From private banker to successful blogger
Newspaper "El Día", Magazine "Encuentro"
September 13, 2015
Interview featured in Bolivia's newspaper "El Día" and its magazine "Encuentro".
CLICK HERE to read the SPANISH version.
SEE BELOW for ENGLISH translation.
With 27 years of age, the blogger Valeria Hinojosa left her comfort zone in Private Banking in the US to wander the world with the firm conviction of defending mother earth and the human spirit. Dressed in a pair of jeans from Gap’s newest collection focused on reusing water and reducing planet contamination, shoes from Melissa- Brazilian brand that recently opened a store in Santa Cruz, Bolivia- made from recycled plastic, and a blouse and necklace handmade in Bolivia by Yvera, she dreams about her upcoming destinations: Thailand and Indonesia. Charismatic and sweet with a blog that started as a hobby and now attracts about 2000 daily visits becoming a lifestyle inspiration with a focus on health and ecology.
Business Administration graduate, philanthropist and vegan by choice, she also supports Ricardo Montaner’s foundation “La Ventana De Los Cielos” which has the goal of helping kids with Down Syndrome and other special abilities.
Can you live of blogging?
VH: Yes. Totally. Being a blogger nowadays is a full-time job. If you do it correctly, without losing motivation or vision and by following your passions and being sponsored by different brands, being a blogger can be a very successful career. Some universities are even considering offering “Blogging” courses.
Why the name WaterThruSkin?
VH: When I thought about name options, I made an analysis of everything I wanted to transmit through my blog. I wanted a name that irradiated a lifestyle as pure and free as water with the power to penetrate through skin. I hope the blog grows to such an extend that it takes on a life of itself and my team and I can transform it into a magazine.
What’s your secret to a successful blog?
VH: Losing fear oftalking about subjects that the majority of bloggers nowadays don’t dare to cover. Topics that go beyond superficiality.
Any advices for people interested in following your steps?
VH: Dare to get out of my comfort zone, take risks, read and research constantly, focus on unique subjects but most of all, be yourselves.
What are your new destinations?
VH: In the following months I have several trips planned to review and write about eco-friendly hotels. Thailand and Indonesia are on my list. Thailand: to document a vegan cooking school and also the foundation I work with “Save The Elephants”, which focuses on rescuing abused elephants and other animals from circuses and society. And Indonesia, above all Bali: because it has been a dream of mine for the past 4 years.
Do you recommend any books or movies?
-Videos: “Cowspiracy” and “Forks over Knives”
-Books: “The World Peace Diet” by Will Tuttle
Any comments on the development of the vegan cuisine in Bolivia?
VH: I feel Bolivia is at the beginning of something great with the potential of becoming wonderful. A lot of restaurants impressed me.
Which ones do you recommend?
-The hotel “Luna Salada” in Uyuni: my experience there was something I never imagined. Just like the hotel is mystical and unique, so is its cooking. It does not only have a vast vegetarian and vegan menu with local ingredients but also a mesmerizing presentation.
-Red Monkey in La Paz: their strictly vegan menu surprised me a lot. It has highly elaborated dishes with delicious flavors, and the fact that the restaurant has its own organic herb garden, is priceless.
-Dossier in Santa Cruz: the versatility Chef Franklin Gushi has of creating improvised vegan dishes is something admirable. The flavors are not only exotic but have also the power of giving our palates a magical experience.
How do you see Bolivia’s situation?
VH: I got asked that same question a month ago and the only thing that came to my mind was the level of insecurity of Bolivia compared to other countries. After spending more than a month in Bolivia (first time in 10 years) and traveling around the country to get to know the cultures of Santa Cruz, La Paz, Oruro, Uyuni and Tarija at a deeper level, I have to say that the rate at which Bolivia is growing impressed me tremendously, as well as the degree of acceptance and awareness towards the topics I cover on the blog.