Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the power of reflection in our children’s media and the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. She has witnessed remarkable experiences in classrooms and auditoriums around the country.
Simply by being present in the moment and using the lessons of creativity, she watched children and educators alike open up to find their own creative expression, become more empowered, and increase their self-awareness. She understood that what was most important to support children in, was the process of creating, not the creation itself. Through witnessing these children over the years, she was compelled to continue to assist more children (and adults) in developing a relationship with the creative process that can serve them in every aspect of their lives. Out of this grew the philosophy and practice behind Claiming Face.
Maya is also an award-winning children’s book author and artist of over 20 award-winning multicultural children’s books. Her fine art has shown internationally and appears in numerous books about the contemporary Chicano Art Movement including on the cover of Living Chicana Theory and Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture and Education considered to be “the Bible of Chicano/a art.”
In 2009 she co-founded Reflection Press, an independent press that publishes radical and revolutionary children’s books, and works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness. And in 2013, Maya co-created an online learning environment called School of the Free Mind about expanding the mind and reclaiming the creative.