This article was published originally in the San Antonio Express News.
Story By Rene Guzman – Feb 12/2018
We are very thankful for the great article Mr. Guzman did for the San Antonio Express news:
All mothers see a little superhero in their daughters. Luz Andrea Diaz brought hers to life with Chicana feminism and word balloons.
And so were born the Super Chikis, costumed super girls who pack some serious multicultural punch. Their first comic book, “Super Chikis Adventures,” is available for $3.99 at superchikis.com.
Diaz says her mission with Super Chikis is to empower girls to discover their talents and to craft superhero stories for Latina girls. To embody that good fight, she turned to her daughters, 9-year-old Johana Velazquez and 7-year-old Angela Velazquez.
“That’s something that I’ve always talked to them about,” said Diaz, an IT consultant and project manager in San Antonio who launched Super Chikis as a startup in December. “Everybody has a different talent and something good that they can give to the world, regardless of where they are from or their skin color or their nationality.”
Angela is the inspiration for the Super Chikis character Samantha, whose sirenlike songs make people do whatever she sings. Meanwhile, Johana is the inspiration for the character Ana, an amazing artist whose drawings come to life. Together in their first comic adventure, Samantha and Ana must help a baby dragon reunite with its very big mom.
Samantha and Ana lead the charge for more Diaz family-inspired Super Chikis to come.
Esperanza, a Cuban girl who can talk to computers, is based on one of Diaz’s sisters, who’s a computer programmer, while Indira, an Indian girl with healing powers, is based on Diaz’s doctor cousin.
Veronica, a Brazilian who can literally capture the bad guys with her camera, is based on another Diaz sister who is an economist. And the super-curious Daniela, who can learn any subject just by touching a book, is an Argentinian based on another Diaz sister who is an elementary school teacher and psychologist.
Diaz first drew up the idea for Super Chikis on a whiteboard with Johana and Angela back in September 2016. What started as a simple family game about their favorite super power turned into a creative way to strengthen the girls against what Diaz saw as a rising tide of anti-Latino rhetoric, such as then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comment about deporting “bad hombres” from the United States.
“My daughters were really affected by it,” said Diaz, who moved to San Antonio from Monterrey, Mexico, in 2014.
Diaz also wants to empower parents, likewise with some super-inspiration from her own family.
That’s why she also has penned “Superhero in a Box” ($4.99 at superchikis.com), a parent guide and Super Chikis companion book that helps moms and dads help their kids reach their full potential. The five-step guide incorporates team-guiding concepts Diaz has learned on project management, as well as advice from her own mother, a retired elementary school teacher, and Diaz’s teacher/psychologist sister.
Diaz is working on getting the Super Chikis into libraries, bookstores and, of course, on Amazon. She hopes to have the second issue, featuring the Super Chikis take on bullying, out in three months.
In the meantime, kids and their families have at least one Super Chikis adventure to help them bring out their own inner superhero.
“Pretty much the idea was trying to educate kids on those concepts of diversity and tolerance and inclusion,” Diaz said. “Even if I don’t make much money out of this, this is still my way to fight (discrimination).”
Source: San Antonio Express News. Feb 12, 2018. Link