What You Didn’t Know about Benicio del Toro

del toro

Puerto Rican sex symbol, Benicio del Toro, is known for playing the bad boy in television (Miami Vice) and in film (The Usual Suspects, Savages, Escobar: Paradise Lost).

“The very first things that I did, even in theater, were bad guys. They are meaty roles for the most part. With the bad guy you have more freedom to experiment and go further out than with a good guy,” said del Toro.

But at heart is a man that promotes equality for all and the stamping out of poverty. He donates to Oxfam, which tries to find permanent solutions to poverty. He is a supporter of GLAAD and AIDS research. He also fights to help Americans who are in the military or abroad to exercise their right to vote through the Overseas Vote Foundation.

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival he almost wore heels as a show of solidarity for the women that were turned away at the red carpet for not wearing the spiky shoes as part of the fests antiquated dress code until the programmer later claimed that high heels were not required.

This year he had three films premiere at Cannes to rave reviews, “Sicario”, “Little Prince” and “A Perfect Day.” The first film will hit theatres on Sept. 18 and the last two are waiting release dates in the US. He also has two more films coming out in 2016 (Weightless) and 2017 (The Trap).

Fun Facts

  • Del Toro was the youngest Bond Villain at 21-years-old
  • One of his favorite hobbies is oil painting
  • He was the co-captain of his school’s basketball team
  • He still drives the same SUV from the 1990s
  • Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones was the first album he bought


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cielo latino madrina.png
WHAT: The annual Cielo galaDesigning a World Without AIDS” will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Latino Commission on AIDS with a star-studded event that will commemorate all the work the Commission has done to help eradicate HIV and AIDS and help raise funds to support the cause.

WHO: President, Latino Commission on AIDS: Guillermo Chacon
Honorary Co-Chairs: Rosie Perez, Actor and Mondo Guerra, Fashion Designer
Madrina: Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega
Honorees from the Busines and Entertainment Worlds:

  • Delta Air Lines, Business Leadership Award
  • Dan O’Connell, Director, NYS AIDS Institute, Esperanza Award
  • Justin Toro, Dennis De Leon Voz de Compromiso Award

Fashion Presentation by: Mondo Guerra
Music by: Spanish Harlem Orchestra led by Oscar Hernandez
Dance Performance by: Baila Society
Master of Ceremonies:
• Sibilia Vargas, Co-anchor, NBC News New York
JW Cortes, Award-winning Actor

WHEN: Friday, May 15, 2015, 6:15-7:30PM Red Carpet

WHERE: Cipriani Wall Street 55 Wall St., New York NY 10005

click here to purchase tickets


  • The Cielo gala is the largest fundraising event for HIV and AIDS in the Latino community, and has raised millions for the initiatives and operations of the Latino Commission on AIDS over the last 20 years.
  • This year’s 25th Anniversary of the Latino Commission on AIDS marks an important milestone in the organization’s history.
  • Each year, Cielo mobilizes a leadership network of concerned members of the health, business, government, entertainment, fashion and philanthropic sectors, and individual donors, to support the Commission’s vision – to create a world without HIV and AIDS.
  • Over 220,000 Latinos in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. Latinos represent 16% of the U.S. population but account for 21% of all new HIV infections.


    This past Wednesday, April 15, Macy’s officially kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration of The Latino Commission on Aids with Miss Universe 2014, Paulina Vega as the newest Madrina during a reception with prominent personalities and media. The Latino Commission on Aids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to meet the health challenges and the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community.

    Miss Universe, Paulina Vega thanked the commission for this honor and distinction, saying she embraces the commitment and the responsibility that comes with being an spokesperson and a madrina of the institution,

    I am a woman eager to do things, I am passionate and authentic, I have no masks

    she said in reference to the work she will do on behalf of this important cause.

    Paulina Vega, Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission On Aids  and Macy's executives

    Paulina Vega, Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission On Aids and Macy’s executives

    Guillermo Chacon, President of The Latino Commission On AIDS, welcomed and thanked guests for their support to the cause and to the thousands of Latinos affected by the disease,

    We have come very far in the past 25 years and we are very proud of the work done, however, we recognize that there is still a critical need for our work, Said Chacon.

    On May 15, the commission will have the important gala Cielo Latino at Cipriani Wall Street. This gala event is the largest fundraising for the cause of AIDS in the Latino community.

    Miss Universe, Pauline Vega and The Latin Trends Publisher, Juan Guillen, Magazine Editor Maria Luna and journalist Deyanira Martinez

    Miss Universe, Pauline Vega and The Latin Trends Publisher, Juan Guillen, Magazine Editor Maria Luna and journalist Deyanira Martinez

    For more information on its 25th Anniversary event, visit: www.cielolatino.org or to donate go to bit.ly/cielogala2015

    LatinTRENDS and AID FOR AIDS present “MEZCLA Pop-Up Performances & Art Show”

    LatinTRENDS and AID FOR AIDS are proud to present “MEZCLA Pop-Up Performances & Art Show,”on Tuesday, July 1, 6pm–10pm, at the Spanish Society’s historic space (La Nacional) at 239 West 14th Street in Manhattan. The show features the MEZCLA awards, pop-up performances and an art sale. Enjoy complimentary sangria, Santa Teresa Rum and an art-filled evening free of charge.

    The MEZCLA awards will be presented to those who have demonstrated a commitment to empowering the Latino community.The honorees are: Olga Merediz, the Tony-nominated actress for the Broadway musical “In The Heights” who currently stars in the new George Lopez sitcom “Saint George”; Carlos Vassallo, who has single-handedly provided hundreds of Latino professionals with a networking space through Latinvision Media Inc., the company he founded which organizes conferences about the Latino marketplace; and the team at FoxNewsLatino.com, a pioneer news site that underscored the importance of Latino news before many other networks caught on. It is a leading source of information for the Latino community.

    Pop-up performers include: Zing Experience, Lea McGowan, J.Truly, the inimitable Barbra Herr and Rossmery Almonte from HBO’s Habla Women

    Others like Chelsea Clinton, Carolina Herrera, Miguel Bose and Marc Jacobs have all used their power to back the mission of AID FOR AIDS.


    The art sale, featuring donated art from renowned Latino artists, is open from Tuesday, July 1, at 11am–10pm and Wednesday, July 2, from 11am–6pm.All proceeds from art purchases benefit AID FOR AIDS (AFA) www.aidforaids.org.

    This summer the non-profit AID FOR AIDS (AFA) is preparing to go where no other Latino organization has ever gone before. AFA’s annual My Hero Gala will be the first organized by a Latino group at The Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s the renowned Egyptian temple that was built around 15 BC and the same space that recently hosted the ribbon-cutting of the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

    AFA Founder and Executive Director Jesus Aguais and Maury Eugenia Maury who has been the president of the AID FOR AIDS board since 2003 have witnessed their colossal effort make this non-profit the world’s largest HIV medicine redistribution program—collecting perfectly good medication that was being discarded and ensuring that it reaches those in need. In the last 18 years, AFA has redistributed almost $110 million of life-saving medication—absolutely free—to more than 18,000 people worldwide. And although AFA has a global focus, the organization has concentrated on Latin America and the Caribbean, regions that remain largely overlooked in the fight against HIV.

    This summer in addition to Maria Eugenia Maury, the 2014 My Hero Gala co-chairs Graciela Dauhajre, Angélica Fuentes Téllez, and Alejandro Santo Domingo are determined to continue raising money to fight for better healthcare and against the stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS still endure. In the case of Ms. Fuentes Téllez that means personally financing the gala at the Met which takes place on October 30.

    The truth is that here in the US we live during a period of great breakthroughs in HIV treatment. HIV has become another treatable chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure. But throughout Latin America HIV is still potentially lethal. For example while fewer than 200 babies with HIV are born each year in the United States due to advances that stop mother to child transmission, the numbers are still unnecessarily high in many parts of the Caribbean, and South and Central America.

    This summer AFA is indeed preparing to go where no other Latino organization has ever gone before. But it will go way beyond the essential gala at The Temple of Dendur. AID FOR AIDS will continue to go to small towns and big cities throughout Latin America and the world to combat the great tragedy which is that millions can still die from a treatable virus.

    About AID FOR AIDS: AFA manages the world’s largest HIV medicine redistribution program—collecting good medication that was being discarded and ensuring it reaches those in need. AFA has redistributed almost $110 million of life-saving medicine—absolutely free—to more than 18,000 people, mostly in Latin America. AFA also provides health and education services to immigrants in New York with HIV. For more about AID FOR AIDS go to www.aidforaids.org

    About LatinTRENDS: LatinTRENDS is a multi-platform media company that connects with the aspirational Spanish-dominant and acculturated Hispanic Community. It connects with its audience via print magazine, e-Newsletter, website, events, and geo-targeted marketing. For more on LatinTRENDS go to www.latintrends.com

    Former South African President Nelson Mandela Dies At 95


    Difficulties break some men but make others.
    (From a letter to wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island, February 1975)

    South Africa‘s first black president Nelson Mandela died Thursday December 5th at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection.

    Mandela has six children: Madiba Thembekile, Makgatho, Makaziwe, Maki, Zenani and Zindziswa. He also has 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

    In addition to advocating for peace and equality on both a national and global scale, Mandela has remained committed to the fight against AIDS, a disease that killed his son, Makgatho, in 2005.


    Juanes PSA – National HIV Testing Day


    According to a recent report from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people ages 13 to 24 make up more than a quarter of new HIV infections in the U.S. each year. Every month, 1,000 young Americans become infected with HIV, and over half of those youth infected are unaware that they are HIV-positive.

    In an effort to raise awareness for National HIV Testing Day on June 27, People en Español.com just premiered Juanes‘ PSA encouraging people to get tested as part of a campaign spearheaded by Lifebeat in partnership with The CDC and MTV’s GYT Now.

    The PSA series, set to begin airing this month, will be carried by Sirius, Viacom, and hundreds of affiliate radio stations in the US and Puerto Rico, including Univision, and more.

    Lifebeat will soon release other celebrity PSAs to promote National HIV Testing Day.

    Watch Juanes’ PSA here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hs6wxfsGhA

    Lifebeat on the Web:

    Meet Trendsetter: Dr. Rosa M. Gil

    Dr. Rosa M. Gil is the founder, President and CEO of Comunilife, Inc., a health and human services agency founded in 1989 to improve the quality of life for children, adolescents, adults, seniors and families living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses. Comunilife helps them achieve self-sufficiency in the community through safe and affordable housing, behavioral health and social services. Comunilife has been recognized for developing Community-Defined Best Practices for Latinos.

    She has had a distinguished career in the fields of health, mental health, social services and higher education. Dr. Gil served as Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Giuliani and Health Administrator of New York City. She is the former Chairperson of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation. In addition she has held positions as Executive Director of Woodhull Medical Center and Metropolitan Hospital; Senior Vice President of Generation and Northern Manhattan Health Network; Senior Vice President Mental Hygiene Services at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation; Executive Deputy Commissioner for Families and Children Services at the NYC Human Resources Administration. Dr. Gil is the former University Dean for Health Sciences at the City University of New York.

    Some of her accomplishments include prevention and wellness initiatives; expansion of primary care; implementation of Medicaid managed care in New York City; expansion of affordable housing for seniors, persons living with HIV/AIDS and mental illness; created the first ever Medical Respite Program in New York City; increased access to health insurance; implemented a nationally recognized program for suicide prevention among Latina adolescents and development of the Multicultural Relational Approach for Diverse Populations™

    Dr. Gil is the Chairperson of the Community Advisory Board of New York University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and serves as Commissioner on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Commission on Women Issues. She is a member of President Carter Center Mental Health Task Force and the Board of Trustees of EmblemHealth, Inc. Dr. Gil has served on the New York State Commission of Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (The Berger Commission); New York State Governor’s Adult Home and the Mentally Ill Persons Task Force; Planning Board of the Surgeon General Report on Mental Health; National Advisory Council to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Minority Women Panel of Health Experts of the U.S. Public Health Services. She is one of the founders of the Urban Institute for Behavioral Health of New York City, Latino Commission on AIDS, the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals and 100 Hispanic Women.

    Dr. Gil has published numerous articles on mental health, ethnicity, and child welfare and gender issues. She is the co-author of the “Maria Paradox,” the first authoritative book on self-esteem and Hispanic women.


    1. Share the greatest impact of your childhood.

    The Cuban revolution truly impacted my childhood.

    2. Define your experience growing up?

    I grew up in an environment with an emphasis on hard work and having a sound education. Another value we had growing up was a commitment to help others in need.

    3. Tell us some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome.

    As a Cuban refugee, I came to this country when I was 20 years old. I had to overcome the challenges of a new environment, such as language and culture. My main challenge was to know how to overcome these changes in my new environment. When I grew up with strong work values, it helped me navigate my way in a new country.

    4. What would you say was the greatest positive influence on your career?

    The changes that occurred in the US in the 1960s such as the improvements with respect to the African-American community as well as conditions for women. This inspired me to move forward with my own career.

    5. As an honoree, what do you hope that being a trendsetter will inspire you to accomplish?

    To be a role model to others and to improve the lives of Latinos in the US in terms of better education, economic and social conditions. Also, to empower US Latinos to make this country a better place for them.

    Ricky Martin is the new face of MAC Cosmetics

    The new spokespeople take over MAC’s 2012 Viva Glam campaign in February, according to a press release; the new images are being shot today in Miami by David LaChapelle. Ricky Martin is the campaign’s third male spokesperson after Elton John in 2001 and Boy George in 2004. MAC donates 100 percent of the proceeds from Viva Glam lip products to fight HIV and AIDS.