Salvadorian-American Zaira Funes grew up in southern California surrounded by white people and some Latinos who were Mexicans. “I didn’t meet a lot of people from Central America growing up,” Funes tells Yahoo Beauty. “I didn’t even speak Spanish with the Salvadorian accent, it was more of a neutral Mexican accent.”
It’s not that she wasn’t proud of her roots. But the lack of representation in the media in the United States made her forget — momentarily — who she was. So she decided to take matters into her own hands by creating social media platforms to bring attention to the beautiful part of the world she comes from.
A post shared by Central American Art & Beauty (@centam_beauty) on May 26, 2017 at 3:04pm PDT
The various Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts highlight the diverse people from this region of the world, who according to Funes are “so different and unique and we all come together to empower one another.”
Since opening the accounts this past February, they have a grown a loyal following whose fans are incredibly grateful for the work Funes is doing.
Hi I'd like to thank twitter for bringing beautiful and loving people into my life, esp #CentralAmericanTwitter I appreciate y'all ❤️
— haydee ???????? (@fettywitch) May 31, 2017
Central American twitter is a thing and I'm so happy ???????????????????????????????? @CentAm_Beauty
— luis (@lmjafs) May 27, 2017
Funes has involved her whole family in her project and often asks guidance from her parents who she says “have experienced the culture first-hand having lived there for many years,” unlike her who has visited El Salvador only a few times.
From actors and models to writers and philanthropists, Funes aims to showcase all the diversity and beauty of the isthmus.
Tyson Beckford is half Afro Panamanian & half Jamaican-Chinese supermodel & actor. ???????????????????????? #AAPIHeritageMonth #PanamanianChinese #AAPIHM #CentralAmerica #TysonBeckford #AsianLatinx #AsianCentAm
A post shared by Central American Art & Beauty (@centam_beauty) on May 29, 2017 at 10:15am PDT
A post shared by Central American Art & Beauty (@centam_beauty) on May 31, 2017 at 1:45pm PDT
Funes is majoring in political science and hopes her project keeps expanding. “I started this as a hobby but it’s truly becoming my passion, I am very proud of who we are and I feel my community needs more of this,” she says.
A post shared by Central American Art & Beauty (@centam_beauty) on May 17, 2017 at 10:11am PDT
“I ask all my followers to share with me content to post, I did this project for them, I want our voices and what is important to us to be heard,” Funes says.
You can share your story on what makes you feel proud to be Central American at any time, simply DM me your story & I will gladly share it ????
— Central American Art (@CentAm_Beauty) March 22, 2017
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