My name is María C. Saldana (she/her/ella) or “María Pero No Santa” as some know me. I am a bisexual, Indigenous Charapa Peruana, writer, scholar-activist-puta, and healer-facilitator. Born in Iquitos, Perú, and raised in South Florida, my work is largely inspired by the Queer and Trans, Black, Indigenous, Latinx women and femmes that I grew up with. I am invested in the healing and wellness of QTBIPOC and have been working with my multiple communities for over 10 years. Trained in Black Feminist Methods and the tenets of Healing Justice, I incorporate my Indigenous background into my scholarship, activism, and healing work.
My formal and informal education comes from my femme mentors of color at the University of Florida who trained me in Black Feminist Methods, Queer Latin American Theory, and testimonio work. My work broadly centers the healing and wellness for Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color through culturally mindful interventions and storytelling. With a focus on the Queer Peruvian Diaspora, I merge my scholarship with activist work utilizing Black, Latinx/Chicanx, and Native Feminist theories. I have learned from countless community organizers and activists, healers, elders, Black and Indigenous women and femmes, spiritual/lightworkers, Putis and Sex Workers, and community members who I’ve had the privilege of meeting in my life.
Culturally mindful consulting for academics and workplaces
I navigate cultures and spaces through embodied practices, dances, spirituality, and collective care. For the past few years, I have been part of the Wellness, Equity, Love, Liberation, and Survival (WELLS) Healing Center, the Academics for Black Survival and Wellness team, and the PUMAS Collective. I strongly believe that I am not self-made, but community-made and aim to work with my community on our path towards collective liberation.