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

Famous life lessons every Latina should share with her kids

I remember getting an email years ago about how different life would be if we could "live life backwards." Just imagine starting your life with all of the lessons you've learned; your regrets on opportunities that you've passed on; the trivial things that sucked all life out of you that shouldn't have; the things that you have never seen as a top priority. I could go on and on! Unfortunately, as Helen Keller said "Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." 

Although it will take some time for my kids to understand what my life lessons mean, I want to share 11 quotes that embody the principles that I've tried to live by:

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Traditional Chilean salsa straight from my hometown (RECIPE)


Chilenos use a lot of slang to express themselves.  And, a few of the most commonly used words or expressions cannot be used in mixed company! This month, like many other Latin American countries, Chile celebrates its Fiestas Patrias. In fact, my compatriotas have already kicked of the multi-day celebration for el Dieciocho (the 18th) with asados (barbecues), ramadas or fondas, rodeos and Cuecas (Chile's national folk dance)! I figured I'd join in by sharing one of our traditional recipes as well as the most popular (and highly-inappropriate) slang word used among íntimos amigos chilenos!

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14 Relationship mistakes every Latina should avoid


This week my gringo and I celebrated 28 years of marriage. And we've worked hard at making it work! Over the years, I've made mistakes that could have destroyed our marriage. I've included my biggest ones along with mistakes that friends tell me they've made.  

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20 Things only Latinas say

Every morning this month we've been posting "You Know You're Latina When…" quotes on Facebook inspired by Latinas like you and I. It doesn't matter if you were born in the U.S. and only speak English or if you were born in Latin America, but have been living in the U.S. for decades, we can all relate!

I have listed the quotes based on the responses they've gotten from the fans of our "I Love Being Latina" Facebook page. Take a look!

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3 Tips that will guarantee your child's success

A recent study revealed that Latino kids are "half as likely to have family members read to them, and a third less likely to be sung to or have stories told to" compared to their white, non-Latino peers. This basically means that Latino kids are starting kindergarten with a clear disadvantage over non-Latino kids who are also more likely to attend preschool!

When my son was diagnosed deaf, his speech therapist gave me three tips that I credit for my son's success. He is now 17.  He is profoundly deaf but uses a cochlear implant to "hear" and he ranks among the top 5% in his high school. I promise you that if you and your family implement these tips from birth through Kindergarten, it will pay off for the rest of their lives!

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