Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miss Universe

The beautiful Lateena from Venezuela wins it again. Stefania Fernandez captured her second win for the Miss Universe competition. A well deserved title, we congratulate Miss Fernandez on her win.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chita Rivera- Our "agent of change"

Today Chita Rivera received the Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States for her efforts in breaking the color line for Lateenas in the theatre of arts. Taken from the speech given today for her award, I couldnt word it any better;
"From stage to screen, Chita Rivera has captured America's imagination with her magnetic presence and radiant voice. Over a career that has spanned a half-century, she has received numerous accolades for her performances, including two Tony Awards, six additional Tony nominations, and the Kennedy Center Honors Award. As fearless as Anita in "West Side Story," and as self-reliant as Aurora in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," she has broken barriers under Broadway's lights and inspired a generation of women to follow in her remarkable footsteps. The United States honors Chita Rivera for her lifetime of achievement as one of America's great artists."
We congratulate Chita Rivera on her well deserved Medal of Freedom and are proud to hear that another one of our wonderful talents has been recognized by the Obama Administration and viewed as an "agent of change." Con mucho amor, God bless....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Justice Sotomayor

Today is a wonderful day for all Lateenos, today we celebrate the successful confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor into the U.S. Supreme Court. She will be the 111th person, the 3rd female justice and the 1st Lateena sworn in to the high court. Though Sonia Sotomayor met much opposition during her initial nomination and in depth questioning from all aspects of her life and career, she was able to maintain that she was the right person for the job. I believe that we are beginning to reap the rewards for so many years of service and dedication to our United States, and as doors of equality and opportunity open up for us we will then fill the positions that we have rightfully earned. We wish Ms. Sotomayor nothing less then our best wishes and give our full support. May God bless her, her family and her career as the new Supreme Court Justice.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

El Salvador del Mundo

Every August 1st through August 7th, El Salvador celebrates a joyous week-long festival in recognition of the Nations Patron Saint. Every year the festivities start in the capital, San Salvador and go on for 7 days. I was able to visit El Salvador a couple of years back and I must confess the festival is a truly great celebration and well worth the experience. If any of you are fortunate enough to make it down to El Salvador for the celebration believe me you will not regret it, to all my Salvadorian gente and those that toured us around when we visited, gracias and God bless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The "SIGN" on the house

I have to keep reminding myself that Lateenos aren't always seen as the people that have helped build this great nation into what it is today. There are those who either choose to forget or decide on blocking that out completely. I was watching this clip on the news about some fellow Americans who decided to place a sign on the front of their home that stated "HISPANICS KEEP OUT". The home is located in a little town called Azle, Texas just north of Fort Worth. They didn't specify exactly why they had posted the sign, saying only that it was their right as Americans to do so and being considered a form of free speech, the home owners were not forced to take it down. It still amazes me how much certain beliefs still exist, and how isolating ones self from the majority just allows us to become even more bitter as time goes by. In my opinion the sign was pointless and somewhat sad, it shows that even though America has evolved there are those few who still choose to remain in the past. Life is much too short to spend justifying old ways that never seemed to work for more then one race. To the people that put up that sign in Azle, Texas- you may have the right to hang it up but you really dont have the time to waste going in circles over it. Today is already here and tomorrow is just another day coming to pass but we will never ever be able to return to the past. Mi gente prepare yourselves for what is to come, keep God in your thoughts and stop looking back or WE may be the ones putting up signs against those we blindly judge.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Colombia's Independence day (July 20th)

We would like to celebrate Colombia's Independence Day tomorrow July 20th. The Battle for Colombia's Independence began in 1796 and was fought for well beyond its date of record, July 20th 1810. Though it was another nine more years past this celebrated date before the Spaniards ultimately withdrew from Colombia, Colombia recognizes July 20th for its significance(Bogota's established Junta). Written in Colombia's history is Simon Bolivar' Battle for Boyaca where the Spanish rule over Colombia and the entire South America's diminished and new Independence throughout Latin America reigned. We want to celebrate our gentes Independence Day and wish them another 100 years of freedom. Con mucho amor, God Bless....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

US Independence with Lateeno support

I hope that we are all celebrating this 4th of July, some of our gente believe that this is an American Independence Day but if we look back we would see Lateeno names in support of the American colonies fighting for freedom. Whether directly or indirectly involved, we have been a part of every major conflict that the US has been in from the beginning. The American Revolution had Lateeno names written into its history, names like Gen. Bernardo de Galvez, Francisco de Miranda, Capt. Jorge Farragut and many unnamed Cubana lateenas who helped raise funds for support of the French to assist the Americans in the siege of Yorktown, Virginia. Today is our celebration as well, we have shed our blood and made major sacrifices throughout history. We have earned the right and privilege to call ourselves Lateeno Americans, so Lateenos, take out your flags and fly them side by side with the American flag with honor and pride, know that we helped build this great nation and its representation of freedom. For the last 200 plus years we have been keeping watch and showing our patriotism, and have answered every call. Con mucho amor God bless, and to all my brothers in arms we love you...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"El Flaco Explosivo"

I could not believe the news about Alexis Arguello but sadly it was true. Alex Arguello was one of the greatest boxers of our time, a three time World Champion and a Boxing Hall of Famer, etched in our memories forever the battle that took place November 12th 1982. Alexis Arguello fought Aaron Pryor and had what seemed a turning point in the fight but the waves turned against Arguello and the fight was ended in the 14th round. There was a lot of speculation about Aaron Pryor being given illegal substances in his water bottle by his trainer. The native Nicaraguan came from poor means and slowly made his mark in this world by becoming a Three Time boxing Champion, and giving us his greatest moments. A true fighter and thinker while in the midst of punches, Arguello was like a surgeon picking apart his opponents. We want to celebrate his life as a great boxer and leave you with the Alexis Arguello we know and love, God bless.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day weekend

We hope all the Fathers out there had a wonderful Fathers Day weekend. Its absolutely important for our children to know that we love them and support them in every way. As Lateenos we are all usually tight knit anyhow so celebrating Fathers Day is just a topping. I myself grew up without my Father in my life and that taught me something very important, that we should do everything we can to be there for them whether we are a family or not. Lateeno Fathers are important for our future, we are models for our young men, and if you have daughters, we form the foundations in their hearts for the type of men that they are most likely to seek as they mature. Dads are key to the success of our future, and they are strong fronts of what we call family. Yesterday we were blessed with a day to call our own, and a day for our children to give us the extra hugs and kisses. Today lets keep doing what we have been blessed to do and thats lead our children and families to better days. I hope you all enjoyed yesterday as much as we did, God bless.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Master John Ozuna

Master John Ozuna is a Lateeno in the Martial Arts, trained in the art of Bok-Fu-Do(the System of the White Tiger) for almost 30 years. This man is truly remarkable, last year my family and I witnessed John Ozuna break not just one but two Guinness World Records. The first record that was broken by John was the most amount of punches in one minute, he had a confirmed 713 punches. The second record that he broke was the fastest punch, he set a new record of 43.3 mph. And what is even more amazing Master John Ozuna broke both records on the very same day. This man has really set a new precedence in the Martial Arts, we've found countless youtube videos on him and his Art as well as the founder of Bok-Fu-Do, Grandmaster Richard Lee (East West Kung Fu). Master Ozuna, in between record breaking, building his school, and preparing his students for world tournaments he prepares an annual "Fright Night" show every Halloween to support his KO CAREs program. It stands for Child Assault/Abduction Response Efforts. This program teaches children about safety and defense. Master John Ozuna is a humble, good hearted person and I am honored to blog about him. Recently John Ozuna had aired a Commercial promoting his school but it was only broadcasted in the Bay Area, so we decided to share the commercial with all of you. I believe that we were all given gifts and if tapped we all can achieve anything within that spectrum. Con mucho amor a todos, God Bless.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In Hermosillo, Mexico

Our hearts go out to the 40 children that lost their lives in the fire in Mexico. We are also praying for the children that are in California and those still in hospitals recovering from this challenging time. We hope that Mexico's officials will oversee the everhauling of the 1500 other centers that care for children, and make sure that this type of tragedy does not happen again. Lets keep all those children in our prayers and wish them a healthy recovery, God Bless...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A fresh start and a new direction

As El Salvador prepares to seat its new Leftist President, with the backing of the U.S. and talks with Cuba about migration and mail, we see that our South and Central Americas are of an importance to President Obama and his administration. I am remaining hopeful for El Salvador because they need a new direction for the betterment of their future. Much of our Latin America's have taken heavy economical hits during this U.S. recession, some worse then others due to lower wages and a number of other issues. We are expecting great things from President Mauricio Funes, from economical improvement to Government reform that better supports and protects its people. This could very well be the fresh start that El Salvador has been waiting for all along. And a long over due negotiation meeting with Cuba, now this is an old senario but times have changed and 1956 is long gone. We all know that Communism cannot survive this new era that we live in, nor has it been able to convince other countries that it is the most beneficial to convert to in place of Democracy. It has been many years since the United States has placed an embargo on Cuba, but recently the U.S. has been slowly opening doors to resume talks with Cuba to take steps in establishing mail and hopefully one day lifting the embargo. I believe in my lifetime we will see Cuba become democratic, and we will see the United States reestablish business connections with Cuba. There is a time for everything, a new season for change, and Cuba's season is growing near whether the Castro Family agree with it or not. So keep watch because tomorrow is near and what it brings none of us know for certain. god bless.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor Candidate for big seat

we would like to congratulate one of our own, Ms. Sonia Sotomayor, as a candidate for the Justice position. Today President Barrack Obama nominated the Puerto Riquena Lateena from New York for the seat in the Supreme Court. The humbled Sotomayor gave thanks and also did what very few people do these days, accept Lateenos, she praised her mother for the sacrifices that her mother made for Sonia and her brother. I am proud to hear that Lateenos will claim another first in the United States, bringing us closer to one day holding the highest job, commander in Chief. We love Sonia and wish her the best in her nomination which Im certain will go through, today is a great day for all of us. Tomorrow I believe it will be you. God bless

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

This weekend we proudly hang our stars and stripes for Memorial Day, a day set aside for all our gente who have fought and died for freedom. Their service and ultimate sacrifice for this Country have allowed us another day of what most Americans take for granted. We were blessed to have such great warriors to answer the call when this Nation needed them most, and to boldly step forward without question or hesitation and bared arms against those who threatened our very existence. For those who have put their lives on the line and those who have given their lives so that we can be just that much more safer, there is no amount of gratitude that we can come close to giving you, so I hope just saying Thank You and that we love you will due. Our Lateeno gente have fought in every major American conflict since the Revolutionary War, and if we take the time to look at the list of great heroes that have been awarded the Medal of Honor you will find names like Baca, Fernandez, Garcia, Hernandez, Lopez, and Vargas just to name a few. We as a people can hold our heads up high and know that we positively influenced America and honorably defended it. Today we honor those who have fallen, may you all rest in peace, con mucho amor..

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Battle of Las Piedras

Today Uruguay celebrates the battle that changed the direction towards eventual Independence, for its people. On May 18th 1811 Gen. Jose Gervasio Artigas led Uruguayan forces and revolutionary supporters from Buenos Aires against Spain at San Isidro Labrador de Las Piedras. It was an important battle for Uruguay because it marked the beginning of the absolute Independence, which took place just 14 years later against Brazil. It is truly amazing how such a small battle meant so much for Uruguays future, but it was. So we like to recognize and share in our gentes celebration in Uruguay, may God bless you another hundred years of Independence.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Independence Day for Paraguay

May 14th and 15th 1811, Paraguay fought and won their Independence from Spain. Tensions between Spaniard rule and Paraguayan locals started building long before that early May uprising, starting with the Comunero Revolt, in which the viceroy of Lima reinstated a Pro-Jesuit Governor whom the people had removed earlier from the position of Governor. The Portenos (Buenos Aires people)played a major role in the Independence of Paraguay, by them ousting the Spanish rule in their own Native Buenos Aires, they helped spark the beginning. Once the Portenos were successful in removing Spain from their homeland they immediately took steps to take control of Paraguay. The Portenos made the attempt at control by placing one of the most hated Spokesman for Buenos Aires, Jose Espinola y Pena. Soon after, Pena would return to Buenos Aires norrowly missing being exiled. The Portenos then sent troops to take control of Asuncion but to no avail, they were beaten by the Paraguayan troops. The final straw was when the Asuncion cabildo requested Portuguese military support against Gen. Manuel Belgrano's troops, an uprise immediately took place and soon after Spanish rule was overthrown. So we celebrate the Independence with our gente in Paraguay and pray for many more years to come. Con mucho amor, God bless.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Feliz Dia de Las Madres

We would like to wish all the beautiful Mother's a Happy Mother's Day. We all know that Mother's are the backbone of the Lateeno family, they nurture us as children (and in most cases still do) they support us in everything we do and gently let us know when we make those not so great choices. Our Mother's love us unconditionally and make sure that we know it, without their loving hearts in our lives Im sure life would seem just that much more uncomforting. There is no better way to show our gratitude for these hardworking dedicated women then to celebrate their life long efforts on Mother's day. We should cherish them as much as they cherish us, so with that un besito para mi mama and yours too, enjoy these blessed days with yours' and lets make sure we give thanks for the time we've shared with her. May God bless us another year with our Mother's.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Sigh of relief

I'm not sure if others have taken the news as positive but we certainly have and its been due. The stress test for the Banks has finally been completed and their resistance to the economical downturn is within reach. That means that balance is near and with balance there is stability once again. I am extremely hopeful for all of us and believe that the eventual forward motion is near. There has been allot of good that has come out of this recession, much needed change has filtered out all of the hidden agendas and illegal habits that were functioning below the radar. None of us wanted a recession but because of the "business as usual" ideals our economical structure took a beating until the system failed. What is even more amazing then the restabilizing of the economy is the amount of new businesses that are started because of the downturn. And since there is such a large majority of Lateenos I can only imagine how many of us took advantage of this recession. The amount of entrepreneurs that see an opportunity in some of the toughest times is extremely high. I expect to see our Lateeno gente following in these same foot steps, with new fresh ideas and dreams that are slowly coming to life. I've mentioned before that 2009 is our year, this is the perfect time to go further then we ever thought possible. I am glad for today and its great news, I am glad for tomorrow because we can now see light at the end of the tunnel, and I am excited for the future because I want to see all the new Lateeno run businesses that have come alive. I am an optimist and believe that there is more for us if we choose to reach for it, the economy has offered up this opportunity and we have the option to grab hold of it and allow it to take us to a different level. This is the year of beginning filled with so much hope and potential, I hope to see todo mi gente benefit from these times. Take a chance and reach. God bless.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Cinco de Mayo" weekend

Well we hope all of our Mexicano gente are enjoying the weekend celebrations that are going on throughout the United States and abroad. Its a great time to relax and celebrate the the 147 year old victory over the French. On May 5th 1862 The French Army and their foreign Legion, which before this date hadn't been beaten in over 50 years, marched to Mexico City with Cavalry and Infantry that numbered over 8000. The outnumbered Mexican Army with machetes and older model weapons and the lay of the land, literally destroyed the French, enough so that Napoleon III could not even supply Confederate rebels involved in the U.S. Civil War, thus allowing time for the United States to build a stronger Army and ultimately ending the American Civil War. The defeat of the French at Puebla, Mexico was a great victory, and a changing point in history for the United States. So celebrate the victory and enjoy yourselves, con mucho amor, God bless.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"El Dia de Los Ninos"

April 30th is one of the most important "Lateeno" holidays of the year. As parents, relatives and friends we have this day to recognize the importance of every child and their futures. Thats not to say that we dont already do so, but by dedicating a specific date to honor them we reinforce that message of love and importance. Being involved in our children's lives we do everything we can to help build their self confidence and feel capable of achieving their dreams. As we all get ready to share in this wonderful day lets help our children understand how invaluable they are to not just us but the rest of the world as well. Everyday let them know and feel that they are our most treasured gifts, and that we truly believe in them. April 30th is not just another holiday it is the day that we celebrate our childrens futures and the hopes that we have for them. Be the best positive influence we can and dont let one day go by without telling them we love them and are proud of them. All children are blessings, its up to us to let them know how much. Con mucho amor para todos, God bless.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Flu in Mexico

We would like to give our condolences to those that have lost their lives recently to the Swine Flu virus. The latest count is 149 victims in Mexico and we are hoping that the remainder of our gente with symptoms will be treated and able to survive this virus. More recently there was an earthquake in Guerrero, Mexico which so far hasnt reported any casualties. Lets all keep our gente in Mexico and those in the United States, in our prayers as they get through these troubled times. According to the CDC it is very possible for more of those who have contracted the Swine Flu to survive it by acting upon any symptoms before they get out of hand. Lets all stay positive and hopeful for a quick recovery for everyone. Con mucho amor para todo mi gente, God bless.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama at the Summit

I believe that President Obama is definitely on the right track with rebuilding the communication with our South and Central Americas. The Summit address is a reflection of the new Administrations message of change, by letting our Lateeno countries know that the Bush Administrations thinking and policies are not those of President Obamas, we can move forward in repairing our friendships. President Obama is making tough decisions but I know he is doing what he feels is right, Cuba has been a challenging issue for the United States and recently Venezuela but through willingness to overcome past issues a new day can dawn and hopefully a fresh start. In tough economical times like these we all need to do our best for the overall, if the Americas can work together along with the rest of the world we can work through anything and build a stronger future. I am an optimist and want more then anything a better world for all, hopefully through these talks the President will be able to build stronger relations with those that see the U.S. as a threat. Im praying for a common ground and an open door to build on, tomorrow is uncertain but if we work together the likelihood of success is higher. God bless this Administration and those that are willing to work together. Con mucho amor.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Saludas a todo mi gente, all the Lateenos and Lateenas throughout the North, South and Central Americas. We are wishing everyone a loving blessed Easter sunday, con mucho amor a todos may God bless you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Puerto Rico on a Quarter!!!!

Can it be true, well I didn't think so either until I read about the release from the U.S mint on Last week the U.S. mint released the Puerto Rican quarter with a Spanish inscription, "Isla del Encanto"- "Island of enchantment." The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuno, said "the reality is the United States is one of the biggest Spanish speaking countries in the world, with 45 million citizens of Hispanic descent." The Puerto Rican quarter officially entered into circulation on Monday April 6th, 2009. I personally am proud to have a Puerto Rican quarter and hope in time that the U.S. mint will commemorate all of our South American and Central American Lateeno countries. The United States has Lateeno blood flowing through its veins from the Revolutionary War to present, why not recognize every South and Central American Country on a quarter. I look forward to this coin and others to follow, God bless America.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Angel in Queens

Okay now I know we've all heard about Jorge "Colombia" Munoz at some point this year and if you havent then let me just share with you a good hearted Lateeno dedicated to his gente and others as well. Every night at 9:30pm in Queens, New York Mr. Jorge Munoz sets out in his white pickup truck and feeds day laborers who've found themselves on the streets because of the slow construction projects. For the last few years Jorge has dedicated himself to this cause and has proudly fed dozens of day laborers on his meager $600 a week. He also receives donations from neighborhood restaurants and bakery's to help with the daily supply of food, between the donations and his mother and sisters help in preparing Jorge is able to make his nightly schedule. A truly God sent angel that cares enough to do his part for his fellow gente, and I feel a great obligation to mention his good deed. Jorge has a website for donations if you would like to help him with his personal mission. You can do so at
Keep up the good work Jorge and from one Lateeno to another, thank you and may God bless you and your mother and sister.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Former Presidente Raul Alfonsin

The former President of Argentina, former President Raul Alfonsin died yesterday from lung cancer. He helped bring his country out of the military dictatorship back in the 1980's, he was most remembered for his prosecution of the military dictators that he himself helped replace. Mr. Alfonsin, self proclaimed, "the most humble Argentine," unable to shake his Governments economical downtrend stepped down from office before the completion of his term, and passed the position on to Carlos Saul Menem. Raul Alfonsin made great attempts at rebuilding Argentina's Economy but his efforts were just not enough, he represented change for not only Argentina but Latin America as well. Similar changes came to other parts of Latin America during the beginning of Raul Alfonsins term, so his Presidential career was very influential to Latin American Democracy. We would like to show our love and respect to the former President's family, and wish the Alfonsin family the best. Con mucho amor, God bless.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Earth Hour

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is asking for volunteers throughout the world to support the "lights out" initiative to fight against global warming. March 28th 2009
at 8:30pt volunteers across our nation, Latin America and abroad will be shutting off the lights for one hour to show our growing numbers against global warming. Earth Hour 2008 set a record at 50 million pledges, the new goal for 2009 is 1 billion. If you would like to officially sign up and get more information please visit Spread the word around and get all your friends and familia joining in and help send a message by doing your small part. Con mucho amor, God bless.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Emancipation Day in Puerto Rico

On march 22nd 1873 slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico. Slavery in Puerto Rico was recorded as early as the mid 1500's, the Borincans living on the Island at the time were initially made slaves to the Spainiards but due to the harsh treatment many of them died. Since Spain relied so much on slavery they decided to import slaves from Africa, thus starting the triangle trade. The original leaders of the abolitionist movement were Jose Julian Acosta, Francisco Mariano Quinones, Julio L. de Vizcarrondo
Ramon Emeterio Betances, and Segundo Ruiz belvis. Even though slavery was abolished in 1873 the law required slaves to work for their owners for 3 more years at which time they were freed and the slave owners were compensated. We are happy to celebrate with our Boriquas, Emancipation Day. Con mucho amor para todo mi gente God bless.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Borrowed from "La Prensa Stories"

La Prensa Stories
I could not resist sharing this drawing, it was in regards to the gentleman who chose to throw his shoe at former President George W. Bush. The people at "La Prensa" were reporting on how Muntadhar al-Zeidi had been sentenced to three years in prison for his shoe throwing incident. The idea of throwing a shoe in the first place was unique, but I thought we'd share the post, enjoy...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

First Puerto Rican in Space

Today the shuttle Discovery was launched at the Kennedy space center in Florida. What was different about this mission from all the others that occur during the year was one of the astronauts. Setting a first for all Puerto Ricans, astronaut Joseph Acaba was among the seven man crew heading to the International Space Station(ISS). Even though he may not be the first Lateeno going to space, (that title goes to Costa Rican born Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz back in 1986)he is the first Puerto Rican. I first heard about the launch back in February by a fellow boriqua on Mi Gente, (www.feastoffriends/, they were set to launch but due to a number of setbacks the launch was rescheduled until today. Thankfully the crew of the shuttle Discovery successfully launched without incident and are now on their way to the ISS. Our hopes and prayers are with them and we await their safe return, con mucho amor God bless.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cubans see change

Cuban-Americanos and most of Latin America have been watching and waiting for today's news. The Obama administration loosened restrictions with Cuba, it will now be easier to travel and send money to Cuba and their relatives. Cuba has been patiently waiting to see if this day would come, believing that President Obamas "change" included the relationship with Cuba. Today the deal was sealed, of course there are still some limitations but the door easing has started and hopefully Cuba will recognize that the United States wants better relations. We have allot of Cuban hermanos y hermanas in the U.S. who have been wanting to better care for their family members so today definitely is a big deal. I personally, am wishing for a democratic Cuba instead of the communist government that they have now, but for now I will enjoy the easing of the restrictions. Con mucho amor for my Cubano gente, God bless. Change today, new tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

International Women's Day

The International Women's Day, is a celebration for all women and their great efforts in gaining political, economical and social equality. Just a brief history on this wonderful day, a woman by the name of Clara Zetkin was the first person to come up with a Women's Day, she proposed that every year in every country their should be a celebration for Women while pressing for their demands. The very first International Women's Day was thus held on March 19th 1911. The date held significance for IWD because in 1848 the Prussian King recognized the strength of the armed people and gave into some demands, among the demands (which he never kept) was to allow women voters. The first IWD was so big that husbands had to stay home so that their wives could attend meetings. Two years later the Global meetings date was changed to March 8th and has remained ever since, today we find IWD a National Holiday in 15 countries. The United States takes it a step further and designates the whole month of March for Women's History. We recognize the every day struggles that women have gone through and support not just our Lateena women but all women in their continuing battle for equality.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lateeno Entrepreneurs from the Amazon

I always enjoy reading about hard working Lateenos who reach for bigger dreams and take advantage of the opportunity to do so. Over in Ecuador in the middle of the Amazon rain forest of all places, there lives the Quichua people who grow cacao among other commodities. A few years ago the Quichua harvested and prepped the cacao beans and made $.20 cents a pound for a product that was in high demand. The Quichua weren't happy with the pay and realized they could be making alot more if they only new how to better refine the cacao. With help from an unexpected source they were able to eliminate the middleman and began learning the ways of producing their own chocolate, which eventually led to the creation of Kallari (Kai-yah-ri). According to the Quichua people the word has two meanings, "to begin,"and "the early times." As they learned to improve their process and make a better product they were able to market their chocolate to stores like Whole Foods, and the Swiss chocolate company Felchin. Though the new direction is chocolate the Quichua still sell the cacao beans, and instead of the $.20 cents a pound they were making before they are now making $1.95 a pound.The Kallari people have taken bold steps but to them it is well worth it. From farmers to chocolate producers the Quichua people have built a dream into reality and remain optimistic in their plans to have their very own chocolate factory within the next few years. "There was a dream that seemed impossible now we believe there are so many possibilities open to us." We wish them the best and believe we are all destined for greatness, no matter if we are far off in the jungles of the Amazon or in the United States. Lateenos 2009 is our year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Costa Rica could have first female President

Costa Rica, known for its beautiful beaches could also be making its own history in 2010. Vice President Laura Chinchilla and Epsy Campbell, President of the Accion Ciudadana Party are both seeking candidacy for next years Presidential election. If either one of these well qualified native Costa Ricans wins the Presidency it will be the first time this position would be held by a woman. There have been milestones throughout Latin America, countries like Argentina and Chile have put Lateena Leaders in office where before were dominated by males. Its great to see more of our Latin American countries moving towards more Political diversity, it shows how far we as Lateenos have come from the stereotypical male dominated government. We wish the both of them the best of luck and leave you with these statements from each candidate:
Chinchilla- "The work ahead is arduous and intensive, it's convincing Costa Ricans who is more able to continue directing the country, with convincing leadership and ethic."
Campbell- "The time has come for the people, for citizens (male and female) to become the true protagonists... The time has come to participate... to dare to dream."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dominican Republic Independence Day

Today Feb 27th we celebrate the Independence day of the Dominican Republic. It was on this day in 1844 that the Dominican Republic gained its Independence from the 22 years of Haitian rule. In 1838 a secret society was formed to fight for Independence, the group was called " La Trinitaria" (The Trinity)because its original nine members organized themselves into three different cells which eventually went on to recruit as seperate organizations. The founding fathers were Juan Pablo Duarte, Ramon Matias Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sanchez. Today, 165 years later we commemorate those brave, unselfish actions with our Dominican brothers and sisters and wish them another 165 more. Con mucho amor, God bless.

Dominican Republic gets greener

I was reading in the "DOMINICAN TODAY" that volunteers from the utility company AES Dominicana and Pronatura, an environmental group partnered up to plant over 2000 native Pine Trees in San Jose de Cocoa. Im glad to know that our Latin American countries see the importance in reducing greenhouse gases and we are proud to see the example being set in the Dominican republic. "Pronatura is a Dominican organization which in addition to protecting the environment, promotes the development of the country's renewable natural resources, sustainable development and to improve the standard of living of people in high-priority zones."

My hopes are that our other latin American countries will follow suit and recognize the positive outcome that this brings not only to the Latin countries but to the rest of the world as well. We are one step closer to fighting a world battle against global warming, con mucho amor para mi gente in the Dominican Republic God bless.