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The 15th anniversary of a film that was originally intended as a one-off, grew into a franchise that produced eight films in all. It also introduced us to actors like Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker, and a 22-year old named Michelle Rodriguez.

The return of the original “Fast and the Furious” brought back a lot of memories for Michelle. Take for instance her character, Letty, which was first intended to be romantically involved with both Diesel and Walker.

“She was a character that needed a lot of work,”

Michelle admitted,

“When you’re with the Alpha Male in the pack, you stick with that.”

Yet over time, Michelle was able to secure more creative control over her character. This was made easier with the bond she developed with Vin Diesel. One that started rough but smoothed out fairly quickly.

“If you’re not treating me as an equal, I will be fire,”

Michelle pointed out,

“The minute you look at me with a level of respect, I calm down.”

Michelle, as well as the entire cast, was shocked by the loss of Paul Walker. Though she described him as looking like a Ken Doll, she also saw the inner man which made it believable that he could survive in Crenshaw.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t ever, as long as you live, replace that”,

Michelle recalled,

“He had something that united him to the streets, that made him a little bit edgier than everybody else.”

Michelle, who admitted watching the original often compared it to a time capsule, a moment in time where remakes did not do well and were frowned upon.

“It was a corny thing, because all sequels sucked back then,”

Michelle laughed. But when bankers came to realize there was money to be made in tried and true, films like “Fast and the Furious” took its place as one of the most popular, lucrative, and enduring film franchises in movie history.

Sofia Reyes ready to dominate American music industry!


Sofia Reyes is about to become a big name in the U.S. and could become the next pulling force to stir a new Latin explosion in the music industry.

Two years ago, bachata superstar Prince Royce signed the Monterey, Mexico native to his label called D’León Records, and since then Reyes has been garnering a reputation within the music scene.

Collaborating with reggeaton veteran Wisin, electronic dance music trio Cash Cash, singer Kendal Schmidt, and Prince Royce himself, Reyes could be the leading force that brings a second Latin craze similar to the one seen back in 1999 that introduced Americans to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira.

I’m really thankful for [Prince Royce’s] support,” said Reyes, 20, in a recent interview about her climbing success. “He’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. He works so hard, and that’s why I admire him so much, and I am just really thankful that artists like him and Wisin and Kendal Schmidt support my career.”

With only a few singles to her name, Reyes is nearing the release of her first studio album which some fans are expecting to drop in June.

I’ve been working on it for three years—which is a long time—and I’m actually working on my second album [as well], because I don’t want to waste any more time,” she said. “These singles are just a little bit of what my album is going to be.”

Reyes albums will feature some songs in English, some in Spanish, and some that are in both. Much like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira, Reyes album and would surely impact more audience members in the country.

I grew up listening to English music, to Spanish music – so singing in both languages for me is very natural,” she said. “It’s not forzado (forced). I feel like people all around the world keep listening to my music. Even people who don’t speak Spanish love my Spanish songs, which is really cool. I feel like music has no rules.”

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Photos from the 14th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards & Scholarship Event

The 14th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards, presented by LatinTRENDS Magazine, was held in New York City on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016. The yearly event surrounding achievement in enterprise, arts, entertainment, health, education, sports and community leadership.

Actress, speaker and author April Hernandez Castillo and luxury real estate broker and star of Bravo’s Emmy-Nominated show Million Dollar Listing New York, Luis D. Ortiz co-hosted the presentation, igniting energy and comedic charm to the business award ceremony.


LTA Group shot

Group photo, standing from left to right (image SAM_8809, all standing) Ed Salas, President, Salcare Home Health Services; Kristie Gonzales, Promotion and Digital Brand Manager WABC-TV; April Hernandez, Event co-Host; Frankie Negron, Salsa Artist; Sandra Harris, Assistant VP for Gov’t & Community Affairs, Columbia University; Liz Berman, President Inca Kola; Juan Guillen CEO & Founder LatinTRENDS; Randy Berman Inca Kola COO; Pamely Gomez, Scholarship Recipient; Lucinda Martinez, SVP of Multicultural Marketing, HBO; Victor Cruz Film & TV Actor; Johnny Marines, Music executive & Manager of Romeo Santos; (all kneeling) Dennis Calero, Comic book artist and illustrator; Julio Portalatin, President & CEO, Mercer; Sergio Alvarez, Founder & COO, Ai Media Group; Alexandria Brown-Panisse, Scholarship Recipient; Luis D. Ortiz, event co-host; Rafael Alexander Ortiz, MD, Chief, Neuro-Endovascular Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital; Tim Pullido, President & CEO Pollo Campero


David Villa and La India photos

Juan Guillen, founder & CEO of LatinTRENDS said (holding one of the awards) “ This award is heavy, made out of steel and marble, the heaviness of this award represents the struggle that many of us have or are going through, however the weight of this award reminds me more of progress…the progress which comes from overcoming our struggles. Trendsetters are not focused on the struggle or the challenges, trendsetters are focused on progress! Let’s all celebrate success tonight and every day. God bless America!”


Photos by J.R. Caballero

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Photos by Naeisha Rose


Mixing business with pleasure, the Latino Trendsetter Awards kept its tradition of providing stellar entertainment, weaving in performances by Latin GRAMMY® Award nominated salsa star, Frankie Negron, emerging Urban Tropical musician, Doñé , and violinist Lorenzo Laroc.

The awards concluded with a special Flamenco performance by Espiritu Gitano, featuring Barbara Martinez and Sol la Argentina. The event was sponsored in part by:  New York Presbyterian Hospital, Inca Kola and CUNY and it’s media partner were; La Mega 97.9 and Amor 93.1

The Latino Trendsetter Awards and Scholarship Event ensures that the awards will create a long term legacy of celebrating and supporting today’s most influential trailblazers within the Hispanic community.


Photos from the ASPIRA Circle of Achievers Gala 2016


One of our top honors, the Corporate Leadership Award, sent to Maria WinansChief  Marketing Officer for IBM Commerce, Social Business and Mobile.  For the past 25 years, Maria has achieved several positions at IBM and now serves as a global executive who is an exemplary role model to young people everywhere.  She was part of an exciting program which also celebrated the success of ASPIRA students pursuing a higher education, who were awarded with college scholarships and other significant community influencers (see photos).

Angy Paola Rivera — columnist for “Ask Angy,” an award winning undocumented immigrant advice column published in several print and digital outlets – was presented with the 2016 Aspirante Achievement Award.  Finally, Manny Vega, a revered painter, printmaker, muralist, illustrator, costume and set designer, as well as, a mosaic fabricator received a special recognition.  In the winter of 2015, Manny created a marvelous mural of Aspira founder, Dra. Antonia Pantoja, which the public can view at the Corsi Senior Center on East 116th Street, in the heart of Spanish Harlem, where Aspira began.

photos: John Caballero

ASPIRA, which means “to aspire,” was founded by Dr. Antonia Pantoja in New York City and has grown from a local organization to the nation’s largest Latino nonprofit dedicated to educating and developing the next generation of Latino leaders. At the Circle of Latino Achievers gala, ASPIRA of New York’s will celebrate extraordinary success in providing more than 500,000 young people the tools they need to learn, grow and achieve in the last 55 years collectively throughout the states and in Puerto Rico.



The Women’s Venture Fund Announces Conference for Women Entrepreneurs

A unique opportunity for women business owners to meet with active investors and successful entrepreneurs

TakeFLIGHT Flyer_Final

The Women’s Venture Fund (WVF) announces TakeFLIGHT: Enterprising Women’s Summit on June 11, 2016 in New York City. This is the only event in the city where women entrepreneurs can meet investors and vie for funding for their firms, as well as work through real life business challenges in small group settings, led by experienced business leaders.

The investor headliner is Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline and UBid, Principal of ColorJar and Hollywood film producer, who brings a commitment to women entrepreneurs to the table.

Other investors include:

  • Cynthia Ringo, Senior Partner, DBL Partners, VC firm
  • Twyla Garrett, Founder & CEO, Investment Management Enterprises
  • Kira Makagon, EVP, Innovation, RingCentralB
  • Bruce H. Lipnick, Founder and CEO, Asset Alliance Corp


“We’re especially excited about this year’s Summit because it is a rare occasion for our clients to meet with investors specifically looking to fund women-owned firms”, said Maria Otero, WVF’s President and Founder. “We’ve partnered with five investors with diverse industry interests  enabling us to match participants with funders in their space.”

We urge anyone interested in applying to any of the three pitching sessions to do so by June 1st to allow time to prepare for what could be a life-changing opportunity.

Choosing from more than a dozen workshop sessions, attendees will meet with successful entrepreneurs who are experts in digital marketing, business development and sales, as well as financial management.  Enterprising business owners will come away from the conference with practical and innovative solutions that can be directly applied to their business ventures.

For more information on the Summit, go to


About the Women’s Venture Fund
Founded in 1994, The Women’s Venture Fund (WVF) is a nonprofit organization that helps women to establish thriving businesses in the NYC metro area. The organization has served more than 18,000 firms, helping to launch more than 3,200 small businesses through a range of services including  business training, funding and advisory services. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), WVF has administered loans to more than 1,780 women entrepreneurs in NYC.

SHOBOY IN THE MORNING – The Latin touch that was missing in New York morning radio

Originally published in the May 2016 of Latin Trends Magazine

Totally happy in his new city, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo wanders through the streets of New York as if he has lived here all his life. It is hard to imagine that, just a year ago, this popular radio personality was the host of one of the most popular radio shows in Dallas, TX, “Shoboy en la Mañana”.

He tells us about the afternoon he received the call that would change his destiny; a proposal to have his own radio show in English in one of the most important markets in the world.

“When I was asked to do the show, I almost fell backwards. It was amazing. It was something I wanted to do for some time, especially in the number #1 market in New York. At first, it was a difficult decision because my show in Spanish in Dallas was about to be syndicated nationally. My wife and I were happy in Texas, but we came to this city because we base our decisions on faith, not fear,” he says.

But Sotelo’s success is no surprise. This young man grew up at radio stations with his popular brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, one of most the renowned radio announcers in Spanish radio. He worked in promotions, pasting stickers and helping in everything that was needed at the station.

Despite being born in Jalisco, Mexico, and arriving to the United States when he was five years old, Shoboy speaks English and Spanish with such perfection and professionalism that he is able to brilliantly connect with his listeners in both languages.

“Shoboy In The Morning” is a new radio show that entertains and informs his English-speaking listeners, but of course, he always adds his Latin spark and throws and occasional word in Spanish. The audience that tunes into 92.3 AMP Radio from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. in New York City is already used to hearing phrases like “que rico” and other common words in “Spanglish”.

Sotelo is fun, casual and sometimes a little crazy, and his listeners adore him because he is able to make his guests play all his games, such as convincing Justin Bieber and Chris Brown to dance the famous merengue “Culiquitaca”. Laughing out loud, he tell us:

“I told Justin and Chris that they would increase their potential to get Latina girlfriends if they learned how to move their hips.”

Despite having received major awards for his radio career-raising over a million dollars to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being invited to the White House by President Obama, Shoboy is a young man that reflects great humility, passion and a genuine desire to proudly represent Latinos.

His greatest goal is to positively impact the community. When asked how he see himself in the future, he stares at us and answers with a big smile.

“I see myself with more wrinkles from laughing so hard and thanking God for all the beautiful blessings he brings to my life.”

Here’s the Links to some of Shoboy’s most popular youtube videos:

Sanders & Clinton battle it out for Latino votes in California!

Bernie Sanders & Hillary Clinton are about to battle it out once again when it comes to snatching the next set of Latino votes as the Californian primary is right around the corner.

But which democratic hopeful could win big with Latinos on the West Coast come June 7?

According to some political analysts, when it comes to winning over Latinos in California, Sanders could be clawing at the win considering Clinton is still favored amongst the community and is already described as to having a “near-lock” win in the state.

Amongst Latinos, according to an independent field poll taken last month, it revealed that while Clinton had a 7 point edge with Latinos over Sanders, Sanders could still be a challenge since he is closing in with a 3-to-1 margin attracting young Latinos.

According to Ben Tulchin, a Sanders campaign pollster, Sanders could have “a real potential to win Latinos,” in California because when it comes to acquiring votes from the state he “needs an influx of young Latinos and he’s getting it, it’s happening.”

In California alone, it is estimated that as many as 2 in 10 voters are Latino. And of those voters, many of them are first time voters who are eligible to—and want to participate—in the upcoming election that decides who will be a fitting leader.

And this is where the early predications for Clinton’s ultimate win may be too quick a draw. With Sanders favoring well amongst young Latinos, he also happens to favor well with first time Latinos of any age.

I don’t ever feel like I believe politicians, but I believe him,” says Mercedes Hart, 35, who lived for years in Mexico. Hart, like many of Sanders’ voters who have been showing support for him, has backed the Senator finding his stance on defending every day, workaday Americans within an economy divided by haves and have-nots to be appealing.

If Sanders is able to win California, snatching the state from Clinton, it is believe it would be a huge dent in Clinton’s campaign and will back Sanders argument amongst fellow Democratic party members that he can stand and win when in a race against the already identified Republican candidate Trump come this November.

However, while there are estimations of who within the Latino community could be voting for Sanders when it comes to Clinton there is a large probability who will likely back her to become the Democratic nominee.

The most likely Latino voter is still an older voter in California,” said Jamie Regalado, former executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, “And those voters, almost to a person, will stay with Clinton.”

With a sense of familiarity with older Latinos, Clinton also has a significant backing from California’s prominent Latino politicians. With endorsements from the likes of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to Secretary of State Alex Padilla and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra as well as many more, Clinton’s endorsements could further sway Latinos in California into voting for her.

With both presidential hopefuls hitting the campaign trail and publicly addressing key issues Latinos want addressed like: education, immigration and wages. While there is no definite knowing who Latinos in California will vote for, one interesting fact is that there is a pulling factor that has made Latinos, of various ages really, become registered to vote so that their votes counts.

And this is in thanks to the unsavory commentary of one Donald Trump who’s hateful comments have resulted in a somewhat positive outcome.

June 7 is steadily approaching, and soon we will have a clearer picture of who—either Sanders or Clinton—will be going head-to-head with Trump come this November to become our 45th President of the United States of America.



It says something when a man who owns a Grammy and a Pulitzer Prize can be impressed with is his own image. Such was the case for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who like many struggling actors, ate at Sardi’s, the legendary eatery where many greats of the Broadway stage have caricatures of themselves hanging.

Manuel is riding a great wave with his show Hamilton these days and will be looking for big things at the upcoming Tony Awards on June 12th at the Beacon Theatre with his record 16 nominations. But if you ask him why the Sardi’s honor stands out, he responds with his favorite dish. ”

You can enjoy this with the best baked Alaska in town,”

Lin explained.

But when Lin-Manuel visits Sardi’s in the future, he will have to smile to himself as he sees himself on a wall with 1,200 such portraits that have been accumulated on that wall since 1927. Miranda can be quite satisfied to share the space with the likes of Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, and Lupita Nyong’o, among others, long after Hamilton finishes its run.



It’s been the thrilling part of the roller-coaster ride for Elizabeth Rodriguez the past two years. From wearing prison garb in “Orange is the New Black” to fighting Zombies in “Fear the Walking Dead.” Now it is reported that Elizabeth is in negotiations for a small but critical role in the upcoming “Wolverine 3.”

It’s a measure of career success to be involved in a Marvel film, especially once again directed by James Mangold while bringing back Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) to reprise their roles.

The film is set for a March 3, 2017 release. This will be Jackman’s final Wolverine stint. The rumors that popular character X-23 will appear in this film has many curious. Her story begins as a trained killer in captivity. She is a loner who works with Wolverine but both are too alike to ever have a deep relationship. The role apoears to fit Elizabeth to a tee. Her fierce eyes and independent nature leads many to project that this may be the role she is being fitted for. Time will tell.

Eva Longoria to Wed this weekend! Maybe.


Eva Longoria might be a married woman come next week.

According to sources, the former Desperate Housewives and Telenovela star will be reportedly tying the knot with her fiancé Jose Antonio Baston in Mexico this upcoming weekend

After dating for nearly three years, Longoria,41, and Baston,47, announced their engagement back in December after being on a romantic getaway vacation to Dubai.

It was such a surprise,” the actress told the Today show earlier this year. Longoria also added that the wedding will be a “big fat Mexican wedding.”

Sources are saying that the wedding will be held at Jane the Virgin actor Jaime Camil’s home which is located in Acapulco, Mexico. The source also stated that guests may include the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Mario Lopez, as well as Longoria’s Telenovela co-star Amaury Nolasco.

Reps for Longoria refused to give a comment regarding the possible nuptials. So, whatever the case may be—congratulations to the star!