A Paint-By-Number Celebration of Hispanic and Latino/x Culture


These beautiful paint-by-number kits are a great way to celebrate your Hispanic / Latino/x culture and heritage.

By Lindsay López-Isa Lamken
[Note: This is an unsponsored post. Lateenz did not receive any compensation or anything of value from Elle Crée.] 

Just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, Elle Crée has come out with a great set of paint-by-number kits honoring three people who represent the best of Hispanic and Latino/x culture and heritage and who have made important contributions to the United States:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, astronaut and engineer Ellen Ochoa, and social justice activist Cesar Chavez.

Elle Crée Does it Again!

A while back, we wrote about Elle Crée (which means “she creates” in French), an independent, woman-owned business that is reviving the paint-by-number tradition with its colorful and sophisticated, vintage-style kits. Elle Crée makes their kits right here in the U.S.A., and they also make an effort to make sure their kits reflect the diversity of this great country! Elle Crée is now adding to its existing collection of kits that celebrate role models in Hispanic and Latino/x culture (which already includes Frida Kahlo, Rita Moreno, and Carmen Miranda).

Sonia With Hibiscus

Image Credit: Created using an image by Elle Crée

“Sonia with Hibiscus” pictures U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor decorated with the national flower of Puerto Rico — the hibiscus (also know as “la Flor de Maga”). Justice Sotomayor was born and raised in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S territory. We especially appreciate the reference to Justice Sotomayor’s Puerto Rican roots at a time when Puerto Rico is working hard to recover from the effects of two devastating hurricanes. (And many Americans could use a reminder that, in fact, Puerto Rico is a part of the United States!)

When Justice Sotomayor was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009, she became the first Hispanic, the first Latina, the first woman of color, and only the third woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School, and then held a number of important and prestigious positions in the legal world before her appointment to “the highest court in the land”! She was an Assistant District Attorney in New York and judge on both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also was a law professor at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School. Justice Sotomayor has a positive spirit and a soft spot in her heart for young people. She has written several inspiring books for children and contributes to many organizations that advance the cause of women and young people of Hispanic and Latino/x culture and heritage.

Image Credit: Created using an image by Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway source – http://www.oyez.org/justices/sonia_sotomayor (direct link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7779138

Because Lateenz is also big on advancing the cause of Hispanic and Latino/x young people, we thought we’d point out that there is a summer high school internship program named after Justice Sotomayor and her mother: The Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program. The goal of this internship program is to encourage diverse and underrepresented high school students from communities in New York City to pursue careers in the law by placing them in judicial internships in state and federal courts in the New York City area. According to its website, “the opportunities that come with the program are endless. In addition to attending various structured activities, such as observing court proceedings and participating in education workshops, our interns are provided direct access to some of the nation’s preeminent legal minds who practice law at the highest levels — something that students from underserved communities are infrequently exposed to.”

We also encourage you to go to the Teen Resources section of Lateenz, where you can find a lot more information about this internship as well as hundreds of other high school internships, summer and academic year programs for middle and high school students, competitions and awards for middle and high school students, and scholarships for Hispanic high school seniors — many of which are free or low cost and offer outreach to Hispanic and Latino/x middle and high school students.

Ellen With Zinnia

Image Credit: Elle Crée

The “Ellen With Zinnia” kit features astronaut and engineer Ellen Ochoa.  In 1993, Ms. Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to leave Earth on a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery. And, as if that weren’t enough, after retiring as an astronaut, Ms. Ochoa continued to go where no Hispanic person had ever gone before, serving as deputy director and then as director of the Johnson Space Center. (The Johnson Space Center is the headquarters for NASA’s human spaceflight efforts, including astronaut trainings and spaceflight research.)

Image Credit: Created using an image courtesy of Ellen Ochoa

You can find out more about Ms. Ochoa and read our Lateenz interview with her here. In the kit, Ms. Ochoa has a zinnia tucked behind her ear — a clever reference to the fact that a zinnia was the first flower grown in space aboard the International Space Station.

Cesar With Grape Leaves

Image Credit: Created using an image by Elle Crée

“Cesar With Grape Leaves” commemorates the life of Cesario “Cesar” Chavez, a labor leader and civil rights activist who fought for the health, safety, and respect of U.S. farm workers in the 1960s – 70s. Many farm workers in the U.S. are Hispanic and Latino/x. They work as migrants, which means that they have to travel around the country for months at a time to pick crops as they become ready for harvest. They usually live in makeshift housing provided by the farms, and they do hard manual labor in harsh outdoor conditions where they are exposed to heat, bugs, and pesticides without much protection. Mr. Chavez co-founded an association to represent farm workers which is now called the United Farm Workers union. In this kit, Mr. Chavez is surrounded by grape vines as a reminder of his work in the Grape Strikes of 1967. Mr. Chavez helped organize a boycott of grapes grown in California until workers were given better pay and working conditions.

Image Credit: Created using and image by Keyes, Cornelius M. (Cornelius Michael), 1944-, Photographer (NARA record: 8463989) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

We think it’s wonderful that Elle Crée is representing Hispanic/Latino/x culture and heritage so beautifully. We also like that they care about young people who may not be able to afford their kits by providing free coloring pages and short lessons about even more icons of the Hispanic and Latino/x community and its culture. ¡Bravo!