Reminiscing on my childhood, most weekends were spent at Grandma's house in her kitchen. She was the heart and soul of the family. Practically every Sunday, we had dinner at Grandma's, along with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Since she passed, it has not been the same.
Matriarch University is dedicated to my grandmother, Otilia Gonzalez, the matriarch of our family; a woman who demonstrated a great level of gentleness, sincerity, honesty, patience, wisdom, strength, and faith. She was an example of unconditional love and inspiration.
"A mother is the cerebral of the family. Just as the brain guides the body, so too, a mother guides her family." - Otilia Gonzalez
A mother's role holds a very special part in her family and in society. She nurtures her children, supports her husband, and guides every member of her family. In turn, every son, daughter, and husband serves as a positive member for a healthy community and service-based society. Without Matriarchs, the foundation of a family would be lost.
It is my honor to provide you, moms of all ages and cultures, with the tools that can assist in the raising and guidance of your family and help you find your balance. All of Little Encouragers books have been created with love, inspired by lessons we have learned and true events in our family. These stories offer life lessons that are timeless. We hope that they will help you and your family grow together in harmony and learn to laugh at the little AND big challenges that life provides along the way.
From my family to yours, may you enjoy life and the adventures that come with being the Matriarch of your family!
- Letty Belmares
I am one who understands children very well and it is probably because I share their height. :) As a graduate of Loyola University, located in Chicago, I focused my studies on Child Psychology where I learned greatly from highly knowledgeable professors. But nevertheless, it is within the experiences of working with children that I have learned valuable lessons. From teaching catechism at St. Michael's Church, working as a camp counselor and librarian for the ULBG, Union League Boys & Girls club and camp, to teaching for the CPS at the elementary level, and later, at the high school level in Romeoville, IL., working with children has always been my passion and blessing. My greatest reward has been the opportunity to homeschool my two children, be an active parent in their lives, and watch them grow to become beautiful young adults. I have enjoyed writing little stories and ideas since I was 12 years old. The most inspirational stories I have written have come from watching life through my children's eyes. It gives me great pleasure to share these stories with you and your little ones. May they bring your family joyful reading experiences as they have for us!
With love and sincerity,
Children's Book Author
The love I have for drawing and working with children has always been a very important part of my life. I have been drawing since the moment I was able to pick up a pencil. I am a proud graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration. This led me to a career as a caricature artist that I have practiced for the last 20 years and enjoyed every part of it. Before that, I dedicated my time to working with children at Cooper Elementary school as a teacher's assistant and coaching basketball after school. If I wasn't coaching, I was working as an art teacher for ULBG, Union League Boys & Girls club. It was during my time there that I learned to develop patience for children, which came in handy when working as a camp counselor during the summers in Wisconsin (where I met my wife). I enjoyed working with children so much that many times I would forget to collect my paycheck. Now as a father, with two children of my own, I love teaching them drawing and helping them to develop their art skills as well as learning from them. I look forward to sharing my family's efforts with you and your family!
Children's Book Illustrator
I am extremely grateful for all the love, support, and patience my mom has given me my entire life, from the care she has given me since a baby to homeschooling me as an adolescent. The opportunity I've had to learn from her directly, has taught me to better respect the responsibility a mommy has, and because of that, I have become better friends with her (and I'm not embarrassed to admit it!) As a toddler, I would introduce her as "my best friend Mommy". As a homeschooler, I've learned to pay attention, do my best with everything I do, and grow from what I've created. I love my creative family, and I love to observe and learn new things of life. I hope to incorporate the admiration and love I have for little details in everyday life into my writing and illustrations. I am mostly self taught in illustration with plenty more eagerness to learn. I yearn to get better and excel, so that hopefully, my work can inspire, help, and teach children, and they, too, can grow just as my family has helped me to grow.
Thank you for reading.
Children's Book Author & Illustrator
As the youngest of the family, I know what it's like to still be a child. I was given special care during my toddler years and well into my childhood years because I had asthma. My mom spent many sleepless nights, to ensure I could stay strong and rest well through the night. As the years went on, I was raised to be strong and healthy; learning things that my parents had not learned when they were my age. I was taught wonderful life lessons and excellent skills I would grow to love. Art and writing were two of the many skills I learned. I have written my 43rd issue of my newsletter that I share with friends and family. In 2019, my mom wanted me to illustrate one of her stories. I gladly accepted her offer as I had a keen eye for perspective. I'm happy that I have this opportunity to challenge myself, so that I can improve my drawing skills and even improve my character. Just as my family improved themselves to live a happy life, I, too, am happy to tackle many challenges. I hope you can enjoy my illustrations.