Latina author's latest book shares life lessons learned through gardening

  • Latina author Pascuala Herrera of Franklin Park will share lessons learned in her new book, "Life is a Garden to Cultivate: The ABC's Towards a Better Life," Saturday at Franklin Park Public Library.

    Latina author Pascuala Herrera of Franklin Park will share lessons learned in her new book, "Life is a Garden to Cultivate: The ABC's Towards a Better Life," Saturday at Franklin Park Public Library. Courtesy of Pascuala Herrera

  • Pascuala Herrera of Franklin Park penned and published her memoir during the pandemic. Her book, "No Siempre es un Valle de Lagrimas (It's Not Always a Valley of Tears)," won the 2021 Illinois Author Project's Spanish language contest De La Pagina a La Fama.

    Pascuala Herrera of Franklin Park penned and published her memoir during the pandemic. Her book, "No Siempre es un Valle de Lagrimas (It's Not Always a Valley of Tears)," won the 2021 Illinois Author Project's Spanish language contest De La Pagina a La Fama. Courtesy of Pascuala Herrera

 
 
Updated 11/28/2022 6:17 AM

Award-winning local author Pascuala Herrera will share lessons learned in her new book, "Life is a Garden to Cultivate: The ABC's Towards a Better Life," Saturday at Franklin Park Public Library.

Herrera, a retired faculty emeritus of Harper College in Palatine, spent 30 years working with students with disabilities.

 

A Mexican immigrant, Herrera has a physical disability resulting from childhood polio. Her book is a guide for readers to reflect and discover the power they possess to live a joyful and fulfilling life, she said.

"I am often asked how do I persevere even with all of my obstacles," Herrera said. "I wanted to share that I do not have any superpower that anyone else doesn't have. We are 100% in control of our attitude and therefore can choose to be negative or positive. Much unhappiness comes when we covet the unrealistic ideal of what society tells us is beautiful."

Herrera lost her mother, an avid gardener, in April. She modified her yard to make it wheelchair accessible so she could start gardening in her mother's memory. In the process, she wrote her book.

"(Gardening) is hard work, and there is always something to do," Herrera said. "It is very much like our lives. We are never done and it is hard work to make it better."

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The book also is available in Spanish, "La vida es un jardín para cultivar: El abecedario hacia Una vida mejor."

Local author Pascuala Herrera will sign her new book, "Life is a Garden to Cultivate: The ABC's Towards a Better Life," Saturday at Franklin Park Public Library.
Local author Pascuala Herrera will sign her new book, "Life is a Garden to Cultivate: The ABC's Towards a Better Life," Saturday at Franklin Park Public Library. - Courtesy of Pascuala Herrera

A book signing will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the library, 10311 Grand Ave.

Herrera has published six books promoting equity and inclusion, focusing on individuals with disabilities and the Latinx population. That includes a self-published memoir, "No Siempre es un Valle de Lágrimas (It's Not Always a Valley of Tears)," in Spanish and English. For more information, visit her website pascualaherrera.com.

Aging representatives

AgeGuide Northeastern Illinois is seeking applicants to fill vacant seats on its board and advisory council.

AgeGuide is a nonprofit Area Agency on Aging for DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. It is responsible for developing and coordinating a network of services and supports for older adults throughout the eight-county region.

Interested applicants from DuPage, Grundy, Kane and Kendall counties are urged to join the board, and individuals from Grundy, Kankakee, Lake, and McHenry counties are encouraged to join the advisory council.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

To apply, visit ageguide.org/join-our- team.

Black leaders

Doritos SOLID BLACK and the PepsiCo Foundation are accepting applications for Black Changemakers, a new philanthropic program dedicated to advancing and celebrating Black leaders of nonprofit organizations and the communities they serve.

The program will award a $50,000 grant from the PepsiCo Foundation to each changemaker's organization. Changemakers will participate in leadership development training provided by Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and receive access to tools and resources to help their fundraising.

Applications are open through Dec. 11. Nominate a Black nonprofit leader at blackchangemakers.org.

Free ADA training

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has launched a free training program covering the Americans with Disabilities Act and communities' obligations under the law.

Four in-person training sessions are planned starting in January, including April 18 in Naperville and April 19 in Aurora.

The training is intended for municipal employees, ADA coordinators, community leaders, and anyone interested in learning how to make their communities more accessible. Participants can attend one or all the workshops.

For registration information and more details, visit cmap.illinois.gov/programs/accessibility/ada-training?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.

Additional training sessions will be scheduled through 2023 and 2024 throughout the region.

Public input sought

The President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders is seeking written comments from the public ahead of its next virtual meeting on Dec. 5-6.

The 25-member commission, established by President Joe Biden's executive order, will discuss full and draft recommendations by its subcommittees on: belonging, inclusion, anti-Asian hate, anti-discrimination; data disaggregation; language access; economic equity; health equity; and immigration and citizenship status.

It's an opportunity for members of the public to inform the commission's work. It advises the president on ways the public, private and nonprofit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

Responses will be accepted via email at AANHPICommission@hhs.gov until 10:59 p.m. Dec. 1. RSVP to receive the livestream link at eventbrite.com/e/meeting-of-the-presidents-advisory-commission-on-aa-and-nhpis-registration-449829250397.

• Share stories, news and happenings from the suburban mosaic at mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com.

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