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Meet Lissette Rodriguez, Maribel Padilla and Zulika Gonzalez of El Salon Chronicles Podcast

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lissette Rodriguez, Maribel Padilla and Zulika Gonzalez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lissette, Maribel and Zulika. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
El Salon Chronicles was founded by 1st generation Dominican women during a cathartic moment at the beach in Ft Lauderdale, FL. While sunbathing on the beach, drink in hand we shared life experiences about growing up Dominican. Stories of trauma and joy. It was during this time that we decided to share our stories with others and El Salon Chronicles podcast was born. We explore the lives of Dominican women and how the “salon” shapes and informs our day to day lives from the perspective of 3 DOMINICANAS. Our discussions include but are not limited to domestic violence, adverse childhood events, relationships, religion, sex, raising children, marriage, colorism, racism within our communities and from a broader perspective, womb wellness, dismantling patriarchy, mental illness and so much more. We want to create a safe space for women to discuss topics that are considered “taboo” in Dominican households. In addition, we explore our history and provide a platform for creatives in our community.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road both individually and collectively. While we are fun-loving, enjoy life and entertaining with a glass of wine in hand, we have definitely been challenged. Our differences make us stronger and we speak candidly about that. We are professional women with different ideas and at times, we don’t see eye to eye, however we respect differences. We have encountered some struggles but none have been insurmountable. We share a passion for success and our combined tenacity to overcome any barriers has proven to help us succeed thus far. As full time working mothers, we have had to balance our personal lives, professional lives and the commitment to our podcast. We have funded the podcast, inclusive of our merchandise and events from our own pockets and along the way, have had to learn about the business aspect, creative arts and immersing ourselves in social media and technology. We have made many mistakes and have learned from each and everyone one of them. We each have our strengths and areas of needed improvement. Liz is the nerd/admin, Mari is the tech and Zuly is our creative director. We poke fun at each other and definitely learn from one another. We have different personalities and have managed to work out our differences for the collective good. Our sisterhood is strong.

Please tell us about El Salon Chronicles Podcast.
We are a Latina podcast that uses our platform to empower women. We specialize in educating through entertaining to promote awareness regarding social issues impacting our community. We want to create a media management and production center that offers resources and workshops for other creatives. A safe place for members of our community to access resources and tools that are not currently available. We want to advocate for the underserved. What sets us apart is not being afraid to talk have those uncomfortable conversations. We are daughters of immigrants, mothers of millennials and are bridging the gap through our platform. We are most proud of the impact we have had on others. We receive emails and DM’s from people all over the world thanking us for the candid conversations. Letting us know that we have helped them demystify certain things and provided a venue for them to have the needed conversations in their own lives. In addition, we had an amazing opportunity to be a part of The Vagina Monologues – directed by Zulaika Velazquez and sponsored by The Mami Chula Social Club. It was the first time acting for us, it was an amazing experience and we got to know amazing Latinas that to this day we call friends. This event raised $20,000 for the organization “Latinas y Lideres” a non-profit organization which focuses on empowering and inspiring girls from under-resources communities in the Dominican Republic, allowing them to obtain the tools and skills to become leaders in their own lives.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We believe we are relatable. We are your sisters, friends, mothers and daughters. Your next door neighbors. The ability to be able to discuss difficult topics candidly and from our own experiences has resonated with our listeners. We receive feedback from our listeners letting us know how much we’ve made a difference in their lives. This experience is extremely rewarding and we hope to continue to empower others. We approach our work with passion and understanding that we have a tremendous responsibility.

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