In honor of Netflix’s new miniseries, “Maya and the Three” — where a “brave and rebellious warrior princess” named Maya embarks on a quest to save her family with the assistance of three brave warriors — four organizations: Protect The Sacred, Harness, United We Dream in partnership with Meztli Projects, has created a list of notable Indigenous warrior princesses from all parts of the U.S.
According to the announcement, these Indigenous teen ‘warrior princesses’ are part of the next generation of activists and community leaders. The young women range in age from 9 to 15 and come from all parts of the United States including California, Florida, and Oklahoma.
The young women are all Indigenous and biracial to include Latina, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Yaqui, Black, Mexican, and Shinnecock, among other nationalities. They are all contributors to their own communities in several ways.
Crystal Boceta, Harness artist and community manager, who led the effort in partnership with Allie and other Harness community members said via email, "Harness and Protect the Sacred were proud to work with our community — in particular Meztli Projects — to identify and uplift these amazing young Indigenous girls who are harnessing their culture to advocate for and empower their communities. They are modern-day warriors fighting for water rights, distributing PPE, advocating for land acknowledgments at school, and more to ensure their communities thrive. They represent the values of the next generation of Native leaders and allies with whom we are proud to work."
From creator and director, Jorge R. Gutiérrez (“El Tigre,” “The Book of Life,”) “Maya and the Three” is described by Netflix as an animated nine-part series “set in a fictional fantasy world, and “an adventure full of heart and humor, inspired by a rich, vibrant mixture of Aztec, Maya, and Inca mythology, and modern-day Caribbean culture.”
A star-studded cast in “Maya and the Three”
The series has an exceptionally impressive cast announced by Netflix to include Zoe Saldaña as Princess Maya, Gabriel Iglesias as Picchu, Allen Maldonado as Rico, Stephanie Beatriz as Chimi, Diego Luna as Zatz, Gael García Bernal as The Jaguar Triplets, Alfred Molina as the God of War, Kate del Castillo as the Goddess of Death, Danny Trejo as the God of Earthquakes, Cheech Marin as the Gods of Wind & Storm, Rosie Perez as the Goddess of Gators, Queen Latifah as Gran Bruja, Wyclef Jean as Gran Brujo, Jorge R. Gutiérrez as King Teca, Sandra Equihua as Queen Teca, Isabela Merced as the Widow Queen, Chelsea Rendon as the Goddess of Tattoos, Joaquín Cosío as the God of Bats, Carlos Alazraqui as the God of Dark Magic, Eric Bauza as the God of Jungle Animals, and Rita Moreno as Ah Puch.
Here is the list of Indigenous warrior princesses:
Soledad Boj-Lopez (age 9; East LA, CA) via Harness/Protect The Sacred
Most recently, Soledad has dedicated her principles of community building to her campus community and was elected to the highest student government position in her grade, 4th Grade vice president.
Destiny & Crystal Villalobos (age 14, age 12; Oklahoma) via United We Dream
Destiny and Crystal were born and raised in Oklahoma City and ever since they were infants, they have participated in immigration justice mobilizations with their mother Angelica. Destiny loves sports and plays on her school’s soccer team. Crystal is an artist and loves crafts.
Farrah Ramos (age 9; East LA, CA) via Harness/Protect The Sacred
Farrah is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She's a very active part of the LA American Indian community. She has danced powwow and does a number of cultural activities.
Nayeli Navarro (age 10; Grover Beach, CA) via Harness/Protect The Sacred
Nayeli is 2nd grade class president, a youth softball pitcher, and an Indigenous beadwork leader. She has led a parent and child beadwork series with the Indigenous Circle of Wellness.
Itzpapalopahtli “Pahtli” Flores (age 13; Boyle Heights/San Pedro, CA) via Harness/Protect The Sacred
Pahtli is of Yaqui/Mexika descent and carries her name proudly. She has been creative in exploring the idea of opening her own business and created Mariposa Creations where she makes Kandy Jewelry and participates in community events. She also participates in a turkey drive every year to help feed the homeless through the hip hop warrior movement.
Hailey Sanchez (age 14, Age 13; Watts, CA) via Harness/Protect The Sacred
Hailey has emerged as a leader at her school, 107th Street Elementary School.
Roxana Gozzer (age 7; South Florida) via United We Dream
In 2018, when Roxana was only 5 years old her father was detained – without warning or reason – during a routine appointment with ICE, a requirement of dad’s asylum process. Because of the unstoppable power of her and her courageous mom, the UWD network was able to successfully bring Walter back this year. Roxana loves helping her mom cook and reading and writing in Spanish. She loves drawing, dancing to all kinds of music, and playing drums in music class at school.
Nuvia & Alejandra “Ale” Murguia (age 14, age 9; New Mexico) via United We Dream
As youth activists, Nuvia and Ale have been heavily involved in marches, protests and storytelling spaces for immigrant youth. Nuvia loves dancing and singing to regional Mexican music: norteñas, huapangos, cumbias, etc. Ale loves art and making people laugh! When she’s not volunteering to help her community, she loves making dancing videos on Tik Tok.
Leah Cayasso (age 15; South Florida) via United We Dream
Leah is currently a youth leader with Seeds of Resistance and Families Belong Together. She has been involved in the immigrant rights movement since the age of 8.
Alessandra & Valentina Collins (age 13, age 11; Los Angeles, CA) via Poderistas
Alessandra and Valentina are multiracial (Black, Mexican and Shinnecock) and multilingual students in Los Angeles. Since a young age, they have been involved with the organization, This is Humanity, which works to support separated and reunified families, unaccompanied minor children and vulnerable populations at the US/Mexico border. At the height of the family separation crisis, they organized other youth and wrote letters for separated and reunified children at the border and in facilities and shelters.
About ‘Maya and the Three’
In a fantastical world, where magic turns the world and four kingdoms rule the lands, a brave and rebellious warrior princess named Maya is about to celebrate her fifteenth birthday and coronation. But everything changes when the gods of the underworld arrive and announce that Maya's life is forfeit to the God of War — a price she must pay for her family's secret past. If Maya refuses, the whole world will suffer the gods’ vengeance. To save her beloved family, her friends, and her own life, Maya embarks on a thrilling quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy that foretells the coming of three great warriors who will help her defeat the gods and save humankind.
Harness connects communities through conversation to inspire action and power change. Since its founding, Harness has grown into a national, intersectional community of well-known artists, activists, and entertainment industry leaders that amplify the experiences of historically marginalized communities to reach millions of people. Founded by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams.
About Protect the Sacred
We educate and empower the next generation of leaders and allies to use transformative storytelling and community building to strengthen Indigenous sovereignty and protect Indigenous elders, languages, and medicine ways. Powered by Harness.
About United We Dream
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. We create welcoming spaces for young people - regardless of immigration status - to support, engage, and empower them to make their voice heard and win! We have an online reach of over 5 million and are made up of over 800,000 members as well as 5 statewide branches and over 100 local groups across 28 states. Over 60 percent of our members are womxn and 20 percent identify as LGBTQ. We are made up of fearless youth fighting to improve the lives of ourselves, our families and our communities. Our vision is a society that celebrates our diversity and we believe in leading a multi-ethnic, intersectional path to get there.