SAN ANTONIO – Fiesta Fun for Everyone, that’s the mission and title of a new children’s book written and illustrated by a San Antonio teen. The author, Nadia Gonzales, began working on the project nearly two years ago to help make the party with a purpose more accessible for children.
This year, Gonzales, a graduate from Young Women’s Leadership Academy is finally able to share her spirit for the city and celebration through a project she’s worked on for more than 200 hours.
“I wrote the book for my Girl Scout Gold Award,” Gonzales said. According to the Girl Scouts, the Gold Award is the highest achievement within the organization and can be earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts.
“The title of my book is “Yanaguana Fiesta Fun for Everyone”. So, I got the (name) Yanaguaga from the San Antonio River. That’s what it was originally called,” Gonzales said.
Before hitting the shelves online, it started as a dream and a sketch inspired by the young patients at Santa Rosa’s Children’s Hospital.
“At the end of my sophomore year, I volunteered (at the hospital) downtown,” Gonzales said. “I looked out and I saw that it was right across the street from Market Square. So, I figured that they didn’t really get to participate in Fiesta. When I first started, I would do the research on Fiesta so I could gain some knowledge on the event before starting. And then when COVID hit, I (dove fully) into the project. I would draw like pictures every day for the book.”
The book was submitted as part of Gonzales’ Girl Scout Gold Award which she was granted and will proudly accept next year. Although excited about the accomplishment, Gonzales said the most gratifying part of the project has been donating 60 books to Santa Rosa’s Children Hospital, a Fiesta-themed Lotería game she illustrated herself and a handmade plush Yanaguana.
“It feels really great seeing my book published on Amazon and knowing that the children at Santa Rosa’s Children Hospital now have an easier way to celebrate Fiesta with the rest of us,” Gonzales said.
You can purchase the book by clicking here.
Limited quantities of the Fiesta-themed Lotería game are also available as part of a Fiesta kit. The kit includes the game, a copy of the book and the plush Yanaguana piñata. The kits must be purchased through Gonzales’ Instagram account, found here.
Gonzales plans to use the proceeds towards more donations to the hospital, as well as different organizations in San Antonio.