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Central American Myths, Mayhem and Magic

September 21, 2022

LBC I’m coming for you! Let me know if you’re coming I would love to see you! LONG BEACH CITY COLLEGE
The ChaCha Files:
Central American Myths, Mayhem and Magic
2:00 – 3:30 P.M.
Light refreshments and Snacks will be
provided following the event. #poetry #latinawriters #latinxheritagemonth #centralamericanart


Unicorn Triggers- A Virtual Writing Workshop w/Maya Chinchilla

May 26, 2022

Calling all secret journal writers, open mic junkies, eloquent status updaters, kitchen table chismosas, daydreamers and hopeful writers of all kinds. Come ready to write and trust the process. All levels welcome!

This workshop will be generative and encourage you to write and give space to a writing practice. We will center the marginal, the magical, the in-between dwellers, the border crossers and specifically center the voices of women, trans folks, queers and people of color. Allies, outliers and writers at the intersections are welcome to participate in the workshop while knowing that these are the voices that will take precedence.

Event link will be provided by email after RSVP.

REGISTRATION FORM $20 registration. Sliding scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Artist Bio: Maya Chinchilla, author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética,” is a writer, educator and media maker. She teaches as a lecturer in Latino/a/x Studies, creative writing, English and LGBTQ studies. Maya has been working on some pandemic projects including: hosting Live and Queer an interview based talk show produced by QCC, co-hosting three seasons of a women of color-centered sci-fi podcast; writing and producing the show “Central American Unicorns in Space;” studying Afro Puerto Rican Bomba and conducting writing coaching sessions for creatives and writers alike.

Birthday Month Wish: Subscribe to My New Patreon

February 18, 2022

Hi Friends and Fiends! 

My goal for my birthday month is to sign up at least 10 new monthly supporters at $3, $5, 10, or $20 or more to encourage and help me make time for my creative process and to share more of what I know with the ones who really want to get into it and want to know more. Can you help me meet that goal? Subscribe, share, cheer me on and help me build with you.

I will be asking you what you want to see and sharing more with you in the coming weeks and months. It’s been a rough two years but art, family and community have been a lifeline. Much of my world has shifted, shrunk and at times even expanded among so much uncertainty, loss and grief.

Thank you so much for supporting my work, my creative process, my upcoming events and treats to share with only you! Click Here For MORE!

Central American Unicorns in Space!

April 21, 2021

Central American Unicorns in Space: A Queer Digital Odyssey

Coming to the National Queer Arts Festival

JUNE 14, 2021
5:30pm PDT/ 8:30 EST

*Please note, this event will be streamed online. Once you purchase your ticket on EventBrite you will receive the streaming link via email.*

Connections to the past and to each other have been severed by dark forces that made us forget who we are and where we’ve come from. Set in the future where borders as we once knew them on Earth no longer exist, join our empathic adventurer/ storyteller Maya Chinchilla as she travels through the ether to unite a crew of healers, artists, shapeshifters and timekeepers using prayers, poetry, movement and performance to uncover what became of the Central American Diaspora.


Kimberlynn Acevedo AKA DJ Femme Papi
Jose Richard Aviles
Maya Chinchilla
Roy Guzmán
Lulu Matute
Celia Sagastume

and Señorito Chorizo

Concept and Script Navigation by Maya Chinchilla
Dramaturgy by Alison De La Cruz

Sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center


“Since 1998, QCC has curated and produced 24 National Queer Arts Festivals (NQAF) that have featured more than 2,300 LGBTQ+ artists in over 920 different arts and cultural events. The festival has become a bay area cultural institution bringing to life hundreds of performances, visual arts exhibitions, literary readings and film screenings.

Our Creating Queer Community (CQC) program has commissioned over 400 LGBTQ+ artists to create, produce, commission, promote, and document original works examining LGBTQ+ social justice and civil rights issues that debut at the National Queer Arts Festival.”


“This year’s theme, The Future is… allows us to collectively embody the future. This year’s festival honors QCC artists and our art as it is today, while also opening the door to imagination and manifestation of the future through the eyes of the artists centering Queer, Trans, gender nonconforming, Intersex, Two-spirit, Black, Indigenous, people of color (QTI2SBIPOC artists) and giving voice to the truth we know – the future is already here, an the future is us. 

Over the years, our Creating Queer Community (CQC) program has commissioned over 400 LGBTQ+ artists to create, produce, comission, promote, and document original works examining LGBTQ+ social justice and civil rights issues that debut at the National Queer Arts Festival.”

-Natalia Vigil, Executive Director

2 x 2 A Gathering of U.S. Central American Poets

April 16, 2021

Join us for “2 x 2: A Gathering of US Central American Poets: Maya Chinchilla, Leticia Hernández-Linares, Jenise Miller, and Janel Pineda.”

They will read and discuss their work. Two by two refers to the multiple ways US Central American poets enter hemispheric conversations, often one by one, sometimes two by two, but always adding to the mix and amplifying our voices exponentially. Wednesday, April 21, 20215:00-7:00 PM EDT (2pm PDT)Register at:

For more information contact: Ana Patricia Rodríguez, University of Maryland, College Park aprodrig at

Maya Chinchilla, author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética, is a Guatemalan writer, educator and media maker. She teaches as a lecturer at UC Davis in Chicana/o Latino/a/x Studies, creative writing and LGBTQ studies. She is the editor of the forthcoming CentroMariconadas, an anthology of queer and trans Central American writing. Currently she is co-host of the Trek Table—a weekly sci-fi podcast holding “Star Trek Space” for women of color and their allies. Drawing on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry, Maya writes stories and performs poetry exploring themes of historical memory, family, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures.

Leticia Hernández-Linares is an award-winning, interdisciplinary, bilingual writer, artist, and racial justice educator. She is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl and Alejandria Fights Back/La lucha de Alejandría. Co-editor of The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, she has convened and collaborated with Central American artists and writers both nationally and internationally. Widely published, her work appears in Maestrapeace, San Francisco’s Monumental Feminist Mural and Other Musics: New Latina Poetry. Her bilingual poetry can be found in La Piscucha Magazine, Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry (Kalina Press) and Poeta Soy: poesía de mujeres salvadoreñas. Her work was also featured in the first convening of Central American women writers in El Salvador in 2019: Otro modo de ser. She has lived, taught, created, and protested in the Mission District of San Francisco for over two decades. A 2020 YBCA 100 Honoree, she teaches in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.

Jenise Miller is a Black Panamanian writer, poet, and urban planner based in Compton. Her writing and work about art, local history, and growing up Black Latinx in Los Angeles is featured in her chapbook, “The Blvd,” as well as in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, KCET Artbound, Boom California, and the Acentos Review, amongst others. On April 11, 2021, Miller was spotlighted in the Los Angeles Times article, “5 poets address complications of calling L.A. home: How will a reopening city treat them?”

Janel Pineda is a Los Angeles-born Salvadoran poet, educator, and the author of Lineage of Rain (Haymarket Books, 2021). A first-generation college graduate, she earned a BA in English from Dickinson College, where she was a Posse Scholar. Pineda has performed her poetry internationally in both English and Spanish, and been published in LitHub, PANK, The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4: LatiNext, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the U.S., among others. She is a part of the editorial team that founded La Piscucha Magazine, a multilingual arts, literature, and culture magazine created by Salvadoran writers. Since her involvement with the 2018 Radical Roots Delegation, Pineda is also a member of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). She holds an MA in Creative Writing and Education from Goldsmiths, University of London, as a Marshall Scholar.

Wandering Song Reading & Fundraiser Series

May 30, 2020

Please join us for our second virtual event celebrating The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States edited by Leticia Hernandez Linares, Rubén Martínez & Hector Tobar. This is the first-ever anthology of the Central American diaspora to collect poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction by over 60 writers.

The book immediately sold out upon its release by Tia Chucha Press in 2017, but fear not! The press is working on a reprint that you can help make possible by sharing or donating to the GFM campaign:


A Honduran, LA-based poet and physician, FÉLIX AGUILAR Guatemala, and the US. His works appears in CQ, the Journal of the California State Poetry Society, and other publications. Félix has performed his poems at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York, among other venues. He works in community medicine.”

WILLIAM ARCHILA, author of The Art of Exile, 2010 International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology, 2013 Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, has been published in American Poetry Review, AGNl, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry, Tin House, and the anthologies Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext.

IGNACIO CARVAJAL was born in Costa Rica. His bilingual collection Plegarias won first place in the contest Poetic Bridges by Casa Cultural de las Américas and the University of Houston. He’s a member of the Taller Literario don Chico in Costa Rica and the board of directors of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Ignacio is assistant professor at the University of Kansas.

CLAUDIA CASTRO LUNA is Washington State Poet Laureate (2018-2021). She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press), shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and This City (Floating Bridge Press). Castro Luna is the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, and a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981.

MAYA CHINCHILLA, author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética,” is a queer Guatemalan writer and educator. She gives readings, lectures, writing workshops and also teaches as a lecturer at UC Davis and elsewhere in Chicana/Latino/a/x Studies and creative writing. She is the editor of the forthcoming “CentroMariconadas” an anthology of queer and trans Central American writing (Kórima Press). Find her at

ROY GUZMÁN is the author of “Catrachos” (Graywolf 2020), the recipient of a 2019 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. Raised in Miami, Guzmán lives in Minneapolis.

JANEL PINEDA is a Los Angeles-born poet and the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. She is an editor and translator for La Piscucha, a literary magazine created by Salvadoran writers. Janel has performed her poetry internationally, in both Spanish and English, and was most recently published in The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4: LatiNext. She is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths, the University of London as a Marshall Scholar.

SUYAPA PORTILLO migrated with her mother from Cópan, Honduras to Los Angeles, California in 1982. Suyapa is a historian and writes about gender, labor, and social movements. She is an Associate Professor of Chicano/a-Latino/a Transnational Studies at Pitzer College.

AWP 2020 San Antonio, Texas

February 21, 2020

Going for a week to one of my favorite cities in the world, SanAnto!
Here’s a list of some of the panels and readings you can find me at during the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference.

You can also find me hanging out at the book fair with Libro Mobile, Macondo, Women Who Submit, Letras Latinas, the Latinx Caucus and more. Hope to see you there!

March 4–7, 2020 San Antonio, TX
Henry B. González Convention Center
#AWP20 #SanAntonio

Queer Voices:
Nuestra Voz, Nuestro Cuerpo, Nuestro Tiempo—Our Voice, Our Bodies, Our Time
Friday, March 6, 7pm-10pm@Esperanza Peace & Justice Center 922 San Pedro Ave

Join us for an AWP20 off-site reading for evening of #QueerVoices from Everywhere!

Featured readers include:
Kay Ulanday Barrett, Edyka Chilome, Maya Chinchilla, Anel I. Flores,
Jo-Reyes Boitel, Six Gawd, Ire’ne Lara Silva, Gume Laurel III, Miguel M. Morales, Jesus I. Valles, Saul Hernandez, Roy G. Guzman, Pablo Miguel Martinez, Raquel Gutierrez, Carla Trujillo, Kate Carroll de Gutes, and Virginia Grise.

Writing Medicine:
The Role of Artists in Cultural & Community Healing

AWP Conference Roundtable Reading and Discussion (badge most likely required)
Saturday, March 7
12:10 pm- 1:25 pm
Room 213, Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

In November 2018, the FBI reported that hate crimes increased for the third consecutive year. Writers and artists build resilience and help communities heal, not only through our work on the page, but through our work in the world. Panelists offer reflections on their healing practices, from hosting pláticas following the Pulse Nightclub shooting, to working with Central American migrants at the border, to rewriting the centuries-old proclamation for the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
w/ Michelle Otero, Valerie Martínez, Anel I. Flores,
Chasity Salvador, Maya Chinchilla

Indigenous/Xicanx/Latinx Writers Read-In & Mitote

Saturday, March 7, 5pm-6pm
Courtyard, River Level Market Street entrance
Outside of the Convention Center
900 E. Market St. San Antonio, TX

Cost: Free
A call to action to all the Indigenous, Xicanx, Latinx, AfroLatinxs, Boricuas, Caribeños, Central/South Americans, los de las Américas, color de la tierra, the ohs, the ahs, and the exes, those trans to gender and/or genre, the rowdies and sucias, the falsas and for-reals, Todos, todas, todxs. YOU.
Share your stories with US at a free mass Read-In & Mitote.

Contact: Juan Tejeda
Organization: Organized by Alazan Arts Stories and Letters, a todo dar productions, Aztlan Libre Press, Books in the Barrio and Teatro

Currently Scheduling for 2020!

January 14, 2020

Let’s work together.

I can create a reading or workshop to your needs. I’ll post a list of topics I am working on for 2020 soon.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Maya Chinchilla

Maya Chinchilla, author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética,” is a queer femme Guatemalan writer and cultural activist. She gives readings, lectures, writing workshops and is a lecturer at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Contra Costa College in Chicana/Latino/a/x Studies, creative writing and LGBTQ studies. She is the editor of the forthcoming “CentroMariconadas” inspired by Horacio Roque Ramirez, an anthology of queer and trans Central American writing. She is currently working on new writing and a forthcoming CentAm podcast, conducting writing workshops on Central American Feelings, and assisting and bearing witness on monthly humanitarian efforts in Tijuana. Maya writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work —sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware— draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry.

Remember Los Siete: Poetry Of Resistance and Remembrance

April 8, 2019

remembering los siete.jpegSo honored to be a part of this event “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” Saturday April 13, 2019 6-8pm which is a part of several events honoring the history, art and movement building around the trial of Los Siete de La Raza who were falsely accused of shooting an officer, that left a huge impact on the Mission district in San Francisco . I recently went to the opening of the exhibit at Acción Latina which highlights the art, imagery and organizing that went on in support of Los Siete. 


Photo with artist and comadre Yolanda Lopez by Rio Yañez

I was incredibly impressed at how organizers and artists worked together with a multiethnic coalition of activists including the Black Panthers, yet made sure that the leadership elevated Latinas to the front of the leadership in their fight to free seven Central American young men in 1969. Check out all the links above and below and hope to see you at one of  the exhibit and upcoming events this month including this SATURDAY at Paseo Artistico.

This Saturday!
Brava Theater Cabaret 2781 24th Street (in the Cabaret)

6:00PM-8:00PM “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” with Original members of Los Siete de La Raza Organization and poets including Donna James Amador, Cathy Arrellano, Josiah Luis Alderete, Maya Chinchilla, Judy Zalazar Drummond, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Prado Gomez, Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Maria Ramirez, Joe Navarro, Andrea “Buddafly” Rodriguez, Roberto Ariel Vargas, Norman Zelaya and DJ Leydis.

54385183_1990381034600028_5053568411506835456_oPASEO ARTISTICO
Make it an all day event in the mission with these other events earlier that day:
“Acción Latina & Calle 24 Cultural Arts District organizations are excited to announce the festivities lineup for a new installment of Paseo Artistico, the Mission’s Free Art community stroll which will take place on Saturday April 13, 2019 from 11AM-7PM.

The next Paseo Artistico will take place April 13, 2019 and will celebrate “La Voz del Pueblo/The People’s Voice” with a schedule of fun and empowering activities that lift the beauty and struggle of the 24th Street neighborhood through the voice of its artists. This month’s Paseo Artistico will connect the fight for justice, labor and immigrant rights with poetry, music, and visual artists whose work reflects solidarity with social movements. In the spirit of solidarity, Paseo Artistico is joining forces with several events happening on 24th Street on April 13. To recall the community’s fight to free seven Central American immigrants from the Mission who were falsely accused, imprisoned and eventually freed through community organizing in 1969, Paseo Artistico and Brava Theater are co-presenting the 40th Anniversary of Los Siete de La Raza. Brava Theater will host members of Los Siete Organization including Donna James Amador and Maria Ramirez, along with poets Cathy Arellano and Tongo Eisen-Martin, DJ Leydis and others. In honor of Cesar Chavez Day Parade, which is also happening April 13th on 24th Street, Acción Latina will host La Colectiva de Mujeres: Baile Colectivo, a group of women from the SF Day Laborers Program in collaboration with Dance Mission, who perform stories with dance about their experience working and living in the Mission. Paseo Artistico will also coincide with the Flor y Canto Poetry Festival organized by SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia and will feature more poets and a special Word Jazz collaboration with jazz musician Marcus Shelby and his trio at Mission Cultural Center.

As always there will be several arts classes and free workshops for all ages and experience levels including screen printing workshops with graphic artist Calixto Robles, and Kate Razo printing Michael Roman’s screenprints on paper, as well as clothing and textiles. We encourage community members to bring their extra clothing to print amazing colorful indigenous and liberation themed designs right on their shirts. Paseo Artistico will also offer a free sculpture class for all ages and levels at Mission Cultural Center. Looking forward to seeing you on 24th Street/Calle 24 Latino Cultural District.

Paseo Artístico is a community collaborative proudly produced and managed by Acción Latina.

All activities FREE and for All Ages.”

PASEO Schedule of Activities April 13 from 11AM-7PM

Precita Eyes 2981 24th Street
11:00AM-1:00PM Bilingual Mural Tour (sign up at Precita Eyes store front at 11AM)

Alley Cat Books 3036 24th Street
11:00AM-1:00PM: Screen Printing Workshop with Kate Razo featuring Michael Roman’s art (screen printing on shirts and paper)

Mission Cultural Center Studio D, 3rd Floor 2868 Mission Street
1:00PM-3:00PM Sculpture with clay class and workshop with Alejandro Meza (clase de escultura para todos)

Evolved SF 3067 24th Street
2:00PM-4:00PM Sew Frisco hosts arts and crafts workshop with thread embroidery onto patches and photos of murals of The Mission.

Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Main Office 3250 24th Street @ Capp Street
2:00PM-3:30PM Calixto Robles Screen printing Workshop (bring shirts and clothing to screen designs on)

Acción Latina 2958 24th Street
3:00PM-5:00PM Dance Mission Presents: La Colectiva de Mujeres: Baile Colectivo, women’s dance performance with Andreina Maldonado, Stella Adelman and women from SF Day Laborers.
Horizons Unlimited: The DJ Project Youth DJ’s and Hip-Hop Cypher (4PM-5PM)

Mission Cultural Center Theater 2868 Mission Street
3:30PM-5:00PM Word Jazz Poets & Musicians with the Marcus Shelby Jazz Trio featuring poets Thea Matthews, Paul S. Flores, Kata Militech (LoCura) and Tureeda Mickell.

Adobe Books 3130 24th Street
4:00PM-5:30PM Children’s Book Author Reading (Author TBA)

Brava Theater Cabaret 2781 24th Street (in the Cabaret)
6:00PM-8:00PM “Los Siete Poetry of Resistance and Remembrance” with Original members of Los Siete de La Raza Organization and poets including Donna James Amador, Cathy Arrellano, Josiah Luis Alderete, Maya Chinchilla, Judy Zalazar Drummond, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Prado Gomez, Leticia Hernandez-Linares, Maria Ramirez, Joe Navarro, Andrea “Buddafly” Rodriguez, Roberto Ariel Vargas, Norman Zelaya and DJ Leydis.

For more info please email

or visit

Central American Social Media & Organizing 

April 11, 2018

On my way to Providence, Rhode Island for this event tomorrow bringing together a powerhouse panel of Central American Creatives who use social media to ask questions and create more visibility for Central Americans in the Diaspora. Reminds me I need to write more about my experiences I’ve been thinking about this topic since before everyone had email and a social media account. I’m excited to build and connect with folks across the country. Thanks to the organizers for coming up with  such a fascinating topic. You got me inspired! Now the question is what’s next? How do we harness this energy further? Come say hi! See you soon!