JERSEY BOUND LATINO Summer 2016 Edition

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Fulanito Rocking the Park in 2016 | 29

Table of

CONTENTS Chief Executive Officer

Victor M. Nichols Sylvia Jáuregui Lisa Duggan Pamela Goldstein Bruno Tedeschi Senior Editor Spanish

Helping Latinos is a Family Tradition for Hispanic Chamber’s Carlos Medina | 21 As chair of the Chamber, which representative more than 70,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in New Jersey, Medina advocates for policies and programs that positively impact people’s lives.

Golf Also Speaks Spanish | 24 Argentinian actor and former professional baseball player David Chocarro shares his passion for the sport and explains why golf appeals to Latinos.

In 2013, Mexican and Brazilian visitors to the U.S. were the biggest spenders among Latin American tourists. This is good news for the state’s largest discount shopping center, The Mills at Jersey Gardens, which offers discounts and other services to small groups of travelers. 2 | SUMMER 2016 |

Youthful visionary developer, Mario Camino is helping to drive The “Queen City’s” renaissance.

Editor English

Adriana Carrera

Jersey Malls Captivate Latin Shoppers | 17

Union Coounty College’s robust scholarship program helps young scholars like Nuno Alberto Pereira achieve their dreams.

Young Developer Mario Camino and the “New” Plainfield | 44

Senior Editors English

Rick Martinez had a successful job in the tech industry, but gave it up to produce chemical free bottled sangría that’s grown into a windfall for him.

Meet Carlos Serrano, the “Empanada Guy,” who is building a food truck industry based on one delicious savory treat.

These New York-based DominicanAmerican merengue rappers are well known within the Hispanic community as “the most famous group on Earth.” With the reléase of their new single and launch of their USA 2016 tour, the group will be rocking audiences throughout North and South America.


Señor Sangria: From Hobby to Successful Business | 9

Chasing His Dream: “Empanada Guy” Builds Food Truck Fleet | 14

UCC’s Scholarship Program Helps Students Achieve Dreams | 58

Copy Editor Spanish

Ezzio Bustamante Production Manager

Jennifer Pirnie Public Relations

Diego Muñoz Art Director

Samantha Horning

Two Marias Create Affordable Communities Building One House at a Time | 34 They might have the same first name, but these two entrepreneurs also share a passion for building affordable housing with a successful track record.

Contributing Writers

Julie Schwietert Collazo Alejandra Ortíz Chagín Sharon Adarlo Estela Pérez Martta Rose Kelly Susan Kronberg Pamela Bryant This is a Jersey Bound Latino, LLC Publication. 841 Hueston Street, Union, NJ 07083 Phone: (862) 216-0579 or (908) 591-2830 Email: or Copyright 2016 Jersey Bound Latino, LLC. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information in this publication. Jersey Bound Latino, LLC is not responsible for misinformation. Please contact the Publisher with any additions or corrections. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission from Jersey Bound Latino, LLC is prohibited.

A Family Pastime Becomes a Recipe for Success | 50 Crimping the edges of her delicious empanadas by hand was laborious until Hipatia López invented and patented an “Empanada” fork to streamline the operation. Now it’s available online and in retail shops throughout the áreas.

Univisión’s Barbara Bermudo “Impacts” Latina Empowerment | 38 One of the most recognized and admired Latin TV journalists in the U.S., Barbara Bermudo is TV host of the Univision newsmagazine, First Impact with one of the highest viewer indexes in the U.S. and Latin America. She’s also a devoted wife and mother.

Specialist “Navigates” Breast Cancer Patients Through Treatment at Trinitas | 62 Meet Veronica C. Vasquez, who heads the Breast Cancer Patient Navigator program at Trinitas and draws on her own experience to meet the unique needs of each patient.

Elizabeth: The Place to Shop, Play and Stay | 65 Learn about all the great and unique shopping spots, cool entertainment and first class places to stay in Elizabeth, New Jersey’s first capital city.

HISPA & Verizon Build Bridges Opening Opportunities for Minority Youth | 55 A partnership between Verizon and the Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) exposes minority youth to STEM skills needed for careers in high tech.

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Message from the CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Welcome to the first issue of Jersey Bound Latino! With people of Latino and Hispanic background comprising the largest minority population in New Jersey (19.3 percent), our densely populated state has the seventh largest concentration of Latinos in the nation. Newark Liberty International Airport provides a major gateway to the metropolitan region, drawing travelers from across the globe, including a large number from Central and South America. In 2013, Mexican and Brazilian visitors to the United States were the biggest spenders among Latin American tourists, many coming on business, to visit relatives or to sample the state’s offerings including its proximity to New York, excellent shopping, great restaurants and outstanding arts and cultural offerings. In this inaugural publication, we showcase the people, places, organizations and programs that highlight the contributions of Latinos to the Garden State. Our cover story highlights, Latin TV journalist and host of the Univision newsmagazine First Impact, Barbara Bermudo. Named one of the most powerful women by People en Español magazine in 2013, Bermudo is a role model for Latinas and women of all ethnic backgrounds as well as a devoted wife and mother. Also in this issue we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of a number of New Jerseyans from various Latin backgrounds including Plainfield developer Mario Camino, food truck impresario Carlos Serrano, and Senor Sangria creator Rick Martinez, who has built a huge craft industry around his special recipe for the fruity beverage. Women of Latino 4 | SUMMER 2016 |

background also stand out for their ingenuity, tenacity and commitment. Read about Maria Yglesias and Maria Lopez, owners of M&M Development, who are building affordable housing in Newark, Elizabeth and Camden, and Hipatia López, who has invented and marketed a special “Empanada” fork that is available online and in retail shops across New Jersey. At the center of Latinos’ success in New Jersey is the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, headed by Carlos Medina, whom we feature in this initial edition. We also take you on a guided tour of the City of Elizabeth’s many assets and introduce you to Veronica Vasquez, who heads a program at Trinitas Hospital, which helps breast cancer patients navigate through their treatment process. And, Jersey Bound Latino brings you up to date on Fulanito, the hot Dominican merengue rappers who are embarking on their 2016 tour.. We’ve included stories on shopping The Mills at Jersey Gardens, the state’s largest discount mall; an exciting online scholarship program for minorities at Union County College; and a teaming effort between Verizon and the Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) that prepares minority youth for tech careers. I invite you to read and enjoy our magazine; to learn more about the individuals, institutions and businesses that are contributing to their communities and helping to build a bright future for our state and nation. Victor Nichols CEO

Mensaje de la EDITORA GENERAL No hay mejor momento que el 2016 para mostrar los logros y éxitos de los latinos en Nueva Jersey. Los hispanos son la minoría de más rápido crecimiento en el estado Jardín, según el Censo del 2010, y el estado ocupa el quinto lugar a nivel nacional con más de 80.000 empresas que pertenecen a este grupo. Mientras la población más grande está concentrada en el norte y centro del estado, otra parte considerable de Latinos se puede hallar en los 21 condados de Nueva Jersey. Su impacto en el comercio, la política, la cultura y la educación es considerable. Jersey Bound Latino ofrece la oportunidad de destacar el espíritu emprendedor, los logros y el compromiso de esta comunidad diversa, en todos los aspectos de la vida Jersey. Al mismo tiempo, la revista también resalta a personas que están haciendo una diferencia a través de su liderazgo, ingenio y creatividad en los negocios, las artes, la educación y la medicina. Esta edición inaugural pone en relieve las ricas tradiciones, costumbres, música y alimentos de los muchos países de Centro y Suramérica. Nuestro objetivo es proporcionar una publicación bilingüe impresa y en línea cuidadosamente elaborada, que rinda homenaje a las personas, organizaciones y programas que no sólo son de interés para nuestra gran comunidad latina, sino para el público en general en todo el estado de Nueva Jersey. Es nuestra intención el ampliar su conocimiento e intereses y darle valor a los residentes latinos por contribuciones a la vitalidad y el progreso de este estado y esta nación. Les damos la bienvenida a ustedes, nuestros lectores, y le animamos a compartir esta nueva revista con su familia, sus amigos y colegas, y esperamos que se sientan inspirados por las historias que aparecen en estas páginas. Jersey Bound Latino abre una nueva ventana a las vidas de estos miembros vibrantes de nuestra comunidad. Queremos que se sienta parte de este nuevo esfuerzo y estamos ansiosos de escuchar sus comentarios y opiniones. Sylvia Jáuregui Editora General

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efrescantemente deliciosa y endulzada con jugos de frutas naturales, la sangría que preparaba Rick Martínez para las fiestas de sus amigos era siempre bienvenida. Incluso le pedían jarras aunque él no vaya a asistir a los eventos. Varios años atrás, Martínez, un cubano-americano de 40 años residente de Maplewood, convirtió su hobby en “Señor Sangría”, una floreciente empresa que embotella lo más cercano a su receta de sangría hecha en casa. El ascenso de Martínez ha sido rápido. De transportar 30 cajas de sangría en la parte trasera de su vieja camioneta Pathfinder, a vender más de 70.000 cajas a más de 1,100 minoristas. (de izquierda a derecha) Ricky y María Martínez disfrutando del éxito de “Señor Sangria.” Dos tipos de sangría: sangría roja tradicional y sangría blanca con sabor a frutas tropicales. Retrato familiar de los Martínez en el patio de su hogar. Exhibición en la Feria de comida y bebida “ The World of Latino Cuisine 2015” en el Meadowlands Convention Center en New Jersey. 10 | SUMMER 2016 |

“Ha sido una locura. Es increíble”, afirma su esposa María Camelo. “Fue de la nada a una explosión”. Sin embargo, ha sido un largo camino para llegar a este punto. Martínez, a sus 20 años, comenzó pre-

parando sangría para compartir con sus amigos en la costa de Jersey y rápidamente se hizo conocido entre la gente por su receta especial. Su novia entonces, esposa actual, sugirió que empezara su propio negocio elaborando y vendiendo una botella con la versión de su sangría. Incluso ella le puso el nombre que lleva ahora, Señor Sangría. “Creo que las cosas pasan por alguna razón”, dice Martínez, quien al principio estaba escéptico y no tenía experiencia en vender bebidas alcohólicas al por mayor. En aquel tiempo, Martínez trabajaba en tecnología. Él se dio cuenta que la mayoría de la sangría que se expende en las tiendas sabe a vino dulce almibarado y no se acerca a la verdadera sangría hecha en casa o la que se sirve en restaurantes. Después de unos pequeños ajustes y probar embotellar su receta sin químicos artificiales, renunció a su trabajo, vendió su departamento en Hoboken y abrió

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“Señor Sangría” en 2009. Empezó vendiendo de licorería en licorería, contándoles su historia a los dueños. El interés creció, Martínez dejó de usar su Pathfinder para las entregas y se compró una van (furgoneta). En el primer año de negocio el hispano distribuía ya a 85 licorerías, vendiendo 1,800 cajas de sangría. Gracias a la ayuda de su esposa, algunos parientes, amigos y un talentoso vendedor, Alan Petashnick, “Señor Sangría” ha crecido exponencialmente y hoy en día se vende en todo el estado. Además llega a Nueva York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware y Washington DC. Han ido de tener $150,000 dólares en ingresos a estar en camino a los tres millones de dólares en 2015. Ahora, Martínez y su equipo están enfocados en incrementar su alcance en los mercados existentes y elevar el perfil de la marca. Señor Sangría presente en la exhibición en “ The Bar Show” en Jacob Convention Center en NJ.

“Estamos viviendo un gran momento”, asevera Martínez. “Y tenemos un gran crecimiento por delante”, finaliza. • ¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en inglés? Visitar

La marca ofrece dos sabrosos tipos, la sangría roja, tal como la haría Martínez en su casa con el perfil tradicional, hecha con vino rojo, jugo de naranja, lima y uvas rojas; y una segunda, la sangría blanca, que tiene un sabor más tropical. Esta última es elaborada con vino blanco, jugo de naranja, mango, piña, manzana, limón y lima. Las botellas vienen de 750ml a un costo de $8.99 y la de 1.5L a $14.99. “El zumo de fruta sin filtrar es la clave del sabor”, dice Martínez. 12 | SUMMER 2016 |

De una manera u otra, tenía que suceder.

“El Hombre de las Empanadas” persiguiendo su sueño con una flota de camiones de comida

En el segundo estado con ingresos más altos per cápita y donde todos quieren experimentar una vida lujosa, ¿podían quedarse atrás los camiones de comida gourmet? La respuesta es no, sobre todo si se agrega el espíritu empresarial de un hombre de negocios hispano como: Carlos Serrano, alias “El hombre de las empanadas”. Todo comenzó en un almuerzo. “Estaba compartiendo las empanadas que me quedaban con mi jefe cuando él dijo algo que cambiaría mi vida. “Recuerda Serrano, si vendes esto en los suburbios, obtendrías grandes ganancias”, y allí empezó mi jornada. Decidí llevar este producto hispano a los suburbios. Mi meta es competir con las pizzas, hamburguesas y tacos, en otras palabras, convertir las empanadas en un alimento popular”.

Por Jersey Bound Latino Staff Traducido por Adriana Carrera y Ezzio Bustamante

Aunque no es un chef de profesión, Serrano tiene la pasión por la cocina y es muy creativo. “Lo que he hecho con esta locura de las empanadas es crear un sistema donde se elabora un producto complicado, de manera eficaz, con gusto exquisito”. “Eso me llevó a equipar un vehículo especializado en empanadas” explicó. “The Empanada Guy Food Truck” (El camión del hombre de las empanadas) me ha dado la oportunidad de hacer exactamente lo que necesitaba, llevar mi producto al público. Además me da mucha alegría interactuar con mis clientes y ver sus reacciones cuando prueban por primera vez mis empanadas”. Hoy, su negocio ha adquirido cinco camiones estáticos , más dos camiones móviles, su primer restaurante, en que abrió sus puertas en el 2014 en la ciudad de Freehold en NJ y dos camiones más que se estrenarán en el verano de 2016. • ¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en inglés? Visitar Carlos Serrano, el hispano que hizo de las empanas una adicción. 14 | SUMMER 2016 |

(De arriba hacia abajo) Uno de los 9 camiones móviles de comida de ‘’Empanada Guy.” Carlos Serrano en su restaurant en Freehold, New Jersey. Carlos Serrano y los causantes de la adicción a las empanadas después de un arduo día de trabajo. Fanáticos de las empanas haciendo fila para saborear el sazón de ‘’Empanada Guy.”

JERSEY MALLS Captivate Latin Shoppers By Julie Schwietert Collazo

Half a decade’s worth of economic growth in Latin America has created more middle- and upper-class citizens with discretionary income to spend. That’s good news for New Jersey retailers because when these cash-flush travelers visit the region, they are spending freely on everything from athletic wear to Apple products.

Disposable income doesn’t mean that one is inclined to forego a great deal, however, and New Jersey offers plenty of those. For one thing, the state’s 7 percent sales tax is quite attractive compared with the 16 percent value-added tax in Mexico and the 19 percent VAT in Brazil, where many imported goods carry an even higher tax burden.

In 2013, Mexican and Brazilian visitors to the U.S. were the biggest spenders among Latin American tourists, with Mexicans spending $732 per visitor and Brazilians spending, on average a whopping $5,097 individually during their travels here.

Another plus is that some of the state’s biggest shopping centers are easily accessible from Newark Liberty International Airport, and their management teams actively are reaching out to deep-pocketed visitors through tourism campaigns.

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t’s little wonder that Latin America’s jet-set builds some serious shopping into their U.S. travel itineraries. “Even work trips are an occasion for big shopping,” said Jennifer Taylor, vice-president of the U.S.-based JetSet Vacations. Many of her Latin American colleagues plan their travel calendars and trade show attendance around big sales and proximity to shopping centers. “Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, for example, have import taxes that cause the price of imported goods to be almost double in country versus out,” she said, “so depending on what you’re shopping for your plane ticket can pay for itself.”

New Jersey retailers like The Mills at Jersey Gardens also are interested in capitalizing on the growing tourism segment known as ‘group travel.’ The Mills, as well as the Marriott properties with which it partners, extend additional discounts and services for travel groups of 10 or more. The mall offers a group tour option, which can be booked online and Marriott gives bonus Marriott Rewards Points when travelers reserve 10 or more rooms. The Mall at Short Hills offers similar services to international travelers.

As a primary destination for Latin American travelers, tri-state area retailers work hard to reach out to this market demographic. Manhattan’s worldfamous photo equipment and electronics emporium B&H has a dedicated phone line for Portuguesespeaking clients and four different phone numbers for Spanish-speaking customers, one each for Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay.

The latest products at reasonable prices attract Latin visitors from around the world to shop the Garden State’s malls.

Owners and managers of New Jersey businesses also are keeping up with trends. With more than 33 percent of its incoming passengers originating outside the U.S., the majority of them from Latin America, Newark Liberty International Airport is a focal point for mega-retailers such as Elizabeth’s The Mills at Jersey Gardens, which at more than two million square feet, is New Jersey’s largest shopping mall. Mall managers are attracting a growing and loyal international clientele by doing some of their travel planning for them. In addition to transportation incentives, such as shuttles that run directly from the airport, The Mills at Jersey Gardens has travel offerings in conjunction with hotels that are minutes from both airport and mall. The “Shop & Stay” packages are a collaboration between the mall and Marriott, which has three hotels close to The Mills at Jersey Gardens. Travelers who take advantage of “Shop & Stay” receive a coupon booklet for the mall, as well as a $25 gift card that can be used at most stores. Transportation to and from the airport also is included.

Although economic growth in Latin America may be slowing, experts don’t expect travel or shopping to slow considerably. Even in Latin America, which has many of the same stores that anchor malls in the United States, Taylor said most Latin Americans of means still want to shop in the U.S. The import tax is just too burdensome, she noted, asking “Why spend $25 for a shirt in Mexico when you can buy it for $10 here?” Jersey retailers are banking on Taylor’s predictions being on target, and will continue to offer—and even expand—existing outreach to international travelers from Latin America. • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

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By Julie Schwietert Collazo

Carlos Medina, President of the Hispanic Statewide Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 21

As president of Robinson Aerial Surveys, Carlos Medina was already busy when he was elected chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey three years ago. But for Medina, the extra workload is worth the effort. As the lead representative of the more than 70,000 Hispanic-owned businesses the Chamber represents, Medina has numerous opportunities to see how his advocacy and the Chamber’s activities have had a profound impact on people’s lives. “My payment,” he said, “is when I receive emails and letters thanking me for our work. Helping people every day is what I love to do.” Help comes in many forms. The Chamber organizes and hosts four key events each year, including an expo and awards luncheon, a health fair, and a diversity event intended to promote better cultural representation among boards and managers in organizations and businesses. On a day-to-day basis Medina and the other members of the Chamber leadership are fielding questions and calls for all sorts of business advice and assistance. More and more of New

Jersey’s Latinos and Latinas are starting their own businesses, Medina said, and they’re eager for guidance and information about funding and navigating bureaucracy. They’re also keen to see and meet other business leaders who look and talk like them, who share similar cultural values and who may have familiar “rise to the top” success stories. Medina has recently begun getting in touch with those roots, traveling to Cuba for the first time in April 2015. He went with members of the Chamber to explore and discuss business opportunities. “People in Cuba are very friendly, very anxious to be involved in entrepreneurial activities,” he reported. While he is aware that their U.S. counterparts— including New Jersey entrepreneurs—are eager to begin forging business ties, he cautions that the relationship between the two countries still needs to develop before many businesspeople will feel con-

Carlos and his family celebrating Thanksgiving 2015.


fident enough to take a risk on the island.

Carlos Medina’s story is similar to other Americans of Cuban heritage. While he was born and raised in New Jersey and educated at Rutgers University, Medina’s parents emigrated from the Caribbean - his father from Cuba and his mother from Puerto Rico. They met in New York City more than 60 years ago and married, despite his maternal grandfather’s protest: “that Cuban only wants his papers.”

Personal and political experiences, especially among people with Cuban family ties, still exert influence over their readiness to hang a shingle in Havana. The ambivalence is even felt in Medina’s own family. “I only spent three nights in Havana because my wife is Cuban and my mother-inlaw didn’t really want me to go,” he explained.

Inspiration Carlos Medina’s parents, Zaida and Roberto Medina.

What “that Cuban” wanted, Medina said, was to achieve financial stability and provide his three children with the best education possible. He did that through the power of networking, finding himself in a career as one of the highest-ranked Latinos of his generation at The New York Times. There, he oversaw the Times’ “morgue,” an archive where more than 160 years of clippings, photos, and other materials were stored. But his role was more expansive than his official title, Medina added, explaining that Times’ management would call his father to be an ambassador of sorts when Latin American heads of states, dignitaries, and other VIPs came to visit. Medina’s father, who arrived in the U.S. with just $10 in his pocket, came to be a role model for many employees, especially Latinos since he led the paper’s Hispanic Club. His father exhibited ingenuity, intensity, and an incredibly outgoing personality. “If I was all my dad, I’d be too intense,” said Medina, who earned a law degree from Rutgers Law School and spent more than two decades in the fields of engineering and surveying and construction management. “Thankfully, my mom was the calmer person in our household.” His mother, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, worked at a bank until Medina was born. “I think she felt that we were welloff enough at that point and she stopped working” he said. He sees himself as having inherited traits from both parents and cultures, noting that they balance each other out. •

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For now, Medina has plenty to keep him busy at home. An unprecedented number of Latins, especially Latinas, are launching businesses in New Jersey and need the Chamber’s support. The health/beauty and food sectors are especially strong and the Chamber is exploring ways in which it can expand its support to a membership with diversifying business plans and goals. New Jersey offers the kind of growth opportunities that some of its neighboring states do not, according to Medina. With lower real estate and overhead costs compared to New York City, the barrier to entry as an entrepreneur tends to be lower in most New Jersey cities and towns, he noted. Generous tax credit programs in some jurisdictions make doing business in the state even more attractive, said Medina, who claimed it’s a great time to be a Latino or Latina entrepreneur in New Jersey. He’s proud to be a leader, mentor, and resource for those who want to capitalize on this moment. • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

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GOLF ALSO SPEAKS SPANISH By Estela Perez Translation by Pamela Bryant

“This sport generates a passion, which disconnects you from the world.” - David Chocarro

There’s a perception that golf is an old white man’s sport. Many Latinos view the game as being elitist, too expensive and just not “us.” But don’t tell that to David Chocarro, a 35year old actor and former professional baseball player from Argentina. Though he didn’t grow up playing golf, Chocarro has become passionate about the sport. “I practice three and four times a week,” said Chocarro. “The first time I took a golf club and hit the little ball, it was an indescribable sensation. It only took one try to never want to let go.” Chocarro’s love of sports and acting began as a child. His mother was a softball coach and 24 | SUMMER 2016 |

his father was a theater professor, director, composer and musician. It’s no surprise that he ended up as a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees of Venezuela. Latinos only account for a small percentage of the golfers in the United States, about 3.2 million of some 26 million golfers. But Golf Digest recently noted that white males have the slowest population growth rate and the highest golfer participation. At the same time, Latinos have the highest populationgrowth and among the lowest participation rates in golf. In the last five years, Golf Channel’s Latino viewership has increased 23 percent, but it still remains a paltry 4 percent.

Curious about Latinos embracing golf, we asked Chocarro about how he got interested in the game. What does it feel like to enter a golf course for the first time? Once you start learning the technique that is the most important thing. When you enter for the first time there are a lot of factors that you connect with, not only the competitiveness of the sport, but the personal challenge it implies. More than playing with other players, you are competing with the field, with the course, not with other people. It is an absolutely new sensation and extremely pleasurable because all the golf courses in the world are heavenly and beautiful places where one can enjoy both nature and fauna; it is the magical moment where one disconnects completely. What was your first experience with golf?

I could classify it as an addictive sport because such is the passion, which one feels for playing, that when I started the enthusiasm grabbed hold of me to such a degree that I would go play every day from sunrise until three o’clock in the afternoon, so much so that I thought about pursuing the sport professionally and the only person I would answer the phone for was my wife Caro. It’s something that satisfies you greatly, you can play with people of different nationalities, sexes, criteria; there is no stereotype of a good player. One plays with a handicap, (the average score that each player has) depending on the level of play that you have, and that already gives you a certain advantage to pair the levels. This way you play with everyone. Golf is genius! What could be done to attract the new generation to play golf?

I think it has to do with not being in the context of golf. It’s something very interesting that happens with everything in life; as soon as you make a decision you start paying attention and the same thing happens with golf. When you get involved you start seeing golf courses everywhere - magazines, gateways, everyone playing the sport. It’s like when you buy a car that no one has and suddenly you start seeing it everywhere.

Photo of International Latin Actor David Chocarro, courtesy of Latin Iconos by Conchita Oliva. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 25

You have to get close to the world of that sport to realize that it is full of kids, obviously very capable. They have the elasticity as well as being sponges. It seems easier for them. For many, golf is characterized as an elite and expensive sport.

Today one can say that it is not an expensive sport and that everyone can play it. The so-called cost is a myth, there are many resources, different courses, access to more inexpensive places, offers; it’s just a matter of finding them. After buying the necessary elements you can play with them for the rest of your life. Whom do you play with most often?

More than once I have gone alone, because in reality when a group is created it is not more than four, and on occasion, two or three individuals don’t know each other. At other times with friends or with my best friend, who lives in Australia. Do you play with people you don’t know?

That happens in many sports disciplines. It’s a benefit that we men have to connect through sports even when we don’t know anyone. After five minutes, it’s as if we knew each other all our lives.

Does your wife, Carolina, play golf?

She tried and curiously she hits the little ball with ease. It’s not easy to hit the ball well and she had no trouble at all! However, she got bored. She is more interested in dance. What is the worst thing about golf?

This sport definitely generates a passion that disconnects you from the world, where the most important thing becomes going to play. Does golf have a professional etiquette?

Yes and rather a lot. You must follow certain protocol. When I had just started, I was thrown out of a club. Since I always went with friends who suggested I use long pants without giving me a reason, I didn’t pay much attention to it. One day I went to practice in super short shorts, sneakers and a sleeveless shirt, and they would not let me past the door. It was at that moment that I understood the dress code. All you need is a collared shirt, sporty pants and golf shoes. What advice would you give to a beginner?

Take a lesson. It seems simple but it is very complicated. The way to enjoy it is to first take a few lessons at least to be able to strike the ball forward, because otherwise it goes nowhere and that is frustrating. •

Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

David Chocarro practices golf three to four times a week.

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By Alejandra Ortíz Chagín

If you’ve never heard of Fulanito, here they come. And get ready to have some fun. Because that is what Fulanito is – a walking party. (From left to right) Oscar Heredia, dancer; Winston de la Rosa, lead singer and director; Joe de la Rosa, accordionist; Timothy, lead singer; Julio Correa, dancer; Ronald Renhals, percussionist. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 29

noted that in every group, there are disagreements, which is the reason why some original members no longer are with them. THE “NEW” GROUP: FULANITO RELOADED

(Left) Oscar Heredia, dancer; Ronals Rhenals, percussionist; Timothy, lead singer; Julio Correa, dancer; Winston de la Rosa, lead singer; Joe de la Rosa, accordionist. (Right) Shooting the music video clip of the new song “Que le den” in Islas del Encanto in Colombia.

These New York-based Dominican-American merengue rappers are well known within the Hispanic community as “the most famous group on Earth,” since 1997 when they first ignited the Latin musical scene with El Hombre más Famoso de la Tierra (The Most Famous Man On Earth). Since then, their hit singles have moved millions of hips onto the dance floor on all the continents. Fulanito, which means “so-and-so” in English, has sold over five million albums throughout the world in more than 18 years. They were, at one time, the highest selling act in Colombia and they were also well placed on the charts in Switzerland, Japan, the United States and Chile, among others. ‘FIESTA’ IN 2016

Fulanito is ready to knock it out of the park in 2016. To accomplish that, they have been preparing their new single, called Fiesta, and for their new album they have been working with other renowned artists of the urban genre bachata, and Latin pop. Their agenda for this year is almost full; they have programmed festivals, telethons, presentations and tours in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Central and South America. This February 2016, Fulanito launched its USA Tour 2016 in the Big Apple with the single Fiesta and the official video clip, which was filmed in Colombia, New York City, Mexico and El Salvador. The reason why they launched the song Fiesta in New York City is because its lyrics are a tribute to 30 | SUMMER 2016 |

the “capital of the world,” according to Alex Almedia, manager of Fulanito. The song already has won awards at the 2015 Mexican Music Awards, known as Premios Fama, and has been nominated in Ecuador, Colombia and California. DJ Oca Serrano, who is part of Fulanito, helped in the production of the song, which was composed and recorded by the head of the group, Winston de la Rosa, along with his brother Joe and the new members. The song is a mix of merengue rippeao and soca (a genre of the Carribbean Music) with mombatón, a European electronic style that combines reggaeton with dubstep. According to Fulanito, the song is an “explosion of rhythms.” “I would love to take over NYC again. Hopefully, with the new song and the new group we’ll be as well received as we once were, back in the day. The plan is to give the fans a blast from the past with a little twist of the present topped off by a taste of future productions,” said de la Rosa. He added “In New Jersey, we will be ‘guallando’ very soon thanks to our manager, Alex Almeida.” Almeida explained, that guallando is when you dance with your partner nose-to-nose, chest-to-chest, belly button-to-bully button, and they leave the rest to the imagination. “Well, in English ‘guallando’ is just the way it’s pronounced, but in Spanish it has the same meaning as ‘dirty dancing,” he said with laughter. The key to success for this musical group is that they work together as a team, explained Almeida, who

In addition to parting ways with some members de la Rosa is also restructuring the group because his dad, who was one of the founders of Fulanito, also left. Brother, Joe “Teklas” de la Rosa has taken his father’s place but dad is teaching him all the tricks for playing the accordion well, which has always been one of Fulanito’s trademarks, along with their characteristic white hats and outfits and their black sunglasses. During a visit to Colombia last year de la Rosa attended a concert where he discovered Colombian artist, Timothy, well known as “El Poeta de la Calle” (The Poet of the Street). Timothy created his own Timothy, “El poeta de la calle,” Fulanito’s newest vocalist.

genre in Colombia, called ‘tropical zouk,’ which is a mix between merengue rippeao, dancehall, reggae and electronic music. Contacting the artist after the performance, de la Rosa asked if he would consider becoming Fulanito’s main singer. Accepting the offer, Timothy said, “I’m so flattered and honored. Fulanito has always been one of my favorite musical groups.” Timothy has been with Fulanito for about a year. “Being part of Fulanito has been a complete blessing. It’s an incredible achievement in my career. All those years of hard work and sacrifice have finally paid off,” said Timothy. Fulanito had been looking for a voice with a unique flow for years, according to Almeida, who said Timothy fulfills that quest. BEYOND THEIR EXPECTATIONS

Among the things for which he is most grateful, said de la Rosa, is having shared the stage with his father, and now with his brother. Many of his dreams have been realized through Fulanito. “I never really imagined that 15 years later people from around the world would still be singing our songs. I hope people will continue to hear our music forever.” With new members, new dreams, new projects in Spanglish, and new music, Fulanito is sure to realize that dream. • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

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Julio E. Caban, M.D., FACOG, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jose R. Bustillo, DO, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Khalid S. Sawaged, DO, FACOG, spoke to community leaders in attendance about Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s new Hispanic Health Outreach Program.

More than 40 community leaders representing Newark’s Latino community joined Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at the launch of the hospitals Hispanic Health Outreach Program.


“Dos Marías” de casa en casa construyendo viviendas asequibles Por Julie Schwietert Collazo Traducido por Adriana Carrera y Ezzio Bustamante

a vivienda asequible se ha convertido en el tema principal para los políticos que están deseosos de congraciarse con el 99 % de la población. Pero para María Yglesias y María López, empresarias nacidas en España, quienes llaman a Nueva Jersey su hogar, la única misión que inspira su compañía constructora M&M Development, LLC, fundada en 1997, ha sido y será construir viviendas económicas en áreas urbanas. “En esa época la vivienda económica no era un tema de moda”, dice Yglesias, “especialmente en ciudades como Camden, Elizabeth y Newark, donde había una concentración de pobreza y el síndrome de lo “suficientemente bueno” prevalecía. Las nuevas construcciones eran como “esqueletos desnudos”, explica Yglesias, además de ser feas. “En vez de añadir vida a las personas, se las quitaba”. Yglesias y López tenían una teoría que estaban dispuestas a probar. Si la vivienda en un barrio cambiaba – si fuese construida no sólo para ser habitada, sino que también fuera hermosa y económicamente accesible - ¿cambiaría también todo el ethos* y la energía de la comunidad? “La gente discrimina a otros sólo por el lugar donde viven”, indica Yglesias. “Cuando vas a un barrio donde las viviendas son feas, se ven terrenos baldíos y abandonados, hay un prejuicio sobre la gente que vive allí y se tiende a pensar: “somos mejores que ellos, vámonos de aquí’. Para mí esto no es correcto, así es que quise demostrar que podíamos mejorar el barrio entero si mejorábamos las viviendas”. “ Lo que me hizo interesarme en las viviendas asequibles es la filosofía de que construyendo casas bonitas se podía cambiar la vida de la gente y los vecindarios” añadió López. Yglesias no poseía necesariamente la formación académica o profesional para impulsar un proyecto semejante. Inicialmente quiso ser enfermera, pero al casarse entró al negocio de su esposo, la venta de ropa al por menor.

En la derecha la Sra. María Yglesia. En la izquierda la Sra. María del Mar López. Las dos fundadoras y propietarias de la compañía constructora M&M Development. 34 | SUMMER 2016 |

Por su parte López había construido un negocio exitoso de reparación de carrocerías con su esposo. Posteriormente ambas mujeres incursionaron en el sector inmobiliario y descubrieron que tenían afinidad por el tema de la vivienda. Cuando se conocieron se dieron cuenta que, unidas, podrían ser una fuerza formidable. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 35

“Hemos construido viviendas en las zonas más pobres de Newark y Camden”, manifiesta Yglesias. “Y años más tarde, esas casas todavía se ven muy bien”. Estamos muy orgullosas de nuestras construcciones, pues son nuestro ejemplo para decir: “mira, hemos cambiado ese barrio. ¡Las viviendas sí pueden cambiar vecindarios!”. Las socias, a quienes los colegas y amigos conocen como “Las Dos Marías”, están motivadas por el objetivo de acabar con el deterioro urbano y ven la vivienda asequible como la piedra angular de este proyecto. “La vivienda es la más básica de las necesidades humanas”, indica Yglesias. “Si usted no tiene un hogar seguro, decente, no puede construir una vida, porque su casa es como su castillo, su refugio, donde va a sentirse a salvo”, añade la empresaria. Demostrar que su teoría funciona ha sido mucho más que hacer que el barrio luzca bien. Ha sido complementar observaciones incluso anecdóticas, cualitativas, con datos cuantitativos. Una data que siempre analizan es la que mide el impacto económico que tiene la vivienda en un vecindario. “Hemos visto que el valor de las propiedades suben de inmediato cuando construimos la vivienda”, dicen “las Marías”. Aunque disfrutan del apoyo de líderes comunitarios y de los habitantes de las casas que construyen, las socias afirman tener bastantes desafíos. El mantra de hoy es “no hay dinero, no hay dinero”, dice Yglesias, dando a notar que los municipios, el estado y los funcionarios

federales se quejan de que simplemente no existen los fondos para expandir los programas de vivienda asequible. Pero Yglesias no cree en esas afirmaciones. “Realmente pienso que no se trata de dinero, sino de falta de voluntad”, asevera. “El impacto de esta falta de voluntad política tiene efectos más grandes, pues la falta de financiamiento de vivienda económica afecta cada aspecto de la vida, incluyendo educación y empleo”, apunta Yglesias. Independientemente de la política y sus caprichos, Yglesias y López no tienen planes de abandonar la causa. Esto es debido a que aún hay muchas personas en Nueva Jersey que necesitan vivienda asequible. Lo que les falta en apoyo del gobierno, está más que compensado con sus propias habilidades, experiencia y persistencia, sin mencionar su impresionante trayectoria. Además, dice Yglesias- hay una variable intangible que les ha traído éxito donde otros han fracasado: la fe. El sólo hecho de creer que pueden lograr su objetivo y trabajar por éste, ha sido el factor responsable de los triunfos sobre los obstáculos de las dos Marías. La fe en nuestras habilidades –enfatizan- es el factor más importante en el éxito personal y profesional. • *Palabra griega que significa carácter. Son las creencias que caracterizan a una comunidad. ¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en Inglés? Visitar

1. Mural en complejo de apartamentos en Newark, New Jersey. 2. Fotografía de diseño interior de los condominios. 3. Nuevos condominios en Cooper Palza en Candem, New Jersey. 4. Complejo de condominios en la calle Broad en Newark, New Jersey





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Foto de Bárbara Bermudo, cortesía de Latin Iconos.

Bárbara Bermudo, de Univisión, una mujer de Impacto para las Latinas Por Estela Pérez Traducida por Pamela Bryant Bárbara Bermudo es una de las más reconocidas y admiradas periodistas de la televisión Latina en Estados Unidos. Con un record impecable, la presentadora de la revista noticiosa “Primer Impacto” de Univisión, que tiene los índices más altos de audiencia en este país y en Latinoamérica, se ha ganado el respeto y la credibilidad de millones de televidentes. Bermudo ha sido invitada a la Casa Blanca a tratar importantes temas que le conciernen a la comunidad latina y también fue escogida como una de las mujeres más poderosas en el 2013 por la revista People en Español. Pero detrás de esta determinada comunicadora, existe una exitosa empresaria comprometida con la mujer latina, lista a dar el máximo en cada proyecto que emprende, incluyendo en su vida familiar. Con el afán de ayudar a la mujer latina a ser económicamente independiente, Bermudo se lanzó como empresaria y abrió una tienda de ropa y productos de belleza

para lograr este objetivo, ya que un gran número de estas mujeres han sido discriminadas, abusadas y no tienen oportunidades en trabajos tradicionales ni la autoestima o educación suficiente. Las mujeres que trabajan con Bermudo tienen la oportunidad de ser sus socias a través de la venta exclusiva de sus productos para el cabello, perfumes, ropa y zapatos para niñas. “Por medio de mi línea promuevo y apoyo el desarrollo de negocios de todas las mujeres que están cerca de mí”, afirma Bermudo. “Mi madre tuvo una tienda de consignación por muchos años y gracias a su esfuerzo y dedicación pude estudiar mi carrera universitaria en American University en Washington D.C.” “Los zapatos también han sido parte vital de mi vida, porque aparte de considerarlos una prenda esencial para cualquier mujer, mis padres abrieron un negocio familiar precisamente de zapatos de niños. Esto permitió nuestro

(De arriba hacia abajo) Bermudo es graduada de American University en Washington D.C.; Una de sus mayores satisfacciones es ser madre; Bárbara es el rostro de Univisión para Estados Unidos Latinoamérica y el resto del mundo; Con su nueva bebé Sofía Andrea. 38 | SUMMER 2016 |

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Retrato de la felicidad de la familia Moreno Bermudo. Solo falta Sofía Andrea.

“Quiero hacer la diferencia motivando a las Latinas a llegar más lejos como mujeres que proveen para sus hogares.” sustento y el progreso de nuestra familia”, dice Bermudo. “Por lo tanto puedo decir que ahora estoy vendiendo zapatos para niñas, como un tributo a mis padres”. La firma de Bermudo cuenta con BB perfume, que es una fragancia para mujeres, Cami Perfume para jovencitas, Fest Hair, que son productos para el cabello y Cami by Bárbara Bermudo, que son ropas, zapatos y accesorios para madres e hijas. Para la línea de ropa y zapatos Cami, hay más de tres mil mujeres

trabajando a consignación. En los Estados Unidos hay más de treinta mil mujeres ofreciendo su línea de perfumes. “Quiero hacer la diferencia motivando a las Latinas a llegar más lejos como mujeres que proveen para sus hogares, muchas de ellas madres solteras. Al mismo tiempo quiero animar a otras a desarrollar sus propios negocios y a no quedarse de brazos cruzados pensando que no pueden hacer nada por su familia, por que hay oportunidades para todas ellas”, indica Bermudo.

Bermudo expresa que hasta como periodista sintió la necesidad de hacer más. “El deseo de servir a la sociedad ha corrido siempre por mis venas y es algo que he tenido presente desde el primer día que estuve frente de las cámaras”. Claro que la apariencia de Bermudo es muy crucial en este campo, especialmente al estar frente a las cámaras. “Por eso el lucir bien es un aspecto importante para toda mujer, más aún cuando tenemos que dar la cara a millones de espectadores Continúa en la página 43

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como es mi caso. No podemos evitarlo”, dijo Bermudo. “La clave para mí es tener una dieta saludable y hacer ejercicio. Amo practicar Pilates. Mejora la fuerza, flexibilidad y tonificación corporal, sin desarrollar masa muscular. También practico Zumba para quemar calorías y al mismo tiempo aclarar mi mente”. A pesar de tener una vida muy ajetreada, Bermudo afirma que su prioridad es su familia, especialmente sus tres hijas: Camila Andrea, Mía Andrea y Sofía Andrea y nos afirma que su esposo Mario Andrés es el pilar de la misma. “Por el hecho de hablar el mismo idioma y estar en la misma profesión (periodismo) el involucramiento es total. “Somos una familia moderna, y dividimos las tareas de la casa por igual, y por eso para mí es una bendición”. “Durante la semana, disfruto mucho de ser madre como cualquier otra”, nos afirma Bermudo. Generalmente ella se levanta temprano para preparar el almuerzo para sus hijas y entonces empieza el trabajo de arreglarlas y alistarlas para llevarlas a la escuela y luego ir a su trabajo en Univisión. “Todo en la vida se puede lograr, siempre y cuando tengamos un balance”. “En estos momentos en que los compromisos a nivel familiar y laboral son muchos, enfoco toda mi energía en mis prioridades. Durante este tiempo he logrado alcanzar la formula para dividir mi tiempo como corresponde, sin descuidar ninguna de mis responsabilidades.” A pesar que sus hijas son pequeñas, ella nos cuenta que las niñas entienden la importancia del trabajo. Cuando llega la mercadería a la casa, por ejemplo, ellas agarran lápiz y papel y empiezan a escribir las referencias de los zapatos o la ropa para añadirlos al inventario. “Mi deber como madre es inculcar en ellas buenos valores y esperar que sean ciudadanas ejemplares; que aporten algo positivo en esta sociedad”, dice Bermudo. “Pero sobre todo que aprendan a dar, a compartir, a ser agradecidas y a emanar amor pues eso es lo que van a recibir”. • ¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en Inglés? Visitar Bárbara esta consiente el lucir bien es un aspecto importante para toda mujer sobre todo en mi profesión. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 43

El visionario de Plainfield, Mario Camino Por Julie Schwietert Collazo Traducido por Adriana Carrera y Ezzio Bustamante

Muchos han confundido a Mario Camino por su rostro joven y fresco, pero cuando se sienta a la mesa de negociaciones o se pone un casco para inspeccionar el progreso de una construcción, pronto salen del error de pensar que el empresario de bienes raíces de 33 años es un novato. Observar a Camino negociar, analizar y hacer tratos inmobiliarios se parece a un bien coordinado juego de monopolio. O como él cariñosamente lo llama, “monopolio para adultos”. “Generalmente soy el más joven del grupo, a pesar de que tengo 15 años de experiencia”, dice Camino, quien tiene un rol primordial en el renacimiento de la ciudad de Plainfield. Aunque estudió para ser abogado, empezó a construir, renovar y revender casas desde que tenía 19 años. “El derecho no era lo mío, pero me llevó a lo que realmente quise hacer: bienes raíces”, añade. A los 23 años de edad ya había establecido su propia empresa y había empezado a buscar un proyecto de remodelación a gran escala. Durante sus 20 y tantos años –cuenta Camino- su enfoque estaba en propiedades residenciales, la mayoría de ellas dilapidadas, las cuales vendía, renovaba y luego revendía. Para su cumpleaños número 30, estaba listo para interesarse en el negocio inmobiliario comercial. Él quería administrar grandes activos y, según él, “hacer algo más que comprar edificios”.

(Abajo) Mario Camino, Presidente de ARKAD, junto a su socio e inseparable amigo Daniel Rivera, quien es el Vice-presidente de ARKAD. Ambos fundadores de la exitosa compañía constructora en el año 2006. (Columna derecha) La familia Camino Pérez siempre juntos. Mario Camino, su esposa Jessica Pérez y la dulce Amori´z Camino Pérez.

Su visión era realmente la de mejorar los vecindarios y encontrar el lugar correcto fue el primer desafío. “Muchos lugares habían sido ya tomados - Jersey City y Weehawken -por ejemplo - y habían constructores que tenían mucho más dinero que yo”, recuerda Camino. A medida que recorría Nueva Jersey buscando casas que remodelar, regresó a sus propios comienzos, su pueblo natal de Plainfield. Los padres de Camino emigraron de Ecuador a Plainfield a principios de los años 70, donde vivió los dos primeros años de su vida antes de que su familia se mudara al Condado de Hunterdon. El visionario de Plainfield observó que si habían algunos proyectos que podrían beneficiarse de su experiencia en renovaciones. Localizada en el condado Union, esta municipalidad apodada “Queen City”, era una ciudad que había perdido su brillo real en los últimos años. Además, era el momento perfecto. Plainfield estaba implementando nuevas regulaciones en zonificación y en la construcción. Camino leyó estas regulaciones y tuvo la visión de cómo las aportaría a la revitalización del centro de Plainfield. “Sin darme cuenta, estaba comprando mi primer edificio aquí”, relata Camino. Era un banco abandonado por diez años y era enorme: 20,000 pies cuadrados. La propiedad iba de fracaso en fracaso pues había caído en juicio hipotecario tres veces seguidas”, añade. Camino renovó el edificio y trasladó la sede de su propio negocio allí. Como inquilino principal, fue el primer compromiso que hizo con la ciudad, que luego se extendió a comprar una casa colonial (que data de los años 1900) en Plainfield. Su vecino, tres casas abajo, es el mismo alcalde, Adrian Mapp. Continúa en la página 47

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Desde entonces el empresario ha comprado dos propiedades más, un complejo de departamentos multifamiliares cerca de la estación de tren y un edificio de 21 apartamentos de uso mixto en el centro de Plainfield.

no hay representación en el concejo o en la Junta de Educación, así es que estoy escalando una montaña”, explica. “Estoy tratando de cambiar el paisaje urbano de aquí”.

“Hemos podido incorporarnos en el tejido de la ciudad”, dice Camino, admitiendo que el proceso no ha sido siempre fácil. “Plainfield está viviendo una transición”, acota. A pesar de los retos que existen reconoce y enfatiza que se siente orgulloso del papel que ha jugado en revitalizar Plainfield, especialmente por ser un latino prominente.

Camino está usando una campaña de mercadeo que creció hasta llegar a ser un movimiento llamado, el cual está enfocado en atraer más negocios y nuevos dueños de casas a esta ciudad y así Plainfield se ha transformado radicalmente en los últimos tres años. “Es completamente diferente de lo que era y somos y seguiremos siendo parte de ese cambio”, de acuerdo a Camino. •

“La ciudad de Plainfield tiene 50,000 habitantes, de los cuales de 28 a 30 mil son hispanos, sin embargo

¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en Inglés? Visitar

(izquierda) Edificio que se encontrara localizado en el 700 de la avenida Park en la ciudad de Plainfield, NJ. El Departamento de Policía de la ciudad se encontrara en el primer piso, en el segundo y tercer piso se construirán condominios. (derecho) Construcción de nueva mansión en la ciudad de Berkerly Highs en New Jersey.

Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 47

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Cuando un pasatiempo familiar se convierte en la receta del éxito Por Julie Schwietert Collazo Traducido por Adriana Carrera y Ezzio Bustamante

(Izquierda) Hipatia López perfeccionó el arte de hacer empandas. (Derecha) El equipo de “ Empanada Fork” orgullosos de su producto.

Como sucede a menudo con las matriarcas de familias latinas grandes, todos los fines de semana y antes de las fiestas, las manos de Hipatia López estaban siempre laboriosas sobre la masa de empanadas. Pero, ciertamente, eso era algo que nunca se imaginó hacer en el futuro. “Cuando crecí –explica López- no me gustaba cocinar y me resistía a las palabras de mi madre: “tienes que aprender a cocinar para tu futuro esposo”. Sin embargo López, primera generación Estadounidense, de padres ecuatorianos, nacida y criada en Garfield, NJ, absorbió junto a su hermana las lecciones de cocina que su mamá les impartía cada fin de semana. Al final de la secundaria, López ganó una beca completa para estudiar en la William Paterson University, de donde se graduó como contadora. Allí conoció al que hoy es su esposo, de origen dominicano, quien viene de una familia grande. Al empezar su propia familia, López siguió el consejo de su madre y

empezó a cocinar para su esposo. A medida que los hijos empezaron sus actividades extracurriculares, el matrimonio empezó a pensar formas creativas de recaudar fondos para pagarlas. Una de ellas fue, por supuesto, vendiendo empanadas. No pasó mucho tiempo cuando las bandejas de empanadas pasaron de 50 a 100 y luego a más de un centenar. “Se vendían como pan caliente”, recuerda López.

A pesar de que a los López les gustaba mucho hacer empanadas, había un aspecto del proceso que era innecesariamente laborioso: cerrar los bordes con el tenedor. “No importaba si eran algunas sólo para la familia, pero hacer docenas requería de un sistema diferente.

“Tiene que haber una mejor forma”, se decía la madre latina. Es así como se dio a la tarea de buscar un artefacto de cocina para facilitar la labor. Fue a grandes tiendas, así como a las bodegas cercanas, pero no encontró nada prometedor. A partir de entonces una idea empezó a rondar en su cabeza: ¿qué tal si inventaba el “tenedor” ella misma? López hizo un bosquejo de lo que sería –después de un año y medio, luego de permisos y patentes- el prototipo de un “tenedor para empanadas”. Era el año 2011 y ella no tenía idea de patentes. “Hice el ridículo”, recuerda riendo. “Llamé a abogados de divorcios e inmigración que tampoco sabían, pero es así como empecé a aprender”, manifiesta. El abogado que finalmente contratró tenía un primo arquitecto, a quien le consultaron sobre el proceso de crear un prototipo. Con la paga de vacaciones de dos de sus trabajos a medio tiempo, financió el prototipo que por cierto fue un fracaso porque los dientes de plástico no resistieron a la masa. Hipatia volvió a dibujar, pero esta Continúa en la página 53

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1. Artefacto de cocina llamado “Empanada Fork” inventado por Hipatia López. 2. Henry López compartiendo junto a su esposa Hipatia el triunfo de su invento. 3. Una empanada perfecta hecha con el invento de Hipatia. 4. Joven chef de Hipatia de trabajo duro en la cocina.

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vez diseñó una versión de acero inoxidable. La hispana quiso mantener la producción en Nueva Jersey, pero la manufactura de metales en Estados Unidos es cara, así es que tuvo que encargarla a China. Un año después de finalizada la patente y luego de dos prototipos, el tenedor de empanadas de Hipatia López estaba listo para ser producido a gran escala. Ella confiaba en que el producto era bueno pues había repartido algunos a las cocinas de restaurantes locales para que lo usen y le den sus comentarios. “Les expliqué cómo usarlo y les dije que regresaría en una o dos semanas. La reacción fue formidable. Algunos no quisieron devolvérmelo”, dice López. Debido a que la fábrica en el extranjero aceptaba sólo grandes órdenes, la empresaria apostó todo su dinero y se las jugó ordenando 5,000 unidades. López ha superado muchos obstáculos, auto educándose en el camino, pero aún enfrenta otro reto importante: colocar el producto en las grandes tiendas. Lo distribuyó en ferias y promovió en redes sociales. Cuando Telemundo la entrevistó y exhibió

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“el tenedor de empanadas”, sabía que estaba en el camino correcto. El producto ahora se vende entre $ 18 a $20 dólares en línea y en tiendas al por menor, incluyendo Chef’s Central en la Ruta 17, en Paramus y tiendas de suministros de restaurantes en la ciudad de Nueva York. Hasta el momento, se han vendido alrededor de 3,000 de la orden original de 5,000 piezas. La familia López está orgullosa de sus logros, pero Hipatia sabe que tiene peces (o empanadas) más gordas que freír. “He hecho casi todo lo que se puede hacer por cuenta propia”, dice ella. Con otras ideas de productos en la mente, López está considerando invitar a inversionistas o socios para llevar el negocio al siguiente nivel. Mientras las empanadas y sus muchas variaciones en América Latina le aseguran una base masiva de clientes para el producto, hay alimentos de otras culturas que podrían beneficiarse de dispositivos similares, pero de diferente tamaño. Ahora que López tiene una idea clara del negocio, está posicionada para el éxito. • ¿Le gustaría leer este artículo en Inglés? Visitar

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HISPA and Verizon building bridges Opening opportunities for minority youth By Jersey Bound Latino Staff

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Verizon recently was honored by the Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) for supporting a program run by the Princeton nonprofit that exposes urban minority students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills needed for high-tech careers. The Verizon Foundation supported HISPA in launching its first specialized Role Model Program engaging 60 students from Jerome Dunn Academy in Elizabeth and Manhattan Bridges High School in New York City in 18 months of app development workshops, STEMfocused youth conferences and corporate visits. To date, 30 students have attended a youth conference at Princeton University, visited Verizon to learn about careers from their highskilled professionals and participat-

ed in Saturday morning workshops. Verizon received the “Transform” award at HISPA’s Three Kings Banquet January 14 at Pines Manor in Edison. Also honored were UPS Crecer Latino Business Resource Group for employees and AT&T engineer Mayra Cáceres.

“Verizon strongly supports educational programs that expose students, especially minority students, to careers in the high-tech sector.” – Dr. Ivonne Dîaz-Claisse, HISPA President and CEO

Criteria used in choosing award recipients, according to a HISPA press release, include a demonstrated personal commitment to its

mission, employee participation in HISPA events, and funding and in-kind resources. Phil Puthumana, the program manager for education technology for the Verizon Foundation, accepted the award. HISPA also highlighted the work of Verizon’s Hispanic Service Organization (HSO), the company’s Hispanic employee resource group, which had the second largest number of HISPA volunteers of any organization in 2014-15. “Verizon’s support is unique because of all of the bridges it builds for students,” said HISPA President and CEO, Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse. “First it is comprehensive, sponsoring student participation in all of HISPA’s educational programming, our Role Model Program’s in-school visits, youth conferences on university

Hispanic students receive hands on experience from HISPA-Verizon Program.

campuses, and corporate visits to Verizon headquarters. Furthermore, at all of these events, Verizon enabled HISPA to bring together Latino professionals and collegiate STEM scholars - the public and private sectors - to serve as role models to these students.” “The Verizon Program has helped our students become innovative learners,” said Yalitza Torres, principal of Jerome Dunn Academy. “Students now enjoy coming to school … The app program has provided the outlet for them to think outside the box, to be problem solvers and critical thinkers.”

HISPA and Verizon will continue their collaboration this year with Verizon co-hosting HISPA’s 2016 youth conferences in New Jersey and New York City. “We are proud to partner with HISPA,” said Leecia Eve, Verizon’s vice president of state government affairs for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. “Verizon strongly supports educational programs that expose students, especially minority students, to careers in the high-tech sector.” • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

From left: Cesar Rojas, Verizon HSO; Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, HISPA President & CEO; Rene Herrera, HISPA Board Member, formerly of Verizon, now with Office Depot; Philip Puthumana, program manager, corporate social responsibilty, Verizon; and Walter Rodriguez, Verizon.

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uno Alberto Pereira’s story is proof that talented students can earn degrees and enter adulthood unsaddled by debt. What it takes, he said, is a college whose staff is committed to developing a robust scholarship program that makes such a possibility achievable. “Stop and think about how amazing it is that a Hispanic student who entered with no scholarship or aid, is able to graduate with two years of college, have a degree, and still have no form of debt or financial burden,” he stated, referring to his own experiences as an alumnus of Union County College (UCC).

By Julie Schwietert Collazo

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As the cost of college education rises each year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to graduate debt-free. An analysis of government data by Edvisors found the average 2015 graduate with student-loan debt

will have to pay back a little more than $35,000, more than twice the amount borrowers incurred two decades earlier. Even at community colleges like UCC, the cost of tuition can be out of reach for economically disadvantaged students like Pereira. A Spring 2015 graduate, Pereira has a long list of academic and extracurricular accomplishments. He was elected president of UCC’s Student Government Association in 2014 and served in that position for one year. Since graduating, he has been a representative on the school’s Board of Trustees, while carrying a full course load at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology, thanks to another prestigious scholarship, one that is awarded to only 90 students in the whole country. His long-term goal is to earn a doctorate and conduct research in the area of eyewitness misidentification.

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It’s a dream that seemed out of reach not so long ago. “I started Union in the fall of 2013,” he recalled, and “had difficulties with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application and had to pay for my first semester. Coming from a low income family, this was difficult to do.” He turned to UCC’s online scholarship application, which, he said, is user-friendly and ultimately received five scholarships, including the Hispanic Law Enforcement and Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise scholarships. Together, these covered his tuition expenses for his two years at UCC. Filling out the online scholarship application takes a minimal amount of time and it “allows students to quickly be considered for all the scholarships at UCC. Students are automatically matched with qualifying scholarships,” Pereira explained. Unfortunately, many students aren’t aware of this application, nor of the full range of UCC’s scholarship 60 | SUMMER 2016 |


offerings, many of which are need-based rather than merit-based permitting grade point averages as low as 2.0, he pointed out. This is “one reason UCC stands out as it attempts to address the needs of students,” Pereira said. “The wonderful aspect of Union County College is that the Union County College Foundation is continuously finding new ways to raise additional scholarship funds to award to students,” he added. Currently, the school offers nearly 125 scholarships, many which are designated for or give preference to Latino and Latina students. These scholarships are a vital lifeline for students who “have the brains and drive,” but lack the money to attend college, said Dr. Stephen Nacco, UCC’s vicepresident of administrative services. “Even though community colleges like Union charge tuition that’s only a fraction of what universities charge. In Union County thousands of students still


struggle to pay Union’s tuition,” Nacco stated. One of the reasons they struggle is because their family incomes exceed the threshold for federal and state tuition assistance grants, but barely clear the poverty line, he explained. “These are the students the scholarship fund helps,” the administrator said. “We support more than 600 of these students each year and invest almost $800,000 in their college educations. People who donate to the scholarship fund are helping these students achieve their dream of a college degree.” Because it is the oldest community college in New Jersey, founded in 1933, UCC has “by far and away amassed the largest overall endowment among New Jersey community colleges,” according to Nacco. That endowment currently is $15 million, five percent of which is awarded in scholarships each year. It’s seeded by loyal alumni who are passionate about their alma mater. Among them is Helen Chaney, an alumna

who graduated from UCC in 1948. In December 2015, she made a gift of half a million dollars to the school to fund multiple scholarships, including three endowed scholarships that will generate $5,000 per year in perpetuity. It’s the kind of gesture Pereira might make 50 years from now. “I speak highly of UCC because I feel a debt of gratitude to the college for its life-changing process,” he said. “It took me from being a high school graduate with no observable potential in the community or academics, and turned me into a community activist, fighting for immigrant and worker rights, and a passionate scholar.” • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

1. UCC student contemplating his future. 2. College students sharing technology. 3. Far left: UCC President Dr. Margaret McMenamin at local chamber of commerce networking event. 4. Graduation Day at UCC.

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One of the most frustrating parts of any medical treatment is getting answers to questions in a prompt manner. The Breast Cancer Patient Navigator program helps patients obtain answers to their queries regarding screening, diagnosis, treatment, insurance claims, follow-up visits, clinical trial participation, referrals, transportation, supportive services, and any other concern that may arise. It also assists patients in finding information on self-education resources and with accessing community resources and cancer management services. “We also direct patients to support groups that have been shown to help boost emotional well-being while providing coping mechanisms from others who have gone through cancer treatment,” added Vasquez. Patient “D.C.”, 43, who was diagnosed with breast cancer this past August, called the Navigator program “a God-send.” Referred to the program by her physician, she gave it high marks and said it has enabled her to cope with a potentially overwhelming and stressful situation. “I am amazed by the amount of compassion I receive,” she said. “I feel reassured that I am not just a name or a number.”

In addition to helping navigate her way through doctors’ visits and insurance queries, D.C. explained that she can count on Vasquez to “hold her hand” throughout the often long and arduous process. Vasquez had her first personal encounter with breast cancer in 2011, when a beloved aunt was diagnosed with Stage III IBC (inflammatory breast cancer). “Not only was it a life altering moment for her but for the entire family, as she was the first member of the family to receive a cancer diagnosis,” she recalled. “She passed away in 2012, but her legacy lives within all those she encountered, forever.” At the time, Vasquez—who earned her master’s degree in health care administration from Seton Hall—never dreamed that she would have the position that she holds today. “Having had a close family member diagnosed with breast cancer, I hold the work I do to help these women in high regard,” she said. “I dedicate the work I do in loving memory of my aunt, whom I miss greatly.” • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

Specialist “Navigates” Breast Cancer Patients Through Treatment at Trinitas By Martta Kelley Too often, cancer treatment is complex and the added stress of making one’s way through a maze of treatment options, insurance forms, doctors’ appointments, and various medical procedures can sap a person’s energy that would better be spent on fighting the disease. Several years ago Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center recognized that many women with breast cancer were in need of a “navigator service” that would help them cut through the red tape surrounding their treatment. Breast cancer patients, Trinitas administrators surmised, would be able to best articulate their concerns and challenges to compassionate healthcare professionals, who could then direct them toward resources designed to help manage the disease. An innovative program was initiated that showed promising results. Two years ago 62 | SUMMER 2016 |

the program was revamped to sharpen its focus, resulting in the Breast Cancer Patient Navigator program. Veronica C. Vasquez, MHA, CN-BA, heads the Breast Cancer Patient Navigator program at Trinitas and works to provide seamless care coordination while considering the unique needs of each patient. “The program helps facilitate patients’ access to doctors’ appointments, deal with insurance claims, and directs them to complimentary transportation and other supportive services,” she said. “Finally, a breast cancer patient navigator offers much-needed emotional support to patients at all phases of breast cancer treatment.”

Veronica C. Vasquez heads the Breast Cancer Patient Navigator program at Trinitas. Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 63

The Place to

Shop, Play and Stay By Susan Kronberg

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by the same talented architect of New York’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead. The park’s sprawling 204 acres offer endless amenities, including a bicycle path, running track, walking trails, fitness course, playgrounds and playing fields for the kids, and a water spray park. Rent a row boat or paddle boat to drift about on Warinanco’s tranquil pond. Behold the park’s lush green fields lined with towering trees and cherry blossoms, all the makings of a scenic landscape that belies its city location. The Warinanco Skating Center, the park’s iconic skating rink, is undergoing a renovation that will enable year-round skating and other activities when it is completed next year.

Once New Jersey’s first capital city, Elizabeth is now the No. 1 place to shop, play and stay in the Garden State. Where else can you find the fabulous retail bargains, exciting entertainment, and first class accommodations that Elizabeth has to offer? Shopping in New Jersey, where there’s no sales tax on clothes and shoes, has always been attractive. Shopping in Elizabeth, which has the state’s largest Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), kicks it up a notch (or three) with a reduced state sales tax rate on anything else you buy. Elizabeth is home to The Mills at Jersey Gardens, the largest outlet shopping center in New Jersey with more than 200 stores all under one roof. It’s the ultimate shopping experience for the savvy shopper with wall-to-wall designer brands and special sales events to make the deals even sweeter. Located minutes away from Newark Liberty International Airport and convenient to trendy hotels, The Mills at Jersey Gardens is one of Elizabeth’s premier shopping destinations. 66 | SUMMER 2016 |

Come make new memories in New Jersey’s most uniquely exciting urban destination. Just across the way from The Mills lies another super shopping experience at the tristate’s largest IKEA. Find home furnishings and décor as well as world-famous Swedish meatballs at the IKEA restaurant, where you can dine on Nordic delicacies while watching the action at the adjacent Newark Liberty International Airport. You can even shop while your little ones enjoy the secure ballroom play area –truly a win-win experience for the family. Back in the heart of the city, there’s The Market at Elizabeth Avenue where family-owned stores, multicultural restaurants, and community events make the district the place

to be. The Market spans Elizabeth Avenue from Bridge to Fourth streets, encompassing Union Square and the Peterstown Farmers Market. Stroll The Market by day to shop or enjoy one of the summertime outdoor festivals, and visit one of the many internationally inspired restaurants by night for the best ethnic cuisine you can find anywhere. After dark, keep the party going at one of Elizabeth’s high-energy night-clubs.

You can also take a walk through history and experience “Elizabeth at the Crossroads,” a self-guided tour through Historic Midtown Elizabeth. Available as a handy brochure and as a smartphone audio tour, you can follow in the footsteps of the city’s early colonialists on a route that leads past Elizabeth’s many historical landmarks.

All this fun can result in two things: the need for rest, and the desire to explore some more. As luck would have it, you can find a comfy bed within the city limits. There are no less than eight fashionable hotels near all of Elizabeth’s action, including Marriott, Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Country Inn and Suites, and other premier properties. There’s hospitality to fit every budget. But these hotels are not just for sleeping - they are your launching point for everything you seek in Elizabeth and beyond. With first-rate amenities, and a friendly staff to make you feel at home, you’ll be well-rested and energized for more Elizabeth fun in the morning. Come make new memories in New Jersey’s most uniquely exciting urban destination. There’s no time like the present to shop, play and stay in Elizabeth. It all starts here! • Would you like to read this article in Spanish? Visit

While some may argue that shopping, dining and dancing are recreation all their own, there are a host of other options to keep you and your family entertained while visiting Elizabeth. When it’s time to go play, you can find picturesque parks and playgrounds right in town. Mattano Park, Mickey Walker Spray Park, and Veterans Memorial Park all offer outdoor fun, where you can skateboard, cool off on a hot day, have a picnic, or just kick back and enjoy the spectacular view of the waterfront. Warinanco Park, part of the Union County Parks system, was designed Jersey Bound Latino Magazine | SUMMER 2016 | 67

From the Dominican Republic to NJPAC for the very first time, pianist and composer Michel Camilo gives a rare solo piano concert of his critically acclaimed songs, including “Caribe,” “From Within” and “Why Not!”

The Gipsy Kings Featuring Nicolas Reyes & Tonino Baliardo Sunday, May 15 • 7pm The Grammy-winning band behind “Bamboléo” celebrates 25-plus years of flamenco, salsa and pop fusion perfection in the party-starting spirit of the south of France.


Latin Events

Michel Camilo: Solo Piano Sunday, April 17 • 4pm & 7pm

Dodge Poetry at NJPAC: Oigo Cantar a América: Latina/o Poets Friday, May 27 • 8pm

An exciting evening of poetry and music with a chorus of Latina/o poets accompanied by Bobby Sanabria and Quarteto Aché.

Hispanic Youth Showcase Friday, May 27 • 7pm

See the stars of tomorrow shine in this unique, multi-disciplinary showcase featuring many of New Jersey’s finest young Hispanic dancers, musicians and singers.

Julio Pereira & James Hill Saturday, June 4 • 8pm

Ukulele meets its ancestor, Portuguese cavaquinho, through the captivating music of multi-instrumentalist Júlio Pereira, in concert with folk singer and songwriter James Hill.

Puerto Rican Day Parade Festival Saturday, June 11 • 8pm

Grupo Niche, Jerry Rivera, Sonora Ponceña, Willie Colon, Andy Montañez, Tito Rojas, Eddie Santiago, Los Adolescentes, Bobby Allende Band with DJ.

Jorge Celedon/Grupo Niche Friday, July 22 • 8pm

World-famous salsa band Grupo Niche and Grammy Award winner Jorge Celedón, “The Prince of Vallenato,” two iconic artists from Colombia, celebrate their independence day in true Colombian spirit.

Salsa Palooza Saturday, September 24 •8pm

You’ll leap to your feet when NJPAC hosts this explosive performance by salsa greats Tito Rojas (“El Gallo Salsero”), Charlie Aponte, Paquito Guzman, Ray De La Paz and special guests.

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