Latinas Making History Patch Program

For: Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors


Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes is excited to debut this patch program in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month and Latina achievement. To earn your Latinas Making History patch, you will learn about influential women in various f ields and their accomplishments. You will also connect with their knowledge as you participate in related activities, and you will be encouraged to take action to promote Hispanic Heritage Month in your community!

Patch Activities

There are three steps to earning your Latinas Making History patch.

  1. Discover the lives and accomplishments of some influential Latina women in a chosen category (The Arts, Entertainment & Media, STEM, or Government & Advocacy)
  2. Connect with the knowledge of your chosen women through activities and interactive learning.
  3. Carry out a Take Action project to promote Hispanic Heritage during the months of September and October and beyond.


September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, where we celebrate Hispanic culture across the world! Throughout history, people of Hispanic heritage and Latino/ as have changed the world. This patch program will introduce you to the lives and achievements of some history-making Latina women!

Some terms to know:

Hispanic refers to a nationality or ancestry from a Spanish-speaking country. Latino/a refers to a nationality or ancestry from Latin America. For many countries, these terms are both correct! For example:

  • Mexico is both a Spanish-speaking country and located in Latin America.  Someone from Mexico or with Mexican ancestors is Hispanic and Latino.  
  • Spain is a Spanish-speaking country but is not located in Latin America.  Someone from Spain or with Spanish ancestors is Hispanic but not Latino.    
  • Brazil is located in Latin America but is not a Spanish-speaking country.  Someone from Brazil or with Brazilian ancestors is Latino but not Hispanic.

Just because someone fits a definition, doesn’t mean that is how they describe themselves.  As you learn about these history-makers, see if you can find if they identify themselves as Hispanic, Latina, or something different!


Learn about influential Latinas by choosing one of the following categories, and then researching the women in your chosen category. (Daisies can choose one woman to research from their category, Brownies can choose 2, and Juniors through Ambassadors should choose 3 or more).

Step 1: Choose your category!

The Arts

Frida Kahlo

This amazing artist is known for her beautiful paintings and unique style 

Giovanna Huyke

This chef has gained fame across the world for her culinary creations

Gabriela Ruiz Lugo

A celebrity chef and restaurant owner

  • Check out Gabriela Ruiz Lugo’s most recent accomplishment– being named Mexico’s best chef in 2019.
  • Watch this interview with Gabriela Ruiz Lugo and La Hora Nacional.*
  • Watch this TED Talk where Gabriela talks about her synesthesia and how it has impacted her career.*

*This resource is in Spanish. If needed, turn on the subtitles and use the auto-translate option.

Media & Entertainment


A true superstar, Shakira is one of the most famous singers in the world!

Gloria Estefan

This woman revolutionized Latin music in the USA

  • Gloria Estefan discusses her Cuban heritage in this interview. (Grades 6+)
  • Read about her life and accomplishments and watch some videos of her talent in this biography page.
  • Read the picture book that Gloria Estefan wrote, Noelle the Bulldog.

Zoe Saldana

You may have seen this actress in some of your favorite movies.

  • Read more about her on her Wikipedia page.
  • Check out her iMDB page to see if you recognize any of her movies and to learn some trivia!


This young star has had an impact on making Mexican American music popular across the world

Maria Antonieta Collins

This famous journalist has made waves throughout the United States with her reporting.

  • Read up on Collins’ life on her Wikipedia page.
  • Check out this feature on Collins and her daughter, who is also a journalist!

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics 

Ellen Ochoa

She is one of the most accomplished astronauts and space scientists in the current day.

Helen Rodriguez Trias

This highly successful doctor has dedicated her life to serving others and promoting equality

*This resource is in Spanish. If needed, turn on the subtitles and use the auto-translate option.

Government & Advocacy

Policarpa Salavarrieta

This woman is a real-life heroine in her country

Dolores Huerta

Huerta is renowned for her advocacy work surrounding farmers rights

  • Watch the documentary Dolores, available for rent online or at your local library. (Recommended for grades 4+)
  • Read Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers to learn more about her amazing accomplishments!
  • Check out the encyclopedia entry for Dolores Huerta on the Britannica Kids website.

Ana Maria Polo

A celebrated judge who even has her own TV show!

  • Learn about her life from her Wikipedia article.
  • Watch this YouTube video to get to know more about this unstoppable judge. (Recommended for grades 6+)

Step 2

Do an online scavenger hunt to learn more about the women in your category! Use the resources above or do your own internet research. As a troop or on your own, answer the following questions:

  • Where was she born and when?
  • What Latin American country (or countries) is she from, are her ancestors from, or has she lived in?
  • What is she famous for?
  • Why is/was she important?

Step 3

Graphic novels and comics are a great way to use your artistic creativity to tell a story. Use the information you found to create a comic strip about one or more of the women you researched! Be sure to include the information you learned about her talents and heritage.


Now that you’ve learned some background information on your group of influential Latinas, it’s time to connect with their achievements! For your chosen group, select at least one of the suggested activities. 

Entertainment & Media

Whether they are on the stage, on the screen, or reporting on breaking news, the women in this category are stars. To celebrate these five women, watch a mini “film festival” to fully appreciate their achievements in the world of entertainment and media.

  • You may have watched Shakira perform at the Superbowl or the FIFA World Cup, but her music has also made its way into movies! Watch Shakira’s music video from the popular animated movie Zootopia!
  • Gloria Estefan is a dynamic singer who brought the Conga to the United States. Now that you’ve learned about her background, listen to her exciting music firsthand.
  • Maria Antonieta Collins may interview others about their stories, but hers is remarkable, too! Watch this video of Maria Antonieta discussing her family history.
  • From Avatar to Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana has been in some of the highest earning box office hits! In this video, she talks about her performance as Gamora, a Guardians of the Galaxy character known for her green appearance and fierce attitude.
  • Although Selena is no longer alive, her music lives on as a timeless celebration of Mexican American culture. In this video, you will see an example of the music that has captivated millions of people!

Interview Activity

In her interview, famous journalist Maria Antonieta Collins pays tribute to her grandparents and their American dream. Conduct an interview with people you know— what is their family story? What is their “American dream” for how they wish their life and the lives of their children will be like?

Dance Activity

Many of these entertainers have connections to the world of music and dance. Shakira, Gloria Estefan, and Selena all create or created music that was rooted in Latin American musical tradition and was popular dance music. Zoe Saldana was a ballerina before she became a famous actress.

To celebrate this tradition of dance and its role in entertainment and media, learn the basics of Salsa dancing. Salsa is a popular Latin dance style and is a combination of traditional Latin dances such as mambo and Pachanga, as well as American styles such as swing. Salsa has become so popular that dance studios now exist that are dedicated to the style and festivals are held annually across the world! Learn some beginning steps with this video.

Government & Advocacy

Policarpa Salavarrieta, Dolores Huerta, and Ana Maria Polo are all famous Latinas who have fought for freedom and justice throughout history. Policarpa Salavarietta fought for freedom in colonial Colombia, Dolores Huerta is a fierce advocate for workers’ rights, and Ana Maria Polo is a famed judge who also advocates for legal justice and LGBTQ+ freedoms.

Woman’s Day Activity

The Day of the Colombian Woman holiday was created in honor of Policarpa Salavarrieta. It was declared a national Colombian holiday in 1967. Think of an influential woman in your life and create your own holiday celebrating her! Plan out what the activities would be, what food you would eat, and when it would be celebrated. Share your ideas with her once you are done to let her know how important she is!

Poster Activity

Dolores Huerta coined the phrase “Si Se Puede” – Yes you can! – as she inspired workers to fight for just treatment in the United States. Using the Si Se Puede catchphrase, create a poster promoting a cause or a freedom that you care about. Alternative option—come up with your own catchphrase! Why did you choose it and what cause does it represent?

Ana Maria Polo is a judge who is an expert on the law and Constitution. Imagine that you are a judge and create a set of laws that are important to you! These can be funny or serious, can focus on advocacy, or whatever you choose! You can write out and decorate your laws, creating your own Constitution.

The Arts

Frida Kahlo, Gabriela Ruiz Lugo, and Giovanna Huyke are innovators in their own art forms, whether that be through painting or the culinary arts. These influential artists have broken the boundaries in often male-dominated fields and have used their own culture and life experiences as an inspiration for their creations.

Art Activity

With movies, merchandise, and a museum dedicated to her, calling Frida Kahlo a legend is an understatement. Often known for her self-portraits depicting topics of identity, gender, pain and loss, and Mexican indigenous culture, Frida Kahlo’s honest and vivid paintings, as well as her own activism, has made her an icon in the feminist, Chicano, and LGBTQ+ movements. In honor of Kahlo, create a self-portrait of yourself using any medium of art while taking into consideration what’s on the inside. Get to know yourself. What are you feeling now? What are you anxious or fearful of? What are you proud or excited about? Convey these thoughts and emotions in your self-portrait.

Baking Activity

Did you know that women were not featured in cookbooks or recipes books until roughly the 19th century? Even then, it took several hundreds of years for women to be allowed to attend culinary schools, become chefs, and be recognized in their contributions to the culinary arts. Two Latinas who have made a great stride toward gender equality in the f ield are Gabriela Ruiz Lugo, who earned the title of Best Chef in Mexico by the Mexican Gastronomic Council in 2019 and has her own restaurant, Caramelo y Sal, and Giovanna Huyke, who is often referred to as the “Julia Child of Puerto Rico” and has starred in several cooking shows and written many cookbooks. To celebrate their contributions and Mexican and Puerto Rican cuisine, try one or both recipes.

Try Tembleque, a traditional Puerto Rican dessert, following Chef Giovanna Huyke’s recipe.

Puerto Rican Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)  


  • 4 cups of coconut milk**
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
    • you can replace with a sugar substitute of the same quantity
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Orange blossom water
    • It is rarely available, but it gives a great flavor. You may substitute it with a bit of finely grated orange zest.
  • Ground Cinnamon (for decoration)

Instructions: Mix the coconut milk** with the rest of the ingredients and heat it until it thickens, moving it with a wooden spoon, and starts to boil. Remove from heat, adding the orange blossom water (or orange zest), and pour it into a round 8’’ by 11’’ mold that has been sprayed down with butter, PAM, etc. Allow to cool and refrigerate before taking it out of the mold. Adorn with ground cinnamon. **If you choose to use canned coconut milk and it seems too thick, use 3 1/2 cups of the canned coconut milk and top it off with

Try Arroz con Leche, a traditional Mexican dessert, following Chef Gabriela Ruiz Lugo and Rodrigo Noriega’s recipe.


  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1.5 liters (roughly 6 cups) of milk
  • 2 pinches of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 orange (zest/orange slices are optional)
  • Nuts (optional)
  • Coconut shavings (optional)
  • Raisins (optional)

Instructions: Place pot of water on stove and, once it reaches a boil, add 2 cups of rice. In a separate pot, add in 1.5 liters of milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, then boil. Once the water in the rice has been reduced, pour in the vanilla extract and milk mixture. To add more flavor, add some orange zest into the pot. Once the rice has softened, add in 1 cup of sugar and 2 pinches of ground cinnamon, making sure to mix thoroughly. Put the arroz con leche into a bowl and cover with plastic, then allow to cool/ refrigerate overnight. Serve and top with raisins, coconut shavings, orange slices and/ or nuts. 

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Ellen Ochoa and Helen Rodriguez Trias both refused to be limited by racial and gender stereotypes and became important figures in astronomy and medicine, respectively. Ellen Ochoa has been on numerous NASA space missions and was the first Hispanic woman to go to space as well as the first Hispanic and second female director of the Johnson Space Center. Helen Rodriguez Trias, an educator, activist, and pediatrician, became the first Latina director of the American Public Health Association and was a founding member of its Hispanic and Women’s Caucuses. In 2001, she was honored with the Presidential Citizen’s Medal for her work on behalf of women, children, and people with AIDS and the less fortunate. 

Space Activity

During your research, you might have found that Ellen Ochoa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, then went on to get her Master’s and Doctorate’s in Electrical Engineering: a true STEM fanatic! In this activity, you can either make your own Rocket Balloon all while learning some Physics or play space games on NASA’s website. Click the links down below to experience Ellen Ochoa’s adventures in STEM.

  • Rocket Ballon Physics Activity- “If you’ve ever wanted to boldly go to infinity and beyond, or to a galaxy far, far away, you can start by sending balloons across your living room” with the help of the Institute of Physics’ Rocket Ballon Activity.
  • Space Games- Create nuclear fusion on the sun, explore Mars, solve the mystery of the exploding stars, and more! Go to the NASA Science SpacePlace website to get started on your space adventures.
  • Bonus- Watch this video of Ellen Ochoa’s Space Shuttle Flight 66, where she and 5 other astronauts collected data on the sun’s energy input, Earth’s middle atmosphere, and how they affect ozone levels. 

 Medical Activity

Helen Rodriguez Trias served as the medical director of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute in the 1980’s and, as mentioned above, was honored with the Presidential Citizen’s Medal for her work. AIDS is a disease in which a person’s amount of CD4 cells, which are white blood cells that fight infection and help your immune system, drops below 200 cells/ mm^3. This makes it harder for the person to fight against infections and cancers. In order to understand why these blood cells and why blood itself is important, here are some activities to try out!

  • For Daisies-Juniors: “Shrink down in size and become the Micro Doctor as you travel inside the body to find out more about blood. Using your jetpack, see how far you can travel through the blood, avoiding the waste products along the way.”
  • For Cadettes-Ambassadors: Learn about Flow Cytometry in order to complete a blood count, diagnosis a type of leukemia, and look for any signs of cancer post-treatment using this virtual lab.  
  • For everyone: You can also create your own Blood Model in a Jar to learn about the different components of blood.

Take Action

Part of being a Girl Scout is taking action to make the world a better place! Now that you’ve spent some time learning about influential Latinas, choose one of the following steps to encourage others to celebrate Latino/a and Hispanic culture!

Choice 1

Part of being a Girl Scout is taking action to make the world a better place! Now that you’ve spent some time learning about influential Latinas, choose one of the following steps to encourage others to celebrate Latino/a and Hispanic culture!

Choice 2

Tell three people outside of your troop about Hispanic Heritage month and the women you learned about.

Choice 3

Contact some Hispanic resource centers in your community and ask how you can support them as a troop.

Choice 4

Contact some Hispanic resource centers in your community and ask how you can support them as a troop.

Choice 5

Contact some Hispanic resource centers in your community and ask how you can support them as a troop.

Choice 6

Challenge yourself to learn more about Hispanic cultures. This can include practicing your Spanish skills, eating or getting takeout from authentic Latinx-owned restaurants, reading books about Hispanic heritage, or whatever you can think of!