Latin Locura
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Latin Locura

Know Your Worth, Forget “Pena”

“Pena” translates to a collection of embarrassment, shame, and hesitation.

Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash

Many people with Latin American descent will shrink and murmur,

“Ay que pena…” when asking for something daring, risky, or plain necessary.

“Pena” translates to a collection of embarrassment, shame, and hesitation. It’s the worst possible cocktail of emotions. We don’t order Pena martinis, right? We order “Tinto de Verano” (Red Wine of Summer) or “Carajillo!” (Mexican Spiked Coffee) or if you want to be all macho “El General.” *strikes mustache*

No, but in all seriousness, pena proves limiting and extremely costly. Pena rids of confidence and tenacious intentionality, so we have to leave pena at the door if we want to walk into doors of opportunity.

Of course, ‘shame’ proves to be an inevitable part of the societal construct. For instance, being shameless is often frowned upon. However, a shameless plug here and there isn’t going to kill your reputation. If you want people to know who you are, if you want people to take you seriously, you have to let go of pena. Of course, it’s easier said than done. ESPECIALLY if you are Latina woman, as we often hear about “El General” more than we do about the “Soldaderas.”

Fun Fact

The soldaderas were without a doubt, the fiercest warriors during the Mexican Revolution. Without the soldaderas, el general would’ve been toast!

Photo by: Walter H. Horne, Library of Congress

So ladies, mujeres, y todos los que identifican con iluminar fuerte…

Know your worth, forget pena.




Latin Locura motivates women to ignite the flames of their craziest dreams. Our writers help readers navigate relationships, develop their careers goals, and build their confidence as tall as the Empire State Building.

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Zara Macias

Zara Macias

Zara holds a BA in Political Science/International Affairs. She’s passionate about destigmatizing mental health and empowering women, Latinos, & POC to lead.

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