Esperanza launches #YoSoyLaCara
What started as a community project in the heart of the neighborhood, this year aims to become a platform for the youngest generation of Latinos in the Philadelphia region.
#YoSoyLaCara is a photo campaign created by Esperanza to promote a sense of identity and pride in Latino culture. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, during Hispanic Heritage Month, the organization will hold a contest on social media that seeks to capture Hispanic pride through the lens of the participants.
"The idea was born in the neighborhood last year as a response to the question, ’what is the most positive message we can send to our community?’" said Josue Duarte, vice president of Media and Marketing at Esperanza and creator of the campaign.
Initially, the project featured members of the Hunting Park neighborhood — pastors, local politicians and businessmen from the 5th Street corridor. This year, #YoSoyLaCara wants to highlight the creativity, thoughts and opinions of young people, and to provide them a platform to express themselves through pictures. "Although the competition is aimed at young people who meet the contest requirements, the campaign is open to everyone who wants to join and express Latino pride," Duarte said.
#YoSoyLaCara will award photos that best represent Latino pride in three different categories: "Best selfie," "Best portrait" and "People’s choice" (the photo with most likes).
Participating images will be evaluated based on photographic quality, the essence of the message the photo evokes, and the meaning it expresses.
The winner of each category will receive a prize of $500 and the images will be featured by media sponsors Univision 65, La Mega Radio and AL DÍA News.
In order to be eligible, participants must be 13 to 25 years old and residents of the state of Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey. The contestant should also have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN). They cannot have won a prize from the sponsor within the last 100 days. Participants younger than 18 must have their parent or legal guardian’s consent to enter the contest.
"Taking advantage of the momentum around the 'selfie' we asked ourselves, ‘who is the face of the Latino community in Philadelphia?’" Duarte said. "For Esperanza, is the young people. They are the ones who need to express themselves, because there are not many spaces available for them to voice their opinions — not only on cultural aspects but also in other important issues that will be relevant to each of their experiences."
The organization also seeks to encourage other groups that represent the Latino community in Philadelphia to join the campaign. The Mexican Cultural Center; Argentinos in Philadelphia; Taller Puertorriqueño; AfroTaino Productions, and Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PHLAFF) are some of the groups that have agreed to participate in the project.
Duarte said he expects a good response from the public and, above all, very diverse response from residents. "Philadelphia is a city that has not clearly expressed its diversity. We want to see the faces of the various Latino groups in the region represented in each of the participating images."
To register for #YoSoyLaCara visit Facebook.com/EsperanzaUSA.