SAWPA Celebrates World Water Day, Reminds Hispanic Customers Water is Safe

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Hispanic man fills a glass of water at his kitchen sink

Riverside, Calif. – This World Water Day, March 22, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) wants to remind its customers in the Santa Ana River Watershed (SARW) that the tap water that comes to their home is safe to drink.

“Billions of people around the world are still living without safe, clean drinking water,” said Mark Norton, SAWPA Water Resources & Planning Manager. “While a sustainable global solution is in development, we want to remind our customers that their water is safe and tested daily to ensure it meets the highest state and federal standards before it reaches them.”

The Santa Ana River Watershed, which stretches 75 miles from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean in Orange County, is home to a large immigrant population. These immigrants come from countries where tap water is not safe to drink. Therefore, they still rely on boiling water, bottled water, water stores, and water vending machines.

Bottled water is tested less frequently than water from tap-water providers and is stored in plastic containers that can leach toxic chemicals. There are no testing standards for plastic bottles leaching toxins into the water or testing for possible bacteria that might form in water bottles.

Additionally, corner water stores are supposed to be monitored and regulated, but often inspections are not consistent, and the water quality can be unreliable. Customers’ water jugs and bottles used to collect water from stores and machines are often used multiple times, and may contain bacteria as well.

“Customers can also save money when they choose tap water; a gallon of tap water is less than .03 cents versus up to $2.50 for a gallon of bottled water,” continued Mark. “Spending more on bottled water doesn’t guarantee better quality. We recommend investing in a reusable water bottle to fill up with tap water or even use a home filter if you prefer the taste of filtered water.”

Avoiding tap water also has health risks as often water is substituted for sugary, high-calorie drinks, such as soda, juice, and sports drinks, which can lead to diabetes and obesity.

All tap water in Southern California and across the United States undergoes mandatory daily testing at certified laboratories to ensure it meets or exceeds standards. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that public tap water providers conduct comprehensive water quality testing by certified laboratories as well as provide annual water quality reports to its customers.

Established in 1993 by the United Nations, International World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources.

In Helping His Dad With Diabetes, Young Mexican Chemist Pioneers Healthy—and Cheap—Sugar Substitute

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Javier Larragoiti and team working in the Xilinat lab

When 18-year old Javier Larragoiti was told his father had been diagnosed with diabetes, the young man, who had just started studying chemical engineering at college in Mexico City, decided to dedicate his studies to finding a safe, sugar-alternative for his father.

“My dad tried to use stevia and sucralose, just hated the taste, and kept cheating on his diet,” Larragoiti told The Guardian. Stevia and sucralose are both popular sugar alternatives, and many reduced-sugar products available today contain one or the other.

With stevia and sucralose out of the picture, the young chemist needed to keep searching. He started dabbling with xylitol, a sweet-tasting alcohol found in birch wood but also in many fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is used in sugar-free products such as chewing gum and also in children’s medicine, but is toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

“It has so many good properties for human health, and the same flavor as sugar, but the problem was that producing it was so expensive,” said Larragoiti. “So I decided to start working on a cheaper process to make it accessible to everyone.”

Xylitol Made Cheaper

Corn is Mexico’s largest agricultural crop, and Javier has now patented a method of extracting xylitol from discarded corn cobs. Best of all, with 28 million metric tons of corn cobs generated every year in Mexico as waste, there’s no shortage of xylitol-generating fuel.

Simultaneously, Larragoiti hit on the idea of how to make xylitol less expensive, while inventing a way to reuse the 28 million tons of corn cobs, substantially upgrading the traditional means of disposal: burning them.

Especially in a pollution-heavy country like Mexico, reducing the amount of corn waste burned, would eliminate a portion of the carbon emissions.

His business, Xilinat, buys waste from 13 local farmers, producing 1 ton of the product each year. His invention was awarded a prestigious $310,000 Chivas Venture prize award, which will enable him to industrialize his operation and scale up production 10-fold, diverting another 10 tons of corn cob from the furnace.

Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

Labels Don’t Define Who You Are

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group of professional Latinx employees

By Mona Lisa Faris

While it’s not a new word, we’re hearing “Latinx” more and more. Politicians are using the word more frequently—in fact, during the first Democratic debate this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren used it in her opening remarks.

Since its conception, “Latinx” is now a “hot” label. What does “Latinx” mean, and why is there so much controversy surrounding it? Basically, “Latinx” is a gender-neutral term used in lieu of “Latino” or “Latina” to refer to a person of Latin-American descent. Using the term “Latinx” to refer to all people of Latin-American descent has become more common as members in the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates have embraced the label.

The word was created as a gender-neutral alternative to “Latinos,” not only to better include those who are gender fluid but also to push back on the inherently masculine term used to describe all genders in the Spanish language.

I have to agree with George Cadava, director of the Latina and Latino Studies program at Northwestern University, when he said, “Latinx is an even further evolution that was meant to be inclusive of people who are queer or lesbian or gay or transgender.”

The U.S. Census Bureau still uses “Hispanic” and defines it as the “heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States.” For the past 30 years, we here call ourselves HISPANIC Network Magazine to encompass Latin, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Chicano, and any Spanish-speaking country.

As we’re sensitive to all the different cultures and labels, we have something for everyone. We are proud to bring you the powerful, beautiful and talented Puerto Rican Afro-Latina—La La Anthony. Read our interview with this superstar and how she uses philanthropy to power her causes.

Don’t let the labels stop you from voting, reading this magazine or being who you who you are. Until the next word comes, remember, labels don’t define who you are.

4 Podcasts for Your Daily Commute

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young woman driving with window down and smiling

Get the scoop on jobs, lifestyle, and more! Podcasts have taken the world by storm.

Instead of listening to music on the way to and from work, most people are listening to their favorite podcasts.

Many cover topics like true crime, comedy, sports and recreation, society and culture, and arts and business.

“Podcast” was formed by combining “iPod” and “broadcast”.

Many different mobile applications allow people to subscribe and to listen to podcasts.

Check out these podcasts that give you business advice and teach you about food, family, history, and more.
 

Mucho Success

Mucho Success: Advice and Success Secrets for Latinos

How can Latinos become more successful? Learn the secrets of the most influential people and apply them to your life. Join corporate executive, entrepreneur, and business coach José Piñero as he interviews fascinating leaders and brings inspiring stories, lessons, and advice to empower and elevate Latinos.

Source: The Cultivation Company

Wait, Hold Up

Wait, Hold Up!

This podcast is for everyone trying to live their best lives but need some support, encouragement, and most importantly, dope girlfriends. Jess and Yarel are there to hash out their own real-life moments as well as get into those ‘wait, hold up!’ moments with their guests! Each episode offers something new, whether they’re diving into topics like careers, spirituality, personal development, or wellness.

Source: Wait, Hold Up! Podcast

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch provides a digital media platform that reflects the intersectionality between queer, Latinx, and Spanglish voices in an Anglo-dominated podcast world. FavyFav and Babelito approach the topics of identity, food, family, and history in a responsible yet humorous way.

Source: Latinos Who Lunch

Latina to Latina

Latina to Latina is an interview podcast hosted by Alicia Menendez and executive produced by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Menendez said, “Less than a year ago, when we first launched Latina to Latina, we produced what the two of us wanted and needed: a space for Latinas to talk about their lives and professional journeys. What we’ve learned from our listeners is that they wanted and needed this more than we even imagined. Yes, they are looking for inspiration, but we routinely hear that the sense of belonging and community is what keeps them listening week after week.”

Source: Latina to Latina

Recognizing Hispanic Heritage

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Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15 in the United States, people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the group’s heritage and culture.

Monday, September 16 is Mexican Independence Day. Early on the morning of September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla summoned the largely Indian and mestizo congregation of his small Dolores parish church and urged them to take up arms and fight for Mexico’s independence from Spain.

His El Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores, which was spoken—not written—is commemorated on September 16 as Mexican Independence Day.

Hispanics constitute 17.6% of the nation’s total population.

By 2060, the Hispanic population is projected to increase to 119 million.

As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize some of the contributions to trending Hispanic lifestyle, business and entertainment.

 

Eva Longoria Presents Eva’s Kitchen
Actress, New York Times bestselling cookbook author, and Texas-native Eva Longoria continued her partnership with FoodStory Brands, a family-owned Arizona-based company, to bring her recipes to life. Longoria collaborated with FoodStory Brands’ Fresh Cravings to create an authentic, fresh-tasting, Texas-inspired salsa, Eva’s Kitchen Cantina Style Salsa. Source: Fresh Cravings
Selena Gomez Tackles Swimwear
Selena Gomez is taking on a new title: swimwear designer. Gomez, already a notable fashion designer with her Coach line, teamed up with former assistant Theresa Marie Mingus and swimwear line Krahs. Gomez created the “Selena” suit, a high-waisted bottoms and bra-style top that was partially inspired by her kidney transplant scar. She also contributed a one-piece zip-up suit. Source: teenvogue.com
Gaby Natale Makes History With 4th Consecutive Daytime EMMY Nomination
Triple Daytime EMMY® winner Gaby Natale made history last spring when the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nominated the SuperLatina host to a fourth consecutive Daytime EMMY® Award in the Outstanding Daytime Talent in a Spanish Language Program category. Source: AGANAR Media
Emilio and Gloria Estefan Receive 2019 Gershwin Prize
Husband-and-wife team Emilio and Gloria Estefan were the recipients of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The honorees represent two firsts for the prize – they are the first married couple and first recipients of Hispanic descent to receive the award. Source: blogs.loc.gov
Hispanic Audiences Drove ‘La Llorona’ To $26.5M.

The Curse of La Llorona beat the $15M–$17M domestic tracking with a $26.5M weekend win largely built on Hispanic audiences turning up at 49 percent. With a release in 71 territories, making it the No. 1 pic abroad and in Latin America, Llorona’s global purse stands at $56.5M. hispanicprblog.com

Dora the Explorer Now Live Action!
The live action version of animated series Dora the Explorer—Dora and The Lost City of Gold—debuted in August. The film stars Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Isabela Moner. Source: deadline.com

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Convention is Coming to Albuquerque in September

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USHCC National Convention logo

The USHCC National Convention coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 29th – October 1st, is the largest networking venue for Hispanic businesses in America.

For over a generation, the USHCC has served as the nation’s leading Hispanic Business organization, working to bring more than 4.37 million Hispanic owned businesses to the forefront of the national economic agenda.

The National Convention brings together Hispanic business owners, corporate executives and members of more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce from across the country.

It offers the opportunity to establish strategic long-lasting business partnerships, through dialogue, networking, workshops, and more.

Business Matchmaking:
Matchmaking sessions are designed to provide a platform for Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) to meet and engage in new business opportunities by introducing their companies and services to participating corporations. Tailored to help HBEs from across the country to meet with top corporations awarding contracts, the USHCC Business Matchmaking facilitates one-on-one meetings for Hispanic-owned businesses with procurement officials from industries ranging from energy, telecom, financial services and more.

There is no additional cost to attend the Matchmaking, a separate registration is required.

Business Matchmaking will take place on Tuesday, October 1st from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

New this year is the added Supplier-Ready program component to prepare all Business Matchmaking participants with educational webinars from supplier diversity professionals and helpful tips to maximize their business matchmaking experience.

View highlights from last year’s convention below:

Continue on to ushcc.com to read more.

Not Only Does This New Clothing Charge Your Phone, It Can Protect You From Viruses and Bacteria

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man wearing a suit being splashed with water

A new addition to your wardrobe may soon help you turn on the lights and music—all while also keeping you dry, clean, and safe from the latest virus that’s going around.

That’s because Purdue University researchers have developed a new fabric innovation that allows wearers to control electronic devices through their clothing.

Purdue University researchers have developed a new fabric innovation that allows wearers to control electronic devices through clothing.

“It is the first time there is a technique capable to transform any existing cloth item or textile into a self-powered e-textile containing sensors, music players or simple illumination displays using simple embroidery without the need for expensive fabrication processes requiring complex steps or expensive equipment,” said Ramses Martinez, an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Engineering and in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering.

The technology is featured in the July 25 edition of Advanced Functional Materials.

“For the first time, it is possible to fabricate textiles that can protect you from rain, stains, and bacteria while they harvest the energy of the user to power textile-based electronics,” Martinez said. “These self-powered e-textiles also constitute an important advancement in the development of wearable machine-human interfaces, which now can be washed many times in a conventional washing machine without apparent degradation.”

Martinez said the Purdue waterproof, breathable and antibacterial self-powered clothing is based on omniphobic triboelectric nanogenerators (RF-TENGs) – which use simple embroidery and fluorinated molecules to embed small electronic components and turn a piece of clothing into a mechanism for powering devices. The Purdue team says the RF-TENG technology is like having a wearable remote control that also keeps odors, rain, stains and bacteria away from the user.

“While fashion has evolved significantly during the last centuries and has easily adopted recently developed high-performance materials, there are very few examples of clothes on the market that interact with the user,” Martinez said. “Having an interface with a machine that we are constantly wearing sounds like the most convenient approach for a seamless communication with machines and the Internet of Things.”

The technology is being patented through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The researchers are looking for partners to test and commercialize their technology.

Continue on to Purdue University to read the complete article.

How Latinas Play an Important Role in Business

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Carmen Castillo headshot

Carmen Castillo was elected to be Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the USHCC in 2018. She drives the direction of the USHCC and advocates on behalf of the Hispanic business community.

She is also the President and CEO of SDI International Corp. (SDI), which she founded in Florida in 1992. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions for the tail-end, centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay.

As part of her responsibilities at the firm, Carmen is hands on with the overall coordination of company operations, global advertising, business development and marketing programs, along with proposal strategies and preparation.

What is your favorite aspect of being a Latina business owner?

There are about 26 million Latinas in the U.S., and the number of Latina-owned firms has shown tremendous growth in the past decade, at a rate over 130 percent. It’s a thrilling time: to be able to see the how Latinas—who will be a third of the U.S. population in a couple of decades—are contributing to, and will continue to have an enormous impact on the U.S. economy, and in policy.

We still have a lot of work to do: make sure that more Latinas have a seat at the table, in the boardroom, on ballots; keep identifying and supporting programs and funding sources that are truly inclusive, and enable other Latinas, and all women with equitable access to the tools, networks, education, and funding we need to align our potential with revenue-making opportunities.

What is the secret to building meaningful professional relationships?

Networking is part of my DNA, and I started my business initially to be a sort of matchmaker between companies and recruiters primarily in the IT industry. Going to industry and matchmaking events attuned me to supplier diversity, and that led to a transformation in from a small, Florida-based staffing company into a global procurement process outsourcing leader.

It was the connections, the conversations, the referrals, and the trust that we built from going to diversity council conferences, meetings and lots, and lots of networking events that truly opened the doors that made all the difference to our growth. Networking and making connections, and paying it forward by facilitating introductions are some of the best investments you’ll ever make, and the best favors you’ll do for anyone.

Who is your favorite female entrepreneur or influencer?

I’m lucky to work with a lot of amazing women from all over the world, through my work at SDI and the organizations that I support, and honestly, everywhere I go! It’s hard to point out one woman. I’ve been inspired by women who lead multi-billion-dollar corporations (or kingdoms!) and are as humble and approachable as they are brilliant.

I’ve been blown away by women who’ve survived war, violence, and abuse, and had the resilience to start businesses that brought transformative change to their communities. I know women who keep going, take care of their families, companies, employees and communities in spite of debilitating grief and illness. I can think of many more, and I know that the list can go on and on. Women are unstoppable.

How is the role of women in the workplace changing?

I really believe that most companies are committed to diversity and inclusion, and in the past couple of years we’ve seen a little progress in the amount of women in C-level jobs and in boardrooms, but we’re still mostly underrepresented, globally. What’s changing is the narrative; we’re more vocal about the gender and the hiring gap: women are less likely than men to be hired into a manager position, and more often than not there is only one woman in a group of top executives in any given company. Trends are moving upward, which is encouraging, but the pace is still slow.

Who inspires you?

This is another tough one; there a lot of people whose work and passion really take my breath away, but one of them is José Andrés, and not just because we share a love for cooking! He’s someone who’s really dedicated to giving back. There’s a lot to admire: he started World Central Kitchen right after the earthquake in Haiti, to help the country. He organizes meals for people in need throughout the globe, and his work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María made him the Humanitarian of the Year—but what really inspired me is that he rose to help, and he never stopped giving. His spontaneous generosity is deeply touching to me.

Source: USHCC

‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’: Bird-brained fun and a heroism lesson, actor Eugenio Derbez says

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Eugenio Derbez having picture taken holding up an Angry Bird

Video games can be hard to adapt into movies because they sometimes prioritize game playing and graphics over storytelling. But Mexico’s top comedic actor, producer and director Eugenio Derbez— who plays a nervous Eagle Island scientist named Glenn in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (recently opening ) — says that the computer-animated sequel will deliver some of that bird-brained fun for fans as it redefines who can be a hero for kids.

Angry Birds is an addictive video game franchise where players use slingshots to launch small round birds that cannot fly at snickering green pigs in wonky fortresses. The movie sequel builds on those fun game-playing elements to create a new story after Red (played by Jason Sudeikis) becomes a celebrated hero. In the first movie he led a successful slingshot attack on Piggy Island to recover three stolen bird eggs. Now, Red must team up with his former pig enemies to stop an all-out attack by the purple-feathered Zeta (played by Leslie Jones) on both of their island homes.

While Red’s big-loser-turned-beloved story may feel at times simple and formulaic, it takes older, complicated ideas about heroism and boils them down for kids.

“We are used to imagining a hero with a cape and superpowers,” Derbez told NBC News in a phone interview. “But I believe that real heroes live among us. For me, a real hero is a parent who gets up every day to fight for his kids — puts bread on the table and moves the entire family forward.

In the United States, I see how many Latin heroes work two or three jobs in restaurants or as parking lot attendants days, nights and holidays for their families.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

La La Anthony: Power Through Philanthropy

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La La Anthony fstanding on stage holding a microphone

By Brady Rhoades

So, La La Anthony, how do you become a movie star, TV star, producer, best-selling author, and fashion icon?

You might be surprised things don’t come so easily to the self-described Afro Puerto-Rican, considered one of the most beautiful and glamorous women in the world and currently starring in the much-anticipated final season of Power (first episode is Aug. 25).

“Hard work! You can’t fake that,” she said, in an interview Hispanic Network Magazine.

 

Anthony is affable. Movie star looks and chops with a girl-next-door approachability.

She’s never forgotten where she came from.

She started working as a radio DJ at 15, when she was very green and made mistakes that she learned from. Those mistakes were forgiven by radio executives at WQHT-FM, HOT 97.5 and 102.3 in Los Angeles because they saw her star power and her toil and sweat.

Also: humility, kindness, resilience and friendships.

Anthony has forged relationships with former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, and she’s sponge-like: she learns from those who forged paths before her.

“She embodies the type of woman I aspire to be,” she said of

Power Play Playbook by La La Anthony
La La Anothony attends the La La Anthony “The Power Playbook” book signing at Barnes & Noble. PRINCE WILLIAMS/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES

Michelle Obama. “I read her book, Becoming, in one day and it’s still one of my faves.”

“Renaissance Man” is a common term. Anthony is a 21st Century woman. She’s a realist when it comes to obstacles, but she’s not so big on putting limitations on yourself, and she wants other Hispanic women to think likewise.

“You can do anything you want,” she said. “But it doesn’t always happen overnight.”

And you don’t do it alone.

“Being kind goes a long way. People want to work with people who are nice and who they like.”

In an effort to make a difference in the lives of inner-city kids, Anthony formed La La Land, Inc. Foundation. Better schooling and greater opportunities for children are at the top of the foundation’s list of goals.

“I would love to continue to grow my philanthropy efforts to help inner-city kids through my La La Land, Inc. Foundation,” she said. “This is something dear to my heart. I would like to continue building the confidence of young inner-city kids by providing better schooling and opportunities that may not already be afforded to them. The youth are our future; anything I can do to help them achieve their hopes and dreams would bring me the most joy.”

Anthony, born in Brooklyn, New York, came to prominence as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live in the early 2000s. She was the host of the VH1 reality television reunion shows Flavor of Love, I Love New York, For the Love of Ray J, and Real Chance of Love, and was a dean on Charm School with Ricki Lake.

Anthony, 36, ventured into acting, landing roles in Two Can Play That Game, You Got Served, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, November Rule and Destined.

In 2011, she made her stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Love Loss and What I Wore. Anthony also starred in and executive produced five seasons of La La’s Full Court Wedding, one of VH1’s highest-rated shows, which chronicled the time leading up to her wedding to NBA star Carmelo Anthony.

In 2012, she launched MOTIVES by La La, at the Market America World Conference held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Her cosmetic line—for women of color—consists of mineral-based products for face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails.

La La Anthony speaking on stage onstage about her clothing line
La La Anthony attends her Denim Collection Launch at Ashley Stewart. CASSIDY SPARROW/GETTY IMAGES

In 2013, she created a clothing line, 5th & Mercer. No, you don’t have to look like her to wear her clothes. And you don’t have to be a billionaire.

In 2014, she released her debut book, The Love Playbook, in which she shares how she found love and success on her own terms. The book hit No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble Best Seller list and The New York Times Best Seller list. Anthony’s second book, The Power Playbook, was released in May 2015.

This year, she is wrapping up the sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed, StarzTV show, Power.

Any secrets about the final season of the crime drama series and what’s in store for Anthony’s character, Keisha Grant?

She laughs.

“Anything and everything’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s really going to be crazy.”

Power is a megahit; fans will surely be in mourning following the final season.

 
 

The show centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York night club owner who has it all, catering to the city’s elite and dreaming big. He lives a double life as a drug kingpin.

Initially, Anthony’s character, Keisha, did not have a starring role.

That changed.

Anthony has turned her character into a fan favorite. She gets involved with drug-dealing Tommy. She’s in over her head. We find ourselves rooting for her. We know in season six the bills are coming due.

Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony and has a son, stresses that she is not Keisha, and Keisha is not her.

La La and Power cast at a party
Rotimi Akinosho, La La Anthony,Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Lela Loren attend STARZ “Power” Season 4 L.A. Screening And Party at The London West Hollywood.

Keisha has plenty going for her—including a legion of adoring fans—but she has not lived the life Anthony has. She’s not as street-smart or as accomplished. She’s not in a position to “pay it forward.”

Anthony is.

So take heed, inner-city kids.

Here are three of Anthony’s secrets to success, emphasized through her foundation.

—Forget “fake it until you make it.” Work until you stake it, Anthony says;

—Be kind. Hollywood is big-time, yet it’s a small town, all in all. Besides, being kind helps you live your best life;

—Never give up.

Anthony never did, despite challenges that an Afro Puerto-Rican from Brooklyn would inevitably face.

“I believe in myself,” she said. “Who else will? I never believed the haters.

MTV VMAs 2019 Artists Like Rosalia and J Balvin Remind Us That Latin Music Is a Part of America’s Identity

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Rosalia onstage performing at the MTV VMA Awards

On Monday night, there was no shortage of show-stopping performances, including Rosalia, during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

But last night’s award show also became a noticeably momentous evening for some of Latin music’s biggest stars. Performances — and wins — from artists such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Rosalia, and Ozuna elevated the importance of Spanish-speaking artists fully showing up as themselves and not translating for English-speaking audiences.

During Rosalía and J Balvin’s acceptance speech, after winning the “Best Latin” category for their song “Con Altura,” the pair expressed how grateful they were to be able to perform their music for viewers — proudly and unapologetically — in their native language of Spanish, without needing to dilute their respective cultures for American consumption. Rosalía, by descent, is not a Latinx artist, but her recording songs in Spanish and collaborations with Latinx artists have placed her under the umbrella category.

“I’m super proud of being Latino right now,” J Balvin stated simply, while Rosalía thanked fans for embracing her modern take on classic flamenco music from her hometown of Barcelona.

“It’s such an incredible honor,” said Rosalía. “I come from Barcelona. I’m so happy to be here representing where I come from and representing my culture. … Thank you for allowing me to perform tonight singing in Spanish.”

In the past, there have been VMA performances from Latin music superstars — Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Camilla Cabello were all mega-stars when they graced the stage — but these performances have almost always been performed in English to cater to the awards show’s American audience.

Continue on to Teen Vogue to read the complete article.