This week you might have seen the amazing pictures of the Deltas from Florida A&M who traveled to Costa Rica to celebrate their 10th anniversary as Deltas and did a photoshoot that was so amazing that it went viral and was picked up by style blogs and giant websites across the nation. Often Black greekdom is taken by media outlets who don’t understand it and shown as one dimensional but to truly enjoy these photos, one needs to understand their importance and that these pictures have a much deeper meaning than just looking stunning on the beach.

Jardan Doneghy, one of the sisters in the photos reached out and gave us the backstory behind the photos and after you read it you will realize that this photo shoot is way more than what meets the eye, it is about sisterhood, growth and the special bond between members of Black sororities.

Read what Doneghy said below:

We are Trenchantic 56: Illuminating a Tymescent Era (TITE 56), the Florida A&M University Spring 2007 Line of the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., or better known as the BADST!

A beautiful tradition within our chapter has been to celebrate as a line milestone anniversaries every 5 years. Our line has been excited for quite some time with the built up anticipation of celebrating our latest achievement of 10 years in DELTA LAND! To commemorate this stage in our lifetime journey, 28 members of our line visited Liberia, Costa Rica from July 20-23, 2017. The trip is important to not only reconnect with one another, but to honor the pledge we vowed a decade ago to a lifetime of Scholarship, Service, and Sisterhood.

Our trip was the epitome of the perfect balance of adventure, relaxation, and connection. In the breathtakingly beautiful rainforest, we experienced new adventures together when we went zip lining, horseback riding, and visited the soothing hot springs where we meditated in an outdoor sauna before indulging in skin cleansing mud baths. On our second day of adventure, we chartered a catamaran and sailed to a private tropical beach with breathtaking mountain views that left us all speechless.

This is where our “melanin illustrated” photo shoot took place. We chose the rich and beautiful varying brown hues of our swim wear to celebrate and own the skin that we are in at this time in our lives. This journey we’ve been on through the past 10 years leading us into womanhood is a beautiful thing, we are now mothers, wives, singles, dating, successful business women, students, entrepreneurs and so much more. We want every woman of all shapes, sizes and skin tones, no matter what stage of life they are in to recognize and embrace their beauty and we could not have chosen a better location to do so.

At our resort, Secrets Papagayo, we basked in all activities, from early morning yoga classes to kayaking and paddle boarding. Although we did so many activities, the most memorable moments of the trip were truly just being in each other’s presence, reuniting and strengthening our bond of Sisterhood. We dedicated time to increase our level of intimacy by sharing both proud and painful moments we have experienced as we transitioned from young college girls to successful career women, and the challenges we have endured on our matriculation to womanhood.

These shared moments included times of disappointment, strength, heartache, loss, success, and love. We left this trip feeling fulfilled knowing that we reconnected to build a greater bond of sisterhood and that we nurtured one another with motivation, positivity, and encouragement of Black female excellence. Let’s just say Liberia, Costa Rica has been sprinkled and left with a little more magic.

The shoot which consisted of 56 women, aged 29 to 35, was coordinated by LaToya Owens, one of the first of the sorority’s chapter at A&M and set out to highlight all types of black beauty regardless of shape and size.

“Being in a sisterhood means having a support system and someone always there to count on,” Owens told Yahoo Style.

If you liked these photos, show these ladies some love and follow them on Instagram:

@jardanp @melissarbutler @drbrit_fit @jacqhay @moecaramel @alovebyrd @villivix @miss_smoot @ltphd_ @queennzinga @typrice10 @vandoline @jinicha_14 @sham_wowwww @wij21 @mac2point0 @madenkali @nikkibooneboone @sophib33 @jsue34 @bthenor

“We want to serve as an example and [show] appreciation of black women. Our commitment is to scholarship and service, and this was to honor the sisterhood.”

Using the hashtags #MelaninIllustrated and #TITEtakescostarica, the women have shared photos of their breathtaking trip to the Central American country on Instagram which have since gone viral and received a flood of adoration from supporters.

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