Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Luquin.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cindy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a struggling college student, I learned how to make DIY beauty products, I vividly remember wanting Victoria’s Secret lip scrub but when I saw the price tag I thought there must be some way I can make a less expensive version. That’s when I started making my own sugaring wax, lip scrubs, body scrubs, face and hair masks. I worked three jobs at a time and one of those was in a threading booth at a swap meet.
That’s where my threading skills improved tremendously. I thank the Indian and Nepalese women that helped me develop my skills. At the time it was unheard of to see a Latina threading eyebrows, in fact, most clients were surprised when I would speak to them in Spanish because most assumed I was from India. I had always been a health and fitness enthusiast for most of my life, from running track and field, basketball, golf, weight training, running, swimming, etc. , maintaining an active lifestyle was just part of my identity.
After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Language and Literature and training in Healthcare Interpreting, I started my career as a professional Spanish translator and interpreter in public education. I was always fascinated with languages since I can remember so it was only fitting that I was pulled toward this career path.
One year after fully dedicating myself to my professional career I was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. Doctors told me I had a grapefruit sized cyst on my right ovary. My immediate thought was “how do something that size fit there?” I had been on the hormonal birth control pill for 6 years at that point in time and I asked the doctors if the pill could be contributing to this growth. They responded with IT’S POSSIBLE. All of these thoughts started flooding me as the doctors told me that I would need surgery to remove the ovary. It was a pretty stressful time in my life trying to navigate this new information within my first year of married life.
I always say this was my ‘a-ha’ moment, a blessing in disguise. This is where I really started taking charge of my reproductive health and wellness. I decided that hormonal birth control was no longer a safe option for me and that’s when I started looking for answers, surely there was a non-hormonal birth control option out there. After a year of searching, I came across the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It was mind-blowing to read that there was an effective method that other women had been relying on for 30+ years to prevent and plan a pregnancy. Once I learned and started practicing the fertility awareness method I wanted to share this information with other women out there especially Latinas and women of color. It was once again something that was not visible in the wellness space.
My passion for reproductive health and wellness led me to create Cultura Con Wellness. As a proud daughter of Guatemalan and Salvadorian immigrant parents speaking up about my culture and sharing that is part of my identity as well. From a cultural perspective, speaking let alone teaching about reproductive health is taboo but I had to push forward because this is how we heal as a community. I am currently in a Master’s program for Latin American Studies and my research is focused on reproductive health. My hope is that Cultura Con Wellness becomes a place where women of color can be heard and learn to advocate for themselves and their bodies.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As I stated before, speaking about reproductive health and topics around sexual health are taboo in the Latino/Latinx community so learning to navigate that has been interesting. Bringing awareness to the importance of reproductive health has had its challenges, especially among male counterparts. Society still believes that this is a women’s issue to take care of. that the responsibility should solely fall upon women’s wombs.
I’m here to say and teach future generations that all genders need to be concerned and willing to prioritize reproductive health and wellness. I grew up seeing the women in my family worry about their reproductive health while the men exercised their machismo, which meant no support at all and no healing for the women in my family.
My hope is that day by day we slowly start dismantling that.
Cultura Con Wellness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Cultura Con Wellness is a place where women can learn to achieve reproductive wellness. I am currently receiving training from a fertility awareness educator for continued education and should complete that in a few months. As a translator with 10+ years experience it is also important that I create materials and provide information for the Spanish speaking community. They have every right to access this vital information and services. I provide workshops that give women of color the tools to navigate their reproductive wellness.
These workshops are ideal for women that are looking for safer birth control options and want to learn about their reproductive health. I also support women by offering one-on-one consultations where I work to help them navigate their reproductive wellness journey. This is a 3 to 4-month process where we look at food, level of activity, fertility awareness education. Learning about one’s own reproductive health can be scary so I offer that service as support that is so often lacking.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is achieved every day in my own personal and professional life. I have recently been adopting a less is more approach. In this information age, we can all so easily get caught up in competition. I have learned to work on my own growth and education to help others.
When women tell me that they read a book I recommended or that my workshop gave them a sense of relief, that is what success feels like for me. I love knowing that my mission is spreading to other women out there that might feel lost, that is success. I know that Cultura Con Wellness will only continue growing from here.
- Website: https://www.culturaconwellness.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/culturaconwellness
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/culturaconwellness
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/culturaconwell
Haydee Oliva @neosphotography__