Lucia Ballas-Traynor

I was born and raised in Chile until I moved to New York when I was 11 years old. My family went back to Chile but I stayed behind after marrying a very supportive Gringo of Irish descent. We have two beautiful children (a boy and a girl, ages 14 and 16 respectively). I am  proud of my Latin culture and roots and work hard at retaining and passing on my heritage and traditions to my kids. I love all types of food, spending time with my familia, music, diversity and constant discovery. I feel fortunate to be able to take the best of my two cultures and create my own!

I know I'm Latina when...

I love, when I celebrate and when I feel pain!

Lucia's Latest Posts

How to deal with death & dying

Like so many Latinas who have grown up in the U.S. during their formative years, I feel fortunate to be able to draw the best from my two distinct cultures to create a set of values that represents the best of both! This week my best friend's mom passed away after a long battle with a debilitating disease. Her experience got me thinking about how I am going to deal with my parents' aging process as well as my own. Here are some of my conclusions.

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Are Latinas more likely to help a stranger in need?

I've been living in the U.S. for so long that I can no longer tell when my attitudes and behavior differ from others because of my Latina upbringing--either because of the way I was brought up or just because of the way I am. Do you feel this way? Most Latinos are typically brought up to be cooperative and to believe that the needs of la familia and community are as important as, or perhaps even more important, than the needs of the individual. I don't know if my tendency to help a stranger who is suffering is because of culture or the way I was brought up.

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The one piece of advice that all Latinas need for success

Latinas, although we come from different countries, we are all united by similar attitudes, values, experiences and goals. The topic of immigration - leaving our countries and loved ones behind and having to adapt to a new culture - is something that we all share.

The conversations captured during a recent challenge that we hosted in the MamásLatinas community embodies what so many of us have felt during our period of transition as we adjust to our new world - desperation, isolation, discrimination, doubt, helplessness, no self-worth, alone. Check out the challenge here.

We have so many wise Latinas who have shared their experiences, regrets and lessons learned and I encourage you to read all of their relatable stories. Below check out the one most important piece of advice we all need.

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7 Store-bought foods that taste just like Abuela's cooking

woman PHOTOS

I know that many Latinas like me don't love using convenience foods since most of us were raised to believe that cooking from scratch was the best way to feed our families. But as a busy working mom who travels often, I've had to really rethink this custom. And I wanted to share some products that have helped me.

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4 Ways to GUARANTEE your success at work

I was the first woman in my family to go to college and pursue a career. Like so many young Latinas, I didn't have a role model who could show me how to succeed in the workforce. 

However, my mom and abuela instilled 4 key principles that helped me create a good foundation in building a good career:

  1. Get a good education
  2. Aim high 
  3. Create a good image 
  4. Network
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