“Pa’ Mi Gente”

MUXXXE by Finalis Valdez

Interview | Kylie Bryant @kgb.bby

Transcriber | Jacquex Frankel @thecooljag

Special Thanks | Cancel Communications @cancelcommunications + Matthew Cancel @matthewcancel

Editor | Chaunielle Brown @chaunielle_brown

October 13th 2022 Instagram and Facebook were joined by a host of leading Latinx creators and personalities at Pa’ Mi Gente, at Zero Space Brooklyn, a capstone event celebrating Latinx changemakers as part of a month-long campaign in recognition of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The Pa’ Mi Gente event featured thematic installations, performances, and a cornerstone panel discussion moderated by entertainer and host Krystal Vega (@KrystalVega). Vega was joined by panelists including RuPaul’s Drag Race cast member and performer Kandy Muse (@KandyMuse), climate activist Xiye Bastida (@Xiyebeara), founder of Launch Latinx and Facebook Group administrator Harry Lopez (LaunchLatinx), and Spanish-language comedic star Ana Alvarado (Lipstickfables). 

photos | Kylie Bryant

The panel discussed how creators and community leaders are leveraging Instagram and Facebook to influence, innovate and mobilize the next generation of Latinx leaders. Each highlighted how teens and young creators can find their community on platforms like Instagram, as well as how Facebook and IG provide spaces to discover community and emerging interests connected to Latinx culture.

Xiye Bastida shared her experience as a climate activist on behalf of Indigenous People in Mexico, highlighting how teens and young activists can use social media to educate and organize around issues important to them.

XIYE BASTIDA | by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE How are you?
XIYE Amazing, excited!

KYLIE We know you’re an environmental activist, you’ve been doing a lot of work around that. I’ve noticed that online people tend to be very down and overwhelmed about the state of environmental issues, and how an individual can help make an impact. What advice would you give to someone, who wants to get involved but maybe feels a little overwhelmed?
XIYE That’s a great question because I think there’s two types of being overwhelmed. There’s one, where you just learn about the crisis and it’s so big, it doesn’t feel like there’s anything to be done. And then there’s the other one, which is maybe you’re following the news, you know about it, you recycle, you shop second hand, but it feels like your individual action is not enough.

There’s two responses for each scenario. The first one is, there’s a psychologist who says, “people who just know about the common crisis and are worried, actually experience more climate grief than people who act.” So if you act and start being engaged, it actually boost your mood a lot! In my opinion, for example, I call myself a climate optimist (a stubborn optimist) because I think that, if we want to build that new world, we need to do it with happiness, passion and joy. Knowing that I’m fighting for my children’s future to be protected, I’m fighting for their future to be secured. I don’t want everything that we are experiencing right now, and projected to experience, to actually be the world where my children live. For me, activism comes from being protective for our future.

XIYE BASTIDA | by Finalis Valdez

And secondly, for the people who aren’t getting individual actions, statistics say that about only 9% of plastic gets recycled. While we are told to recycle our entire lives. So shift your mindset to structural change, what can you do; that is actually going to change the plastic pollution crisis. Lobby for a law that bans selling plastic in your city. We actually have that in New York. Because we worked from beyond telling people to recycle and bring their own straw. – To saying, there’s something structural that we can do. And it makes individual actions easier, if it’s just regulated, the results are guaranteed. Those are the things that are important, and going back to the power of imagination, if we can imagine a better world, it is much more likely to happen than us imagining this dystopian future.

photo | by Finalis Valdez
photo | by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE When did you begin your love for the environment/climate-activism?
XIYE I was raised in a small town in Mexico, about 10,000 people, and my parents actually met in the first Earth Summit of 1992. They have been in the environmental space at the global level for many years. Way before I was born. My dad comes from the Otomi-Toltec Indigenous Community, my name in Otomi means soft rain. I grew up with these principles:

  • Reciprocity – If we take from mother earth, we have to give back. 
  • Intergenerational cooperation – I listen to the wisdom of elders and exchange our energy, and that keeps the community moving. We are totally cut off from that right now.
  • Our purpose is to take care of mother earth. 

That’s what drives me, the fact that I’m protecting our planet. It comes from a very deep indiginous philosophy that is actually shared with communities around the world. At the age of 13, I experienced the crisis first hand when we had a flood. That was the moment my mindset changed. My family was affected, when I say to care about the climate, it is not about being vegan, straws, or polar bears, it is about the injustices that are mainly seen by frontline communities. And how changing our perspective to this climate justice framework actually saves lives. Making sure that we have a stable planet to live on. 

Xiye Bastida, Ana Alvarado, Harry Lopez, Kandy Muse, Krystal Vega | by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE What’s next on your agenda, what do you hope to accomplish next?
XIYE There’s a lot upcoming: short and long term goals. We have COP27, the annual climate conference hosted by the United Nations, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. It is very inaccessible for civil society and activists to attend. Only corporations and governments can afford to go, sending the signal to common people as not wanted, to be part of the decision making process. Last year’s conference, COP26, there were 500 representatives of the fossil fuel industry. If the people who are destroying the world are most represented in these conferences, then what world are we building. We are challenging that, the fossil fuel industry has to get out of here. Those interests are going to carry on, and you cannot just brainwash us, or avoid us. We are organizing for COP27.

photos | Kylie Bryant

KYLIE What does Mi Gente mean to you?
XIYE That translates to my people. For me, not only people close to me but the extension to everyone who shares the vision and passion for living.
KYLIE What is your FAULT?
XIYE Sometimes I want to do too much. I’m a full time student at Penn State with a double major. This is one of four events that I have this week. Tomorrow we have Vogue’s Forces of Fashion. I have founded my own organization, I’m in the fashion world, and in the activism world. If I’m not doing all of this then I feel like I’m contributing to the crisis. But I think we need to learn how to manage our time and to slow down.

“Everybody has access to the platform to share their climate stories,” Bastida said. “We all have a stake in writing that story. Everybody has the ability to be part of this era of transformation, where we realize that our communities no longer need to be exploited. I can go anywhere in the world, and I know a climate activist who lives there because of social media.”

photos | Kylie Bryant

Drag performer Kandy Muse discussed the power of her platform on Facebook and Instagram to provide safe spaces for young and queer Latinx people, as well as to advocate for issues facing her community.

“I’ve always been vocal on social media about issues that are important within the queer community, the LGTBQ community, as brown and black people. Drag Race has given me a much larger platform to seek change,” she said. “ If you know anything about drag queens, you go from your house to the local bar. You don’t see the world too much, and so I can’t stress enough the importance of being yourself online. It saved me.”

KYLIE You’ve had a very big year, you’ve had a collaboration with Inkbox, a Savage Fenty ambassador, and a European tour. What’s next for you? And how do you plan on using social media like Instagram and Facebook to achieve your goals?
KANDY What I’ve been doing so far on my social media, being myself and building my community, will be what I’m going to continue doing for the rest of my entire career. I’m blessed for that. I’ve had such a successful year. I want to continue that, to amplify more. What I find now, that people are enjoying more, is seeing behind the scenes into my life. In social media for years, we have lived in a facade of what we want to post. Our Facetune selfies, and all that. And now people want to see more BTS, telling more about what is happening in my life. 

KANDY MUSE | by Kylie Bryant

KYLIE What is the most memorable moment or connection from social media?
KANDY I’m blessed to have fans around the world. I always geek out when I get a DM from Ariana Grande. I have met fans when I visit their country, where we connect, I find those connections special.

KYLIE How would you describe your Instagram community?

KANDY It varies! Because we have gay men from age of 16 – 45, and girlies from age 13 to grandmothers who obsessed with me, which is wild to me. What I find is, my community is about having fun, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. That’s what life is about, having a good time. The other day I posted a video of me talking about a hotel lamp and people lived. 

KYLIE Who is another Latinx creator you would like to see get their flowers next?
KANDY There are many Latinx creators within our community of drag who really put in the effort and work. My drag daughter, Xunami Muse; who is a creator and model, she creates her community by building it with her own commitment. There are many people who I can mention.

KYLIE What does Mi Gente mean to you?

KANDY A sense of community, there’s a lot of ugly shit happening in this day in age. It’s good to have a sense of community to fall on.

KYLIE What is your FAULT?

KANDY Yeah, you know, something I can say is. I’m hard headed. I’m blessed to have people who keep me grounded.

KANDY MUSE | by Finalis Valdez

Xiye Bastida, Ana Alvarado, Harry Lopez, Kandy Muse, Krystal Vega | by Finalis Valdez

Harry Lopez, founder of the program Launch Latinx, which provides business advice and support for young Latinx entrepreneurs, stressed the value of creating Groups and communities for networking. “The community on Facebook has been instrumental in growing our business. We had our first six-figure month last quarter,” he offered. 

HARRY LOPEZ | Kylie Bryant

The evening also featured a drag performance from Kandy Muse and a performance from Mexican rap artist MUXXXE (@M.U.X.X.X.E), who performed a spirited 20-minute long Spanish-speaking rap outfitted in their signature identity concealing body suit.

The Pa’ Mi Gente event and panel marks the finale of a month-long campaign hosted by Instagram and Facebook, featuring several Latinx/Hispanic Creators and Groups in weekly artistic content profiling emerging cultural trends being embraced by next-generation leaders from within the community. 

KYLIE How’s your night going?
MUXXE It’s good, thank you so much for asking. 

KYLIE What is the inspiration behind your look?
– For this look, I have to give credit to my stylist Neon. We talked about creating a representative look on being Latin. Creating a background for origins.

MUXXXE by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE What about for the general inspiration of choosing not to show your face?
– Choosing not to show my face was a conscious choice. As the concept of being a third gender. A neutral person. Anonymity was very important, it is about a being that can become whatever they want. This way I can connect with others, even though I’m very queer, it is about relating with others. 

KYLIE Do you feel received different from social media, as it is very beauty oriented, so very physical oriented?
MUXXXE I feel like people are intrigued by me not showing who I am. Since they don’t see my face or skin, we call it morboso.

MUXXXE | by Kylie Bryant

KYLIE When did you begin writing music and rapping? 

MUXXXE  Before becoming me, since the age of 16 I was writing. I wanted music to be part of my life, and overtime the direction oriented itself. It all became super organic, I can relate to rapping.

KYLIE Your music is fluid and empowering, where are you drawing inspiration from?
MUXXXE Personal experiences, my music is about things that I’ve gone through. Or what I wish to manifest. 

KYLIE How would you describe your online community?
MUXXXE I’ve noticed people from India & the Middle East following me. Definetly composed of queer people.

MUXXXE by Finalis Valdez
MUXXXE by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE Any connections that have stood out to you on social media? 

MUXXXE A lot are heartwarming. As an artist, you never know the impact we make on others. It is crazy to know from professors, telling me about students who are showing my artwork in classrooms. I do things because I wish to do them. I like to externalize things and I feel like I’m on the right path. 

MUXXXE | by Kylie Bryant

KYLIE Where do you think your career would be without social media?
MUXXXE Nowhere! That’s a very important part of my life.

KYLIE What is your FAULT?

MUXXXE I’m not brave enough. I should be more unapologetically present. “Not give a fuck!”

ANA ALVARADO | by Finalis Valdez

KYLIE How are you tonight?

ANA Fine, thank you so much. A little nervous tonight but I think it will be fine.

KYLIE I see online you make a lot of reels, as the character Carmen Suyapa’s Mother. What would she say about the event tonight?
ANA She would be very proud of me. Always on top of her daughter, correcting what I’m doing. As a typical Latina mom. But always criticizing something. Haha. 

KYLIE As someone from Honduras, what inspiration do you take from home and how is it translated into social media?
ANA Content is built around my culture, with a touch of the funny side of things. I try to incorporate our slang, music, things that people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Central America can relate to. We are all little species within South America. Bringing that nostalgic factor from iconic roots to our audience.
KYLIE How would you describe your online community?

ANA They are really nice supporters, a lot have been with me since day one. I’ve been making content for 11 years. I like how people have a sense of humor like me. I share funny things, personal things, fashion, and they are very loyal.

KYLIE What is a standout connection encountered?

ANA A girl would always comment, and one day we met in person at a meet and greet. She opened up about battling breast cancer and we became friends. She mentioned that my videos would make her feel better during chemotherapy. That’s when I realized, when you laugh then you push bad energy out. She eventually passed away, unfortunately. We made a special YouTube video to share her story.

KYLIE What does Mi Gente mean to you?

ANA Having a connection with people just like me who have migrated. Sharing the same struggles we have experienced, a sense of community. Helping people through hurricanes, poverty. Holding each other’s hand.

KYLIE Where would you be without the help of social media?

ANA I would be working as a graphic designer, which is what I studied. I don’t know if I would be as happy as I am. Not sure if having an office is my thing. 

KYLIE What is your FAULT?

ANA I’m a little resentful. I’m a caregiver in general, and when people don’t do the same in return, I resent it.


Harry Lopez—Panelist

  • Facebook: @HarryLopez
  • IG: @theharrylopez
  • IG: @launchlatinx
  • Bio: Harry Lopez (@theharrylopez) is a Nicaraguan-American personal and professional Success Coach and Entrepreneur. A native of Miami, Florida, he writes and speaks frequently on issues of personal and professional change, happiness, health and inspiration, and the topic of mindful living and conscious business. Harry has coached countless Latino entrepreneurs and consulted leaders at Google, Amazon, Meta, Prose, and more and has been featured on Buzzfeed, Insight Timer, The Atlantic, and Goodful. Harry is the founder of @launchlatinx where he runs an accelerator bootcamp for talented, ambitious Latino leaders ready to overcome their greatest fears, deepen in their consciousness and self-worth, and create the life and business they have always imagined.

Krystal Vega – Moderator 

  • IG: @KrystalVega
  • Bio: Krystal Vega is a multimedia journalist driven by her passion for entertainment, beauty, fashion and sneaker culture in a new American mainstream. A native New Yorker and proud, Black and Puertoriqueña, Krystal is known for her appearances and partnerships with notable networks like Complex, BET and Telemundo. Krystal’s drive in the industry extends har beyond being in front of the camera. She serves as the co-founder of Fortune & Forks, a resource group creating a community for young, ambitious women of color.
KRYSTAL VEGA | Finalis Valdez
ANA ALVARADO | by Finalis Valdez

Ana Alvarado – Panelist  

  • Facebook: @Lipstickfables
  • IG: @Lipstickfables
  • Bio: Ana Alvarado also known as Lipstickfables was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. At age 11, she moved to Miami with her family aspiring for the “American Dream”. Even though, she lived her first ten years undocumented, that didn’t stop her from going to college, have a part time job and start making content back in 2010. Eventually she was able to fix her legal status, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and continued with her passion of making videos. Ana had her first viral video in 2012 which opened a huge door of opportunities: designed her own merchandise line and have one of the best selling designs among the honduran community, released a lipstick line, she has also worked with important brands, has won awards, was nominated to a Premios Juventud, collaborated with celebrities, attended huge events, raised money for social causes and now has the most popular live show among central americans called El Lengüetazo. 
ANA ALVARADO | by Finalis Valdez

Kandy Muse—Panelist

  • IG: @thekandymuse
  • Facebook: @Kandymuse
  • Bio: Kandy Muse is an American drag queen, queer artist and performer most known for being the runner-up on the thirteenth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and for being part of the now defunct Haus of Aja. When not touring and performing, Kandy Muse uses her trend-setting platform as an influencer. Muse has worked on 2021 pride campaign with Calvin Klein, her own InkBox Tattoo collaboration in 2022, and will soon star in a string of marketing campaigns for Grindr. 

Xiye Bastida—Panelist

  • IG: @xiyebeara
  • Facebook: @XiyeBastida
  • Bio: Xiye Bastida is a 20 year old climate justice activist from the Otomi-Toltec Indigenous community located in Central Mexico. She is an organizer, author, speaker, and student who is driven to make the climate movement more inclusive and diverse.  In April of 2020, Xiye co-founded Re-Earth Initiative— an international youth led organization that highlights intersectional issues within the climate crisis. She has participated in COP25, the United Nations Climate Summit, the Noble Price Summit, Global Citizens (2x), TED Countdown Summit, and Verge21. She has appeared at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Harvard University. She has been honored at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards and as a Harper’s Bazaar Icon. 
Guest + KRYSTAL VEGA by | Kylie Bryant
photo | Kylie Bryant

For more information on the Pa’ Mi Gente campaign, check out the @FacebookApp page on Instagram.