Not a second goes by without a Latino voice in social media tweeting #LATISM, the hashtag for Latinos in Social Media. And Ana Roca Castro couldn’t be happier. She’s the founder of #LATISM, and her energy and charisma have propelled it to be the largest group of Latinos engaged in social media.
Now, Roca Castro is getting ready to shake the walls of the lavish Waldorf Astoria in New York City, when, from September 17–22, hundreds of Latino bloggers from all over the country will convene for the LATISM13 conference. The event will feature its four traditional tracks, Education, Health, Technology and Business, with total attention on the use of technology and social media.
“This year, we are focusing less on talk, talk, talk and more on do, do, do,” Roca Castro shares.
Read Related: LATISM12, an Empowering Social Media Experience
The Education track will feature workshops for parents and teachers to increase children’s and teens’ learning potential through the use of social media, and how to keep our bilingual and bicultural roots alive at home, while the Health track will work on improving Latino lifestyles, to include diet awareness and patient activation strategies.
As part of the Health track, Roca Castro plans to entice participants to run a 5K run through Central Park, play in an indoor tennis tournament, take Zumba classes or do “Salsalates”—a version of Pilates to the sounds of salsa music. So, everybody a mover el esqueleto!
The Technology track will organize a “Hackaton,” multiple sessions supported by engineers and media designers working alongside teachers, healthcare practitioners, and business owners to build apps, websites, mockups, graphics and everything in between.
The Business track will help business owners to grow their brand, sell their products or services, and gain exposure to capital investors and financing opportunities through social media.
LATISM13 will also be politically engaged while steering clear of partisan politics. “We started the advocacy track in 2012,” says Roca Castro. “We are not a political organization; however, we need to speak up about immigration reform. We must understand that giving a legal path for millions of undocumented immigrants will save our economy. We also need to bring our DREAMers home.”
From the day Roca Castro posted her first tweet asking “for Latinos in social media out there” to show up to LATISM13, the movement and the community has evolved like a giant and unstoppable snowball. “#LATISM is a movement that has grown organically beyond me or anyone else,” says Roca Castro. “It is a ‘casita’ where Latinos of all ages and backgrounds feel they can talk about everything and anything with the same passion they carry in their personal relationships.The #LATISM conference growth has been incredible,” she adds. “I feel that our ‘baby’ is not a preschooler anymore, now it is going to kinder [kindergarten]. Our ‘baby’ knows what it wants!”
“Our research shows that #LATISM includes over 140,000 bloggers, vloggers, microbloggers, Latinos and non-Latinos who participate with our hashtag,” she says. “Most are educated and fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and the majority participates in social media to advance their businesses or a social cause.”
Maybe because it is based on the volunteer efforts of a powerhouse Latina, with lots of love, sweat and laughs mixed in, or maybe because it has galvanized the sentiment of thousand of Latinos who feel their time has come… #LATISM is not here to stay, it is here to go!