Hola Raza! We are wrapping up a kick ass year of opportunities, blessings and new friendships. I'm always inspired by the women of my community, and when I met Barbi, I knew I had to feature her here on Chingona Chisme. She is fierce, hard working, beautiful and definitely a game changer. Barbi Leo is a strong woman of God, a wife, mother and a community advocate. Please read about what drives this Chingona and of course, catch up on the latest Chisme!
A Community of Inspiration
I love the daily interaction I have with KSAB listeners & Domingo Live viewers. They have allowed me in their personal lives and given me the same trust they give their own friends and family. We have shared tears of joy and sadness, problems, worries and life experiences both good and bad. The powerful connection I have with my audience is inspirational.
I’ve been in radio since 1998 and my community has seen me grow up. They were there from the start when I was giving out breakfast taquitos every morning off SPID as a daily radio promotion. They would show up with hot chocolate for me during the cold mornings and cold water during the hot mornings. When I got married, they gave me advice. I had my baby reveal on Domingo Live and revealed my daughter’s name on KSAB radio.
I have included them in my life, because they have truly made me feel like a part of their family. A listener called the station one morning asking about my daughter and said “Barbi, thank you for sharing your daughter with us. Just like you are ours, so is she. You both belong to the community. You both belong to us.” (She made me cry)
Balance and Culture
I have learned not to feel guilty about enjoying my work and career. I am proud to be a working mom. It is important for me to show my daughter and others that you can have a career, a family and serve your community.
I love my culture, my people, and my family. Who I’ve grown up to be was very much influenced by my Mexican-American family. My parents instilled love and pride for our heritage. My first language is Spanish. I learned English when I started pre-school at the age of three. I spoke only Spanish at home and English at school. My mother would make me write out the grocery list in Spanish, would buy me Spanish books to read and the only thing on our T.V. was Novelas and Spanish programs. I grew up watching Cepillín, El Chavo del Ocho, and Odisea Burbujas.
In school, when I was asked to read out loud, I would always pronounce the Spanish words correctly in Spanish. I would receive giggles from my classmates, but it never bothered me. I embraced my Mexican heritage. My upbringing gave me that pride. I am definitely passing it down to my daughter by teaching her to love our history, language, music, folk art and food.
It is a privilege to share the beauty of our Mexican culture with my community. I know the meaning of religious candles and why we celebrate Dia de Los Reyes Magos and Dia de Los Muertos. I love Spanish music, my favorite food is Mole and there will always be Abuelita hot chocolate in my pantry next to my tamarindos and Chamoy.
What does Chingona mean to you
To me a “Chingona” marches to the beat of her own drum. She listens to her intuition and follows through. A Chingona is independent, strong minded, takes risks, stands her ground and make moves to get what she wants.
Dime el Chisme
I do have chisme. I have recently been nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. I will be honored and humble if I receive this award, but I am rewarded every day.
It’s rewarding when people in my community (especially kids) tell me they are proud to speak Spanish also, or they want to learn our language, or they want to learn more about our culture and music because they heard me talk about it. If they help an organization, a cause, a family or person because of the awareness brought to each through the platform I was blessed to have, that’s rewarding. Giving back to our community, teaching others to do the same and making a difference is my reward.
Well, thats a wrap of Chingona Chisme for 2017! I hope you have loved meeting these fabulous Chingonas! Thank you to all the ladies that have participated in this blog! I can't wait to feature more women near and far, so if you have any suggestions send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org I hope you are blessed with a wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe New Year!
¡Hasta la próxima!
FOUNDER | CHINGONA