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Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.

Her name is Minerva and she's very clear about her money, her man, and her future.

Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.
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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Meet Minerva.


She has no problem vocalizing what she wants.

"...to be very independent. I find everything for me myself. My food, my clothes, my shoes... And now I take care of myself alone."


And, she's not afraid to admit that she doesn't need a man.

"I don't have to ask anything of a man. I don't have a husband exactly for that reason. Because I have no need. I had one. But, well, I got divorced because I don't have that thing of needing to be next to a man. I have no need for it because I'm very independent."

I've never met Minerva, but I feel like I know her. Or, at least, women just like her.


Just to be clear, she's not saying that she hates all men. She's just acknowledging that she can support herself without relying on someone else for a meal ticket.

The really interesting part about all of this is that Minerva is not only a single woman, but she's also an entrepreneur living and working in Cuba, one of the last Communist governments.

She runs a small pizza and ice cream shop on Obispo Street, which is slowly becoming a bubbling economic hub.

"Places that were closed are now restaurants, cafeterias — all kinds of things. They're giving people the opportunity to open their businesses. Their own businesses. Before, here, there were no private businesses and now everyone's got one. It's changing a lot and I think it's going to change more."

Transitioning leadership may be one of the reasons behind this shift. Raul Castro made a bunch of sweeping reforms after stepping in as Cuba's president in 2008, due to his brother Fidel's failing health.


His laundry list of changes still has some folks clutching their pearls. That list includes huge economic reforms to encourage small-business growth, and he is even trying to improve relations with the U.S. Getting the 55-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba lifted is part of Castro's goal, which President Obama is all for.

But when it comes to the love that Minerva has for her beloved Obispo Street, she's not interested in politics.

"Politics doesn't have anything to do with it. For me, I like my country a lot. I adore my country. And I have thought about leaving for fun, to run around, to see things, to know things. But not to stay. Because I like what's Cuban."


Today, the new face of Cuba includes clothing store owners, artisans, and female business owners like Minerva.

"It's not as if anybody gets so much out of it, to be rich. Maybe somebody's got more than other people because they're bigger, but it's not like they're going to become millionaires. It's enough to survive. Enough to live. But not more than that."

For Minerva, running a shop out of what used to be her living room isn't just about being in control of her own money, for independence' sake. It's also about caring for her family.

"My grandchildren, I dress them. Their mother works but doesn't make enough for that. She's very young and so I'm the one who supports them. ... My father is now very old and doesn't have much family. I help him and my son."

To check out more of Minerva's compelling story, watch below.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

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