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Her Grandmother Passed Away From A Heatstroke While Working In The Fields So This Teen Created A Safety App For Farmworkers

Faith Florez was named after her grandmother, a hardworking woman who spent 20 years under the California Central Valley’s blistering sun picking crops on fields. The hours were long and the conditions were exploitative, but she continued her onerous labor daily so that her progeny could live a different reality. At 17, Florez is her grandmother’s wildest dream, but who she is has been deeply inspired by her late abuela, who died from heat exhaustion.

Hearing the story of her grandmother from her father, who also worked in the fields, inspired her to find a solution to the strenuous conditions that farmworkers are subjected to. Enter Calor, an app the Shafter, Calif.-based teen created to keep the community safe.

“I don’t want to hear about a farmworker that died because they were too far away from water and shade,” Florez told 23ABC.

The smart watch application, which mimics triggered notifications like Amber Alerts, notifies users when temperatures become dangerously high as well as provides a hotline and educational materials on farmworker rights and safety.

“Farmworkers are some of the most vulnerable workers, specifically because 70 percent of them are undocumented Latino immigrants. They don’t have access to the greatest education systems, a lot of them live under the federal poverty line, and when they do faint, some will avoid going to hospitals. That’s really where the app comes in,” Florez said in a video for Bese.

The Latina started working on the app during her sophomore year of high school. After pitching her idea to graduate computer science students at the University of Southern California, it was picked up and ready to be turned into a reality. To bring it to life, however, required money — and lots of it. So Florez started a crowdfunding campaign to raise an ambitious $60,000 for software development. To her surprise, she raised the sum quickly. Her story, and the need for the service that Calor provides, touched many, including celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria and Gina Rodriguez, who donated to her fundraiser.

Currently, three farms in Kern County have partnered with Florez to provide their workers with Apple Watches that carry the app, and she is hoping more follow suit.

“With the health data gathered from the watch, we can help set more detailed standards for procedures relating to heat, shade, rest, and water. In doing so, we can set a uniform code of conduct for farms across the nation. It is essential to find ways to protect vulnerable workers from the dangerous business practices that are far too commonplace within the agricultural industry,” she said.

Watch a video about Florez’s Calor app below.

Read: This Latina Is Collecting Recipes And Stories From Salvadoreña Survivors Of The Country’s Civil War For A Justice-Driven Cookbook

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(h/t Remezcla)

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This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human


This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human

At 12, Blanca Ramirez broke a global marathon record. At 16, she’s running to top her only competition: herself.

In 2015, The La Puenta, Calif.-based teen became the youngest female runner to complete seven marathons in seven different continents, running in Rwanda, New Zealand, Paraguay, China, France and Antarctica.

Her interest in international marathons started when she was 10 years old. She had just completed a long-distance running race in Disneyland and was hungry for more. She told her dad she wanted to beat the world record, but he thought she was joking at first.

“It seemed like it was something impossible,” her father Dimas Ramirez told NBC News. “I told her to prove to me she could run a marathon. She ran a 5K, then a 10K and-a-half marathon and then I let her do the Los Angeles Marathon.”

After proving to her dad that she’s fully capable of running around the world, and beating records while she’s at it, the Mexican-American teen is doing it once more — this time with the accompaniment of her younger brother.

Jordan, 9, completed his first marathon in Australia at age 8. He then ran in Egypt, crossed Europe off his list when he did 26.2 miles in London and then took to Thailand. Now, he and his big sis are headed to Antarctica and then South America. He plans to finish off in the US next April.

For Blanca, who has already accomplished the task her brother faces, joining him has been a way to show support and have some fun competition.

“At the end, we try to have a competition of who can cross the finish line first, even though we’re standing next to each other,” she told KTLA 5. “So we can be still next to each other, but I’ll make sure my foot passes it first.”

As for their dad, he’s proud of both of his children meeting their goals — but he’s also looking forward to it for reasons of his own.

“Dad’s very exhausted and I need a break,” he said. “Or they need to pick another sport.”

Read: This Indigenous Woman From Mexico Ran An Ultramarathon In Huaraches Sandals And Won Big

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Latina Teen Fatally Stabbed In Feud Over A Boy In Texas


Latina Teen Fatally Stabbed In Feud Over A Boy In Texas

An 18-year-old girl was fatally stabbed in Texas on Friday after an online feud with another teen turned physical.

After weeks arguing on social media, Kaitlin Leonor Castilleja, alongside her friend Vivian Foster, also 18, went to the house of a 16-year-old girl to fight at about 1 a.m. During the brawl, which occured on the younger teen’s driveway, the 16-year-old, who has not been identified because she is a minor, pulled out a knife and stabbed both Castilleja and Foster.

Castilleja, who graduated from James Madison High School in 2018, was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead just before 2 a.m. Foster reportedly suffered “superficial wounds.”

Following the attack, the suspect, a current student at the high school, called the police to say “she had been assaulted in her driveway when she arrived home from work,” later telling officials that the friends were “stating they want to fight her.”

Foster, too, told authorities that she and Castilleja had been assaulted after “jumping” a girl at her house.

The suspect, who allegedly briefly dated Castilleja’s ex-boyfriend before he returned to her, is being held at the Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center.

Castilleja’s aunt believes the deadly fight was related to the ex-boyfriend.

“She isn’t able to give you her side of the story, but it’s been ongoing bullying on both sides,” Marie Fernandez told the San Antonio Express News. “It’s social media. There’s so many factors that have contributed to this, and at the end of the day, whether it was wrong, in all aspects my niece had no intentions of hurting anyone.”

The aunt, who believes her niece was lured to the 16-year-old’s home and noted a video of the fight had been on social media, shared her grief with KENS.

“I broke, I was lost for words and I just sunk into my pillow and didn’t believe it,” she said of learning of the death of her niece, who recently expressed interest in studying nursing in college. “I thought I was waking up from a nightmare.”

Police are still investigating the fatal stabbing.

Read: Latina Faces Deportation After Confronting A Man Wearing A “Make America Great Again” Hat At A Mexican Restaurant

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