Singing star Ricky Martin uses voice to help others

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Five-time Grammy winner Ricky Martin was changed forever 15 years ago, when he helped save three girls who were being sold into prostitution in India.

Martin is 45 and still performing in sold-out venues, where crowds invariably request “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” but the crazy life? That’s yesterday’s news. These days, he’s settled into a deeply meaningful life, starting with his foundation, rickymartinfoundation.org, a leading voice in exposing human trafficking globally since the launch of the awareness campaign Slaves of a New Era in 2004.

“My dream right now is seeing the abolition of modern day slavery and human trafficking,” he said.

The mission of the foundation: denounce human trafficking and educate about its existence through research and community initiatives, anchored in the defense of children and youth rights.

The vision: a world free of human trafficking.

The strategy: The foundation researches human trafficking in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to educate and sensitize the public with the hopes of preventing more people from falling victim to this crime.

Human trafficking is a tragic problem. Approximately 30 million people are victims of human trafficking, of which 5.5 million are children. Human trafficking is the second most lucrative crime in the world, generating $150 billion annually.

To help, visit rickymartinfoundation.org.

Martin, who first gained fame as a member of the band Menudo, continued his evolution in 2008, when he became the father of two sons, Matteo and Valentino. Every action Martin takes, even while performing, is tethered to his undying commitment to his sons’ well-being.

On top of that, parenting is a blast, he said.

“It can’t get better,” he said. “I want my children to be proud of their father and to say, ‘My father is the best dad in the world.’ And I want them to belong to a modern family, and live a path of happiness and calm.”

He’s been taking them on the road with him their entire lives.

“They’ve been traveling since they were born because I’ve been on the road ever since, pretty much,” he said. “I’m their stability.”

A study in revelations, the pop star most famous for “Loca” and “She Bangs” altered his trajectory again in 2010, when he came out as gay, after which he realized, “Oh, my God, this is it. Perfect. Perfection.”

“The years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed,” he said at the time.

Martin advocates for LGBTQ rights, and battles bullying wherever he sees it.

“When someone isn’t ready we must not try to force them out,” he said. “People are being bullied and committing suicide because they’re gay, and it’s horrible.”

Martin and his family have settled down in Las Vegas — for now — as Martin performs at The Park Theater at Monte Carlo.

At Monte Carlo, Martin is belting out his greatest hits to sold-out crowds of 5,000-plus.

Here’s how his shows are being promoted: Head inside the stunning Park Theater, a revolutionary new space that delights every sense with its state-of-the-art visual and audio effects. As the lights go down and Ricky takes the stage, a sweeping projection screen brings you closer to the pop star than you ever thought possible. You can’t resist singing along as the Latin superstar delivers an exhilarating performance of chart-topping favorites and current hits, including “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” “Vente Pa’Ca,” and “She Bangs.” Complete with incredible costume changes and 18 of the most talented dancers in the industry, the intoxicating show leaves you buzzing long after the last song.

Martin has accepted a role in, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” set for release in 2018.

Martin will play Gianni Versace’s longtime love, Antonio D’Amico.

“It’s a story that needs to be told,” said Martin. “We’re going to go mainstream with a story that talks about homophobia, that talks about hate, that talks about indifference. I feel humbled. It’s so raw and honest and so dramatic and sad. But at the same time you show the love of Gianni and Antonio and 15 years of struggling, fighting. It’s something that I really wanted to be loud about.”

Born December 24, 1971, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin began appearing in commercials at age 6. He joined the teen singing group Menudo in 1984, and sang with them for five years, earning stardom.

His debut solo album, Ricky Martin, was released in 1988, followed by a second effort, Me Amaras, in 1989.

In 1993, Martin moved to Los Angeles, where he made his American TV debut in the NBC sitcom Getting By. In 1995 he acted on ABC’s daytime soap opera, General Hospital, and in 1996 he starred in the Broadway production of Les Miserables.

Martin’s third album, A Medio Vivir, came out in 1997, the same year that he lent his voice to the Spanish-language version of Disney’s animated feature, Hercules. His fourth album, Vuelve, released in 1998, featured the hit single, “La Copa de la Vida” (The Cup of Life), which Martin performed at the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament in France, as part of a production broadcast to 2 billion people around the world.

At the Grammy Awards in 1999, Martin gave a sizzling performance of “La Copa de la Vida” at Los Angeles’s Shrine Auditorium just before picking up an award for Best Latin Pop Performance for Vuelve. He followed that star-making Grammy night with the release of his phenomenally successful first English single, “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Martin was also featured on the cover of Time magazine and credited with helping to bring a growing Latin cultural influence into the mainstream of American pop music.

Martin was nominated in four categories at the Grammy Awards the following year, cementing his status as a pop music legend.

Decades after becoming a megastar, Martin hasn’t lost his impressive voice, his rhythmic moves, his movie star looks or his fans.

He’s still a classic, triple-threat performer — he can sing, dance and act.

But he’s a living example of the old adage, “Experience is the best teacher.” He hasn’t lost anything, but he’s gained quite a bit: perspective and wisdom, for starters.

He’s Ricky Martin 2.0, if you will.

A conscientious, committed father, a loudspeaker for those in the LGBTQ community who are being silenced, a freedom fighter against a 21st-century version of human bondage.

This is a man who’s interested in a humble kind of heroism.

“Heroes represent the best of ourselves, respecting that we are human beings,” he said. “A hero can be anyone from Gandhi to your classroom teacher, anyone who can show courage when faced with a problem. A hero is someone who is willing to help others in his or her best capacity.”

Estadio Azteca: The only stadium to have three World Cups now Mexico will co-host 2026

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A legendary football stadium, symbol of pride for Mexican fans, a gathering ground every fortnight for all walks of life: this is Estadio Azteca. A behemoth that will play host to an unprecedented third World Cup in 2026. Over the past 50 years it has been home to some of the greatest national and global sporting events.

EARLY BEGINNINGS

Designed by architects Pedro Ramirez Vazquez and Rafael Mijares, the stadium was brought to life on communal land in the suburb of Santa Ursula Coapa. Construction started in August 1962 and was completed in 1966. It took more than 800 workers, seven million hours of labour, 100 tonnes of concrete and 8,000 thousand tonnes of steel rods to erect the structure.

The title “Estadio Azteca” was given by Antonio Vazques and was also voted best name by the fans. The stadium eventually opened its doors to the public on May 29, 1966. The first event to be held at the stadium was a friendly match between local Club America and Italian side Torino. 105,000 spectators filled the stands to celebrate the first goal which was scored by Arlindo Dos Santos within the first 10 minutes.

A RICH HISTORY

Over the past five decades, millions of fans have witnessed extraordinary achievements at this venue. The stadium hosted World Cup finals in 1970 and 1986 and crowned two of the greatest footballers of all times: Pele and Maradona.

In 1970, “The King” claimed his third World Cup title with Brazil alongside Rivelino, Tostao, Gerson and Jairzinho, while 16 years later Maradona would make headlines for Argentina with his ‘”Hand of God” goal as well as the famed ‘”Goal of the Century” in the same match against England.

Some of the greatest moments in Estadio Azteca include ‘”the Match of the Century” between Italy and Germany, featuring Franz Beckenbauer with a strapped arm who made it through to the semifinals.

The Mexico national team have also seen their heroes lift trophies and create unforgettable moments. Manuel Negrete scored the best goal of 1986 with his ‘scissor-kick from the penalty spot; the team were victorious in the 1999 Confederations Cup, as well as the Gold Cup of the same year, and the under-17 team won the U17 World Cup in 2011. In addition, it was home to matches played at the 1968 Olympic Games.

It is currently the home ground of Club America, but has also been home to other clubs in the past, such as Cruz Azul, Necaxa, Atletico Espanol and Atlante. It has played host to 33 Mexican football finals, which have included some of the best matches witnessed by football fans in the stadium. The most recent of these was at the 2014 Clausura championships where Aguilas was victorious over Tigres.

A NAME CHANGE

In 1997, the stadium’s name was changed to “Guillermo Canedo,” a posthumous homage to the president of Club America and CONCACAF.

However, the original “Estadio Azteca” was very much ingrained and fans struggled to adopt the new name. So the preference of Televisa — the owners of the stadium — was shortlived, the public insisted on calling it Estadio Azteca and soon after the stadium got its original name back.

IMPACT OUTSIDE SOCCER

The Azteca is not only an inspiration to the sporting world, it has also been an inspiration to artists. Andres Calamaro was amazed and surprised by the structure and composed the song “Estadio Azteca” with these words: “When I was a boy and I met the Estadio Azteca, I was stupefied, I felt small in the presence of the giant, when I was older the same happened again…”

This inspiration was also felt by Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, who broke the attendance record in 1993 when 600,000 people came to watch his “Dangerous” world tour over the course of five days.

American football has also left its mark. After multiple preseason matches in Mexico City, Estadio Azteca eventually opened its doors on Oct. 2, 2005 to an encounter between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. This was the first regular season NFL league match in history that was played outside of the United States and attracted a record crowd of 103,467.

Eleven years later an encounter between Houston Texans and Raiders was the first “Monday Night Football” match to be played in a foreign country in the history of the league, and the second regular season league match to be played in Mexico. 76,743 people attended the game.

In 2017, the third regular season league match was played in the Azteca when Patriots beat Raiders — the first time an NFL title holder had played in Mexico. The Azteca has also been host to other American football matches, such as the American Bowl in 1994, 1997, 1998 and 2000. The first of these matches attracted 112,000 spectators who came to see the Dallas Cowboys take on the Houston Oilers. But the greatest event to be hosted by the stadium took place on Feb. 20, 1993. The legendary Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez beat Greg Haugen from the United States in front of a record crowd of 132,274.

Continue onto ESPN to read the complete article.

How Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez Pulled Off an Ambitious Anthology Raising Money for Puerto Rico

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When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 2017, many living on the mainland struggled to connect with their loved ones. Power was knocked out across the entire island, making communication challenging. Even the hotline the Puerto Rican government set up to provide information to worried friends and family proved ineffective. People received a busy tone because of the sheer volume of callers. But as they desperately looked for news – many turning to social media, where others relayed the little information they knew – they were forced to carry on living their lives outside the island. That’s how Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez found himself at New York Comic Contwo weeks after the storm, a time when folks still had no idea about the severity of the effects. While there to talk to fans about his work and his original comic book character, La Borinqueña, an Afro-Boricua superhero, his corner of Artist’s Alley turned into a sort of therapy session.

“There was a line of like 50 people waiting for me every day, the four days of the event,” Miranda-Rodriguez tells me on the telephone. “But more than anything, the space became a very special place for people to share, ’cause up until that point, many of us still had not heard from our family or friends or anyone from Puerto Rico. Not only were people not able to communicate with one another on the island, but we weren’t able to communicate from here to the island. So many people came to the table, they saw the image of La Borinqueña; it gave them a sense of optimism. But at the same time, many of them were overwhelmed emotionally, crying, asking me about my family. I cried; there was a lot of hugging happening.”

The tearful meetups also became the genesis of one of Edgardo’s most ambitious projects: Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico, an anthology raising money for recovery efforts, which featured about 150 collaborators. The book made its debut on May 29, 2018, but it was at NYCC that set this 192-page anthology in motion. Dan DiDio – the co-publisher of DC Comics – and S.O. Leilani Ramos Lugo lined up to get a chance to speak to Edgardo. When Dan came face to face with Edgardo, the first thing the Nuyorican creative said was, “What are we going to do for Puerto Rico?” DiDio asked Miranda-Rodriguez to put together a proposal.

“As soon as he left – within minutes – I came up with the term Ricanstruction Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico,” he adds. Soon after, he diligently worked to make this idea a reality.

One of the most noteworthy parts of Ricanstruction is the number of famous names attached to the project. Rosario Dawson, Sonia Manzano, Javier Munoz, Ruben Blades, and more created content for the book. Some, like Rosario Dawson, he persuaded to create a comic.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

Hulu Is Turning Isabel Allende’s ‘The House of the Spirits’ Into a Series

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hilean author Isabel Allende is far more than Jane the Virgin‘s favorite writer. Allende is an internationally acclaimed, best-selling author whose works are landmark titles in literature. Seriously, when Allende speaks, you all should listen. Hulu is definitely listening because after a supposedly contentious bidding war they’ve announced plans to adapt Allende’s 1982 novel The House of the Spirits into a TV series.

Allende will serve as executive producer on the series as the company starts the process of finding a screenwriter and director. The House of the Spirits is a multi-generational tale following the Truebas, a Chilean family that goes from rags to riches in their quest for love, money, and power. Along the way the family encounters elements of magical realism. Hollywood’s taken a stab at adapting the novel before. In 1993, director Billie August’s adaptation of the novel was released to theaters starring a non-Latino cast including Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, and Winona Ryder as the Truebas. The film was critically and commercially unsuccessful.

The House of the Spirits is definitely in need of another adaptation. The 1993 version is laughably bad, with Jeremy Irons in brownface making no attempt at covering his English accent. Streep and Ryder are as lily white as they come in their performances, and the only Spanish-speaking actors in the bunch, Antonio Banderas and María Conchita Alonso, stick out like a sore thumb. It’d be fantastic for this new take to actually get a Latino writer and director, if only to truly allow Allende’s magical realism and historical grandiosity to come through. The House of the Spirits is a sweeping novel that could benefit from a long-form television series, as opposed to a two-hour movie.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

Meet Ralphy Lozano, the Veteran Making History as the First Gay Latino Mayor of this Bordertown

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Years before Will and Grace became a groundbreaking hit TV show and even before comedian Ellen DeGeneres came out, Ralphy Lozano was standing up for the LGBTQ community. In popular hangout spots, such as bars and restaurants, around his traditionalist town, the teen and his high school-aged friends gathered and refused to hide their true selves, essentially disrupting the status quo. Now, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran has made history by becoming the first openly gay candidate elected to public office in the South Texas town of Del Rio. The proud first-time candidate received 62 percent of the vote and dethroned incumbent Robert Garza, who served as mayor for four years.

Lozano ran on a platform for change and unification for all in Del Rio. For him, this meant focusing on the issues and values that connects his constituents. “I don’t believe I’m going to get too far if I start going under one identity. I have to think about unifying the city,” Lozano tells me.

He didn’t receive campaign donations from any LGBTQ groups, and he didn’t necessarily seek their support. As a matter or fact, Lozano is about $5,000 in debt after his successful grassroots campaign. But his queerness is an important aspect of his identity. Last year, Lozano marched as part of Del Rio’s Veterans Parade in heels, which garnered national headlines – something that caught him by surprise. He didn’t view his choice as a political statement, but rather something that is part of who he is.

“I’ve always thought that veterans’ parades recently have been so dreary, and I feel like we should be celebrating veterans,” he adds. “Some of us have experienced some really traumatic experiences in war zones and losing friends and suffering from PTSD, but we survived. We survived the worst that humanity has (to offer).”

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

Latinos are moviegoers, so ‘Selena’ producer brings theater to iconic Hispanic town

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Delano, Calif. is the birthplace of the farm worker movement. A veteran Chicano Hollywood producer thought it was time it had a multiplex.

Moctesuma Esparza has by all accounts lived the American Dream. A kid who grew up in East Los Angeles during the tumultuous times of the Chicano civil rights movement in the sixties and seventies, Esparza has spent his career highlighting the Latino experience through film. The Emmy winning and Oscar nominated movie producer —he was one of the producers of the hit movie Selena as well as The Milagro Beanfield War and Gettysburg, Esparza has expanded his efforts by bringing the movie going experience to several Latino communities.

“When I grew up I could walk to three movie theaters, but today Latinos have to drive a far distance to see a movie. I want to make movies a neighborhood event,” said Esparza in a telephone interview with NBC News.

The owner and CEO of Maya Cinemas, Esparza opened his latest theater in Delano, California on May 16th, a $20 million dollar multiplex in the heart of the Central Valley. Before the theater’s opening, the agricultural city of just over 50 thousand residents had no movie theater; families would have had to drive over a half hour to go see a movie.

Delano holds significant symbolic value for Esparza’s target audience of Latino families. Delano was the epicenter of the farm workers movement, where civil rights activist Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta joined workers in a strike against grape growers. The historic event set into motion the establishment of the United Farm Workers union.

The farm workers movement is emblematic of Esparza’s own experiences growing up. As a youth leader at Lincoln High School in El Sereno, a working-class, Latino enclave in Los Angeles, Esparza helped organize a massive student walkout in protest for equal education and school reform in in 1968. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities, Esparza sought to transform the presence of Latinos in cinema, entering UCLA and getting a degree in the School of Theater, Film and Television.

Esparza used his experiences as an activist and his degree to tell the story of his community through film. His first documentary, Requiem 29,chronicled the life of Rubén Salazar, the first Mexican American journalist employed by the Los Angeles Times who became an journalist-activist and was killed by a gas canister shot by sheriff deputies while dispersing a crowd of Chicano protesters who organized against the Vietnam War.

After decades of film making and activism, Esparza conceived and launched Maya Cinemas in 2003, and with the newest one in Delano, it now has theaters in five California agricultural and industrial cities with large Latino populations: Bakersfield, Pittsburg, Fresno, Salinas and Delano. Esparza plans to expand to other cities across the country where Hispanics make up a large share of the population.

Though movie going in general is in decline, Esparza has leveraged the economic power of the Latino movie going audience. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, “Latinos, who represent 18% of the total U.S. population, comprised 24% of ‘frequent’ moviegoers — those who attend at least once a month.” According to their report, Latinos went to the moves an average of 4.5 times in 2017, making them the most enthusiastic movie going ethnic group in the country.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

16-Year-Old Actor Xolo Maridueña Is the First Latino ‘Karate Kid’

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Although nostalgia enthusiasts were excited to see original actors Ralph Macchio and William Zabka recently reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence on YouTube Red’s Cobra Kai, there’s no denying how much heart and talent the younger cast members have added to the new series based on The Karate Kid.

Leading the latest group of martial arts trainees in the resurrected franchise is 16-year-old actor Xolo Maridueña, who portrays main character Miguel Diaz. On the show, Miguel is the first novice karate student Johnny takes in to train when he decides to resurrect the Cobra Kai brand by opening his own dojo under the same name and taking on the role of sensei. Johnny meets Miguel when he saves him from a group of bullies outside of the strip mall where the dojo is located.

Miguel is a nice enough kid who lives with his loving mother and grandmother. We don’t know too much about his father except that he stayed behind in Ecuador and might’ve been caught up in something shady. Miguel’s mother describes him as a “very bad man.” In Johnny, Miguel finds the father figure that he’s always wanted.

Along with his new interest in martial arts, Miguel has his sights set on making an impression on a girl at school – Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser), who happens to be Daniel’s daughter. As the 10-episode season progresses, Miguel becomes closer to Samantha, although her father has no idea that he is Johnny’s student, which Samantha knows would not be welcomed news in the LaRusso household. While that drama plays out, Miguel finds a new foe in Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), Johnny’s estranged teenage son who happens to work for Daniel at his car dealership and begins a friendship with Samantha while under Daniel’s tutelage.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa: Standing Up for STEAM

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Dr. Ellen Ochoa

By Brady Rhoades

When NASA Hall of Famer Ellen Ochoa encourages young people to reach for the sky, she’s not just using a figure of speech.

It’s literal.

Ochoa became the first Latina astronaut to venture into space when she went up in 1993. She served four tours and 1,000 hours in the cosmos from 1993 to 2002.

“I believe a good education can take you anywhere on Earth and beyond,” she said.

After her trips to outer space, Ochoa served as Johnson Space Center’s director of flight crew operations and deputy director before becoming the head director in 2013. She is the first Latina and second female to lead the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Ochoa, who is retiring this May after 30 years with NASA, said NASA has done a good job of hiring Latinas and other minorities, but more can be done to urge minorities into STEAM fields.

“I plan to continue after retirement to encourage kids and adults—and especially women and minorities who are under-represented in STEM/STEAM fields—to reach for the stars!” she said.

Even as she was making history as the second woman and first Dr. Ellen Ochoa on Flight deckLatina in space, Ochoa’s focus was laser-sharp, her goals stratospheric.

She has a message for Hispanics, especially those held back by poverty and prejudice: STEAM is freeing.

“There are a lot of interesting and exciting careers when you study math and science and related technology fields,” she said. “For me, the key was really my education, so I tell people that it’s important to study and continue to take science and math classes throughout high school. I tell them to graduate from high school and go on to college. That will really give you a lot of options. I realize that a lot of the students I speak to may not end up as an astronaut or may not be completely interested in those fields, but I want them to at least make sure that they have options in their careers and that they think about setting high goals for themselves. People who become astronauts are very similar to a lot of these kids. They put in a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and they set high goals for themselves. That’s something that anybody can apply.”

Ochoa, married to Coe Miles and mother to two sons, was born in 1958 and raised in La Mesa, California. Her grandparents on her father’s side were Mexican.

Ochoa, a flautist who considered majoring in music, earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at San Diego State University in 1980, a Master of Science degree from Stanford University in 1981 and her doctorate in electrical engineering from the same university in 1985.

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first woman in space. That sparked a new passion for Ochoa, and she applied to NASA’s astronaut program. She tried three times before being accepted and worked at Sandia National Laboratories and the NASA Ames Research Center. In 1990, Ochoa was accepted into the astronaut program.

Aboard the space shuttle Discovery in April 1993, Ochoa became the first Latina in space.

AstronautsThe nine-day mission was sent to study the effect of solar activity on the Earth’s climate and environment. Ochoa served as a mission specialist and used the robotic arm to deploy and capture the SPARTAN-201 satellite, which studied the solar corona.

She went on to serve as the payload commander aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 1994, a 10-day mission to further study the sun’s energy output and the Earth’s atmosphere. She also served as the flight engineer and mission specialist in the 1999 and 2002 missions to the International Space Station.

After retiring from flying, she took to her directorial role at Johnson right away.

“Leadership provides the ability to influence the things you care about most,” she said.

And what does she care about?

“I care deeply about NASA’s mission and its value to our nation—expanding scientific knowledge, engaging globally, providing both economic benefits and technology transfer applied to issues on Earth, and especially serving as a source of inspiration and pride,” she said.

Retirement is just a word. Ochoa’s work continues. She’s vested in the next generation of women and Hispanics.

Her message?

“Go for it!” she said. “There are many interesting, challenging, and rewarding careers associated with STEAM. Often, you have the opportunity to work as part of a team, solving problems and fostering new discoveries. As the tag line for the International Space Station says, we are working ‘off the Earth, for the Earth.’

“As a center director, ‘accomplish the mission’ is expanded to mean not only today’s mission but also tomorrow’s mission, ensuring that we have the appropriate workforce, facilities, and processes to lead human exploration well into the future. Taking care of our people has many aspects—recruiting a diverse group of people, ensuring they have career development and training opportunities, and focusing on an atmosphere of respect for each other where people feel valued.”

Ochoa has earned many awards and honors, including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. She has also received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award.

Ochoa won the 1995 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and was Spaceship Tunnelthe Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation Engineer of the Year in 2008. She has six schools named after her.

She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2017.

“I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind,” Ochoa said at the time.

Ochoa is a double pioneer: She’s one of an elite number of people who’ve meandered among the stars, and she broke ground for Hispanics while doing it.

She said she always looked at her heritage as a positive.

“It has added a whole dimension, I think, to my job,” she said. “When I originally applied to be an astronaut, I wasn’t really thinking about the whole sort of role model aspect of it. I was doing it because I was fascinated by space. I was studying to be a research engineer and realized you could do a lot of unique and interesting experiments in space. And so it was really wanting to be part of America’s space program and being able to apply my research.”

Along the way, she saw firsthand how important inclusiveness is—to a profession, to society. It makes sense to draw from a broad talent pool of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasians, females, males, you name it.

She started off working in STEM, for instance, and that’s evolved into STEAM, to include the arts. Bringing many unique perspectives to the table—be it with regard to culture, ethnicity and thought (let’s bring some artists onboard!)—is almost always a successful methodology, in her experience.

“We’d like to have all kinds of minds involved in our challenges, as well as in telling our story,” she said.

A-Rod In Paradise: Swinging For Redemption Through Baseball And Business

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Even as Alex Rodriguez sits contemplating a platter of raspberries at the Four Seasons in Austin, he is chasing something. The day before, in preparation for his new gig as an ESPN Sunday Night Baseballanalyst, he visited three teams at spring training in Arizona. Today in Texas, he gave a keynote address at South by Southwest titled “Baseball, Business and Redemption” with CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman. And later he’ll jet home to Miami to spend time with his two daughters before heading to Tampa to see the Yankees in his role as special advisor.

“I’m totally grateful for where I am today and do not take anything for granted,” the 42-year-old Rodriguez says. “And I felt that once I owned all of that and started digging myself out of this black hole, I wanted to come out a different person.”

What Rodriguez is chasing these days is redemption–and in the wake of his 2016 retirement, he’s finding it by analyzing baseball and business. He debuted as a commentator for Fox last year before adding the ESPN job, remarkably coexisting with rival networks. Rodriguez also oversees A-Rod Corp, which includes real estate investments (13,000 units across ten states), conditioning companies (from UFC-branded gyms to TruFusion, a kettle-bells-and-hot-yoga outlet) and startups (with stakes in Josh Kushner’s health insurance company, Oscar, as well as the ride-sharing service Didi and the eSports team NRG). He’s even made savvy moves with his own real estate, selling his Miami Beach mansion for $30 million in 2013 (double what he paid) before building his dream home in Coral Gables.

His real-life investing expertise landed him a guest spot on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2017, becoming the show’s first Hispanic shark. This year he’s displaying his coaching skills on CNBC’s Michael Strahan-produced Back in the Game, in which Rodriguez creates a financial plan for Joe Smith, a former No. 1 NBA draft pick who squandered career earnings of $61 million. Says Hoffman: “It’s an opportunity to educate, which is also at the core of Alex’s redemption story.”

For Rodriguez, the curriculum began at birth. His father, Victor, ran a shoe store in New York City before moving his clan to the baseball-obsessed Dominican Republic and then to Miami. “I’ve always had passion and a dream to be both mainly a baseball player and a businessman,” Rodriguez says. “That’s what my father was, and I wanted to be like him.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

How the Hornets’ New Head Coach James Borrego Is Blazing a Trail for Latinos in the NBA

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NBA coach james borrego

On Tuesday, the Charlotte Hornets named James Borrego its new head coach – a relatively nondescript hire as far as the NBA is concerned, but a meaningful one for aspiring Latino coaches everywhere.

The 40-year-old Albuquerque native joins a select group of Latinos to ever ascend to the NBA head coaching ranks, following the likes of Dick Versace, head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1988 to 1990, and Earl Watson, who coached the Phoenix Suns from 2015 to 2017.

But while Versace and Watson both stepped into interim positions within their organizations before staying on full-time, Borrego was an external hire – and a highly sought after one at that – representing another milestone for Latino basketball coaches. Borrego had recently been linked to head coaching vacancies in New York, Phoenix, and Milwaukee, and reportedly turned down the opportunity to coach at the University of New Mexico in 2017.

Raised by his mother, Lydia, in a single-parent household in New Mexico, Borrego made the move from playing to coaching shortly after college. He’s spent most of his career with the San Antonio Spurs, beginning as an assistant video coordinator in 2003 before making his way up to assistant coach, working alongside future Hall of Famer Gregg Popovich. In between stints in San Antonio, Borrego also worked as an assistant coach in New Orleans and Orlando, assuming interim head coaching duties for the Magic after the firing of then-head coach Jacque Vaughn.

Popovich has spoken fondly of Borrego’s contributions through the years: “He basically made us smarter… Now when one of our film guys screws something up, we’ve got J.B.’s number on speed dial.”

While assistant coaches can only do so much to distinguish themselves from their peers, the Hornets quickly grew fond of Borrego, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: “Borrego made a strong impression in his interview with Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets’ new president of basketball operations and general manager. Kupchak became more intrigued once he started to canvass NBA executives, coaches and players who have worked with Borrego, sources told ESPN.”

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Discovery U.S. Hispanic celebrates 20 years of delivering high-quality and differentiated content to Latinos

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Discovery Familia to offer premium HGTV and Food Network content to Spanish-language audiences —

Discovery U.S. Hispanic announced today its 2018-2019 Upfront slate, unveiling Discovery en Español’s compelling new programming lineup and providing a first look at the new Discovery Familia whose signature women and kids programming will now be complemented by the company’s acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.

Discovery U.S. Hispanic’s portfolio of Spanish-language brands will present a programming line-up of real life entertainment genres to nourish its super-fans with the intent of inspiring and informing a growing audience of discerning Latino consumers on their screens of choice.

“Over the past two decades, we’ve become the leader in quality, Spanish-language real-life entertainment by carefully curating our content to the needs and interests of our Latino audience,” said David Tardio, vice president of advertising sales, Discovery U.S. Hispanic. “The newly-added programs and introduction of premium home and food series will not only bring more exciting content to our viewers, but will also open the doors to more innovative opportunities for clients seeking to connect with Hispanic audiences.”

Discovery en Español, which is also celebrating its 20th anniversary, will build on its most popular genres of automotive, adventure, natural history and investigation, as well as expand avenues for marketers to reach Latino consumers on all platforms, including linear, digital, mobile, social and virtual reality media. Some of the notable series and specials include: Clandestino, Mexicánicos Season 6, SPEEDSHOPmx, Los Hines, Profesión peligro, Rugido vivo and Tras la tumba de Anjesenamon.

Discovery Familia will continue to feature programming dedicated to Hispanic women and the things that matter to them, including the kid-favorite Discovery Kids block. It will also premiere popular and successful home renovation and food competition programs such as Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, House Hunters, Eliminado and Derrota a Bobby Flay, which will air for the first time ever in Spanish-language for our U.S. Hispanic audience. It will also offer original content featuring Latin American personalities, such as Locos X el Asado and Un nuevo espacio.

In addition, the GO apps for both Hispanic networks have gained traction since their launch last year, more than doubling its users and increasing video views by 730 percent. According to Nielsen* both networks have also seen a year-over-year increase in viewership by women ages 25-54, with 27 percent more women watching Discovery en Español and 11 percent more viewing Discovery Familia.  Discovery en Español also retains its #2 non-sports PayTV network rank in prime time for 10 years running.

This upfront season Discovery U.S. Hispanic is creating more branded content opportunities for marketers. As part of its offering, Discovery en Español will present the following titles: Héroes al rescate, featuring Latino first responders, SPEEDSHOPmx, a classic-car customization show and a new season of Desafío x 2, the network’s successful adventure series. Discovery Familia will feature Un nuevo espacio, featuring Latina designers ready to tackle design project while growing their business. In addition, advertisers targeting auto enthusiasts will be able to create branded content through TEN (MotorTrend en Español and Lowrider) and those looking to connect with Latino millennials can do so via Group Nine’s Spanish-language brands El Dodo and NowHola.

“Discovery U.S. Hispanic is unique in that we are the only real-life entertainment media company to offer advertisers the ability to connect with the full spectrum of Hispanic viewers in English and Spanish,” remarked David Tardio. “This year we’re even better positioned to capture renewed interest from advertisers who have tried unsuccessfully to connect with Hispanic viewers via English-language buys only over the past two years.”

DISCOVERY U.S. HISPANIC 2018-19 PROGRAMMING

Discovery en Español

  • Branded Content
    • Héroes al rescate (Latino First Responders) (WT)

This fast-paced documentary series profiles Hispanic men and women who are the front lines as they perform their daily duties to serve and protect the public. Héroes al rescate follows a group of firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and police officers as they manage a variety of emergency situations.  Cameras will follow these real-life heroes around the clock, from daring rescues to off-duty hours, giving viewers a behind the scenes look at their jobs and its effect on their personal lives. Get to know these brave first responders, some of whom are military veterans, who make personal sacrifices every day in an effort to save lives.

  • SPEEDSHOPmx (WT)

Zaky Ibrahim became passionate about cars as a child in part inspired by his toy car collection.  He modified his first car at the age of 17 and today he manages the wildly successful ‘Speedshopmx’ in Mexico City, bringing together the very best in the business to customize and personalize classic American cars.

  • Desafío x 2 (Dual Survival)

Adventurers don’t let fear or the unknown hold them down. In this docu-reality series, a young Hispanic survival expert and influencer travels the United States taking on the country’s most dangerous terrains with the help of a young local guide. Swamps, staggering heights, strong river currents, and arid deserts. No place is off-limits for this road trip adventure that will inspire others to set off and explore their country.

New Series

    • Rugido vivo – (Taken by the Tiger) (WT)

This documentary travels to remote areas in Asia where tigers still roam freely. Directed by Academy® Award-winners Fisher Stevens (“The Cove”) and Ross Kauffman (“Born into Brothels”), the film highlights the sheer splendor of these fierce felines in the wild, embedding with the heroes saving these tigers from extinction, chronicling the work the work of those striving every day for their protection.  Debuting in early 2019, the special is tied to Discovery’s Project C.A.T. initiative, part of a global effort to double the population of tigers living in the wild by 2022.

  • Billonario encubierto – (Undercover Billionaire) (WT)

Financial success is the ultimate American Dream. In this all-new series, Discovery will tap the expertise of a self-made mogul to see whether it’s possible to create a million-dollar company in just 90 days with just a few dollars in his pocket. The true identity of the billionaire will remain anonymous to everyone around him as he attempts to integrate into this remote community with little means and resources. If he’s successful, at the end of the 90 days, he’ll turn over the company he built to the people who helped him out along the way. And once and for all, reveal his true identity.

  • Los Hines – (Book of Hines) (WT)

Former covert military man and intelligence officer Brett Hines and his family transition from living under the modern trappings of life in America to forming their own way of life. The Hines live off-grid using survival and security techniques Brett honed in the military. Distrusting of our modern way of life, the Hines are now two years in, and at the make or break point. The new series documents their journey (including footage they have self-shot over the years) and provides a roadmap for the rest of us to a life out of society.

  • Tras la tumba de Anjesenamon – (Valley of the Kings) (WT)

This documentary goes exclusively inside the first major excavation in a generation, in Egypt’s famed burial ground of the pharaohs, looking for one thing – the lost tomb of an ancient royal. Led by renowned Archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, the crew of more than one hundred Egyptian workers are digging in the largely untouched western portion of the valley, where leading archaeologists believe several royal tombs lie hidden. Using cutting edge technology, the series the search for the secrets buried in the sand.

  • Profesión peligro – (Hard to Kill) (WT)

Special Forces Sniper and fearless Green Beret, Tim Kennedy travels the country as he puts the spotlight on America’s toughest workers by risking his own life and attempting some of America’s most dangerous jobs. Whether he’s testing his skills as a test pilot or part of a mountain rescue team, Tim works with experts in each field to learn some of today’s most dangerous jobs. At the end of each training, Tim will put the skills he learned to the test to see if he truly has what it takes to accomplish the jobs of everyday heroes.

  • Cambio de marcha con Aaron Kaufman – (Shifting Gears with Aaron Kaufman)

In Shifting Gears, we delve beneath the skin of some of the most advanced machines on the planet. We visit international motor shows for the newest releases and concept vehicles; uncover new advances in technology developed both in the laboratory and on the race track; keep up to date in the race for alternative fuels, improved safety, satellite navigation, in-car entertainment and multi-media connectivity; and look ahead to the designs and trends of the future. From luxury dream machines and fantasy prototypes to the globally marketed mainstays, our access to the world’s leading race teams and automotive manufacturers ensure we have every corner covered.

Returning Series

  • Clandestino

Renowned Spanish journalist David Beriain travels around the world to visit conflict zones and gain the trust of some of the most controversial characters and investigates undercover phenomena occurring in the word today.

  • Mexicánicos

The top-rated series returns to Discovery en Español with new restorations and exclusive creations by the talented mechanic Martín Vaca. Whether it’s repairing, transforming or building a brand-new limousine, hearse or hot rod in his Guadalajara workshop, no project is too big for this authority on motor vehicles.

  • Texas Metal

The network’s highest-rated series returns for more metal miracles from the incredibly talented, visionary team at Ekstensive Metal Works in Houston. For more than two decades owner Bill Carlton and team have built a reputation for giving customers exactly what they want. Whether it’s tricked-out trucks with wild hydraulics or facelifts for classic muscle cars, Ekstensive Metal Works does restorations, rebuilds, metal work, paint, interior or accessories bigger and better.

  • Detalles de un crimen (Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall)

The Today Show host and MSNBC news anchor Tamron Hall walks viewers step by step through a series of riveting and heart wrenching murder investigations in this news magazine show. With her up-close-and-personal style, and strong investigative background, Tamron challenges expectations, interviews those most deeply affected, and visits the scene of the crime to find out what really happened and why.

  • Caso criminal (On The Case with Paula Zahn)

Led by Emmy- Award journalist Paula Zahn, CASO CRIMINAL features in-depth interviews and original reporting that go beyond the headlines in search of fascinating mysteries within our nations’ justice system. Each episode is highlighted by Zahn’s riveting exclusive interviews, which draw out different viewpoints from the people connected to tragedies that rocked their local community and the investigations that attempted to piece together the truth on CASO CRIMINAL.

  • Vidas remotas (Homestead Rescue)

For the hundreds of families who decide to move entirely off-grid, the learning curve is a steep one.  Even the most resourceful and determined families often succumb to their first winter, monsoon or drought season. In a last effort to save their homesteads, these families call in survival experts to prepare them for nature’s worst and force the ultimate decision: stay to tough out their first year, or pack it up and go back to civilization.

Specials:

  • Semana del tiburón (Shark week)

The most anticipated summer event returns to Discovery en Español with new shark programming. Semana del Tiburón has long been a pop culture juggernaut, giving online and social media even more bite each time, and it shows no signs of slowing down!

  • Nasa: mas allá del infinito (Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow) (WT)

Humankind has come to lead the planet in large part thanks to its insatiable curiosity and remarkable ability to wonder. This “need to know” lies deep within our DNA, as we seek to answer the biggest questions: Where did we come from? Where are we going? Are we alone? That quest to understand has led us to make incredible discoveries and achieve extraordinary advances. As this historic institution celebrates its 60thanniversary, Discovery once again shines a spotlight on NASA and the vital role it has to play moving forward into the coming decades.

  • El caso de Natalie Woods (An American Murder Mystery: Natalie Woods)

Cases ripped from the headlines that captivated our nation, this anthology follows experts as they reexamine evidence from the most baffling and infuriating cases of all time, using the latest technology, insights from specialists who have studied the cases for years, and interviews with new and old key players.

  • Manson: la leyenda de un culto (Manson: The Lost Tapes) (WT)

Using a treasure trove of extraordinary, intimate, and shocking footage of the Manson Family shot at their ranches and never-before-seen on TV, this unique, premium documentary project tells the exclusive inside story of the world’s most infamous cult in the run up to the fiftieth anniversary of the slayings that shocked the world.

Discovery Familia

Branded Content

    • Un nuevo espacio (WT)
      Nothing is impossible for these Latina designers and entrepreneurs who would do anything to make their clients happy while growing their business! They are strong, passionate and fully dedicated to delivering the very best in interior design, whether they are redecorating a room, designing an office or creating a new space in a school. While utilizing a small renovation budget and a large amount of imagination, the designers and clients work together to complete each makeover. This series will also explore how they manage and market their business and ultimately get the job done for their clients.

New Series

  • Flip or Flop

Flipping team Tarek and Christina have viewers on the edge of their seats as they purchase dilapidated properties for cash, sometimes sight unseen, and then renovate and flip them for resale. From the nail-biting purchase at auction, to the sometimes-exasperating renovations, discouraging showings and exhilarating sale, will they Flip or Flop.

  • Fixer Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines help homebuyers in Waco, Texas, look past the superficial and buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. With his expertise in construction and her keen design sense, Chip and Jo transform potential-rich houses into their clients’ dream homes.

  • Chopped: Eliminado (Chopped)

Chopped is a cooking competition that’s all about skill, speed and ingenuity, where four up-and-coming chefs compete before a panel of three expert judges. Course by course, the chefs must take a basket of mystery ingredients and turn it into an extraordinary meal. Then, they must survive the Chopping Block, where the judges are waiting to be wowed and are not shy about voicing their culinary criticisms! Host Ted Allen leads the high-energy, high-pressure competition, and in the end, only one chef will make the cut and win $10,000.

  • Cutthroat Kitchen

Just how far is a chef willing to go to win a cooking competition? Cutthroat Kitchen hands four chefs $25,000 and the opportunity to spend that money on helping themselves or sabotaging their competitors. Ingredients will be thieved, utensils destroyed and valuable time on the clock lost when these chefs compete to cook delicious dishes while also having to out-plot the competition. With Alton Brown as the devilish provocateur, nothing is out of bounds when money changes hands and we see just how far one chef will go to ensure they have the winning dish.

  • Beat Bobby Flay

To Beat Bobby Flay, you’re going to have to get to him first! In this competition series, two talented chefs go head-to-head for the chance to put their culinary skills to the test against Bobby Flay. The winner moves on to the ultimate battle — facing off against Bobby Flay — but not without an advantage: our challenger chooses the dish they will both be judged on. Can Bobby come up with the winning dish with no time to prepare? In this competition, the challenger may get to call the dish, but it’s anyone’s game. Could you Beat Bobby Flay?

  • Guy’s Grocery Games

Guy Fieri sends four talented chefs running through the aisles in a high-stakes, high skills, grocery store cooking competition. The chefs are hit by real-world challenges like finding workarounds when all the essential ingredients are suddenly “out-of-stock” or having to create a masterpiece when you can only cook with “5 items or less” or on a $10 budget. In the end, the food does the talking, as the last chef standing has the chance to make some serious dough!

  • House Hunters, House Hunters International and Tiny House Hunters

These series take viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for and decide if a home is meant for them. Focusing on the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode shows the process as buyers search for a house whether it’s in their home town, across the globe or looking to downsize their living space.

  • Locos X el Asado

Locos X el Asado is dedicated to the Asado, Argentina’s world famous traditional barbecue. Hosted by “El Laucha” and his friends, the show takes place in a homie space covered with local flavors while they prepare extraordinary asados, show a variety of cooking techniques, and tell us everything about the different meat cuts, sauces, and secret tricks. The new series also takes on a tour of Buenos Aires and its surroundings, and introduces unique characters that will inspire the audience to make different kinds of barbecue.

Returning Series

  • Casados por diseño (Nate and Jeremiah)

The show follows the couple inside and outside of the home, as they juggle married life and raising their daughter while helping distressed homeowners turn a disaster into a dream home.

  • Cake Boss

Buddy Valastro, one of the most successful cake artists in the U.S, is back with a new season in which he prepares elaborate themed cakes for various occasions along with his team at Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey.

  • Vestido de novia (Say Yes to the Dress)

The SYTTD team bend over backward to make each bride’s experience unforgettable, part bridal story, part fashion makeover and part family therapy session, each episode looks at the personalities and craftsmanship that come into play as the staff goes to extreme lengths to make each bride’s dream come true.

  • Los Busby (Outdaughtered)

Danielle and Adam Busby may have thought year one of raising quintuplet baby girls was rough! But now that the little ladies are older, life in the Busby household has become more chaotic than ever!

About Discovery U.S. Hispanic
Discovery U.S. Hispanic, a division of Discovery Communications the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer, is comprised of Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia, two networks for Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States. Discovery en Español connects viewers to the world and all its wonder and possibilities through quality programming focusing on bold storytelling across core genres including adventure, ingenuity, natural, history, investigation and current affairs. Discovery Familia is dedicated to Hispanic women and what matters in their lives. During the day the network broadcast a Discovery Kids block, which provides a safe environment for children aged 2-6 with entertaining, curriculum-based programming. In the evening, the channel offers programming for women, focusing on home décor, food, health, beauty and parenting. Both networks reach audiences across screens on the ‘’Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia GO’’TV Everywhere apps. For more information, please follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/DiscoveryenESP and Facebook at www.facebook.com/discoveryenespanol