Christianne Meneses Jacobs

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Christianne Meneses Jacobs
Born (1971-03-28) 28 March 1971 (age 50)
Managua, Nicaragua
Occupation Publisher, editor, teacher & writer
Nationality Nicaragua Nicaraguan
Spouse Marc Jacobs

Christianne Meneses Jacobs (born March 28, 1971) is a Nicaraguan American writer, editor, and teacher. She is also publisher of Iguana, a Spanish-language magazine for children.[1]

Nicaragua (1971-1988)

Christianne Meneses Jacobs was born in Managua, Nicaragua.[2] Meneses' family included her brother Enrique, mother Thelma, who was a legal secretary,[3] and father, Enrique Meneses, who was a lawyer and vice president of the National Liberal Party,[3] who had been jailed more than once in Nicaragua for political reasons.[1] Her grandfather was Dr. Ildefonso Palma Martinez, who was a lawyer, law professor, and a justice on the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.[3] Due to the Sandinista National Liberation Front and their coup d'état, the main opposition was the Contras. The hectic situation tied a lot of foreign countries into the mix to choose sides, including the United States among many others. The fighting and the food shortages were massive problems at this time. She recalled that "The Sandinista revolution occurred when I was eight years old. I remember the civil war and the attacks on small towns."[3] The Meneses family fled Nicaragua via Los Angeles in 1988 when Meneses was only 17.[4] The reason they had to flee was because her father was an attorney. She said "My Father was on the defense team for an American pilot whose plane was shot down by the Sandinista artillery at the border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica in December of 1987. The American pilot was accused of being a CIA agent."[3] Three months later, she would leave the country on March 19, 1988. Her parents and brother would arrive a week later.[3]

High School in Los Angeles (1989-1991)

When her family left Nicaragua, they were only allowed to take $500 with them.[3] When her family got settled, her parents worked at the Los Angeles International Airport and she attended Los Angeles High School,[1] where she served as editor in Chief of both the Spanish and English newspapers.[2] She described her childhood as privileged, saying "I attended private school and ballet lessons. We had domestic servants that performed several jobs:nannies, cook, chauffeur, gardener, cleaning, laundry, and ironing."[3] She was astonished when she arrived at the amount of food wasted in the United States. She describes her time in NIcaragua, "We had a food rationing card in Nicaragua and had to pick up one pound of rice, one pound of beans, one pound of sugar, and one quart of oil per person in the household for a two week period." [3]

Her biggest difficulty when moving here was the language barrier. She said, "The most challenging part was that I was a senior in high school in Nicaragua but I was placed in 10th grade at Los Angeles High School because I did not speak English well. It was also challenging that although I had studied English in Nicaragua I could not understand it in the U.S. That lasted for my first four months and was very frustrating." [3] She credits her high school teachers in helping her to overcome her difficulty with the language. She said, "They encouraged me every day to rise above expectations. I will always be grateful to them for I would not be who I am now without their nurturing and encouragement.".[3] She was inspired by Today in L.A. anchorwoman Carla Aragon. "One of my role models was anchorwoman Carla Aragon (who is now in Albuquerque with KOB). I met her in high school and established a friendship with her for several years while we lived in L.A. She once called me a 'diamond in the rough waiting to be discovered'. She was my role model for an educated, professional, and successful Latina." [3] She would go on to become the Editor-in-Chief of both the Spanish and English school newspapers. She said of life in the U.S. that "I am glad that I moved when I was 17 years old. I had a strong educational foundation and a sense of who I was. As a result, I was not an easy target for peer pressure."[3] She also enjoyed her new home in the U.S., saying, "As I began to understand the American way of life, I began to like the idea of meritocracy. I admired Americans that worked hard and became successful in their careers. I believe that one's dreams are possible when one had the motivation and willingness to work hard." [3] She graduated from L.A. High when she was 20 years old.

College Years and after

Having excelled in all academic subjects[citation needed] Meneses received a four-year scholarship to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut[citation needed]. At Wesleyan University, Meneses Jacobs majored in Government with an emphasis in International Relations. Meneses began her career as a second grade elementary school teacher in Los Angeles after graduating from Wesleyan. In 2001, Meneses received a Master of Arts degree in Education, and in 2005 she received her Reading Specialist Certification. She was a bilingual teacher for several years in Los Angeles before the program was eliminated by a statewide proposition.[5] Meneses moved to Arizona in 2002.[2]

In 2007, Meneses was awarded $5,000 as one of 10 honorees of the Anna Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund. The Anna Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund recognizes entrepreneurial Latinas.[1]

Meneses is President of NicaGal, LLC. She continues to work as an educator, she currently teaches 1st grade in Phoenix, Arizona.[5] She is a supporter of bilingualism.[citation needed]

Personal life

In October 1998, she married graphic artist Marc Jacobs, and they had their first daughter, Isabelle, in 2002, and their second, Katherine, in 2005. Meneses currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband and their two daughters.[2] She was raised Catholic but converted to Judaism after graduating college. "When I met my (future) husband, Marc Jacobs, I asked if he was Jewish, but I didn't tell him I was studying Judaism. After graduation, I moved back to Los Angeles and studied with a rabbi for three more years. In March 1998, I converted. It was very emotional. I felt I was detaching from my parents, but my father gave me a big hug and said in Spanish, 'God of any religion is a good God.' In May of that year, my husband proposed, and we got married in October."[3]

Published magazines


This magazine was created because both Meneses and her husband had a hard time teaching their children how to read in Spanish.[citation needed] The only thing available was poorly translated books from English to Spanish. "My husband and I realized that a magazine could deliver a variety of original Spanish-language materials for parents. We researched the idea for over a year. He believed in my idea from the very beginning and supported me and encouraged me. My husband and I initially used our own savings and personally financed the launch of the magazine." [3]

Meneses founded Iguana Magazine (which has now ceased[6])with her husband, Marc, and its first issue came out in 2005. Iguana is an acclaimed[citation needed]educational Spanish

language magazine aimed at children ages 7–12 who grow up learning and speaking Spanish.[7] The magazine features fictional stories with characters, experiences, and settings that are familiar to the targeted readership.[8] Additionally, it will present biographies and interviews with personalities that have influenced the lives of Latinos in America; historical articles; stories about children around the world; science articles with related experiments to be tried at home; nature articles; interesting facts; recipes that kids can make at home; craft projects; artwork; reader-submitted works and much more.[8] Meneses Jacobs serves as the editor and her husband serves at the art director. The magazine would go on to receive the 2009 Multicultural Children's Publication Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education.[3]


¡YO SÉ! (meaning "I Know!"), created after "Iguana," is a Spanish-language children's magazine which will include articles about popular culture, celebrities, upcoming movies and television shows, short stories, the animal kingdom, biographies and interviews with Latino personalities, features on young Latinos who are making a difference in society, comics, reviews and much more.[4] ¡YO SÉ!, debuting nationwide at the end of January 2008, is a full color, 16 page glossy magazine which will feature only five pages available for kid-friendly advertising.[9] The magazine will be freely distributed in Spanish-language newspapers of Hoy Fin de Semana (weekend edition) in Los Angeles and Chicago and in El Sentinel in Orlando and South Florida (Broward/Palm Beach counties) with a monthly distribution of over 750,000 copies.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sowers, Carol. "Children's magazine creator receives entrepreneur award". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Christianne Meneses Jacobs". NicaGal, LLC. Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Biography Today. Detroit, Michigan: Omnigraphics. 2010. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7808-1058-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Biography_Today" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 "New Children's Magazine to Debut in January in Spanish-Language Newspapers Nationwide". Hispanic PR Wire. Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Colato Laínez, René. "An interview with Christianne Meneses Jacobs, editor of Revista Iguana". Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "La Revista Para Todos los Ninos". NicaGal, LLC. Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "THE MISSION". NicaGal, LLC. Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "¡YO SÉ! Magazine [Media Kit]" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Published magazines