Dia de las Trenzas (Day of the Braids) in Panama!


Image Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography Source License

I came across this at work today and had to share!

Each year, in Panama, the third Monday in May is “Dia de las Trenzas”, or “Day of the Braids”, and it’s just what it sounds like.


It all started as a form of resistance back in 2012, after several high schools forbade students from wearing braided hairstyles. May is Panama’s month dedicated to commemorating la etnia negra, or the black ethnic group, and since then, Dia de las Trenzas has become part of the celebrations.

According to singer Yomira John, Dia de las Trenzas is celebrated “to reaffirm black heritage and the contribution of those of African descent to the culture of the country… braids establish a way to weave links of brotherhood between all Panamanians, regardless of color.”

My Take:

This was so cool to me because in countries all over the world, it’s been called into question at some time or another whether braided styles are appropriate in academic and professional environments.

Whether you’re in Panama, the US, Belgium, Jamaica, Nigeria or pretty much anywhere, you’ll find little curly haired girls that can tell you horror stories of when their mother, grandmother, or aunt would call them into their bedroom and tell them to sit on the floor to get their hair braided.

It is a part of our culture that links us.

So to have the appropriateness of something so foundational to who we are called into question over and over can be hard.

Having Panamanians of all colors and hair textures come together to celebrate braided hairstyles shows that they- and by extension, those that wear them- have a place in Panamanian society, which is beautiful.

Now if only I’d known ahead of time, I would have definitely partaken in the festivities!

There’s always next year 😉

You can read more about Dia de las Trenzas here (it’s in spanish, but google translate, ya’ll).

And check out this video as well! It won’t embed for some reason, but prepare for the cuteness:


(my favorite part is, at 00:45, when the little girl says *smilimg* “I like them… I like them a lot… It hurt when my mom did them… it made me cry…” We feel your pain, girl!!)



Conscious Curls: Colombia Reinstates Air Raids Against The FARC After Soldiers Are Killed

Conscious Curls- The things we should be talking about (usually) in 250 words or less

Embed from Getty Images

A sad Conscious Curls today.

Background on the Colombian Civil Conflict:

  • One if the world’s longest-running civil wars (began in 1964)
  • Combatants = Colombian government, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla groups
  • ~200,000 killed in the violence (vast majority were civilians)
  • Millions more forcibly displaced

Clearly, putting an end to this war is important. Though the level of violence has dropped since the late 2000’s, it’s an ongoing problem.

The larger of Colombia’s two main rebel groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has been involved in peace talks with the Colombian government for the past two years.

In December, the FARC announced a ceasefire on their side until further notice. Initially, the government was skeptical, and refused to reciprocate. But in March, because the FARC had been sticking to its word, President Juan Manuel Santos declared a month-long suspension on aerial strikes against it. The government would watch the group’s actions, and after that month, decide whether or not to extend the suspension.

The FARC wasn’t impressed by this, though because ground attacks persisted. The group wanted Santos to halt all attacks, and insisted that continuing to attack the rebels on the ground was putting the peace talks, and their ceasefire at risk.

So, April came, and the deadline passed. Santos announced an extension on the suspension- the FARC had stuck to their word.

Until Tuesday.

10 soldiers were killed, and 21 were wounded in a suspected FARC attack.

On Wednesday, Santos announced that airstrikes would resume.

Though the peace talks are continuing, this is undoubtedly a huge setback. The talks had critics from the start. Many believed that the government shouldn’t negotiate with the group, and instead, focus on… well, killing them. Many believed the FARC could not be trusted, and obviously, this incident just supports that argument.

Embed from Getty Images

The FARC has expressed “concern” over the attack, but claims the government is at fault for not reciprocating the ceasefire.

After so much unprecedented progress has been made, this is an extremely sad turn of events. We’ll see how this tragedy effects public opinion on the peace negotiations.

TL;DR: Colombian Peace Talks Take 1 Step Forward, 10 Steps Back *sigh*

Read more about this incident here and here.


Conscious Curls: Has Cuba Put An End To Syphilis And HIV Transmission Between Mothers And Babies?

Conscious Curls- The things we should be talking about in 250 words or less

Image Credit:  Alex Graves via flickr.com  Source   License

Image Credit: Alex Graves
via flickr.com

If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms it, the Caribbean nation will become the first in the world to have done so!

Opinions on Cuba, the Cuban government, and whether or not the US should be opening itself up to diplomatic relations with the country vary, but one thing cannot be denied: Cuba’s medical system is top of the line. This just illustrates that.

According to TeleSur, to be certified as having halted transmission, the WHO has to confirm that the transmission rate in Cuba is less than 0.5% in live births for syphilis, and less than 2% in live births for HIV.

Experts from the WHO landed on the island on March 22 to conduct their review, so hopefully we’ll be hearing some official great news soon!