Shot by Franchesca De La Cruz
Yajaira De La Espada (b. 1989) is a Southern raised, AfroCaribbean author and educator. Through her Texan upbringing, she gained an intense delight for storytelling and the outdoors/cosmos. Through weekly marathons of The Twilight Zone, shared with her father, Yajaira grew a passion for all things science fiction. As a first generation legacy to immigrant parents, Yajaira learned to read and write through their vivid storytelling and nightly bedtime stories narrated by Yajaira's mother, who retired as an educator. Yajaira has taught young people professionally in school settings, for over 5 years, and is currently developing new theoretical frameworks on how to approach education & literacy more imaginatively. Yajaira’s artistic journey of writing stories for the youth birthed from teaching differently abled students, seeing the need to supplement culturally mute curriculums and methods of instruction. Yajaira creates in various genres such as graphic novels, picture books, poetry, and young adult fiction. Being conscious of the relationship between art, academics, and activism, Yajaira received her Masters of Education in Community and Social Change from the University of Miami in 2018.
Yajaira's mission in life is to raise the critical thinking and imagination levels of our youth through storytelling. From toy concepts to TV shows for children, Yajaira takes a multimedia approach to art centric imagination and literacy. Yajaira will be publishing her first story very soon.