. I also share very openly what it is like to be a first generation Latina healing generational trauma all while gentle parenting. Creating this platform came from a need to see more Latinas taking up space in the content creator field. This journey started as simple as me just sharing my struggles as a first time mom who experienced infant loss and finally had her rainbow baby. Although I got my happy ending motherhood felt very lonely for me and I turned to social media to find other like minded moms out there all while also sharing what I was going through at the time. As I evolved as a mother and started to venture out with my family and take my son on different adventures my platform also evolved and I began to share these moments and saw a huge response from my followers and I became their go to when looking for kid friendly experiences. Once my passion for this grew I knew I wanted to take this to the next level and slowly took on gifted collaborations with brands. Taking gifted collaborations with brands allowed my to learn how to navigate this new venture and learn what it was like working with brands. I quickly learned that not all creators get compensated equally and I knew the next step was to make sure I was getting paid fairly for my skills so that future Latina creators also get paid what they deserve. This platform that I have created is not only my full time job now but this is a safe place where any mom, Latina, or woman can relate to, it is a community I hope to continue to build.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am born and raised in Los Angeles so you already know that I know all the best places around town! Picture this you come to LA to visit me and its breakfast time you already know were going to my all time favorite Jacks n Joes located on Figueroa St. in the USC area for a classic pancake breakfast. If pancakes aren’t your thing then let’s do an authentic Mexican breakfast in East LA at La Parrilla on Cesar E Chavez Ave. Now let’s do something fun for the kiddos and hit up our favorite children’s museum Kidspace located in Pasadena or we can drop in for a music class at Minibop in Glassell Park. You already know this mom needs her middle of the day coffee pick me up so we’re going to Antigua Coffee House on Figueroa St. in Lincoln Heights for a delicious iced coffee that won’t disappoint. Everyones favorite meal of the day lunch is upon us and of course were doing something classic like sandwiches from Eatgud Cafe on Tweedy Blvd. in South Gate where we can get an Acai bowl, avocado toast, and a classic tuna sandwich that hits the spot every time. Before Dinner were catching the latest play at Casa0101 in Boyle Heights that is constantly working with the community and sharing their story through the arts. No one comes to LA without stopping at a taco stand so for dinner Tacos La Guera located on Santa Fe Ave. in Huntington Park has the best Al Pastor tacos that will change your life!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My journey as a content creator is one I never saw coming. Today I can’t believe how far I’ve been able to take my creativity and I know this is just the beginning for me. This journey would not be possible without the people that believe in me day after day. My biggest supporter in this journey has been my husband. My husband is not only my photographer, assistant, and personal hype man but he holds me with empathy and allows me to be my most authentic self. I also could not pursue this journey without my mom and sister who are always there for me with support and love. The most important people in my life and my number one teachers are my children. My children are my motivation and inspiration and I owe them everything!
Bryana Gutierrez (photographer)