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Fashion on the Hudson Highlights Pt. 1

Photos by Naeisha Rose

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Star Wars Casting Update

Photo by Televisa.com

Photo by Televisa.com

The name and description of Diego Luna’s Star Wars character have finally been revealed.

The stunning Mexican actor will be playing Captain Cassian Andor, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Luna’s casting in the franchise adds to the diversity of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cast and further increases the presence of Hispanic actors in the rebooted intergalactic franchise.

As Andor, Luna will be the straight shooter that has a bit of an edge to him. During his leadership, he will try to be the one that calms Felicity Jones’ protagonist, the reckless former thief turned Rebel soldier, Jyn Erso, and help her steal the plans for the Death Star, which is seen in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

In addition to being steady, Andor is described as world-weary and strategic, which isn’t surprising considering the 19 years of battle he would of have to survive to become a captain between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

 

(Dominican Influencer Series) Juan Camilo & his story of leaving Wall Street to create Dyckman Beer

JUAN CAMILO

By Deyanira Martinez

(Dominican Influencer Series) Juan Camilo & his story of leaving Wall Street to create Dyckman Beer

 

With virtually no resources at all, this young entrepreneur created the first Dominican beer in the United States. Juan came to New York with his mom when he was 5 years old, chasing the same American Dream of thousands of immigrants.

With a degree in finance from Bryant University and a lucrative position on Wall Street, Camilo enjoyed mixing flavors of beer in the kitchen of his Bronx apartment for leisure. One day, Camilo conceived the idea of creating a beer inspired by the flavors of his native Dominican Republic. Thus Dyckman Beers was born.

Camilo speaks proudly of the quality of his product, which is a handmade beer that only uses natural products. Dyckman Beers has no preservatives and is made with wheat.

The support of the Dominican community and local business owners was the determining factor for the beer’s success. As a loyal Dominican, he uses as the promotional slogan “una vaina bien” for his beer. Juan was a naive entrepreneur with an unknown product, but he had the support of his people, who embraced Dyckman Beers in the United States.

“Dominicans  can build a castle out of nothing,” is the answer that Juan J. Camilo offers when asked about the success of his company Dyckman Beers Co.

Newspapers like the New York Times and major American television networks have covered the story of Juan J. Camilo, the dream of an immigrant who risked it all to give Washington Heights its first beer.

 

 

LT: What would you point to as notable progress among Dominicans in the US?

JC: Very positive, especially compared to other communities, being that we are the first we have our own beer [laughs] and are great in numbers, while being the largest minority in New York. We have done very well and we still have much more ahead.

 LT: Are you connected to the island and, if so, how do you maintain that connection?

JC: I visit twice a year during the summer and Christmas because most of my family still lives there. I call my grandparents and uncles every Sunday, but now that I’m exporting the beer to Dominican Republic, the relationship with the country goes far beyond family and friends.

LT: Do you think Dominicans are united as a group?

JC: Yes, the community’s reaction has been very positive. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of the Dominicans.

visit Dyckman Beer site: 

 

→See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for your weekly updates on events, restaurants, trends & news http://bit.ly/1BcjOjX

Los Hermanos Rosario & Their Contiguous SWING!

LOS HERMANOS ROSARIO

 

Los Hermanos Rosario & Their Contiguous SWING!

By Deyanira Martinez

Los Hermanos Rosario is one of the most important musical groups of the Dominican Republic. They have been true icons of merengue music, topping charts for 38 consecutive years and winning multi-generational fans.

Tony, Luis, and Rafa Rosario bring the best of merengue music to their millions of fans. Their sound is constantly renewed thanks to the group’s adaptability, and its members have seemingly defied the laws of time: The brothers look younger and in better shape now than on May 1st, 1978, the day the band was officially formed.

This has been a long, hard road, the brothers confess to LatinTRENDS, in which they have fallen and gotten back up as many times as it has been necessary. Creating merengue for the new generation has been a labor of love, discipline and respect for the audience.

→Unity and brotherhood has been the key to success for this group. They were raised by a father who was a shoemaker and a mother who performed odd jobs cleaning in the town of Higüey. Amid economic shortcomings and a total of fourteen siblings, they never really felt the scarcity because they were too busy having fun being kids and dreaming of becoming musicians.

→Despite the ups and downs, they have managed to stay on top. Some of those downs include the murder of their brother and musical director Pepe Rosario in 1982 and the exit of one of the brothers from the group, Toño Rosario. “Toño was very restless. This has always been his personality. We arrived to Puerto Rico, and he immediately fell in love with this girl [Ivette] Cintrón and wanted to form his own band.” Fortunately, the downs always ended up making the group even stronger.

Today, Los Hermanos Rosario enjoys a special place in the history of merengue music.  They understand that his group and old merengueros have worked hard to keep merengue popular, and says that it is now up to the new generation to do their part and keep the rhythm of the Dominican Republic alive.

 

 

LT: What is your favorite music group?

LR: We love our brother Toño Rosario, and Eddie Herrera is also doing a very good job. Johnny Ventura, Sergio Vargas and Fernando Villalona keep working. Peña Suazo and Kinito Méndez also work hard to keep our merengue alive. And Joseíto Mateo should be included in the Guinness Book of Records because he is still singing merengue at 96.

LT: What is your biggest concern about Dominicans on the island and Dominicans in the U.S.?

LR: I am concerned about the lack of education and the crime rate in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans in the U.S.A. have overcome a lot in recent years, and I am very proud of our people. We have many Dominicans studying in the most prestigious universities and featured in politics, business and art.

LT: Do you think Dominicans are united as a group?

LR: Yes, we are who we are thanks to the support of Dominicans in all the countries we’ve visited. We travel, and Dominican entrepreneurs provide a source of constant employment for our people.

LT: Who is the most handsome Rosario?

LR: [Rafa] Me, of course.

LT: And the ugliest?

LR: Toño is so ugly that he calls himself “El Cuco” (“The Boogeyman”) [laughter].

 

→See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for your weekly updates on events, restaurants, trends & news http://bit.ly/1BcjOjX

 

CHIPOTLE IS INTO BURGERS NOW

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The famous food chain, Chipotle, is looking to re-invent itself after sales dropped in response to the E. Coli outbreaks in its stores. The lack of trust in it’s product healthwise and competition from restaurants such as Shake Shack and Five Guys has caused Chipotle to ask some hard questions of itself.

The chain, once owned by McDonald’s, is looking to specialize it’s menu as many other’s have done and will be presented in a new store called “TastyMade” which opens in Lancaster, Ohio.

The menu will be a throwback with choices limited to burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Chipotle Co-CEO Steve Ells pointed out that burger chains in the past followed the formula of the “focused menu.” Once a standout as an alternative to fast-foods traditional offerings, now Chipotle looks to sell the concept of a “Better Burger.”

If McDonald’s response by creating a “Create your Taste” program is any indication, then Chipotle is poised to show that a burger can be improved on.

CENIA PAREDES A SUCCESSFUL DOMINICAN DESIGNER IN THE WORLD OF FASHION

CENIA PAREDES

 

By Deyanira Martinez

Her passion for fashion goes all the way back to the village of La Piedra in the town of Cotuí, Dominican Republic, where, surrounded by old dolls and fabric scraps, Cenia Paredes embarked on what would be a great career in design.

Cenia Paredes, the eldest daughter of the only seamstress in her hometown, grew up sketching dress designs for her mother’s clients who preferred to order the drawings of a 9-year-old girl than designs from fashion magazines. Since then, Cenia knew what she wanted to be in life: a fashion designer like Oscar de la Renta, as her aunt would predict on a family visit.

With the certainty that everything is possible and that the most unlikely dreams can come true, Paredes registered at a local community college, and then at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) when she arrived at the United States at the age of 20.

She refused to listen to the naysayers who said it was almost impossible for a Latina woman to launch her own clothing line. Paredes worked incessantly during the day at a design company and spent nights and weekends creating what would be her own collection.

When she learned that Macy’s was sponsoring a program for women and minorities in fashion, she immediately applied and was selected from more than 900 participants to create a clothing line for the famous retailer.

Cenia recognized that designers always used the same measurements when creating and that there was a gap in the industry, so she conceived Cenia Fit, a design with more room in the hip area and less in the bust area, which solves the problem of women with curves.

Today, Cenia Paredes’ designs are sold around the world, her collection is available in HSN, The Home Shopping Network, and celebrities wear her designs. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wife and his mother wear Paredes’ designs too!

The story of this amazing Dominican woman is an example of determination, an example of a woman who dreams big and takes action to make her dreams come true.

Cenia Paredes (c) with the HSN crew

Cenia Paredes (center) with the HSN crew

LT: How are Dominicans in NY different from Dominicans on the island?

CP: The United States offers more opportunities and, when you achieve success, you do it globally. This country is a great platform to excel. I come from a poor family and did not know if in the Dominican Republic I could have the same opportunities. When you come from such humble beginnings as I did, you appreciate more the opportunities and want to improve in any way possible. “I am concerned that, in some cases on the island, there is a lack of values ​​that is affecting society and that many young people are not focusing on education”.

LT: What are Dominicans’ greatest attributes?

CP: Our joy.

 

LT: Are you connected to the island and, if so, how do you maintain that connection?

CP:I travel once a year and I have many relatives there. I grew up there. That’s something that I have deeply rooted, and my Dominican essence will not change regardless of how long I’ve been out of the country. The love I have for my country is immense.

See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for your weekly updates on events, restaurants, trends & news http://bit.ly/1BcjOjX

A LatinTRENDS Exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton

hillary clinton

 

A LatinTRENDS Exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton…up close and personal.

Originally published in the June 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By  David Puente

The early predictions were wrong. There was no Hillary Clinton coronation. She is the presumptive Democratic nominee, but only after a very long battle. Her competitor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, galvanized millions of Americans to display their anti-establishment anger. His movement was young, made up of many college students and millennials who, by the way, make up almost half of Latino eligible voters this year. They are as much anti-Iraq War and anti-Wall Street as they are pro-Transparency.

 

That’s a headache for Clinton.

She is the establishment candidate with support from seasoned party elders. Her vote for the Iraq invasion still haunts Democratic doves. And Clinton has lucrative links to Wall Street. She was paid $225,000 to speak for just a couple of hours at Goldman Sachs, and collected speaking fees worth about $21.6 million in about two years, according to a CNN analysis. Clinton is also dogged by the email investigation. During her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used her private email server for official communications, instead of the government server. Those communications included thousands of emails that would later be marked classified. As the FBI continues an investigation, the State Department issued a scathing report scolding Clinton.

Obstacles notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton is on her way to victory. She has at least 2,178 delegates to 1,810 delegates for Sanders. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination. But the Democrats include 712 “superdelegates,” usually party leaders, whose votes at the convention are not bound to a candidate based on the primary’s popular vote. Including superdelegate support, Clinton’s lead jumps over the threshold to 2,768 compared to Sanders at 1,866. Because superdelegates can change their support before the convention in July, Sanders says he will campaign until then. Our Q&A with Secretary Clinton focuses on social issues like HIV, voter engagement and living standards around Latin America rather than the issues stated above that we hear so much about in mainstream media.

LT: Secretary Clinton, what is the biggest problem facing Latinos in our country and how would address it?

HC: The top challenge facing Latino families in this country today, like all Americans, is getting incomes rising. They need a raise and I am committed to creating good-paying jobs and increasing the minimum wage. We also need to ensure that women are paid equally for their work—which is not the case today. This pay disparity is even worse for Latinas, who earn just 55 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. I am also committed to ensuring that all families have access to quality affordable childcare and health care. Another barrier that holds back Latinos is our broken immigration system. We need comprehensive immigration reform.

LT: We rarely talk about Latin America’s poor living standards when we discuss immigration. People would stay in their countries if life was better there. What would you do differently to support those economies?

HC: No region is more important to our long-term prosperity and security than Latin America. We should be harnessing the power of our proximity for a new era of partnership, not building walls. As Secretary of State, I forged partnerships to combat the effects of climate change, crime and expand opportunity across the region, especially for women and girls. Congress should fully fund President Obama’s request for $1 billion in assistance for Central America.

LT:You’ve said that you’ve learned how serious the problem of substance abuse is, and that you will take it on. What will you do?

HC: We should ensure that everyone suffering from addiction can obtain the ongoing treatment they need. I have proposed a $10 billion initiative to combat this deadly epidemic to help expand services. We cannot effectively address this issue without also undertaking criminal justice reforms. We should prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over prison for low-level and nonviolent drug offenses.

 

LT: HIV rates in the Latino community are high. What is your plan to support the search for a cure?

HC: In the United States only one third of patients diagnosed with HIV remain in regular care and are prescribed antiretroviral therapy. African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Most people can live live long, healthy lives with HIV if they are diagnosed and get consistent treatment. I will increase access to affordable health care, address pharmaceutical expenses for people with HIV/AIDS, expand the utilization of HIV prevention medications, and increase our investment in HIV/AIDS research. We must also prevent exposure. I will also increase our investment in medications, like Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

LT:Many Latinos who are eligible to vote, don’t. How do you change that?

HC: We should be making it easier to vote, not harder. I have called for universal, automatic voter registration at age 18 and at least 20 days of early, in-person voting across the country. Another way to encourage more participation in our democracy through voting is to promote naturalization. There are millions of people in this country who are eligible to become citizens, but who do not go through the naturalization process. I have committed to addressing barriers to naturalization, including by expanding fee waivers for example. I will also establish a new Office of Immigrant Affairs in the White House. These policies will help immigrants access the integration services they need.

LT: Puerto Rico is struggling economically. How will you support the island as president?

HC: I’ve been calling on Congress for months to give Puerto Rico authority to restructure its debt while respecting Puerto Rico’s local self-government. As President, I will partner with Puerto Rico. I will fight for high-quality health care for Puerto Ricans and will urge Congress to put Puerto Rico on a path toward equal treatment on health care by increasing the share of Medicaid paid for by the federal government and stopping cuts to Medicare.

LT:You are a grandmother. Many of my Anglo friends hire nannies who speak Spanish to their children. Do you prefer to see your grandchildren learn Spanish as toddlers? Or wait until they’re older?

HC: Chelsea and Marc have already started to teach Charlotte Spanish, and I think it’s fantastic. It is absolutely critical that children hear as many words as possible before they turn 3 because that’s when 80 percent of a child’s brain is formed. I love hearing Charlotte already be able to count to ten or point to and name things in both Spanish and English.

 

See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter for your weekly updates on events, restaurants, trends & news http://bit.ly/1BcjOjX

Tiesto Brings John Legend with him to Santo Domingo in ‘Summer Nights’ Video

DJ Tiesto Brings John Legend with him to Santo Domingo in ‘Summer Nights’ Video

 

 

 

Dutch DJ Tiesto cranks up the summer heat and fun in Santo Domingo in his new music video, “Summer Nights“, featuring the incomparable singer-songwriter John Legend.

 

Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company’s Grand Opening

Picture provided by Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company

Picture provided by Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company

On Saturday, July 30th on 70th East 4th Street,  the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company will have a grand opening.

Alpha Omega has been providing a platform for dancers and choreographers of color to showcase their love of the art for over 44 years. However, since 1972, the dance company did not have its own studio, until now. Thanks to new leadership under its new Artistic Director Enrique Cruz DeJesus, the company was able to raise over $ 4 million dollars towards having its own building.

We use to rent space from different locations. We were a struggling organization that tried to do good for the community, for kids and we are a professional dance company,” said DeJesus.

After joining the Fourth Art Block, a 13 organization art coalition, the different members were able to set aside seven buildings for their different programs.

We did an average of two to three fundraisers a year, we wrote grants to the Department of Cultural Affairs, Rosie Mendez, Margarita Lopez, and the Mayor’s Office,” he adds.

At the new studio, choreographers will teach salsa, Argentine tango, and musical theater. Wellness classes include yoga and pilates. There will be educational classes for kids and teens. There will also be something for adults that want to become professional dancers too.

Thirty years ago, before DeJesus became the artistic director of Alpha Omega he was just a young man that was encouraged to go to one of their dance classes by a friend.

I was a short order cook working at a restaurant, the Bonfire Grill in Forest Hills, and my friend named Lamont was a dancer,” says DeJesus.

After joining dance classes with Lamont, DeJesus knew that he was meant to be a dancer. Since that first dance class, he has been in shows like “Jesus Christ Super Star, ” and toured in “Dreamgirls.” As a choreographer, he has created over 60 pieces. He was even nominated for a Drama Desk award.

Artists art not born. They are chosen. They are chosen in a way that you see this as the thing that you are going to be doing. I’ve been a part of that community, I’ve been a part of that family. I feel that I have found my calling and I have not ever looked back since.

DeJesus and his dance company will continue to make waves this summer by closing out the first ever Jamaica Dance Festival in Rufus King Park on August 13th. The festival is free and open to the public.

 

 

AIMEE CARRERO: VOICE OF A MODERN-DAY LATINA PRINCESS

aimee carrero - elena of avalor

Originally published in the June 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Luis Vazquez

This is the tale of a girl from the Dominican Republic. She graduated from a fine school and chose a profession in entertainment. She had such a great talent that she became the voice of the first Latina Disney princess, Elena of Avalor.

This is just the beginning for actress Aimee Carrero, best known for her work in ABC Family’s “Young and Hungry.” For Carrero, the challenges of doing a voice-over character differ from visual acting. “As an actor, your tool is your body, your voice, everything put together,

Carrero explained, “when one is removed, and it poses a greater challenge. You have to make the main character come to life, just using your voice. It was challenging but rewarding.

And all this came to be as she was on vacation, where she was asked to submit a quick voice audition on tape. She returned to audition for several roles in the animated film for two months before she was made aware of what she was being considered for. “They called and said, ‘You really need to do this,’Aimee recalled, “It wasn’t until after the long process that they revealed their plans.” When she got the job, Carrero could see the opportunity to tell the story of the under-represented through Elena, a teenager whose issues are no different than anyone has in real life.

I get to play a character that I feel to be pretty three-dimensional. She doesn’t lead by a stereotype. She sort of leads with her own personality that is determined by her life experience, not anyone’s idea of what a Latin person is.

Carrero has a lot on her plate these days—an upcoming marriage this August, her current series plus a spin-off. But the role of Elena may very well be the most impactful character she has ever played. “One of the best things about Elena is that she is universal. She is a Latina. She has a sister that annoys her. She is trying to gain independence from her family while still hanging onto the family dynamic. Her story is very human.” It’s like a good princess story that can be read to a little, impressionable girl— especially a Latina that now sees someone familiar in the pantheon of princesses.

first latina disney princess elena of avalor

FOUR REASONS CHAPMAN TRADE BENEFITS THE YANKEES

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It had to be done. The embarrassment of riches in closers dictated that this was the area to use to maximize the one area of value the New York Yankees possessed. Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban free agent uber-closer with his 100 mph fastballs could only help the Yankees in one dimension of the game.

But the trade to the Chicago Cubs will make the Yankees better today and tomorrow. New York has won four in a row and are making a run finally for the A.L Wild-Card second spot.

These are the reasons why the Chapman trade will benefit the Yankees all around.

1- YOUNG TALENT

The Yankees acquired four players, three of them top prospects with 19-year old shortstop Gleyber Torres, the 24th ranked prospect in all of baseball, the prize. He plays with a maturity of a player who will remind many of a similiar player, a guy named Derek Jeter. In addition, New York got lefty batter Billy McKinney, Oakland’s number one pick in 2013. The 21-year old is ranked 75 in the top 100 prospect list. Rashad Crawford, at 22, is an outfielder of the future.

2-MIDDLE RELIEF NEED

The fourth player acquired was Adam Warren, who returns to the Yankees after being traded to Chicago to acquire Starlin Castro. His versatility as a starter and middle reliever restores a major need for New York.

3- AROLDIS CHAPMAN

The Yankees are aware that Chapman will be available next season as a free agent and can be re-acquired which will mean New York regains value and loses nothing in this trade. This also makes it possible to deal current closer Andrew Miller, who will be 32 next season for more prospects or quality players.

4- OUTLOOK

The trade changed the dynamics of the team and sent a message that they are going to continue to build the correct way but still have an eye on current success. The Yankees have more quality young players than at anytime since the Core Four years. Now, with big contracts coming off the books in the next two years, New York will gain flexibility to add key veterans to the mix to complement the youth culture and allow New York to not only make a legitimate run at the 2016 postseason but greater success in the long run.

ZOE SALDANA TALKS ABOUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

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Zoe Saldana is doing well on the professional front. She is currently promoting the third installment of the current Star Trek film “Star Trek Beyond” opening in theatres today. Zoe reprises her role of Lieutenant Uhura. At 38, she is in the prime of her film career.

But a visit to the doctor revealed that she suffers from Autoimmune disease. Also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a condition that has effected both her mother and sister, Zoe has had to radically alter her diet.

The disease causes the immune system to turn on the thyroid which wrecks havoc on hormone production.

“Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection,”

Saldana explained.

Now Zoe, along with her husband, eat only gluten and dairy-free foods. The quickness of the effect of the disease makes it necessary to change or suffer body breakdowns.

“You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean,”

Zoe pointed out.

For Zoe, the timing could not be better. She is entering a very busy period with the current Star Trek film and three future “Avatar” films in the works. But for Zoe, work is plentiful, but health is now the priority.