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May 2014 May 2014

pop culture with a latin twist



More CUNY Master’s Program Success Stories Hire Prospects in Public Service

 Michael Johnson Master of Political Science The CUNY Graduate Center Senior Advisor to the General Manager NYC Housing Authority

 Fatima Shama Master of Public Administration School of Public Affairs, Baruch College Vice President, Strategic Development and External Affairs Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn



By John Rodriguez “Why do you think we celebrate Cinco de Mayo?” I asked my friend while we were having lunch. The question was a simple one, and I figured since we were in a Mexican restaurant in Astoria, Queens it would be the best time to bring up why he thought we celebrate the 5th of May. “Well, it’s kind of like St. Patrick’s Day isn’t it,” he answered. “It’s to honor something important with a few cervezas, and enjoy the day!” What is the meaning of Cinco de Mayo? Like my friend, I was guilty of not knowing the significance of this day. So I decided to look up why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The biggest misconception about Cinco de Mayo is that it honors the day Mexico gained its independence. In fact, Mexico received its independence a good 50 years before what the 5th of May stands for. On May 5th, 1862 in Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico (now known as Puebla) a battle—known as the Battle of Puebla—was fought between France and Mexico during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). On this particular day in 1862, Mexico defeated the French. The victory was symbolic. It all started when, after becoming Mexico’s 26th president, President Benito Juárez (1806-1872) had to make a decision to default on the country’s crippling debt to European governments in order to avoid financial ruin. Not accepting the country’s default, Britain, France and Spain sent their naval fleet to Veracruz so that Juárez would be forced to pay back what the country owed.

While both Britain and Spain withdrew their forces after agreeing to a deal with Mexico, France did not. Ruled by Napoleon the 3rd at the time, France remained in Mexico to build a dependent empire within the country. After seizing Veracruz, President Juárez and his government were forced to flee. France then set its eyes on Puebla. With an estimated 6,000 troops, France was expected to take the city. However, Juárez with only 2,000 men lacking sufficient supplies and weaponry, stood up against the French army and resisted the assault on May 5, 1862. France lost nearly 500 soldiers yet only 100 Mexicans had been killed in the battle. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is largely celebrated in Puebla where the symbolic battle of Mexican strength occurred. During the day there are military parades, the Battle of Puebla is reenacted and other festive events are held. For other parts of Mexico, the day is an ordinary day with school, offices, and banks remaining open. Meanwhile, in America, Cinco de Mayo is viewed as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. From Chicago to Houston to Los Angeles, festivals enriched with mariachi music and Mexican cuisine are held to honor the day and the Mexican people’s endurance against oppression. So now you know what to toast to on Cinco de Mayo. Que Viva Mexico!!!!!


pop culture with a latin twist

Founder & Publisher Juan GuIllen Editor Maria V. Luna WEB EDITOR Shelley Mendoza

Page 22 ENTERTAINMENT 9 Reel to Real 10 Fashion 12 Trendspotting 14 On the Move NYC 15 Books 16 Gloria Trevi 17 Alfredo Rodriguez 18 Historia de Salsa 20 Deportes 22 Eiza Gonzales 23 Tatyana Marisol Ali 24 Black Latina Movement

Cultura 27 Odilia Rivera Santos

Metropolis 34 Brazil

iConomy 38 Bitcoin 39 Pop-up retail 40 Cambiar el Negocio de Remesas

Health 42 Home Decorating 44 Choosing not to be Superwoman 45 Men Skin Care 46 Six 6 de Mayo Remedies

Love Advice 48 Dear Judy MayMay 4 2014 2014

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Clara Galvano Geraldine estevez john rodriguez juan vides KEn Hunt leaura luciano Luis Vazquez Rachel Slaiman LULAINE COMPERE DAVID PUENTE CASAL JAHAIRA HOOKER intern Saudia Reid Translator Javier Casta単o Administrative Assistant Hope Lawrence Graphic Designer Luisa Grajales JOEL RODRIGUEZ Webmaster & IT Marcelo Rodriguez Photogagraphy Ralph Vargas, Reynaldo Payano, Eddie Olmo Cover Art Photography: MARCELO CANTU Makeup: ROKAEL LIZAMA Hair: ANTHONY LEE

Publisher’s Column

politics, education, wealth creation and more. Also, the Latino community still lacks a collective voice. More often than not we fight each other instead of organizing and working together. That internal struggle takes up valuable time and energy. We have the power to choose to invest in trust and progress (with people that have integrity of course) or distrust and disruption. Which do you think will bring more prosperous results? Think about it! In a world where the clock never stops, days and years just fly, isn’t it better to meditate on the lyrics of John Lennon’s song, “life is very short for punching and fighting my friends?” Please note, I am not saying we don’t work well together. Many times we do. However, when it comes to big things, significant movements, that’s when things begin to take a different direction.

The Latino Al Sharpton?

Intelligent Noise: Where is the Latino Al Sharpton?

The Latino community is even lacking a person, (not a paid elected official, but an activist) who can generate local, national and even international attention, simply from exposing common news, experiences and abuses of the community. We need someone like an Al Sharpton—“The Latino Al Sharpton.” We at LatinTRENDS are not interested in glorifying Mr. Sharpton nor are these palabras about him. I don’t agree with some of Mr. Sharpton’s ways, however, I personally respect what he has been able to do, which is to leverage power that he did not have to begin with and in doing so, has helped put his community and its issues on the map on a national and even global level by way of massive media attention! The Latino community stands to benefit from someone who has the traits of a Mr. Sharpton. It’s not so much that we are in search for the Latino Al’s more like where is this individual and when will he or she show up? Because when that happens, he/she will become a very powerful individual and in turn the community will benefit from it...simply put, because the “squeaky wheel, gets the oil.” In today’s cluttered world of high-stakes business, government and policy, the only way to get results without massive pockets (and the community typically is not deep pocketed. Not yet) is by making enough noise (intelligent noise) and this is how this Latino-like Al Sharpton can impact change.

After living in “the city that never sleeps” all of my life, and observing people, places and things—along with an ongoing personal curiosity of the strengths and weaknesses of the Latino community as individuals and as a body of people—I have come to the conclusion that, diversity within should be our biggest strength. Unfortunately, we have made it one our biggest weakness. The impact, visibility, diversity and complexity of the Latino community came to life in America, because the U.S. is where everyone migrated to from the (debatable) 22 countries of Latin America. U.S. Latinos and Hispanics all around the world have another advantage, and that is a unified language, unlike other cultures that have similar backgrounds, such as Middle Eastern and Asians who speak different languages. Latinos are the only global community (within so many countries) who are united in language...Español! There is a growing trend of people who are not of Hispanic descent that are interested in all things Latino. Many are fascinated by our rich and diverse cultures, and they should be, because we have a beautiful and interesting culture. Maybe, as a community, we can learn something from this trend?

However, in order for this person to be successful, he/she will have to own these characteristics and have these talents: have a high IQ, be quick on their feet, be very well spoken, have charisma, be fully bilingual, strong, fearless and posses the ability to influence media. It’s a significant set of skills and capabilities, but I have noticed that these are the qualities of a Mr. Sharpton-like individual. One more thing and this is an important one: How will this person make a living? It is very demanding work that cannot be done part-time and there are expenses. The person needs to be able to cover their living cost. Activists do not have a salary, and if they did, it can be tricky, because they may be controlled, or geared to what they can and cannot do. Mr. Sharpton allegedly received financial help when he started from the members of the black churches, celebrities and some of the wealthy within the African American community. He has even been an informant for the FBI, does that come with a nice paycheck?

Although the Latino community has grown to become the largest ethnic minority in America “the new kid on the block”, projected to rise to 130+ million in the U.S. by the year 2050, yet the community is nowhere near its potential. Much progress still needs to be made in media, business, government,

What do you think about this topic? Do you know anyone like this? Could that be you? Email us your thoughts at

6 May 2014

Mañana te toca llevar los niños a la escuela

2x 3 $

Sausage McMuffin® with Egg.

No importa lo que traiga el día, disfruta tu mañana con un sabor delicioso en McDonald’s. Precios y participación pueden variar. Oferta por tiempo limitado. Precio de artículo individual se anuncia en la tabla del menú. ©2014 McDonald’s.

First of all, there are way too many amazing actors in this super selfie, but isn’t Carlos de la Mota’s face hilarious? We are so used to seeing him as the grave-faced military hottie, Refugio, in the telenovela Lo que la vida me robó.

La Viuda goes on vacation? Yes,

Ana Serradilla not only knows how

to look amazing on camera, she looks gorgeous without a drop of make up too!

No way Jose! Reyes looks like he’s in the witness protection program with those sunnies and that burly beard.

Handsome telenovela star,

Lincoln Palomeque, takes a siesta

with his little buddy. Which one is cuter? We can’t decide.

Did you know that Meagan Good’s grandmother was half Puerto Rican? Isn’t she giving off a little Spanish Harlem in this picture right now? Yaaaasss, girl!

Singer of Para qué tantos besos, Noel Torres, on the red carpet of Premio Lo Nuestro. Isn’t he missing something? His accordion maybe?

Gossip hounds say

Naya Rivera

Brazilian musical sensation,

Maria Rita, looks totally adorable rocking the nerdy look.


May 2014

is morphing into Kim Kardashian. The classic blonde hair dye and breast augmentation certainly precede Kim so maybe it’s just a general Hollywood influence on Rivera.

Erick Rincon, Sergio Zavala (DJ Sheeqo Beat), and Alberto Presenda (DJ Otto) of the hit trio 3BALLMTY may look like they are just chilling but these are three of the hardest working guys in showbiz today. Respect.




Try A New Color The beach or pool is a great place to try a new trend! It all depends on complexion and personal preference. Even though black is always considered a slim choice, great colors like indigo, mulberry and charcoal have been the hot trending colors and offer a similar effect. We love this fringed bandeau-style bikini from Lucky Brand available at www.luckybrand.


It’s that time of year again to find new summer swimwear. In case you don’t know where to start, we’ve got a few tips to make bikini shopping a little easier.

Go Online The great thing about shopping online is that you can try on the swimwear in the comfort of your own home. This can make all the difference - you’re not afraid to step out of the dressing room to get a better look in the mirror, or check out what your derriere looks like!  Online Find: Meet D’Milikah, a Brazilian-inspired swimwear collection that caters to a “real woman” with a “real body.” Founded by Emily Gonzaga, a Brazilian-born designer raised in Sao Paulo, D’Milikah offers a variety of swimwear as well as unique accessories to complete an outfit from a day on the beach to a night on the town. See more at

10 May 2014


Flatter Your Figure Tall? Try a cut- out monokini, like this one from BECCA by Rebecca Virtue, available at www. While many women stray from stripes, women with long torsos should give them a go, to add visual appeal. Big Booty? Why hide it? Flaunt it! Trying to hide a fuller bottom only draws more attention and not the good kind. Instead wear bottoms that accentuate your hips such as tie-side bottoms.  


Step Up Your Swim: Sunga Style By LeAura Luciano

Summer of the Sunga

It’s official we’re in full-on countdown mode to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With Rio on our minds it’s only natural to be inspired by Brazilian fashion. The warm weather, bronzed skin and beaches gave birth to the infamous Brazilian-style bikinis for women… and the sungas for men! The fashion world seemed to take note for 2014. Swim trunks are shorter with a sleeker silhouette. The sunga, a Brazilian brief, flat in front, tight around the leg and loose around the waist is making a major splash. We uncovered the story of the sunga, and picked some of our favorite pairs of swim trunks (with shorter inseams) so that you could be among the trendsetters of the Brazilian men’s swimwear craze.

Naila Collection eco-friendly swimwear available at Boden Poolside Short available at Diesel Men’s Chino Swim Trunk available at GANT Rugger Men’s Flowers Swim Trunk available at



Your Sunday Best! Finding yourself in the pews on Sunday mornings? Getting married any time soon? Republican or Democrat? If you said no or I don’t know to any of these questions it may be that you are a millennial with new perspectives on social and cultural norms. Recent studies have shown that young adults have all but abandoned organized religion in the US and with that, marriages too are in decline. It could be that crazy 40-50% divorce rate scaring you off as well. And these days, lack of bipartisanship may leave you feeling like a child of divorce parents within government and politics! A Pew Research Center survey shows, “Half of American adults ages 18 to 33 are self-described political independents, while the other half of these so-called millennials are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, the highest share for any age group over the last decade.”

12 May 2014 May 2014

Kerry Washington made us laugh with her hilarious guest appearance on Saturday Night Live where she played about five different AfricanAmerican characters in one skit, driving home the point that SNL still had no African-American female cast member. Shortly after the episode aired, Sasheer Zamata joined the cast. (Let’s not forget that Maya Rudolph did precede Zamata but had departed from the show in 2007.) Yet, since Saturday Night Live’s start in 1975, there has never been a Latina in the cast. Pero porque? Well, The Comedy Girls, Jesenia and Jenni Ruiza, are working to fix that! These funny ladies founded a movement geared towards obtaining the attention of Lorne Michaels and SNL executives by developing their own hilarious comic skit addressing the lack of diversity in SNL. Check them out at and help spread the word. Let’s make some changes, mi gente!!!!

Check out LatinTRENDS interview with these funny ladies on


MONEY, HONEY! What’s in: Pay equality among men and women. Dems are pushing it and Republicans are blocking the bill, calling it redundant since an antidiscriminatory bill already exists.

What’s out:


Women make $0.77 to men’s $1.00. Some suggest the reason is that women take more time off from work to....I don’t know...give birth! Men are held to no standards during this critical time for their partners and newborn children. In fact just last month Daniel Murphy, Mets second baseman, came under fire for taking paternity leave to help his wife after the birth of their first son. Of missing the opening game, Boomer Esiason said, “Quite frankly I would’ve said ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.’”


For us serial daters and those just dipping a toe in the dating pool after a long hiatus, here are just a few apps for that!

Suggests matches using mutual Facebook friends. Users feel safe and a sense of familiarity with the potential match.


Just swipe through an endless carousel of potential mates. A bit superficial, no?


Who is down for the night? Select friends that interest you but they won’t know until they select you, too. After that... it’s on!


All-male, locationbased app for gay and bisexual men.





Presents Four Corners of the Clash with Que Bajo, Max Glazer & More

05/03 Agarrate Catalina 05/01 04/01 to


Hispanic American Fashion CultureVintage

Monday, April 28th – Monday, May 12th Instituto Cervantes NY - Various Locations If you did not get a chance to see this Hispanic American Fashion Cultural festival, don’t miss out. It will be on-going until May 12th, so check your local listings for location and prices. This festival is a must-see, must-join activity.

Saturday, May 3rd @ 7:00pm Stage 48 – 605 West 48th Street, New York, NY

Bounce Ballroom

with DJ Mike Q

Thursday, May 1st @ 8:00pm Brooklyn Night Bazaar – 165 Banker Street, New York, NY

If you are looking for a colorful, joyous and vibrant troupe of Carnival fun, this is the place to be. This live performance comes directly from Uruguay. Don’t miss out on all the fun.

For a FIERCE night of battling for the belles of the ball, watch vogue master DJ MikeQ and the party heat up as some of the freshest dancers, four dance styles and four dance crews go head to head on the dance floor for a party to remember.



Friday, May 9th @ 8:00pm B.B. King Blues Club and Grill 237 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

04/28 to 07/18


Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba

Monday, April 28th – Friday, July 18th The 8th Floor - 17 West 17th Street, New York, NY

Drapetomia is about the forgotten Grupo Antillano, which focused on the visual arts and cultural movement that thrived between 1978 and 1983. Harvard professor of Afro-Cuban art Alejandro de la Fuente is also the curator of this event. 14 May 2014

This energetic band knows how to really engage their audience with their killer dance moves and their lyrics. Everyone just can’t stop dancing to the beat of their sound.

Red Bull Music Academy Festival

05/10 Presents Brooklyn Flea Record Fair Saturday, May 10th from 11:00am to 6:00pm East River State (aka The Waterfront) 90 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Join the springtime festivities in the flea market extravaganza with great music from the best RBMA’s favorite DJs like Sandra Electronics (Regis & Silent Servant), Optimo, Jesse Cohen (Tanlines), Autre Ne Veut and much more. This ultimate treasure hunt will have you digging deep into the bins for exceptional finds from labels like Rough Trade, Domino, Warp and DFA.

Books LatinTRENDS (LT): What drove you to write this kind of book?

By Rachel Slaiman

Rick Najera (RN): My near-death experience. After being in a coma and in ICU, I wanted to chronicle my life. The title of the book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood, came from the perspective of how mainstream media sees Latinos.  To the media, we are not black; the only other minorities they recognize, we are, however, almost white so we, by and large, are ignored.

LT: How has Hollywood changed from when you were young to the time that you wrote this book?

RN: A lot has changed and ironically not much of Hollywood plays a big part in my life and as an actor, this is where I work. I have worked with many Latino stars, but as a kid, there was a lot of negativity and not a lot of positive influences that I saw on TV or film. Now, I see Latinos, but many of the same stereotypes are still there because most of the writers behind the scenes are still not Latino.

LT: What led you to titling your book the way you did?


RN: I wanted the title to be like us, which is great, but is hard to define and is both funny and ironic. I have had a lot of success, but I want more Latinos to join me. with

LT: Based on your book, what is your vision of the American dream? RN: Latinos are the solution, not the problem.

Rick Najera

LT: What is the song that is written in the book mean? How has it impacted your life?

Multi-talented and award winning writer, performer, director, and producer, Rick Najera is known for starring roles and working alongside many wellknown actors and actresses in Hollywood. He was born in San Diego, California, and learned both English and Spanish simultaneously at a very young age, which gave Najera a great advantage in the acting world. Now with everything that he has accomplished, Najera writes his memoir, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood, that not only focuses on his life, but how he defines being Latino. Najera sat down with LatinTRENDS to discuss his book.

RN: The song was called Babalu, originally written by Miguelito Valdes and it is African Cubano in origin and it’s about the Santeria religion. Santeria is an East African religion that was brought to Cuba with slaves. Listening to the song in a deeper sense, you will understand the history of Latinos and where we come from. As Africa-Spain natives, we have so many influences and that’s what makes us great. Desi Arnez made the song famous and he invented the three camera sitcom. We are contributors to Hollywood, but seldom do the mainstream media recognize this.

You might like these...

My Invented Country: A Memoir

A Memoir

A dual memoir that recounts their lives as a father and son, relating family history that spans over fifty years.

People and places influence author Oscar Hijuelos’ life in his autobiography set in 1950’s working-class New York City among Cuban immigrants.

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez with Hope Edelman

Isabel Allende


My Invented Country circles around two lifechanging moments on the same day almost 30 years apart from each other.

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

Thoughts Without Cigarettes:

Oscar Hijuelos




TERMINATOR By Luis Vazquez Gloria Trevi is enjoying her renaissance in the Latin music industry. The woman who shook up the music business with her loud, colorful outfits, long hair, old shoes, and controversial lyrics is back. She has paid the price and now, in the second half of her career, she is on tour once again with a new album. Trevi continues with a youthful heart and is eager to learn. “In the first half of my career, I was very successful, but I was very young.” Trevi shares. “A lot of things happened to me, more than you can imagine. But with love and a lot of work, I’m back like the Terminator,” Trevi laughs. Trevi has always had a unique relationship with her fans. She’s always had her finger on the pulse of the people. This is something that will be seen firsthand on the “De Pelicula” tour, which will have more of a technological edge in production divided by movie themes. But at the source is the music. “Each song is like a movie, some romantic, some drama,” Trevi explains. “People can feel the music like the soundtrack of their lives. We have a special relationship as they are the protagonists of the night. They live like stars that night. The relationship between the audience and me is stronger after the concert.” Trevi is young at heart and has always lived with a vibrant spirit. Even at 46, she draws a new generation of fans who didn’t know her in the mid to late nineties. “I have on my Twitter account a lot of young people who identify with my music.” She once was the Pied Piper but now she is poised to learn from those younger fans. “I am so happy because I believe in young people,” Trevi beams. “I’m an Aquarius and we are eternal teenagers, young in soul. I love to join young people and learn from them.” Trevi has plans. She has goals and is always seeking selfimprovement. Now she is ready to break down fences and conquer new lands. “I want to reach new fans in another country and another language,” she says. “I have a lot of things to say and a lot to give. I want to do this.” Trevi has been eyeing the U.S. market for some time. “That’s why I want to do this interview in English because it’s good for me and I want to break barriers. I want to speak it and sing it in my next album.” When the 2014 Billboard Awards celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 24th, Trevi sat at the conference’s Divas Panel with Leslie Grace, Kat Dahlia, and La Marisoul. It was confirmation that Trevi is still relevant today. She is enjoying life more than ever and she is in a good place. “I love doing things like this so I can share my experience, but I prefer to learn because kids have the answers and the power. Follow that innocence and you will always be on the right path.”

16 May 2014

Happy Within the Sounds of Life By Luis Vazquez

Many of us dream, few grab on to opportunity. A piano prodigy, moved by the power of the sound, followed his destiny from his homeland of Cuba to the United States. He played before many, worked with legends of the music business, and with the release of his second album, “The Invasion Parade,” Alfredo Rodriguez is loving life, one amazing day after another. “Everything in my life is reflected through my music. It’s simple. I am happy to be living life and learning.”

The son of a Cuban singer, and having an interest in the improvisational aspect of music and those who played it, Alfredo was drawn to the piano early on, knowing that it was to be the instrument that introduced him to the world. From the age of seven he trained at prestigious schools. But he found a different method of expression. “I started listening to improvisational music. It influenced me in part because we are improvising every day,” Alfredo explained. “My uncle at 12, he gave me a CD of Keith Garrett, one of my idols, a great improviser. Before that I was just playing classical music. Later, I started to form ideas, a message. I wanted to express with the piano who Alfredo Rodriguez is.” He was also looking to finally be able to work side-byside with a man who took a liking to his talent, Quincy Jones. “He liked my point of view and what I had to say.” It took three years to make it happen. Alfredo decided to defect while preforming in Mexico, by crossing the border to the U.S. “I just felt that I needed to make a change in my life in terms of music, of learning in general. I always like to challenge myself.” They had great chemistry and Alfredo was able to touch every aspect of his potential and creativity. “I just improvise and express who I am at that moment.” The result is the latest project called The Invasion Parade like everything else in Alfredo’s life, is pulled from his experiences in Cuba. Inspired by a tradition where there is a parade where everyone joins in, expressing themselves verbally and musically on any topic. “I just wanted to have that energy in one of the songs. I think about invasion of cultures, colors, and peace.” Now Alfredo continues to take the most from each day. The growth is evident from his first album to the current one. “The first was like a crossing the border, transition from my Cuban to North American experiences,” Alfredo says. “The second was like a rediscovery from a different point of view.”


Salsa Historia de

By Luis Vazquez



team was assembled called the Fania-All Stars.

Nuyoricans would get free run of the city as U.S. relations with Cuba caused a censorship of all things Cuban, including the flow of music which would be shut off until the early ‘80s. This opened up a golden age, fueled by Puerto Ricans in ‘70s in New York. A new culture soon followed as more Salsa hybrids were introduced as Willie Colon, Billy Valentine, Larry Harlow, and El Cantante himself, Hector Lavoe, brought the art to new levels. They soon took improvisation to new heights. An all-star


18 May May 2014 2014

The creation of the Fania All-Stars took New York by storm and Salsa worldwide. Founded by Dominican flautist and band-leader Johnny Pacheco and Jerry Masucci, they played montuno and plena tunes that became the modern sound of Salsa. The names that performed are iconic. “El Canario,” Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Ismael Miranda, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto,

Celia Cruz, and Hector Lavoe, among others. In addition, innovations continued as the Cuatro was introduced by Willie Colon. The plucked ten string guitar from Puerto Rico was blended along with established instruments. They sold out Yankee Stadium in 1971. Ralph Mercado was a promoter who opened the way to a slew of new and current Latin acts. Roger Dawson, at NY radio, provided a crucial outlet that no AM station did previously for Latin music. Fania took Salsa to Africa during the festival that preceded the Muhammad Ali- George Foreman fight in Zaire helping to complete

the circle. Along the way Europe and South America would become hotbeds for the music. Wherever Fania traveled, it started growth in those nations that later bred their own Salsa artists.

TITO AND CELIA The Mariela Boatlift opened Cuba back into the fold. Tito, from Puerto Rico, was established already and Celia, from Cuba, came to New York, and together they found a new niche for their respective skills. Puente as a musician and jazz composer in the ‘50s for several famous Cuban bands emerged as bandleader and earned

“Salsa can be felt throughout the echoes of time.” Salsa, whether you refer to a genre of music or one of our signature dances, can be felt throughout the echoes of time. The sounds of Spanish songs and guitars blending with African drums on the islands of the new world serve as the foundation of this form of music. It was soon elevated to the ballrooms and clubs of New York and ultimately to stadiums and arenas worldwide. But, like most histories, the origins are always disputed. However, it is generally agreed on that the Cuban “son” was essential as it provided the foundation for the sound. Yet, Puerto Ricans artists with Plena and Bomba already in hand came to New York where Cuban artists already had a foothold. They soon adopted the “son” and took it to new heights commercially. Mambo and the Cha Cha Cha was king and the Palladium was the center of Afro-Cuban music. Tito Rodriquez, Johnny Pacheco, Charlie Palmer, and Ray Barretto were continuing the manipulation of the music. But the embargo in 1962 would turn dancehalls like the Palladium into empty shadows of what they once were.

the moniker “The King of Latin Music” and Celia, who arrived in the late ‘70s became so famous for singing Salsa that she was crowned “Queen of Salsa” among other accolades. Throughout the ‘80s they were the faces of Salsa and were icons until their respective deaths. The spread of Salsa to Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Europe, and Japan can be credited to those artists and promoters who toured these countries, taking advantage of the media capital of New York to spread the word. This set up the foundation for fresh approaches from those area, for example Oscar D’Leon from Venezuela, Grupo Niche and Joe

Arroyo. Carlos Vives from Colombia vallenatoSalsa with the accordion as the centerpiece instrument made great strides for the next two decades. Improvisation begat style changes like Jose Alberto Salsa Romantica. However as younger Latinos were drawn to American rock bands and Merengue in the Dominican Republic drew the former large numbers Salsa once drew.

THE NEW GENERATION A rebirth of Salsa was built on younger artists who were formerly doing freestyle or dance music. A man named Sergio George pioneered a

mixture of Salsa with pop style of the early ‘90s. He put young bi-lingual stars at the forefront that had only moderate success in the English market though they were all born here placed them in the Spanish market. Marc Anthony, La India, Brenda K. Starr, and Son by 4 experienced success there that they never came close to achieving in the English market.

NEW YORK ALWAYS COOKS THE POT New York, by its nature, is a melting pot, has always blended styles to

create a new hybrid set of music. This has been in evidence over the years as bi-cultural artists helped take old music styles and make them relevant again. In recent years Dominican-American artists Romeo and Prince Royce, signaling a Bronx revival in the mainstream did it for Bachata, adding an urban or romantic edge to them, making them relevant for a new generation of fans. Romeo just recently sold out Yankee Stadium, the first Latino act to do so since the Fania All-Stars. They followed the tradition of artists like Ruben Blades and Hector Lavoe as they usher in the latest branch off of the Salsa formula. 19

Photo by Diana Long - The Innocent Bystanders Photography

By Luis Vazquez

“It takes a lot of persistence. There are no mentors.”


manda Blaze, as her name implies, is blazing a trail for herself and women in general. The field of action is the world of the DJ. Yet her plans go beyond entertaining the house or arena with the best mixes around. A Cleveland, Ohio, Boricua, Amanda Blaze is in a good place after years of struggle and uncertainty. “You have to believe in yourself,” Amanda explains. “You have to know your goals, you have to not limit yourself.” As a college graduate and single mother, she could have taken the easy path. With a masters degree in sociology from Penn State University, she had her ticket, yet she was pulled away by the DJ sets at school parties. Something there appealed to her and as she was taught the ways of the art. She moved to New York City and built her name from scratch. “I came to New York for the sole purpose of music and building my brand.” Back then she was known as DJ Blazito. She was young and ambitious, but the opportunities were few and far between. But using what she learned at State and applying it in key spots, she improved her brand. By being in the mix she came upon a grand

20 May 2014

opportunity with the 40/40 Club, Jay-Z’s place. “A friend was building me up saying ‘She’s the hottest female DJ now.’ Someone was sick and I filled in there,” Amanda recalls. “They were like, we want you to come back. I considered it a platform.”

This past year, after spending quite a few years getting to this point, she re-christened herself, Amanda Blaze. It was a case of a more mature woman personally and professionally. But through all her years in the business, she noticed that she was still the exception, far from the rule. “It’s really disappointing. There are not a lot of us.” Amanda laments. “It takes a lot of persistence. There are no mentors. Male DJ’s tend to look out for each other.” Amanda knows this better than anyone. The day-to-day grind of the woman with a dream with no real support except her desire and a little man whose future was determined

by this singular decision would have its moments of indecision. But Amanda was built for the long haul. “I was asked how much longer I do this because it takes a lot of personal sacrifice,” Blaze tells us. “I spent a lot of money to make money.” But the foundation was always education and it made her a businesswoman. The future looks bright because the tracks have already been laid along the way. As she continues to live up to the moniker “The hottest female DJ in the World,” Amanda’s outlook is positive and her goals are in the proper perspective. “This year, I feel different, more confident. I know what I’m trying to do with the music,” Amanda reflects. “My goal is radio, a mix show, me, the DJ, rocking out. I need to reach more people.” And more people need to know about this Nittany lioness.


Photos by April Pabon Photography

By Clara Galvano Coming to you soon on YouTube is a series of vignettes from the 2011 play, The Colors of Love, which deals with the many facets of life that Black Latinos confront daily. Crystal S. Roman, one of two executive producers and the creator of the web series, is excited about bringing these episodes to you, which will be shown every two weeks in 2-5 minute loops. Roman, whose father is from Isabela, Puerto Rico and whose Mother is a San Juanera and Jamaican, is in business with her best friend, Apryl G. Lopez, who is Ecuadorian and African American. Together, they have forged ahead and their company, now in its 7th year, has sunny days ahead with a tour beginning in June that will bring their play to colleges in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and other areas. Roman and Lopez began their careers as actresses and quickly learned that what they were bringing to auditions was not exactly what directors and producers wanted. They felt pigeonholed in an industry that didn’t really know what a Black Latina was and what a Black Latina could do. “It was painful. How could they tell me what was in my heart?” Roman laments. “They wanted to tell me ‘This is who you are and how you act and how you live’ and it wasn’t either one of us. Just because I don’t speak Spanish doesn’t mean I am not a Black Latina—that is who I am. Am I not Latina enough for you? I mean, what IS a Black Latina, you know? The Black Latina Movement was born from dissatisfaction of how the entertainment industry perceived us. Now we are seeing more movement, with actors like Rosario Dawson, Zoe Saldana, Gina Torres and Jeimy Osorio (LT 11/13 cover) breaking all sorts of rules. This is encouraging.” The mother of two beautiful boys, Matthew and Noah, Roman talked about the couples depicted in the vignettes. All are at different stages of their lives. One couple, for instance, is young and transitioning into cohabitation. Another couple is older and more settled into their married lives. The husband wants children and the wife doesn’t, highlighting the fact that not all men are against starting families. The third couple is the eldest of the couples and both are successful and have tons of money. The wife is an attorney and the husband feels they have lost touch with each other so he is pushing for couple’s therapy. (Roman plays the wife!) The last couple is also living together. She wants to breakup and he doesn’t understand why. Meanwhile, she is having an affair...with another woman. Roman wants to continue IMAGE OF THE LADIES: Melissa Blanco (Crystal S. Roman) Valerie Naranja (Dahiana Torres) Brittany Green (Miriam

Morales) Angela Brown (Apryl Lopez)

IMAGES OF THE MEN: Jeffrey Blackman (Antonio Lopez) Franklin Grayson (Quincy Chad) James Rojo (Deron Camp-

bell) Mark Pinkette (Elliott Lee Cowart)

pushing the envelope. “These situations and many more are present in the lives of our people, and I don’t want any taboos to stop us from showing their faces.” Having an interest in one’s ethnic background is very important to Roman, who feels many Black Latinos don’t delve into their ancestry as deeply as they should. With so many programs available to uncover one’s ancestry, there is no reason to remain uneducated. According to some experts, the largest group of African men and women came to Puerto Rico, for instance, from the Yorubas tribe in Nigeria, the Bantus in the Guinea and the Dahomey in present day Benin. The number of slaves in Puerto Rico skyrocketed from 1,500 in 1530 to 15,000 by 1555. The slave trade was humming along and all the islands in the Caribbean such as the Dominican Republic, St. Croix and Cuba are filled with history that can be accessed electronically. Be proud of who you are because Black IS Beautiful. Check out the Black Latina Movement on and shop their branded merchandise of T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, baseball caps and more! Follow them on Twitter @OfficialBLMvMt and if you know any Black Latinas, share this information with them.

Deportes By Clara Galvano Romantic, a soft-spoken pussycat of a man. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Let me try again. Ferocious, a dangerous Aztec Warrior…that’s a bit better. But it still doesn’t sound right. Clearly, describing three-time World Boxing Champion great Fernando Vargas is problematic. Yes, he is ferocious, but he is also a romantic. He says so himself and to prove it, while he was on Univision’s “La Republica Deportiva” sports show, he tricked his then fiancée, Martha, to come on stage with him so he could propose. Martha, stunned, broke down in tears and accepted! “I was totally overwhelmed. I had no idea what he was going to do. He tricked me,” says Martha. Why did he do it? “So I could show the world how much I loved her” he responds. Married for 20 years, they are starring in “Welcome to Los Vargas,” Mun2 Television Network’s newest reality show. Inspiring. Fun. Unexpected. Playful. With four precocious children, Fernando, Jr., Amado, Emiliano and Mibella, life is never dull. Having Martha’s father, Alfredo, living with them makes their lives even more interesting. With a twinkle in her eye, Martha mentions one of the shows in which she and her husband visibly argued. Why? Because his biological father turned up out of the blue and she didn’t want him around; she wanted to protect her husband. She thought the camera was off, but it wasn’t and it turned out for the best because it showed that even in the most loving families, discord happens and you have to deal with it. Martha laughed and said, “There have been many times when I have said ‘God, why? Why am I married to this man?’” Vargas laughs softly and says, “Me, too. I have asked why did she accept me? I guess with love and faith things have worked out. We’ve been together for 20 years and yes, we have had our ups and downs, but man, I hit the lottery with Martha. She’s the best!” Fernando Vargas, now 36, didn’t have it so good growing up. Not having his biological father around him, he became aggressive and turned his aggression into boxing early on. At 21, he became the youngest fighter to become World Light Middleweight Champion. A life of hard knocks has made him strong and determined to be the best father he could be. “I went through all that so that I could love my children and treat them the right way. I broke the cycle. All I do, I do for them. They are my life.” He tries, through his example, to show other men to be there for their kids, not to be absent fathers. Vargas has now opened a gym and welcomes anyone who has the dream of becoming the next great boxing champ. “I’m training this guy, Daniel “Chino” Marin, right now. He came to me two months ago from Boise, Idaho, and just showed up in faith, not 22 May 2014

knowing whether or not I would accept him. That’s what I call faith. He took a chance on me and now I’m working with him. He has a lot of promise.” The fight Vargas will always remember? “Oh that was with [Raul] Marquez. I couldn’t wait to fight him. I was defending my title. I was euphoric…it was hilarious how I felt. I was running hard and I felt so good. It was like I never felt before. I felt so good.” Up until then, Vargas had been leaning forward, remembering the fight then having finished reliving the moment, he relaxes visibly against the seat. There is a big smile on his face and his head is nodding. Martha smiles at him and touches his knee. She understands that boxing has been his life and she has been with him on his good days and on his bad days. Watch Welcome to Los Vargas as they continue the journey. Mun2 is part of Telemundo Media, A Division of NBC Universal. Check for a schedule of Welcome to Los Vargas.

Jason Collin, former NBA basketball player

to announce he was homosexual. John Amaechi, who played for the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Or-

By Lulaine Compere

he 1960s and 70s was a turbulent time in American history. Different segments of society were marginalized yet they made many of their voices heard and pushed for their rights. Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and LGBT Rights were all the result of a push by activists who advocated for equal and just treatment under the law, freedom to be who they were. Most recently, national rhetoric has turned to the issue of homosexual athletes and their right to live openly. Sports and entertainment figures are immensely influential in American society and, for better or worse, they play a large role in reflecting the country’s values. People like Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Jack Nicklaus are just a few sports figures who are still idolized in American society. Yet, concerns over homophobia in the locker room weren’t as prominent when they played as it is today. In 2013, Jason Collins, a former NBA basketball player, announced to the world that he was gay via a Sports Illustrated cover story. Ever since then Collins has been a hot topic of discussion within the media. Yet he isn’t the first basketball player

lando Magic, announced in 2007 that he was homosexual. He even wrote a book titled “Man in the Middle” detailing how he dealt with being gay while playing in the NBA. The National Football League is currently grappling with the topic of homosexuality as it relates to Michael Sam as well. Sam is a college football star from the University of Missouri. NFL teams are scouting him and if he is signed Sam will be the first active NFL player to announce his sexuality publicly. Former NFL player Wade Davis is the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, which made a special presentation to NFL coaches focused on debunking myths about gay athletes and addressing locker room etiquette. The sports world has reflected something of a don’t ask—don’t tell policy among the players and management, but support for the LGBT community is on a steady rise. A new discourse of acceptance, respect and equality glows in the horizon, perhaps just a little beyond the goal post.


Television photoGRAPHY courtesy of El Rey Network.

By Clara Galvano CRIME. HORROR. LUST. ACTION. VAMPIRES…Yeah, baby! Interested? Go get some garlic and join the fun because when the new series From Dusk Till Dawn, based on the 1996 supernatural crime horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino, comes to your screen you will want some protection. The brothers Seth and Richie Gecko are at it again, and so is the fabulous and deadly Santánico Pandemonium!! And yes, they all end up in the Titty Twister strip club again. When will they get there? Stay tuned because the 10-part series is the brainchild of Mr. Rodriguez and he is in no rush. If you have never seen From Dusk Till Dawn, the cult movie starring a young George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and you rent it, you will definitely notice some similarities, but don’t get comfortable— the series has some surprises for you, and I am not telling. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Eiza Gonzalez, 23, the actor who plays Santánico Pandemonium, the club’s star performer, who just happens to be a very attractive vampire. Gonzalez is very excited about her role and says so far it’s her favorite because she gets to wear all that interesting makeup. How long does it take to put on all that makeup? “On a good day, it takes about four (4) hours to put it on… 24 May 2014

you know I have fangs, long fingers, all those plastic parts that turn my body into a horrible monster. You know, it’s funny but I remember seeing something that Salma Hayek, the original Santánico Pandemonium, said about all the makeup. When she was in her regular clothing looking normal, everybody talked to her and hung out with her, but once she had all the makeup on her face and body, no one would come near her. And the same happened to me!!! I didn’t expect that!” Gonzalez saw the original movie when she was six years old and cried when Salma did the “snake dance.” So, does Gonzalez have a phobia about snakes like Hayek did? (Hayek had to go into therapy just so she could do that one dance!) “Just watch and see. I just hope I look as good as she did. I had to gain 5 kilos because Rodriguez wanted me to look curvy and natural. Rodriguez respects women and their bodies. Working with Robert is like working with your best friend. He is so respectful. He allows you to create. As an actor you are blessed when you have an idea in your head and the director lets you be, grow and explore. Every single note he gives you is based on his truth. He’s one of the coolest people I know. You totally understand why he is who he is.”

Gonzalez is Mexican-born and is very proud of her country’s rich culture. She mentions the beautiful temples that were so wonderfully and masterfully made that people can still go to them and visit them. She is glad that Rodriguez is delving deeper into that aspect of their history. The new series is showing on Robert Rodriguez’ TV network, El Rey, and really takes the original story to another level in that he explores the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican myths more closely. Was there blood, gore and more blood in many of the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican stories? You bet, so be on the lookout for loads of it in this series. The series is on El Rey every Tuesday at 9PM, ET. Don’t forget the garlic!

LatinTRENDS: You are such a beautiful and successful young lady that adding you on this My Black is Beautiful project was truly a perfect match. How did you get involved with Imagine a Future program? Tatyana Ali: Last year I was part of a documentary film called Imagine a Future. It’s a beautiful film that follows one young woman’s journey to self confidence and there are many interviews in that documentary and I was one of the people that they interviewed. It was incredible what happened last year; it just opened up this dialogue. LT: Did you feel like it was a journey to gain your selfconfidence? TA: Oh yeah, absolutely. I feel like I’ve only now in my 30s reached my stride in terms of really being fully confident in terms of loving what I see when I look in the mirror, knowing that my integrity, the way I conduct myself in life, in business, my education all of those things really shine through me how important those things are and how positive those things are. I’m only now at this point in my life really able to stand in my own shoes and really say, ‘Yeah, this is who I am and I like it. I think it’s wonderful. I think I’m dope.’ And that’s the message that [My Black is Beautiful] is trying to send out. There’s so much strength in that and I think the hope is to really create a movement so that young girls don’t have to feel the way that they felt in the past. LT: Being an Afro Latina there tends to be particular challenges. Can you share one and how you overcame it? TA: Being Afro Latina is interesting. It kind of depends on where in the country you live. If you live someplace like New York I think maybe it’s a little bit more acceptable. People understand that people of Latin descent come in all colors and shapes. Being in someplace like California it’s a little bit harder. My dad is Indian so when I was little I would always get the question “What are you?” Literally that was the question, not “Where are you parents from?” And there’s something really alienating about that when you feel like you’re not black enough for this community or people don’t think you’re Latin so you don’t fit into this group. And when you’re talking about beauty, part of what you’re talking about the standard of beauty. It’s a set standard of beauty that usually comes from some false concept of what beauty is. And it never has to do with what’s inside. It’s racially motivated, it’s culturally motivated, it’s motivated by so many things and when you’re young and you’re trying to fit in and people don’t know where to place you it can be very difficult. I mean that’s what I went through growing up.

By Shelley Mendoza Tatyana Marisol Ali is an American actress and R&B singer, daughter of an Afro-Panamanian mother and an Indo-Trinidadian father.  Ali is best known for her childhood roles on Sesame Street (1985) and playing Ashley Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She also has a recurring role on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless as Roxanne. Ali is one of the celebrity ambassadors for My Black is Beautiful and Imagine a Future. The 30-day “Beauty in Action”  challenge kicked off in March which encouraged and celebrated the efforts of young black girls who put their beauty into action to benefit their community. In a world where beauty is often defined by one’s outer exterior, My Black is Beautiful (MBIB) is paving a path towards a new standard of beauty. In its second year of its Imagine A Future program—which seeks to reach and teach one million black girls to believe her Black is Beautiful—MBIB is challenging its community of black women to redefine what it means to be beautiful on their own terms and by their own actions…and to put

LT: How can women get involved with MBIB? TA: You go to the MBIB Facebook page and every day there will be a new video with Lisa Nichols on it giving you a new challenge for that day. People can share their experiences and the beautiful thing about Facebook is that we all get to communicate with one another. But the idea is to really take 30 days and create transformation in your life. LT: Do you have any future projects in the works? TA: I actually just finished a film, a romantic comedy called November Rule, which is a prequel story about a guy who has a rule that by November he breaks up with anyone he’s dating because he doesn’t want to go through the holidays, doesn’t want to go through New Year’s with that person. It’s really great. We just finished it. La La Anthony is in it. It’s a really great cast and it’s really funny. Now I’m working on music. It’s so funny, even the process of putting out the music was very much like a 30-day challenge. I haven’t put music out since I was 17, since I was very young, and I’ve been writing all this time so it’s really been me stepping out on faith. It really is me being able to say “This is who I am. This is what I believe in.” 25

Movies By Shelley Mendoza

From acting and directing movies, short films, commercials and music videos, this 38 year-old Dominican from New York is making some major moves in the entertainment industry. Jesse Terrero’s first feature film directorial debut was Soul Plane which starred Kevin Hart, Sofia Vergara, and Tom Arnold, amongst others. He also directed the short film, The Clinic and his first student film Super 8. He landed an associate producer internship with the romantic comedy I Like It Like That after college. Terrero’s most notable credits include directing music videos with celebrities like Enrique Igleias, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, Nas and countless others. “Every celebrity is different but I would say Enrique and Jennifer both share a similar work ethic when it comes to music videos. When you work with artists like that it usually brings out your best work because you’ve got to step up and really be on point,” says Terrero. Terrero grew up in a Hispanic household in Jamaica, Queens, a predominantly black neighborhood, but attended an all-white school. He says of his upbringing, “It gives me a very specific vision in the way that I see the world. Seeing all the different perspectives of life I think kind of gave me a very broad and specific vision.” At 11 years old, Jesse started making home movies with a VHS camera his mother bought him and his brother, Ulysses. The pair worked side-by-side on multiple projects. “It’s great, he’s spent most of the time with me in this industry and I think that even though we think very differently he understands what’s needed so when we work on our jobs together [when it’s my job] he knows what it takes to help elevate what I need to get done. He doesn’t have an ego, just gets the job done for me and helps me out whichever way he can. And vice versa—if he’s directing and I’m on set I try not to meddle too much, but I try to do what I can to make sure that he puts out the best work possible,” he says. He discovered his passion for directing his first year of college when he worked on the film Juice with the late Tupak Shakur. “When I worked on that set I saw a bunch of people that looked like me working on the film behind the scenes. It helped me see the vision of what could be done and I changed my major that year from business to communications and directing and theater.” Aside from directing, Terrero has acted in several television shows, such as Law and Order, Brooklyn South, and The Sopranos. When he started out as an actor, his views on being in front of

26 May 2014

discouraging going into castings and having someone who knows nothing about your culture try to explain to you how you’re supposed to act,” he tells us. But with things progressing in the Hispanic market, getting in front of the camera again might be in the works. “If it’s the right kind of role where I can get in there and have some fun, for sure. I feel like eventually I might step back in front of the camera.” When I asked him what artists he would love to work with he says, “I’ve known Jennifer for a long time. That was a dream come true just from being a New Yorker and watching what she’s done and being inspired by her. It’s amazing to be working with her. There’s a couple of artists I would love to work with like Beyonce, Rihanna Kanye, Lady Gaga—artists who allow you to push the limits and do something different.” Terrero has some very impressive future projects in the works. Right now he has a project in development, which, he explains, is a cross between City of God and Fast and Furious on motorcycles. “It’s a Spanish-language movie that will star a lot of music acts in reggaeton. There’s a possibility it will star someone like Wisin and we’ll blend it with other actors who speak Spanish but are American actors.” He is producing a film version of the New York play La Barberia with David Maldonado who produced El Cantante. He also has been developing a television series for the last six years called the Wild Cowboys based on the book set in the late ‘80s early ‘90s. “It is a story about these Dominican kids from Washington Heights and their search for the American dream and it definitely deals with drugs and violence. And we are trying to find the humanity in it as well, so when people see it, it’s not one sided. It doesn’t paint a picture that that’s all the Dominicans are capable of doing. That’s all we do is sell drugs. It’s set in the world of that because it’s a true story about these kids, but you get to feel the relationship between these two friends and the different choices that they tend to make and where the city was at that time.” At this level of his career he says, “I’m not going to feel satisfied as a filmmaker until I’ve reached the level of success that I want in filmmaking. That is my passion—to prove myself in that arena. I proved myself in the music video arena already. Right now my real focus and goal is to make that same impact in television and make that same impact in film.”


And here is a throwback of a young Vergara

By Geraldine Estevez May 11th is Mother’s Day, but we all know mothers deserve recognition each and every day for all of their hard work. After all, a mother’s job is never done, and we’ve picked out ten Latina moms who know this all too well.

Colombian actress Sofia Vergara stars in the ABC comedy

Modern Family, and doesn’t let work get in the way of spending quality time with nineteen-year-old son Manolo. Puerto Rican actress

Roselyn Sanchez

When singer-songwriter Shakira isn’t in the studio recording, she’s often out and about with her little man, Milan, whose adorable crying face she imitated and posted on Instagram.

is married to American actor Eric Winter, but she’s determined to raise her daughter fully bilingual.

There’s no denying Christina Aguilera is a powerful singer and

also a powerful mom. She is often seen outdoors with six-year-old son Max.

After having an accident that left her temporarily paralyzed, singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan stopped touring to dedicate herself to her family.

Singer, actress and businesswoman Jennifer Lopez is always on the go, but rarely without her twins Max and Emme, who accompanied her on her “Dance Again” world tour, as well as other engagements.

Actress Barbara Mori, best known for her role in the popular soap opera Rubí, and most recently for starring in the new MundoFox series Dos Lunas, refers to her 16-year-old son, Sergio Mayer Mori, as her life.

Lala Anthony never ceases to amaze us. Mother to little Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, Lala makes motherhood look like easy, breezy fun—which it is! Just kidding. Motherhood is hard work.

Devious Maids star

Dania Ramirez welcomed twins Gaia and Aether in December, and constantly posts pictures and videos of the adorable pair on Instagram.

28 May 2014

Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien is proud of her Cuban and African-American background and aims to encourage other Latinos, as well as her own children, to embrace their culture.

By Clara Galvano

poetry by

Love When You Say Love is Afro-Puerto Rican Odilia Rivera Santos’ latest foray into the world of words. Why write about love? “Inspiration. Love is one of those topics that lends itself to many interpretations no matter what country you’re from or in. It’s about loyalty. No matter what. Friendship. Receive. Reject. There are so many aspects you can touch upon. Love is a transformative experience that can derail you or bolster you and put you on the right path. Too many women have been destroyed, terrified by the idea of not being wanted. You can’t chase love. So the topic is always interesting to write about. Looking through what I am calling her “signature” glasses, she says “Look, the concept of love…what is it anyway, an adrenalin pump? How does love arrive in a person’s life? What about arranged marriages? Choice has been taken out. Is that the best way? What is the best way? People will do what they need to do. Like I said before, people are terrified of being alone. I wanted to write about love because people do not behave like the words they speak. They are using language to get what they want. You just want to say, ‘Are you loving me, or are you just BSing me?’” Rivera Santos was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her storytelling is a natural gift, she says. Her grandparents got as far as the third grade. Her mom made it to the sixth and her father to fifth. One thing they all shared was the gift of storytelling. Her grandmother had a television that she never turned on. She had a doily on it, and would remove it if a guest wanted to watch it, but she never could understand why anyone would watch TV with so much to see and experience around you. They were very, very poor but it was a gift, because their life was sustainable and very natural. They were attached to the soil, and if they didn’t grow something they needed, they would go down the road and barter for what they wanted from their neighbors who did the same with them. They were the kind of family where everyone had two sets of clothes, one for work and one for church. When her father took sick, they came to New York for healing; he had kidney problems and one paralyzed leg. That’s when she realized they were really poor. It was a

huge change for her and she started to notice how they were being perceived as poor people. To this day, Rivera Santos says she only goes where she is celebrated, not tolerated. And what does she say to those that do not celebrate her? “F.U., you ignorant racist asshole.” She loves it when people say “Oh, Puerto Ricans have had it so good.” Do they know anything at all about the history of Puerto Rico? “Do they know about ‘La Operacion’ when countless Puerto Rican women were sterilized so they wouldn’t have any more children? Oh yeah, PRs have had it real good.” She was on a roll, ladies and gents. Rivera Santos is very committed to helping her Latino community. “Do something good for someone else, even if you don’t stand to gain anything from it. We have to add value to our community, this is very important. Can I be of value to you?” Rivera Santos holds a degree in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing from Smith College and her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in Spanish and English, have appeared in numerous print and online journals. Love When you Say Love is her first collection of poetry and it is being published by Editorial Trance, a digital publishing platform that seeks to broaden the literary margins of the Latino experience in both English and Spanish. They are going to be publishing e-books for bicultural/bilingual readers. Rivera Santos is really happy to be working with them. Marlena Fitzpatrick, CEO of the publishing house says this about the writer/poet “Editorial Trance honors its commitment to publish powerful and daring female voices. Love is a language and Odilia Rivera Santos is its literary expert. She brings a fresh new perspective to what love means for independent Latina women.” Rivera Santos is also working on a collection of fairytales for adults. The collection will be at your local bookstore soon, so look for it. Something else to look forward to from Odilia Rivera Santos, is that she will serve as librettist for a new bilingual opera for which Arturo O’Farrill will compose music. Two incredibly talented individuals creating “una obra original para el teatro.” I can hardly wait!


By Geraldine Estevez

With coffee in hand and Drake’s recent album playing in the background, Adrienne Bailon—singer, actress and businesswoman—welcomes me inside her hair, makeup and wardrobe room. Bailon’s makeup artist, Porsche Cooper sits beside her, while Grace Barretto, Bailon’s stylist, paces, meticulously arranging the wardrobe selections that lay on the table. With its pastel-colored walls and ample space, the room has a relaxed ambiance fueled with a burst of energy emanating, for the most part, from Bailon. “Nothing is off the table,” Bailon exclaims. “You can ask me anything.” As candid as she appears on The Real–the Fox daytime talk show she hosts alongside Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley–she is even more so in person. “We love Drake’s album. We feel that he gives us good vibes,” says Bailon. Good vibes are all around, as her stylist describes the array of wardrobes, landing on the day’s choice–a cream pencil skirt, snakeskin leather top, designer coat and a bundle of rings from Bailon’s very-own curated Effy Jewelry collection. “We like to mix high-end with low-end,” Barretto reveals, acknowledging the diversity of the pieces she selected. Bailon’s makeup artist adds that selecting a look depends on the mood and occasion. Sometimes it’s all about accentuating the eyes; other times it’s about emphasizing a dark lip. On this particular day, she has done a little of both, giving Bailon bold eyes and vampy lips. Minutes later, the good vibes follow us outside as we head to the studio where Bailon is scheduled to be interviewed for the promotion of her latest film, I’m In Love With a Church Girl, in which she stars alongside rapper/actor Jeff “JaRule” Atkins. Bailon has matured exponentially as an artist and entertainer since her role in the Disney musical film, Cheetah Girls (2003). Before starring in the Disney movie, Bailon was a member of the girl-group 3LW (1999). Even then, while her songs blared through speakers, Bailon maintained a sense of pride for her heritage that is once again evident when I sit down to speak with her. Acknowledging her role in the Fox daytime talk show The Real, she says, “I think that’s such a huge thing to be one of the first Latinas

30 May 2014

ever on daytime English-language television. For me, that’s such a huge, huge, huge honor.” “But at the same time, it’s kind of sad,” she reflects. “To be one of the firsts – it’s sad. I think we definitely need to be more represented on television. We are mainstream. We are American. I definitely have my Latin culture, but at the same time, I am English-speaking.” “I grew up on Delancey with Joyería Pepe on the corner,” Bailon says. Growing up, she was taught to appreciate both aspects of her culture—speaking Spanish in the household and learning English in school, and she plans to raise her children the same way. Bailon remains connected to her Hispanic roots not just by speaking the language, but by listening to Latin music and indulging in Latin cuisine, “I’m a huge fan of Marc Anthony. Vivir Mi Vida is one of my favorite songs. I’m a huge La India fan. I love listening to Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe. Juan Luis Guerra is also one of my favorites.” “I am a cuchifritos fanatic. I actually don’t like to eat big meals. I’m more of a picker,” she explains. “I like to eat a little bit of everything, so for me, cuchifritos is perfect. I love relleno de papa. I love alcapurrias. Those are my go-to favorite foods, my comfort food.” When it comes to glamour and style, Bailon is inspired by fellow Latinas, Jennifer Lopez–who can pull off “a very NYC chic”– and Nicaraguan, Bianca Jagger, Mick Jagger’s ex-wife. Bailon continues to push forward, expressing her orgullo and determination wherever she goes. Besides working on a film, Bailon introduced her curated Effy Jewelry collection during New York Fashion Week. “I own like five different name plates and rings. I definitely love jewelry,” she confesses. Through hard work and determination, Bailon has designed and maintained her success–an acting career that won’t cease, a love for fashion, an incredible fan base that supports her through thick and thin, and endless ideas driven by passion.

“The most important thing is to do something you’re really passionate about and something that you genuinely love, “she affirms. “Don’t do it because oh, this is a market that makes a lot of money. You’ll give 100% of yourself if you’re passionate about it.”


Por Geraldine Estevez

Con un café en la mano y escuchando el álbum preferido de Drake en el fondo, Adrienne Bailón, cantante, actriz y empresaria, me da la bienvenida en su cuarto de vestir en donde preparan su cabello y maquillaje. La maquillista de Bailón, Porsche Cooper, está sentada detrás de ella mientras que Grace Barretto, la estilista de Bailón, arregla meticulosamente la ropa del guardarropas que está sobre la mesa. Con espacios amplios y las paredes de color pastel, el cuarto posee una atmósfera relajada y está ambientado con la energía que emana, en su gran mayoría, de Bailón. “Podemos hablar de todo”, explica Bailón. “Me puedes preguntar cualquier cosa”. Tan cándida como aparece en The Real, el show de Fox que durante el día es la anfitriona junto a Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai y Tamera Mowry-Housley, lo es aún más en persona. “Nos encanta el álbum de Drake. Sentimos que nos da buenas vibraciones”, dice Bailón. Las buenas vibraciones están en todo lado mientras que su estilista describe la variedad de trajes para escoger hoy en día, una falda crema, un chaleco de cuero, abrigos de diseñador y una gran variedad de anillos diseñados y curados por Bailón para la colección Effy Jewelry. “Nos gusta mezclar lo sofisticado con lo común”, revela Barretto al mismo tiempo que reconoce la diversidad de piezas que seleccionó. El maquillista de Bailón añade que seleccionar un estilo depende del estado de ánimo y la ocasión. Algunas veces sólo se trata de acentuar los ojos, otras veces consiste en resaltar un labio oscuro. En este día particular, ha hecho de los dos, resaltar los ojos de Bailón y ponerle labios de vampira. Algunos minutos después, las buenas vibraciones nos persigue hasta el estudio en donde Bailón tiene una cita para ser entrevistada con el fin de promover su más reciente película, I’m In Love With a Church Girl (Estoy enamorado de una chica de la iglesia), en la cual hace el papel estrella al lado del rapero y actor Jeff “JaRule” Atkins. Bailón ha madurado exponencialmente como artista y animadora después de su rol en la película musical de Disney, Cheetah Girls (2003). Antes de actuar en esta película de Disney, integró el grupo de jovencitas 3LW (1999). Inclusive en ese entonces, cuando sus canciones estaban pegadas, Bailón mantuvo el orgullo por su pasado que una vez más es evidente cuando me siento a hablar con ella.

32 May 2014

Reconociendo su rol en The Real, el show de Fox durante el día , ella piensa que “es algo grandioso que por primera vez una latina esté en un show en inglés en ese horario. Para mí es un gran, gran, gran honor”. “Pero al mismo tiempo es algo triste”, ella reflexiona. “Ser una de las primeras, es triste. Pienso definitivamente que nosotros necesitamos más representación en la televisión. Nosotros somos parte del sistema. Somos americanos. Yo definitivamente tengo mi cultura latina, pero al mismo tiempo hablo en inglés”. “Crecí en Delancey con la Joyería Pepe en la esquina”, Bailón dice. Cuando estaba creciendo le dijeron que apreciara los dos aspectos de la cultura, hablando español en el hogar y aprendiendo inglés en la escuela y planea criar a sus hijos de esta manera. Bailón sigue conectada a sus raíces hispanas, no sólo porque habla el idioma, pero escuchando música latina y degustando comida latina. “Soy una gran seguidora de Marc Anthony. Vivir Mi Vida es una de mis canciones preferidas. También sigo a La India. Me encanta escuchar a Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe y Juan Luis Guerra, son mis favoritos”. “Soy fanática del cuchifrito. En realidad no como mucho. Me gusta picar”, ella explica. “Me encanta comer un poco de cada cosa, así que para mí, el cuchifrito es perfecto. Me encanta el relleno de papa. Adoro las alcapurrias. Son mis comidas favoritas para llevar, la comida que me reconforta”. Cuando se trata de glamour y estilo, a Bailón la inspiran otras latinas como Jennifer López, quien puede mostrar un chic de NYC, y la nicaragüense Bianca Jagger, la ex-esposa de Mick Jagger. Bailón continúa avanzando, expresando su orgullo y determinación en cualquier lugar. Además de trabajar en una película, Bailón presentó la colección de Effy Jewelry que curó durante la Semana de la Moda en Nueva York. “Poseo como cinco diferente platos y anillos. Definitivamente me gusta la joyería”, ella confiesa. Por intermedio del trabajo arduo y la determinación, Bailón ha creado y mantenido su éxito, una carrera de actuación que no termina, su amor a la moda, una increíble cantidad de seguidores en las buenas y malas, y muchas ideas que son motivadas por la pasión.

Photo by Bobo Producciones 33

By David Puente Casal


Brazil’s samba atmosphere, no stranger to global attention, is set to recapture the planet’s imagination on June 12, 2014. That’s when the home team takes on Croatia in the World Cup’s opening match in Sao Paulo. An unforgettable experience complete with sexy, booty-shaking soccer fans on unparalleled white-sand beaches and—street protests, clashes between gangsters and cops, outrageously expensive hotel rooms and remarkable revelations about air travel around Rio!  Whether you watch on TV or head to the land of the Verde-Amarela, here are five things you should know in preparation for the championship that will be played in 12 different cities around the country.


Some street protests have turned violent as Brazilians show their displeasure with the price of building World Cup stadiums. The cost is an estimated $11 billion.  There’s no doubt that practically everyone in this country loves soccer and the World Cup, but not so much the tournament’s price tag. From all corners of the country, demonstrators are organizing to protest the spending, arguing that the country’s education, health and transport systems would be better served by the cash injection.  A very pretty protest song called ”Desculpa Neymar” (“I’m Sorry, Neymar”) has gone viral (check it out on YouTube). The song is an apology to Brazilian soccer player Neymar because the singer is unable to cheer for team Brazil this year. Protests are also planned to be held during the matches.

34 May 2014


If you decide to travel to Brazil, you will have plenty of time to explore the sights since, even in Rio, games are only played every three days, and the championship is a full week after the semi-finals. Although June and July are winter months in Brazil, none of the cities hosting matches are at risk for cold weather. So lounge in the sun by day and samba by night.




World Cup organizers and Brazilians from all walks of life are concerned about work projects that may not be finished in time for the games. New airport terminals are unfinished, and the centerpiece new stadiums are also behind schedule, which is alarming to FIFA, the world football governing body. Even the projects that are finished are shoddily done, according to a damning report commissioned by state legislators.


The ‘no vacancy’ signs are out, thousands of hotel rooms have already been booked for the games and bargains are hard to find. Homeowners are also cashing in, renting rooms and apartments at extravagant prices. Residents of Leblon, the most affluent neighborhood in Rio, are not the only ones brokering deals. Bob Nadkarni, a former British journalist who runs The Maze Inn, a boutique hotel smack in the middle of a Rio favela, may not have rooms available, but the inn is still worth checking out if you’re in town. It’s in a safe area and the inn regularly hosts popular events for tourists and locals. Those who manage to find a place to stay need to know exactly how they’re getting there. Hundreds of flights could be cancelled due to game-day airspace restrictions around Rio.

An escalation of murders, revenge killings and fire-bombings have prompted Brazilian authorities to send more soldiers into the slums, or favelas, of Rio de Janeiro. With just a couple of months to go until the World Cup kicks off, attacks on police have resulted in tense standoffs. Military police will keep watch from the “police pacification units” that have been built within the favela communities to prevent lawlessness.


Rosie Perez Handbook for an Unpredictable Life Rainbow Stripe Fine Gauge Supima Cardigan

Keep Mom looking young and caliente with this fun and flirty cardigan—then borrow it from her closet when she’s not looking. It’s really a win-win situation.

Land’s End, $79

Unapologetically hand it over to Mom and walk away, then check on her a few days later for the recap and the laughs. Oh, the laughs you will have., $19.90

Kate Spade Gold Wrist Watch Stop time and take Mom’s breath away with the stunning Kate Spade watch. Plus the little hint of color will keep her feeling sassy each time she wears it.

Kate Spade, $225

Askinosie Single Origin Box of Chocolate

Hot Cookie: The USB

Powered Coffee Cup Warmer You just won all of Mom’s cookie cool points for originality and sense of humor. You, my friend, are a winner, a winner!, $10.75

May 2014 36 2014 May

Yes, Mom is the strongest woman you know but not even she is strong enough to resist the power of chocolate. Go ahead, we dare you to try it. It’s full of worldly flavors. P.S.: we are secretly ordering a box for ourselves here in the office.

Askinosie, $28

By Jahaira Hooker

18k Gold Vermeil Mini Initial Necklace So damn cute, you should get one for yourself, too, and then you and Mami can be twinsies. She’ll love you even more for it—you might even become her favorite.

Jennifer Zeuner, $165

Notion Sewing Set

Now you darn well know how to sew on your own button but Mom is at her best when she feels like her baby still needs her. This Merchant & Mills Sewing Set is perfect for letting Mom know you’re useless without her. Oh the love.

Merchant & Mills, $75

Beater Whisk

Look, Martha Steward recommended it. That is all you really need to know. That is all Mom really needs to know. Breakfast will never be the same again. Buen provecho.

Gretel Home, $18

Apple iPad Mini

FEMME BY AVON Here is a sophisticated fragrance with notes of jasmine and magnolia for your mami who is so fresh and so fly.

Jen Ramos Custom Prints— Gold LOVE Sign

Avon, $30

So you got Mom one before you got yourself one. It’s ok. You’ll live. Plus you will use it most since she most likely won’t have a clue how to. *wink*

Apple, starting at $299

Jen Ramos offers an excellent collection of chic prints your Ma will love. You can even have one commissioned. Think how cool Mom will feel owning her own commissioned art. Plus, money from the purchase goes towards the couples who wish to adopt. Boom! You just stole Mom’s heart. Priceless. (Price for commissioned art given upon request)

Jen Ramos Art, $40 (Gold Love Sign)

3 37


By Juan Vides

Currently the supply of bitcoins is so small there are only a small number of companies that use or accept it, but the need and demand seems to be growing.

The general attraction to Bitcoin is the ease, flexibility, anonymity, and low transaction fees associated with the online currency. When the currency first began, many on the online black market found the currency to be a great way to handle illicit transactions because their name and location were not attached to the transaction at all. In addition to this, a bitcoin transaction is normally about 2-3 percent lower than a regular credit card transaction, making Bitcoin attractive to merchants the world over. Currently the supply of bitcoins is so small there are only a small number of companies that use or accept it, but the need and demand seems to be growing. There are quite a few drawbacks to Bitcoin as it stands right now. The first drawback is regulation; there is none. Because it is so new to the market, only in the past year have different countries started to recognize the currency as having real value and put in place regulatory laws. Another drawback in recent months has been its vulnerability. Just this past March Flexcoin, which was a bitcoin bank, was robbed of all the bitcoins it had in the hot wallet and had to close down. Normally when a bank or other financial institution is hacked or robbed the amount lost seems astronomical, but in this case, because of the actual low number of available bitcoins the world wide the amount was 896 bitcoins which at the time were valued at about $606,760. Currently, there are only twenty-five bitcoins created every ten minutes, which seems to be the only regulatory measure in place. This is due to the length of time for the computers to create each bitcoin from the algorithms. In this way, bitcoins may be able to retain their value much more effectively since no one is able to simply write a blank check and devalue the system like the Federal Reserve can. 38 May 2014

In another thought, a currency that is born from computer programming with no backing of anything solvent like silver or gold has many financial experts and the public at large very skeptical. What is in place to keep bitcoin from crashing all around itself and anyone who is invested in the industry with bitcoins from losing all they have put in? The answer to that question right now is nothing is in place. Although it appears there are steps being taken in the U. S., Germany and Norway to develop a currency that could be used worldwide, there are going to have to be regulations put in place across the globe before this currency can be universally accepted. That said, an actual currency that can be used all over the globe that is properly regulated and secured might be just what is needed in this age of infinite technology. Trading for Bitcoin on the Mt Gox exchange started when Bitcoin began at $10 per coin and peaked in November of 2013 at $1242. Bitcoin ended the year around $800 after dipping in as low as $500 after the news that China was restricting Bitcoin in an attempt to crack down on the laundering of assets. Due to this high volatility of Bitcoin, many leaders of the banking industry have cautioned against using, trading for, or placing a real value on bitcoins. All of this being said, due to Bitcoin being actually in its infancy, there really is a huge market and possibility for bitcoins to become the global currency. Most likely in order for bitcoins to replace any of the currency of the world several things are going to have to take place. In addition to regulation, some form of security needs to be in place to avoid what happened to Flexcoin from

happening anywhere else.

The next would be acceptance and availability. Currently there are not enough bitcoins to go around. The total value of all Bitcoins created thus far sits around $10 billion, and it appears the algorithm has limits as well as to how many can be created at all. The last would be to stabilize Bitcoin. With such as huge range of values over just one year, the prices of goods and services would fluctuate greatly for retailers who accept bitcoins. Something that normally costs one bitcoin might cost five or even ten the next month just from the value change, so stabilization is very important. If Bitcoin and a world regulatory committee were capable of accomplishing the three objectives stated above, regulation, acceptance and availability, and stabilization, bitcoins might have a fighting chance to become a serious contender as a global currency. Until this is accomplished however, the world will just have to sit back and watch what happens with Bitcoin and its online currency creation.

The Blurry Lines of By Melissa Gonzalez

It’s no secret that the retail industry has seen continued growth in the number of brands opening online-only stores over the past decade. But while the Internet gives way for low barriers of entry and larger potential for distribution options, it’s also coupled with a steep slope of competition in what many call a crowded space. So, how does one stand out in the noise of e-commerce? There is fierce competition for online ad dollars, social media presence feels like the Wild West, and the level of personal connection still has its limitations. Why should a consumer buy the T-shirt you are selling vs. one from a comparable online store that they “Googled” and found was selling the same product cheaper? How will you, as a storeowner, foster and grow customer loyalty and a fan base? Pop-up retail in brick and mortar spaces is an avenue that many brands are

how brands are choosing to utilize them for their brand continues to evolve. Years ago, pop-ups were tied primarily to seasonality, as with the Halloween store franchise or the Christmas store. Today, brands are using them for customer appreciation marketing, to test new markets, to learn more about their online users and engage with them. Stores that dominate online and offline retail have one uniform action in common—they deliver an experience. A customer will be influenced primarily by price when making a purchase decision, but a brand can bridge that gap if they deliver something memorable. A pop-up shop creates an environment where a unique story can be told in an isolated time period, thus creating urgency to visit and, when done effectively, organically galvanizes a customer base to become fans and evangelists for the brand.

Here are some pointers on how a brand can achieve this: 1. The brand should be the

face of the pop-up shop. For an emerging brand, we always recommend the shop is run by the designer, but that benefit holds true for any brand, as successfully seen this March when Sara Jessica Parker herself ran sales and assisted customers at the #SJPShoes pop-up store in Soho, NY with Nordstrom.

2. Bring in strategic partners to be part of the pop-up experience, brands whose values align with that of your brand, but don’t compete with wallet share. For example: Bauble Bar had a tremendously successful pop-up in NYC during the

summer of 2013 and filled their calendar with events and partners but none were jewelry. Instead they helped women complete their look with a T-shirt from Refine Basics or style advice from Keaton Row.

3. Have a clear message and

start activating your existing customer base before the shop opens. Send sneak peaks via newsletter announcements, letting your VIP customers know they are getting the inside scoop first, and have a solid social media campaign prepared.

4. Track your analytics and have a game plan for how to use the data you have collected. For example, if you created a hashtag, be

sure you have someone from your team armed with not only an editorial calendar leading up to the pop-up opening, but also prepared to engage with customers and have incentives or rewards in place for when activity occurs.

5. Know that a brick-

and-mortar location, short-term or permanent, is your brand’s way of connecting your online and offline worlds. Whether it’s fashion or beauty or a bakery, people inherently like to feel like they are part of something, and they will be into a company not only for its products but because of the experience it creates and service it provides.

The Lionesque Group \ Brand Activation & Pop-Up Architects \ \ Twitter: @lionesquegroup

The Lionesque Group has produced over 65 pop-up shops in NYC, LA and the Hamptons since 2009.




By John Rodriguez

to change the remittance business


or an immigrant, leaving a home country and settling somewhere new can be quite an experience. The purpose of coming to a new country is to take advantage of opportunities that may not be available back home. They not only want to better their lives, but also aide family members who remain in their home country. Many immigrants send back money to family members to help out. For Ezidrio de la Cruz this is a familiar practice, and because of this he has made innovative changes to aide immigrants who send back money through his tech company, Regalii. Born in Santo Domingo, Cruz immigrated to the United States with his parents and brother, when he was 11 years old. The experience allowed Cruz to learn of an issue that most immigrants were facing as they tried to help other family members.

Growing up in the predominately Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City , Cruz remembers encountering many Latinos from various backgrounds who shared a similar experience. According to Columbia University, over 60% of Hispanic adults use what is called remittance, which is the practice of transferring money to family members abroad. “In talking to other Latinos, I noticed how frustrating it is to send money abroad. You wait on long lines and don’t really look forward to it. My mother regularly sends money to loved ones in Latin America using Western Union. The process is a pain. You pay exorbitant fees, and are responsible for notifying the recipients,” Cruz says, “That frustration kindled the fire that sparked Regalii.”

Having studied and graduated from the Wharton Business School, where Donald Trump and Warren Buffet are alumni, Cruz says his personal experience was transformed by the network and academic preparation of the college, which enabled him to create the tech company that has changed the way that immigrants can transfer money. Regalii works like this: Want to help your family purchase groceries? Go to, select the recipient, choose the supermarket of your family’s choice, and transfer the money in order to receive a PIN code via SMS that will be redeemable in supermarkets located in Latin America.

it’s being used.” With a roster of 1000 participating retail stores and affiliated agencies in New York, Regalii has become a source for immigrants to transfer their cash to awaiting family members. The rising success of Regalii is a vision of Cruz’s to create the best way of allowing immigrants to support family across borders by using the structure of online and mobile services that should be accessible by all.

“What we noticed in our research is that 64% of the money people send back home is spent on food, medicine or bills,” Cruz says. “There is no need to go through all these hurdles to get that money to where

Imigrante Dominicano y su misión de cambiar el negocio de remesas


Para un inmigrante, dejar su hogar y establecerse en otro lugar puede ser una gran experiencia. El objetivo es llegar a otra nación y aprovechar las oportunidades que quizás no existan en su patria. No solamente anhelan mejorar sus vidas, sino ayudar a los miembros de sus familias que dejaron en sus países de origen. Muchos inmigrantes envían dinero a sus familias para ayudarlos. Para Ezidrio de la Cruz esta es una práctica familiar y a raíz de esto ha implementado cambios innovadores para ayudarle a los inmigrantes que envían dinero por intermedio de su compañía Regalii.   Cruz, quien nación Santo Domingo, inmigró a los 11 años a los Estados Unidos con sus padres y hermano. Esa experiencia le permitió a Cruz aprender lo que los inmigrantes deben hacer para ayudar a sus familiares. Habiendo crecido en Washington Heights, Nueva York, un barrio predominantemente dominicano, Cruz recuerda cuando compartía experiencias similares con latinos de diversas naciones.   40 MayMay 2014 2014

De acuerdo a la Universidad de Columbia, más del 60% de los latinos adultos usan empresas de envío de dinero para transferir dinero a sus familias en otros países. “Hablando con otros latinos, me di cuenta qué tan frustrante es enviar dinero. Debes hacer una larga fila que jamás hubieras imaginado. Mi mamá regularmente envía dinero a su gente en Latinoamérica usando Western Union. El proceso es doloroso. Pagas cifras exorbitantes y eres responsable de notificarle a los familiares”, dice Cruz. “Esa frustración se acaba usando Regalii”.   Habiendo estudiado y habiéndose graduado de la Escuela de Negocios Wharton, en donde fueron alumnos Donald Trump y Warren Buffer, Cruz dice que su experiencia personal fue transformada por sus conexiones y el nivel académico en la universidad que le permitió crear esa empresa de tecnología que está cambiando la forma de enviar dinero entre los inmigrantes.   Regalii trabaja de esta forma: ¿Desea ayudar a su familia con el mercado? Vaya a y seleccione un afortunado, escoja el supermercado

que su familia desea y transfiera el dinero usando un código PIN que enviará como mensaje SMS y que se puede usar en supermercados en Latinoamérica. “Lo que concluimos en nuestra investigación es que el 64% del dinero que la gente envía a sus familias es gastado en comida, medicina o para pagar las cuentas”, dice Cruz. “No hay necesidad de pasar por estos obstáculos para que el dinero sea usado por sus familiares”.   Con la participación de 1,000 agencias afiliadas en Nueva York, Regalii se ha convertido en el mecanismo que usan los inmigrantes para enviar dinero a sus familias. El éxito creciente de Regalii se debe a la visión de Cruz para crear un mecanismo que le permita a los inmigrantes apoyar a sus familias en países lejanos, usando el Internet y la telefonía celular que es accesible a toda la gente.

Health & Wellness Going Gluten Free You hear a growing number of celebrities and many of your friends going on a gluten-free diet. If you are thinking about trying this diet, here are a few things you need to know. First, what is gluten? Gluten is a category of storage proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. The gluten proteins are found in the mature seed of cereal grasses, which is what we call the “grain.” Second, what harm does gluten cause? Well, gluten is the cause of the chronic digestive disorder, celiac disease, which is a gluten allergy that causes inflammation damage to the lining of the small intestine. If you experience constant stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bloating then you may be suffering from gluten sensitivity. As always, consult your doctor to be sure.

Foods to avoid in a gluten-free diet

Foods that are gluten free

- All wheat-based flours and ingredients - Pasta - Bread - Flour Tortillas - Cakes - Muffins - Crackers - Beer - Gravy - Dressings

- Unprocessed beans, seeds and nuts - Meats, fish and poultry - Fruits - Vegetables - Most dairy products - Corn and cornmeal - Millet - Quinoa - Rice - Soy

Comidas que no tienen gluten Going Gluten Free

En Español

Usted escucha de un creciente número de estrellas y de tus amigos que están en dietas libres de gluten. Si piensas ingresar en esta dieta, hay algunas cosas que debes saber. Primero, ¿qué es la gluten? Es una categoría de concentración de proteínas que se halla en el trigo, cebada y centeno. La proteína gluten se encuentra en las semillas naturales de grasas de cereal y es lo que llamamos “grano”. Segundo, ¿qué daño produce la gluten? Es la causa del desorden digestivo crónico o enfermedad celiaca, una especie de alergia a la gluten que causa inflamación en el intestino delgado. Si experimenta constantes calambres estomacales, diarrea o hinchazón, entonces quizás está sufriendo de la alergia al gluten. Como siempre, consulte a un doctor para que esté seguro.

Comidas a evitar en dieta libre de gluten - Todas las harinas o ingrediente de trigo - comidas - Pasta - Pan - Tortillas de harina - Bizcocho - Moffins - Galletas - Cerveza - Salsa - Aderezo

Comidas que no tienen gluten

-Maní, semillas y granos sin procesar -Carnes, pescado y aves -Frutas -Vegetales -La mayoría de productos lácteos -Maíz y cereales -Mijo de grano -Quínoa -Arroz -Soya


Health & Wellness

By Clara Galvano

According to Martin Amado, interior decorator and lifestyle expert, you don’t have to spend tons of money to give your home an updated look. Amado, who has been the host/designer on the home makeover segment ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT in Miami for over nine years, offers easy decorating tips to share with you. Let’s get started!

His DVD De Revista - Espacios Con Estilo - Salas antes y despues is excellent! In it he shows step-by-step how to decorate an empty living room. Summertime is when many people move from one dwelling to another so his timely tips will help if you are planning a move. Amado believes that everyone deserves a beautiful home and that you don’t have to spend lots to do it. He loves working with a low cost budget. We love that too! So, how does he do it? He has a three step plan for creating a magazine-worthy space…or “de revista!” His first step is using the living room as the canvas for your masterpiece because that is the first room you see when you enter most homes. The second step is furniture and the third and final step is accessories. The living room’s wall color is probably the most important decision you will make. How do you choose the right color? His secret—find an item that you love—it could be a pillow, a rug or a painting. Use it for inspiration. Why do you love it? Choose one of the colors in that piece and get a few paint samples. Apply each to a small section of the wall. Let the paint dry well and come

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back to it to determine which shade you like the most. Bingo! That’s your wall color! If you are living in a small space, choose light colors and your space will seem larger. Another hint: When starting to decorate from scratch, if you see something you like in a magazine, clip it, and start a book of ideas. These clips will determine what your style is. Are you Contemporary? Classical? Shabby Chic? The clips will tell their story very clearly and when shopping you can take the information with you so can look for pieces with a similar style. Talking with Amado you can sense that he truly enjoys helping others spruce up their homes. Although he has no formal training as a designer, and in fact wanted to be an actor, he found his “voice” helping his father in their construction business. That’s where he developed his keen eye for design and, with his experience later on as a visual merchandiser, the die was cast (or should we say in this designer’s case that the “dye” was cast?) regarding his career. He says that one way to change your living room look is to switch up your curtains and suggests airy linen with grommets or rings to

was cast?) regarding his career. He says that one way to change your living room look is to switch up your curtains and suggests airy linen with grommets or rings to give the window a classic look. He also likes sheers for a summery style. Tired of the sofa? Look into slipcovers—they now come in various materials and styles. With new slipovers and some artfully tossed pillows you have a brand new look. Pillows don’t have to be expensive—most home goods stores carry them in an array of colors and textures. Amado also mentioned area rugs. If you have one and used it through the cold weather months, switch it up and get one made of jute or sisal. Both are natural and work well with summer décor. One surprising comment he made was that if you are a bit adventurous, you can create an accent wall by painting chevron stripes! “The striped cabana look is popular this season and a definite attention getter! And if you get tired of it? Sin compromiso, you just paint over it!” What about your bedroom? There are studies that say an average person spends one third of their life in bed, so it’s important to have the right ambience in that very special room. According to Amado, bedrooms are the perfect place for displaying a special piece. Furniture that is antique or made to look antique works well. Also, anything that looks distressed is popular this season. You can also arrange several pieces that look “collected” for fun. He also likes old trunks and suggests that if you like garage sales, keep your eye out for pieces that can be repurposed. He also likes beige-onbeige and white-on-white with pillows for a touch

of brightness. Very sophisticated. Many home goods stores are also showing variations of grey that also look and feel very luxe. In the bathroom he likes to see a spalike feel with very little money spent. “Roll up your towels like they do in spas. Decorate with scented candles, some come flameless now. Diffusers—no more potpourri…diffusers are the way to go now. Use different textures. Switch up the shower curtain. (This writer saw one in the Gaiam Living catalog for $20! The Spring Daisy Shower Curtain is made from chlorinefree PEVA vinyl and the colorful gerbera daisies would make anyone smile.) Colors he mentions frequently are turquoise, lime green and white. You can combine these colors in many different ways with neutrals, and they are always classic and smart. Or if you prefer, choose the sorbet spectrum of colors, which are always pleasing to the eye. Into the kitchen! Many city apartment dwellers will find that their kitchen windows face an alleyway or another apartment building. To bring light in, choose sheer café curtains in light colors in cheery designs. These are usually inexpensive in home goods stores. If you have room on a wall, a small cork bulletin board works very well for menus, messages, important phone numbers. To smarten one up, just glue or use push pins to apply colorful ribbon around the edges in a bright color. No sewing involved!! Having a small area rug in front of the sink area is also very helpful—anything you can use on your front doorstep, you can use there.

If you are painting, use blue painter’s tape for clean, sharp lines.

Buying furniture? Measure! How much room do you need for that sofa, chair, bookcase? Take those measurements to the furniture store so that what your purchase will be the right scale (and you might want to measure your doorway, too, in order to ensure you can get the item into your home in the first place!)

Plants! In every room…yes, every room! Go to a large flower store and ask about which grow best in which rooms based on the amount of light each room has. DYI Network’s website has tons of easy projects that will enhance your space. Amado works exclusively through his company The WOW Factor!, Inc. You can also learn more about his work by visiting

Rosie the Riveter would be proud. Today’s “Rosie” has a say in her future, and makes up approximately half of the workforce–with a narrowing gap in income inequality. Today Rosie can choose a career, a family, neither or both. Cokie Roberts said, “Your place is wherever you think it should be.” Rosie now directs her own destiny–her own future. This freedom invites new challenges, however. How can a woman maintain her identity, safeguard her sanity, AND juggle family and career? She gets to do all of this by knowing who she is, what she wants, and making smart choices. The first smart choice to make is: Choose not to be Superwoman. While men often define success only in terms of

their professional lives, women don’t count success until it is present in both their personal and professional lives. What’s the price we’re paying for all of this perfection? Stress. Dr. Hans Selye defines stress as “…the nonspecific response of the body to any demand, whether it is caused by, or results in, pleasant or unpleasant conditions. Stress as such, like temperature as such, is all-inclusive, embodying both the positive and the negative aspects of these concepts.” How do you handle stress? Dr. Selye suggests that you find your optimal stress level and the speed at which you can run toward your goal, rather than trying to keep up with the speed imposed by others. Don’t be Superwoman.

Dr. Jane S. Goldner is a sought-after national speaker, author, role integration coach™ and consultant. Over her thirty years in business—both internal and external to companies as well as in her family life—she has learned the secrets of integrating multiple roles and great leadership for women, which she brings to companies and coaching clients. Her newest book, Women Driven to Success: You Can Have It YOUR All and her chapter in Roadmap to Success with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard take women on their journey toward defining their all. 44 May 2014

closely has a tendency to get stuck in the follicle and grow inward. Use a good shaving gel that lathers well like Dove’s Shave Gel and finish by rinsing off carefully with cold water to close the pores.

MEN, FACE IT!!! Your face deserves more respect than you give it.

By Clara Galvano Whether or not you have facial hair- and many Latinos do, there’s a lot you can do to look and feel your best. According to Dr. Allan Peterkin, Dove’s men care specialist, men change their look quite often—whether they are starting a new job or ending a relationship, men are always ready for a new look. One thing the good doctor told me really surprised me: Almost half of men don’t wash their face (48%). Eeek!! Did you know that taking care of your face is as important as brushing your teeth? Your face is the first thing people see and grooming is at the top of the list for many employers. Lucky for you, the new Dove Men+Care Face Range is a full skin care line to help men like you, care for their faces easily. The product line offers a variety of specific product solutions designed for men’s different skin types and to address men’s most commons skin concerns—skin dryness, sensitive skin, tired looking skin, blocked pores and oily skin.

New Dove Men+Care Face Wash will leave your skin clean and smooth, not dry like regular soap can. This gentle cleanser replenishes lost moisture and fights skin dryness, will reduce redness and will definitely not sting. Whether you wash your face in the shower or over the sink, you need to start a simple regimen that will pay you back in healthy skin. Oh, you have facial hair? Dr. Peterkin says that this is the reason many men don’t wash their face. They ignore the fact that there is skin under the hair. A recent study reveals that 8 out of 10 men (82%) have experienced a negative effect after shaving their face including razor burn, cut skin, sore or irritated skin and 52% think the burning post shave is normal! It’s not. Are razor bumps a concern? Did you know that these are really trapped hairs growing back into the hair follicle? There are special razors and special blades that are made specifically for men who have this problem, but there are simple things you can do to avoid those nasty and painful ingrown hairs. Dr. Peterkin suggests you shave properly, with the grain not against it. Shave just once and not too close. Hair that is shaved too

With so much construction happening in New York, those warm breezes can bring minute particles of debris into your pores so after cleansing and shaving, you need to apply a barrier to protect your skin. What do you do? Sneak some of your lady’s moisturizer? Don’t do that!! Women’s facial skin is very different from a man’s. You need a lotion that was made specifically with you in mind. New Dove Men+ Care Face Lotion will provide fast-absorbing moisturization and keep your skin hydrated all day. Hydrated skin is young-looking skin. Not only that, but it contains SPF 15 to guard your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. This particular lotion instantly revives tired skin with a light, refreshing formula and fragrance. Your lady will definitely appreciate your good grooming! Every product in the New Dove Men+Care Face Range was formulated to work well with each other. Finding one line that does it all is not easy, but this one does it, and does it well. One final product is their Post Shave Balm. Dr. Peterkin, who at this time does not sport any facial hair but has done so in the past, recommends placing a small dab of the Post Shave Balm on your beard to soften it. This Balm contains vitamin B5 and instantly relieves any irritation that was caused by shaving. Whether you favor facial hair or not and whatever color your skin may be on the Latino spectrum, Dove hopes that these tips will keep you looking good.

1. Drink more!

3. Get calories right back into your system

“Hair of the dog that bit you?” Drink a Virgin Mary or Bloody Mary.

2. Try Alka-Seltzer or drink some pickle juice

such as eggs, ginger, bananas, asparagus or dried bull penis like they do in Sicily. Seriously!

like they do in Poland.

4. Over-the-counter painkillers

(aspirin, ibuprofen) and/or vitamins such as Vitamins B (B-Complex, B12) and C.

6. At this point your best friend will be your bed because your body needs an opportunity to recover so get that extra rest.

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5. Drink juice, water, coconut water, Gatorade, all those things will hydrate you and make you feel better

How did you get started in the culinary arts? My first job was at my aunt’s culinary school, from there I went on to the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris. I was further able to apply my culinary passion as food editor at Bon Appétit magazine then author of two top-selling cookbooks, and share my love of Mexican cuisine with the world on my Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy. My latest project with Safeway has allowed me to offer Safeway shoppers a wide assortment of quality and flavorful food products that make it easy for shoppers to bring home a real taste of Mexico.

What is one important lesson you’ve learned throughout your years of cooking? Having grown up in Mexico, I know what real Mexican food is – and isn’t. I’m passionate about holding on to my heritage and sharing it with family and friends, and cooking is a great way to do this.

What is one thing you can’t cook without? The flour tortillas from my Marcela Valladolid product line, available exclusively at over 1,400 Safeway stores. They are easy, affordable and taste like the real deal. My son Fausto and I absolutely love them.

Recipe by: Safeway Prep Time: 20 minutes Assembly Time: 5 minutes Servings: Makes 5 tacos INGREDIENTS • 1 package (16 ounces)

PREPARATION 1. Grill the beef flank steak for arrachera according to the instructions on the package. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you prepare remaining ingredients. 2. Prepare the pickled jalapeños or onions, cilantro and lime.

Marcela Valladolid Beef Flank Steak for Arrachera • 10 Marcela Valladolid Corn Tortillas •  ¼ cup pickled jalapeño or red onion, slivered •  ¼ cup fresh cilantro, washed and roughly chopped •  lime wedges •  Guacamole

3. Heat the tortillas for 15 to 20 seconds on both sides in a frying pan or griddle/ comal, or directly over a gas flame on low heat. To keep warm, wrap in a kitchen towel until ready to assemble the tacos. 4. Dice meat into small cubes. To assemble, place meat, pickled jalapeños or onions and cilantro on top of 2 tortillas. Garnish with a lime wedge plus a dollop of fresh guacamole.


Dear, Junior: I applaud you for your honesty. Many people might have begun having an affair if they were feeling their partner wasn’t on par with your dreams & desires.

I’m grateful for this space to share what I want to say—what has been on my mind. Basically, I can’t admit this to anyone I know so thank you for listening. Here it goes. My wife and I have been married for twenty-three years. Long time. We have two kids. Our daughter is in college and our son is a sophomore in high school. On the surface, we are a great family. But life has a way of either sucking the joy out of you or revealing its greatness. When my wife and I first got married, she was full of hope and she was a happy person. I just think that she’s tired now—literally and figuratively. But I’m not. I want to live life to the fullest. I still want to travel and laugh and dance and I want those things with my wife. But she doesn’t want to do anything at all. My wife has lost that light. I’ve been a good husband and a good father. How do I break it to my family that I want to break away from my wife? Vivo y alegre, Junior

Querida Judy Hola Judy, Estoy agradecido por este espacio que me permite compartir lo que tengo en mi mente. Básicamente no puedo admitir esto a mis amigos, así que gracias por escucharme. Estoy casado con mi esposa desde hace veintitrés años. Un tiempo largo. Tenemos dos hijos. Nuestra hija está en la universidad y nuestro hijo en el último año de escuela secundaria. En la superficie, somos una gran familia. Pero la vida te quita la dicha o te revela lo más grande. Cuando nos casamos, mi esposa estaba llena de esperanzas y era una persona alegre. Pienso que se ha cansado, literalmente y de manera figurativa. Pero yo no. Deseo vivir la vida a su plenitud. Todavía deseo viajar y reírme y bailar y quiero lo mismo para mi esposa. Pero ella no quiere eso. Mi esposa ha dejado de pelear. He sido un buen esposo y padre. ¿Cómo le digo a mi familia que deseo distanciarme de mi esposa? Vivo y alegre Junior

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You mention your wife was full of life & hope when you were first married. But something very major happened during your marriage: YOU HAD CHILDREN!! Two of them, and if couples are not careful, that can dramatically change the course of a marriage. Let me share a secret with you: Most women lose their identities after having children. They sacrifice their passions & joys for their children’s sake because we are taught that we must nurture. So we stop taking care of ourselves: we don’t get our hair done, we don’t work out, we stop doing the little things that used to fulfill our spirits. And then one day, the children are grown, and yes, we are exhausted. And to make matters worse we no longer know who we are.

dream for you as a couple. You are her partner. Married for 23 years! It is your duty as a good father & husband to hold your family together. You are the head, not the tail. I suggest you give yourselves one more shot before you call it quits. First, give her a date night once a week - romance her. And perhaps every other week allow her some pampering time. Second, marriage counseling is a must. She may be in a depression and counseling can help get to the bottom of that. Try counseling for at least 90 days, and if she doesn’t participate, then you can announce that you want to go solo. But you’re almost done raising two children, and when they leave the nest, this will be your time as a couple to have some fun!! And this is my hope for you - that you do this together! Buena suerte! Thanks for being one of the good ones!

But thank God, she has YOU! You are a vibrant man, who still has a vision and a

Estimado Junior,

Lo aplaudo por su honestidad. Muchas personas ya hubieran comenzado un amorío si estuvieran sintiendo que su compañía dejó de compartir los sueños y deseos.   Dijiste que tu esposa estaba llena de vida & esperanza cuando se casaron. Pero algo pasó en el matrimonio: TUVIERON HIJOS!!!. Dos, y si las parejas no son precavidas, eso puede cambiar dramáticamente el curso del matrimonio.   Déjame compartir un secreto contigo. La mayoría de las mujeres pierden su identidad luego de tener hijos. Sacrifican su pasión y dicha por el destino de sus hijos porque nos han enseñado que debemos madurar de esa forma. Así que no cuidamos de nosotras. No arreglamos nuestro cabello, no hacemos ejercicio, paramos de hacer las pequeñas cosas que llenaban nuestro espíritu. Y un día, los hijos crecen y nos cansamos. Para empeorarlo todo, no sabemos quienes somos.  

Pero gracias a Dios, ella te TIENE. Eres un hombre vibrante que todavía tiene visión y sueños para ustedes como pareja. Tu eres su pareja. Casados por 23 años. Su obligación es ser un buen padre y esposo para mantener a la familia junta. Eres la cabeza, no la cola. Te sugiero que te des otra oportunidad antes de abandonar. Primero, ofrécele a tu esposa un día a la semana, enamórala. Y quizás cada dos semanas déjela que se divierta. Segundo, deben acudir a un consejero matrimonial. Quizás está deprimida y un consejero la puede ayudar a salir del fondo. Trate de acudir al consejero por lo menos 90 días y si ella no participa, entonces le puedes decir que te vas por tu cuenta. Casi has terminado de criar a tus hijos y cuando abandonen el nido, entonces será el momento para compartir en pareja y divertirse. Así espero que suceda, que lo hagan juntos. ¡Buena suerte! Gracias por ser uno de los buenos.   Abrazos, Judy

Artist Spotlight

Tanya Torres Muse of the Red Sky with Hibiscus, acrylic on canvas with gold foil and bindi, 12” x 9”, 2014.

50 May 2014

Tanya Torres is a Puerto Rican artist and writer living in El Barrio, New York City. After obtaining her M.F.A. in Printmaking and Painting in 1995 at the City College of New York, she set out to explore ways in which art can make a positive impact on the world. Some years later, while her body and soul regenerated after a stem cell transplant, she realized that art not only helped her survive cancer, but also helped heal the world by providing a restful space for the human soul to grow and expand. Nature, literature, poetry, religious icons, and the memories of her childhood in Puerto Rico are constant sources of inspiration in Tanya’s work. She believes that art-making is a form of prayer, and this is why she creates both fine art and functional pieces inspired by the idea that harmony of line and color vibrancy speak directly to the soul. Muse of the Red Sky with Hibiscus is part of her series of painted sigils, or magical symbols that contain the energy of a person’s thoughts and wishes. She creates these sigils in the form of “muses,” or idealized faces, on both tile and canvas with the conscious intention of sending love, peace and joy into the world. Tanya’s artwork has been presented at the United Nations Organization, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library, the Museum of the 19th Century Dominican Family in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), the Porta Coeli Museum (Puerto Rico), and the Prague Congress Centre in the Czech Republic, among other cultural institutions. Her poetry murals and mosaics are installed at P.S. 57 and the East Harlem Bilingual Head Start in the neighborhood where she lives, loves and creates. View more of her artwork at

May 2014