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/SeƱoritas 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!