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Diversity is more than a promise, it’s our practice.

At Johnson & Johnson, we’re proud to support the Hispanic community. We believe every experience and every point of view have value. That’s why diversity is part of how we work every day. And why equal access to opportunity shapes our culture.


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New Chicago eatery offers cultural cuisine in trendy space.


Features 32

At the Top


Working It




Warm Winter Getaways

Latina executives offer career advice Businesses seek more Hispanic employees Multifaceted Eva Longoria helps shape image of Latinas

Escape the cold at tropical destinations




Just five minutes of mindful meditation may help you relax.


Departments Lifestyle


Latinx: Bucking gender norms or subverting the language?


Modern Latinas weigh cultural expectations in life and love



Hispanic contributions shape American history



New Latina comic book hero soars



Supporters fight for Mexican-American studies Institutions work to close cultural college achievement gap


16 Super!

Celebrities share seasonal skin care secrets



MAC celebrates Selena’s lasting appeal




A Puerto Rican heroine takes flight and fights for justice.




Diverse kids’ books may be closer than you think

From undocumented immigrant to entrepreneur




Singer/actress Becky G takes newfound fame in stride

New tool focuses on breast cancer risks for Hispanic women


Meditation can help reduce stress


Decades after Glamorous Life, Sheila E. keeps the beat


ON THE COVER: Eva Longoria





Latina princess joins Disney’s royal lineup


Up F�ont

Contributors PREMIUM PUBLICATION DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council

LAURA CASTAÑEDA is a Los Angeles-based writer and journalism professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Latina and Columbia Journalism Review, among others. She also is co-author of The Latino Guide to Personal Money Management, which was published by Bloomberg Press in 1999 and in Spanish by Seven Stories Press in 2001.

MARISSA RODRIGUEZ specializes in creating content about Latino life and culture. She has been an editor at Vista Magazine and Hispanic Magazine, among others, and most recently founded, which celebrates the life and style of contemporary Latinas in Texas. A thirdgeneration Mexican-American, Rodriguez has 15 years of journalism experience and expertise in national, regional and community magazines and websites.

MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington GUEST EDITOR Sylvia A. Martinez EDITORS Elizabeth Neus Hannah Prince Sara Schwartz Tracy L. Scott DESIGNERS Ashleigh Carter Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Karen Asp, Diane Bair, Vanessa Caceres, Laura Castañeda, Claudia Caruana, Luisa Colón, Denise DiFulco, Jaleesa Jones, Jennifer Mabry, Monica Rhor, Marissa Rodriguez, Christine Romero, Kate Silver, Suzanne Wright


VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Justine Goodwin | (703) 854-5444




KATE SILVER is an awardwinning freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience. Based in Chicago, the author of Frommer’s Easy Guide to Chicago 2015 specializes in features, health, food and travel stories. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Saveur, Men’s Health, Midwest Living and more. She loves biking, running and eating her way around the Windy City. When she’s sitting still, she’s planning her next global adventure.

SUZANNE WRIGHT launched her freelance career in 2001 after spending 15 years in marketing, public relations, publishing and sales positions. The Tucson-based writer, who counts herself lucky to live in the Southwest, where she hikes to recharge her creative batteries, has contributed more than 450 food, travel and business stories to many publications. The former Navy brat is a member of the “all 50 states and 50 countries’’ visitors club.

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Honoring Our History IN MY HOMETOWN of Goliad, Texas, my family celebrated Cinco de Mayo every year. The date marks the day when Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, who was born in Goliad, led his far-outnumbered Mexican army into battle and defeated their French opponents in El Día de la Batalla de Puebla on May 5, 1862. While I was aware and proud of my family’s close proximity to this history, it was not until I attended the University of Texas at Austin and took MexicanAmerican studies courses from Américo Paredes, known as the father of Chicano studies, that I became more enlightened about our people and our place in American history. It’s important for all of us, regardless of race or ethnicity, to know where we come from. That’s why the banning of Mexican-American studies and the dilution of Latino history taking place in Arizona and other states saddens and angers me. But storytelling runs deep in our culture, and as you will read in this issue, there are those who are working hard to ensure that those important stories reach Latino youth. Eva Longoria, a fellow tejana who graces the cover of this issue, knows the significance of our history. Three years ago, she earned a master’s degree in Chicano studies, and she’s helping to educate the next generation. As our traditions, food and other cultural components become more widespread — for decades, piñatas have been attractions at parties nationwide, and traditional embroidery and cultural designs

routinely appear in fashion — it is important that people are aware of their origins. American corporations are recognizing this. As they seek to capture some of the estimated $1.5 trillion spending power of Latinos, they are also paying attention to the diversity and inclusion of our people. Disney has introduced a new Latina princess and many companies are seeking to tap the best Latino and Latina talent. New stories, such as that of Puerto Rican comic superhero La Borinqueña, are also being written. Our vast array of cuisine is applauded at Latinicity, a food hall in Chicago. But “latinicity” could also be used to describe the essence of Latino pride in culture. Nuestro orgullo is something we celebrate during this specially designated Hispanic Heritage Month, but also every day in many ways, big and small. This month and this issue are occasions not just to celebrate the multiplicity that makes up the Latino population in the U.S., but opportunities to educate others — and us — about those cultures and traditions, as well as our expanding diversity. ¡Vamos a celebrar, mi gente!

SYLVIA A. MARTINEZ Guest editor, Hispanic Living


VIVE TU CULTURA. Cuando tu familia tiene el entretenimiento que se merece con DIRECTV y vive conectada con sus raíces, tu familia sigue siendo quien es. Programación superior en inglés y en español con DIRECTV y la conexión que buscas. Todo con AT&T.

Visita, tu tienda de AT&T más cercana o llama al 1-877-612-2002 y pregunta por las ofertas existentes.

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Princess power Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first Latina princess. Starring in her own Disney Channel series, which premiered in July, Elena serves as a potential role model for Latina girls. Read more about her on page 96.



Making Their Mark Hispanics have played a key role in shaping U.S. history BY VANESSA CACERES

Before English explorers settled Jamestown, Va., in 1607, the Spanish had a head start. In 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed in what is now known as St. Augustine, believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited, European-established city in the U.S. Even before that, in 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed not far from there, supposedly looking for a fountain of youth. De Leon called the area La Florida, or “land of flowers.” Early Spanish settlers brought with them agricultural items, including citrus and cattle, now staples in Florida and other parts of the U.S.





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THE BRACERO PROGRAM: HELPING FEED AND BUILD AMERICA DURING WORLD WAR II When U.S. soldiers left to fight in World War II, American growers worried about having enough men to work the fields. Through a 1942 agreement called the Bracero Program (from the Spanish term for “manual laborer”), Mexicans came to the U.S. for short-term work, primarily in agriculture. Controversy surrounded the treatment of some Mexicans — as well as their very presence in the country — but it laid the foundation for further Mexican migration into the U.S. A number of those working here never returned to Mexico, says Luis Ricardo Fraga, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.


Colorado. Nevada. San Diego. Santa Barbara. California. These cities and states in the American West and Southwest reflect the region’s early Spanish influence. “The Southwest wouldn’t be what it is today without early Spanish exploration,” says former U.S. Housing & Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, who is now a partner at Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, the nation’s largest African-American, Latino and woman-owned investment banking firm. “There was civilization, colonialization and organization in the American Southwest even as the 13 colonies were being established,” he says. Following the Native Americans, Spanish missionaries and explorers helped establish the character of the Southwest and California, sharing with immigrants the benefits of relocating and persuading them to populate the region. For example, in the early 1700s, leaders in San Antonio encouraged Spanish settlers in the Canary Islands to start new lives in the area, Cisneros says.

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the increase in Hispanic-owned businesses from 2007 to 2012 - U.S. Small Business Administration

Without Juan Nepomuceno Seguín, many events that have helped make Texas the state it is may never have happened, says Fraga. Seguín was born in 1806 in the Spanish settlement that later became San Antonio. He was active in the Texas Revolution, taking part in battles that helped win the state’s independence from Mexico. Seguín held various political roles in Texas, including mayor of San Antonio. As is common with change agents, Seguín’s revolutionary stance was met with some opposition. After facing political strife in the newly established state of Texas, he returned to Mexico. But more than 100 years later, his remains were buried in Seguin, Texas, a town named in his honor on July 4, 1976, the country’s 200th birthday.



HISPANICS AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Nearly 45 million jobs are held by the self-employed and those they hire, according to a recent Pew Research study, and Hispanics are included in that trend. “Latinos are not just working, but also building

businesses,” Cisneros says. “It’s beautiful to see the entrepreneurial drive and pride contribute to the larger mainstream business community.” In fact, there was a 46 percent increase in Hispanic-owned businesses from 2007 to 2012, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Hispanics under the age of 35 make up a large segment of business owners, the agency reports.

CHANGING THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT Mexican-American attorney Al Perez helped establish rights for “language minorities” with the expansion of the Voting Rights Act in 1975. Perez was inspired by his parents and grandparents, who were born in the U.S. but could speak only Spanish, Fraga says. They found it difficult to read voting ballots in English. Through efforts by Perez and others, the Voting Rights Act was revised to require that areas with a large languageminority population, such as Texas, would have voting ballots and related information available in languages other than English.



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Caped Crusaders with Latino Flair Puerto Rican superhero shakes up the comic world STORY BY MONICA RHOR LA BORINQUEÑA CREATED AND DESIGNED BY EDGARDO MIRANDA-RODRIGUEZ



FIERCER THAN HURRICANEFORCE winds. Stronger than tsunami waves. Swifter than a swirling maelstrom. Mira! Up in the sky, above the azure waters of La Isla del Encanto. It’s La Borinqueña, a millennial of Afro-Boricua descent who, while on a trip to her parents’ homeland, discovers she has extraordinary abilities. As the alter-ego of New York college student Marisol Ríos de la Luz, she fights for justice, equality and empowerment for her people. But this latest addition to the pantheon of superheroes does more than merely fight crime. She is a symbol of hope and a rallying cry for self-affirmation at a time when Puerto Rico and its diaspora are grappling with a deepening economic crisis. Puerto Rican artist and writer Edgardo MirandaRodriguez, who created the character, says La Borinqueña’s real power lies in her latinidad, in the traits that make her fully Boricua: love for family, patience and selflessness. Her superhero name pays homage to La Borinqueña, the official anthem of the commonwealth, which refers to Borinquen, an adaptation of the indigenous Taíno people’s name for the island. Her costume mirrors the stripes and star of Puerto Rico’s red, white and blue flag. “She represents so much of the Puerto Rican people,” says Miranda-Rodriguez, who licensed the character to the National Puerto Rican Day




La Borinqueña’s love and pride of country is evident in her suit, which mimics the stripes and colors of the Puerto Rican flag.

Parade in New York, making her the first officially endorsed superhero of the parade. “She looks like us. She represents our culture.” La Borinqueña also has a comic book lineage stretching back decades to the 1940s and ’50s, when Latino characters first started popping up. Back then, the portrayals usually fell into one of two tropes: the “bandido,” a dark-skinned villain wielding facial stubble and a gun; or the “Zorro” character, a light-skinned criollo hero born to a wealthy family, explains Frederick Aldama, an Ohio State University English professor who has written several books about Latinos in comic magazines. After the civil rights and Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s, more fully realized Latino characters were introduced into the DC Comics and Marvel universes, Aldama says. White Tiger, for example, was a Puerto Rican immigrant named Hector Ayala, who took on superhuman powers when he wore jade amulets, allowing him to fight foes. As drawn by artist George Perez, White Tiger “had a dynamism and

energy we didn’t see in earlier characters,” Aldama notes. “There was a complexity not only in terms of content and characterization, but also in art.” Starting in the 1980s, Latinas began emerging among the superhero ranks. There was Marvel’s Firebird, also known as Bonita Juarez, a social worker whose DNA was altered by a radioactive meteorite fragment, endowing her with the power to fly and generate flames. In 2011, America Chavez, the second incarnation of Marvel’s Miss America, a Latin-American LGBT teenager with superhuman strength and speed, debuted. In July, All-America Comix announced its similarly named alternative, America Vasquez. LAK6, a Puerto Rican teenager named Leticia Lebron who lives in 1980s New York City, is the product of DMC comics, a company founded by Run-DMC legend Darryl McDaniels, and created a few years ago by Miranda-Rodriguez, the company’s editor in chief. Although Marvel has Latinos in key positions — Axel Alonso is editor in chief and comic icon Joe Quesada is chief creative officer — Latino superheroes and villains in mainstream comics

are still often relegated to alternate universe story lines or supporting roles, Aldama says. As a result, many Latino writers and artists have set up shop in the indie world. Aldama counts at least 50 working today, including Laura Molina, who created the superhero Jaguar, a lawyer who taps into her pre-Columbian roots “to kick neo-Nazi butt,” and Jules Rivera, whose Web comic, The Valkyrie Squadron, follows a crew of young women battling robots in space. La Borinqueña, which debuted at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, is also being published by an indie company — Somos Arte, MirandaRodriguez’s graphic design studio. The inaugural comic book, being produced by Puerto Rican artists, is set to officially debut in Puerto Rico for the Aguada Con Comic Fest in December. “It caught fire because we’ve been waiting for her,” says Miranda-Rodriguez, who remembers seeing little girls at the parade reaching out to a real-life, costume-clad version of the character who looks like them. “That’s why I created La Borinqueña — for these little girls, for these children.”



Star Treatment Fresh-faced Latinas share fall and winter beauty tips BY LAURA CASTAÑEDA

BEAUTY MAY BE in the eye of the beholder, but a little lipstick never hurts. Perhaps no one knows this better than Latinas, the “foundation” for U.S. sales in the health and beauty category that includes cosmetics, soaps, lotions, facial cleansers and moisturizers, as well as hair care accessories, personal care appliances and shaving needs. Although sales across several of these categories have declined nationally overall, they have grown within Hispanic households in these seven key areas year over year, according to a 2015 Nielsen report. And there’s no end in sight. Latinos now represent about 17 percent of the U.S. population, and their purchasing power is expected

to reach $1.7 trillion in 2019, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth. “All women want to look and feel their best. That’s when we shine! Whether you’re rocking a fierce cat eye or just swiping on your favorite lip (color) before leaving the house, feeling confident and beautiful changes how you show up in the world,” says Golden Globenominated actress Jessica Alba. Alba, who is also founder of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty, is one of many Latina entrepreneurs developing beauty products for her community and women of all races. With the dry fall and winter months on the way, here are some tips for staying beautiful from four Latina women who are also prominent beauty experts.

Mayo, 27, has a huge following on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and her website (, thanks to her video makeup tutorials and past collaborations with the bareMinerals line, among others. Mayo stresses the importance of sunscreen to protect skin from damaging sunrays. In fact, she keeps it in her car to use on her hands and face, and she makes sure all her makeup and lotions are SPFrated. “Think ahead and do the things that will slow down the aging process,” she says. “It’s never too late to start.” Along the same lines, Mayo recommends using a face mask once a week and eye masks twice a week, to moisturize and prevent signs of aging. “You’ll see a huge difference in your skin. It’s a good part of any regular skin regimen,” she says.





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SALMA HAYEK The actress-producer-directoractivist introduced the Nuance Salma Hayek beauty and makeup line in 2011 at CVS Pharmacy with more than 100 skin care, cosmetic, hair care and body products. It was relaunched this year with exotic botanicals. Hayek, 50, suggests washing your face before going to bed. She recommends her chamomile cleanser, which is gentle, but still removes all makeup and other impurities. But she warns against washing your face in the morning. “Your skin regenerates all the things that you lost during the day when you’re sleeping — restoring the right pH balance, producing the right oils, collagen — everything comes

back to the skin,” she says. “Then you go and wash it off? Why? My grandmother taught me this.” As someone who regularly flies between Los Angeles and Europe (she is married to French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault), she uses her AM/PM Anti-Aging moisturizer at takeoff. “It uses tepezcohuite, which is an ingredient that is used in Mexican hospitals for cut and burned skin, so it’s really regenerative,” she says. Hayek also uses her Flawless Finish Contour and Illuminate Duo as a liner on her upper lip, then applies one of her True Color Moisture Rich lipsticks. “This brings the lip to the attention more, and it’s a very sexy trick,” she says.

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Actress and philanthropist Niami’s motto for n:PHILANTHROPY, an apparel line made from vegan leather, faux fur, knits and denim, is “Apparel with a purpose. Fashion with a mission.” In fact, 10 percent of net proceeds are donated to pediatric cancer research and animal welfare. But she’s also big on skin care and uses sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and gets monthly facials that include microdermabrasion. “This exfoliates the dead skin cells and makes your skin look radiant,” she says. “Plus, it makes your moisturizer work more effectively.” She’s become a big fan of face oil. “I used to think that face oil was much too oily, but the new face oils on the market absorb quickly and leave your skin hydrated, more than a regular moisturizer can,” she says. Niami, 37, has started working with a Los Angeles chemist to start her own skin line called n:P Skincare that will debut early next year with a rosescented face oil that has twice as much natural retinol as argan oil.



JESSICA ALBA Alba, 35, launched The Honest Company in 2012 with a line that includes diapers, sunscreen and cleaning products. Last year, an 80-piece makeup and skin-care line called Honest Beauty was introduced and is now available at Ulta stores, and Alba recommends starting with a “canvas” of clean, healthy skin. “I can’t speak for others, but I know as I get older, I love fresh, dewy skin and makeup that looks natural, not cakey. That means drinking lots of water, keeping skin moisturized and avoiding heavy (cosmetics) that sink into fine lines around eyes, lips and eyelids. My favorite trick is to take our Magic Balm and apply it on the — JESSICA ALBA c-curve around eyes to soften smile lines,” she says. Once your skin is looking good, it’s time to have fun with color. Alba says the company worked with makeup artist Daniel Martin to develop two fall kits. One is a makeup palette with metallic shadows, different shades of blush and rich lip shades. Several hair products also will be introduced. “The looks were dramatic (when presented) on the runway, but completely achievable everyday,” she says, referring to the bold lips and lids. “I also love the fresh-faced look with gorgeous pops of pink on cheeks. It’s super easy but gives you that instant healthy-looking glow.”

Feeling confident and beautiful changes how you show up in the world.” THINKSTOCK; TYLER WILLIAM PARKER; JONATHAN DAVIS



It’s a powerful message that Selena’s fans are united in the love they have for her.”

American Beauty MAC honors beloved tejano superstar Selena with new makeup line BY MARISSA RODRIGUEZ

FOR MANY LATINAS, Selena Quintanilla was their first relatable beauty icon. She was simultaneously a glamorous music star and homegrown beauty who looked like the fans who loved her. Matte skin, winged eyeliner, big lashes, arched brows and red lips comprised her signature look. Compared with today’s heavier-handed contouring and highlighting, Selena’s approach was simple, albeit stunning. Twenty-one years after the tejano queen’s death, fans still mimic her style. Countless YouTube tutorials, blog posts and social media videos are dedicated to achieving her look. Now, thanks to MAC cosmetics, that will be easier with a new collection that pays homage to the late star. Los Angeles radio producer Patty Rodriguez helped make the idea of the makeup line a reality. Rodriguez pitched a Selena-inspired collection to MAC



in 2013 after the company released a line honoring Marilyn Monroe. Rodriguez wanted Selena commemorated in the same way. “She’s an American icon. She represents the American woman,” she says. “Here’s this American girl who spoke perfect English, yet sung in Spanish. She was living her culture in America. As a Latino, you relate to that 100 percent.” For more than two years, Rodriguez lobbied for the line. “(MAC) is a coming-of-age brand,” she says. “The minute you get your first job, you go and buy your first MAC lipstick or liner.” She sent the brand information about Selena and her loyal fans, and hammered home that Latinas are top beauty buyers. The company thanked her and agreed to consider the idea, she adds.





The full collection includes three lipsticks, an online exclusive lip gloss, five eye shadows, a blush and bronzer duo compact, a blush brush, eyeliner and mascara. It’s expected to be released online and in stores in October.

In 2015, Rodriguez started a change. org petition hoping to persuade MAC to act. Using the hashtag #SelenaQuintanillaforMac, the petition reached its initial goal of 5,000 signatures in less than 24

hours and eventually garnered 37,770 before MAC announced it was on board. “I think it’s amazing. It’s a powerful message that Selena’s fans are united in the love they have for her and

that they still want to honor her,” says Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, Selena’s sister, bandmate and CEO and president of Q Productions, Inc., the entertainment label founded by her family. Quintanilla Arriaga worked closely with MAC to ensure it stayed true to Selena’s iconic look. In fact, several products in the line are based on items from Selena’s cosmetics case. “This line is not about color choices that I wanted or that MAC felt needed to be promoted or done,” she says. “This line is solely based on Selena’s on- and off-stage look. They matched and created colors that Selena had in her makeup case. This line is her.” Before she was murdered by a disgruntled business associate in 1995, Selena was working on her own cosmetics line and perfume, says Quintanilla Arriaga. The fact that a cosmetics company is releasing a line in her honor seems perfect. “I wish with all that I have that she was here to see this. She would have been over the moon.”



Success Story Former undocumented immigrant realizes dream with beauty college

DOZENS OF TROPHIES fill a shelf that runs the entire length of a room at the D’Image Beauty College, testament to the successful business built by Elvia Jaime. The beauty college founded by the 38-year-old Mexican immigrant has grown from one to five Phoenix locations since 2007. Jaime represents an important trend: Female Hispanic business owners are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in Arizona and the U.S., says James Garcia, director of communications for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Analysis by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) found there were 1.5 million Latina-owned businesses in the United States as of 2012. This reflects a 86.6 percent increase since 2007. Firms owned by Latinas across the country have total receipts of $78.7 billion. One reason for the growth is that Hispanic households were hit especially hard by the recession of 2007-09, and Hispanic women — ELVIA JAIME, FOUNDER, D’IMAGE opened businesses to generate BEAUTY COLLEGE income, Garcia says. Jaime started D’Image Beauty College in 2007 with just five students and one instructor — herself. The business now includes three beauty schools and two barber schools, which employ 17 people. That might not sound like a lot. But the economic impact is exponential when you factor in the 453 students who have graduated from her schools and gone on to find jobs as hairstylists and barbers, or have opened their own salons or barber shops. Jaime, who was undocumented when her parents brought her to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico, when she was 14, is now a legal U.S. resident. She says she never dreamed of a career as a hairstylist. She dropped out of a local community college after two semesters when a $5,000 scholarship ran out. And after four years at AutoZone, where she worked to earn money for

I started looking for a career where I could own my own business.”



college, Jaime felt like she had hit a dead end. “I started looking for a career where I could own my own business,” she says. She completed beauty college in 2006 and opened a small salon with $5,000. Jaime’s story was featured on a news program on Televisa, the largest TV network in Mexico, about Mexican immigrants in the Phoenix area who had started their own businesses. That led to her receiving a gold award from the Global Quality Foundation, an international philanthropic organization, recognizing the economic opportunities Jaime has created for Latinos through her business.


Elvia Jaime was recognized for her philanthropic work helping others. “It’s a great designation that (Mexico) is looking up to businesses that are succeeding outside of their country and they are recognizing people that are making a difference outside of the country,” says Jaime.



We Are Family At Primerica, there’s nothing more important to us than family. It’s at the heart of everything we do. For close to four decades, we have served families in our communities, helping Main Street families – just like yours – learn how to provide a better future for their children through the right financial solutions. In fact, the financial well-being of Main Street families is the cornerstone of our mission … and it has been since 1977.

Becky G has millions of fans who she affectionately calls Beasters.

Becky G Builds Her Empire Singer’s first studio album, dropping later this year, will be sung in Spanish BY JALEESA JONES

WHEN YOU’RE ONE of 34 grandchildren, there’s only one way to get attention at reunions: talent shows. As a child, Becky G’s living room was her Apollo Theater, where she and her cousins would belt out Jennifer Lopez’s Jenny From the Block in a whirlwind of hair flips. Back then, the Mexican-American pop star, born Rebecca Gomez, had no idea she would one day act alongside Lopez, who popped up for a cameo appearance in the video for Gomez’s homage, Becky From the Block. It wasn’t until Gomez’s cash-strapped parents were forced to move into her grandparents’ converted garage in Inglewood, Calif., that she even considered entertainment as a viable career option, she



says. But at just 9 years old, Becky pitched the idea to her parents. “I said, ‘Give me six months,’” the now 19-year-old recalls. With the strength imbued by her grandparents — immigrants who came to the U.S. “with nothing but the shirts on their backs” — Gomez and her parents got to work, her childhood whirring by in a blur of auditions, commercials and late-night YouTube covers. Their doggedness paid off. At 14, the discovery of Gomez’s cover of Kanye West and Jay Z’s 2011 track, Otis, netted her a record deal with Kemosabe Records, a Sony Music Entertainment record label. At 16, Gomez debuted her 2013 EP Play It Again, which she followed with singles Shower, Can’t Get Enough and the all-Spanish Sola. Even without an album, Gomez has cultivated a staunch fan base — affectionately referred to as Beasters — clocking 1.9 million followers on Twitter and 4.7 million on Instagram. Leila Cobo, executive director of content and programming for Latino music at Billboard, says Gomez’s popularity

stems from the deft way she’s navigated an increasingly singlesoriented industry and from her strategic foray into other arenas: a cameo on Fox’s megahit TV drama Empire; a contract with CoverGirl; a voice role in the upcoming animated film, Gnome Alone; and her casting as the Yellow Ranger in 2017’s Power Rangers reboot. “Even though her core is music, she’s branched out into different things, and she’s very appealing,” Cobo says. “Latinos don’t have a lot of celebrities that look like them, so when you find that person, it’s powerful.” Gomez will continue to represent with her freshman LP, expected later this year. “My first album is gonna be a Spanish album. As a second-generation Mexican, the language and the way of living have always been present in my life, so I’ve decided to take on this new adventure with my fans,” she says. Beasters can expect a reggaeton-infused record, one that is more expository than Gomez’s pop releases and touches on themes of love and independence, fears and dreams. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, whatever it is that you want to pursue in life, it’s possible,” she says. What does Gomez want out of life? The starlet cracks a smile. “I want to do it all.”




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Never Missing a Beat Sheila E. still leads a glamorous life BY JENNIFER E. MABRY



THIRTY-TWO YEARS AFTER the release of her debut solo album, The Glamorous Life, Sheila Escovedo, known around the globe as Sheila E., remains passionate about her craft and artistry. In the late 1970s, the Bay Area native and self-taught doyenne of drums was an established musician who had already performed with George Duke, Herbie Hancock and Lionel Richie when she was introduced at a local concert to a relatively unknown musician named Prince Rogers Nelson, who was in town recording an album. “I’m a timbales player and I want to front my own band,” Escovedo told the virtuoso performer with “the striking eyes.” The two became friends and, as she puts it, “jammed a little bit.” They soon began collaborating musically, and

he helped her land a record She’s not just a musician. Sheila E. has deal with Warner Bros. appeared in films and The Glamorous Life — the written a book. album’s title track — debuted in 1984 with a stew of Latin jazz, R&B, pop, rock and funk rhythms. The single peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100; the album spent 46 weeks on the Billboard charts. At 58, Escovedo still leads a glamorous — albeit lowerprofile — life and regularly performs as a soloist and featured artist with her father’s Latin jazz orchestra. This past summer, she performed a heart-thumping medley of songs in a much-publicized BET Awards tribute to Prince, who died suddenly in April at the age of 57. She later released a single, Girl Meets Boy, inspired by their first meeting. Escovedo says she has always been driven by a deeper purpose, beyond the stardom of show business: to connect with others using her musical talent. “My passion comes from God,” she says. “I know for a fact that I have a gift, and I don’t take it for granted. This is what I am supposed to be doing.”


Catch up with Sheila E. at

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& Climb

Latina execs share their secrets for success BY CHRISTINE ROMERO

ardworking Latinas want and deserve to get ahead in the workplace, but despite drive, talent and effort, many struggle. The absence of career role models in the family, sparse mentorship opportunities and educational divides can play a role in hindering Latinas’ professional advancement. As the Hispanic population continues to grow, Latinas are poised to make up a larger segment of the workforce. To date, Latinas of all ages make up about one out of every five women in the United States. By 2060, they will account for about one-third of the nation’s female population, according to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Knowing how challenging it can sometimes be for Latinas to access high-level Latina executives for career advice, we asked women at the top of their field how they got ahead.



CINDY ALVAREZ Principal design manager at Microsoft CAREER PATH: Cindy Alvarez joined Microsoft via the 2012 acquisition of Yammer, a corporate social networking company. She has previously held leadership positions in product management, research and design at a number of enterprise-focused startups. Alvarez, born in California, is a first-generation college graduate whose father’s family came from Mexico. Everyone suggests networking to help advance a career, but Alvarez, 40, dives deeper. “A piece of advice that I always give to people on my team is, ‘Always make sure there are at least five people outside of this current company who know that you’re smart and will vouch for you,’” she says. “Early in my career, I was at a company where I was learning and growing tremendously and my team and manager loved

me, but I didn’t have any network outside of those current co-workers. When I was getting ready to leave, I was at a huge disadvantage: Much of my work was under NDA (nondisclosure agreement). I didn’t have people to internally refer me anywhere. I couldn’t (provide) references because I wasn’t ready to tell people I was job-hunting yet.” People are always told to network, but many dread it and don’t know what it means, Alvarez says. “Building your network doesn’t mean exchanging business cards or connecting on LinkedIn. It means providing value to others so they’re on your side. There are plenty of ways to do it. You can write smart blog posts, send people relevant articles, volunteer for a nonprofit or give talks at local events. What’s important is making sure you have other people who recognize your worth.”


Thrive & Climb

BE SPECIFIC. “Everyone likes the ego boost of answering a quick question or doing a small favor, but most people dread long or uncertain time commitments. If you ask me, ‘Which two to three books do you recommend if I want to learn more about psychology and human behavior?’ I will delightedly open up my Kindle history and jot down a response. But when someone asks ‘Can you help me find a job?’ — well, I

don’t even know where to start! Do I know you? What is your skill set? What level of responsibility have you held? What kind of job are you best qualified for? It’s far too open-ended a question unless we already have a mentoring relationship.” FOLLOW UP. “When I was younger, I clearly remember thinking, ‘I don’t want to waste more of her time ... I won’t email/ call her again.’ I thought I was being polite by not imposing on people’s time. Now that I’m often the one giving advice, I realize how flawed that thinking was. When someone invests their time in helping you, they want to know what happened next! When someone doesn’t follow up, it feels like they didn’t value my advice or time. “Also, it leaves me unsure whether my advice was good or not. Certainly, if I made a suggestion and it turned out poorly, I don’t want to (suggest that) to another person. Make it a practice to follow up with those who’ve helped you — whether it’s a ‘Thanks for your help. I didn’t get the job, but I appreciated your time!’or a ‘I read that blog post you suggested and it gave me some ideas.’”

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES. “When I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know how to turn that passion into a career. Many students think that you have to become a doctor or nurse to help people, but that’s not true. Making the world a better place can be found in many different job descriptions, including those in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In fact, the phone you use to text can operate because of engineers and scientists. Can you imagine living without it? Keep an open mind. There are plenty of ways to turn your passion into a meaningful career.” ABELLA’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS

ALICIA ABELLA Assistant vice president of cloud technologies and services at AT&T CAREER PATH: At AT&T, Alicia Abella’s team is responsible for designing and creating cloud, mobile and services software solutions for the company’s cloud-computing environment. She has 21 years of research experience through a number of positions. Abella is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Cuba in the 1960s. Although neither went to college and her mother didn’t graduate high school, Abella says they worked hard and considered education a door for opportunity. Abella, 47, says her parents helped her get an education, but the rest was up to her.



DON’T GIVE UP. “You’re going to face obstacles in school and work, but perseverance is the first step to success. Between now and your dream

job, there’s a lot of hard work. So keep your end goal in mind whenever you’re presented with a challenge.” GET A MENTOR. “It’s helpful to have someone in your corner to pass on advice, develop your confidence and push you toward your goals. At AT&T, there are a number of opportunities for female employees to become mentees or mentor other women. There are employee resource groups that host mentoring circles, as well as one-on-one mentoring. There’s also an employee network group called the AT&T Women of Technology, which provides mentoring and networking for women in STEM, along with career development. I love to keep conversations with my mentees at AT&T informal, whether that’s through mock interviews or day-to-day conversations. I want to be there for them every step of the way, guiding them in whatever way I can.”


READ. “Spend at least an hour a day reading. There is so much common knowledge among the executives and decisionmakers of the world. We didn’t grow up immersed in it, so we’re at a disadvantage. But between following people on Twitter and reading interviews with people, it’s incredibly easy to find out what books and articles are influencing the people above us. Reading isn’t the same as doing, but when you can understand the references and use the right jargon, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident and you’ll establish common ground with the people who are doing the hiring.” ALVAREZ’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS


SILVIA VASQUEZ-LAVADO Principal of enterprise technology at Xoom and founder of Courageous Girls, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence CAREER PATH: Now at Xoom, a digital money transfer company, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado has held jobs at startup firms, and lived in Milan and Monaco learning complex financial systems. She worked at eBay in 2005 developing financial infrastructure for European and Asian markets. She was also involved in the corporate separation of eBay and PayPal. Born in Lima, Peru, Vasquez-Lavado moved to the United States at 18, after earning a IIE/Fulbright Scholarship in 1992. At 41, she now sees the value in appreciating your own path. “Don’t ever compare your career path to others and don’t get too caught up about achieving something at a certain age. Trust your path is unique to you and will be developing the way it needs to be,” says Vasquez-Lavado, who wishes she had sought out a mentor during her early professional career. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. “Working hard is important but (caring for) yourself outside work is quite pivotal. Spending time outside in nature can be extremely inspiring and provide clarity about your life and path.”



SPEAK OUT. “It’s extremely competitive out there. Even if you are doing a stellar job, you might not be noticed; speaking out will definitely put you on the map.” BE WILLING TO CHANGE. “Be open to change. Success will never be a straight line. The detours can sometimes bring you to even greater levels.”

a nonprofit. “Part of this is knowYou want, deserve and need it. ing your worth and knowing what But how do you ask for a raise? your workplace environment will The mere thought can make even sustain,” Hernandez says. the most steel-spined Latina just a One pitfall for many Latinas is a little nervous. But Latinas actually sense of loyalty, Hernandez says. earn the least across the board and Culturally, it is valued, but it could make just 55 cents for every dollar also be a work liability. “If you paid to white, non-Hispanic men, have tried to secure a raise for the according to the U.S. Census Bulast two years and are not getreau. Overall, women earn 79 cents ting anywhere, I’d be hanging my for every dollar paid to men. shingle out and asking what I am That means Latinas are earning doing staying here,” she says. “You essentially half of what white men may like the job and may like where make. So why shouldn’t talented, you are, but if the salary is limiting hardworking Latinas request raises? ... your allegiance to your employer One of the main reasons women isn’t called for. We are very loyal as don’t receive raises or promotions, a culture. It’s hard for is because they are us to say, ‘I’m going too afraid to ask, says to take my talent elseSasha Monik Moreno, where.’” a Dallas-based atLATINAS EARN For those reluctant torney who is also ESSENTIALLY to request raises, a marketing profesHALF, JUST Hernandez advises sional and blogger at 55 CENTS FOR remembering what’s at stake. Men are four times EVERY DOLLAR, “Part of our journey more likely to ask for OF WHAT is to get some comfort raises than women, WHITE, NONwith money, know how according to econoto save it and leverage mist Linda Babcock HISPANIC MEN it to help our famof Carnegie Mellon MAKE. ily. You can’t do that University. — U.S. CENSUS unless you have the “Many of us BUREAU salary that’s commenconsider ourselves to surate with your value be strong, fierce and and talent,” she says, independent Latinas, offering tips on how to broach the but it seems we may lose our confitopic with bosses: dence with regard to work,” Monik uResearch the pay scale for your Moreno says. “The hardest hurdle position and geographic area. you will likely face is simply finding uMake a list of your accomplishthe courage to ask.” ments and victories. Make a plan and gather your uDevelop an action plan of how courage, she advises. and why you deserve a raise. Maria Hernandez, president and uFind the right time — such as CEO of Impact4Health and coperformance reviews — to discuss founder of LatinaVIDA, says to start the raise with your supervisor. by arming yourself with data on the uPrepare what and how you’ll average pay for your job. make the request. Practice your “Know your worth, and you can speech. Record yourself and listen bring that to your performance to it. Cut out any excess words that review,” Hernandez says. Practice downplay your value and worth. what you plan to say. “You can say, uMake the request. ‘At my level, the salary ranges are ... uCelebrate if you get it. If you I’m very much interested in making don’t, reconsider your future, loyalty this salary.’” Be ready for every reand career path where you are. buttal they may throw out, she says. Be realistic. A person can’t expect to earn six figures working at — Christine Romero


Thrive & Climb




DON’T BLINK: Alicia Abella, assistant vice president of cloud technologies and services at AT&T, says confidence is contagious.“Don’t blink,” Abella says. “In other words, always go into a meeting, negotiation or presentation with confidence. The slightest sign of weakness can work against your efforts. This, of course, does not mean you should be arrogant and boastful, but it does mean you should enter these situations with the confidence that you, and only you, possess the best perspective on the situation at hand.”

SPEAK UP: “Avoid the path of least resistance when confronted with a remark like, ‘That’s not the way we do things,’” Abella says. “Although I’ve pushed back when I have felt there was a better way to do something, or when the process for doing something was simply nonexistent, I could have done it more often, especially early on in my career. The path of least resistance means going along with that remark. A better way would be to present a solution and substantiate it with data to support why it is better. The approach may still not work, but at least you know you pushed the boundaries and maybe next time your solution will be chosen.”


MANY LATINAS DON’T grow up seeing career role models. Often, the biggest hurdle Latinas face is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Sometimes it’s a jargon barrier, a lack of recognizing “how things are done” or not seeing our full worth and value. But there are Latinas who are making waves in their fields and who have learned a few lessons along the way. Here are some of their best tips to help launch your career to the next level. DEFINE YOURSELF: Cindy Alvarez, principal design manager at Microsoft, says, “I’ve had several managers who encouraged me to define my own job description — ‘You tell me how you see this role,’” she says. “It was tremendously useful to realize that a career was not passively choosing from some predefined options, but actively figuring out what I was good at and how I could solve specific problems and then looking for companies who needed what I could provide.”



GO BEYOND FACEBOOK: Sasha Monik Moreno, an attorney, marketing professional and blogger at advises keeping your professional social media pages updated. “While one-on-one networking is integral to your career, your online professional profiles are a major factor,” she says. “Update your LinkedIn profile with the recent information. Become an expert in your field by posting career-related articles to your profile, especially ones you’ve written yourself. If you have a professional Twitter profile, send daily tweets with industry news and links to your work using career-related hashtags. Your online reputation can also lead to opportunities that could take your career to the next level. DEVELOP WORKPLACE SAVVY: Maria Hernandez, president and CEO of Impact4Health and co-founder of LatinaVIDA, a website dedicated to Latina professionals, says you have to be good at what you do, but it also pays to understand your workplace culture, she adds. “Know what gets rewarded in your workplace culture. Know how to align yourself within that culture,” Hernandez says. Resist the instinct to lay low and not call attention to yourself. “Learn how to say more and speak less,” she says. “You might be a real gabber (and) that could be a real liability. Get to the point. Be clear. Be concise.”



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“For someone who TAKING THE thinks she has an LEAD answer for everything, I Southern didn’t have an answer,” Methodist says Ybarra, who at the University’s time was a participant leadership in the Corporate program urges Executive Development Latinos to excel. Program (CEDP) for Hispanic managers at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Ybarra had been a strong advocate for fellow Hispanic employees and other women, but not always for herself. “It really was a turning point for me, and I have been very proactive in my career since,” says Ybarra, currently executive director of external affairs operation at AT&T headquarters in Dallas, a position held by just 1.65 percent of AT&T’s 102,565 managers. She now has her sights set on a VP title.



achel Ybarra’s career at communications giant AT&T had been progressing steadily for 14 years, with three promotions in rapid succession. But unexpectedly, the path upward for Ybarra, then director of finance and operations, stalled. “You will get tapped on the shoulder in the beginning,” Ybarra recalls her mentor telling her after several years with the company, “but what active role are you playing now to let people know you’re interested in moving up?” Ybarra was stunned silent. But after taking stock of her career and listening to advisers, she determined that some of the aspects of Hispanic culture that she embraced in the workplace were holding her back. For example, for those Latinas who practiced being respectful of authority, that translated to being deferential to those higher up the corporate ladder; being humble meant not selling herself or expressing that she sought advancement.


“The program was life-changing for a lot of reasons,” says Ybarra, a member of the first class in 2010-11. “It opened my eyes to things that may have been slowing me down. (For example,) if I had a different point of view, I didn’t feel comfortable expressing that. ... I used to think that not speaking up was being respectful, but I learned that by not participating, I was not being helpful in the creative process.” She has since learned that input from a variety of sources can help make teams stronger. “We really are looking for diverse ideas, and different points of view (are) what is really going to bring us the best ideas,” says Ybarra, who shares what she’s learned through the SMU program with two employee circles that she mentors. CEDP is one of two leadership development programs under the larger SMU-based Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI), which is dedicated to developing Latino executives for C-suites or higher positions and developing the Latino talent pipeline in partnership with some of America’s largest corporations. At CEDP, Ybarra also discovered that she was not alone when it came to a middle-management standstill. The program was developed based on research by its academic director, Miguel “Mickey” Quiñones, O. Paul Corley distinguished chair of organizational behavior in the Cox School of Business. “Latinos were promoted into middle management at rates higher than any other demographic, but then stalling,” says LLI Executive Director Anthony Herrera, referencing Quiñones’ research. “Culture was affecting their progression. Latinos often have tendencies of being humble and having respect for authority, of not tooting our own horn, and as a result this impedes our ability to get recognized and get promoted.” LLI is designed to help make Latinos aware of cultural tendencies and how they play out in the workplace. Corporations send potential Latino leaders to the program, and also learn how employees’ Latino culture may be affecting their progression. Kevin Frazier, senior director of culture, diversity and inclusion at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., which also partners with and sends prospective executives to LLI, would hear from Latino employees that “‘I was raised a certain way. I’m a workaholic. I put my best foot forward with the expectation that my contributions will be


recognized.’ “As honorable and as humble as that is, that simply isn’t the world that we live in,” he says. “You need to sell yourself. It’s not being (arrogant), but you have to showcase your skills. You have to be willing to network, to stand up and say, ‘This is my work.’” Despite being the country’s largest minority group, accounting for 17 percent of the U.S. population, and one with a rapidly growing talent pool, the number of Latinos in executive positions is small. While Latinos account for 7.4 percent of middlemanagement positions in public corporations, they represent just 3.9 percent of executive positions. (They are 14.4 percent of AT&T’s workforce.) LLI is the only multipronged leadership development program of its kind, based at a university and with a research component, according to Herrera. Dozens of Fortune 500 companies have partnered with LLI, including Boeing, Marriott and ColgatePalmolive Co. LLI’s two leadership programs



DEVELOPING LATINO LEADERS Corporations are recognizing the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment, retention and development does not work for Latinos. “Each (ethnic/demographic) group faces a different set of hurdles and we would be irresponsible if we didn’t recognize that,” Frazier says. “One size does not fit all. When we say, ‘Our people make a difference,’ that’s not just a slogan. We are in the people business.” Frazier says corporations are moving from a culture of compliance-driven diversity to one of inclusion. As America changes, corporations must change with it, he says. “If our store doesn’t represent the community, we’ve done ourselves and the community a disservice.”



14.4% of AT&T’s 281,450 employees are Latinos


have had more than 150 participants at SMU, including the current cohort of 22. Seventy percent to 80 percent of the participants have either been promoted or seen their roles and responsibilities expanded post-program, according to Herrera. Participants also increase their pay by an average of 20 percent, he says. Most who take part in the intensive nine-month program are midlevel managers in their 30s and 40s, while those who participate in the second LLI program, Rising Latino Leaders, are relatively new middle managers. CLOSING THE GAP More than 150 participants have attended SMU’s programs in hopes of career advancement.



of CarMax’s 22,064 associates are Latinos



of Walmart’s 1.4 million employees are Latinos

Companies can send their midlevel execs for professional training at Southern Methodist University’s Corporate Executive Development Program, but internal services can also assist in employee development and making the most of talented human resources. At AT&T, HACEMOS, a Hispanic/Latino employee resource group, is one of 12 culturally specific groups. Founded in 1988, the primary goal of the 10,300-member HACEMOS is to help members develop their professional and personal skills, says Laura Ramirez, lead diversity consultant with AT&T human resources. The company also has nine employee networks open to all employees, with a combined membership of 124,000, according to Ramirez. The newest one, Mujeres en Acción, launched in 2015, is based in Mexico. Walmart, which has more than 200,000 Hispanic associates in the U.S., continues to not only recruit Latino employees, but build on its previous

diversity practices to be more inclusionary, according to Walmart representatives. To help prepare senior managers for higher positions, the company created the Walmart Hispanic Officer Caucus in 2015. The organization “is committed to attracting, developing and retaining Hispanic talent and strengthening Walmart’s relationship with the Hispanic community, through collaborating with the Hispanic/Latino Associate Resource Group, broadening development efforts for Hispanic officers and associates, and mentoring/sponsoring high potential leaders,” the company says. The caucus and the resource group hold quarterly gatherings called Café y Carreras so midlevel managers can network with seniorlevel executives, says Russell Shaffer, senior manager for culture, diversity and inclusion communications. WELCOMING WORKPLACE At CarMax, where Latinos account for 17 percent of the $14.3

billion company’s 22,064 associates, employees are retained and promoted through various development opportunities. “Associates can grow both personally and professionally by taking advantage of the training, support and growth opportunities that CarMax offers,” says Tracey Shoemaker, director of talent acquisition for CarMax. David Marrero, a CarMax location general manager in Houston, appreciates that his race and culture are welcome at his job. “As a Hispanic, I was looking for a company that would provide me with a workplace that would respect my heritage, as well as value my individual skills. It only took one day working at CarMax for me to realize that I found it, and I was home,” Marrero says. Fifteen years later, he says he still loves working for CarMax. “I don’t have to be something that I am not.This gives me the chance to concentrate on developing myself into the best that I can be for my company.” — Sylvia A. Martinez




EVA LONGORIA isn’t following in anyone’s footsteps. She’s scripting her own path and helping others along the way.





VA LONGORIA is a lot of things, but idle is not one of them. In addition to being a Golden Globe-nominated actress, her long list of titles includes activist, director, executive producer, philanthropist, American and proud Latina. Best known for her roles in TV series, ranging from daytime dramas such as Young and the Restless to the prime-time hit Desperate Housewives and Telenovela, a sitcom she also executive-produced and directed, Longoria has quickly established herself as a powerhouse in the entertainment industry. What she’s doing behind the scenes is as impressive as what fans see when they tune in to see her on screen. “My goal has always been to direct and produce,” she says. “I want to see my stories reflected on the big and small screens. I want more control over my destiny in this industry.” Longoria, 41, has succeeded in Hollywood despite the oft-decried lack of opportunities for women and people of color. Only 12 percent of TV shows and movies are ethnically balanced, and just 15.2 percent of directors are female, according to a 2016 report by the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. In the report titled “Inclusion or Invisibility? Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment,” USC researchers studied all TV shows on broadcast, cable and streaming ser-



vices, and found that women of color over the age of 40 are “largely invisible” and just 22 percent of TV series creators were female. Longoria is well aware of the hurdles faced by women and Latinos in the entertainment business. But she’s proud that she’s been able to break out of the pack and help others along the way. She says she found “great joy” in discovering Latino talent for Telenovela, a short-lived show about the cast of a fictional Latin soap opera. “It’s about creating opportunities and opening those doors,” she says. Longoria isn’t just interested in treading a path for her fellow actors. She’s working to help the next generation of Latina professionals through her charity. Among her many philanthropic ventures is the Eva Longoria Foundation, which was created in 2012 to help Latinas succeed through education, entrepreneurship and mentorship. According to the foundation, one in three Latinas drops out of high school and just 15 percent of adult Latinas hold college degrees, yet 80 percent of Latino teens in the U.S. aspire to go to college. In addition, Latina-owned businesses have increased at eight times the rate of businesses owned by men in recent years. “Parental engagement is the number one


Eva Longoria works behind the camera as executive producer and director on shows like, Telenovela and Devious Maids; she also earned a Golden Globe nomination for her Desperate Housewives role.She recently wed media executive José Bastón, who often joins her on the red carpet, and she's politically active. CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: DANNY FELD/NBC; JOSIAH KAMAU/BUZZFOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES; DEVIOUS MAIDS COPYRIGHT © 2016 ABC STUDIOS/BOB MAHONEY/A&E TELEVISION NETWORKS; PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN/WIREIMAGE; RON TOM/ABC; RANDALL SLAVIN; EPA/MIKE NELSON; LAURENT VITEUR/FILMMAGIC


I want to see MY STORIES reflected on the big and small screens. I want more control over my destiny in this industry.” — EVA LONGORIA

success factor in determining whether children will graduate from high school and go to college,” says Longoria. “We wanted to invest in parents.” Family role models were one significant ingredient in Longoria’s recipe for success. Her mother, one of her three sisters and several aunts are teachers. Though her path led to Hollywood, Longoria’s degrees might have suggested a different future. She earned her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a master’s degree in Chicano studies from California State University-Northridge in 2013. Her thesis was titled “Success STEMS from Diversity: The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers.” However, for those Latinas whose parents might not always realize or emphasize the value of an education, Longoria’s foundation offers nine-week “parent engagement” courses to help Latino parents understand class requirements, how and why to set up meetings with teachers and counselors, how to assist with homework and how to file college and financial aid applications. It also has partnered with the Howard G. Buffet Foundation to provide 152 microloans and business training to low-income Latina entrepreneurs. There is also a mentorship program for more than 300 Latinas and other extracurricular activities, in Los Angeles and San Antonio, focused on STEM skills.



“Economic mobility is one way to empower Latinas,” Longoria says. “Latinas are the CEOs of the household finances and health decisions. I want to give women the tools to make sure they become engines for good.” Longoria believes using their political influence is another way for Latinas to affect change. Long involved with the Democratic Party, she co-chaired President Obama’s re-election campaign and spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The Pew Research Center reports a record 27.3 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential election. However, it also found that only 49 percent of all Latinos surveyed say they are “absolutely certain” they are registered to vote, compared with 69 percent of blacks and 80 percent of whites. Longoria, who founded the Latino Victory Project in 2014 to raise funds for Latino candidates and getout-the-vote efforts, says Latinos need to know how to register, understand who is running for office and have a “voter plan” that plots where polling places are located, how to get there and how to mail in ballots, if needed. Although every election is important, Longoria feels especially passionate about the 2016 vote to choose a new president. “The rhetoric I’ve seen against a specific com-





Eva Longoria has already conquered the world of entertainment, and now she's ready to make her mark on the fashion industry.

munity is so wrong,” she says, referring to the heated debate over immigration in the U.S. that has dominated the presidential campaign and firmly planted major-party candidates on either side of the issue. “What we hear in the news is not how we should be defined. We are amazing scholars and leaders and advocates and human rights lawyers and doctors and teachers that are making this country a beautiful place.” She adds that “Latino” and “immigrant” are not synonymous. “I’m a ninth-generation American,” she says. “Our culture has been here a lot longer than a lot of people holding office. We need to honor these contributions.” The Latino culture is something Longoria tries to infuse into her job behind the scenes. In addition to her boss role with Telenovela, she also executive-produces Lifetime’s Devious Maids, one of the only prime-time dramas featuring a majority-Latina cast. Longoria will also star this year in a three-part comedy/ drama BBC miniseries set in Wales called Decline and Fall, playing a wealthy and powerful South American woman, and in Lowriders, a dramatic feature film that centers on a family entangled in Southern California’s tricked-out car culture. Through projects like these, Longoria aims to share a view of Latinos from her personal lens, and she can do it from either side of the camera.

va Longoria recently teamed up with Sunrise Brands to design an apparel line for The Limited that debuted this summer with pieces that she says can go “from work to wine. “So many women can’t afford to have outfits for both weekend and work,” she says. “I wanted to make a versatile line that is classic and timeless, yet still trendy and will turn heads.” Made with women of various sizes in mind, the line will include dresses, skirts and pantsuits, and Longoria says she worked with a designer to choose every aspect of clothing. “If I won’t wear it, then it won’t go in my line,” she says, adding that she’s been sewing since she was 8 years old and growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, with her parents and three sisters. The apparel line is the latest entrepreneurial venture for Longoria; others include a Hollywood restaurant called Beso, or “kiss” in Spanish, which opened in 2008; and a 2011 cookbook titled Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends. — Laura Castañeda


Latinicity Chef Marcos Flores and his colleagues offer a food tour of Latin America in trendy downtown Chicago.

Feast of FLAVORS Latinicity brings the tastes of Latin America to downtown Chicago BY KATE SILVER



panish croquettes de bacalao. Mexican tortas and tacos. Peruvian ceviche. Foodies might have to travel to three continents to get a taste of all these different Latin foods, or they could just dine at Chicago’s Latinicity and enjoy the flavors of Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Brazil and beyond sans passport. Latinicity is part of a new trend of food-hallstyle restaurants opening in cities including New York, Washington, D.C., and now Chicago. Think of a mall eatery, except all the options offer foods of the

same cuisine, and you pay once after visiting as many of the stations as you like. Diners at Latinicity, the dream of chefs Richard Sandoval and Jose Garces, choose from 10 different counters (or grab a table at Pata Negra, a full-service tapas restaurant) inside one 20,000-square-foot space. The venue, which opened last November, gathers a tempting array of Latin-inspired foods under one roof, right in the corazon of Chicago’s Loop. It’s Sandavol’s first Chicago foray and one of the only U.S. food halls solely dedicated to Latin food. “I really want the guests to experience Latin

America and all the flavors it has to offer. I want it to be a learning experience, not just another meal,” says Sandoval, who grew up in Mexico City and heads up an international restaurant group with more than 40 eateries around the world, including venues in Japan, Dubai, Qatar and Serbia. Sandoval was inspired to create Latinicity while conducting culinary research in Bogota, Colombia, about five years ago. “I came upon a plazoleta, which was like a market with different food outlets representing all the foods of Colombia,” says Sandoval. “It was


Latinicity’s guests can stop by the bar in the eatery before a show in Chicago’s Loop.



Flores. “You’re getting so many experiences at once.” Latinicity general manager Hamid Benna nods as he listens to Flores speak. “What we have is like a map of South America,” he says. “You’re in Peru and you walk two steps and you’re in Ecuador. And you walk two steps, you’re in Mexico.” With its large Hispanic community, Chicago is a perfect fit for Latinicity, adds Benna. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the Chicago metropolitan area is the second-largest population of Mexico-born immigrants in the U.S. — about 669,000, or 7 percent of the metro area population (the Los Angeles area is first with 1.7 million).

“I really want the guests to experience Latin America and all the flavors it has to offer. I want it to be a learning experience, not just another meal.” —RICHARD SANDOVAL, OWNER/CHEF, LATINICITY

“It’s a vast city; it’s multicultural,” says Benna. “We picked the right spot.”

THE LATINICITY EXPERIENCE On the third floor of Block 37 — a downtown mall built on one of the city’s first streets — a hostess at Latinicity welcomes diners and presents them with a plastic card. They’ll swipe it at each station, and then pay the entire tab at one time. Bright, splashy murals line the walls, dramatic oversized light fixtures hang from the lofty ceilings and comfortable booths make even the lunch crowd consider lingering in the windowlined space, surrounded by office buildings and just


amazing to have the ability to explore so many flavors and options, all in one space. Ever since, I worked on potential menus and ideas for Latinicity as I was traveling, making sure I provided the perfect flavor journey for all guests to experience.” Garces, an American chef born to Ecuadorian parents with Chicago roots and more than a dozen restaurants, and Sandoval created the menus at Latinicity and work with executive chef Marcos Flores, who is on site during the day. Flores, who is originally from Venezuela, relocated from Miami to work at Latinicity because he loved the innovative Latin-inspired concept. “It’s so unique,” says

The Counters Tortas & Cocas Sandwiches made with soft flatbread

Sushi & Ceviche Peruvian and Japanese seafood styles in a fusion of flavors

Chaufa-Wok Another Peruvian/ Japanese fusion site, focusing on stir-fry

Saladero Grill Brazilian steaks, brisket and chicken

Ensaladas Build-your-own salad

Mariscos Steamed, fried or raw seafood

Machefe Taquería Customizable tacos, burritos and bowls

blocks from theaters, parks and the Lake Michigan shoreline. Chicagoan Stacee Reicherzer has visited Latinicity twice and plans to return. “I’m a casual gnosher, and love that I can have drinks with friends, people-watch the street scene below and snack on authentic soup, light seafood snacks and street tacos when the urge hits,” she says. “Also, this is a great place for a quick bite before a show because it’s so easy to get in and out.” The counters are organized by type of dish, with multiple countries often represented at each space. Patrons can commit to one counter or taste from each station creating their customized ode to Latin America. Dishes are about $6 to $14. At Pata Negra, servers deliver shareable tapas and charcuterie to tables in a more formal environment; prices are similar to those at the counters. Latinicity also features a coffee and wine bar as well as Loncheria, a grab-andgo spot on the ground floor away from the counters, where diners in a hurry

Chopped salad from Ensaladas

can pick up breakfast, salads, pastries or wraps.

EDUCATIONAL EATING It’s not just Hispanics who come to Latinicity. Because of that, Benna, who is from Morocco, says he and Flores answer a lot of questions and try to educate the diverse crowd on what Latin food is — and what it isn’t. “We’re here also to teach, not to just feed people,” says Benna. Flores says there's a lot to teach people about the incredible variety that exists within the world of Latin food. “Coming from Miami ... everybody thinks it’s just rice and beans. It’s a lot more than rice and beans,” he laughs.


Burguesa Latin-inspired sauces, cheeses and other ingredients spice up burgers and hot dogs

Sopas Soups, from light consommé to hearty stews

Patatas bravas from Pata Negra

Benna adds that people come to Latinicity expecting only Mexican food and are surprised to discover the range that’s available. New visitors also assume that most of the items will be spicy and fried — neither of which is true — and they’re surprised by how much healthy seafood is available. “There’s a love story between sushi and ceviche and the people of South America,” says Benna. And then there are the global influences that are eye-opening to guests, notes Benna. Items like Latin-inspired sushi (with spicy Angry Tuna, avocado, cucumber, green onion, wasabi tobiko and chipotle rouille) are reminders of how fused flavors from across the world have become. Sandoval says he wants to open people’s minds to that diversity. “Always be open to trying new flavors and ingredients. Latin American food is like a roller-coaster ride of flavors. Never be intimidated by the ingredient — always approach it with an open mind,” he says. At Latinicity, that roller coaster of flavors awaits.



A Slice of

CULTURE Bread maker bakes pride of heritage into every loaf BY S UZANNE WRIGHT


n the same way yeast inspires dough to rise, Tucson-based artisan baker Don Guerra lifts the spirits of his loyal customers.



Bearded, brown-eyed Guerra, who is half Mexican and half Irish, smiles — not just with his mouth but sincerely, with his eyes — as he parcels out his loaves at farmers

markets. His charisma is contagious. Guerra is first and foremost an impassioned baker for his local community, and the history and ancestry of his family


Don Guerra launched Barrio Bread with a communitysupported business model.



Don Guerra wants to inspire a new generation of bakers with his creative, handcrafted breads.

is cooked into every loaf. Two women ignited his passion for feeding people: his nana, who was born in Douglas, Ariz., and whose ancestors were from the state of Sonora, Mexico; and his mother. “Nana’s house always had a pot of beans on the stove and fresh tortillas,” says Guerra. “To this day, one of my favorite aromas is a pot of beans on the stove.” Guerra also remembers watching his mom bake bread: preparing the dough, the tempting loaves, the yeasty aroma. “My passion for baking was instilled by my childhood food memories with these two ladies,” he says. “Flatbreads, like tortillas, and loaf breads were eaten with almost every meal.” Guerra founded Barrio Bread in 2009 and his


commitment — along with demand — has only grown. Born in Tempe, Ariz., the 45-year-old Guerra is a community-supported baker — almost every loaf of bread he makes has been preordered online. He works 80 hours a week, producing 600 to 950 loaves from his garageturned-bakery. They are carted to farmers markets and schools where his customers pick them up, as per his made-to-order business model. He does bring a few extra for lastminute customers. Some deem his loaves too beautiful to eat. Indeed, each one is individually handcrafted and many are studded with nuts, seeds and fruits. Some special loaves are even emblazoned with the Arizona flag or the saguaro, a Southwestern

“Nana’s house always had a pot of beans on the stove and fresh tortillas ... To this day, one of my favorite aromas is a pot of beans on the stove.” — DON GUERRA

cactus with multiple branches, reflecting a singular pride of place. “Strengthening my community is an important concept I learned from my family culture,” says Guerra, who’s traveled globally teaching others and sharing his culinary passion. But he’s especially gratified when working with kids. His own daughter, Sofia, has followed in his flour-dusted footsteps, baking cookies she sells alongside her dad. If he has his way, she’ll be one of many carrying on his tradition. Guerra conducts an annual bread-making demonstration at the Tucson Village Farm Camp to teach young people about healthy food and baking. “The children who call my bread ‘Don Bread’ will also have memories of nibbling on the end of a fresh baguette as they walk away,” he says. “The kids are so excited to learn how to mill wheat into flour and bake their own bread,” he adds. “Several have declared that they want to grow up to be bakers.” Guerra is also baking the unique flavor of the Southwest into his loaves, using 50 percent heritage grains, including white Sonora, red fife, khorasan, Arizona hard red spring and Desert Durum wheats. “Using local wheat is special to me because it ties me to my place and ancestors,” Guerra says. “My focus on producing unique breads keeps me connected to my region and heritage.”

9 55




Plant the right herbs to complement your Latin cuisine


ven before Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic in hopes of entering the spice trade, our ancestors had learned how to season food with flavorful herbs they found growing wild. We still can savor many of those same herbs and spices and, with some resourcefulness and creativity, they can be as close as your backyard or in your home. Better known as kitchen gardens, these small outdoor plots are a boon to those who prefer their seasonings fresh and near at



hand. If you lack the space, many herbs and spices can be grown in large pots as part of a patio garden or in small containers on your windowsill. For flavoring South American, Central American and Caribbeaninspired foods, what you grow depends on space, soil, light and weather. However, there are some staples found in nearly all “traditional Mexican” kitchens, according to Abraham Salum, chef and owner of Salum Restaurant in Dallas. “We always have cilantro, epazote, thyme, bay leaves, marjoram and

spearmint,” includes seeds he says. “You for hot peppers, can cultivate coriander, habañeros, chile beefsteak tomapequin, serrano toes, Mexican peppers and For free, expert spice basil and information chile de árbol in tomatillos. on what grows a small kitchen General best in your garden.” Be manager Lance area, find your careful handling Frazon adds county extenthe first three: that many sion agent at Make sure to people prefer keep these spicy to create their partners-andherbs away from own mixes. extension-map. your eyes. Whether Not sure what starting from to get? Purchase seeds or pura seed collection. John chasing spices from local Scheepers Kitchen Garden retailers, favorites such as Seeds store in Bantam, oregano, basil, parsley and Conn., offers the Mexican chives can kick-start your Garden, a collection that culinary adventures.





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3 59


WHEN OLD MAN Winter rolls into town like that annoying cousin who always makes you crazy — and stays way too long — you need an escape plan. Nothing soothes a winter-weary soul like the beach. Whether you’re traveling solo, jetting off with your girlfriends or vacationing with la familia, you’ll find the perfect combination of sun, sand and sightseeing at these beachy locales. With any luck, the Old Man will be packed up and gone when you get home.



WHY GO Dreaming of a beach vacation spiked with adventure? Think Belize. The mainland of this Central American nation is a jungle-y landscape dotted with Mayan ruins. Off its 240-mile coastline sits the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, creating a fabulous playground for water sports. Fly into Belize City and explore the jungle and ruins, then pop over to the islands for a rainforest-and-reef holiday. Ambergris Caye (aka La Isla Bonita) and its neighbor, Caye Caulker — reachable by motor launches and air shuttles — are enticing spots to snorkel, kayak or just kick back. The official language is English, but you’ll also hear Spanish and Kriol (Creole) frequently spoken. STAY Settle into your own thatched roof casita with a patio, set on a sweet stretch of sand in San Pedro, at Matachica Resort & Spa. Or bunk down in a



bungalow, suite or villa. Rates from $375. 501-2265010; EAT Belize can be on the pricey side, so be grateful for hole-in-the-wall spots like Neri’s Tacos, a beloved (and cheap) taco joint. 501-607-5589 SHOP Wouldn’t a colorful canvas by a Belizean artist look wonderful on your wall at home? For a well-curated collection of art, masks, maps and hammocks, check out The Gallery of San Pedro. MUST-SEE Shark Ray Alley is exactly what it sounds like. Fishermen used to toss their chum at this spot; now it’s part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Intrepid snorkelers can glide alongside the nurse sharks and southern stingrays that still congregate there.


Costa Rica WHY GO Set on the sunny northwest corner of

Costa Rica, the province of Guanacaste is a beguiling mix of surfer cool and cowboy culture, natural wonders and balmy temps. All of that and monkeys, too! If anything can enliven a long, cold winter, it’s monkeys, no? Set within a country known for its natural glories, Guanacaste delivers. Its cloud forests, sunny savannas and volcanoes are alluring counterpoints to luxurious pockets

of white sand. Surfing schools proliferate, and inland, there’s a cowboy culture that dates to the days of Spanish colonial rule. Go horseback riding, zip lining, volcano touring and wildlife watching, or swan around like Brangelina and Beyoncé (among the boldface names who frequent Guanacaste). “Costa Rica is the ultimate choice for an active vacation,” says Alejandro Castro Alfaro, director of




marketing for the Costa Rica Tourism Board. “With its biodiverse terrain and 900 miles of coastline, it allows for astounding inland and water activities. Our wonderful beaches are surrounded by nature, not high-rises.” STAY Of course you’ll stay in funky Tamarindo. Choices range from surfer hotels to yoga retreats, to brand-name hotels like the JW Marriott Guana-

caste Resort & Spa. Rates from $392 (winter); from $252 (spring). 506-26812000; EAT Whether you like your shrimp with chili and mango, garlic butter, or curry, the Shrimp Hole in Tamarindo hits all of the right flavor notes. 506-8646-1215; shrimphole. com SHOP Want a fabulous, perfectly fitted custom

bikini that actually stays in place — even during a surf lesson? Follow the fashionista crowd to Papaya Con Leche, where local beachwear designer Kat Kis works her magic. 506-2653-3902; MUST-SEE Hike to the waterfall at Rio Celeste to encounter unbelievably blue water, surrounded by emerald rainforest.


1. Rincon de la Vieja volcano is more than 6,200 feet high. 2. Between catching the sun’s rays, catch some waves. 3. Visitors explore the area via horseback.




Puerto Rico WHY GO Feel the romance in the air as you wander the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan alongside stunning examples of Spanish colonial architecture. Artisans sell goods in the area around La Casita. After a sun-kissed day on the beach, steal a real kiss in a quiet corner at El Morro, or slip into a muy caliente salsa club. No wonder they call Puerto Rico la isla del encanto!

EAT At Casita Miramar, you’ll start your meal with a couple of delicious complimentary appetizers, and it gets even better from there. Entrees like cinnamon-smoked pork ribs are positively swoon-worthy — and pair perfectly with passionfruit sangria. 605 Miramar Ave.; 787-200-8227 SHOP Snag must-haves like Panama hats, some of which are made on site, and espadrilles in a uniquely charming setting at Ole Curiosidades. 105 Calle de La Fortaleza; 787-724-2445 MUST-SEE You’ll do a lot of walking, but it’s worth it, to discover more than 500



4. El Morro 5. Ole Curiosidades 6. La Casitas, Old San Juan


years of history at Castillo San Felipe del Morro, aka El Morro. Built by Spanish engineers over 250 years, the fort offers stunning views overlooking San Juan Bay. 787-729-6777; saju;


Mexico WHY GO It takes a little effort to get to Cozumel — a flight to Cancun, a


bus or taxi ride south to Playa del Carmen, then a ferry ride to the island. This 250-square-mile island sits off the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded by shallow reefs that offer some of the best diving and snorkeling on the planet. By land, avoid the cruise line piers — and their tourist-trap shops — and explore Cozumel by scooter or a rented VW bug convertible. For your to-do list, besides an undersea adventure: Mayan ruins,

a marine park and plenty of time to relax under a palapa at a beach bar with a chocolate-peanut butter margarita. Use your travel time to search “Cozumel marine life images” on your tablet. STAY Located 15 minutes from town, the luxurious Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Hotel is set on Paradise Reef, so you can snorkel right off the hotel’s beach. Rates from $300. 987-872-9500;


STAY The 58-room Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan was a 17th century Carmelite convent in its former incarnation. Now it’s a stately boutique hotel with handcrafted furniture and gleaming marble floors. Rates from $330. 100 Cristo St.; 787-723-9020;





7. Villa Vizcaya 8. Carillon Hotel’s Sunrise pool

EAT For the best pollo asado you’ve ever had (not counting abuela’s), grab some takeout at Parripollo. All they do is charcoal-grilled chicken, so they’ve got it figured out. 30 Avenida Sur La Choza is a top spot for regional Mexican dishes. Chicken in mole poblano? Si! 987-872-0958 On the higher end, Kinta Mexican Bistro gives a gourmet spin to classic Mexican cuisine. 987-8690544;


SHOP Tiny Cozumel isn’t a shopper’s paradise by any stretch, but you’ll find some treasures (like Talavera pottery, silver jewelry and vanilla), all sourced from Mexico, at Los Cinco Soles. MUST-SEE Sea turtles, nurse sharks and angelfish, oh my! There’s a flotilla of dive/snorkel cruise operators on the island, eager to introduce you to the underwater wonders at spots like Palancar Reef

and Paso del Cedral. By land, check out the Mayan ruins at Punta Sur Eco Beach Park at the southern tip of Cozumel. There’s also a lighthouse and calm swimming (bring a suit) at Laguna Colombia. If you’re traveling with little ones, consider a visit to Chankanaab National Park, a lively scene with caves, gardens, nature trails and animal shows (dolphins and sea lions) included in the admission. With all of this, you’ll be grateful they also have hammocks and palapas on the beach. 987-872-0833;;

Miami WHY GO Te amo, Miami! This sun-drenched city sizzles by day and by night. “For a girls’ getaway, Miami Beach offers a world-class escape without having to go too far,” says Taylor Cinalli, marketing and communications manager at Carillon Miami

Beach. “We have the best beaches on the East Coast, world-class spas, an emerging art scene, nightlife and spectacular restaurants inspired by the city’s diverse culture, and of course, mojitos! This city is whatever you want it to be.” Step away from the spun sugar sand of that famous beach, slip on a pretty sundress and meander the Italian Renaissance-style Villa Vizcaya, the centerpiece of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. 3251 S. Miami Ave.; 305-250-9133; STAY Formerly a Canyon Ranch property, the oceanfront Carillon Miami Beach has a stunning spa area with an inviting roof deck pool. Staffers go out of their way to pamper you. Suites from $595. 6801 Collins Ave.; 866-800-3858; EAT Even Anthony Bourdain raves about the award-winning Cuban sandwich at Las Olas Café. 644 Sixth St; 305-534-9333

No Miami visit is complete without a Little Havana stop at Versailles, a Calle Ocho institution where locals and tourists have a chance to dine with U.S. politicians and other well-known faces. 3555 S.W. Eighth St.; 305-444-0240; SHOP Lincoln Road is the ultimate upscale shopping zone — plus, there are numerous outdoor cafes so you can sip a delicious cocktail while people-watching. MUST-SEE The Miami Beach Boardwalk is a kaleidoscope of colorful characters and gorgeous views of sea-meets-sky. For a different kind of eye candy, visit the Art Deco Historic District. You can see it if you take a self-guided tour, but the best way to appreciate the city’s iconic architecture — and the history behind it — is on a walk with the Miami Design Preservation League. 1001 Ocean Dr.; 305-672-2014;



Travel to Cuba slowly gets simpler for U.S. adventurers

ust 90 miles from the coast of Florida, Cuba has seemed a lot farther due to a U.S. embargo that banned travel to the region for more than 50 years. Now that restrictions have eased, Americans are flocking to the island nation.



AIR TRAVEL Six U.S. airlines have been approved to begin the first scheduled flights to Cuba. They will fly from five U.S. cities to nine Cuban cities other than Havana. The carriers approved in June are American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. The flights are expected to begin this fall and will depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The nine destinations in Cuba are Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba and Varadero. In addition, the Department of Transportation in July granted eight airlines — including several that received the green light to land in other parts of Cuba — tentative approval to fly into Havana. The agency expects to make a final decision on the flights by the fall.

— Bart Jansen and Ben Mutzabaugh



CRUISES The 704-passenger Adonia, operated by Fathom Travel and owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., in May became the first U.S. cruise ship to pull into Havana’s harbor. The new Fathom sailings include sevennight trips and feature calls at three ports: Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Fathom departs from Miami on Sundays. Small-ship line Ponant also has received Cuban approval for trips from the U.S. to Cuba but doesn’t plan to set sail there until 2017. Most cruise lines hoping to add Cuba trips from the U.S. have been waiting for Cuban government approval before announcing itineraries and starting to sell them. Cruise operators that have been pursuing such an approval include the parent companies of Oceania Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

— Gene Sloan

LODGING Starwood Hotels and Resorts has opened the Four Points Havana, the first U.S. hotel in Cuba in nearly 60 years. Starwood signed an agreement earlier this year to open a total of three hotels in Havana. The Four Points Havana offers 186 guest rooms, 1,000 square feet of meeting space, Wi-Fi throughout and a 24-hour fitness center and spa. The Stamford, Conn.-based company

will manage the property, which is owned by Grupo Hotelero Gaviota. It is located in the Miramar district, a financial center that serves as home base for many international embassies. The venue also has several food and beverage options, including full-service dining at Don Quixote, breakfast and lunch at El Olivio, poolside light bites and a lobby bar with local beers. Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program will be able to earn and redeem points for their stay. The hotel plans to undergo upgrades and improvements over the next few months.

— Nancy Trejos


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found my rhythm.

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DREAM BIG Laurie Hernandez realized a childhood dream when she earned a spot on the 2016 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team. The 16-year-old dynamo from Old Bridge, N.J., is the youngest member of the squad and among the first Puerto Rican women ever to make the U.S. team.



The Latinx Generation New term encompasses gender non-conformity, stirs debate BY MONICA RHOR




ack Qu’emi’s search for the right words began in middle school. Singular pronouns, such as “he” or “she,” didn’t feel right. Neither did the terms “bisexual,” “pansexual” or “agender.” None really fit Qu’emi, who does not identify as male or female. In college, Qu’emi dove into women’s and gender studies and learned the term “nonbinary” — which “perfectly described how I felt and saw myself. “Being specifically unspecific fit me the best. It allows me to be fluid,” says Qu’emi, 25, a Puerto Rican writer based in Los Angeles. “It was a bit more peaceful. It made it easier for me to express myself.” Today, Qu’emi is a self-described “queer nonbinary femme” and prefers the personal pronouns “they” and “their.” Qu’emi also uses the term Latinx — a non-gendered alternative to Latino or Latina that is quickly becoming a part of the modern lexicon. The term, pronounced “La-TEEN-ex,” is a rejection of the gendered and, some believe, sexist nature of the Spanish language, which assigns a masculine or feminine gender to nouns. The default identifier for a group is almost always masculine. Amigos, for example, can refer to several men or to a collection of men and women. Latinx, on the other hand, is a term that includes people who

reject binary labels and feminists who push back against patriarchal norms. “It seeks to challenge the status quo in a way that is inclusive,” explains María Scharrón-del Río, an associate professor at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York system. “It is used by people who want to make visible what has been invisible.” The history of Latinx goes back to the first attempts to categorize people of Latin American descent in this country, beginning with “Hispanic.” During the civil rights era, Latino became the preferred term. It encompassed people who are of Latin American descent, residing in the U.S. About a decade ago, academics and activists in progressive and queer circles began looking for a term that addressed the range of gender identities. That resulted in Latin@, a symbolic combination of “o” and “a” — masculine and feminine. However, that still excluded gender-non-conforming people who did not fall into the malefemale binary, like Qu’emi. So Latinx eventually evolved. “It visually, literally puts an ‘x’ over the gendered space,” says Qu’emi. “By putting an ‘x’ on the space, it says we’re not going to be put in one (box) or the other. It feels comforting and appropriate.” Latinx now appears in headlines and

tweets, in news stories and blog posts. Student organizations at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and campuses around the country have retooled their names to include the term, as have an increasing number of LGBT groups. After the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49



people — many members of the LGBT community — were killed, there was a spike in the use of the word, according to Google statistics. The surge reflects the integration of Latinx into the mainstream, says Scharrón-del Río. “For those of us who identify as queer or genderqueer, that horrible event made it possible to be visible,” she notes. “We united ourselves in mourning.” The rise of Latinx has met resistance, primarily from critics who say it is difficult to pronounce and that it bucks the basic mechanics of the Spanish language. In a November 2015 Swarthmore College Phoenix op-ed titled “The Argument Against the Use of the Term ‘Latinx,’” students Gilbert Guerra and Gilbert Orbea called the word a “blatant form of linguistic imperialism — the forcing of U.S. ideals upon a language in a way that does not grammatically or orally correspond with it. “We are not arguing against gender-inclusive language. We have no prejudice towards non-binary people,” they wrote. “We see, however, a misguided desire to forcibly change the language we and millions of people around the world speak, to the detriment of all.” In a response published on latinorebels. com, Scharrón-del Río and Alan Aja, an associate professor in the department of Puerto



Rican and Latin@ studies at Brooklyn College, retorted: “What is the most blatant form of linguistic imperialism for Latin Americans? Spanish. “English-speaking people that are also resisting linguistic inclusion have similar arguments against using ‘they’ for people that do not conform to the binary: It is not grammatically correct, it is a mouthful, it makes it

(Latinx) seeks to challenge the status quo in a way that is inclusive.” — MARÍA SCHARRÓN-DEL RÍO, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, BROOKLYN COLLEGE

hard to follow discourse, it is … hard,” they argued. Scharrón-del Río believes much of the criticism is rooted in discomfort from those who are reluctant to acknowledge their own privilege, or who have open hostility to gendernon-conforming people. “It is always to essentialize and reduce all the countries and people who we label as Latin in America,” she says, pointing out that they

share both the heritage of the indigenous and colonizers, the oppressed and the oppressors. In that sense, she says, Latinx is a perfect appellation, because it mirrors both Spanish and indigenous vocabularies in which the “x” is common. That is what drew Cornell University student and writer Paola Muñoz to Latinx. The 21-year-old views the term as a political statement, a symbolic crossing-out of gender conformity, as well as a rebuke of colonialism. It is a way, she says, of showing solidarity. “(M)y identity is tethered to those of my hermanxs that Latino/a erases,” Muñoz wrote in a poem posted on Twitter. “(I)f i deny them, i deny myself. #IAmLatinx” “Essentially, we erase our own hermanxs and ourselves if the way in which we identify ourselves is oppressive,” adds Muñoz, who is a cisgender woman and a member of Cornell’s Latinx Ivy League Delegation. “Language is an evolving phenomenon, and is never set in stone.” Indeed, as Muñoz’s poem shows, the use of the “x” suffix has already started to spread to other words. Hermano becomes hermanx; amigo becomes amigx. “It’s not a perfect solution,” concedes Scharrón-del Río. “But we are used to using imperfect solutions until something better comes along.”

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Cultural Collisions

When mamis, abuelas and modern-day mujeres have different takes on life and love BY LUISA COLÓN



aybe you’ve been told that you need to get married as soon as possible, to a Latino, naturally. The church wedding will be performed by a Catholic priest, of course. You’re expected to settle down somewhere close to family. Without question, you’ll have children who will be baptized at the aforementioned church and raised the way your parents raised you. And while you won’t be discouraged from pursuing a career, you will be expected to be home in time to put dinner on the table for your esposo and niños. Meeting your perfect match, planning a wedding, finding a home and starting a family are difficult enough without the added pressures of adhering to your parents’ expectations, traditions and old-school values. Once grandparents and extended family weigh in, you can feel overwhelmed. Familism puts the needs of family over the needs of self and often causes some Latinas to struggle with finding balance. These kinds of rigid rules can cause unnecessary stress and eliminate potential mates who may be perfect matches otherwise — but try telling that to your mami or abuela. “Older generations have specific expectations for today’s modern Latina regarding love, relationships and family,” says Sujeiry Gonzalez, founder of, host of the LOVE Sujeiry radio show on SiriusXM and Latina magazine’s love and sex expert. In addition to concern about a love interest’s religion and ethnicity, lifestyle choices are also up for debate. “Older generations expect modern Latinas to be successful … while maintaining the home,” she adds. In short, modern-day Latinas are expected to fulfill the role of wife, homemaker and devoted caretaker. It’s an almost impossible mission laden with pressures. But nowadays, Latinas are pushing back on those expectations and making their own rules when it comes to romance and relationships. Today’s mujer is opting to stay true to herself, while recognizing which traditions will actually make love stronger and more fulfilling. As far as finding the perfect mate, the numbers tell us that while some parents may not like it, intermarriage — marriage between people of differing races or ethnicities — is on the rise. According to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, it has more than doubled since 1980, with 26 percent of Hispanics “marrying out.” Some families have made peace with this idea, but remain stubborn about other traditions, such as church weddings. “I recall my mother being livid that my sister wanted to have a destination wedding in Hilton Head Island, (S.C.),” recalls Gonzalez.

It’s a different time, and we are living by our own rules while maintaining and embracing our Latina-ness.” — SUJEIRY GONZALEZ, FOUNDER OF LOVESUJEIRY.COM

The husband-to-be was African-American and Baptist, but those were not the hot-button issues. The conflict surrounded their choice to have an outdoor ceremony performed by a preacher. “(My mother) threatened to boycott the wedding,” Gonzalez says. “This hit my sister hard, and she almost gave in to my mother.” In the end, Gonzalez offered her expert advice and didn’t allow their mother to influence the wedding plans. It was a different issue for blogger Andrea Ramalheira, who is half Venezuelan


and half Portuguese, and writes about her life at Ramalheira says her parents were always very opinionated about who she dated and were thrilled when she fell in love with a Venezuelan man. But while Ramalheira honored that part of her family’s wishes, she has chosen to let go of some other traditions. “My boyfriend and I want to do our little adventures,” she says, and that sometimes takes them away from family gatherings. “When my boyfriend or I can’t attend a celebration or holiday, we get guilt-tripped about how the celebration is important.” Ah, the good, oldfashioned guilt trip — most Latinas know it well. It can be the sad, soulful look that your tia gives when you share that you’re dating an Episcopalian from Iowa. Or the way your mami continues to ask why you’ll miss your cousin’s baby shower after you’ve repeatedly told her about your business trip. Whatever the form it takes, or the issue it surrounds, guilt is a typical tool used by older generations to try to influence their kids. Guilting women to stay close to home because of family obligations isn’t fair and can actually be harmful, says Lorraine C. Ladish, author and founder of Viva Fifty, a multicultural online community. “If (women) stay closer to their families because they truly want to, and it is enriching for them and their children, then that’s great,” says the mother of two



When my boyfriend or I can’t attend a celebration or holiday, we get guilt-tripped.” — ANDREA RAMALHEIRA, BLOGGER, MYDAYDREAMING WORLD.COM

daughters, ages 15 and 12, and a stepson, 13. “Otherwise, they really should ditch tradition and make their own.” Sometimes meddling takes a darker turn when the older generation tries to enforce oldschool family values in ways that go beyond merely nagging or guilt-tripping. Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascon are the founders of Latinitas, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering Latina youth via their online magazine, and its social media counterpart, “I’ve definitely witnessed pressure from Latino family members trying to get their Latina daughters to focus on marriage and children,” Rascon notes. “Parents will support their sons going away to college, but restrict their daughters.” It’s an

age-old double standard that has defined some Latino cultures for centuries. So what’s una chica to do when faced with family pressure? For starters, identify what is important to you. Some expectations won’t fall in line with your life plan, but you’ll want to take note of the traditions that make your family and your culture strong. Although she considers herself very independent, Ramalheira concedes that her family’s opinion means a lot to her. “I realize (my parents) have lived longer and they are definitely wiser than I am,” she says. “One thing my parents have always taught me ... is to always be by your partner’s side, through thick and thin. I truly admire the commitment and love they have.” Indeed, many Latinas want to take what’s best about their cultural traditions that help their communities and marriages thrive, while having freedom to maintain their individualism. “It’s a different time, and we are living by our own rules while maintaining and embracing our Latina-ness,” says Gonzalez, who concedes that some Hispanic family traditions serve to cultivate generational connections. So what kind of pressure will Ladish put on her kids to live by old-school traditions? “Zero,” she says. “Who am I to tell them where to live, what to do and who to marry? I gave birth to them, but their life is theirs alone.” Spoken like a modern Latina.




Taking MAS to the Masses Activists and educators bring Mexican-American studies programs directly to the people


Students n a coffee shop in San Antonio, 36 preteens meet at and teens crowded around tables on their a cafe summer Sunday afternoons to learn about for a history and heritage. Over the course of six Mexicanweeks, they heard about the Repatriation American Act, the zoot suit fashion phenomenon and studies the labor movement, all subjects that likely were lesson. not included in their schools’ curricula. Through discussions and activities, the students had the opportunity — perhaps for the first time — to understand their cultural connections to American history and think critically about their identities and roles in society. The program is the brainchild of Moni Avila, an educator with more than 17 years experience working with at-risk youth. Even as the number of minority students continues to increase (51 percent entering pre-K to eighth grade and almost half in grades nine to 12 in U.S. public schools this fall, with Latinos comprising the largest portion), the accomplishments of people of color are






MAS for the Masses participants show off their certificates.


disproportionately absent from many classrooms. In 2015, Avila challenged that by launching MAS for the Masses, an endeavor designed to bring Mexican-American studies to the community and make it accessible and interesting to those who might not be exposed to it elsewhere. “I didn’t know a lot of (Mexican-American) history, and if I didn’t know the history, that meant my kids didn’t know the history,” says Avila. What started as a way to supplement her children’s schooling at home quickly blossomed into the sixweek summer program held at the cafe. This year, the program has spread citywide, involving city council members, the local community college system and several educator-facilitators teaching youth and senior citizens in various locations. Avila is part of a growing movement of educators, parents and students across the country, especially in areas with large Mexican-American or Latino populations, working to ensure that the contributions of


BOOK SMART Students who take ethnic studies courses are more likely to graduate from high school and pass standardized tests. — A 2014 study by the University of Arizona

Hispanics in this country aren’t forgotten or overlooked. “One of the important aspects of MAS is to highlight and celebrate our successes since our narrative is rarely told,” says Leo Treviño, programming director for MAS for the Masses and founder of Somos MAS Leal Middle School, the first afterschool program of its kind in Texas at the middle school level. Treviño encourages his students to engage their older relatives in storytelling and cultural activities, and then record the experiences. “The whole idea behind

MAS is to uncover those stories, bring them up to the surface and make them part of the narrative so that people understand our experience as raza is just as important (historically) as George Washington ... and the Battle of the Alamo.” What Treviño and Avila cite as deficiencies in classroom history lessons is creating debate and battles in many school districts. Some states have banned Mexican-American studies altogether, while others have approved a limited curriculum with some success. Even as parents and educators lobby legislators and school boards for quality curricula, it may be years before full integration is achieved. In 2010, Arizona approved a Mexican-American studies ban, spurred by critics who argued that it’s divisive, breeds resentment and promotes ethnic solidarity. However, it also motivated activists determined to educate interested students. Tony Diaz was working with Latino writers through his Houston-based literary organization Nuestra Palabra when he heard that some books by Latino authors would be confiscated from Arizona classrooms. He and his colleagues formed Librotraficante, which translates to “book trafficker.” The group gathered books and delivered them to underground libraries via caravan in six Southwestern cities. The effort was successful, but the larger fight is far from over. Last July, a federal appeals court upheld Arizona’s law, but decided there was enough evidence for a new trial to determine whether the ban is discriminatory against Hispanics. Diaz warns that a legal resolution may still be far off. He adds that education advocates must think of longterm and independent solutions to keep the study in practice.



The impact of celebrating our differences

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The Más Art ASAP program gives future teachers hands-on experience.

Meanwhile in California, the El Rancho Unified School District, where 98 percent of students are Latino, broke ground. “We are the first district to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement,” says Jose Lara, teacher and vice president of the district’s board of education. “At El Rancho High School, we offer Chicano mural art, which fulfills an art and ethnic studies requirement; and ethnicity and gender in literature and film, which is an English class; multicultural literature is another course. It’s empowering for the students, and parents say these courses help (students) see themselves in a new way.” In addition to helping improve students’ self-perception, Lara

GET INVOLVED Find out more about MAS for the Masses at masfor themasses. com.



says the courses balance the materials offered to them in general study. Every year, he asks his social studies students to take account of all references of Mexican-Americans and Native Americans in their textbook The Americans. Of nearly 1,000 pages, students found references on about 20 pages. “Only Cesar Chavez got a full page, and his picture is on the cover of the textbook,” says Lara. “Students at the high school age rarely see themselves in the curriculum and feel empowered, and they have to feel empowered to feel like they belong in college,” he adds. The El Rancho program works with three state universities to offer students dual college credit for taking the ethnic studies courses. Including the history and successes of minorities is more than just a matter of a comprehensive education. A 2014 study by the University of Arizona found that students who take ethnic studies courses are more likely to graduate from high school and pass standardized tests. Some Mexican-American

studies programs are also creating change for future teachers. Genevieve Canales, professor emerita of Hispanic studies at the University of Northern Colorado, founded Más Art ASAP, an afterschool art program at Dos Rios Elementary School taught by student teachers enrolled in her Education of Mexican-American Students class. While the program introduces MAS to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, it also gives aspiring teachers hands-on classroom experience working with minority students. “You can’t be a good teacher without having a good knowledge of the many contexts in which Mexican-Americans will go to school,” says Canales, whose class explores the historical and sociopolitical realities of Mexican-Americans in U.S. schools. Research suggests that studying other cultures fosters greater ethnic understanding, benefitting students of all backgrounds. “Mexican-American studies is not just for Mexican-Americans; it’s for everyone,” says Juan Tejeda, Mexican-American studies professor at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Tejeda has taught people of various races, ages and backgrounds. “It has broadened their perspective. While learning about Chicano history, they reflect on their own history and cultural identity in relation to our society.” In this global society, that broadened perspective is vital to dismantling fear and prejudice and embracing the contributions of many ethnic groups, he says. “The only way to reach some type of understanding is if we learn about and appreciate our similarities as human beings, celebrate the differences and still be able to see the humanity in all of us. Hopefully it will help build bridges, not walls.”





Staying the Course More Hispanics are entering college, but graduation rates remain low



hile the number of Latinos enrolled at U.S. colleges has increased for years, they continue to lag other groups when it comes to graduation rates. Simply getting Latinos into college hasn’t been enough to ensure their success, says




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Deborah Santiago, co-founder and chief operating officer of Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit policy and research organization that focuses on the education of Latinos. “We’ve done a good job of recruiting,” she says. “But then we think, vaya con Dios. We get them in, but now it’s up to them to get through.” Of first-time, full-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution, Latinos entering college in 2008 graduated at a rate of 30.4 percent, according to the most recent numbers available from the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s up from 22.8 percent for Latinos who began their studies in 1996. However, it’s still behind the rate for whites (43.7 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (47.1 percent), as well as the overall completion rate of 39.8 percent. The disparity is well-known and can be attributed to a combination of factors that can include inadequate academic preparation, a lack of parental support or dire financial need. For those hoping to see the achieve-



The 2008 graduation rate of first-time, full-time Latino students seeking a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution — NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS

ment gap close, graduation rate remains the chief measure of the disparity between Latinos and other graduates. In collaboration with Excelencia, a version of the ACT’s annual report, “The Condition of College & Career Readiness,” which focuses on Hispanic students, found in this year’s edition that university-bound Latinos aren’t as well-prepared as their peers for the academic challenges they face in college. From 2011 to 2015, the number of Latinos who took the ACT as part of their college application

process and who had graduated from high school increased by about 50 percent, but overall, the group was woefully behind in meeting the ACT’s four readiness benchmarks. Only 15 percent of Latinos met those standards in English, reading, mathematics and science combined, compared with 28 percent of all students. Universities are doing more than ever to narrow the gaps between Latinos and other students not just in the classroom, but throughout the educational system. They’re extending their efforts all the way back to elementary school — to ensure students arrive on college campuses ready to learn — and they’re also supporting Latinos well into their postgraduate studies. One goal is to build a more diverse faculty that is better equipped to handle the specific needs of Latino students and other underrepresented populations. “You make the place feel like home for students, and they tend to do well,” says Archie Ervin, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and vice






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president for institute diversity at Georgia Tech. That school has increased its number and percentage of Hispanic/Latino students steadily each year since 2002 through an active national recruitment effort and generous scholarship offerings, Ervin says. It provides outreach and academic support programs that have kept Latino graduation rates at 84 percent, compared with 88 percent for whites, according to Ervin. Georgia Tech also is one of many colleges across the country building better access to higher education and attempting to improve retention through what are known as pipeline programs; these are designed to support Latinos and members of other underserved populations throughout a school system. GoSTEM, Georgia Tech’s partnership with the Gwinnett County Public School District, provides resources for students as early as elementary and middle school to prepare them for scientific and technical fields of study. A similar program can be found at The University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, which offers summer research opportunities for high school students in Chicago Public Schools and also for undergraduates studying for careers in health-related sciences and medicine. Some colleges are attempting to broaden the impact of such programs by joining forces. These partnerships not only address



You make the place feel like home to students, and they tend to do well." — ARCHIE ERVIN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DIVERSITY OFFICERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

the common challenges of their members, but they’re also laying the foundation for a broader transformation in higher education — one that is fully inclusive and more successfully addresses the needs of all underserved populations. “It’s not enough to put more bodies in the places where you want them; check the box and call it done. There’s a new sense of collective will to address these challenges,” says Susan Baldridge, provost at Middlebury College in Vermont and a principal investigator for the Creating Connections Consortium. C3 is a partnership of 28 universities that share strategies, resources and personnel to develop students and faculty along various stages of the educational

pipeline. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, C3 allows postdoctoral students at the four research universities in the partnership to train at the 24 liberal arts colleges, where they can gain an inside track to be hired as faculty. Undergraduates at the liberal arts colleges can attend the research universities for summer learning opportunities. “We’re trying to intervene at various points along the pathway to a faculty position to increase diversity in the professoriate,” Baldridge says. “Students are quite vocal about seeing faculty who look like they do and having faculty that can address topics that relate to their experience. Students have been effective in adding to that conversation.” C3 has succeeded in improving outcomes for its participants primarily through the mentoring it provides and by grouping its fellows in clusters of three, Baldridge says. That intimate social, cultural and educational support, as well as the assistance in navigating the academic world is not generally available to the average student or even to diverse faculty members, and it holds great promise for authentic institutional transformation. “If we don’t transform our institutions in ways that create meaningful and lasting change,” says Baldridge, “then all we’re doing is making a difference for the small number of students who go through a particular program.”



W W W. T S U L A W . E D U

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1. Our Vision

We are committed to Thurgood Marshall’s legacy of excellence and equality for our diverse students.

2. Our Mission

Our Mission is to prepare our students for leadership roles in the legal profession, business, and government.

3. Our Values

Our values are cooperation, excellence, fairness, integrity, and learning.

4. Our Incentives

Tuition – Thurgood’s tuition is relatively modest. (Annual tuition is less than $20,000 for in-state students and less than $25,000 for nonresident students.) Scholarships – We award scholarships annually up to 1 million dollars. We provide a full scholarship for each 2L student in the top 10%. Career Services – Full interactive career services support.

5. Our Diversity

In November 2014, The National Jurist Magazine judged our law school as the best law school in the nation for Diversity. Over the last decade, we have also ranked

at or near the top of U.S. News and World Report’s Diversity Index. We look like and act on values that 6

6. Our Academics

We have an Academic Support Department and Program integrated into our general curriculum offerings. The Program begins prior to your enrollment, continues at every stage of your matriculation, and aid of passing a bar exam. Our faculty recently adopted best practices. We focus on measurable enhancement of your knowledge and skills, including the ability to effectively draft documents and advocate to prevent and solve legal problems. Applicants with an LSAT score in the range of 145-150, who have done well in achieving a bachelor’s degree, have a real opportunity to excel; including a highly competitive opportunity to graduate and soon thereafter pass a state bar exam.

7. Our Alums

We proudly include among our alums – Leading members of the U.S. House of Representatives and both the House and Senate of the Texas Legislature;

Distinguished federal and state trial and appellate judges; Key partners in large, medium, and small lawyers, both federal and state; Recognized sports and entertainment lawyers and agents; and Top attorneys in criminal and civil practice areas.

8. Our Faculty

We have a faculty-student ratio that provides real opportunities for meaningful and individualized learning conversations. Many faculty are highly engaged and productive scholars. The faculty is dedicated to the pursuit of ensuring that each student has the opportunity to make meaningful progress in acquiring and employing the knowledge, skills, and values that provide the foundation for success in the legal profession.

We also provide opportunities for students to participate in—Institutes, such as The Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, and Clinics, which provide opportunities for experiencing an array of legal practices and focus on developing skills; Externship in Immigration and International Law, Sports and Entertainment Law, and Government Law.

10. Our Credo

Protect, improve, and pass on our legacy of changing the face of the legal profession in Texas and the nation. 6 evaluators that we are honoring this credo and our vision. For example, we recently were accepted as a member of The Association of American Law Schools.

9. Our Collaborations

We collaborate with members of the legal profession and other professions to provide high quality training for TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY our award-winning Mock Trial and Moot Court Inter-Law THURGOOD MARSHALL SCHOOL OF LAW School competitive teams. We provide dual degree Office of Admissions and Financial Aid programs with the School of Business and the School of Edward René, Assistant Dean | Kenyon Moore, Assistant Director Public Affairs. 3100 Cleburne Street • Houston, TX 77004 Ph: 713-313-7114 or 713-313-1149 • Fax: 713-313-1049


Albuquerque 505-462-2224 • email:



A New Chapter Authors undeterred by absence of Latino children’s books on shelves



Graciela TiscareñoSato’s bilingual children‘s books, including Captain Mama’s Surprise/La Sorpresa de Capitán Mamá, are based on her experiences as a mom in the Air Force.

of Education in 2015, only 58 were written by Hispanic authors and 82 were about Latino characters. Most large-trade publishers in the U.S. send copies of their new books to the CCBC, an organization that tracks the race of authors and characters in children’s books. “It’s important to have diversity in children’s books because each child needs and deserves to see themselves in art,” says Lamar Giles, a founding member of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, a grassroots literary organization founded in 2014. The hashtagfueled movement launched after minority authors noticed a lack of racial inclusion at BookCon, a convention that drew more than 18,000 readers, publishers and writers last year. Some Latino educators and authors are not waiting for change. They are finding ways to provide the literature they want to their underserved community.



ictoria Cepeda knows what she wants in children’s books. She looks for titles that reflect her 4-year-old son’s cultural roots as well as his potential aspirations. She seeks stories that promote education and achievement, with characters who mirror his Latino heritage. Pretty simple stipulations. Amazingly difficult to find. Although nearly one-fourth of students enrolled in U.S. public schools are Latino and more than 70 percent of Hispanic preschoolers are read to by relatives multiple times a week, only a small percentage of children’s and young adult books are written by or for Latinos. Of the 3,400 books received by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School





DRUM DREAM GIRL By Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. $16.99, HHM Books for Young Readers



LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET By Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. $16.99, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers TOMÁS AND THE LIBRARY LADY By Pat Mora and illustrated by Raúl Colón. $7.99, Dragonfly Books


It’s important to have diversity in children’s books because each child needs and deserves to see themselves in art.”



Author Graciela Tiscareño-Sato While an got tired of “jumping through search for “Latino children’s hoops” for publishers who books” results in nearly 4,600 argued that Latino-centric books titles, moms like Cepeda find it didn’t sell well, or who didn’t difficult to locate such literature see the importance of including in bookstores and libraries. characters of all shades and Some authors and experts say cultures. library budget cuts caused book To get her books distributed, distributors to rely more on she started her own publishretail stores, whose owners have ing company, doubts about how Gracefully Global minority literature Group, and wrote a sells. As a result, bilingual children’s many Latino book based on her authors turn to own experiences in self-publishing, the Air Force. Good which may lead to Night Captain Mama/ future book deals. Buenas Noches Meanwhile, Capitán Mamá tells parents without the story of Marco, online savvy may whose mother is a not realize these flight navigator. The books exist. second volume in Another chalthe series, Captain lenge is the sheer Mama’s Surprise/La diversity of the Sorpresa de Capitán Latino community. Mamá was released “You can’t just — LAMAR GILES, July 4. write a book about FOUNDING MEMBER OF “I didn’t want to Mexico and a #WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS wait for someone Mexican family and else to value the expect all Latinos stories,” says Tiscareño-Sato, who to relate,” Olivera says. “We need lives in the San Francisco Bay books about Puerto Ricans and area. “I was just going to do it, Cubans and Venezuelans.” and not wait for permission.” Cepeda, an immigrant from Latino children’s authors the Dominican Republic now are following her lead, says living in North Bergen, N.J., is Monica Olivera, co-founder of especially concerned about findLatinas for Latino Lit (L4LL), a ing books that resonate with her group promoting education and son’s heritage and his experience literacy, primarily through online growing up in the U.S. reading programs. She wants books that portray In 2015, about 2,000 families Latinos as achievers — scientists, and 5,300 students participated astronauts, lawyers and college in L4LL’s summer reading prostudents — not just those that gram, which allows participants focus solely on Latino traditions. to download suggested reading “I’m looking for books that lists and printables for at-home empower our children to see literacy activities. themselves embracing their “A lot of publishers used to latinidad, but at the same time say they don’t publish Latino as part of the bigger society, books because Latinos don’t not foreign,” she says. “We need read. We know that’s not true,” to prepare our children to see says Olivera, who lives in Rocky themselves as equal and fully Mount, N.C. capable.”

ROBERTO CLEMENTE: PRIDE OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES By Jonah Winter and illustrated by Raúl Colón. $7.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME By Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez. $15.99, Candlewick Press

THE DREAMER By Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Peter Sis. $12.59, Scholastic Paperbacks




Taking a Closer Look

New tool provides more information about breast cancer risk for Hispanic women



ancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic women, with breast cancer responsible for 16 percent of all cancer deaths in that group. Yet until recently, Hispanic women were not specifically targeted when evaluating risk factors for breast cancer. Thanks to a new effort, however, that’s about to change. For years doctors and researchers have generally used a National Cancer Institute tool called the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT) to estimate a woman’s risk of developing the disease (visit bcrisktool). The data, based primarily on information gleaned from white, black and Asian women, does not accurately reflect risk for Hispanic women. Even the



federal website describing the tool concedes that it’s weaker at assessing risks for Hispanics. Because the information was not tailored to Latinas, “the estimates it provided weren’t always accurate,” says Matthew Banegas, a cancer disparities researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. Banegas recently led a team of researchers who developed a new tool in calculating breast cancer risks for Hispanic women. Their findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in November. Using information from the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study, which included data from more than 1,000 Hispanic women with breast cancer and 1,411 without, researchers developed a breast cancer risk-prediction model with information specific to that demographic. While many of the risk factors are common for all women, this tool uses information gleaned from Hispanic women, rather than other ethnic groups, to evalute risks, making it more accurate for them. Banegas’ team separated the data into two categories: Hispanic women born in the U.S. and Hispanic women born outside the U.S.; research has shown that U.S.-born Hispanic women have twice the risk of breast cancer than women born elsewhere. The new model appears to be reliable for American-born women, the researchers say, but may overestimate the risk in


U.S.-born Hispanic women have twice the risk of breast cancer than women born elsewhere.


those born in other countries. The new tool has helped identify specific factors that may affect breast-cancer risks in Latinas, including:

Age at first full-term pregnancy Although a woman’s risk decreases if she has children before the age of 30, Hispanic women born in the U.S. tend to have children at an older age than their peers born outside this country.

4 WAYS TO PREVENT BREAST CANCER Almost half of all cancer deaths, and a large number of cancer cases, could be prevented if Americans adopted healthier habits, including staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding heavy drinking, according to a recent study in JAMA Oncology. Try these four research-driven strategies to help you lower your risk:

Age at first menstrual period

Having had a biopsy for benign breast disease Women with a history of benign breast disease may be at an increased risk — only slightly higher for Hispanic women born in other countries than those born in the U.S.

Breast cancer diagnosis in first-degree relatives (mother or sister) Hispanic women born in the U.S. are more likely to have this kind of family history than those born elsewhere. Researchers are aiming to publish their findings in the next year or so. Banegas hopes this information will be added to the BCRAT so Hispanic women can better understand their risk of developing the disease. Women are encouraged to discuss these risk factors with their physician.



Fast overnight. Women who fasted for 12 hours after their last meal of the day, reduced their risk for breast cancer, say researchers from the University of CaliforniaSan Diego School of Medicine in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Fasting helped lower blood glucose (sugar). Numerous studies have linked chronic high blood sugar to breast cancer development.

Get active. High levels of physical activity (walking, running, swimming and other moderate- to vigorousintensity activity) were associated with lower risks of 13 cancers, including breast cancer, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Study participants had a median level of 150 minutes of moderateintensity physical activity a week.

Cut down or eliminate processed meat. On the heels of the World Health Organization’s 2015 findings, which declared processed meat a carcinogen, a study published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control in February confirmed that eating processed meats (bacon, hot dogs and sausage) could raise breast cancer risk in Latinas.

Eat more plants and less fat. UCLA scientists studied nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 and found that women who followed a low-fat diet (for roughly eight years) had a lower risk of death from breast cancer than those whose dietary fat was greater than 32 percent. Eating vegetables and grains lowers estrogen and insulin levels, factors that influence breast cancer growth.


The younger you are when you start your period, the longer your lifetime exposure to estrogen, which increases breast cancer risk. Hispanic women born in the U.S. tend to begin menstruation earlier than those not born in this country. (The average age for all girls is around 13 years.)

Share Curiosity. Read Together. w w w. r e a d . g o v





1 Create time and space. Choose a regular time each day to meditate. Ideally, find a quiet place free of distractions and interruptions. 2 Set a timer. Start with five minutes and ease your way up to 15 to 40 minutes. 3 Find a comfortable sitting position. Sit crosslegged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. 4 Check your posture. Sit up straight, hands in a comfortable position. Keep your neck long, chin tilted slightly downward, tongue against the roof of the mouth. Relax your shoulders. Close your eyes or gaze downward 5 to 10 feet in front of you.

Stress Less

When life threatens your well-being, try meditation for a mood boost



ife can become a juggling act for mujeres modernas tending to their children, spouses, work life, social commitments and more while moving quality time for themselves way down on the priority list. Putting ourselves on the back burner while we live at a hectic pace has real consequences. An increase of cortisol — the primary stress hormone that raises blood sugar and affects our immune system — can lead to insomnia, anxiety and depression. Even worse, continuous stress can make us more susceptible to heart disease. One easy way to reset and grow calmer is through meditation, even if you only have five minutes to do it. Five minutes? You can spare that. Here are eight steps to get started from the Garrison Institute, a nonprofit organization that develops contemplative-based methodologies for social change.

5 Focus on breathing. Deep breathing helps settle the body and establish your presence in the space. Focus on a part of the body where the breath feels prominent. 6 Be mindful. Let go of thoughts, feelings or distractions and allow the mind to wander. Simply acknowledge this and return to your breathing. 7 Be kind to yourself. Don’t be upset if your focus occasionally drifts or if you fall asleep. If you're tired, meditate with open eyes. 8 Prepare for a soft landing. When the timer goes off, keep your eyes closed until you’re ready to open them. Be thankful. Acknowledge your practice with gratitude.



Animated & Authentic

Disney’s first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor, represents Latin and Hispanic culture BY MAEVE MCDERMOTT



“It was very represented, is important to us really special and I that since we were hope it will be for doing a show with everybody watcha kingdom inspired ing,” the Dominicanby Latin American American actress culture, that we told Good Morning get that right,” says America. Craig Gerber, the Consultant Diane show’s creator and Rodriguez says executive producer. Elena could be a role Aimee Carrero, model for Latina Aimee Carrero who voices Elena, is girls. “They need voices the lead pleased The Disney their face reflected character in Channel show back to them,” she Elena of Avalor. reflects Latino says. “Little girls of traditions. every nationality, “Just to see my own images every color, will be able to see represented, my own culture themselves in her.”

La voz!



isney’s animated series, Elena of Avalor, features the iconic brand’s first Latina princess. According to Disney, the show represents Latin culture in its landscapes, traditions and characters. Elena Castillo Flores wears an apricot mallow, a flower native to Mexico, in her hair. Her kingdom is a colorful quilt of Latin cultures and folklore. Her spirit guide is based on the Mayan belief that everyone has a spirit double in the animal world. And she’s supported by her family and friends.

Hispanic Living