Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith who loves to write about everything tropical ... and then some. As a travel and tourism writer, her main areas of interest are South Florida and the Caribbean -- culture, history, food, lifestyle and the outdoors. Maria also covers the South Florida social media and tech scene.
She is best known as the author of a five-year old popular blog, Sex and the Beach, where she writes "the single woman's guide to chronic living," with an occasional cartoon and video skit thrown in for good measure. On the blog, Maria covers whatever tickles her fancy in a uniquely developed style under her original pseudonym Manola Blablablanik. Sex and the Beach recently won "Best Humor Blog" from the Sun Sentinel and popular vote.
Maria is also a senior writer and forum editor for Miami Beach 411, where she contributes travel pieces on a regular basis and helps forum members with expert local advice on living, relocating, travel and tourism. Maria has been helping South Florida travelers and new residents for over five years.
Other writing gigs have included the Miami New Times online edition, where she penned a column called Silicon Beach about social media and technology as well as contributing to the Calendar and Restaurant guides. She was also a sex and relationships columnist for Citylink Magazine.
Maria has written about Miami for MSN City Guides and has had additional travel and lifestyle pieces appear in print in Caribbean Travel and Life, Columbus Travel Magazine (Holland), Mandarin Oriental hotel books, Miami Living and MAP (Music Art People), to name a few. She has also contributed chapters as a ghost writer for destination guides.
Recently, Maria has started contributing articles about Cuban food and culture at Tiki Tiki Blog. Additional articles about sex, food, spirituality and technology have been featured at Back in Skinny Jeans.
Over the years, Maria has been instrumental in helping develop the local social media scene and community along with others, organizing many tweetups and meetups. Maria has worked as an Online Community Manager for Obopay, a mobile-to-mobile payments company based out of Silicon Valley and currently helps manage the online community at Miami Beach 411.
Currently, Maria is a social media manager and blogger for Reef Road Rum Bar and Restaurant in West Palm Beach.
She also recently helped organize two major Twitter-based events in Miami: Twestival and SxSe. As a social media "concierge," she put together SxSe 2010 soup to nuts, working with hotels and local business sponsors.
In 2009, Maria was 1 of 100 "agents" chosen out of 4,000 for Ford's Fiesta Movement campaign, a massive new media project involving social networking influencers from around the country.
PAST WRITING EXPERIENCE
Maria also has experience in the non-profit sector. She was the Government and Foundation Grants Manager for the New World Symphony and also worked with Miami City Ballet in development. As a translator (Spanish to English), Maria worked with Intervida USA (Spain) on their entire United States campaign. She also worked with various non-profits based in Nicaragua.
Maria has published prose and poetry in numerous literary journals, collections and anthologies. Her creative work has earned several awards as well as a nomination for a Pushcart Prize. She is also the author of Meridian, a self-published collection of stories about traveling alone as a woman in Spain -- the basis for a larger book collection in the future. A tropical gardening enthusiast, Maria also blogs about her volunteering experiences at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
While completing postgraduate coursework in Caribbean Studies, Maria worked as a teacher of record at the University of Miami. During her tenure, she taught composition, film, literature, women's studies and business writing. Maria is currently available for talks, lectures, workshops and individual instruction on writing, blogging and social media for newbies.
In recent years, Maria taught yoga classes after earning her 250-hour Yoga Alliance certification. Although currently on hiatus from teaching, she practices yoga and meditation on a daily basis.