Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hispanics are aggressive drivers according to new State Farm research

Talk about this for a stat: 67% of Hispanic drivers have experienced an act of aggressive driving 6x or more in the past 3 months. The holiday season means many things to many different people, but you would think we would steer away from the "Grinch" mood. I must say my dad used to be one of those aggressive drivers; and it may have been passed to me. According to the online survey conducted by State Farm and KRC Research of 565 drivers over 18 years old, there's definitely room for improvement.

More results:

  • Younger Hispanic drivers (ages 18-49) and Hispanic parents were significantly more likely to report being provoked to feel or engage in aggressive driving during a major winter holiday compared to their respective counterparts. 
  • Over half (52 percent) of Hispanic drivers say men and women are equally as likely to be courteous while driving. The majority of Hispanic drivers (54 percent) cite men as the most likely culprits of aggressive driving, compared to only 1 in 10 that say women are more likely. Surprisingly, Hispanic males are significantly more likely than females to point the finger at men as being the most likely to engage in aggressive driving. 
  • Top situations most likely to make Hispanic drivers drive aggressively were traffic jams (68 percent), running late (59 percent) and road closures or construction (47 percent)

Interesting results indeed. Let's stay safe out there people. Whatever you're driving too can most certainly wait. Para más información y consejos de cómo mantenerlo a usted y a su familia seguros en la carretera en esta temporada de fiestas, visite

Friday, December 6, 2013

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil final draw announced

COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06: FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke holds up the name of Argentina during the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Every four years the entire world goes crazy and roots for their favorite country in the FIFA World Cup. And because we always want to know where our favorite team is playing, today all 32 final teams were sorted out in their eight groups. Will you be watching? Who are you rooting for?

Let's take a look at the groups.

Group A:
  • Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon.
Group B
  • Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C
  • Colombia, Greece, Cote d'Ivoire, Japan
 Group D
  • Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E
  • Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F
  • Argentina, Bosina-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G
  • Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H
  • Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thalia earns her estrella in Hollywood

In Hollywood news, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that performer Thalia was honored today with the 2,514th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Thalia is hailed by her fans as the queen of Latin Pop.  She is a singer and actress, as well as an author, radio personality and entrepreneur” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

So how many Latinos have the estrella? According to a 2012 article in, "Over 50 Latinos have made their eternal mark on the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can thank our natural talent, charisma, and work ethic for that one! Thalia and Javier Bardem are the latest to earn the honorable estrella." Fun fact:Thalia is the first Mexican-born singer to get a star on Hollywood Blvd!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daytime Emmy Awards announce new categories recognizing Spanish-language media

How about that, after many years of Hispanic television, the Daytime Emmy's have finally decided to add Spanish-language categories. Now Univision, Telemundo, MundoFox and others have the opportunity to celebrate the hard work in television broadcasting.

“The growth of Spanish-language media over the last 50 years has been very closely followed by our organization,” NATAS chairman Malachy Wienges said. “American television is changing at a rapid pace, driven by the growth of multicultural audiences who often speak more than one language. The Spanish-language media continues to grow exponentially each year, and NATAS believes it is long-overdue that we recognize its excellence in our industry.”

We are all very aware that unlike mainstream media, Spanish-language news and primetime programming have been growing at a rapid rate. It also outshines in ratings. According to the press release, the Univision Network won the July sweeps, beating ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX as measured by Nielsen, becoming the #1 network for Adults 18-49, the most coveted demographic for US advertisers. And all this regardless of language!

The nine new categories are as followed:

  • Daytime Emmy® Awards Outstanding Morning Program in Spanish (For a Series) 
  • Outstanding Entertainment Program in Spanish (For a Series) 
  • Outstanding Daytime Talent in a Spanish-Language Program (For a Series)
  • Sports Emmy® Awards Outstanding Live Sports Coverage in Spanish 
  • Outstanding Studio Show in Spanish 
  • Outstanding On-Air Sports Talent in Spanish
  • News & Documentary Emmy® Awards Outstanding Newscast or News Magazine In Spanish 
  • Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in Spanish
  • Outstanding Investigative Journalism in Spanish
The question now is will these awards be televised? You know what usually happens. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Congratulations Gabriela Isler, newly crowned Miss Universe

That's right the newly crowned Miss Universe is (and was) Miss Venezuela! Representing Latinas across the entire world, Gabriela Isler is bound to bring focus on the every growing political landscape from her country. But who cares about that right? According to some fun facts in Latina Magazine, Isler is the third Venezuelan to win the pageant in six years! The country is quickly becoming renowned for its beautiful women!

The top 5 finalists included 4th Runner Up, Brazil; 3rd Runner Up, Philippines; 2nd Runner Up, Ecuador and rounding up 2nd is Spain. Notice a trend there? To be honest, I was more impressed by the Miss Universe National Costume runway show.

Watch below.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Spanish In Colombia

Well this is something interesting I just came across on Facebook. From what I've found, Spanish in Colombia is a new educational tourism push to study español in Colombia. Sponsored and paid for by the Colombian government, the web site gives information about the programs and courses in Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) offered by Colombian universities as well as relevant content for ELE teacher training. I've always said the best way to learn a language is to dig deep and get dirty. Speaking Spanish or another language with your friends helps but living and studying in another country would benefit you in more ways than you can think of.

Although I have no proof, many of my friends have agreed that Colombians speak the best Spanish in the world. And from what it looks like in their social sphere, they are targeting North Americans as well as other international countries. I applaud the motherland for including education and travel into this great campaign.

For more information visit 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Amtrak launches

In today's "businesses are still looking into Hispanic marketing" news, Amtrak launched a bilingual microsite targeting Hispanic consumers: Although (main website), will be the official travel-planning resource for all travelers, the microsite is a culturally focused travel site that hosts unique and original multicultural voices of a rotating set of featured bloggers. 

The blog (currently at 3 posts) so far doesn't necessarily focus on selling any tickets. The latest post, "Batter up! The legacy of Dominicans “Domi-nating” the world of baseball," discusses Dominican influence in baseball and vice versa. According to the press release and Lilliana Lopez, Amtrak editor of, "Diversity begins with respect. Respect for the community, for culture and, of course for you." I love it! The blog pushes a message that we (Latinos) speak both English and Spanish and do indeed travel. Looking forward to reading the wide range of topics. 

Amtrak also launched two additional microsites: for African American consumers and for the LGBT community. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The ongoing Hispanic versus Latino story

The truth is, we do care. According to a new Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults, half (50%) say they have no preference for identifying with either Hispanic or Latino. But among those who do have a preference, “Hispanic” is preferred over “Latino” by a ratio of about 2-1. Texas however has something else to say about the topic. According to the survey, among Hispanic Texans 46% prefer the term Hispanic, while just 8% say they prefer the term “Latino”—roughly a 6-to-1 ratio.

You actually have to dig deeper because some people will say neither, they will say American. But others will report back to their country of origin like Colombian or Puerto Rican. The identifying term is very important because this is how businesses and organizations cater towards our community. If you see an ad referring to the term Latino, but you prefer Hispanic, you may not want their product or service.

I'm actually very surprised the term Hispanic is still high in percentage since in reality, it was a term defined by the U.S. government and only ties us with Spanish roots. Latino encompasses all three cultures: Spanish, African, Indigenous. I honestly named this blog after Geraldo River's book, however, I prefer the term Latino. It's also evident that in mainstream media and professional organizations, the term Hispanic is used more often than Latino.

So what's your preference?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ramon Zayas and Christian Cazares join Telemundo Philadelphia

As you know Telemundo Philadelphia has been going through tremendous (and great) changes. They recently announced hiring 15 new positions; but now three have been taken. According to, "Telemundo Philadelphia has made two key hires ahead of the launch of local newscasts next year: Claribel Collazo joins the station as assistant news director and Ramon Zayas (pictured) has been named 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor." Zayas is no stranger to Telemundo; he comes from Miami, where he has been the anchor of “Un Nuevo Dia” since 2011. A familiar face will definitely help with the first months of ratings.

And just recently announced, reporter Christian Cazares is leaving KVVU-TV in Las Vegas, NV to join Telemundo Philadelphia. Although he won't be an anchor, he'll be one of many new reporters for the local owned-and-operated station.  The moves come months after the Telemundo Station Group completed the acquisition of its Philadelphia affiliate, WWSI-TV, from ZGS Communications.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Buzzfeed launches en español

We live in a world where companies and media outlets are attempting to reach Latino audiences. And Buzzfeed is up next! No details about why but it's sort of self-explanatory. According to a Facebook post by Adrian Carasquillo, Buzzfeed Breaking News Reporter, "BuzzFeed Español is here, which means two things. Reaction badges like this that are perfect BUT ALSO if you prize your work productivity you might not want to head there."

In addition to articles in Spanish and some being translated, gotta love the reaction stickers! If you're an avid Buzzfeed reader you know these come with the brand loyalty. And they look even more amazing en español. The stickers include: JAJAJA, Genial, Dios Mio, Lindo, Fallo and WTF. Love the JAJA and WTF. They just make sense.

Will you be reading en español? In English? Or both?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

VIDEO: Paranormal Activity cinco

Looks like the Paranormal Activity franchise has taken a leap of faith. Just when you expect for it to be over, they come back. The newest film titled Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones debuts January 2014 and is a spin off centered around a Latino family in California. Hispanic Marketing much? The movie attempts to bring it back to the original films as well. Somehow the spirits also reach other families. Another feature the franchise hosts is a social media campaign which includes posting a photo of paranormal activity in your town, include #TheMarkedOnes and tag the name of your city. The top city? Of course it's Los Angeles, CA. Not just because it's a high Latino population, but it's Hollywood for goodness sake.

Are you looking forward to the film or tired of the franchise? I'm excited about it only because (I hope) it dives into the santeria world.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Evolution of Leadership Within the [Philly] Puerto Rican community

If you're into Puerto Rican history, then don't miss out on Taller Puertorriqueño's upcoming Meet the Author Series: The Evolution of Leadership Within the Puerto Rican Community. Ariel Arnau will be discusing his article, The Evolution of Leadership Within the Puerto Rican Community of Philadelphia, 1950s-1970s. This presentation discusses the generational change in community leadership and the conflicts over control in Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community. 

During my nine years in Philadelphia I met great leaders in the community. Most of Philly's Latino community is Puerto Rican which coincides with their leadership. I definitely learned a lot and just like any industry or community, it's changing and every growing. For example, making history in November 2007 with nearly 80% of the vote, with tremendous grassroots and community support, Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, became the first Puerto Rican/Latino elected to a district City Council seat and the first Latina to serve on the Philadelphia City Council. And it doesn't stop there. Philadelphia is booming with young Latino leaders.

Mr. Arnau is a graduate student at the CUNY Graduate Center working on a PhD in history. He currently teaches Latin American Studies at Temple University. Click here to read the article in advance.

Monday, October 14, 2013

After 16 years, Colombia returns to the World Cup

Yep. The last time the Colombian National Soccer Team qualified to the World Cup was the 1998 championship in France. An article in Latino Fox News states it best, "Colombia's national soccer team pulled off an improbable comeback in World Cup qualifying, turning a 0-3 deficit against Chile into a 3-3 draw to book a spot in Brazil in 2014."

In just 240 days, the World Cup travels to Brazil in 12 cities. Brazil and Spain seem to be the favorite. The last time the famous team won the World Cup was in 2002 in Korea/Japan. According to my dad, Brazil needs to do what France did in 1998...cheat. No one can obviously prove this but money and the sport seem to go hand in hand. The World Cup will travel to Russia in 2018 and then Quatar in 2022. Yes. Quatar. The United States was a runner up for both years.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Telemundo Philadelphia growing with 15 new positions

As we all know the local Telemundo affiliate in Philadelphia (WWSI) was purchased by the Telemundo Network making it an owned and operated station. This means more money will be put not the station and the creation of a local news program.

Just announced less than a month ago, the station is planning on hiring 15 people in preparation for the launch of local newscasts next year. The station is hiring 15 people in a variety of roles, including reporter, producer, anchor and photographer. WWSI will launch high definition Spanish language newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. beginning in January. 

“We’re looking for talented Spanish-speaking journalists who are passionate about delivering the Hispanic community the local news and information that is important and relevant in their lives,” said Eric Lerner, President and General Manager of Telemundo Philadelphia and NBC10 Philadelphia. “This is a unique opportunity to play a role in the launch of a first-time newscast working for a company that is dedicated to serving our communities with quality journalism.”
Previously working at Telemundo Philadelphia I will say it was an amazing experience. TV is not easy. It's fast-paced and you have to be ready when things are changing over and over. It was fun. Also very demanding, I'm sure being part of the network will have,ore demands. Philadelphia's growing Latino population will surely benefit from Telemundo's growing station.
The new employees will be part of NBCUniversal, a leading global media and entertainment company, and will enjoy a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.  More information about the positions and the application process is available at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Latin Quarter arrives at Revel Casino Hotel

Today Revel Casino Hotel launched opening of their newest stage production The Latin Quarter Show. The Latin-themed variety show includes Flamenco dancers, dramatic Gauchos, a heart-stopping crossbow act, award winning ballroom dancers, mind blowing quick change artists, gorgeous production show dancers, and a hilarious host comedian, all framed with stunning multimedia.

I must say my favorites including the crossbow act, something I've never seen, and the comedian. Although the crowd was not getting his jokes and they were a bit vulgar, it was hilarious to me. In between the show there are a variety of dancing acts as well. Everything from flamenco to the inevitable Elvis Crespo's Suavemente.

Performances will take place on Thursdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.Tickets are only $25 and are on sale now! They can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, and by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Miss America debuts "Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency"

In case you didn't know, I absolutely love Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri. Crowned in Atlantic City on September 15, 2014, Nina has taken a huge stance on with a platform of diversity and cultural competency. And just recently launched a social media program for her personal platform, "Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency." Nina has been working on these issues for several years and will now use her national platform to raise awareness. When Nina was crowned Miss America, the backlash began. And although she knew it would come since it happened when Nina was crowned Miss New York, she didn't let it faze her.

Nina is asking fans to forward representative thoughts and stories about their experiences on how we as a nation can advance cultural awareness.  People can send information using the hashtag #CirclesOfUnity on Twitter to @MissAmerica, Instagram to @missamericaorg and to

Nina is also the first Miss America of Indian descent. Ironically there were various articles floating around stating Nina would be too dark to win Miss India.  "She isn't the Miss America of ten years ago and she's not going to be the same ten years down the road," said Nina Davuluri. "I'm so thankful that children watching at home can relate to a new Miss America. They can look at me and see that they can break barriers, be who they are and be successful despite their race or socio-economic status. I want to use this opportunity to encourage positive dialogue among all Americans about the ways in which we are all unique and how that makes us stronger as a country."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Celebrating the Hispanic Choice Awards' 10th Anniversary

Ah yes Philadelphia's Hispanic Choice Awards (HCA) are right around the corner! The HCA honors Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware's Latino professionals, organizations and businesses across all sectors in a three-part event: a red carpet entrance, a televised awards ceremony featuring live performances from today's top Latin artists and a VIP After Party. This year's event will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at the Merriam Theater.

Similar to last year, there will be seven winners will be announced including Creative Artist of the Year, Education Champion of the Year and the Corporate Partner of the Year. Past winners have included Joanna Otero-Cruz, Concilio; Afredo Calderon, Aspira; Peco; Lili Daliessio and Diego Castellanos. Nominations are taken throughout the entire summer and finally cut down to the top three candidates. All winners are announced live during the HCAs. And no I've never been nominated haha.

For the first time in HCA history, this year the awards show will be taped in front of a live audience for broadcast on CBS3 on a later date. Tickets for the Hispanic Choice Awards range from $18 to $55. HCA Experience Passes include VIP access to the Red Carpet, the Award Show and the official After Party. More information is available on the official website at All tickets available via the Kimmel Center Box Office at 215-893-1999.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Video: The Latin Flavors of Northern Liberties and Callowhill

So back in April 2013 Philadelphia launched a new campaign —Philadelphia Neighborhoods—that spotlights 14 of the personality-packed areas surrounding Center City. And in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the latest highlighted neighborhood is "The Latin Flavors of Northern Liberties & Callowhill." In the video, my good ol' pal Tony Rocco discusses his photography project with neighborhood kids as well as his favorite restaurants and things to do.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Little Miss Hispanic Delaware not Latina enough

There comes a time when enough is enough. There have been a few incidents in 2013 alone (that have been reported) about someone not being American or even Latino enough. First we had a Mexican-American boy who sang the National Anthem at an NBA game and people were furious. Right. Then America erupted when Marc Anthony, Puerto Rican, sang God Bless America at the MLB All Star game. And finally just a short week ago Twitter went on a short rampage about Miss America, Nina Davuluri, not being American (and a terrorist). So is America a bit racist? I believe so.

But unfortunately there also comes a time when we (Latinos) discriminate against Latinos. Post Nuestras Raices Delaware Pageant, the crowd was not pleased with the winner: Jakiyah McCoy. Latino Rebels reached out to Maria Perez, president of the organization and she states, "Her parents were asked to bring in documentation. Of all of the documentation brought in there was nothing that confirmed Dominican heritage.” Really? Unfortunately the family wasn't able to provide documentation but since when do we have to force anyone to prove their heritage?

In the end, "McKoy wound up a runner-up for the pageant in spite of her failure to provide proper documentation." The sad part is how Jakiyah McCoy is feeling...she is only 7 years-old. What will she ask her parents? Am I Latina? Am I Black? These identity issues and more and what cause a child to be confused. Sure the pageant rules and regulations state you have to be 25% Latino, but shouldn't you provide this documentation with your application? Doesn't look good for both the pageant or Delaware.

Thoughts on Latino identity? Sounds off in the comment section.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PBS Invites you to share your Latino story

I probably should have mentioned I took the summer off from writing but we're back! I won't bore you with my summer travels but ever since I started my Fall 2013 semester at Saint Joseph's University Writing Studies Program, I've been meaning to write more. And what better way than to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month...or as others call it Latino Heritage Month.

I recently came across NYC's flagship PBS station "13" and what they're doing to promote Hispanic Heritage Month. While others tend to highlight the usual suspects,  the local PBS stations is asking for our stories.
  • More than four million Latino Americans call the New York and New Jersey region home. Alongside the landmark PBS series "Latino Americans" premiering September 17, 2013, we are collecting the stories of Latino Americans of New York and New Jersey for a 30-minute program, "Latino Americans of NY & NJ," to air on WNET stations Thirteen, WLIW21, and NJTV between September 17 and October 11, 2013. 
Some of the stories are heartwarming, inspirational, dedicated but above all, they are our stories.
  • Carmen Rodriguez, Puerto Rico, says, "In poor Latino families, the most common way to express generosity, neighborliness, love, gratitude and warmth is the sharing of food."
  •  Amy Ramirez Rodriguez, Dominican Republic, says, "My family migrated to NYC on Christmas Eve in 1965. Since then, my family has gone to great lengths to re-enforce the bonds between those of us here in NYC and those of us in Santo Domingo, en 'La Capital.'"
  •  Pedro Martinez, Cuba, says, "  I used to play a lot of religious ceremonies in Cuba that are still practiced in Cuba and here too (called “Santería” in Cuba and “Yoruba” in Africa)."
These are just a few of the hundred stories the station has collected. To share your story and possibly be featured, visit

Monday, May 13, 2013

My continued journey through life

A colleague of mine in Philadelphia, +Jessica Lawlor, recently published a blog post about her reflections from the real world. It had me thinking as well about how far we've come from college. I graduated from Temple University in January 2007 and have since accomplished many things; but there's still a lot to do. I have been blessed to have great family and friends that support me and vice versa.

So what has happened in the past six years:

And this is just the beginning. I've done a few speaking engagements to high school students and other groups and if there's one thing I always say, it's to just keep on doing their thing. Never take no for an answer because there's nothing you can't do. 

I did also however think about how many students are going straight into a Master's program as soon as they graduate from undergrad. The job market is super competitive but keep your heads's important. With more resources, networking and a support group, you are bound to find what you're looking for. It may take a while, but just keep trying. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What to do to piss off Latinos in America and everywhere else...

...You try to patent Dia de los Muertos. According to the Huffington Post article, "The entertainment giant filed trademark applications on May 1 for the phrase “Dia de los Muertos,” the subject of an upcoming animated film by Pixar studios, Mexican news site Animal Político reports." I didn't even know you could trademark something cultural. I'm assuming as large as Disney is they would have a team of experts behind them saying, "Cease and diciest!"

I don't need to go on and tell you why Dia de los Muertos is important, or maybe I should. But there was even a petition on and you know when things get on it gets series. While I am not Mexican I completely understand the cultural sensitivity behind the cause. Imagine how Mexicans (in Mexico) felt about this. Just another big top corporation attempting to take over one culture at a time. And why Dia de los Muertos you ask? That's because Mexico is pretty much taking over the U.S. one state at a time...seriously. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, "The size of the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the past four decades—from 5.4 million in 1970 to a record 33.7 million in 2012." So why not capitalize on this money and make a move about it. Right?

This pretty much sums up our message to Disney:

An article on BeingLatino says, "Disney has withdrawn this petition, citing a name change for the film as the reason. That’s great news. Thanks for acknowledging all the criticism you received from potential viewers, and apologizing for your cultural insensitivity." In the end, the next time you attempt to trademark us, you should probably call your local Latino leader. This sort of reminds me of the festival celebrating Cuba yet had a Cinco de Mayo party. I guess they didn't call their local Latino leader either.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A strange restaurant experience

About a week or so ago I had dinner at an unnamed restaurant in Atlantic City. Let's start out by saying it is NOT located inside any of the casinos; that makes a difference. I was having dinner with a coworker and we both agreed to try pretty much everything in Atlantic City. Half way through the lunch a table with with four people started experiencing some troubles. These aren't restaurant troubles, but a woman started coughing over and over again. I'd like to point out that the group was most likely from the city (can't confirm) and they were also minorities (can't confirm but maybe Puerto Rican).

The cough was getting worse and no one seemed concerned. I don't even think a waitress went to see if she was okay. A few seconds later the woman coughing gets up to go outside but doesn't make it. A little throw-up comes out the mouth. I felt bad for her. Again, instead of restaurant personnel helping the group, you could tell they were annoyed. I was confused why the restaurant employees weren't doing anything. Then one of the waitresses mumbled, "I told her to go to the bathroom," in a clear tone.

After the group paid for their meal, the same waitress went around and apologized for the group. Confused. There's nothing to apologize for. She was sick and you didn't do anything to help her. Again I can't prove any type of prejudice but if the group was (como se dice) not white nor dress how they were, would the situation have changed?  The waitress even gave us free dessert. I didn't complain about that ;). I asked my coworker what her thoughts were and she definitely agreed.

Just had to get this off my chest.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The National Museum of the American Latino's campaign contest winner

A few weeks ago the National Museum of the American Latino launched their 2nd Annual Campaign Design contest and today we have a winner! Ana Maria Villegas, whose design can be seen above, from Coral Springs, FL will be flying to Washington, D.C. for a special unveiling event. The winning design will be the featured image of FRIENDS' national campaign in 2013. Along with the trip to Washington, D.C. for an unveiling ceremony along with national exposure for their work, Ana will play an important role in the historic campaign to build a National American Latino Museum in our nation's capital.

"In this original pastel painting I portray the innocence and excitement of a Latino child being immersed within a new culture integrating Latino and American richness," said Ana. "The feathers represent the indigenous roots, as I found them in Native American and Aztec headdresses."

The new winner, although different from last year's winner, emphasizes Latinos in the U.S. I believe Ana really captured our soul and the addition of the American flag was probably key in the design.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

T-Mobile offers something better

My friend that used to work at T-Mobile recently told me they were axing plans but I didn't hear anything since. Ironic enough I received an e-mail from someone working with the phone carrier about their new program "Something Better." I actually do carry T-Mobile for my cellular device but also AT&T for my (work) iPad. If it's one thing I always hate, it's the 2-5 year contract they force you to sign.

The video below is the first hint of their new program and, " [is the] perfect metaphor that symbolizes what T-Mobile now has to offer, liberating customers from dreaded two-year contracts, sluggish networks and restrictive plans at high costs." I'm sure we've all read too that Latinos over-index when it comes to social networking on mobile devices. I wonder if this "something better" will work in their advantage.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sigma Lambda Upsilon awards educational scholarships

If there's one thing I enjoy reading about, it's seeing Latino organizations help support Latino youth advance their education. On Saturday, April 20th the Gamma Chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. (SLU) will be awarding Priscilla Flores and Ashley Torres $500 at the Dia de la Mujer Latina banquet. The award and banquet marks the return of SLU's AVANCE Scholarship Fund. Flores is a student from Northeast High School and Torres is a student at Central High School.

“Our intent was also to honor and celebrate those members of the Penn and Philadelphia community that had shown a commitment to the advancement of Latinos/as, through their mentorship and support of our chapter.," - said Elizabeth Papavasiliou, Penn College of Arts & Sciences ‘95, Gamma Chapter President ‘93-‘94. "I am so proud of the undergraduate Hermanas who have resurrected this special event.”

The Dia de la Mujer Latina banquet will be held at the Biomedical Research Building at the University of Pennsylvania (14th Floor Lounge, 421 Curie Blvd.) There is a suggested donation of $10. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Aida Giachello, an educator and writer specializing in Latino minority health. Dr. Giachello has been recognized as TIME Magazine's "Top 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America."  For more information please visit or contact Sasha Lagombra, Chapter President at: (646)-413-3202,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Prince Royce returns to Philadelphia

It's time to plan your Memorial Day weekend! Prince Royce, three-time Latin Grammy Nominee and 2013 BMI Songwriter of the Year, is performing at the first annual El Zol Fest on Sunday May 25th, 2013 7pm at Festival Pier on the Philadelphia waterfront, Spring Garden and Delaware Avenue. Tickets are available online at,, Centro Musical, Walmart, Luis Records in NJ or call 1-800-745-3000.

I actually have seen Prince Royce perform at last year's Made in America concert and he's pretty good. Some people don't perform well enough but he's one of the few that sound the same. On another note, I wonder who else is going to perform during El Zol Fest?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mexico is not Cuba and vice versa

How awkward is it when an international forum based on bringing equality to the LGBT community celebrates one nation (Cuba) yet has a festival celebrating Cinco de Mayo? It may not sound like a big deal but it is. Sure their SundayOUT! at the Piazza takes place on Cinco de Mayo...but it's not Cuba at all. The intention on celebrating Cuba's struggle is phenomenal but adding in there a celebration most Americans perceive as a reason to drink is not.

As Latinos all over the U.S. face constant battles trying to emphasize that not all Latinos are the same. Although we are here in the U.S. it's a little slap in the face when you're featuring Cuba yet celebrating Cinco de Mayo...with a party. Fact: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Fiction: Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican independence and is not meant to go out and drink.

According to Equality Forum's press release, "Featured Nation: Cuba – Moderated by Jarrett Barrios, Cuban native, leading LGBT activist and former GLAAD President, this panel takes an in-depth look at the history and current challenges and opportunities for LGBT civil rights in Cuba. Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m." The other events followed include, "SundayOUT! Cinco de Mayo Party at The Piazza – Sunday, May 5, Noon to 6 p.m." Any relation? Nope. I'm not saying you have to connect everything to everything, I'm just saying it's important to know how disrespectful this can look to Latinos in the U.S.

Will anything change? Probably not. For any event planners out there be sure to check your statements, events, logistics and everything culturally sensitive before you put it out there. Am I being a little too sensitive? I don't think so.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

La Milagrosa in Philadlephia closing

As some of us may know, La Milagrosa, Philadelphia’s oldest church serving the regions Latino community is about to close its doors forever. It was just in September 2012 when the church was also sold. The news of the closing has caused the Latino community in Philadelphia to take a stance as they always do.

In order to help save the church, its supporters are holding for a miracle. “¿La Ultima Misa? (The Last Mass) will be held Sunday, April 21 , 2013 at 11:30 AM outside the church at 1903 Spring Garden Street (19130) to rally the community to protest the closure. Supporters are also asked to sign the online petition

For over 100 years La Milagrosa has served as a beacon of hope for Latinos immigrating to the Philadelphia region. The church was founded by Mother Sol Quintana who was of Mexican and Spanish descent and arrived in Philadelphia to support the early growing Spanish community. She originally used her home as a place to prepare Latino children for Holy Communion. As the Latino population grew, Mother Quintana in partnership with Mother Drexel, 150 Latinos of African descent and many other Latino groups founded La Milagrosa. The official Archdiocese records establish La Milagrosa as the location where the first Spanish mass was held in the Philadelphia Region.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The international travel experience: Colombia

I had the opportunity to visit my family in Bogota, Colombia last week. The crazy part is that I haven't visited since 1995. Things have drastically changed from what I remember but my family is still as amazing as ever. I can write about several things but I'll take this opportunity to write about "travel" in general including purchasing tickets, finding places to stay, airport security and so forth.

So let's begin way back in the Fall of 2012 when I decided to take a trip to the motherland for my birthday. There's an airport 10 minutes from mi casa in Absecon, NJ so why not leave from there right? Spirit Airlines is the only airline at the Atlantic City International Airport so I had to choose them. The flight was less than $600...a steal! That was until I realized all the added fees. You can't choose your own seat. You HAVE to check-in your bag way earlier so it doesn't cost you $100 at the gate. There are more but I won't get into it.

Fast forward March 2013 and we're off. I had a connection in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and it was going to be fast. We only had about an hour to catch our next flight (which of course was in another building -_-). However, the wonderful people at Spirit Airlines (or maybe it was the airport) held our flight for another 10 minutes so passengers running late could make it. So far luck was on my side.

When we got to El Nuevo Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Co. it was pleasantly...pleasant. No worries. Just waited about 30+ minutes for our bags. We found my uncles with no problem and we were off to enjoy a week in Colombia!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Is the Pope Latino?

First let's ask, "Does it matter if he's Latino or not?" Yes it does matter because with the estimated 45 million Latino Catholics living in the U.S., you're going to need a reason to make him Latino. There are various news outlets, like the Huffington Post's Latino Voices, calling him Latino in the headline.

BeingLatino raised the question on Facebook and of course there are mixed reactions and even people attempting to identify what is a Latino. One person comments, "Argentinians don't claim Latino. They claim European," while another writes, "He's a Latino without a doubt. He was born in Argentina, which is in South America and where Spanish is the official language." So what is the definition of a Latino? Although a dictionary might say one thing, as a people we could easily say something else. 

An article in BeingLatino states, "The election of a Latin American is being celebrated by the 480 million Catholics living in Latin America, not to mention the estimated 45 million Latino Catholics in the United States. The Argentine-born son of Italian immigrants, Papa Francisco is already hailed as a 'Pope for the People,' like some ecclesiastical Obama." What should matter is that this new Pope is indeed the first from South America and he speaks Spanish. Should it matter if he's considered Latino?  Maybe this is just a ploy in the church seeking more Catholics which of course leads to more $$. Egh.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The 2nd Annual Campaign Design contest is back!

Last year's design winner via Uno Branding
Remember last year's American Latino campaign contest? Well it's back for the second time! The Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino are giving their supporters the opportunity to be an important part of the campaign to create a National American Latino Museum in Washington, D.C. After receiving inspiring designs from talented artists nationwide during the inaugural Campaign Design Contest in 2012, the museum is bringing this contest back to give supporters the opportunity to share their artistic vision for this museum.

Last year's design by UNO Branding, a Latino-owned agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, won after more than 6,000 votes. This design by UNO Branding served as the central image for FRIENDS promotional materials, online imaging, and posters. Posters were distributed at major Latino conferences nationwide and to members of Congress.To be honest, I voted for this submission as well because it pretty much summed up our gente in the United States.

For more information on how to enter this year's contest, click here

Thursday, March 7, 2013

American Idol's Lazaro Arbos moving on

America (especially the Latinos living here) fell in love with Lazaro Arbos when he auditioned for American Idol a few weeks ago and made everyone cry. Seriously. And now he's in the Top 20 and I'm sure he'll make it to the Top 10. And yes while there are two other Latinos on the show, Arbos' adversity seems to make him favorable.

Reality shows are always adding more Latinos to shows but you have to wonder if producers sit behind a desk and say, "We need to keep him/her because he/she is Latino." Or has our culture become mainstream enough where that doesn't matter anymore? Either way, I'm rooting for Arbos.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Latino world has become smaller

So it's been almost months since I even attempted to write something on this blog. As you may know I have moved back to New Jersey near Atlantic City to start a new career path. Almost all my "work" ties within the Latino community have all been disconnected. The only times I get to see anything remotely Latino is on social media. Although I do tend to keep in touch with a lot of people it's not business related. And as we all know if you're not talking business it's of no relevance. Working in a town of about 40,000, it's rare to find people who look like you. The ironic part is that 30% of the population is Latino. Right.

In Philadelphia, the Inquirer stated protesters outside City Hall last Friday said they were outraged that a judge, who acquitted former police Officer Jonathan Josey of assaulting a woman attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade, was married to a police officer. This case keeps getting crazier and crazier. This case brings so much into one punch including police brutality and racial discrimination. It makes it worse that this involves an African-American office and a Puerto Rican woman. This probably won't be solved anytime soon.

I also recently read a story online that stated two Latino Philadelphians may want to run for Mayor in 2015. The article said, "THE FIELD of potential 2015 candidates for mayor now includes two former city solicitors who served Mayor John Street: Ken Trujillo and Nelson Diaz." I honestly don't know what to say. I haven't really worked with either of them but I've heard more positive things from one than the other. I have respect for both but it's interesting what you hear from those who have worked within the Latino community. Key statement: working in the Latino community.

Then there's this story in the March issue of Philadelphia Magazine. No words. I hope to keep this blog updated daily with not just Philadelphia stories, but national as I have been doing before. My opinion will be added a little more as well ;).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Buying a brick helps Shakira build a new school

Sometimes giving to a charity really is difficult unless we are really committed. Our money probably ends up in some giant pool of money and then what? However, I was always a fan of Shakira's Barefoot Foundation. I've never donated but it definitely intrigued me. You can help the Barefoot Foundation build a new school for vulnerable children in Cartagena, Colombia by giving just a few dollars to ‘buy a brick.’

There are also two social components integrated with the community giving. Once you "buy a brick" you'll then be able to see your face on the online mosaic as the school takes shape (pictured above). And in a world of sharing, everyone who gives and then Tweets their personal sharing link will be entered into a contest to win a video chat with Shakira and other prizes.

To donate and enter, visit

Thursday, January 3, 2013

More Latinos head to our nation's capital

"The new U.S. Congress sworn in today will have 3 Latino U.S. Senators and 28 Latino House members; nine of these are first-time members of Congress," via the Associated Press. Soak in that statement for a minute. During the 2012 elections, Latinos showed the United States of America not only our voting power but as political officials. Sure it's the ever changing landscape of the U.S. Even brands are shifting gears...but this is old news.

The AP article stated the following:

  • In a sign of some diversity for the venerable body, the Senate will have three Hispanics — Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and one of the new members, Republican Ted Cruz of Texas. There will be 20 women in the 100-member chamber, the highest number yet.
Will the new Congress with record number Latinos change laws? Will it help Latinos? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DigiBunch video site launches under the radar

A few months ago,  under the radar, a website was created by Lance Rios (BeingLatino founder)., although doesn't have much info, is a website designed to host videos and fotos by Latinos for Latinos. Not sure what the goal is or if there's a relationship to the BeingLatino site, but it may be a good site to learn and laugh.

Here's an example of the content hosts:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Video: The Voice adds Shakira and Usher

NBC's The Voice has just added some big players to their coaches cast. Shakira and Usher replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Notice that they replaced both minorities with other minorities? Just a fact. Regardless, I think the addition of Usher and Shakira will make a huge impact on the show. Both are huge in the music industry and currently are either in "peak" mode.

Will you keep watching?