My life has definitely changed because of the experiences I have acquired through the position of Operations Intern at La Casa Azul Bookstore. My first days here were a mind opener on myself, my culture, and my identity within the vast Latino perspective. I absorbed such profound stories and knowledge from the books that I was surrounded by in the bookstore, from “Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings—An Anthology” to “Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora” all which shifted my life to where it needs to be. The amazing women who make up the staff and their influence on me from the artistic expression to their academic accomplishment gave me such determination for myself to pursue and take my education seriously. Meeting my favorite artist, Manny De La Vega, and my favorite author/activist, Marta Moreno Vega were such beautiful experiences!
But I think the most important aspect of being an intern was the new skills and perspective I was given on how to run a bookstore and how social media affects the functions of a small business like La Casa Azul Bookstore. Aurora is definitely the pillar and the ideal role model that small business owners should look up to, especially if the community is an important element of their business.
I have learned not only from the bookstore but mostly from Aurora herself. The word “consistency” is forever embedded in my soul and how it is incorporated in everyday life, in the functions of a successful small business, and in my personal life as an individual learning from life itself. I am glad to have served as a intern in this sacred artistic space and to have been a part of a “cultural sancocho” family of amazing professional and successful Latinas.
Chris Lopez, January 2014