Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rice and Beans & Everything In-Between:...A book by David Cruz

I was given the opportunity to delve a little into the memoir of David Cruz and was extremely delighted by what I read. I found myself reflecting on my own youth realizing that growing up in The Bronx, as David did, was not much different than growing up in Brooklyn. One has to just sit back and enjoy the journey as he reflects on everything from shopping with his mother to the 80's, drugs and girls.

Of interest was this...
"A good analogy to describe my Puerto Rican heritage would be to equate myself to Wonder Bread. Looking at it straight on you see the white bread but if you look closer, you see a nice golden brown band hugging it; giving it its sweet taste and without the brown band around it, it would just be, well, . . . plain!"..David Cruz

The memories here mirrored many of my own as he writes of "Sabado Gigante! The Spanish show of shows!" or the exciting adolescent b-boy era (80's) with its rap, breakdancing and clothing..."if you wanted to be true Hip-Hop, you had to have the Adidas. Shell Top......they were part of the hip-hop uniform." David leaves no stone unturned and I am sure that at one point or another there is something here for every Latino to enjoy and reminisce about in their own lives.

Visit the author's website.
Visit the author's blog: Bacalao Salao

David writes " I’ve been married sixteen years and I still can’t understand my wife sometimes but at least I have HER number!" the book and you'll be able to understand where he's coming from.....Available through

Rice and Beans & Everything In-Between: One Puerto Rican's introverted observations from an otherwise extroverted life! (Kindle Edition)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bobby González: Multicultural Motivational Speaker, Storyteller and Poet

Not too long ago I had the opportunity to meet, if only briefly, Bobby González, multicultural motivational speaker, storyteller and poet. Again, while we only met briefly, I was left thinking greatly about a history which I know very little about but would love to learn. I decided to begin by purchasing Bobby's poetry book “The Last Puerto Rican Indian: A Collection of Dangerous Poetry." I was captivated by the poetry in this book, it was the motivation that I needed in order for me to research this history. I have since begun to take advantage of the suggested Taino reading list in the book.

The following is an excerpt of an article by Bobby. It provides the reader with a glimpse on Latinos and their indigenous ancestry.

The Native American Heritage of Latinos

By Bobby González

When most people hear the term ‘Native American’ they associate it with peoples of North America, i.e. nations such as the Cherokee, Apache, Navajo, etc. Most folks are stunned to learn that more than forty million indigenous peoples originate from Latin America. More than 90% of ‘Native Americans’ come from Central and South America and the Caribbean. The majority of the populations of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Guatemala are aboriginal. In Mexico more than fifty languages are spoken. One of these languages happens to be Spanish. The remainder are Native.........cont.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico on January 24,1874, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg would become an important figure in both Puerto Rican and African American history. A historian, writer and activist, Arturo researched and raised awareness regarding the contributions made to society by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans.

While in grade school, a teacher told Alfonso that black people had no history, heroes or accomplishments. Proving this wrong would become his life's work. He would set of to find and document the everything he could about Africans and African-Americans, including Afro-Latinos.

In 1891, he made his way to New York where he became a member of the "Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico." He would also teach Spanish and work at several jobs to support himself and his family. Throughout this time he would search everywhere for books by and about African people. He would also collect any material he could get his hands on amassing a sizable collection. In 1926, The New York Public Library purchased his collection and appointed him curator of the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature and Art, later renamed the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The purchase allowed Arturo to fund his travels so to seek out further works to add to his collection. Arturo died on June 8, 1938.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Arturo Alfonso Schomburg to his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. His legacy serves as an inspiration to Puerto Ricans, Latinos and Afro-Americans alike.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Africawithin (bio)
  3. Africawithin (Afroborinqueño)
  4. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  5. The Father of Black History Remembered
  6. Puerto Rico en Breve

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres: Parole Hearing

On January 19, 2010, Carlos Alberto Torres attended a video hearing presided over by a U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner whose task was to consider the disciplinary charges stemming from last January, and to make a recommendation for what should happen with respect to his request to be released on parole. Carlos Alberto answered the questions posed, and his attorney Jan Susler asked that the Parole Commission release him on parole as previously recommended, regardless of the wrongful charges. She pointed out the vast, ongoing support for his release, and argued that there is absolutely no risk in releasing him, as evidenced by the impressive example of his compatriots who were released by presidential commutation in 1999. The hearing examiner then made a favorable recommendation. The Parole Commission will make the final decision, hopefully within the next 30 days.

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is launching a 30 day online petition campaign! We want 1000 people to sign our petition within the next 30 days showing their support for Carlos Alberto Torres.

At the end of the thirty days the petition will be mailed to the Parole Commissioner.

Sign this petition and forward it out to everyone you know!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lebrón Brothers and Luis (Perico) Ortiz at Lehman Center

The Lebron Brothers, Angel, José, Carlos, Frankie, and Pablo, are staples of the salsa movement that sprang up during the 60's and 70's. Although, Pablo no longer performs due to health reasons, they still remain loyal to the music and continue to release songs.
Luis "Perico" Ortiz, trumpet player, composer, musical arranger and producer, has worked with the likes of Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Fania All Stars and countless others since the 70's. He also founded Dialen Promotions, Inc. and Luis "Perico" Ortiz Productions, Inc. He has many solo recordings and currently continues to produce music and sound tracks.
If you're in New York, the Lebron Brothers and Luis "Perico" Ortiz will be headlining a show at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 23. For full info.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce (HISCEC) Pledges Continued Support for the Children´s Heart Foundation (CHF)

SAN DIEGO, CA. JAN 18, 2010 - The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce recently announced its commitment to the Children´s Heart Foundation and its mission to bring health, hope and happiness to children and families impacted by congenital heart defects.

“Most people are unaware that Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect in America, affecting approximately one in one hundred, or 40,000 newborns each year. My baby was born with a CHD. “Touch a Child’s Heart” fundraising campaign is a personal commitment, for me and everyone at the HISCEC, to support the CHF’s mission and its valuable contributions to society”, Tayde Aburto, HISCEC President and Marketing Director, said.

The HISCEC will donate a portion of the proceeds from the organization´s 2010 Business and Technology Expo to the CHF. The event will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on September 10th & 11th, 2010. Monies donated to the Children´s Heart Foundation help fund research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the number one birth defect in the United States.

"The Children's Heart Foundation is proud to partner with the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce in creating renewed hope through the funding of research for children born with congenital heart defects and their families. Through the contributions made as a result of this partnership, critically needed research will be funded, answers to long standing questions will be developed and children's lives will ultimately be saved. We sincerely thank the HISCEC for their commitment with CHF in "Saving Children's Lives - One Heart at a Time", William Foley, Children’s Heart Foundation Executive Director, said.

The HISCEC recognizes the value the Children´s Heart Foundation offers those they serve and has vowed its continued assistance after The Expo.

About Children´s Heart Foundation
The Children's Heart Foundation raises research funds to help diagnose, treat and prevent congenital heart defects (CHDs), the number one birth defect in the United States. To date the Children’s Heart Foundation has directed more than three million dollars to 37 CHD research projects at leading research centers across the U.S. and Canada. For more information visit CHF.

The HISCEC is an online Hispanic business association focused on promoting Hispanic businesses via the Internet and the use of e-business tools. The HISCEC facilitates transformation of small business to e-business, promotes e-commerce transactions, enables small businesses to interact more closely with customers and suppliers, allows higher degrees of specialization, provides access to national and international markets and promotes distance learning programs to educate its members. For more information visit HISCEC.

Information provided by Richie Matthews Diálogo PR

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It took me back to a time.....

It took me back to a time when I would sit in front of my boom box radio, play cassettes back and forth pretending to be a DJ. I would go on like that for hours at a time dreaming of creating fascinating mixes. In later years I would go on to buy a set of turntables but, lacking the inspiration and motivation, that dream never became more than a hobby. I was reminded of these memories when I began reading the book 'It’s Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz, Hip Hop’s First Latino DJ' by Ivan Sanchez and Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño. The book is truly a representation of perseverance and overcoming some of the negative challenges of life. Luis has definitely proven that he was able to avoid and/or deviate from the potholes of life. The book and his life story are a perfect example of the inspiration that many young Latinos need. Since the early days of Hip Hop, Latinos have been making contributions in one way or another. Here we have Hip Hop's first Latino DJ.

About Luis " DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño
Born in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban mother, during the 60's, at a time when The Bronx was suffering a sharp decline in quality of life, Luis would struggle through an often harsh and violent relationship with an alcoholic father. Like many kids of that time he would hustle in the streets with his crew. Salvation came calling, when now legendary Grandmaster Caz convinced his mother to buy some DJ equipment, and asked Luis to join him on the turntables. This would set the stage for many a DJ battles during the early days of Hip Hop. This was history in the making as Luis was the first Latino to bless the turntables. He, along with Caz, would go on to make the first "mixed plate" (combined sound bites, special effects, and paused beats) in 1977.
While his life would take an unfortunate turn, he would be convicted and sentenced to nine years for an attempted murder charge, it would be a lesson in life, perseverance and self- determination. Although he chose not to pursue a career in Hip Hop after prison, his love for it would keep him following it and it would eventually call to him.
A series of interviews with Ivan Sanchez would lead to an outpouring on his life and the making of the book 'It's Just Begun:.....->.

Read more about Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño at PowerHouse Books
DJ Disco Wiz on
DJ Disco Wiz on Urban Latino Radio

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild Style in the Bronx (Simon & Schuster, 2008)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti: A Nation in Pain

Haiti, a nation already suffering from poverty (80%) and illiteracy, is one of the world's poorest and least developed. To add fuel to the already smoldering fire, the country, as we know, has been devastated by its worst earthquake in over 200 years.

Some will turn the other cheek and as I've heard, "we have enough problems of our own, let them handle their own problems" the cold and heartless will speak. The mentality of some cannot be fully explained but to only say that it is a societal ill. The few words one speaks can sometimes say volumes about an individual. Considering whom the words came from I conclude that this person believes that they (Haitians) are inferior and not worthy of help. To continue to sulk in the words of the heartless is like giving in to their insidious words, so enough.

The people of Haiti have been suffering for a long time and this has added to their suffering. I cannot began to feel or even think of how it feels to go through such pain. As always the race card has to be played by some. The hope here is to look beyond that, look at the human toll and devastation that has ravaged this country further. The Haitian people are a people in pain who need help and support from everyone regardless of race, sex, religion and/or national origin.

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do

Monday, January 11, 2010

Puerto Rico's...Situation?

Puerto Rico's current unemployment rate is very bleak (16.5%), to say the least, and looking at the horizon things don't seem like they will get any better. With government plans to lay off more public workers the reality is that of an emerging crisis.

As of late, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc.(NPRC) has urged the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status to develop a 'Government-Wide Marshall Plan'. The hope is that, after more than a century, the White House will recognize the need to move forward on the status issue while responding to the unemployment issue. Recognizing the need to move forward is one thing but the real challenge lies in the fact that the status issue has always been very divisive and not without a social and economic dependency on the U.S.
While there is always a need for leadership, there is a greater need for honesty. Only through an honest approach to the economic and status issue, that includes the well being of all the people, can progress begin. that a reality?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Strength in Numbers?" by Alice Gomez and Lucia Matthews

The article is written by two representatives of Diálogo PR, a San Diego based PR agency specializing in Hispanic markets. It is our hope that our expertise in Hispanic issues and passion for advocating the Hispanic voice provides insight to the significance and quality of your publication.

Strength in Numbers?

The 2010 Census will unveil the Hispanic presence in the U.S. An accurate count may lead to improved conditions.

By: Alice Gomez and Lucia Matthews

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The upcoming 2010 U.S. Census, what the official Census website refers to as a “portrait of America”, may up the ante. There has been an unprecedented buzz around what this influential survey will reveal about the Hispanic population months before its March commencement.

“Every individual within the snapshot has a story.” That is what the homepage goes on to claim. Public focus seems to be centered on what story will be told of the U.S. Hispanic whole. An accurate calculation of the Hispanic population will divulge the magnitude of their presence. Advocates believe the result would be enhanced political voice and benefits from federal programming.

The Census is much more than a head count. Comprised of ten simple demographic questions, the form has monumental impact. The decennial poll decides the fate of more than $300 billion in government funding annually. These monies are allocated towards infrastructure and services such as hospitals, education, emergency services, roads, etc.

Census results also determine political representation at both the state and federal level. State congressional districts are created with the philosophy of ’one-man-one-vote’. Theoretically, borders are drawn based on equal population disbursement. The Census determines the number of representatives a state has in the House of Representatives as well.

Beyond financial and political clout the Census is a close as it comes to a quantifiable depiction of American society. It is an illustration of the U.S. people- its family size, racial and geographic makeup. Debates rage over what role the 2010 Census will cast Hispanics in its narrative.-->

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mathias Brugman: A lesser known Compatriot

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mathius Brugman is one of the lesser known patriots of Puerto Rico's Independence Movement.

Born on January 3, 1811 to a father from Curaçao and a mother from Puerto Rico, the family would eventually settle in the City of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Although successful in his business venture (a grocery store), Mathius would eventually become resentful of Spain's political injustices and an outspoken advocate for Puerto Rico's independence. Setting up meetings in his shop, a revolutionary committee was formed with a code name: "Capá Prieto" (Black Cape)(1)  .

On September 23, 1868, Puerto Rico's first major revolt against Spanish rule (El Grito de Lares) would begin and Mathius, his son and a fellow revolutionary would go into hiding. Seven days later, a farm worker, Francisco Qiñones would lead Spanish authorities to their hiding place. Their refusal to surrender would lead to their executions (September 30, 1868).

(1) "Capá Prieto" (Black Cape) While the translation is correct, thanks to a reader for providing me with a bit of information, the term refers to a tree native to the Antilles, Central America and the northern half of South America. Ref.- (1) (2)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Art of José Campeche Jordán

José Campeche Jordán (1752-1809)

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, José Campeche is considered the founder of the Puerto Rican national painting and the most important painter of the Americas in the 18th century.

Virgen de la Soledad de la Victoria (c. 1782-1789)

Juan Alejo de Arizmendi

Ramón de Castro (c. 1800)

Enjoy more of his paintings here and here....

Vagabond Beaumont's Addendum To My Confession of Theft

I am reminded that by reading one can become a better writer, ideas are formed and ones own creativity is brought to the table. From these ideas ones own creativity is molded into a new idea.

Vagabond writes, 'In my last blog entry STEALING IN PLAIN SIGHT I talked about the films that had a direct influence on MACHETERO and the above quote was something I found that only confirmed some of my own ideas about originality... I thought folks would enjoy this. It makes for a good addendum to my last confession of theft.'

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Machetero: Inspirations and Impact

Last year I had the honor of interviewing writer, producer and director of the film 'Machetero', Vagabond Beaumont. Since that interview the film has gone on to garner nominations and awards for Best First Film - USA in the International Film Festival Ireland and Best Directorial Debut for a Feature Film - USA in the New York International Independent Film And Video Festival. In continuing to follow-up on the progress of the film, (which will be screened at the San Diego Black Film Festival, 1/28-31/10), I find Vagabond discussing on the films that were an inspiration and had a direct impact on MACHETERO.


by Vagabond Beaumont

There were several films that were an inspiration and had a direct impact on MACHETERO. They’re pictured above and listed below. Next to each film i listed the main influence that it had on MACHETERO. Below the list I go into detail on the impact that each film made on MACHETERO.

The Battle Of Algiers - Anti-imperialism
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai - Warrior Code/Structure
Paradise Now - Anti-imperialism
In Praise Of Love - Structure
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song - Anti-imperialism
The Spook Who Sat By The Door - Anti-imperialism
The Last Temptation Of Christ - Sacrifice
The Limey - Structure

The Battle Of Algiers, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song and The Spook Who Sat By The Door were the films that I went to first as examples of films that were uncompromising in terms of their politics. They all dealt in varying degrees to anti-imperialist struggles. These three films had the heaviest influences on MACHETERO in terms of their being open and unapologetic about their politics.

In The Battle Of Algiers it was clearly an anti-colonial struggle with the underground armed forces of the Algerian FLN (Forces of National Liberation) going up against the French colonizers. The FLN are credited with being among the first organizations to use modern urban guerrilla warfare tactics and “terrorist” actions that brought the French to their knees. It’s a film that’s used to this day by revolutionaries as a lesson in guerrilla warfare. The film is also used by the Pentagon as an insight into those same guerrilla warfare tactics. The Battle Of Algiers is based on real events and real people and when I was creating MACHETERO I wanted all of the events in the film to be rooted in real events. The Pedro Taino character is based on a conglomeration of real revolutionaries who fought for freedom within the US, some of whom are still doing time in US prisons.

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song was also an anti-imperialist film although in a less obvious way. The film is about a sex performer (as in staged sex shows) who fights back against the corrupt police within the Black community and becomes a hero to Black folks in the ghetto. This may not fit the definition of imperialism in the strictest sense but Black folks in American have always had more in common with imperialism than America would like to admit. Although Sweetback is credited with jumpstarting the Blaxploitation era, it was really more of an art film for the masses. I liked that idea and it helped encourage me to believe that you could make an art film that didn’t ostracize an audience and that you could make a political art film for oppressed people.

The Spook Who Sat By The Door took this idea of imperialism of Black people in America to its extreme but logical conclusion. The film is about the organization of an underground resistance to fight for Black peoples freedom in America. All three of those films were decades old were easy to get a hold of with the exception of The Spook Who Sat By The Door which was banned by the FBI and only recently released in the last few years on DVD. The film is very detailed in how a former Black CIA agent turns Black gangs in the ghetto into guerrilla fighters. With MACHETERO I felt it was important to touch on the passing on of information from one generation of Machetero to another and so the development of The Young Rebel by Pedro Taino into a Machetero and The Young Rebel passing on the information and the history of struggle to his girl-friend is where the influence of The Spook Who Sat By The Door can be felt in MACHETERO.

The Borinqueneers: Forgotten No More

It was without question that with my earlier posts on the Borinqueneers that I learned a great deal about the valor and sacrifices of the brave Boricua soldiers of the 69th Infantry Regiment. That they were honored shows that their sacrifices had not been forgotten by their compatriots. Through the documentary, "THE BORINQUENEERS", their story of serving with valor and distinction continues to be told.

In a recent article on (NY), Ismael Nunez reports on the Borinqueneers documentary and he also had an opportunity to sit and talk to the producer, director and writer of the documentary, Noemi Figueroa Soulet.

The Borinqueneers is a powerful documentary about the all-Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Ismael Nunez

For more on the Borinqueneers documentary visit the site.

**Petition drive for a U.S. stamp to honor the 65th Infantry Regiment**

Monday, January 4, 2010

Clemente Soto Vélez

A poet, journalist, activist and nationalist..Clemente Soto Vélez left Latinos everywhere a legacy that contributed enormously to our social, cultural and economic lives.

Born January 4, 1905 in Lares, Puerto Rico, Clemente was orphaned at the age of seven. At an early age he began to study painting, electrical engineering and business administration. It was in San Juan during his early youth that he had the opportunity to meet poets Alfredo Margenat and Pedro Carrasquillo, whom together would find the vanguard literary group “El Atalaya de los Dioses” (The Watchtower of the Gods). Joined by several other young talented poets, the group attempted to create a connection between the poetic/literary world and politics at a time when the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico (Nacionalista de Puerto Rico) was emerging. His involvement in the party led his arrest in 1936, on conspiracy charges, for a period of seven years. Although, he was released in 1940(served prison time in Atlanta, Georgia) he was quickly arrested for violating the conditions of his release.

In 1942, he was once again released but was restricted from returning to Puerto Rico so he settled in New York City. He quickly became politically active, directing the Puerto Rican Merchants Association, Inc. throughout the 1970's and organizing numerous literary and cultural events.

Clemente's literary works span a lifetime. Many of his early writings were published in newspapers and periodicals. His first writings were published in 1937 by friends due to his incarceration. In 1954, his first book of poetry entitled 'Abrazo Interno' was published.

Clemente served as a mentor to young artists, musicians and writers who revered him. He continued both his journalistic work and poetry and was invited to many seminars and conferences. One of his most ardent supporters and promoter of his work was his second wife, Amanda Andrea Vélez, a political activist in Argentina and a member of the Partido Socialista de Argentina. Clemente Soto Vélez died in Puerto Rico on April 15, 1993.

Full info from:
Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños):

  1. Guide to the Clemente Soto Vélez and Amanda Vélez Papers
  2. The Life & Times of Clemente Soto Vélez

Estos Árboles / These Trees

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Día de los Tres Reyes Magos: A Small Impactful Memory

The fondness of a memory can bring a smile upon ones face. As the holidays come to an end around this part of the world (as Capitalism takes precedence over all), I am reminded of a time when I would travel far away enough from the concrete jungle of New York and make it to the warmth of Puerto Rico. I smile as I think back to a time when I put grass in a box and put that under the bed. A small memory, to say the least, but one that stands out like a picture before me. I can see and understand the significance of the moment now more than ever.
As Three Kings Day (Día de los Tres Reyes Magos) is celebrated, on Jan. 6, in Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and many other Latin American countries, very little is heard of or celebrated in the U.S. Nonetheless, it is a part of our cultures (Latino) and one that should at least be taught and carried forward into future generations.

A Short History Of Three Kings Day

El Museo del Barrio: Three Kings Day Parade

La Parada de los "Tres Reyes Magos de Brooklyn"

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: Let's Continue being in the Forefront

This past year, 2009, brought on many things that put a smile on my face. It would be inappropriate to say that these very things made me proud to be Latino because I have always been proud. Nonetheless, the fact that a Latina, Sonia Sotomayor, made it to the U.S. Supreme Court (the highest court in the land) and that a Latino, Joseph Acaba, made it out to space put a huge smile on my face. President Obama's appointment of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor and Thomas Perez as assistant attorney general for Civil Rights Division (USDOJ) reflect a commitment by Latinos to persevere. Some of their stories mirror the stories of other Latinos who are struggling against the odds and looking to persevere as well.

Many things throughout the year brought me happiness from a loving wife, beautiful daughters and a wonderful family. Other things outside of my immediate circle that made me proud were the new friendships I developed throughout the year, seeing everyday Latinos do some amazing things within and for their communities and the selfless promotion of nuestra culturas. I witnessed everything from Latino artists, painters, authors, singers, community activists and many more who are doers in their own right. Many have amazed me with their abilities and never ending energy to go forward, while others have inspired me just the same.

The year was not without its challenges and/or issues, that as Latinos we must keep abreast of and continue to keep an eye and ear to. Challenges to and issues related to health-care reform, immigration laws, education and the old ugly face of stereotypes and racism. All of these are issues and challenges which remain in the forefront of things that we face, must come together and tackle and educate each other and others about. When MTV's "True Life: I'm a Nuyorican" was pulled off the air and Lou Dobbs was ousted from CNN we demonstrated that Latinos can unite, organize and bring about positive change.

The challenge to all Latinos is to stand up and continue to prosper. To continue to connect and share so as to be better informed and prepared in the face of diversity. To take pride in ourselves and in the accomplishments of others. To make 2010 a year of even greater unity and accomplishments. The possibilities are endless and even more attainable than ever, we must continue building on the achievements of 2009.

May 2010 prove to be just as exciting and may we continue to unify and solidify our communities. P'alante!