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A Life Changing Summer

Summer time is all about the sun kissed beach days, pool parties with floating flamingos, and camp trips with the family but for me; Summer time was tragic!

My summer started like any other,  filled with plans to visit my family and have fun under the sun but things took a tragic turn towards the end.

The sunny summer I was living became a thunder storm as I received the worst Direct Message anyone could open via Instagram. It was my best friends little sister informing me that Gaby, whom I  loved like a sister had passed away that morning!

I immediately thought it was a bad joke but my sky became dark and heavy as the thunder of truth arrived with the terrible news.

Just like any storm, lighting stroked me as I answered the call that changed my life forever!

Gabys mother, Myra was crying which such devastation that when she said, "Gaby passed away mija", I couldn't say anything other than, "No, no no! This is not happening!"

I was in denial but hearing her mo…
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Surviving the Hook up Culture

By Gardenia Zuniga-Haro

The Sad Reality.
If you are single, dating, or constantly going on dates with people you find online and notice that all they want is SEX....than you are experiencing the Hook UP Culture.
Do you know what it is? If not take notes on the red flags, obstacles, but remember we can always survive it.
So this hook up culture is when people only care about dinner, sex, and occasional encounters where they need a plus one. There is no desire for a relationship nor to love in return. All they want is sex out of you!

You do not have to hook up first, than date. It should be the other way around if  you want respect and a a relationship. 
Also do not fall for the "Love you" phrase that you will hear after the second phone call or morning text.... it really means, "I want to Fuck you."
The word love is no longer used in this culture with the same meaning it was used 15 years ago. I love you can sound better than I want to FUCK you. Harsh but true!

People …

Always Hungry for More

By Gardenia Zuniga-Haro
"Can I have extra meat on my burrito please," said Parra while we ordered food at Taqueria Cancun in downtown Berkeley.

Sitting down to a  table he took a deep sip of his horchata and went on to mention how excited he was for summer to start. He shared how he might go to Europe to play for a major soccer team but before I jump into the future, let me reverse with a bit of history of Victor Emilio Parra.

You may have seen him on on television participating in an ESPN reality show, perhaps playing soccer across the world or maybe even checked him out in one of his Instagram posts BUT do you know the real Victor?

I didn't really know him either so if you said NO, then don't feel bad. I will make sure that after this article you get to know who he is besides what you have seen so far.

Victor came from very humble beginnings. He grew up in the slums of Medellin, Colombia and just like any little boy, he picked up a soccer ball.

"I did not like play…

Tequila Shots, Dancing shoes, and no more broken hearts!

Everyone has experience at least 1 major heartbreak by the age of 25, right? I know I had and I actually did not cry.

Not everyone can keep the pain nor swallow the tears but with a few tequila shots, a few dancing nights; we simply learn to dance of the pain of our major heartbreak.

See, I was in a relationship for 4 years. I thought he was the one but after a few major red flags into the 2 year mark, I began to have doubts. I continued our relationship even thought I did not trust him nor he respected me the way he spoke to me but I was afraid to start all over so I settled. I know, that was stupid, but when you are in love you do stupid things!

I was with this person in my mid twenties but I dont regret, if anything I learned. Never give your all to someone unless its YOURSELF!

I am now enjoying life without worrying if someone will get mad for what I said or better yet not have to beg for someones attention or affection.

Life is beautiful when you no longer have to worry about wh…

The Irony of getting Stoned!

By Gardenia Zuniga-Haro

Have you ever been attacked for your religious beliefs? Do you constantly have to defend your moral as a person or be on guard of any possible attack?
I, unfortunately, have been under attack lately for who I am what-what I believe in!
I knew that becoming a Muslim woman will be a topic of discussion within my family and possibly persecuted by those who think "My life is in DANGER", however it's not. People think Muslim women get stoned however when people constantly question me; they are the ones who are, "STONING ME!"

You were probably thinking this article will be of another method of getting stoned right?
Sorry to disappoint you but I am going into a different method of getting stoned.

Ignorance is one stone!
Judgment is another one!
Islamophobia is a HEAVIER stone!

The list can continue but these are the ones I have been getting stoned by recently without giving anyone a reason to other than who I believe it and what I stand for.

I …

Exploring Down South

By Gardenia Zuniga-Haro

Have you ever wondered what it is like to explore Peru? 

The famous land of the "polladas" (dance parties), endless  seafood ceviche, and non stop "piropos" (compliments) that make you blush.  I got to live all of  the above  for 3 days and it was quite the experience.

First of all, Lima is beautiful.  Just driving up the coastline was breathtaking with the ocean view and the green landscapes of the city line. I stayed in Miraflores district, which is the Beverly hills of Lima.  The locals were nice but the men where even nicer, if you know what I meant with "piropos".

I was blessed to travel to Peru by Grabr who sent me on another wonderful trip. I had 40 people to deliver their gifts who all greeted me with a smile and most of the men with multiple kisses on both cheeks. Everyone received their Grabs by the second day and some of them  even recommended me to hit a few spots in town which I did. Thanks to Grabr I made new friends and …

The Risk Taker

Holiday season is the time where family gathers to eat several plates of turkey or in my family tamales and catch up on their latest achievements or better yet, catch up on the latest chisme,... Right? If you are smiling then you know its true!
For the past 2 years I haven not had an ordinary holiday celebration with my family.  Last year I  thought it was risky to drive to Mexicali, Mexico  from San Francisco to spend the holiday with my grandmother but this year I went over seas all by myself.

I went to Thailand. The land of $2 Pad Thai, fast Tuk Tuk (taxi) rides, and endless exotic temples to admire.

 I was blessed enough to be refereed by a former classmate to a new company named Grabr. My friend Angela  told me how she felt I was perfect for this company. Within 24 hours, I emailed Grabr's Travel Squad manager and not even 2 weeks  since my first interview and I was asked if I could go to Thailand.....ABSOLUTELY!

At first I was hesitant since I have never been alone over sea…