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Longoria Reveals Yet Another Artistic Quality

Laura Martinez

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Documentary film making is next in long list of achievements

Not content with having achieved a successful career as a television star, restaurateur, philanthropist and museum buff, my favorite retro-acculturated Latina, Eva Longoria, is ready to make a splash in the world of documentary filmmaking.

As an official Pepsi spokesperson, Longoria is set to direct and produce an intriguing documentary about Hispanics and how our experiences "have helped shape the American landscape," which I think has nothing to do with landscaping, but you never know.

Eva's documentary is part of a bigger effort, inexplicably called "Yo Sumo" and launched by Pepsi to show how U.S. Hispanics count, contamos or -as the company will have you believe- sumamos.

I personally want to sumar my voice and congratulate Mrs. Longoria Parker on her new venture, although I fear it might interfere with her role as an active member of the CSPCNMAL. Only time will tell.

Dobbs Promises Ramos the Exclusive About His Political Future [Well, After Telling Wife]

Laura Martinez

This past weekend, I was invited as a guest to Univision's political weekly show Al Punto, hosted by veteran anchor Jorge Ramos. Little did I know I would end up sharing the hour-long program with one of Hispanics' Bête noir, the one and only Lou Dobbs, who took the opportunity to promise the popular anchor the exclusive story about his political future [should there be any.] Let's watch.

Don Francisco Wants You to Eat "Italian" Food

Laura Martinez

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Ah.... marketing minds never stop working!

In the latest effort to tap into Hispanics' fat wallets -and even fatter selves- restaurant chain Olive Garden is sending Univision's Don Francisco to Tuscany, because it's there -and not on the Food Network- where the company trains its chefs. According to Advertising Age:

The legendary TV host will visit Olive Garden's Culinary Institute in Tuscany in a segment airing this Saturday night on Sábado Gigante. He accompanies Margarita Ibarra, the young chef who won Olive Garden's "Cocinando un Sueño" ("Cooking a Dream") contest.

But wait! Olive Garden's Hispanic effort doesn't stop there. The company is proud to tell us that all its 600 restaurants have menus in Spanish, which is, like, great, because Hispanics might not know Lasagna is Lasaña and Pasta Primavera is, well, Pasta Primavera.

That's it. I'm getting hungry, so I'm off to my nearest Olive Garden to get a taste of Don Francisco-endorsed food and pretend I never heard about Dr. Manny.

Texas School Urges Children to Study and Be 'Seasoned' Like a Beef Fajita

Laura Martinez


Motivational speaker Fabián Ramirez brings electric grill to make his point

When it comes to our children education, no efforts should be spared... even if you live in Texas, whose Board of Education this month decided to re-write History.

That is why Crockett Elementary School in Dallas last week hosted a school assembly and invited motivational speaker Fabian Ramirez to encourage students to do their best on the upcoming Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Speaking to 200 kids that are scheduled to take the test in April, Ramírez went straight to the point:

"You have to be seasoned before you get grilled," he said while holding 2 pounds of seasoned beef fajitas in the air before laying a portion over an electric grill. "Seasoned students are well done after they have been grilled."
While this blogger greatly appreciates the metaphor, I think Mr. Ramírez should have added that failing the TAKS would turn these children into a bunch of burritos.
Continue reading...

Puerto Rican Man in New York, Pissed Because 'Hispanic' Is Not a Race

Laura Martinez

I thought I had heard everything about the 2010 Census, including NALEO's efforts to get us off our tía's couch and the Jesus-Caesar Augustus connection. But this one takes the cake: Turns out a Puerto Rican security guard in Bronx, New York, this week refused to fill out his Census form, because "Hispanic" was not an option under the Race box.

"For me to see this I feel kind of offended," Richard Robles told WPIX.com.
And, why wouldn't he? After all, for reasons I yet have to understand, the U.S. Census considers "Vietnamese," "Korean" and "Japanese" a race. So, continuing that logic: If Korean people are of the "Korean race", and "Vietnamese" people are from the "Vietnamese race," I urge Mr. Robles' to check himself as a proud member of the Puerto Rican race.

As for myself, I was truly offended "Human" was not an option; so I had to use the "Some other race --print race" space to spell out N.P.I. (Ni Pinche Idea)

Salma Hayek Wants to Clean Your Guts... and Apparently Also Your Wallet

Laura Martinez

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Not content with being married to, like, one of the richest men on the planet, Mexican bombshell Salma Hayek is launching Cooler Cleanse, a line of "hydraulically pressed cleansing juices" aimed at making us all look fabulous... just like her.

According to TMZ.com serious journalistic sources, Cooler Cleanse comes in 5 gut-busting flavors: green juice, grapefruit mint, beets and apples, young coconut water, and nut milk sweetened with dates.

Salma's "hydraulic diet" is said to cost about $58 a day, which is kind of OK if you're married to a millionaire and all.

Personally, my finances are "hydraulically squeezed" right now, so I will stick to Dr. Manny's advice and run to my nearest bodega for my $2-a-pound bag of tomatillos.

U.S. 'Taqueros' Join Immigration Cause By Donating -What Else?- Money from Tacos

Laura Martinez

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Want immigration reform? Grab a taco first

I always knew there was nothing like a good taco to get people moving. That is why I was happy to learn about Tacos for Justice, an initiative launched by a group of food vendors to raise money towards the fight for immigration reform.

According to California's Valley Star, taco vendors are giving discounts to customers and at the same time contributing to the national Immigrant Justice Campaign by accepting coupons at their taco trucks and restaurants throughout the country.

As of March 18, three days before Sunday's march for Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C., more than one million discount coupons to participating restaurants and lunch trucks had been distributed.

This blogger will gladly participate, but can I get a torta ahogada, instead?

Holy Crap! Latest Vatican Gay Sex Scandal Involves Cubans

Laura Martinez

For years now, I have decided not to write anything about sex scandals involving the Catholic Church, because really, I would have to blog about it everyday. But the following story really caught my attention, simply because it involves members of my beloved Hispanic community: very tall, black, Cuban gay lads, a former model and rugby player.

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How Do You Say Enrique Iglesias in Chinese?

Laura Martinez

I have no idea what this CD is all about, except that "Mr. Lglesias" has recorded something with someone presumably called Sarah Connor.

Curious to learn more about this unconventional cover -and singing duo- I scourged the Internet for hours seconds, and found the following video which made everything so much clearer now. Danke schön!

If This Doesn't Make Latinos Fill Out Their Census Form, I Don't Know What Will

Laura Martinez

Attention, Latinos! These ladies from Univision's República Deportiva have a message for you: Will you stop staring at our cleavage and get yourself counted in the upcoming Census instead?

Do you think you can do that?

Longoria Joins Alba in Search for 'Hispanicness'

Laura Martinez


It turns out Jessica Alba is not the only one working hard at her Hispanicness.

According to The Panamerican, the student paper of the University of Texas-Pan American:

The one and only Eva Longoria, queen of the $34 tortilla española (and a.k.a. La Prieta Fea) is not only working on her master's degree but taking a course in Hispanic Studies.

We congratulate Longoria on her academic efforts. It must not be easy to combine all that study with her culinary duties and her ongoing role at the CSPCNMAL... [Oh, I did I mention we just celebrated Eva Longoria Parker day in Nevada?

'Our Family Wedding' is a Chuck Full of Stereotypes About Blacks and Hispanics

Laura Martinez

In an effort to capture two active movie-going audiences (African-Americans and Hispanics) the folks at Fox Searchlight have concocted Our Family Wedding, a "culturally relevant" film about a young Latina (América Ferrera) marrying a black guy (Lance Gross) and all the imaginable stereotypes that come with that, including "a goat for the Mexican celebration" this blogger has failed to understand.

Pitched as a culture -and ethnic clash of sorts, Our Family Wedding stars Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, América Ferrera and -of course- Lupe Ontiveros, who plays your typical ultracoservative, funny-sounding abuela, who faints upon seeing a black man in her casa.

¡Ay, caramba!

Continue reading...

Mexican Avocados Score a Big Bowl of Guacamole. Tortilla Chips Rejoice

Laura Martinez


Turns out American companies are not the only ones tropicalizing their products and services to better serve U.S. Hispanics. Starting this month, you will see a lot of Mexican avocados doing the unthinkable (i.e. playing American football or taking part in an American Idol-type of contest.)

The whole thing is part of the Association of Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers of Michoacán, Mexico's 2010 marketing campaign, which seeks to increase consumption and build market demand.

The so-called peak avocado consumption season begins with March Madness and ends with the Cinco de Mayo.

[I wonder if these would go well with my Hispanic vegetables]

Mexicans Might Not Win an Oscar. But They Sure Know How to Make One

Laura Martinez


Photo: 'Hoy' Chicago

Chances are Martín Vega will not get up to the podium this Sunday to be recognized for his many Academy Awards. But the Michoacán native has his hands on a lot of these golden statuettes. Literally.

Vega is one of the many Hispanic employees at R.S. Owens & Company, the Chicago-based factory charged with making the famous Oscar statuette. In fact, according to Tribune's Hoy Chicago:

"Although Jorge Marroquín, the factory chief, is a native of Guatemala, the Oscars have a strong Mexican component, as five of the people involved in their making are of Mexican origin."
So there you have it. Don't worry if you don't see many Latinos this Sunday at the awards ceremony. If we ever feel left out, we'll just make our own Oscar.

Tostitos Ad Makes Me Want to Move to Seville and Eat Lots of Fake Mexican Food

Laura Martinez

I'm sure you've read all the complaints about the Tostitos ad that premiered this year during the Super Bowl. Some bloggers have rightly stated that it only perpetuates the stereotypical image of Latin women, while others simply fail to see the connection between gringo-made salsa and flamenco dancing.

As for this blogger, there is only one thing I'd really like to know: Where is this lady's nose?!! Anyone?

'Somos el Mundo' Unveiled. This Blogger Still Prefers Quincy Jones' Version Number 3

Laura Martinez

Unless you've been living under a rock (or do not follow Univision or David Archuleta on Twitter) you will probably heard Univision last night unveiled Somos el Mundo, Latino's own remake of the We Are the World remake.

The song features some venerable Latinos (Chente, El Puma, Ednita Nazario, José Feliciano, etc.) and a few members of the U.S.-born, recently inducted, retro-acculturated crowd (i.e. David Archuleta.) It even features a non-Hispanic artist, who wishes to be one: Arthur Hanlon.

I have to say it's not as bad as I thought. But still, my favorite is We Are the World 3: Raising Awareness of the We Are the World 2 Disaster, which might not be as well-intentioned as previous efforts, but is surely funny as hell:

Women Prison in Ciudad Juárez Preps Behind-Bars Beauty Pageant. Seriously

Laura Martinez


The Mexican government might not be able to stop the bloodshed in Ciudad Juárez, but officials at the local penitentiary system are busy working on something more constructive -or at least, more fun: the upcoming Belleza Cautiva (Captive Beauty), an inmates-only beauty pageant to celebrate International Women's Day in March 8.

According to the local press, Ciudad Juárez' Centro de Readaptación Social (i.e. local prison) is calling on female inmates to take part in the Belleza Cautiva pageant. Candidates will be vying for the titles of Miss Captive Beauty, Miss Elegance, Miss Congeniality and Miss Fotogenic. Watch as some of these ladies get ready for their lock-up... sorry, close-up.

Video: Milenio Televisión

Donny Deutsch Apologizes to Hispanics for Using the C-Word. It's Not What You're Thinking

Laura Martinez

I have to plead complete ignorance on this one. In case you missed the latest brouhaha involving a non Hispanic person and his Hispanic non-counterparts, advertising guru Donny Deutsch this week had to apologize to a bunch of people for using the C-Word when referring to a Latino person. And no, it is not what you are thinking. According to sensationalist professional media outlets:

"MSNBC regular Donny Deutsch apologized via Twitter for calling Republican senatorial hopeful Marco Rubio "coconut," a racial slur which the New York Times defines as "being brown on the outside and white on the inside."
I don't know you, but as a proud member of the "Latinos Who Don't Understand Why Coconut is an Insult Coalition" (LWDUWCIC) I demand Mr. Deutsch go beyond 140 characters to explain the whole thing properly. [To my defense: I was not paying enough attention. I was busy myself apologizing for my missing National Tortilla Chip Day.]

Hugo Chávez Arrives in Mexico. Greets Journalists à la Jorge Negrete

Laura Martinez

Hugo Chávez sure knows how to address the Mexican press. So upon arriving last night for the Grupo de Rio meeting in Playa del Carmen, he promptly burst into his own version (a cappella) of México, lindo y querido.

[I myself have seen many people perform this song before, including my favorite, Javier Solís, but never an acting head of state wearing a red beret.]

Second to Winning This Year's World Cup, This is What Mexicans Dream About

Laura Martinez

From the funny folks at The Onion News Network via my friends at Vivir Latino.

Continue reading...

Villaraigosa Makes TV Debut. I Fear for the Future of Television [and Politics]

Laura Martinez

Only a month ago, we learned that the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, had been tapped by ABC to make a special appearance on All My Children, the legendary soap opera, now in its 10,290,000 episode.

Well, such a debut finally occurred this week, reinforcing my conviction that he would be better off chasing his dream of becoming the nation's first Latino president, than following the steps of Lisazo, Colunga and the likes.



Hat tip: HispanicTips

Weir Hits the Ice to the Rythm of Juan Gabriel

Laura Martinez


Turns out Hubertus von Hohenlohen is not the only one making sure Mexico is not forgotten at this year's Winter Olympics.

U.S. figure skater -and fur-loving- Johnny Weir this week stunned this blogger the world with a gracious performance, skating to the tune of -who else?- Juan Gabriel.

I don't know you but as of today I am adding Weir to my list of favorite Winter Olympians. Ever. [After the Prince, of course.]

Click here to watch Johhny doing his Juan Ga thing..

Shakira Wants You to Buy a 2010 SEAT

Laura Martinez


Shakira, the formerly brunette Colombian artist also known for her interest in world peace and universal education, has been tapped by European car maker SEAT to star in its upcoming digital campaign.

Acting as main sponsor of Shakira's European 2010 Tour, SEAT has set up a dedicated Web site and launched a :60 television spot featuring colorful sirens, a giant octopus and what seems to be several 2010 SEAT cars.

This will not be the first time the Colombian collaborates with the Volkswagen-owned brand. SEAT was the official sponsor of the Oral Fixation European Tour in 2007, which included a series of TV commercials featuring presumably European people making breakfast and shaking their hips in a most unusual manner.


The Nation's Future Looks Diverse... And In Need of Proofreading

Laura Martinez

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You are going to need a lot of intelligence to figure this one out

After so many years following the so-called U.S. Hispanic market, I have come across many marketing breakthroughs, including the introduction of the McSkillet Burrito, the Tortilla-flavored chocolates and the Zumba-infused health-care seminars for Hispanic seniors.

Those I sort of understand. But multicultural marketing consultant Geoscape has just put out an ad showcasing some kind of market intelligence (and intelligent marketing) to help marketers access the New Mainstram, something I yet have to figure out.

Snubbed by the 'We Are the World' Crowd, Latinos Prep 'Somos el Mundo'

Laura Martinez

When it comes to Latino entertainment in America, there is one thing you can always count on: Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

Snubbed by the mainstream group that re-recorded We Are the World to benefit Haiti's earthquake relief efforts, the pair is said to be working on a Spanish-language re-make of the re-make: Somos el Mundo has reportedly been completely translated into Spanish with the permission of original co-writer Lionel Richie.

Click here for the complete list of artists involved in the recording.

According to PerezHilton well informed sources, the Spanish version will include the performance of -who else?- Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and Shakira [sigh.]

I wonder why such a creative bunch decided to take this pathetic route instead of coming up with their own, original charity single.

Is this the legacy we want to leave our great-grandchildren when they come to witness our achievements at the eventually and potentially to-be-created National Museum of the American Latino?)

Hispanic Members of the CSPCNMAL Inch Closer to Potential Museum Possibility

Laura Martinez


Emilio Estefan flanked by some very happy Latinas

Are you clueless about Latino culture?

Worry no more. The Nobel-prize-winning Obama administration this week got a step closer to the creation of a National Latino Museum in Washington.

A dedicated commission, aptly named "The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino," (from now on referred to as the CSPCNMAL) has retained two companies -Balsera Communications and República -- to outline a work schedule aimed at completing the report and submitting it to Congress before the end of the year.

Spearheaded by Spanish tortilla empresaria Eva Longoria (aka La prieta fea) and Emilio "Lord of Miami" Estefan, the commission is working in determining how this national museum would best serve in portraying the history and culture of Latinos in the U.S.

It is yet to be seen how the CSPCNMAL will manage to raise the estimated $300 million needed for the thing. But I'm confident this will happen: aren't Latinos the trillion-dollar opportunity?

[The group should feel free to contact this blogger, who is willing -an able- to lend a hand. Nothing would make me happier than becoming a member of CSPCNMAL.)

In All Its Magic Realism, Mexico Sends German Prince to Compete in Vancouver

Laura Martinez

If you thought Mexicans were just going to sit by the sidelines and see all the Vancouver fun from afar, think again. In case you missed it, the Mexican national anthem blared over the loudspeakers last Thursday during the ceremonial raising of national flags at the Vancouver Olympic village. Why, well because we have a sent a Mexican over there.

Yes. Our sole representative in Vancouver is Hubertus von Hohenlohe, the founder of the Mexican Ski Federation, who will be skiing for Mexico in the Men's Slalom and Men's Giant Slalom events. He is 51, an artist, a businessperson and a photographer.


And that is not all, according to Time magazine, Hohenlohe is also a prince: He is a descendant of German royalty, the son of Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe and Princess Ira Fürstenberg.

You cannot get any more Mexican than this.

And, really, when you think about it, this is a win-win situation for Mexicans: If Hohenlohe wins, we'll be damn proud of him and will probably celebrate for days. If he doesn't... well, we can always blame it on the Germans. Or the Royalty. Same difference.

Washington Hispanics Excel at Spanish. I Want to Move There to Excel at Something

Laura Martinez


Of all the shocking revelations I've been exposed to lately, this one takes the cake: Hispanics and Chinese students are packing college-level Spanish and Chinese language classes and acing their AP tests at rates far higher than their English-speaking peers.

According to the Washington Examiner:

In Maryland, Virginia and D.C., public school students identified as Mexican-American, Puerto Rican or "other Hispanic" passed Advanced Placement Spanish language and literature exams at a rate of nearly 80 percent, compared with less than 60 percent of their white peers and less than 30 percent of black students.
This state of affairs has some native, U.S.-born English speakers kind of upset, because not only we are taking their jobs but we are beating them to language proficiency. [It also has made me kind of jealous since I've never really excelled at anything.]

Hat tip: F. Benitez

Slipped on Banana Peel? 'Meta un Sú' and Don't Let a Douchebag Ruin Your Life

Laura Martinez


If you ever need to sue somebody in "Cuban" and --more specifically-- in Miami, you'd be better off hiring a professional lawyer and, more importantly, stay away from the douchebags (mequetrefes).

By using the wonderful, un-translatable and cubanísimo concept of meter un sú (to sue somebody) a company in Bloca Raton, Fla. urges U.S. Hispanics to look for the best legal counsel instead of letting some mequetrefe (incompetent fool?) ruin your life as a consequence of an accident.

According to Metounsu.com, theirs is the place to go online when one seeks to meter un sú, whether you've been bitten by a dog, being involved in a car accident or -as their logo suggests- slipped on banana peel.

Kraft, Sara Lee Join Anti-Obesity Campaign. Seem to Follow KFC Hispanic Health Effort

Laura Martinez

Now that Kraft and Sara Lee, those bastions of health, have joined Michelle Obama in her Let's Move Anti-Obesity Effort, I would like to suggest adding another proud sponsor of healthy eating habits: KFC (the brand previously known as Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Watch as a presumably-single, working Hispanic mom challenges her kids to cook a 7-piece meal with less than $10 and then -wisely- conclude they are all better off eating junk, KFC.

Because, really, how else are we going to feed our increasingly fat Latino kids if not with a super cheap dose of fried food, soda and gravy-filled mash potatoes?

Continue reading...

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