latintrends magazine

Street Art & The Latinos That Influenced The Culture of Writers

By Ottoniel Campos
Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine

street art

Before hipsters scattered around urban areas like organic roaches. Before Bansky. Before 3-D images, bubble, boxed and futuristic typography sprayed on subway cars were called street art by mainstream art collectors and gallery curators, the 1970s spurred an army of devoted graffiti artists called “writers” who just wanted to showcase their art, talent and bomb their names all over New York City.

OK, so bomb and New York City is not the thing to say, especially after September 2011. But during the ‘70s and ‘80s the term “bombing” meant that your tag, name or artwork was spray-painted on one of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s subways that traveled all over the concrete jungle of New York City. Along with break dancing, DJing and rapping, writers no older than 19, considered this unlawful, risky and dangerous act as one of the four elements of hiphop.
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One of the pioneers who paved the way in creative expression while using his name as a tool to capture the attention of haters, fanatics and subway riders oblivious to the incoming artistry arriving at their station is Lee Quiñones. The Puerto Rican-born and Lower East Side-raised Quiñones debuted his unsolicited artistry in 1974. His underground fame became mainstream once “Wild Style,” a 1984 film that followed a group of New York graffiti writers and hip-hop artists, hit theaters. By the late ‘80s he was already selling urban style art pieces in galleries all over New York City. The graffiti icon is not only immortalized by films and documentaries but also by the art book “Subway Art,” which is one of the top selling art books to date.

The film “Wild Style” also featured Sandra Fabara, better known as Lady Pink. This Ecuadorian writer, who was raised in Queens and graduated from the High School of Art & Design in New York City, made her mark in the male dominated graffiti world from 1979 to 1985. Like most writers, Lady Pink traveled and entered the darkest and most dangerous subway tunnels to display her artistry. Quickly, the graffiti community recognized her creativity and fearlessness. Now, more than 30 years later, the respected, beloved and admired Lady Pink is still a highly sought-after painter, muralist and graffiti writer with works featured in art galleries, museums and sponsored building walls all over the U.S.

Most associate the history of graffiti with only New York. But Philadelphia, D.C. and Los Angeles also had writers showcasing their talents on billboards and vacant buildings. During the early ‘70s Mexican-American Chaz Bojórquez brought his style of Asian calligraphy and the Chicano graffiti style of the ‘50s to the streets of East Los Angeles. Bojórquez is now considered the godfather of The “Cholo”-style letters seen on the hoods of pimped-out rides, motorcycle jackets and tattoos that usually goes along with an image of a skull or a red rose placed next to them.

Warriors in the Cage: Dominick Cruz & Henry Cejudo

Originally published in the Jul/Aug 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

Photos courtesy of UFC/Getty Images

The Latino Faces of the UFC

Latinos have a long and storied history in the world of combat sports. In boxing, legendary figures such as Julio Cesar Chávez and Oscar De La Hoya proudly touted their Latino heritage while winning championships and glory. At the dawn of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and mixed martial arts, Royce Gracie was its first dominant superstar, more recently followed by Anderson Silva, long considered the best in the world.

Carrying the banner for Latinos in the sport are now two rising stars: Dominick Cruz and Henry Cejudo. Cruz is the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion while Cejudo is an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler. Both are budding megastars and both are keenly aware of their status as Latino stars in a sport that gains popularity every day.


“The Dominator” Dominick Cruz

Growing up in Tucson, the man they call “The Dominator” was introduced to combat sports quite literally by accident. “I got into wrestling in the seventh grade and I got into [it] because I walked into the wrong room,” he said. “The coach said I wasn’t a soccer player, I was a wrestler. I started practicing that day and haven’t stopped since.

After an undefeated amateur career, he had a successful career in the now defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion, becoming its last bantamweight champion before it was absorbed by the UFC. It wasn’t long before Cruz achieved glory in the UFC, capturing the bantamweight championship twice.

I come from Tucson, Arizona, which is 70 percent Hispanic,” Cruz said. “It’s in me, that pride of being Hispanic. I feel it. In the way that the Mexicans always fought, they’re just tough and stubborn. I feel that’s in my bloodline and I’m proud of that.


“The Messenger” Henry Cejudo

The youngest of six children, the Olympian Henry Cejudo was introduced to the sport of wrestling by his older brothers. “I loved that wrestling was all about one-on-one combat,” he said. “I was always too small to play football, too short to play basketball, but when I saw that wrestling had weight classes, I knew I was home and I fell in love with it from the start.

Cejudo was an amateur superstar, winning four state wrestling championships. After winning gold at the Pan American Games in 2008, he set his sights firmly on Olympic glory, winning Gold at the 2008 Beijing Games. He retired from the sport in 2012 to compete in mixed martial arts. His pedigree and his impressive skills caught the attention of the UFC. Settling in as a flyweight, Cejudo has amassed a 10-1 record and is now one of the coaches on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

“I want to become the best in the world,” he said. “What else is there to do in sports, but to want to be the best?”



By Clara Galvano Rivera

Crystal Shaniece Roman, CEO/Founder, of The Black Latina Movement is fierce! For the first time, all three of her plays – “Black Latina (The Play),” “Of Mothers and Men” and Colors of Love – will run together in a series. Roman, “We’ve had so much success on tour that we wanted to put [the plays] together in one place and rotate them so that audiences can see how they all relate.

See the productions next week at The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street, New York City, 212-228-1195, starting on Thursday, August 25th.

The Black Latina Movement Summer Series ’16 actually starts on Tuesday, August 23rd with a film screening of “The Trade,” a look at the world of human trafficking, by Michael Pinckney.  “I had been receiving many messages on social media about sex trafficking and wanted to kick off the week with a message that slave trafficking involves not just sex, but labor. There are tons of immigrants who work for barely nothing, and some don’t get paid at all,Roman says.  After the screening, there will be a panel discussion. More info online.


On Wednesday, there is a Short Film Screening Showcase, produced by Roman and Shirley Reyes. Roman, “There are so many talented artists who don’t have the space, screens or money to showcase their work. We wanted to pay it forward and give them an opportunity to shine.” Visit  for a full schedule. The films are 20 minutes each.

On Thursday the rotation of the three plays The Black Latina Movement has been touring with begins. For a quick synopsis of each, visit “These plays were a labor of love. I wasn’t a writer. I was an actress for seven years, but I wasn’t fitting into the image that the film industry wanted of a Latina. I got smacked in the face so often, I knew there had to be something better out there for me. I decided that I was good enough and that’s when I wrote “Black Latina (The Play).” It was all about finding my identity and feeling empowered,” says Roman.

Two weeks after the Summer Series ’16 closes, Roman will be leaving for the Smithsonian Institute’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration where she will perform “Black Latina (The Play)” as a one woman show in D.C. Get your tickets at now!

Twitter- Business @OfficialBLMvMt Personal @MissBlackLatina

NY Mets Ace Closer Jeurys Familia on summer Issue Cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine

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Jeurys Familia, dynamic pitcher for the New York Mets, is LatinTRENDS’ August issue cover person. In this exclusive interview Familia talks about representing the Latino community, his community outreach program focused on foster children Familia’s Family, and what motivates him to succeed.


This month also includes interviews with Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro who stars as Jesus in this summer’s remake of “Ben Hur,” the sizzling Benjamin Bratt starring in “The Infiltrator” and beauty Ana Isabelle starring in “The Eyes.”

Urban music star De La Ghetto also speaks with LatinTRENDS about his new single “Acércate” from his new album “Mi Movimiento.”

In celebration of the New York Dominican Parade, LatinTRENDS identified 10 community influencers committed to engendering positive change within New York’s dynamic Dominican Community. The special feature includes interviews with the following influential men and women of various fields such as; law, music, fashion, STEM, business, politics and the arts.

Adriano Espaillat, New York State Senator and first Dominican-American elected to Congress; Los Hermanos Rosario;  Iconic merengue band “Los Hermanos Rosario” Members include Rafa, Luis and Tony Rosario; Angela Fernandez, Esq, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Dominican Parade; Carolina Torres, Activist and Girl Scout “Future Woman of Distinction Award” winner; Wilton Cedeno, Director of Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Con Edison; Appointed by Mayor Deblasio to New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors; Francisco Diaz, President of American Association of Latinos in STEM (AALSTEM); Rafael Alvarez, Founder, president & CEO of ATAX Franchise, Inc. and winner of the IFA’s Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award; Cenia Paredes, Fashion designer and creator of Cenia Fit with a collection available at HSN; Rigo Peralta, Visual artist with exhibits in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Juan J. Camilo, Founder and owner of Dyckman Beers Co.

The August issue also includes “South African Travel” and business guides “Live Video 101”and “Snapchat as a Personal Branding Tool for Business.”  Also see “How to Get Unstuck: A Mindful Approach” and “Resilience: The Secret to Wellbeing” for tips on constructing a meaningful life.

In addition and in celebration of this summer issue, LatinTRENDS will host an event in Times Square on August 8th, which will be attended by this issues in-book featured personalities and a significant group of community influencers, artist, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and the media.


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CD-Cover cristian daniel



Originally published in the  December 2015 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Luis Vazquez

Life brings unexpected twists and turns, but listening to radio today you would think that life is one big party. This is what the music industry wants in its artists. But the public wants something more. Christian Daniel provides that.

His latest album, “Renacer,” which was released on October 23, is the diary of a man left open for all to read. When you finger the pages you see death, suffering, and faithlessness. It’s his story and he is not afraid to say what’s on his mind. “I am an honest singer,” Daniel says. “I bring honesty to my songs. I try to write the perfect words to bring that message. It works.”

The one man in Christian’s life who he proclaimed was his number one fan and foundation of his life, his father, passed away of cancer a few months ago. “It was something I wasn’t waiting for because he was perfectly fine,” Daniel shared. “He didn’t last a month. I wrote a song that wasn’t on the album.” That song, “Ahora que te vas,” which many felt was too sad to play on the radio, set off a fight between Daniel and radio people who felt that it was something the public didn’t want to hear. “We lose people we love every day.” Daniel said. “I needed to write something I could honor him for what he was in my life.” The song hit number one two weeks upon release in Puerto Rico and currently in the U.S.

Daniel had brought a more personal touch to this album. His debut as a songwriter differentiates this from all his previous projects. It also makes it the most heartfelt. “I was afraid to write before because I told myself: what if I write something that tells who I am and people reject it?” A self-professed “very spiritual person,” he went deep to bring out his soul. “It’s my essence. I can’t think of anything [in the album] I haven’t gone through.”

 He remained true to himself even when others bestowed titles on him such as Latin Pop‘s new leading voice.””Latin Pop is the way people relate to things in life,” Daniel exclaimed. “In my perspective, people are tired of hearing the same thing. Suddenly I come with this and people are, ‘Wow!’ Now they are going after what I’m doing because it’s something fresh.” Now an independent artist with a team that he feels is behind him, he left the world of labels. “There is great talent that is sitting and waiting. I was that guy. I’m not him anymore.”

 Christian Daniel attracts because he not only knows how to use his voice, but knows how to make people feel what he does. “A good song will always make a difference no matter who paints it.” His brushstrokes highlight who he is now as he completes his tenth year in the business. “I’m a humble guy that’s just trying to make it, to get a piece of the world. I’m a fighter.”

NOEL QUIÑONES – The Bridge to Nuyorican Spoken Word


Originally published in the  November 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Francisco Bernard

The Bridge to Nuyorican Spoken Word

Before each performance, 22-year-old Noel Quiñones has one ritual. He kisses one of the two necklaces he wears: the Taino sun and coqui necklace, representing the Tainos, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico; or a gold cross, passed down from his great grandmother just before she passed away. Quiñones carries the history of his people on his neck, and his art is the way he lives out that history in the present-day.

For the past seven years, Quiñones has been honing his craft as a spoken word artist. Quiñones’ journey began in the small town of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He was taking a creative writing class at a two-week summer program when his teacher gave him an assignment.

“My teacher told me to write one poem every day of the two weeks we were at camp,” said Quiñones. “I filled the book up by that May. It’s interesting because my first encounter with poetry was not through [someone else’s] work, but through an exploration of my own feelings and experiences.”

The exploration went through different phases. Quiñones looks at his sophomore year through senior year at Fieldston School as his hobby phase. He’ll go back and look at his early work, but it was during his freshmen year at Swarthmore College – with a poem called “Vitamin C” – that the poet in him flourished.

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In his sophomore year, he and the Swarthmore College slam team participated in the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) at Barnard College. It was a double homecoming for the New Yorker. He performed in front of a hometown audience, but it was his poem “El Cantante,” where he took on the persona of Puerto Rican salsa singer Hector Lavoe, what caused a vivid awakening in the artist. “I started to find my place,” said Quiñones.

Then came, as he describes it, the key in the ignition: “For Tato Laviera (Bomba),” an ode to the Nuyorican poet. Earlier in the piece, Quiñones says, “Einstein, el campesino, compacted the flavor. Now I am the bomb, the gift, a favor.”

The piece, performed at the 2015 CUPSI at the University of Richmond, validated his place. “I am continuing the Nuyorican history. The Nuyorican poet is responsible for creating newness,” he says, referencing the foreword by Miguel Algarin in the collection “Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings.” Algarin co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan. “The newness needs words, words never heard before or used before. He has to invent a new language, a new tradition of communication.”

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That was “Bomba.” “It was taking the Nuyorican concept and putting my own spin to it,” said Quiñones. It was an affirmation not only to his art, but also to his identity. As many young Latinos, the validity of their Latinidad is questioned, but Quiñones learned through his art that Latinidad is just subjective. “I was walking around Philly and saw a t-shirt that said “History + Community = Pride,” and I had a spiritual moment, which sounds stupid because it’s a shirt,” Quiñones said with a chuckle.

Quiñones creates newness within this identity. “I don’t call myself Puerto Rican because that was the name given to my island by Spain, meaning Rich Port.” Quiñones identifies as an AfroBoricua. “Boriken is the original name of my island, meaning land of the valiant lords, and so people of Boriken are called Boriquens or Boricuas. I say Afro because I find it necessary to acknowledge my connection to Africa and not diminish or demonize it.”

Spoken word is no easy art. Quiñones blows into a napkin and lets out a couple coughs, still recovering from his engagement at Friends Seminary School on Wednesday. He’s also in the middle of his first official tour with Piel Cafe, a two-man poetry collective comprised of him and CUPSI teammate Julian Randall. Quiñones scoffs at the question of burning out. “I got my ancestors behind me,” he says, his voice more heightened than before, as if he’s jumped into the middle of his performance. “And I’m not going to stop.”

La Princesa de la Salsa – La India Graces May Cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine

            La Princesa de la Salsa –  La India Graces May Cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine




LatinTRENDS is proud to bring you the legendary “Princess of Salsa,” La India. The Latin Grammy Award and Billboard Latin Music Award-winner granted LatinTRENDS an exclusive and very special cover interview. In the May issue, the singer-songwriter talks about her relationship with Celia Cruz, working with Juan Gabriel on her latest album “Intensamente Con Canciones de Juan Gabriel,” the future of salsa, politics and her love life. La india will also receive an a award at the 14th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards for her trajectory in music.


About the Latino Trendsetter Awards & Scholarship Event
The Fourteenth Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards, a landmark celebration of excellence in enterprise, arts, entertainment, health, education and community leadership, will be held at on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 from 6-10 P.M. at The Symphony Space Theater in New York City. The event is sponsored in part by New York Presbyterian Hospital, Inca KolaCUNY . Media (sweepstakes) partners, La Mega 97.9 & Amor 93.1 and presented by LatinTRENDS. It will commence with a VIP red carpet reception, attended by awardees, influencers and media.The award presentation will be partially open to the public and special guest and will start at 8PM.  It will feature a musical performances by Frankie Negron , a multi-cultural dance performance featuring tango, flamenco, salsa and bachata music. Emerging urban Tropical musician, Doñé, will perform live as well.

The Event will be co-hosted by Actress, speaker and author, April Hernandez Castillo and Luxury Real Estate Broker and star of Bravo’s Emmy-Nominated Million Dollar Listing New York, Luis D. Ortiz


George Lopez’s new show “Lopez” on TV Land is a semi-autobiographical depiction of his life after success. In this funny and inspiring interview, Lopez talks about the elusive American Dream as classism and racism muddies the waters of success.

5-time Latin Grammy Award-winner Natalia Lafourcade takes time out of her U.S. concert tour to speak with LatinTRENDS about her album “Hasta la Raíz.” In this issue, the remarkable lyricist talks about taking her listeners on a gorgeous musical journey.

In the business section, “10 Best Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs,” offers effective advice on how to get organize and take on the business day in a powerful way. “A Marketer’s Perspective” explains how to reach a bicultural audience, and chef for the Rockefellers, Cecilia Gutierrez shares an endearing tale of how she earned her prominent position, travels around the world searching for culinary inspiration and gives back to her hometown community in Colombia.

The May issue also includes spotlights on body shaming, mental illness, and advice from freestyle sensation Judy Torres on celebrating Mother’s Day as a stepmother.


About LatinTRENDS
LatinTRENDS is a multi-media and marketing company that connects with the acculturated Hispanic community via its flagship monthly print magazine, weekly e-newsletter, daily content on and events. The brand’s content is bi-lingual, covering the latest trends in entertainment, travel, technology, wellness, business and cuisine, including featured Hispanic professionals & entrepreneurs.  Content also covers exclusive interviews with celebrities and innovative people that influence trends in pop culture.

For more information, see other winners and to purchase tickets (limited amount),clickhere: 

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martha luna


Originally published in the January/February 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Maria V. Luna

We share the same last name. Very cool. So Martha, tell us about your obsession with fashion. Where did it all begin?

My obsession with fashion started from a very young age, maybe 6-7 years old. It started when I was on a Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan and saw this pretty lady wearing a fabulous fur coat and very high heels, holding an issue of Vogue magazine. But I guess the obsession [began earlier] when I used to see my mother dress up for a party. I was 4 years old then. I have fond memories of the days I used to go to her room, while living in Venezuela, and watch her apply her make-up with perfection. Simple yet glamorous!

You are already on your way to being a fashion influencer. What is La Bilingual Collection and how did you get started?

La Bilingual Collection is a new project I did with designer Astrid Carolina from Arena Fashion in Venezuela. In this collection, [inspired by my] lifestyle as a Venezuelan fashion blogger living in New York City, I am sharing two cultures and [the concept of the collection is] demonstrated by the use of phrases in English and Spanish, aimed at fashionistas who have a unique taste in accessories and value the hard work, delicate hand embroidery and processing [of each item].

These bags are super fun and flirty. Did you design the beauty bags yourself? What was that process like?

Yes, I designed each one of them and Astrid Carolina organized all the labor back in Venezuela. For this collection, I designed a limited edition set of bags for women and fashionistas: tote bags, make-up bags and clutches designed in fabric and cotton, incorporating the characteristics of American and Latino cultures. They are painted freehand and then embroidered by hand. Each of these designs is unique and exclusive.

Ok, I’m going to ask you about a few subjects and you just tell us your thoughts. Ready?

—Latinas in the fashion world Inspired by the likes of the fabulous Latinas of OITNB, Eva Mendez, Penélope Cruz, Sofía Vergara, Shakira, Zoe Saldaña and Jennifer Lopez, Latinas have made an indelible mark on the world of fashion that has left photographers tripping over themselves to get the best red-carpet shots they can. Latinas do not hide behind fashion; we wear it like we own it. As the Latina population increases, designers will continue to be influenced by the styles of the many different regional cultures Latinas come from. Those who think it’s just a passing fad will find themselves left behind as they learn this painful lesson, “ignore us at your own risk.” Latinas in fashion are making a fabulous mark on the world.

 —Male models

I don’t follow many male models or much about them but these are pretty hot!!! Matthew Noszka, Mario Rodriguez Jr., Jon Kortajarena, Nick Bateman and Sean O’Pry.

—2016 style goals

Embrace my own personal style more because what you wear really does need to reflect what your own personal style is. I am the queen of colors. I love color blocking but this year I want to do more mixing with bold prints and step out of my comfort zone a little. Why do we follow so many runway trends anyways when we can create our own with our personal style?

—Trends that need to end

Peplum, Flash tats, wedge sneakers,mullet skirts, red carpet naked dresses, festival fashion, acid wash jeans and colored animal prints.

Evelyn Lozada Graces April cover of LatinTRENDS

April 2016

A Puerto Rican native New Yorker and white hot on this month’s cover of LatinTRENDS magazine, “Basketball Wives” Evelyn Lozada is back on top. In this exclusive interview, Evelyn gushes over her famous friends, including Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez. She describes her new outlook on love and life, and offers her opinion on the portrayal of women in reality television. Her show “Livin’ Lozada” returns with all-new episodes on May 7th at 10pm on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

FOX’s “Empire” also returns for a new season, and Hakeen Lyon’s truest love interest is back. Laura Callero, played by Jamila Velazquez, is not only a songstress on the show, but she tells LatinTRENDS she is a musical artist in real life too. For more on music, this month’s issue also includes interviews with stars like Miami funk band Locos por Juana and Mexican regional singer Luis Coronel.

April’s entertainment section also offers exclusives with Syfy’s “12 Monkeys” star Kirk Acevedo who plays Jose Ramse, a hero saving the world from a deadly virus. Heroes don’t sleep and neither does the cast of “New York Nunca Duerme.” This fresh reality show follows NY’s leading Latina business women and all their drama. See them Fridays on Telemicro Internacional. Another leading Latina is just a teen and she has taken Vine by storm with the most loops—ever! Vine star Lele Pons, has made a leap into the publishing world with her new book, “Surviving High School,” co-written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz. Lele tells LatinTRENDS how bullying at school actually helped launch her career.

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month see LatinTRENDS’ money making advice in “Four for Four: Wealth Building Tips” and “Reality Check for a Dream Retirement.”

Gun control in America is a hot button issue. See LatinTRENDS in-depth investigation and learn more about “What Latinos Think About Gun Control.” And in more coverage of national interest topics “Girls Code and Women Fire it Up,” celebrates young girls in tech featured in the film documentary “CodeGirl,” and “Discrimination in Single-Sex Bathrooms: A Thing of the Past?” explores Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order that seeks to help end discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers


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Originially published in the January/February 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine

Rosie Rivera, the youngest in the famous “Rivera Dynasty” and only sister of the late “Diva de la Banda” Jenni Rivera, opens her heart in her autobiography “My Broken Pieces” The book is a  brave and explicit account of her most difficult moments, her struggle with depression and addiction, and the pain she suffered in silence for years after being sexually abused by her sister’s husband Jose Trinidad Marin, who also raped Jenni Rivera’s daughters Janney “Chiquis” Rivera Marin and Jacqui Marin.

“My Broken Pieces,” which goes on sale on February 2, shows us a side of Rosie that we barely knew. The book presents her as a rebellious and troubled youth who struggled with her demons and carried a deep sense of guilt after an abortion. Rosie offers graphic and somewhat disturbing details of the moment when she was raped at the young age of 8 years old.

Rosie’s life completely changed with the sudden and unexpected death of her sister in a tragic accident, as she became heir to a large fortune. She was also awarded the opportunity to continue Jenni’s musical legacy and the commercial empire her sister had created.

From that moment on, the youngest Rivera has worked with the family to continue all of Jenni’s projects and make sure to carry out her wishes, all the while facing conflict and family disputes. “I work for her children so that their dreams can come true. Jenni knew thousands of people more intelligent, wise and experienced than me, but she trusted me,” said Rosie.

Rosie was motivated to write this book and confess her secrets and battles because her sister had asked her to do so 18 years ago. “I decided to write this book to help women who have suffered from sexual abuse. This story is not being told because it is Rosie’s story but because it is the story of many women who suffer in silence. “I lived in fear for 9 years, and that silence dries up your bones, it kills you inside,” she said.

“This story does not glorify Rosie in any way. It does not make me prettier or smarter. On the contrary, it shows all my dark Moments. I open my heart, my story and my mistakes, which I am only doing because I know that it will benefit others,” she said.

“My Broken Pieces” is the fourth book published by the Rivera family after Jenni’s death in December 2012. Rosie says that the project began before her sister died and that it had to be put on hold due to the amount of responsibility she was forced to take on by caring for her sister’s children and managing JR Enterprises. She admits that, when she returned to the book, she was “unsure, thinking about what people would say, that another Rivera wrote another book or that ‘Rosie is trying to get money out of this,’” but knowing that her sister supported the project gave her the strength to go on.

Rosie’s memoirs are a difficult, emotional read, full of contradictory feelings, but, most of all, they reveal the deep love existing between the members of a family that supports and loves each other unconditionally. Rosie was the princess, her siblings and parents’ little girl. “I was a loved child but I had low self-esteem because I was obese. I weighed 260 lbs. because I wanted to be ugly so I wouldn’t be attractive to my abuser or to any other man. I lived many years hating my own body and myself,” she says.


“My abuser threatened me with killing my sister when I was 8 years old. My great fear in life after that moment was my sister’s death. That fateful December 9th, I thought I was going to go crazy. I even told Jenni many times: ‘If you die, I’ll jump into the coffin with you.’ But at that moment, when they were lowering the casket into the ground, I heard my mother weeping, her children weeping, and I remembered that I was pregnant, and thought: ‘I can’t go with you, sister. I must be strong.’”


“He was a second father to me, a confidant, my best friend. I miss him a lot. We are mending fences but we are not where I want us to be just yet. I want the Lupe I wrote about in the book, whom I love. I want Lupe to read this book and remember that his sister admires and respects him.


“When I think about him, I feel compassion and sadness. I think the tables are turned: I am free now. I don’t live in a jail of depression and trauma. I can breathe deeply and be free. With an open heart, I can say that I feel compassion. I don’t feel hatred anymore. I am now free because I know that God forgave me, and I sincerely wish that he asks God for forgiveness and is able to feel the peace that God gives us when He forgives our sins.”


“Out of respect for Chiquis, Esteban and my sister. In the months before her death, I saw my sister cry a lot over this situation and because she didn’t want anyone to know, not even my mother. Jenni suffered alone, with friends, with me or with her daughter Jacqui. My sister promised that she would never talk about this and, if she didn’t, I am the worst person to do so.”