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C HISPANI LIVING TOUR THE OUTDOORS AT 10 NATIONAL PARKS

FALL 2015

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C HISPANI LIVING FALL 2015

Features 28

In Her Words

34

True Character

46

Peruvian Cuisine

54

Latina Winemakers

58

National Parks

Mom shares the challenges of raising a child with ADHD Actress Gina Torres commands attention in a variety of roles Chefs explore the country’s diverse cuisine Women climb to the top at California vineyards Explore the great outdoors

40

Sábado Gigante

RODRIGO VARELA

A family favorite ends its run after 53 years. Exclusive photos by Rodrigo Varela.

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C HISPANI LIVING FALL 2015

92 Departments 170 Workplace

Companies make efforts to recruit and retain Hispanics

178 Health

Practical tips to take control of your well-being

182 Education

College outreach efforts encourage young Latinos to earn degrees

188 Business

Special programs help Latinos buy homes

192 Finances

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement

18

196 Travel

Limits on Cuba travel ease

Up Front 112 Culture

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Latino contributions and culture

116 Music

Ricky Martin searches for the next superstar boy band

118 Fashion

ON THE COVER: Gina Torres, multifaceted actress, embodies power and passion.

120 Fashion

PHOTO BY JSQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

Peruvian culture at the heart of jewelry collection N.Y. designers create out-of-this-world clothing

124 Religion

Pope Francis resonates with Hispanics as U.S. visit nears

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Cuban boys pass time on the streets of Old Havana.

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Jewelry designer Evelyn Brooks gets ready for her close-up.


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DON’T JUST HAVE A CAREER. DIRECT ONE. More than a decade ago, Greg Feo arrived at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School ready to script his future. The Miami native of Cuban descent envisioned a career where his talents could shine, and knew a top-ranked MBA would help make that dream a reality. He chose Goizueta for its stellar reputation of preparing business leaders, a choice that has helped him produce blockbuster results and receive rave reviews as an executive at Warner Bros Studios. Feo credits Goizueta for giving him the skills he needed to be a rising star. “GOIZUETA TAUGHT ME WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN SUCCESS,” he asserts. How’s that for a Hollywood ending? G R E G F E O, M BA C L A S S OF 2 004 DIRECTOR OF BRAND MARKETING, WA RNER BROS STUDIO S

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C HISPANI LIVING FALL 2015

PREMIUM PUBLICATION

CONTRIBUTORS

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

LUISA COLÓN is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work has appeared online (including The New York Times, BuzzFeed and Refinery29) and in numerous print publications, including Latina, New York and Glamour. A native New Yorker who dabbled in an acting career, Luisa also likes to travel. “I love the warmth and generosity of the Hispanic community,” she says. “Latinas are always looking out for each other; we have each other’s backs, and it’s a great feeling.”

J.C. PÉREZ-DUTHIE is a bilingual and bicultural journalist, adjunct professor and language instructor. He loves to travel, and San Juan, New York, Buenos Aires and Miami have all been home. “For the most part, I think Latinos are very hospitable and warm,” he says. “I try to live up to that, and appreciate it. There’s a lot of truth to that old saying ‘Mi casa es su casa.’”

SUZAN COLÓN is the author of 10 books, including her latest novel Beach Glass. She has written for O, the Oprah Magazine; Good Housekeeping; Latina; The Huffington Post and more. When she’s not writing, Suzan teaches yoga, and she recently created an iTunes app, Take A Yoga Break, to help fight the health dangers of sitting too long.

MARISSA RODRIGUEZ is a journalist who specializes in creating content about Latino life and culture. She served as an editor of Vista Magazine and Hispanic Magazine, among others, and most recently founded ModernTejana.com, which celebrates the life and style of contemporary Latinas in Texas. She lives in San Antonio with her husband and son. A third-generation MexicanAmerican, she’s fascinated by the Mexico of her grandparents and the way descendants of immigrants live their culture now.

JOHN LANTIGUA

is winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Award for his coverage of immigration issues. He has also published seven suspense novels, including the Willie Cuesta series, set in the Hispanic communities of South Florida. He lives in Miami Beach and once ran a camping business in the Sierra Madre Mountains of southern Mexico with three employees — two of them burros. “I’m a journalist, and I’m proud when I see Latino journalists fighting for the interests of those less fortunate,” he says.

CREATIVE MEDIA MANAGER Christine Neff cneff@usatoday.com GUEST EDITOR Marisol Bello EDITORS Nikki Dobrin Chris Garsson Elizabeth Neus Amanda Shifflett DESIGNERS Ashleigh Carter Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka INTERNS Miranda Pellicano Alexa Rogers CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Castañeda, Luisa Colón, Suzan Colón, Denise DiFulco, J.C. Pérez-Duthie, John Lantigua, Jennifer Mabry, Sylvia Martinez, Lilliam Rivera, Marissa Rodriguez, Christine Romero, Roxana A. Soto ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Justine Goodwin (703) 854-5444 jgoodwin@usatoday.com

ROXANA A. SOTO is a bilingual journalist whose work has appeared in print, television and online. She’s the co-author of Bilingual is Better and lives in Denver with her husband and two children. By the time she was 14 years old, she’d already lived in five countries (Peru, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and the U.S.). She is extremely proud of the everyday achievements of Latinos “who continuously prove that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

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Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved herein, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written consent of USA TODAY. The editors and publisher are not responsible for any unsolicited materials.

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Celebrating Cultural Pride

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

tions of Latinos in shaping our world. That’s what we hope you appreciate in this issue. In big and small ways, Latinos are asserting their presence and changing the world around them, whether it is in popular culture or in weighty areas, such as medicine and education. In this issue, you will read about the impact of the Roman Catholic Church’s first Latino pontiff, Pope Francis, and the effect he may have on attracting and retaining Latino parishioners. You will read about the end of the longestrunning variety show in television history with the final countdown to the last Sábado Gigante. Many a family, mine included, can tell you stories of spending Saturday nights watching host Don Francisco and his antics. Our cover story profiles the powerhouse that is Cuban-American actress Gina Torres, who stars in the USA Network drama Suits, as she navigates stardom, motherhood and maintaining her Latina roots in Hollywood. You will learn about how Peru has become a culinary destination that has inspired some of the world’s top chefs, such as José Andrés, who are opening restaurants from Washington, D.C., to Miami, with dishes based on the South American country’s cuisine. In other pages, you will discover the growing clique of Latina winemakers, creating some of the most complex vinos in California. Elsewhere, you will find advice on home buying, saving for retirement and staying healthy. We hope you enjoy our pages. This magazine represents the beauty of growing up Hispanic today: We see our culture recognized and celebrated in all areas of life. We’ve come a long way. It is the realization of a dream I’d hoped would have been a reality when I was a youngster.

Marisol Bello Guest editor, Hispanic Living

H. DARR BEISER

I’VE ALWAYS FELT an inherent pride in being Latina. I am proud of my Dominican roots. I am proud to be a first-generation daughter of immigrant parents who worked hard to be part of the fabric of their new country but who also wanted to maintain family traditions that we would pass down to future generations. But growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s in the Bronx, popular culture didn’t reflect my experience. I didn’t grow up seeing people like me on English-language television or in films or books. So I turned to what was popular at the time. I became a fan of alternative English music bands and decided to learn more about French and Italian cuisine. I read books by Jane Austen and E.M. Forster, who became two of my favorite novelists. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I did that. We should expand our knowledge of cultures and literature and food and art. But in my youthful exuberance, everything was black and white and there were no shades. So I exposed myself to all things non-Hispanic at the expense of learning about the richness of my own culture. That is, until I went to college and decided to major in Latin American studies. That opened a vibrant world of Hispanic art, politics, history and, most especially for the book lover in me, literature. My studies opened the door to Gabriel García Márquez and the turbulent lives of the Buendía clan in One Hundred Years of Solitude. I learned about the struggles of native cultures to be recognized in countries like Guatemala and throughout Latin America. I learned about the roots of liberation theology in Latin America, a movement among religious scholars to meet the needs of the poor that has spread worldwide. It turned the inherent pride I had for being Latina into an intellectual pride. I learned about and truly understood the important contribu-


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UP FRONT | HISPANIC LIVING

ANDREI AVERBUCH

CULTURE 12 | MUSIC 16 | FASHION 18 | RELIGION 24

Flor de Toloache, based in New York City, is part of a growing trend of all-female mariachi bands to hit the music scene in the last decade. Group members, who hail from countries such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Italy and the United States, travel the country performing traditional mariachi as well as styles that range from salsa and cumbia to gypsy jazz, pop and reggae.


UP FRONT | CULTURE

Fiesta Time Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations highlight Latino contributions and culture BY SYLVIA MARTINEZ

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

WHEN PEOPLE EN Español publisher Monique Monso and her staff decided to create a Hispanic festival, they realized it would have to be an experience that spoke to and embraced the multiethnic spectrum of the Latino community in the U.S. Many festivals, including the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York, Fiesta in San Antonio, Fiesta Broadway in L.A. and Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, were already in existence — some of them for decades. But many of these important cultural festivals take place in

ALAN POIZNER

A dancer with the Primavera Folklórico Dance Company performs during the 2014 La Cultura Cura: Celebrating Latino Heritage in Dance festival in Phoenix.


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UP FRONT | CULTURE

OTHER HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH EVENTS u Sept. 13-Oct. 18, Albuquerque: “Quinceañera: Our Story, Our Future” exhibition explores the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Art Museum’s permanent collection and celebrates the center’s 15th anniversary. nationalhispaniccenter.org

u Oct. 5-Nov. 8, New York: On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, a musical about the lives of the acclaimed Cuban-American singer and her producer-songwriter husband, will be in previews at the Marquis Theater on Broadway. onyourfeetmusical.com u Oct. 6, Washington, D.C.: The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts’ 19th Annual Noche de Gala Dinner is a black-tie event that benefits NHFA programs, including scholarships to students seeking careers in arts, entertainment and telecommunications. The red carpet is usually starstudded. hispanicarts.org/ nochedegala

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Singer-songwriter Wences Romo of Monterrey, Mexico, performs before an enthusiastic crowd at Nashville’s 2014 Hispanic Heritage Celebration. the spring and summer, and not closer to Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. People en Español Festival, born in 2012, was designed to coincide with the designated month, which dates back to 1968, when it was a weeklong celebration (it was expanded to a month in 1988). The month is designed to recognize the many contributions of Hispanics to the U.S., and celebrate their culture and heritage. The celebration covers the anniversary dates of independence for many Latin American countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, all on Sept. 15; Mexico on Sept. 16; and Chile on Sept. 18. It also includes Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, on Oct. 12. “Festival is a truly curated content experience that will make people feel as though they’ve walked onto our website or the pages of the magazine,” Monso says. While there will be plenty of entertainment that appeals to lovers of salsa, pop and merengue, the two-day event Oct. 17-18 (peopleenespanol.com/festival) will also feature presentations designed to inspire. Among those scheduled to attend are Dominican-American actress Dascha Polanco, the pregnant Dayanara on Orange is the New Black, and Mexican-American telenovela star Angélica María, who will receive the Icono de People en Español, a lifetime achievement award. After three years in San Antonio, the free public festival, which boasts an annual attendance of about 40,000, will take place this year in New York City.

At a time when the nation has noticed the economic power and might of the 55.4 million Latinos in the U.S. — a 2014 report in the magazine Advertising Age found that spending on Hispanic media increased by 8.1 percent in 2013, compared with just 0.9 percent for all media, and AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing found that Latino buying power amounted to $1.4 trillion in 2013 — event organizers seek to harness that power and voice. “If we speak en masse, people notice,” Monso says. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) — a non-partisan, non-profit organization designed to help develop Hispanic leaders — will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a three-day event Oct. 6-8 in Washington, D.C. The group has chosen “Powering Growth and Influence” as its 2015 theme for its annual event (hhm.chci.org). “It’s an opportunity to focus on the growing demographic and the diverse tapestry of the country,” says CHCI president and CEO Esther Aguilera. The CHCI conference will feature panels and discussions chaired by Latino congressional leaders. The group says more than 3,000 people attend the annual event, while another 12,000 watch live streams. “Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of year for there to be national focus on Latinos and our contributions to this country from the very beginning, but in reality, it should be lived and celebrated year-round and our contributions showcased for the broader nation,” says Aguilera.

ALAN POIZNER

u Sept. 13-Oct. 17, Fort Worth, Texas: The city’s Human Relations Commission was among the recipients of a National Endowment for the Humanities/ American Library Association grant to fund public presentations on Hispanic culture. “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” will include screenings of a documentary by the same name, as well as a program to collect oral histories of local Latinos for the Fort Worth Library. fortworthtexas.gov/LA500


UP FRONT | MUSIC

Ricky Martin Life, longevity and La Banda

IF ANYONE KNOWS about successful Latino boy bands, it’s Ricky Martin. Since the age of 12, when he joined that pin-up phenomenon known as Menudo, the Puerto Rican hip-swivelling superstar has mastered the demands and experienced the glories of a wildly successful entertainment career. Now, Martin is about to reveal a new and different side as the executive producer of the Univision Network talent show La Banda, developed by prolific English TV producer and talent judge/ villain Simon Cowell (America’s Got Talent, The X Factor), and which is set to begin airing Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. ET. Martin will also manage the eventual winners of La Banda. Earlier this year, the Renaissance man born as Enrique Martín Morales — who is the author of the autobiography Me (2010) and of a children’s book,

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars; the star of two Broadway musicals (Les Misérables and Evita); the doting father of twin sons Valentino and Matteo; a philanthropist and child advocate — released a new Spanish-language album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (To Whoever Wants to Listen), which he has been promoting with his One World Tour. At the same time, Martin, 43, has been working to ensure that La Banda, on which he also is a judge, along with Italian singer Laura Pausini and Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz, will be a smash. While in the midst of his whirlwind schedule, the man who once had the whole world shaking their bon-bons and topped charts everywhere with his mega hit Livin’ La Vida Loca, recently discussed his involvement with and expectations for the upcoming show.

UNIVISION

BY J.C. PÉREZ-DUTHIE


Q}

Competition in the field of reality TV continues to be intense, even though the musical talent format may be showing some signs of fatigue. Why is this a good moment to launch a show like La Banda? Ricky Martin: Well, music is not going anywhere, so to me it is always a good moment to do a show such as La Banda. There are so many people out there with amazing talent wishing to have the opportunity to express themselves in front of millions of people. We are happy to be that platform that gives a new generation a chance to fulfill their dreams.

UNIVISION

Cowell asked you to help produce La Banda. What do each of you bring to the table to launch this project with Univision? RM: Not only is Simon responsible for discovering

some of the biggest solo artists and bands in music, he has produced and created several successful shows on television worldwide, so he knows exactly what to do with La Banda to produce it and make it a unique experience for the viewer. I bring the artistic side and my experience as a performer for more than three decades. I can tell who is ready to take this step or the ones who need to continue preparing, because I have been in their shoes. What makes this show different from other talent-based reality TV programs? RM: We are looking to form an all-male supergroup between the ages of 14 to 18, who are able to sing in Spanish and English. The audience will dictate what artist is going to go and meet us, the judges. That is something that has never happened in a reality show.

Alejandro Sanz, left, Laura Pausini and Ricky Martin are judges on the new Univision Network talent competition La Banda, set to air Sept. 13.

We are used to seeing you on stage. Now, as a producer, you have been working behind the scenes. Please describe what your role entails. RM: My focus as a producer is to make sure we are bringing the audience the best show, and for that, both the talent and the production elements need to be superb. As a judge, I’m looking for specific things: charisma, obviously the talent, the passion toward Latin music. Artists that are willing to do what it takes to make it to the end. What challenges do you face as a manager? RM: I will lead a management team dedicated to working with the band, 24/7. Having an experienced team that is knowledgeable of all areas is key: touring, PR, scheduling, media and everything necessary to make an artist successful. Even though Univision often beats the major English-language TV networks in the ratings among the most coveted demographics, major networks still don’t seem to pay much attention to Latinos, the largest minority group in this country. What do you think needs to change? RM: I disagree. There are plenty of us doing a great job representing the Latino community, and there will be more. We just have to continue working hard, bringing the best of our culture around the world, using our voices as loud and clear as possible. I feel the best is yet to come.

LATINO BOY BANDS HOT BANDS THAT ROCKED BEFORE

The singers who become the next Latin boy-band phenomenon on La Banda will be in very good company: uMenudo: The group was established in 1977 and managed crossover success into English-language markets until the rights to the band name were sold in 1997. They released scores of hits such as Sube a mi Moto (Motorcycle Dreamer) and Mi Banda Toca Rock (My Band Plays Rock). uLos Chicos: Created in 1978, the band managed to achieve quite a measure of success in Latin America in the ‘80s. The quartet filmed a movie, had its own weekly TV show and gave the world another Latin heartthrob who is still a singing sensation today: Chayanne. The group ceased to exist after 1985. u Magneto: The band emerged in the early ’80s and had its biggest hit in 1991 with Vuela, Vuela, a cover of ’80s French pop hit Voyage Voyage. The group lost its magnetism in 1996, but original members still perform sporadically.

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The Seeds of Beauty Jewelry maker weaves Peruvian culture into her designs BY ALEXA ROGERS

THE GALA NECKLACE

FLOWER EARRINGS

EXOTIC GALA HEADBAND

EXOTIC NATURE BELT

feature red huayruro seeds, handbeaded to create a flower. $78

has small black and red seed beads and silver balls. $125

is hand-beaded with natural red and black huayruro seeds. $395

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

JERALD COUNCIL

is an adjustable statement necklace with red seeds and silver beads crocheted to create a custom design. It is one of the most admired pieces in the collection. $650-$1,800, depending on design


UP FRONT | FASHION

AWARD-WINNING JEWELRY ENTREPRENEUR Evelyn Brooks brings her own flair to designs that are eco-friendly and inspired by her love for her Peruvian heritage. Her work features stunning red and black huayruro seeds from the Peruvian Amazon. Although Brooks wasn’t attracted to traditional seed jewelry growing up in Peru, she now embraces the material in her designs, along with gold and silver, to create a more contemporary look that still has meaning to her and many of her Latin American clients. Her favorite piece — the Gala — is an eye-catching statement necklace filled with huayruro seeds that are crocheted into the back of the piece and bound with memory wire for stability. One of her most detailed creations, Brooks says it takes about four weeks to make and it embodies her personal characteristics of strength and hard work. “It’s about me,” she says. “It represents overcoming things … my strength. The design says that my work, it’s growing.” Born in Lima, Brooks grew up helping out at her father’s jewelry store on weekends and pursued it as a profession, now her business, later in life. Brooks graduated as a jewelry professional from the Gemological Institute of America in New York. In 2004, she launched her company, Evelyn Brooks Designs, based in Alexandria, Va.

BEHIND THE DESIGN Evelyn Brooks, right, is not only an exceptional jewelry designer, she also enjoys inspiring others.

JERALD COUNCIL

u Recognition for her work. In 2013, Brooks was given the Successful Peruvian Women in America Award at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C. Her work has also been featured in museums, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. uProviding inspiration. Brooks seeks to inspire all women, particularly moms, to find success in their passions. She shares her experiences on her popular blog, twoworlds onechica.com. See more of her jewelry at ebrooksdesigns.com.

Huayruro

(WHY-EE-RU-RO) Peruvian huayruro seeds symbolize prosperity, love and happiness.

FLOWER RING

is made with black petals and three good luck seeds. $48

PASSION RED GOOD LUCK BRACELET

is handcrafted with medium huayruro seeds and jump rings. The adjustable wrapping bracelet is also available with red and black seeds. $49

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UP FRONT | FASHION

Cosmic Collection NYC designers create out-of-this-world fashion BY JENNIFER MABRY

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are featured on this Hydrus Galaxy scarf.

astronauts’ journeys beyond the bounds of Earth. Chouza, 28, born in San Diego and raised in Mexico City, says she wanted to study fashion design because “I love designing and textiles. I’m also interested in graphic design. I even took a few courses in architecture. And I have always had a fascination with space and the Hubble images because of their beauty. As a textile designer, I naturally thought to print them on fabric.” The duo has industry experience ranging from freelancing to apprenticeships at small design houses and larger

corporate entities. They’ve applied that experience — coupled with their imagination, creativity and knowledge — to a clothing line that is contemporary and affordable. (Most pieces cost less than $125.) The collection includes dresses, scarves, skirts, swimsuits and T-shirts, each with vibrant images of solar eclipses, stars, moons and a supernova’s explosion against a galactic backdrop. Their cosmic clothing line includes the Lightning shift dress, featuring bolts of lightning crackling across an eggplant-colored, lightweight

DANIELA MEKLER

FOR MORE THAN five decades, Earthlings’ forays into space have inspired technological advances, movies, books and more. Now, thanks to New York fashion designers Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza, co-owners of the online fashion boutique Shadowplay (shadowplaynyc.com), it is possible for many of us to own a little piece of the universe. Graduates of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City, Bennaim and Chouza met through friends and bonded over their shared language of Spanish. But it was their mutual love of space that led to a business partnership and their experiment with transferring images, many captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, onto textiles to create a galactic-print clothing line that has exploded into a profitable online retail store in just four years. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Miami, Benniam, 23, says her “fascination with space” is rooted in summers spent at space camp and visits to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where her muse was brought alive through the “stunning beauty” of the stars and inspiration born of


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UP FRONT | FASHION

Q&A

DESIGNED INSPIRATION Fashion designers Ali Bennaim and Ximena Chouza share things that inspire them in their work.

What is your favorite quote about space? Bennaim: “It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Chouza: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” — Carl Sagan, Cosmos What is your favorite song related to space? Bennaim: Space Oddity by David Bowie Chouza: Life on Mars? by David Bowie If you could visit any planet, which one would you choose? Bennaim: I would visit Titan, which is a moon of Saturn. It’s been described as a planet-like moon with similarities to Earth, such as volcanoes, methane lakes, water and ice. Chouza: Mars, because it’s the next obvious step for humanity.

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Shadowplay fashion designers Ali Bennaim, left, and Ximena Chouza discuss options and color palettes for their line of intergalactic clothing. jersey fabric, and the strapless, reversible Milky Way Galaxy skater dress with a splash of stars on one side and fine black-and-white stripes on the other. They also sell similarly themed jewelry — necklaces with pendants shaped like crescent moons, other-worldly quartz and pyrite bangles — made by local artisans to complement their clothing line, and the pair is working to launch their own line of jewelry. The designers chose Shadowplay, a song by the iconic British band Joy Division, as their company name because it sounded “cool,” but soon realized that “many of the beautiful sights in space are created by shadows,” which really communicates the message behind their designs, says Bennaim. Images they’ve chosen show “the way the sun lights up one side of a planet but not the other, or the light versus the dark side of the moon, lunar eclipses which are caused by the shadow of Earth on the moon,” adds Chouza. As the only full-time employees of Shadowplay, they maintain a simple, streamlined shop, collaborating on designs and sifting through hundreds of images, selecting only those that best fit a garment’s design. Chouza then experiments with

the colors of the digital images to brighten or sharpen them; she’ll then email the results to the company’s fabric suppliers, who print them onto fabric for a predetermined number of garments. By working closely with their suppliers to buy only as much fabric as they require, Chouza says, they have significantly reduced the amount of fabric waste. The socially conscious duo also keeps their production local, working only with seamstresses in New York City’s Garment District; they do business with local fabric suppliers and printers as much as possible. For most designers, a space motif might serve as a theme for a season in a collection, but Shadowplay’s entire clothing line is built around space. Benniam says they are seeking to grow creatively. “We do want to expand into different kinds of things, different kinds of prints,” she says. “We do a lot of prints with minerals and different gemstones, but we want to keep it very photographic, related to things we can find in the earth, space, stones and trees.” But the designers concede that as long as Earth’s inhabitants are drawn to the universe’s beauty, Shadowplay’s future will remain in the cosmos.

HANNAH HOMMERSTAD GIBBS

What is your favorite TV show or movie with a space theme? Bennaim: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a documentary series presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson exploring the laws of nature through space and time. Chouza: Firefly, a short-lived fictional TV show about a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft 500 years from now trying to survive as they travel the edges of the galaxy.


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UP FRONT | RELIGION

Argentina-born Pope Francis prepares to lead an open-air Mass at Bicentennial Park in Quito, Ecuador, in July.

The People’s Pope Hispanics embrace the first Latin-American pontiff

WITHIN THE ROMAN Catholic Church, the phenomenon is known as “the Francis effect.” The phrase refers to the enthusiasm for Pope Francis, the first Latin-American pope. The feeling resonates, not only among most Catholics, including U.S. Hispanics, but among long-lapsed Catholics and those who practice other faiths. “He brings an immense popularity, even with people who are not exactly greedy for the gospel,” says the Most Rev. Thomas

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Wenski, archbishop of Miami. In September, Francis — formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina — makes his first U.S. visit since being chosen as pope in 2013. He will canonize Spanish missionary Junipero Serra and also address a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C.; speak to the U.N. General Assembly and visit the National September 11 Memorial in New York; and celebrate Mass at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the first time

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

BY JOHN LANTIGUA


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UP FRONT | RELIGION

He brings an immense popularity, even with people who are not exactly greedy for the gospel.” — THE MOST REV. THOMAS WENSKI, ARCHBISHOP OF MIAMI

says, can positively change how disaffected Catholics think of their church. “He is the kind of person who can change the minds of Catholics who are considering leaving the church,” he says. “No recent Catholic leader has connected with the world better than he has. He is speaking for the 1 billion people who go hungry in this world, and that message is resonating with people in all spheres of influence.” So far, Francis has not altered church doctrine on controversial issues that have led to some attrition, especially among liberal Catholics. The Vatican still opposes artificial contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and female priests, but the pope has “brought a new tone to the discussion of those issues,” Wenski says.

Pope Francis greets believers in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, en route to a Holy Mass in Christ the Redeemer Square in July. The pope is popular among Latinos because of his emphasis on the poor and immigrants and his ability to connect with the Latino culture.

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

For example, Francis recently said that it might be “morally necessary” for married couples to separate in some extreme instances. He has said that gays and lesbians should be treated “with respect, compassion and sensitivity.” And he also ended a controversial Vatican investigation of U.S. nuns who were accused of straying from church teaching. Francis has helped to increase focus on the plight of the poor and immigrants, an emphasis many Hispanics support. “This pope speaks our language,” says Maria del Mar Muñoz-Visoso, cultural outreach director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “He also emphasizes the central role of family in Catholicism, and for Hispanics, family is so important.” Sister Silvia Patricia Nava, co-director of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas’ Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, a youth ministry, says young Hispanics appreciate that the pope has a Twitter account — @Pontifex. They also respect that he doesn’t just talk about poverty, he seeks to understand it. He lives in a Vatican guesthouse rather than the more opulent Apostolic Palace and mingles with the poor wherever he travels. “They admire him because he doesn’t just talk the faith, he lives it,” Nava says. “The young are tired of talk.” Armando Cervantes, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Orange County, Calif., diocese, also sees a strong connection between Francis and U.S. Hispanics. “Many Hispanic families came to the U.S. fleeing poverty,” he says. “When (he) speaks of poverty, it is clear he has worked among the poor. He knows why Hispanics came here and what they left behind. He sees the world through a lens they understand.”

CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

that conference has been held in the United States. Francis arrives during a period of great stress in U.S. Catholicism, due, in part, to the hundreds of cases of sexual abuse involving priests worldwide over several decades, which badly tarnished the church. The number of Catholic parishes began to decline between 1995 and 2000, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Catholic research center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. But a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center found that while 20.8 percent of people identified as Catholic, down from 23.9 percent in 2007, the percentage of Hispanic Catholics rose from 29 percent to 34 percent in that same period. John de Leon, a Miami attorney and practicing Catholic of Cuban descent, acknowledged the crisis in the church caused by the sex abuse scandal. But, he says, while addressing that crisis, Francis has also inspired the faithful to focus on “God’s work,” especially by emphasizing help for the poor. That, he


Marissa Rodriguez reads to her son, who has attention-deficit hyperactive and oppositional defiance disorders, in the family's playroom.

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015


FROM

RESISTANCE TO

Acceptance For moms of children with behavioral issues, growing through doubt and criticism is part of the therapy

BY MARISSA RODRIGUEZ

others of children with behavioral issues regularly hear all sorts of remarks: “He’s chiflado.” “He’d do well with a good chancletazo.” “Send him to me, I can straighten him out.” When you have a child with behavioral or mental health disorders, like I do, you are a magnet for unsolicited advice. I try to stay appreciative of well-intentioned advice, but handling judgment, mean comments or outright skepticism is another story. My first reaction is often to get defensive. I want to explain the challenge of having a child who struggles emotionally, academically and socially. How can they understand what it’s like to see your child feel so intensely, become so consumed by some minuscule detail that he can’t focus on anything else, or have strange, irrational fears? How can I explain the anxiety and sadness of having your little one tell you that his brain tells him to do bad things?

ELIDA D. RODRIGUEZ

M

29


I could explain until I’m hoarse, but I won’t change every mind. It can be difficult to be thought of as a bad mom by teachers, other parents and perhaps members of your own family. But I know I am not an anomaly and chancletazos can’t fix everything. My son has attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and potentially other issues. His ADHD makes it difficult for him to sit still, listen, stay focused on a person who is speaking and retain what’s being said. He also has poor impulse control and has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues. ADHD is one of the most common mental health disorders among children, and kids who have it are more likely to have other mental health or developmental issues, like ODD, which some reports estimate 40 percent of ADHD “I will find kids have. My son’s ODD manifested as the right thoughtless defiance strategies without understanding or regard for to deal with consequences, a short this and temper and irritability. He also shows signs everything of sensory processing disorder (SPD), a will be fine.” condition that makes it difficult for the body to understand and process information coming from the senses. He’s disgusted easily, and certain smells, textures, sights and loud sounds can overwhelm him. As a result, school has been a major challenge. For many children, kindergarten is a time of discovery, of playing in glitter and glue, making first friends. Eventually, first-day jitters ease and rules and routines sink in. While my son brought home his fair share of glittered and glued creations and worksheets filled with letters and numbers in adorable, shaky handwriting, he also brought home notes and ink-soaked behavior charts describing poor behavior, inability to sit still, aimless wandering in the classroom and dif-

Marissa's MANTRA:

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

ficulty understanding social situations and boundaries. At first I chalked this up to the growing pains of getting adjusted to a new school in a new city (we’d recently moved), that he was among the younger students in his class and had already exhibited some developmental delays. We instituted rigid new rules at home in hopes of nipping this in the bud. For months my husband and I became stricter, firmer in our punishments and more authoritarian. We took toys away until there was nothing left, offered rewards and tried “traditional” discipline. His behavior, and our whole family’s happiness, plummeted. After a particularly terrible playground incident landed him with an in-school suspension, I was desperate for help and sick with worry. I called the best therapist I could find and tearfully explained that we needed support. We were sitting in his office the next morning. With his help we discovered our son had ADHD and ODD. Many in the Latino community (and elsewhere) believe that childhood behavioral and mental health disorders are the imaginings of anxious helicopter moms who are eager to pathologize bad behavior. And they aren’t shy about telling them so. For them, behavioral issues are a function of poor parenting, sparing the rod, bad habits, poor diets or unruly households. They sniff at the idea of therapy or question why you simply can’t “handle” your own child. After all, good Latino moms would never accept bad behavior — their strictness and threat of la chancla have those issues handled. Right? To be fair, there is plenty of controversy around childhood mental health issues, especially ADHD. That could be partly due to the fact that there is no simple medical exam that can confirm its presence (like a blood or urine test) and many children are potentially misdiagnosed. Diagnosis (made by pediatricians, psychiatrists and child psychologists) is based on observations about the child from parents, caretakers and teachers. Research indicates that heredity and environment play a part, but studies increasingly find physical indicators like key brain differences in kids with ADHD and signs in infancy, when environ-


ELIDA D. RODRIGUEZ

ment doesn’t factor in. And the tides may be changing. Although ADHD diagnosis rates are lower in Hispanic children (which some attribute to Latinos' willingness to see a wider range of behavior as normal, the benefits of large, close-knit families, lower rates of parent reporting, and/or poor perception of mental health issues), one recent study of ethnically diverse children ages 5 to 11 showed that the rates of diagnosis among

Hispanic children climbed 60 percent over nine years. Those numbers could indicate a sea change in the instances of disorder, Latino parents’ perception and/or their willingness to seek help. That could be good news for children and families like mine who need to identify a mental health problem and get support as early as they can. Children with untreated ADHD and other mental health issues are more likely to get in

Rodriguez says in the Latino community, it is often believed that a child's behavioral problems are due to poor parenting, not mental health issues.

31


RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT • ADDitude magazine online publication provides information and tips for people living with attention deficit disorders. additudemag.com

• MentalHealth. gov website (with information in English and Spanish) can help parents and families identify red flags and understand mental health fundamentals. mentalhealth.gov • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website offers information about commonly diagnosed mental illnesses and opportunities to connect with local affiliates and programs of support. nami.org 800-950-NAMI

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

trouble, drop out of school, be incarcerated, are prone to substance abuse and have car accidents. Studies show that a high percentage of children (about 67 percent) diagnosed and receiving treatment for ODD are symptom-free after three years. Some children appear to outgrow ADHD symptoms and others will struggle with ADHD all their lives. I am determined for my son to succeed, critics be damned. To counteract detractors, it’s vital to create a community (friends, family, doctors, teachers and especially other Latino moms). We share our misadventures and draw support from our experiences and wisdom. Among our supporters, we’re more likely to hear: “Did you get a weighted jacket?” “Try that robotics class!” “How did he do with a probiotic?” “Get an advocate for that school meeting.” We understand when one

of us has a meltdown or how we feel when someone is cruel to one of our kids. Their kind words help drown out the insensitive ones. At one of my lowest points, a good friend reminded me that my son isn’t a problem to be solved, that he needs me to be his advocate and to embrace the mantra: “I will find the right strategies to deal with this and everything will be fine.” Another friend confided that she had trouble accepting her child’s challenges at first, but when she changed her mindset from resistance to acceptance, she was able to let go of what should have been, and work with what is. I’m struggling to be free from those expectations, and empowered to be among the mothers who, despite detractors, have hung up their chanclas. I know my child and my family are better off for it.

RUSSELL RAYMER

• Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) national nonprofit organization offers the latest government and science-based news regarding ADHD, webinars and training. chadd.org


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WELL-SUITED CUBAN-AMERICAN ACTRESS GINA TORRES HAS MADE A CAREER OUT OF PORTRAYING FIERCE FEMALES. BUT THE WOMAN BEHIND THOSE FAN-FAVORITE CHARACTERS MAY SURPRISE YOU. BY LILLIAM RIVERA

35


WELL- SUITED

"I PUT YOU OUT ONCE. WHEN I BEAT YOU THIS TIME, THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO PEEL YOU OFF THE WALL." That’s a verbatim quote from the managing partner at Pearson Specter Litt, the New York law firm that anchors the action of the legal drama Suits on the USA Network. And that was one of character Jessica Pearson’s softer barbs. With legal skill and intellectual agility, the fierce, formidable and, frankly, badass Pearson is a commanding presence in her tailored suits and pointy-toe stiletto pumps. But flip the script, and you’ll find a warm and passionate actress behind the lawyer and other take-charge female roles. From her start on One Life to Live to her portrayal of Zoë Washburne, a fan favorite on the science-fiction TV series Firefly, Cuban-American actress Gina Torres has made a career out of playing tough women who don’t seem to sweat under pressure.

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

“The essence of it all is who you trust to take you through the storm. You will follow Zoë to battle because you know she’s got your back. She’s a soldier, and Jessica is much the same,” Torres says. “It’s about carrying a kind of authority and assuredness with you. “People seem to buy that about me, which I’m happy about.” She delivers that last statement with a deep laugh, knowing the woman who puts on the space-cowgirl costume and sleek lawyer suits could not be more different than her warrior roles. Instead, Torres is an accomplished mezzo-soprano singer, who spends her downtime watching Broadway musicals with her 8-year-old daughter, Delilah. (Imagine Jessica Pearson belting out show tunes? The evidence speaks for itself.) Sure, she can keep that serious face on camera, but off -screen? The actress is quick to laugh at herself as she speaks with gratitude about the long career she’s carved out in Hollywood. At heart, Torres is still the girl who, with two older siblings, grew up in the Bronx, surrounded by Latino culture. Her parents migrated to the U.S. from Cuba before the Cuban Revolution and gravitated to the melting

USA NETWORK

Gina Torres lays down the law as no-nonsense lawyer Jessica Pearson on USA Network‘s drama Suits.


UNIVERSAL STUDIOS; FOX STUDIOS, CARTOON NETWORK

In her career, Torres has been the voice of Vixen on Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited (top); portrayed the wife of a conflicted husband (comedian/actor Chris Rock)in the 2007 film I Think I Love My Wife; and played Zoë Washburne in Fox’s sci-fi series Firefly.

pot community. Her 1970s’ childhood, she says, was filled with memories of a beautiful, technicolor New York City, “living in an apartment with all kinds of culture, every language and smell imaginable and a sense of community.” Always drawn to television, Torres says she fell in love with telenovelas and variety shows as a child. She sang and danced in her apartment, but though her talent was obvious, her interest in making a career in entertainment was difficult for her parents to accept, especially her father. As immigrants, they dreamed that their children would become professionals, she says. “Doctors, engineers, something with a title. That was not where I ended up.” Their initial lack of approval didn’t stop Torres from attending Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she studied voice. She was inspired to pursue a career on the stage when her class watched a Broadway performance of the dramatic play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg with Stockard Channing in the lead role. “I just remembered thinking, I want to do that. I want other people to feel the way she made me feel,” Torres recalls. "And I want to take other people on

ROLL THE CREDITS • Majored in voice at New York City's prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, aka “the Fame school.” • Made her TV debut on One Life to Live. • Met her husband, Laurence Fishburne, on the set of The Matrix Reloaded. The two worked together on The Matrix Revolutions and the 2006 political thriller Five Fingers. • Won the 2001 ALMA Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a syndicated drama series for her work in Cleopatra 2525. Source: tvguide.com

37


WELL- SUITED Torres and her husband, actor Laurence Fishburne.

the ride she just took me on." Eventually, that ride led to the small screen in roles on dozens of TV shows, including CSI, Law & Order, The Shield, Alias, Boston Legal, Bones, Castle and the one that made her a science-fiction cult hero, Firefly. Her many movie credits include The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix Reloaded, on the set of which she met her husband, actor Laurence Fishburne. The couple of 13 years could have been a highprofile Hollywood family, but they prefer to keep their personal lives out of the spotlight — and all that celebrity entails. “Me entrego completamente a mi familia,” Torres happily admits. “I keep my house. I cook. I iron, as odd as that sounds. Spending time just being Gina because I spend so much time being other people.” Being a mom also means Torres gets to share her love for music and culture with her daughter, right down to preparing flan for Delilah’s class. Already she can see signs that Delilah has caught the acting bug. But Torres and Fishburne stress that

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

hard work comes before all the glitz and glamour. Acting is a job they both take seriously, she says, and as an Afro-Latina, Torres knows what obstacles may await her daughter. “It’s really the only industry where prejudice is sanctioned,” she says. “The fight is really just to be seen as humans telling a story and whatever else it is that we bring to the table, given our experiences and our existence on this planet.” The fight will also continue on season six of Suits when Torres slips on the stilettos once again. What can fans expect from the next season of this smart, entertaining show? According to Torres, Pearson will continue to protect her law firm — at all costs. And in that sense, Torres and her character do have one thing in common: a focus on the future. “My intention is to continue with an open heart and a great sense of adventure and imagination, so I can meet whatever is around the corner.” Being prepared? That’s so Jessica Pearson.

GETTY IMAGES

"I KEEP MY HOUSE. I COOK. I IRON, AS ODD AS THAT SOUNDS. SPENDING TIME JUST BEING GINA BECAUSE I SPEND SO MUCH TIME BEING OTHER PEOPLE."


SUITS TV DRAMA TO AIR EN ESPAÑOL Spanish-speaking fans of Suits, the original USA Network hit drama starring Gina Torres, can now catch up with the series on NBC UNIVERSO, a sports and entertainment cable channel for Latinos. The show, which revolves around a corporate law firm in Manhattan, has already attracted a following of English-speaking viewers who call themselves “Suitors.”

USA NETWORK

The first season is currently airing in Spanish on NBC UNIVERSO on Tuesdays from 10-11 p.m ET/PT, and will be followed

by season two, for a total of 28 episodes. “Now an entirely new audience will be able to follow the series from its inception, and be captivated by the show’s great storytelling, emotional characters and tantalizing themes,” says Bilai Joa Silar, senior vice president of programming and production for NBC UNIVERSO in announcing the deal in June. The series stars Torres as powerful attorney Jessica Pearson, Patrick J. Adams as brilliant college dropout-turned-lawyer Mike Ross and Gabriel Macht

as bold and intense attorney Harvey Specter. Sarah Rafferty is the firm's nerve center and top executive assistant Donna Paulsen, and Meghan Markle is ambitious paralegal Rachel Zane. Currently in its fifth season, Suits airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. CT and has been renewed for a 16-episode sixth season. NBC UNIVERSO subscribers can also view episodes of Suits in Spanish on Video on Demand, nbcuniverso.com and the NBC UNIVERSO NOW app.

Torres poses with Suits castmates, from left, Rick Hoffman, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty and Gabriel Macht.

39


SO LONG,

Sábado

THE LONGEST-RUNNING VARIETY SHOW IN TV HISTORY, A LATINO FAMILY TRADITION, IS COMING TO AN END

BY SUZAN COLÓN | PHOTOS BY RODRIGO VARELA

“¿QUÉ,

QUÉ, QUÉ??” The repeated cry of “why?” over social media was all that could be said in light of the news: Sábado Gigante, the TV variety show that has been an institution in Latin and North American homes for 53 years, is going off the air. The announcement stunned the show’s millions of fans. After all, Sábado Gigante (Gigantic Saturday) is the longest-running variety show in television history, certified by Guinness World Records. During the show’s 2,600 consecutive weeks on the air, or 16,000 hours of programming, there has never been a single rerun. Fresh episodes have been airing every weekend since the show premiered in Chile in 1962.

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015


Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, better known as Sรกbado Gigante host Don Francisco, has entertained audiences every weekend for 53 years.


SO LONG,

Sábado “Did I know, that first night, that the show would go this far? Never,” says Gigante creator Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld. “It was an idea born under modest circumstances.” In fact, the juggernaut that has at times reached an estimated 90 million homes was part of Chile’s baby steps into the broadcasting world, thanks to a young man’s love of American television — and lack of interest in tailoring. Kreutzberger was born in Talca, Chile, where his Jewish parents fled after escaping Nazi Germany. Kreutzberger was born as World War II was raging in Europe. His classically trained mother’s singing lessons sparked a desire in him to perform, and he had some early success with acting and characterdriven stand-up comedy. His father, probably thinking in more practical terms, sent Kreutzberger to New York in 1959 to follow in his footsteps and become a tailor. While in New York, Kreutzberger fell in love with American TV — not zoning out in front of it, but getting inspiration. Chilean television was in its infancy when he returned home in the early 1960s, bringing with him some very big ideas about a variety show. He put together a program packed with comedy and news, singing and dancing, parodies and serious interviews. To host the show, Kreutzberger created a funny, flirtatious alter ego with an easierto-remember name: Don Francisco. Early versions of the show ran on Sunday, lasted eight hours and were canceled twice. The third time — along with a Saturday-evening time slot and a downsizing to around three hours — was the charm. Sábado Gigante became a hit in Chile, then in Latin America, Europe and beyond. In more than 40 countries, every Saturday night, generations of families, from abuelos to grandkids,

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Model Alina Robert and the infamous El Chacal de la Trompeta scout out the next contestant to be dragged offstage during the show’s singing competition. gathered around the tube to watch together. The show began airing in Miami in 1986 on the Spanish International Network (SIN). The following year the network was relaunched as Spanish-language U.S. network Univision, and the show became a ratings monster as millions of immigrants reconnected with a family tradition. “A producer told me with tears in her eyes that the show had been like a companion when she came here to go to school,” says executive producer Antonio “Cuco” Arias, who has worked on Sábado Gigante for 29 years. “She watched every Saturday, just like she had with her family when she was

“DID I KNOW, THAT FIRST NIGHT, THAT THE SHOW WOULD GO THIS FAR? NEVER.”

— Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld


FALL TV’S growing up.” While the show was modeled on classic American variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show, “Don Mario,” as his team affectionately calls him, kept things current by seeking out fresh talent. Enrique Iglesias, reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee, and bachata singer Prince Royce all performed on Sábado Gigante early in their careers. Cristina Saralegui, often referred to as the Latina Oprah, credits Kreutzberger for her first opportunity on TV. The show’s reputation for wildly over-the-top comedy skits and

cheeky contests made it popular with non-Spanish-speaking viewers, too. You didn’t have to understand the language to be joyfully transfixed by El Chacal de la Trompeta, a singing competition featuring a hooded judge whose name translates to Trumpet Jackal. You think Simon Cowell is tough? Try performing while being heckled by a guy dressed as a creepy ninja, and Don Francisco in a leopard fez. Losers were quickly dragged offstage by a person in a plushy lion costume. When appropriate, the show took a serious tone. Viewers met

2,600 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS ON THE AIR, OR 16,000 HOURS OF PROGRAMMING Don Francisco clowns around during a recent live taping of Univision’s Sábado Gigante.

Star Power

Primetime TV this fall promises to be chock-full of series and movies with Latinos in leading roles. So why go out to see the leaves change, when you can park it on the couch and be charmed by these stars?

• NBC Eva Longoria, Hot & Bothered: Alluring Longoria heads a Hispanic cast in this hilarious take on telenovelas and their stars’ equally dramatic private lives. ALSO: Jennifer Lopez stars in gritty cop drama Shades of Blue; Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera returns to the small screen with a starring role in the TV movie Superstore; Ryan Guzman joins the miniseries Heroes Reborn, a continuation of the comic book/action series Heroes.

• FOX Christina Milian, Grandfathered: The Cubana co-stars with the still-sexy John Stamos in this sitcom. ALSO: Dreamy Diego Boneta joins the all-star cast of Scream Queens; Parks and Recreation’s Natalie Morales costars with Rob Lowe in The Grinder; Stephanie Escajeda, Efren Ramirez and Nicholas Gonzales provide voices for the Seth MacFarlaneproduced animation Bordertown; Wilmer Valderrama stars in Minority Report, a sci-fi TV movie based on the Tom Cruise film.

• CBS Luis Guzman, Code Black: A gripping ER-style hospital drama stars well-known character actor Guzman (you’ll likely know his face, just not his name). ALSO: Angelique Cabral is the love interest in family comedy Life in Pieces; Dexter alum Aimee Garcia stars in Rush Hour, a reboot of the Jackie Chan action movies. • ABC Gabriel Luna, Wicked City: The Texas-born star of Matador and True Detective stars in this 1980s-set L.A. crime drama. ALSO: Floriana Lima co-stars in The Family, a drama about a politician’s son who disappears and mysteriously resurfaces more than 10 years later.

43


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SO LONG,

Sábado

presidential candidates through Don Francisco’s direct, news-anchor-like interviews, and were invited to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the White House in 2001. They processed the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and were riveted by the 2010 rescue of the Chilean miners in reports that were by turns straightforward and emotional. Kreutzberger, who missed only one show, when his mother passed away in 1974, served as his viewers’ ambassador to the worlds of celebrity, politics and news, as well as being seen as a member of their families. Sábado Gigante’s 40th year of programming in 2002 was cause for celebration, as well as contemplation. Even back then, Kreutzberger admits, “I started feeling like it might be time for the show to come to a close.” As Sábado continued to beat English-language programming on the big networks, he may have been the only one thinking about the end. “I spent a lot of sleepless

Don Francisco says Sábado Gigante’s legacy will be the good memories it leaves with viewers when he and other cast members say good-bye after the final episode, which will air live Sept. 19. nights consulting my pillow, as well as my wife (Teresa “Temmy” Muchnik), my kids (Vivi, Francisco and Patricio), and of course my colleagues on the Gigante team,” he says. “For the past 13 years, I’ve been preparing to stop doing what has been the love of my life.” During that time, the way people watch shows, and what they watch, has changed; Saturday-night programming is no longer the huge draw it once was. Also, Kreutzberger is now 74 and might enjoy some time off after working 12-hour days for the past 53 years. Univision president of programming and content Alberto Ciurana admits, “There is no replacing Sábado Gigante,” but says the plan is to fill the time slot with Sabadazo, another variety show, and a Saturday edition of celebrity news show Sal y Pimienta (Salt and

Pepper), which will also keep its regular Sunday time slot. The final episode of Sábado Gigante airs live Sept. 19 and will be “full of adrenaline,” Kreutzberger promises. “The last show should be a faithful reflection of what it has always been: humble, vibrant, exciting, full of human warmth.” As Antonio Arias predicts, “It will be a historic moment in television.” Ever the diplomat, Don Francisco refuses to choose a favorite guest of the some 50,000 he’s said to have interviewed, and perhaps cannot single out a favorite moment. His thoughts are not now in the past, but at a time in the future that starts the moment after he says his final good-bye. “Our legacy is what we will leave behind in the hearts of the people who watched,” he says. “The best legacy: Good memories.”

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2 MAG NAME XXXXXXXXXX

KEN WYNER; THINKSTOCK

PIQUANT PERU


La Araña

Chefs embrace the popularity of Peru’s deliciously diverse cuisine BY ROXANA A. SOTO

N

CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS’

China Chilcano

WASHINGTON, D.C.

othing unites Peruvians more than their obsession with food — specifically, their food. Once inconspicuous, cuisine from Peru has become a source of national pride and has transformed the country into a legitimate culinary destination. Tourists who used to equate Peru with the majestic and world-renowned Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, (and not much else) are now booking gastronomic tours in search of the unique flavors found in its innumerable dishes.


PIQUANT PERU

CEVICHE

This classic Peruvian dish, primarily featuring raw fish cured in citrus juices, is featured on Morena Cuadro’s popular food blog, Peru Delights.

But you don’t have to go to Peru to get a taste of the food. “It’s an astonishing melting pot of different cultures and cuisines that always inspires,” says Spanish-born celebrity chef José Andrés, who ventured into Peruvian cuisine earlier this year with the launch of his restaurant China Chilcano in Washington, D.C. “Even though it has just recently come on our radars, Peruvian food is not a new, hip cuisine to try. Peru is a very old country that has evolved over hundreds of years into an interesting, beautiful thing.” The ancient Connoisseurs agree that the current boom geoglyphs depicted in these drawings has to do with the South American country’s are part of a biodiversity, which yields high-quality UNESCO World products hard to find elsewhere, as well as Heritage site in the myriad foreign influences Peruvians have southern Peru. expertly fused into their own creations. Scholars believe But it’d be almost sacrilegious not to they were created include Peru’s most celebrated chef on this list by the Naza culture. of reasons. (Illustrations: spider, “I don’t think many people would disagree root, lizard, heron with me if I said that Gastón Acurio is largely and dog.) responsible for making the country of Peru a superpower in regards to its food,” Andrés insists, referring to the owner of more than 40 restaurants in a dozen countries and author of 20 cookbooks — including his recent first venture in English, Peru: The Cookbook. “He is without a doubt one of the most influential chefs in the world and has made the

La Raíz

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

ERNESTO CANOSSA; ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA

Nazca Lines


COURTESY OF MORENA CUADRA; ERNESTO CANOSSA; ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA

food of Peru its greatest export,” says Andrés. Not only through his dozens of restaurants worldwide, but because of how he’s created an army of Peruvian chefs by igniting a passion and devotion to the country’s cooking.” Restaurateur Juan Chipoco is one of them. He says Acurio made Peruvian cuisine known worldwide and challenged chefs to “figure out how to maximize and give use to all the marvelous products we have in Peru.” The young Chipoco opened CVI.CHE 105, his first Peruvian restaurant, in downtown Miami seven years ago, and his main dream was for it to become a source of pride for himself and for his fellow Peruvians. “I wanted to prove that Peruvians are also capable of accomplishing great things outside of our country,” says

El Lagarto

CHOROS A LA CHALACA

This hors d’oeuvre is a common entry on many Peruvian restaurant menus. Its name means “mussels Callaostyle,” referring to the busy Port of Callao in Peru. The spicy concoction consists of steamed mussels covered with a vegetable medley.

SUDADO DE PESCADO

A simple dish, this stew is made from fish fillets and a flavorful broth. It is often complemented with peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, white wine and lemon juice.

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POWERFUL CEVICHE

This version of the Peruvian favorite, made with raw fish and shrimp marinated in lemon juice, is said to have aphrodisiac qualities.

La Garza

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Chipoco. “And since our cuisine distinguishes us from the rest, I think opening a restaurant was the best way to position myself and say, ‘Hey, Peruvians are here!’” Mission accomplished. His clientele hails from all over the world, and those who try Peruvian food for the first time at his restaurant say it’s so unexpectedly savory, they have no words to describe it. Indeed, his ceviche — raw fish cured in citrus juices and flavored with spices — has been rated as one of the best in Miami five years in a row by Miami New Times, the city’s weekly newspaper. According to Chipoco, many of his guests have been known to head to CVI.CHE 105 straight from Miami’s airport. And now they have two to choose from, as Chipoco opened a second location in South Beach late last year. Back in D.C., chef Andrés has received many accolades for China Chilcano, where he opted to concentrate on three of the major influencers in Peruvian cuisine: Chinese (chifa), Japanese (nikkei) and traditional (criollo). On his menu, guests can find anything from a classic ceviche to spicy tuna rolls made with quinoa as well as lomo saltado, a beef-steak stir-fry served with French fries that most Peruvians eat for lunch on a regular basis. “I think people have been very receptive to the food, although they may have needed some support in the beginning,” Andrés says. “There are so many different kinds of dishes to choose from that when we first opened, a lot of people appreciated our team guiding them through it.” Morena Cuadra, author of two Peruvian cookbooks, knows exactly what Andrés is talking about. “It’s a big country with all these different geographies,” says the trained chef, making reference to Peru’s three distinct physical features: the coast flanked by the Pacific Ocean, the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rain forest. “This gives way to an enormous amount of dishes, so you could spend years trying something new every day.” Cuadra’s latest cookbook, The Peruvian Kitchen, features 100 Peruvian recipes not to be missed — including, of course, the iconic ceviche. “Without a doubt, of all the ceviches I’ve tried around the world, there’s nothing like the one served in Peru,” says Cuadra, who’s originally from El Salvador but has lived in Peru for so long that she’s adopted the country, and its varied cuisine, as her own. On her popular food blog, Peru Delights (perudelights. com), the majority of comments come from non-Latino readers who’ve either visited Peru and want to recreate

COURTESY OF MORENA CUADRA; ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA

PIQUANT PERU


PIQUANT PERU the dishes they enjoyed there, or who’ve never been but are extremely curious to try Peruvian cuisine. “I believe that the complexity of flavors, textures and intensities makes the food so attractive to them,” says Cuadra. “I think there will come a time when it’ll become even bigger than what it is now and even more known.” Chipoco agrees. In fact, he dreams of CVI.CHE 105 one day becoming a worldwide franchise. And if what chef Andrés believes about the future of Peruvian cuisine is true, Chipoco’s dream may not be far from reality. “It will continue to capture the world’s attention because it will always keep changing and evolving,” says Andrés, who back in July showed his support for fellow immigrants by pulling out of a restaurant deal in Donald Trump’s new hotel venture under construction in Washington, D.C., after the real estate mogul and presidential hopeful publicly made anti-immigrant remarks. “My only hope is that while it grows, it stays true to its authentic roots,” he says.

Five must-try Peruvian dishes (and a drink!) FROM CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS’ CHINA CHILCANO MENU

Ceviche Peruvian ceviche is unlike any other because of its leche de tigre. Also known as “tiger’s milk,” it’s essentially the marinade after the fish has had a chance to soak in it. The result is a soupy, flavorful mixture that the ceviche is served in. It’s a unique dish that belongs only to Peru.

Papas a la Huancaina These boiled yellow potatoes are served in a spicy, creamy sauce that highlights the iconic aji amarillo pepper. It’s often served cold and is a staple in Peruvian picnics.

The California Roll This Japanese-influenced dish is rolled with causa, a purée of potato, instead of rice, and is a great example of how dynamic the potato is in Peru.

Sudado de Pescado

Suspiro Limeña

El Perro

This is considered an iconic dessert of Peru, with a sweetened condensed milk custard that’s topped with a soft, crunchy meringue and passion fruit.

Pisco Sour This cocktail made with pisco liquor, lime juice, egg white and a simple syrup is THE drink of Peru!

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BLAIR GETZ MEZIBOV; ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA

It’s a classic Peruvian fish stew that has a small touch of innovation — it comes to the table steamed in a bag and you have to cut it open to enjoy!


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ueens Q

V ino

Latinas make their mark at helm of California vineyards BY ROXANA A. SOTO

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melia Moran Ceja was only 12 years old when she decided she wanted to become a winemaker. She had just arrived in the Napa Valley from the Mexican state of Jalisco, and was picking merlot grapes in one of Robert Mondavi’s famed vineyards along with her father. “It was actually the very first time I tasted a (ripened) grape that did it for me,” Ceja, 60, says about discovering the distinct difference between table and wine grapes. “They are so much more complex, incredibly sweet and succulent. Once you taste a perfectly fine ripened grape from the vine, you’ll never have table grapes again.” She wasted no time letting her father know that one day she’d own her own vineyard. And she was serious. Today, Ceja is a co-founder of Ceja Vineyards, the first Mexican-American woman ever named president of a winery. That’s a monumental feat considering the wine industry has been historically controlled by men.

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Amelia Moran Ceja CEJA VINEYARDS

Fausta Franco-Guerrero FATHIA VINEYARDS

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Workers, including co-owner Pedro Ceja,far right, pick pinot noir grapes during Ceja Vineyards' first harvest in 1988.

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the American dream. “We never had anything. My dad never owned a house. He was responsible, but he never had a great income,” says Fausta FrancoGuerrero, who owns the boutique Fathia Vineyards with her husband, Roy Guerrero. “This is my American dream.” Like Ceja, Guerrero, 38, knew she wanted to be a winemaker since she was very young. Raised in Sonoma, Guerrero’s playground was the vineyard where her father worked and lived (in a 500-square-foot home) with her and her mother. Her favorite childhood memories involve being among the grapevines and the workers who took care of the

luscious fruit — blissful moments she wanted to recreate for her three young children. In 2005, Guerrero took the initial step toward making that dream a reality by purchasing the family’s first piece of land in Sonoma. Despite several setbacks, including losing their entire first harvest due to a disagreement over the company’s branding with an early associate and a trademark infringement issue that forced them to change the winery’s name from Fausta to Fathia, the Guerrero family now owns 10 acres and produces between 1,000 and 1,500 cases of four types of highly rated wines per year. Their 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was

CEJA VINEYARDS

“We’ve done something that very few people can accomplish in a generation,” says Ceja, who — together with her husband, Pedro, and his brother, Armando, and sister-in-law, Martha — owns more than 110 acres that produce about 8,000 cases of award-winning wine per year. “We’ve gone from working the vineyards to now owning some of the most respected vineyards with pedigree here in Napa and Sonoma.” Ceja belongs to a small but growing group of Latina winemakers in California’s Napa and Sonoma valleys — hard-working and tenacious women whose journeys from humbled beginnings to winemakers are the embodiment of


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Try their wines CEJA VINEYARDS Varieties: White (sauvignon blanc and chardonnay), rosé, red (pinot noir, red blend, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah), sparkling and dessert wines Cost range: $24 to $85 Where available: cejavineyards. com and at the vineyard in Sonoma, Calif.

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really good job at being arrogant and elitist. But we’ve changed the way wine’s made,” she explains. “We’re not making wines for wine critics. We’re making wine to pair well with all the food that we love — Mexican, Peruvian, Cuban and Asian.” Acceptance has been overwhelming. On her vineyard’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/cejavine yards), where Ceja shares her passion for food and wine, the most-watched video shows her preparing the iconic Mexican soup pozole, which she pairs with one of her very own red blends. “We’re showing everyone that there’s a place on the table for wine, regardless of what the menu is,” Ceja says.

FATHIA VINEYARDS Varieties: White (viognier and sauvignon blanc) and red (cabernet sauvignon) Cost range: $25 to $65 Where available: fathiavineyards. com

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rated excellent (91 points) by Wine Enthusiast. “Someone once tried to put me down (by) telling me winemaking was an industry for men where no females were allowed,” Guerrero says. “But I wanted to show my kids that you should always go for your dreams. So I kept going.” Ceja remembers people trying to discourage her, too. A supposed mentor once told her that “people of color don’t have the discretionary income for a luxury product” like wine when she shared her plans to pair it with Mexican cuisine — something no one was doing at the time. So Ceja set out to prove him wrong. “The wine industry has done a

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CONNECT WITH THE NATURAL BEAUT Y OF AMERICA’S NATIONAL TREASURES BY LUISA COLÓN


N

ATIONAL PARKS GIVE NEW MEANING TO THE TERM ALL-INCLUSIVE vacation. Where else can you visit celebrated landmarks, see hard-to-find animals like brown bears and wolverines roaming

free in their natural habitats and explore diverse scenery that ranges

THINKSTOCK; ILLUSTRATIONS: THINKSTOCK, ASHLEIGH CARTER

from towering rock formations to lush rain forests — all in the U.S.?

And yet, according to a survey by the National Park Service, Latinos account for only 9 percent of all national park visitors. Are misconceptions about national parks — that they’re prohibitively expensive, difficult to get to or entail roughing it without any of the creature comforts of home — keeping us from sojourns to famous destinations like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, and lesserknown treasures like Zion or Glacier national parks? “Much of it probably stems from lack of awareness,” says Kathy Kupper, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service (NPS), noting that there’s at least one national park site in every state. In parks that offer food and lodging, options range from "cafeterias to upscale dining, camping to lodges to world-class hotels,” she says. As far as entrance fees go, only 127 of the 407 NPS sites charge one. And when they do, it’s very reasonable, ranging from as low as $3 per person to $30 per vehicle. In addition, entrance fees are waived on several holidays and holiday weekends each year. That’s only one of the ways our country’s national parks are warmly welcoming visitors, whether seasoned travelers or first-timers. “President Obama is committed to giving every child the chance to explore America’s great outdoors and unique history. That’s why he launched the Every Kid in a Park

KEY OF

Popular Activities WILDLIFE

TOURS

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

BOATING

FAMILY FRIENDLY

HIKING

FOOD/LODGING

SCENIC LANDSCAPES

SWIM/BEACH

SHOPPING/SPA

initiative, which enables every U.S. fourth-grader and his or her family to have free access to any national park, forest, land or water for an entire year,” explains Kupper. “The initiative hopes this valuable opportunity will encourage families from across the country to plan a visit to the great outdoors.” Encuentra Tu Parque/Find Your Park (findyourpark.com) invites people to learn about and connect with national parks in a unique, personal way. “With Encuentra Tu Parque/Find Your Park, we are building a movement in which we’ll not only bring people to parks, but also bring parks to people,” says David French, senior vice president of marketing, communications and corporate partnerships at the National Park Foundation (NPF). “By meeting people where they are online and in person with intriguing and thoughtful images and personal stories, we will help people discover that a park can be more than a place and that there are endless ways to find their own unique connections to parks.” Sites within the national parks system allow us to explore vastly different landscapes, and to appreciate our planet in its natural glory, protected and preserved. Here are the 10 most popular national parks in the U.S., along with just some of the ways they’re going to redefine — and exceed — your expectations.

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Place of a Thousand Drips

1

Great Smoky Mountains National Park TENNESSEE – NORTH CAROLINA

According to the NPS, Great Smoky Mountains National Park — located on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina — is the most visited national park in the U.S. That’s not surprising, considering the range of activities that are available (horseback riding, fishing, hiking on the Appalachian Trail and even auto tours) amidst the astonishing natural setting.

2

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon

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If a visit to the Grand Canyon, located in Arizona and considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, has you conjuring up visions of white-knuckle whitewater rafting or all-day hikes along precipitous drops, think again. Free shuttle buses (running May-September) allow visitors to enjoy the gorgeous views without breaking a sweat, and attractions such as the Historic Village District offer all the expected amenities of a vacation con familia — food, lodging, special events — surrounded by a true geological wonder.

THINKSTOCK; NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

ARIZONA


Half Dome

N ATION AL PARKS OF IN T EREST IN L ATIN COU N TRIE S If you’re looking to explore national parks outside of the U.S., check out these six Latin American destinations and prepare yourself for eyepopping attractions like Mayan ruins, giant tortoises and the highest waterfall in the world — as well as classic vacation activities like picture-perfect beaches.

IGUAZÚ NATIONAL PARK

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Argentina Located on the border of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil (the latter of which is home to the adjacent Iguaçu National Park), Iguazú boasts breathtaking waterfalls which nurture a lush subtropical rain forest, home to more than 2,000 plant species, 400 bird species, and endangered animals like jaguars and ocelots.

3

Yosemite National Park CALIFORNIA

California’s famous Yosemite National Park is a household name, thanks to a variety of features that make it popular for travelers of all different tastes. Stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains? Check. Family activities, including night prowling and kid-friendly hiking? Sí. Activities like shopping and spas for the tourist who wants to take it easy and feel pampered? ¡Claro! Yosemite is a classic destination for anyone looking to explore natural wonders without forgoing the comforts of a traditional vacation.

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GALÁPAGOS NATIONAL PARK Ecuador

Historic T.A. Moulton Barn

W YO M I N G

Peaks and valleys, highs and lows — those are terms you’ve probably used but never truly understood on a literal level unless you’ve seen the Grand Teton National Park’s beautiful landscape. Located in northwestern Wyoming (not far from Yellowstone), Grand Teton features the snowdusted mountains of the Teton Range contrasting with the vibrant green — or white, depending on the time of year — of Jackson Hole valley.

Wahweap Hoodoos sandstone columns

TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK Chile

5

Zion National Park

U TA H

The incredible scenery of Utah’s Zion National Park may look like something from another planet, but space travel is not required to access the dazzling Navajo Sandstone formations or the rugged beauty of the Virgin River. More good news? You can explore the canyons at a pace and level that suits you (and your family, if you’re traveling todos juntos). Looking for a more daring way to explore the landscape? Try the multifaceted physical and mental thrills (hiking, swimming, rappelling) of canyoneering.

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Torres del Paine may be named for its famous attraction — three granite monoliths that reach up to a mile and-ahalf into the vast, vivid sky — but this Chilean national park has even more to offer in the form of varied, unbelievably beautiful landscapes, wildlife like pumas and approximately 115 species of birds. THINKSTOICK

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Grand Teton National Park

Consisting of 19 islands, the incredibly diverse ecosystem that makes up the Galápagos National Park — home to such species as the giant tortoise — inspired none other than English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin when he visited in 1835. Since then, Ecuador’s first national park has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Charles Darwin Foundation.


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Olympic National Park

WA S H I N G T O N

While the state of Washington is wellknown for its natural attractions, Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is a wellkept secret. It’s here you can hike through its startlingly temperate environment, marvel at the lush, dense vegetation, enjoy the sensation of the moss and ferns that blanket the earth and gaze upon the snowcapped splendor of Mount Olympus (at almost 8,000 feet high, the highest mountain in the park).

Bald Mountain

7

Rocky Mountain National Park

PHOTO CREDIT

COLOR ADO

This diverse Colorado wonder is the perfect spot to enjoy proximity to the famed Rockies in any of the four seasons. Depending on the time of year, the park's 415 square miles are home to activities like camping and hiking, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing and taking in the wildlife that calls the Rocky Mountains home. The park boasts 60 species of mammals, 280 recorded bird species, 11 species of fish and countless insects. Hoh Rain Forest

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CANAIMA NATIONAL PARK Venezuela

8

Glacier National Park M O N TA N A

If you’re looking for a trip that’s a little more offbeat and solitary, try the vast, untouched wilderness of Glacier National Park. Located in Montana on the Canadian border, Glacier does offer food and lodging for the discerning traveler, but the preserved, protected ecosystems — think ancient rock formations, crystal-clear lakes and wildlife like cougars, lynx and wolverines — make Glacier feel like an isolated stretch of space uninhabited by the complexities of the modern world.

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Acadia National Park

MAINE

Maine Harbor

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Maine’s Acadia offers visitors a relaxing, restorative experience surrounded by picture-perfect scenery, with many activities that are ideal for families (like the ranger-narrated boat cruises or the Nature Center at Sieur de Monts Spring). A trip to Sand Beach is perfect for lounging by the waves — although the chilly North Atlantic water may have you heading for the more temperate Echo Lake Beach if you’re looking to take a dip in the brilliant, blue water.

TULUM NATIONAL PARK Mexico Take the beaches of Cancún and Acapulco, subtract the party-hearty atmosphere and add the fascinating culture of the Mayan empire — you’ve got a trip to Mexico’s Tulum National Park. Part of a coastal stretch known as the Riviera Maya, Tulum offers access to beautiful beaches as well as the stunning archaeological marvels that are the Mayan ruins.

THINKSTOCK

St. Mary Lake

One of the largest national parks in the world (12,000 square miles) and home to Angel Falls, the highest waterfall on the planet, Venezuela’s Canaima National Park is a geological wonder in more ways than one. The landscape is largely made up of ancient sandstone plateaus called tepuis, and endangered species like giant anteaters call this habitat home. Its unique geological scenery and unusual wildlife make this national park a place like no other on Earth.


Grand Prismatic Spring

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W YO M I N G – M O N TA N A – I D A H O

The country’s first national park (and arguably the most well-known), Yellowstone spans from part of Wyoming into Montana and Idaho. From the famed Old Faithful geyser to diverse outdoor activities like boating and cycling (not to mention the wildlife — elk, gray wolves, black bears and bison, just to name a few — that roam the 3,500 square miles), Yellowstone is everything you’d expect from the classic national park and more.

HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

Put a new spin on the concept of the tropical beach vacation with a trip to Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park on Columbia’s Caribbean coast, an underwater otherworld that allows you to get up close and personal with the wonders of the sea.

THINKSTOCK

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Yellowstone National Park

ROSARIO & SAN BERNARDO CORALS NATIONAL NATURAL PARK Columbia


ALBUQUERQUE The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce specializes in Hispanic and Native American conventions and events. Let our department connect your attendees with a complimentary cultural experience.

505 8429003 • WWW.AHCNM.ORG

EMAIL: ABQTOURISM�AHCNM.ORG

Convention & Tourism D e p a r t m e n t

Our National Parks The National Mall welcomes millions every year, but what they see is hardly welcoming.

It welcomes the world to our most significant monuments and memorials. But like many national parks, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., desperately needs our help, including $350 million in federal funding for maintenance, repairs, and preservation. You can help with a simple letter. Visit NPCA.org/mall. Or call 1-800-NAT PARK.


| HISPANIC LIVING

LIFESTYLE&MORE WORKPLACE 70 | HEALTH 78 | EDUCATION 82 | BUSINESS 88 | FINANCES 92 | TRAVEL 96

A CUBAN CELEBRATION

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

The Cuban flag is raised July 20 at the nation's embassy in Washington, D.C., for the first time in 54 years. (See story on Cuba travel on page 96.)

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WORKPLACE

Hiring Hispanic workers in an effort to expand diversity in the workplace is a growing trend among some major businesses.

Wanted: Diversity Companies make efforts to recruit and retain Hispanics among the ranks BY CHRISTINE ROMERO

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THINKSTOCK

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s more businesses look to Hispanics to help improve the bottom line, Latino families and communities depend on stable employment that offers economic security and benefits. Millennial Hispanics are poised to become an even more essential piece of the U.S. labor puzzle because they are both young and a fast-growing segment of the population. The current employment landscape for Hispanics is a mixed bag, with unemployment and lacking access to mentors highlighted as critical issues. While the number of Latino workers has rebounded to pre-recession levels, unemployment among Hispanics remains higher than the national average, says Stephanie Román, economic policy analyst with the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. “We were actually the first group to recover. That’s a good trend,” says Román. “There’s still room for progress for Latinos to continue to work toward bettering unemployment levels. What should be of concern is still tied to the progress we have made.” Given the current and future impact of Hispanic workers, major corporations such


IT’S EASY TO STAND OUT when your ideas are as diverse as your employees. The blend of talents, backgrounds, ideas, and approaches unifies our commitment to serve and promote the health and wellness of our members and communities. It’s our employees who are the heart of our company, and it’s our differences that set us apart. We build a high-performance work culture that is successful and distinct. And we accomplish that by attracting, retaining and developing a diverse community of skilled, engaged and prepared employees. We hope you’ll join our diverse, inclusive and caring community.

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Divisions of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. EOE M/F/D/V


WORKPLACE

There’s still room for progress for Latinos to continue to work toward bettering unemployment levels. What should be of concern is still tied to the progress we have made."e — STEPHANIE ROMÁN, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA

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as Walmart, Wells Fargo and Verizon Communications Inc. are all working proactively to recruit, retain and attract future Latino employees.

EMBRACING DIVERSITY Walmart has shown a commitment to supporting diversity through charitable contributions, internal development programs and hiring initiatives. This year it also increased its starting pay (to $9 hourly or higher, average part-time pay is $10 hourly or higher, and average full-time pay is $13 hourly) while adding more predictability to its store schedules for employees. Both Hispanic employees and shoppers are vital to the company, says Gisel Ruiz, Walmart’s executive vice president, International People Division. In an interview with the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), she said, “We continue to focus on our diversity programs and we execute them really well. However, what I am most proud of is that no one has to push to make sure the efforts are happening. It is truly ingrained in how our leaders lead. We serve customers from all over the world. (Diversity) is just part of who we are, and who we’ve

always been. We are a company that embraces diversity.” Boasting a U.S. workforce of nearly 1.4 million (that’s 1 percent of the country's 140 million working population), Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, employs 185,000 Latinos, according to its 2015 Global Responsibility Report. The insights of Latino employees help Walmart leaders, including Ruiz, understand demographics and cultural differences for diverse Hispanic shoppers across the nation. “First, it is a beautiful thing to be a Latino or Hispanic,” Ruiz tells HACR. “It is a beautiful, beautiful thing to belong to a culture with richness in the characteristics of our people. It is something to be absolutely proud of.” Also, the Walmart Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, donates thousands annually to college scholarship programs, including a grant of $40,000 to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

CATERING TO HISPANICS In the banking industry, Wells Fargo’s diversity programs recognize the importance of Hispanic employees and customers.

GETTY IMAGES; COURTESY OF WALMART

Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president of Walmart's International People Division, says Hispanic employees and shoppers are vital to the company's success.


WORKPLACE

Workforce Hispanics are expected to account for an increase of more than 40 percent in new workers in the U.S. over the next five years, and 75 percent of new workers between 2020 and 2034. — IHS SPECIAL REPORT

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It offers its employees educational and workforce career development programs and mentorship efforts. And it consistently rolls out new financial products aimed at Hispanics. “We know that this is such an important demographic to our country and to the financial well-being of our company,” says Wells Fargo’s Carly Sanchez, executive vice president of talent acquisition, diversity recruiting. Wells Fargo focuses on hiring a diverse workforce at its retail locations and up to the corporate level. As one of the nation’s largest banking institutions, the company has Spanish-speaking employees in call centers and available for face-to-face interactions. The company has offered Spanish options on ATM, and Wells Fargo recently allowed customers to select Spanish as their preferred language for its mobile banking app, which provides account balances, recent account activity, credit card due dates and an ATM locator. Both Latinos and Millennials have been quick to adopt mobile services, making the move by Wells Fargo one that targets the convenient banking desires of these two growing groups, Sanchez says. Nearly

three out of four Latinos own smartphones — almost 10 percent higher than the national average, according to Nielson. Wells Fargo donated up to $50,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund as part of this new language offering. This year, the bank also kicked off a multiyear workforce development program with the National Council of La Raza to encourage Latino Millennials in colleges to enter careers in the financial services industry. Wells Fargo offered summer internships to students in the areas of banking, insurance, investments and marketing. Wells Fargo is also working to attract top Hispanic talent to its corporate positions, Sanchez says. This effort includes internal programs that promote mentorship, leadership and growing its internal pipeline. “In any organization, and certainly at Wells Fargo, every team member needs to know they can aspire to the top level of the company,” Sanchez says. “You have to grow your pipeline internally so they can see it’s a reality for them. We know that senior leaders that are diverse (are) important. It’s something we value. We want the best talent, and we focus on attracting diverse talent to the corporate level. Just one perspective won’t help us compete.”

GETTY IMAGES; CINDY CHARLES

Carly Sanchez, executive vice president of talent acquisition at Wells Fargo, says the company is working to attract top Hispanic talent to corporate positions.


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WORKPLACE

FOCUS ON STEM FIELDS

Hospitality The hospitality and leisure, construction and service sectors — all areas where Latino workers have a high concentration of employment — show steady growth. — U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

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Many of the nation’s top-paying jobs have traditionally been in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and some companies are looking to grow the talents of Latinos interested in those areas. Verizon is one such business, says Magda Yrizarry, chief talent and diversity officer for the nation’s largest wireless carrier. “Our recruitment process starts early in potential candidates’ lives by educating them as young students to broaden the pool of qualified job candidates,” she says. “Verizon is in an industry where the competition for top talent is intense across the board, so we work closely with a number of partners to go into high schools and get young Hispanics and other students interested in pursuing careers in STEM. It’s crucial to get these bright young minds interested in that career path, which is why we’re so active with programs such as Girls Who Code, where we work with 11th- and 12th-grade girls in a seven-week computer-science summerimmersion program.” Other Verizon partnerships include the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Great Minds in STEM (established as the

Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference) and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. The Verizon Innovative App Challenge engages middle- and highschool students to create a STEM-based mobile app concept, and the company gives financial grants and tablets to the teams who can develop their ideas. Verizon’s Latino employees are helping cultivate this important customer base in its competitive industry. Yrizarry says the company’s cultural engagement team looks at all segments, especially Hispanics, to gain insights on Latino customers, prospects and communities, while the Hispanic Support Organization helps recruit and develop Latino talent and plays a role in developing effective product and marketing strategies for its Hispanic customer base. Verizon also recently hired a new chief marketing officer (Diego Scotti) and a new head of multicultural marketing (Maida E. Chicon); both are Hispanic, Yrizarry says. “Diversity in general is important at alllevels of a company. We’re in an incredibly competitive industry, and we cannot win the game we have to play without having every type of person sitting at the table with us,” she says.

COURTESY OF VERIZON

Magda Yrizarry of Verizon, talks with participants in a Girls Who Code program in Miami. She says such programs are priorities for Verizon.


ONE WEEKEND. A LIFETIME OF SUCCESS. ATTEND OUR MBA DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT WEEKEND: INSIDE GOIZUETA – NOVEMBER 5 - 7, 2015 Here at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, we are a top-20 MBA program committed to more than teaching business – we are driven to change it. That drive comes from our namesake, Roberto C. Goizueta, the former CEO and successful leader of The Coca-Cola Company. It fuels everything we do, including our annual Inside Goizueta event designed to show prospective minority One-Year and Two-Year MBA candidates all the school has to offer. This invite-only weekend draws talented individuals from across the country to campus for an insider’s look at our robust curriculum, extensive career opportunities and our signature intimate environment. Meet faculty scholars who serve as professors and mentors, accomplished alumni who become your invaluable global network, and staff committed to helping you reach your goals. Experience our culture firsthand, knowing it facilitates holistic learning and produces sought-after graduates. A P P LY T O ATTE ND I NS I DE G OI Z UETA AT EMORY.BI Z/IG


HEALTH

Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Follow these practical tips to take control of your well-being BY LUISA COLÓN

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1 Alcohol: If you’re someone who only really drinks at festive occasions, you may not think you need to cut back on your alcohol intake at all. But “even occasional heavy drinking can have unhealthy effects on your liver,” warns Dominguez, who notes that the CDC study revealed higher rates of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis among Hispanics. 2 Health insurance:

“We found that four in 10 Hispanics were not insured,” says Ana Penman-Aguilar, associate director for

science for the CDC’s Office of Minority Health & Health Equity and a co-author of the report. The benefits of enrolling in an insurance plan are myriad — even if you’re feeling perfectly healthy. “(Insurance) will pay for important screening tests that can tell you that you may have early abnormal findings despite feeling well,” says Dominguez. 3 Smoking: Abstaining from cigarette smoking may seem like a no-brainer in this day and age, but apparently some of us still like to light up. In fact,

THINKSTOCK

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n May, the first national study on Hispanics and their health was released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If the surprising results — which showed that Hispanics are generally healthier and have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic whites — has you raising a glass to toast your health, ¡aguanta! “Although Hispanics have lower overall drinking rates compared with white non-Hispanics, when they do drink, on average they have higher rates of binge drinking,” says Dr. Ken Dominguez, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC and lead author of the report. More surprising news? The study revealed that Hispanics are affected specifically by certain conditions, with high rates of obesity and diabetes contributing to the two leading causes of death: cancer and heart disease. That may sound alarming, but the study provides ways to target the health risks — some of them symptomless, some of them woven into the festive fabric of our culture — that we face. After all, knowledge is power. “Being Hispanic does not have to determine your quality of life,” says Dominguez, who advises us to “take charge of your own health, practice healthy behaviors.” Here are eight ways to do just that. ¡Salud!


HEALTH

Dominguez, who explains that hepatitis infections can cause serious illness and even early death. 6 Healthy diet: Like exercising, a healthy diet addresses a multitude of health concerns — body fat, blood pressure and diabetes — whether it’s preventative measures or management of an existing condition. “Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables,” advises Dominguez.

Penman-Aguilar says that smoking may be the reason that Puerto Ricans — who show a high rate of smoking prevalence — have overall higher death rates among Hispanic groups in the U.S. This information in itself could serve as a reason to quit smoking. 4 Exercise: You don’t need to join a gym or buy an elliptical machine to utilize exercise as an effective way of addressing a number of health risks, such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Dominguez advises walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day. He adds that you can break up an activity like walking into 10-minute increments. 5 Vaccines: You know to get a flu shot each year — but have you been screened for, or vaccinated against, hepatitis? “Studies of vaccination rates in the U.S. have shown that Hispanics

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on average have lower vaccination rates to prevent the hepatitis B virus than non-Hispanic whites,” says

8 High blood pressure: The CDC report showed that the condition poses a significant health risk to Hispanics. So, first things first: Get checked by a doctor for high blood pressure even if you’re not feeling bad. “High blood pressure and prehypertension often have no symptoms,” warns Dominguez. The good news is that there are many ways to address the condition, including exercise, a healthy diet, medication — and absolutely no smoking.

THINKSTOCK

7 Diabetes: Diabetes is one of the health risks faced by Hispanics — if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, keep an open dialogue with your physician so you can use medication properly and keep tabs on your blood sugar levels. “Stay in contact with your doctor and follow his or her advice closely,” says Dominguez, who notes that “most people with diabetes also have high blood pressure.”


OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION A&M-Commerce is a doctoral granting institution with more than 125 years of dedicated commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive environment that fosters academic excellence and professional success. As an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution, we not only value diversity, it is one of our guiding principles. With mentoring programs, academic coaching, career guidance and an office devoted exclusively to Hispanic Outreach, our focus is our students’ success. Offering fields of study that address current economic trends and marketable careers, and as the fifth oldest institution of higher education in the state of Texas, we draw from our rich history of producing successful graduates who are making an impact in our interconnected world.

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Making College a Family Affair How community outreach can encourage young Latinos to earn degrees

L

atino enrollment in American colleges and universities is at its highest rate and growing. More than 3 million Hispanics attend college in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, comprising about 18 percent of all students versus only 10 percent a decade ago, according to Antonio R. Flores, who heads a Hispanic

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

BY DENISE DIFULCO

ANTONIO FLORES, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

education advocacy group. Still, many Latinos face significant barriers to obtaining a higher education. We asked Flores, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), how Latino families can be better informed about the benefits of attending college and be better prepared for the challenges involved.

THINKSTOCK; COURTESY OF HISPANIC ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

EDUCATION


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EDUCATION

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What keeps Latinos from enrolling in college at rates equal to other groups? Antonio Flores: The underfunding of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which is where most of them go to college, is the one major factor because these institutions only get about 69 cents for every federal dollar going to the rest of higher education institutions. Hispanic-serving school districts — those that have 25 percent or more Latino enrollment — are similarly under-resourced. Having less capacity to compete for federal grants and contracts than other institutions, most HSIs are left out of funding opportunities others enjoy. Over the years, federal funding has been set aside for HSIs to compete among themselves for grants, and that has helped to close the gap, which still remains wide. So less money means larger class sizes, less-experienced teachers, fewer college prep courses and inadequate equipment and labs. The other factor, that I think is very

Students participate in the annual Feria de

Educación

at California State University's Dominguez Hills campus.

3 million

real, is that Hispanic families by and large lack the benefit of a college experience. Their parents have lower incomes, as well. What strategies have been successful so far? AF: It’s kind of a paradox, but the emergence of HSIs is one of the main reasons Hispanic enroll-

NUMBER OF HISPANICS WHO ATTEND COLLEGE IN THE U.S. & PUERTO RICO

ments and graduation rates have gone up over the past 15 years or so. There is a clear correlation between Latino enrollment growth and the emergence of HSIs. Behind that are interventions and programs that have been put into place to increase the numbers and the success rates of Latinos.

HIGHER EDUCATION SUCCESS IN MIAMI

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Here are some of the factors FIU credits for its success: u A dual enrollment program helps strengthen the connection between high school and college by offering students the opportunity to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. It also helps families save millions in college tuition every year. uThe university’s Math Mastery Lab course helped improve the pass rate in several math classes, opening up STEM majors to students who may not have pursued them otherwise. uThe Graduation Success Initiative is credited with helping to increase on-time graduation rates. The succession plan helps students identify their majors early, prioritize commitments and graduate on time. uFIU's location in Miami-Dade County allows students to benefit from the city’s international influences, as well as learning and research opportunities all over the world.

COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, DOMINGUEZ HILLS

Florida International University (FIU) in Miami is the largest Hispanic-serving university in the continental U.S. With an enrollment of 54,500 students in 2014-15, the school said 63 percent were of Hispanic descent. According to the state Board of Governors, FIU graduates have the highest starting salaries among graduates of all Florida universities. The university, which has some 200,000 alumni, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. "Hispanic students thrive here,” says Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, FIU’s senior vice president for external relations. “FIU is the model of how a diverse student body learns and succeeds. We are preparing students to get good jobs and to create good jobs.”


Leading the Hemispheric University The University U of Miami is proud to welcome welcom its new president, Julio Frenk—a globa leader and public health pioneer who global is committed to strengthening intellectual c ex exchange throughout the Americas. UM’s first Hispanic president, Frenk U f formerly served as dean of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health T a and as minister of health in Mexico, where he expanded access to health w ca for tens of millions of people by care introducing universal health insurance. intr Located in the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Car the University of Miami is a top-tier research university with vast impact on communities com locally and throughout the world. With President Frenk at the helm, it W will ill continue to advance as a preeminent hemispheric university that transforms lives through teaching, research, medical care, and service.

miami.edu


EDUCATION

55-62%

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Hispanic initiatives in state schools Public colleges and universities have taken the lead in preparing Latinos for higher education by providing resources and programs that target students as early as preschool and elementary school. One standout event is California State University’s Feria de Educación (csudh.edu) which draws thousands of Latino families each year to the Dominguez Hills campus in Carson, Calif. “It’s a one-day resource fair targeted to parents and students of all ages, and it’s a one-stop shop of information gathering,” says David A. Gamboa, director of government and community relations for CSU Dominguez Hills. The event, held in partnership with Univision Los Angeles, features bilingual workshops on admissions, scholarships and financial aid, and is responsible for the distribution of more than 50,000 free books including leisure reading for children of all ages and informational texts for families. In 2014, it also hosted town hall meetings for families on Common Core standards and mental health. Programs offered by other state colleges and universities and even private institutions across the country are many and varied. A database of successful initiatives is updated regularly and can be accessed online through the nonprofit group, Excelencia in Education (edexcelencia.org). For a list of schools nationwide with programs developed through the Early College High School Initiative, check out Jobs for the Future (jff.org).

EDUARDO MERILLE

What are these initiatives? PERCENTAGE OF LATINO AF: I would say STUDENTS ARE FIRSTvery targeted GENERATION COLLEGE recruitment initiaSTUDENTS tives: collaboration with K-12 school districts; working with high schools and middle schools on programs that include workshops on how to prepare for college, what courses to take in high school, how to take the college admissions tests, how to apply for financial aid. They also have summer programs that focus on math and science and the kinds of things that are required to succeed in college, as — how important it is for them to well as giving exposure to campus make the sacrifices involved. And, life. of course, working with them and the students on understanding the What percentage of Latino prerequisites so they take the right students are the first in their sequence of courses in subjects family to attend college? like math. It’s also important AF: It ranges, depending on the they understand the admissions data, between 55 percent and 61 process, how to apply and the fact or 62 percent. So, overwhelmingly, that most colleges and universities Latinos are first-generation college would even waive the application students. If you look at other racial fee if there is a needy student groups, they really stand out with involved. respect to that. What is available for families What difference does that directly? make? AF: There are a lot of websites, AF: If you are a first-generation including our own (hacu.net). They college student, that means no can find a number of tools on our one in your family had the opsite and links to other sites where portunity to experience college, they can find even more inforand that’s a major disadvantage in mation. Those parents who are terms of parents not knowing how first-generation might not even to navigate the systems. That’s why be computer literate or might not it’s important to have all those outhave connectivity to the Internet, reach and support services. Even so you have to work with them at to make them think of themselves the level where they are with the as college bound, it is a challenge resources that they have or help if they are first generation. them to find resources to access that type of information. What if they don’t have access There are places where they can to these programs? go and have access to the Internet AF: Secondary schools have a at no cost; it just happens that great opportunity to beef up their many of them don’t even know parental outreach and really have that. I hope that K-12 schools professional staff that will work do more in that area of helping with parents and help them unparents understand all of that and derstand the enormous value of opening their eyes to all of those going to college for their children resources.


The University of North Texas is one of the most diverse universities in the nation with 7,100 Hispanic students, 5,000 African American students, 2,400 Asian students and an additional 2,500 international students representing countries around the globe. We graduated 8,700 students last year, ready to help build the Texas economy and shape the ever-changing character of America. Couple our diversity with our scientific ingenuity and vibrant creative culture, and it’s easy to see how UNT embodies the global landscape of the future – today. AA/EOE/ADA © 2015 UNT

Texas Tech University is on the cusp of becoming the nation’s next Hispanic Serving Institution. That recognition, along with the numerous awards and honors for our diversity efforts, is meaningful, but helping outstanding students succeed and reach their goals means even more.

“¡Desde aquí, es posible!”


BUSINESS

Living the Dream Special programs can help new homebuyers

hen U.S. Army veteran Michael Corpus decided it was time to buy a home, he thought he’d have to settle for a small one-bedroom property far from where he works in sales at a car rental company in Seattle. But thanks to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan obtained through Veterans United Home Loans, 38-yearold Corpus ended up with a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo just 10 miles south of the city. “A lot of people who buy homes become cash poor. They don’t have any money to make improvements, take a vacation or buy a car. I wasn’t forced to drain my savings to buy my first home. It was a huge help,” he says. Corpus is one of many Latinos in the U.S. to benefit from a range of programs that help eligible consumers acquire their first homes or get back into the real estate market. Some programs, like the one from Veterans United, help

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veterans and active members of the U.S. military obtain from the VA loans that require no down payments, which can be as much as 20 percent of the house cost. Others, such as the LIFT Programs from Wells Fargo, provide down payment grants of up to $15,000 to applicants who meet certain income and other eligibility requirements. These grants do not have to be paid back as long as you stay in your home for five years. The rate of U.S. Hispanic homeownership stood at 45.4 percent in 2014, but that figure is expected to rise. Latinos hold the largest share of household growth for any racial or ethnic population group in the country, which is a main predictor of homeownership. And Latinos are expected to account for 41 percent of the nation’s 17 million new households by 2025, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). If you’re interested in purchasing a home, start by educating yourself about the process. Many organizations offer

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BUSINESS

A lot of people who buy homes become cash poor. ... I wasn't forced to drain my savings to buy my first home.” — MICHAEL CORPUS, U.S. ARMY VETERAN

uPrivate. Ask banks and credit unions about mortgage programs for homebuyers, first-time or not, that can reduce the size of the down payment or offer other incentives, such as grants. Wells Fargo’s LIFT Programs have offered grants to more than 9,500 credit-worthy customers in 36 housing markets since 2012, and the program is growing.

An estimated 75 first-time homebuyers have purchased property since the program’s launch in 1995.

uState. Most states have affordable housing programs that require smaller down payments or provide grants. Check with your state housing agency. For example, about 94 percent of residents who have used the Arizona Housing Finance Authority’s (AzHFA) 10-year-old HOME PLUS program are firsttime homebuyers. Eligible applicants are awarded state grants worth 4 percent of their mortgage’s balance, which can be used for the down payment or closing costs. About 1,300 people have bought Arizona property through HOME PLUS since 2013.

uFederal. For information u Local. City and county housing agencies have information about new housing units set aside for first-time homebuyers. A mortgage credit certificate (MCC) also provides tax credits of up to 20 percent on a homeowner’s annual mortgage interest deduction. Alhambra, Calif., located about 9 miles east of Los Angeles, offers down-payment assistance loans of $75,000 to residents who meet eight eligibility and income requirements.

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about homebuyer programs that require down payments of 5 percent or less, contact the VA (usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Family.shtml) or Freddie Mac (myhome.freddiemac. com). The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages, which can help with lower down payments, lower closing costs and make it easier to qualify for credit. And Fannie Mae’s HomePath Ready Buyer Program provides grants of up to 3 percent of closing costs.

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY? The dream of home ownership can become a nightmare if you buy for the wrong reasons. Renting is the better option if you move around a lot, have lucked out with a great deal on rent or can’t take more than the standard tax deduction (for 2015, it’s $6,300 if you’re single and $12,600 if you’re married and filing a joint return). If you buy, you might not recoup your initial down payment or other investments you’ve made to improve the property unless you stay in your home for at least three years, especially if its value drops. If you’re paying a low monthly rent now, build your savings. Funnel those savings into an investment that will give you a good rate of return in a mutual fund, a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA), advises Christopher F. Thornberg, one of the founding partners of Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics. “We have this idea that if we own our house, it’s ‘free.’ But that’s not the way to look at it, because if your house cost $250,000, that’s how much money is sitting there unused. You could have put that money in a bond or stock portfolio, a CD or an alternative investment that earns higher interest,” he says. — Laura Castañeda

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free seminars in English and Spanish. For example, the Consumer Credit Counseling Services, a nonprofit counseling agency, runs a housing education program in some cities. It also offers free online courses, videos and calculators on a variety of financial topics. When you’re ready to get serious, look into the following programs:


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FINANCES

Never Too Soon

When saving for retirement, start early and be consistent BY LAURA CASTAÑEDA | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MIRANDA PELLICANO

S

ocking away money for retirement takes some discipline, but with a little planning, anyone can do it. The most important thing to know: “The sooner you start, the better,” says William Robalino, vice president for annuity finance at Prudential in

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Turning Dreams Into Accomplishments. Our Promise of Enduring Value. Since our founding in 1916, St. Joseph’s has challenged and inspired students to learn and live boldly, using their knowledge and skills to serve others and lead productive change in the world. Our impressive students and graduates are a powerful testament to the fulfillment of this promise. Through exceptional teaching, innovative programs, dynamic internship and leadership experiences, and a culture of collaboration and personal engagement, St. Joseph’s is readying today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities.

DID YOU KNOW? ^

Blaise Bennardo ’10 was just selected as a recipient of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant

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Recent student internships include placements at top businesses and accounting firms such as Viacom (MTV), Major League Baseball, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Grant Thornton LLP.

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Service is at the heart of an SJC education, including service-based alternative

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Brooklyn 718.940.5800 Long Island 631.687.4500

spring breaks to help those devastated by flooding in Colorado and Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey.

TRADITION. INNOVATION. EXCELLENCE.


FINANCES

Newark, N.J., and past president of the New York chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America. The nation’s 55.4 million Latinos, however, are not getting this important message. A December 2013 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, for example, found that 69 percent of Latino working-age households do not hold 401(k)s or similar retirement accounts, compared with 37 percent of white households. The main reason cited: Many work for employers who do not provide retirement benefits. “My company doesn’t have a (traditional dedicated) pension plan, and right now, (retirement) is not something I’m thinking about, mostly because I have to pay so much for my student loans,” says 26-year-old Astrid Solorzano, a multimedia reporter in Arkansas. In addition, Robalino says, many U.S.-born Latinos distrust financial services. “They truly keep their money under the mattress,” he says. And, he adds, more affluent Latinos are not necessarily as informed as they could be about saving and investment instruments that go beyond basic checking and savings

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

70%

of your current annual income is needed in retirement to maintain your current lifestyle.

accounts. Robalino recommends learning about retirement savings via the Web, books and free educational seminars, especially those offered by non-profit groups. Then take the following simple steps toward a better financial future: uGet a ballpark estimate

of how much money you’ll need for your retirement. Conventional wisdom says you’ll need at least 70 percent of your current annual income to maintain the same lifestyle in retirement that you have today. But you could need a lot less. In any event, tally the money you’ll likely get

from Social Security, your employer’s pension or profitsharing plan and any other investments or savings. You can find information about your Social Security benefits (and some other retirement benefits) at socialsecurity.gov/retire; get your work-based retirement benefits information from your employer. Then use an online calculator to crunch the numbers. The Employee Benefits Research Institute's "Ballpark Estimate" tool can be found at choosetosave. org. uStart saving automatically and consistently, no matter how small the amount. Once you know how much money you’ll need, set a monthly savings goal. Set up an automatic payroll deposit plan that sends money directly from your paycheck into a savings or investment account. You’ll never miss it if you don’t see it. Some employers will match your contributions. Depending on your income, the contributions also may be tax deductible, and most of the earnings grow tax-free until withdrawal. Increase the amount you save each month as your income rises. How much is not as important as making the saving consistent and automatic — and learning to live on what’s left.


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TRAVEL

Classic cars share the road with modern taxis in Old Havana, Cuba.

Travel Facts In January, the Obama administration eased travel restrictions, allowing U.S. citizens to visit Cuba for 12 approved purposes, including religious activities and professional meetings. uU.S. citizens are still not allowed to visit strictly for leisure, but their options for tours and flights are expanding.

Cuba calling

The island nation opens to more Americans seeking out its unique culture BY NANCY TREJOS

he U.S. and Cuba are a long way from being mejores amigos, but the two countries are inching toward a reconciliation after more than half a century of feuding. And President Obama’s move to resume diplomatic ties with our foreign neighbor, just 90 miles from Key West, has many U.S. citizens eager to explore the island. Not much has changed in Cuba since the U.S. embargo started in 1959. People drive around in 1950s Buicks, Fords and other vintage cars. In towns outside of Havana, many people commute by horse and buggy. And in a world where Starbucks and McDonald’s are omnipresent, here you can go days without seeing a single one. “I wanted to come before it changes, when it’s still shabby chic because I think it is going to change,” says Gary

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HISPANIC LIVING | FALL 2015

uJetBlue began offering a New York-to-Havana flight through Cuba Travel Services, a charter flight company.

Cummins, a British tourist I met in Vinales Valley, a tobacco-growing region about two hours outside of Havana. But before the crowds come, the country has to prepare. Hotel rooms get booked quickly, restaurants often run out of food, iPhones don’t work and Wi-Fi is hard to come by. And you know how we Americans love our Wi-Fi. “It’s a fairly complicated destination,” says Eddie Lubbers, founder and CEO of Cuba Travel Network. But it’s easy to forgive those inconveniences when taking in the beautiful baroque and neoclassical architecture of Old Havana, listening to a band play salsa while sipping rum and talking to the warm and welcoming locals. Lasaro Solo Peres, a welder, says he is eager for our countries to forge a union. “America can invest in Cuba,” he says in Spanish. “I think it’s good for the betterment of our country.”

The Jardin del Eden restaurant at Hotel Raquel in Old Havana is among the locations U.S. citizens could potentially visit as restrictions on travel to the island nation ease.

KRISTIE KELLAHAN

T

uCarnival Corp. announced that it would partner with local groups for personalized tours.


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Hispanic Living