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Rihanna Works Hard and Parties Harder In Cuba

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

Pop singer Rihanna was seen working hard shooting a music video and partying harder while enjoying Cuban food and music at a local restaurant in Havana, Cuba.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

Rihanna, who is originally from Barbados, surprised many locals when she arrived Wednesday on a private flight from the United States unannounced. Throughout Thursday she shot scenes for her upcoming video at a house in the neighborhood of El Vedado. She also shot scenes at La Guardia, one of the first privately owned “Paladar” restaurants that opened in Havana and where the Cuban movie “Fresa Y Chocolate” was filmed.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan

The multi-platinum singer paid a visit to Restaurante Paladar La Fontana on Wednesday night where she dined authentic Cuban cuisines, listened and danced to classic Cuban music played by the house band.

According to the online magazine OnCuba Facebook page, the pop singer ate black beans, grilled chorizos, pork chops and a local dish called “grandma’s steak”.

Now that the U.S. has removed Cuba from the State Sponsored Terrorism list more artists and celebrities can travel to the Caribbean island without backlash. In 2013 Jay Z and his wife Beyonce went to Cuba but were harassed by U.S. republicans for visiting a communist country.
However, Cuba’s trade embargo and tourism ban are still in place and the Republican led Congress is not looking to lift those sanctions enforced in 1962 anytime soon, unfortunately.

But back to Rihanna.

She was seen riding in the back of classic American cars of the 40s and 50s, which are commonly used and well maintained in Cuba, called “almendrones”.

Rihanna, whose eighth album has no release date, has enjoyed the success of her latest singles including “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “James Joint” and FourFiveSeconds” featuring Kanye West and the Beatles’ Paul McCartney.

Demi Lovato Campaigns Mental Health Awareness As Latinos Fall Short Seeking Help

Demi Lovato

It is huge that the megastar Demi Lovato has come out to speak about mental health awareness, especially when the majority of Latinos don’t seek help from a mental health professional.

Lovato, who is known for being upfront with her struggles with being bullied when she was a child, bulimia, drug addiction and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is now an advocate for mental health awareness.

“Yeah, I’ve been very open about my story because I know that the more honest and open that I am the more people that I’m going to reach,” says Lovato on the “Today Show”.

“Growing up, I felt very, very depressed,” says the chart-topping singer to the Associated Press. “Even though I was playing concerts and living out my dream, I couldn’t tell you why I was upset.”

Lovato, who is encouraging others to tell their stories on mental health, joined a new campaign called “Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health” with a pharmaceutical company, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other mental-health advocacy groups. The campaign aims to develop better treatment options and abolish the negative connotation of the word mental illness.

Because of that stigma the Latino community, unfortunately, falls short when looking for help from a mental health professional. According to a report by the American Psychiatric Association’s Office of Minority and National Affairs, only 1 in 11 Hispanics contact a mental health specialist for help.

The AP reports that Lovato, whose father is of Mexican and Spanish descent, was actually relieved when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is a chemical imbalance that creates mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

“I remember smiling and thinking great, OK, so there’s not anything wrong with me as a person,” she said. “It’s actually just a condition that I have and I can do something to fix it. I don’t have to be like this forever.”

UNITED STATES POINTING ITS FINGER AT FIFA

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The news was not really that unexpected. This week six FIFA executives were arrested in Switerland. A few hours later in New York City, the Justice Department unwrapped a 47 count indictment targeting 14 defendents. The central case revolves around certain FIFA officials accepting bribes totaling in the neighborhood of 150 million. FIFA is the organization that runs World Soccer including the FIFA World Cup.

“It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”

stated Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The brunt of the action has focused on defendents from North and South America (CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.) This has re-fueled the fire of suspicion around the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar to vote buying. The loser from that was the United States, who was pursuing hosting rights for that cup. Included in the group being accused is Charles Blazer, a former FIFA executive.

The interesting thing about the investigation is that its current President, Joseph “Sepp’ Blater, who was just elected to his fifth straight term as President, is treating the seriousness of the allegations with apathy and arrogance.

“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities…to root out any misconduct.”

This implies that FIFA leadership is not taking this seriously. But maybe they should be. Corporate sponsors are hedging about renewing contracts. Visa, Inc. is demanding changes or risk losing them in 2022. Adidas, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola have expressed concern. Coca-Cola responded by saying that this scandal

“has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup.”

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Latino Stars back newest Internet TV platform aimed at Latinos

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Latino stars like Sofia Vergara, Frankie J, and boxer Fernando Vargas are just among a few who are backing the latest entertainment, internet platform aimed at entertaining Latinos within the county.

Much like the Latino version of Netflix and Hulu, TuYu is being named as the first Internet-based TV streaming service for Latinos.

Created and owned by Latinos, TuYu is expected to launch in the upcoming weeks and will be aimed at snatching up the nearly untouched Latino audience that is currently within the United States. With a tentative date slated for July, TuYU will have a system that is described as “ built-by/built-for-Latinos digital subscription TV” for Latinos living in the country.

As previously mentioned on LatinTRENDS, Latinos are considered the highest, and the growing, ethnic groups within the country to be more engaged with digital streaming content via their smartphones or other types of mobile devices.

TuYu was created to expand the content options for audiences and creators on digital broadcast networks today,” TuYu’s is founder and CEO Pete Salgado, who was the manager of late Mexican singer Jenni Rivera and of her viral reality series “I Love Jenni,

TuYu plans on offering both free and paid content to the bicultural and bilingual Latino community in hopes of becoming similar to the much popular apps and platforms like Hulu and Netflix which offers streaming content either for free or paid.

On the Latino platform, TuYu will offer a mixture of entertainment from reality shows, gaming, news, telenovelas, sports, movies, scripted series, and documentaries, along its own original in-house programing. However, the platform also has deals with other well-known internet platforms that would provide more content for Latinos

According to Variety, TuYu already has deals set with several well-known entertainment companies from World of Wonder, Great Glass Productions, and Sofia Vergara’s content company Latin World Entertainment to provide content for the platform.

We have cultivated the best in programming and entertainment in Spanish and English, creating an opportunity for new and established talent and production partners to showcase the best in one-of-a-kind content serving an immediate viewing audience,” adds Salgado talking about TuYu’s partnerships, “We know that we have created a vital platform that delivers the best in unique bilingual content to a marketplace that has been waiting for this mix in one of the most-discussed platforms.

So while Netflix is already providing Latino-based programming for its Latino subscribers, TuYu is sure to grab more with its Latino-oriented content and programming once it launches.

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WHY MENUDO MATTERED

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They were five boys who were not yet teenagers with voices that had not yet changed. But when they wore their tight outfits and danced in unison, the girls went wild. They were called Menudo and in the late 70’s and early 80’s, they gave Puerto Rican youth something to emulate or admire. That was hardly so during this time when Puerto Ricans had little to be inspired by and was basically ignored on the world stage.

Even in New York, long before the rise of Reggaeton put the island on the map of popular culture, Puerto Ricans were perceived as lovers of Salsa alone, non English-speaking, though most second and third generation Nuyoricans were usually English first, and devoid of anything original to catch anyone’s fancy. Then, Menudo came along. Puerto Rican-born, they were the template for later boy bands that used in sync dance numbers and youthful voices to make tweens’ hearts fail.

It also did something else. It furnished national pride and when they came to New York’s Madison Square Garden, they packed the arena while the activity around it drew comparisons to groups like the Beatles who drew serious intensity in their fan base when they first arrived.

Secondly, they drew Puerto Ricans to learn Spanish as they picked up the lyrics to their favorite songs bringing with it a renewed love of their original language. It also was something for the boricuas of the early 80’s to own. It was theirs and it defined a period they could recall with pride. Later on Menudo would add a boy named Ricky Martin, and in 1983, with roster practically fully changed, they picked a Long Island kid, Robbie Rosa, to spearhead the attempt at an English crossover. He was the first Puerto Rican from the United States mainland to be selected.

Looking back like all things 80’s, the word cheesy is used. But you will not talk to any forty-something Latina today who does not remember Menudo and what it meant in their early years. Except they were Puerto Rican made. What did it mean to a people with no real status and history recognized by anyone? It was everything. Menudo mattered and in July they will be coming with the original members to the Beacon Theatre to perform in New York for the first time in 17 years. Yes, it matters. From the VCR to Blue Ray, Menudo is still relevant to those who cared.

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Female MMA Fighter Punching her Way into Hollywood

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Ronda Rousey, the undefeated MMA Fighter steps outside of the octagon cage and is continuing to make her Hollywood debut a knockout as she appears on the silver screen in the soon-to-be released movie Entourage.

Debuting back in 2010, Rousey has become known as the toughest woman on the planet, and the title isn’t some mere title for the former Olympian and Judo Champion. As the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion, which she earned with a 14 second defeat of her opponent, Rousey accredits her tough title to years of training.

And it’s her years of training that has prepared her for the hard-hitting world of Hollywood.

If you’re able to walk into an octagon in the middle of an arena with millions of people watching and the other person across from you has been waking up in the morning dreaming of beating you up for years, and you’re able to overcome situations like that, that really puts everything else into perspective,” comments Rousey.

From making appearances in films like The Expendables 3, Fast & Furious 7 and now playing herself in the Entourage, Rousey finds the new venture into film making to be far harder than fighting.

I have these habits that have been so engrained for years and years of practice,” Rousey said, reflecting on the two, “I’m constantly covering my face and the idea is that no one could punch back, but if you’re on film, people want to see your face.

While Rousey is creating a name for herself in Hollywood, she is not forgetting the world of cage fighting. Coming up in August, Rousey will be facing Bethe Correia in her native Brazil.

I think it’s going to be the only encounter because I don’t think she’s coming back from this one,” Rousey predicted, assured with her ability as opposed to her opponent.

While Hollywood is always there, Rousey plans on eventually retiring from the MMA—sometime down the road—as an Undefeated fighter.

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DOES FEAR HOLD YOU BACK?

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Have you been in a business meeting, when all of sudden your boss ask an important question, and you immediately start to sweat? It is not a surprise that most men, in this situation, raise their hands and are ready to volunteer a response steadily and with confidence. Women, on the other hand, want to know the subject in depth and be 100 percent sure of their answer before they proceed to raise their hands and express their opinions.

If this is true, then it is easy to see why by the time most women say they are ready to take over a new job, or accept a promotion they have, in reality, been ready for years.

So why, when there are so many smart and educated women all over the world, do we continue to hold ourselves back today? Why are women taking on the roles of both the primary breadwinners and primary caregivers to their families, yet don’t have the courage to demand equal pay or pursue higher ranking positions? This inequality, and gender gap, is even wider in Latinas and women of color. We tend to beat ourselves up for both the things we do and the things we don’t do, and for the things we say and the things we don’t have the courage to say.

Here are some of the reasons, and helpful tips to combat this cycle of negative thinking:

1.) The Good Girl Curse: We are raised, especially Latinas, to be good, polite, pretty, and obedient. We were told not to rock the boat, and have this need to be liked, and accepted. Unfortunately, we bring our good girl mentality to the workplace.

Tip: Accept that not everyone is going to like you, and as you move up the ladder the chances are that even less people will like you. Stop being a people pleaser.

2.) The Impostor Syndrome: When you become successful, you begin to have feelings of self-doubt. You feel like an impostor, and you are afraid that people will find out that you are not that smart or not as qualified as you should be for a position.

Tip: Know that you deserve your success, you are smart and no one is waiting for you to fail.

3.) The Weeds of Fear: This is the root of so many problems. Don’t let fear rule your life.

Tip: Chica go for what you want, face your fears, and keep moving forward. Si se Puede!

4.) The “I’m Sorry” Broken Record: Do not apologize! Most men do not apologize, instead they move into problem solving mode right away, sometimes without ever acknowledging that a mistake was made.

Tip: Constant apologies will not resolve the problem, instead look for solutions.

5- Speak Up: Studies confirm that women do not speak up as much as they should, and usually avoid discussing confrontational issues.

Tip: Don’t wait to be given permission to voice your opinion, because in a room full of men, you might never have a chance.

Amigas, stop holding yourself back by believing that you are insufficient, or incapable. This simply is not true!

Don’t downplay your achievements; you have the latent, the vision, and the intelligence. Go for it!

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Calle 13’s Residente Coming Out with Solo Album

Calle-13 Residente

Say it ain’t so that Rene Perez, of the popular Puerto Rican band, Calle 13, is doing a solo album, which might mean the end of an era for the most award-winning group that ever existed.

Perez, also known as Residente, announced on Instagram that he’s working on his solo album while he was in Siberia. Wait, what is he doing in Russia?

According to several of Residente’s recent social media posts of his travel to the Siberian forest – where he’s sharing photos of himself cutting logs and doing the Tuvan eagle dance – it’s where he’s working on what he calls the “Residente Album”.

En un bosque de Siberia escuchando aprendiendo y escribiendo. Se viene mi disco como #Residente. in a Siberian forest listening,learning and writing. New album coming out as #Residente.”

A month ago Residente told the music website Billboard that he was writing and recording songs in Brooklyn, where he now lives with his wife and baby son.

“I’m putting all my effort into something new and original and great.”

Instagram posts of his stepbrother Eduardo Cabra (also known as Calle 13’s Visitante) shows that Visitante is working on some music in London at Abbey Road Studios. But the photos are not telling who are those beats for.

The band Calle 13 – which features Residente, Visitante and their half sister, PG-13 –broke the record for the most Latin Grammy awards given to any person or group. The band’s very social and political Spanish rap lyrics that have been combined with their edgy Latin grooves of the underground rap, rock and reggaeton heard in Puerto Rico has propelled them to legendary status as they share their music all over the world to sold out tours.

Calle 13 continues to tour, especially with a set appearance on May 30 at Revolution arena in Guadalajara, Mexico. The band will also tour Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain this year.

Jennifer Lopez POV on the Female Booty

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Jennifer Lopez believed that her most valuable asset is her booty, and she wrote a song about it.

Yet, in a recent interview with Us Weekly, she revealed that she doesn’t understand the fascination regarding her behind, or anyone else’s for that matter.

“When you do a song like ‘Booty,’ you’d better own it,” Lopez told the magazine. “There’s been a movement this year about being womanly – not having to be skinny or starve yourself. I don’t fan-out over people’s body parts. I mean, I’ve admired a man’s abs once or twice, but I’m not checking out girls’ butt. Still, it’s become such a phenomenon.”

The 45-year-old, looks amazing on the magazine’s annual Hot Bodies issues, said: “the secret to looking so fabulous is balance in all aspects of her life”.

“You hit a stride where your spirit, mind and body all come together. I work out, but I’m not as much of a fanatic as I used to be,” she admitted. “And, funnily enough, I feel like I’m in better shape now.”

J-LO revealed she very rarely skips a workout, even when she just doesn’t feel like it.

“Sometimes I work too late the night before and I’m like, ‘Ugh, I can’t do this.’ But I tell myself, ‘Just do it. It’s only an hour,’” Lopez said.

She does, however, cheat on her diet every sometimes.

“When I haven’t done it in a while, I’ll indulge in dessert. I’ll eat cookies, but I’ll have one or two and I’m fine. I don’t go crazy,” the American Idol judge said. “You don’t want to be the person who eats a doughnut and then has a whole box.”

Lopez said a healthy exercise regimen and diet are key, but having a healthy attitude is important.

“From the time I was very young, I was told there was nothing wrong with my body type. Some people are told they’re too heavy or too thin or too tall or short, but at the end of the day you have to appreciate who you are,” she said.

“I’m not a 6-foot-tall model. I’m not size 2. And when I came to Hollywood, that’s what the world was filled with. I was fine being me and I think that changed a lot of people’s thinking.”

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FRIDA KAHLO EXHIBIT SHOWS HER LOVE OF NATURE

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Frida Kahlo is considered one of the most surreal artists in Latin American culture. Her depictions of the female form along with many haunting self portraits gained her great noteriety which was celebrated in film by Salma Hayek, who played the artist in “Frida” in 2002. The Mexican artist, who died at the age of 47, is once again in the public eye with the presentation of “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” at The New York Botanical Gardens.

The exhibit shows off Frida’ interest in nature and its beauty. This is an area that many were not familiar with but is being highlighted in this exhibition which runs until November 1st of this year.

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“We knew from studying her paintings that she was a careful observer of nature and plants, but we learnt when we studied her more that she was also a very passionate plants person.”

explained curator Joanna Groarke.

The exhibit will feature over a dozen original paintings and paper works rarely seen. It will also show a re-imagined garden and studio in Casa Azul, her home in Mexico City which is also a museum currently. This marks the first time in ten years that Kahlo’s work has been shown in New York.

“She is extremely well known here in the United States.”

Groarke added.

“We are excited to be able to offer a little bit different view.”

The project which is five years in the making is not the first time the Botanical Gardens has honored a specific talent as British naturalist Charles Darwin, American poet Emily Dickinson and French impressionist artist Claude Monet have been displayed in the past. Kahlo, recognized years after her 1954 demise, is in good company. Those who will get to view this exhibit will get to learn more about her with hands-on activities for kids, Mexican inspired shopping and dinners, and music.

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