L4LL’s Dia Blog Hop with Author Rene Saldana

I am participating in the Latinas 4 Latino Literature  Día Blog Hop (L4LL’s Dia Blog Hop).   Established in the United States by poet and author Pat Mora, Día is a celebration of books and children. The month long program celebrates Latino Children literacy by pairing a different author or illustrator with a different blogger each day.  The 2nd annual blog hop has 24 authors/illustrators paired with 24 Latina bloggers.

I’m honored to be paired with Professor René Saldaña, Jr.  today.  His children and young adult books inspire us to pursue our dreams through passion, dedication and hardwork.  I can relate to many of the books he has written, especially, The Jumping Tree.  The book is a coming of age novel about the experiences Rene faces to become a young adult while living between Mexico and Texas.

I was raised in a bicultural home by a Latina mother who instilled the importance of  hardwork.  We celebrated the arts, literature and culture with our familia across the border.

Consider carving out some time in your day to follow the month long celebration at Latinas4LatinoLit.org Dia Blog Hop after reading today’s inspiring reflection.

REFLECTIONS by René Saldaña
FOR Latinas For Latino Literature

This morning in Lubbock, Texas, it rained. It’s such a big deal here when it does rain because it doesn’t happen often. A local news station even runs a sort of a pool, wherein viewers predict when we’ll get our first rain and they’ll win goodies in the form of paraphernalia from the TV station. I’ve yet to participate myself, but I’m happy somebody won because it means it’s rained.

We are several years into a drought in West Texas, which makes sense because we’re basically a desert out here. It’s bone dry, I tell you, and the local meteorologist occasionally will put up on the screen how much it would have to rain daily for us to catch up to normal levels. Though I get it that we’re so far behind, I’ve seen these numbers before, and I still can’t quite wrap my brain around how dire our situation.

So, this morning, there were puddles on the ground. And though I tell my own kids not to walk through them because they’ll ruin their shoes, they still do it, and inside, I smile. I smile because I know how fun it is to stomp on a puddle, making a big or small splash depending on the size of the puddles. I used to do it myself as a kid, against my mother’s wishes. Incidentally, she gave me the exact same reason why I shouldn’t plow through a puddle: I’ll ruin my shoes. And yet, today, inwardly, I smile when my own kids “ruin” their shoes that way. Because secretly, I wish I had the guts to do it still. But I’m an adult, and so I don’t.

What I do, though, is to look down into the puddles as I’m stepping over them, and I see my own reflection in them and that makes me happy. In the middle of this drought, puddles are so infrequent that I take any and every chance to see myself reflected in them. My reflection is precious in this format because it is as uncommon as the rain. You know what? I admit it: I’m so egotistical because I can’t get enough of myself in these puddles. I have to wonder: is it the reflection of myself that is attractive, the puddle, or both? I think it’s both.

Recently, Walter Dean Myers wrote in the New York Times (03/15/14) that there is a similar dearth within the publishing industry of books by writers of color about kids of color: books in which young readers might see themselves represented accurately and fairly: books in which young readers of color are “struck by the recognition of themselves in the story, a validation of their existence as human beings, an acknowledgement of their value by someone who understands who they are.” I’ve been arguing the same on behalf of young Latino/a readers for years now. So has Matt de la Peña in Arizona of late, where the powers that be have seen fit to do away with Mexican American studies, in essence rubbing out of existence Americans of Mexican descent by outlawing the culture’s literature. (For more on the subject of the futile attempt at the unmaking of a people, follow Tony Diaz, founder of Librotraficante, on The Huffington Post.)

When such titles appear on the scene, imagine the response on the part of young Latino/a readers at seeing their own reflections in the characters therein: they are validated, they see for themselves how they are very much a part of the American-Dream tapestry.

They will experience the same joy I do at first stomping a foot into a puddle, making a splash of indescribable proportions; second skipping over the puddles to see a flash of myself flying; and last, seeing myself clearly reflected back at me, not as stranger, not as other, not as illegal, but very much at home in my own skin, in my own story, in my own books.

Tonight, there is a hint of more rain in the air. A sort of coolness in the breeze. I’m waiting for the first sign of rain: the pitter-patter of drops on the skylight as I’m typing this. The prognostication for tomorrow says no rain, though. It’ll be dry, dusty, and windy, says the weatherman. But man, having seen myself in those puddles earlier in the day I’m comforted because for a brief moment today I saw myself in countless puddles and the next rain can’t be far off. So like our kids must who wait on the next book about them, I, too, will wait for the next storm. At first, I’ll wait patiently. And then anxiously. And then I’ll be out of my mind waiting. Mad like that because I’ve caught that clear reflection of myself in the puddles now, and I know how right that is, and how wrong the drought.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

René Saldaña, Jr., is an associate professor in the Language, Diversity, and Language Studies in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.

He is also the author of various titles for children and young adults, including The Jumping Tree, Finding Our Way: Stories, A Good Long Way, the Mickey Rangel bilingual detective/mystery series, among others.


In May, his first picture book will be published; it is a bilingual counting book that follows a boy on the day of his birthday fiesta. It is titled Dale, dale, dale: una fiesta de números/Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers (Piñata Books).

He, his wife Tina, and their children Lukas, Mikah, Kalyn, and Jakob have adopted a puppy that they named Chito, after René’s pet dog from childhood.

Lo Que La Vida Me Robo Character Introduction and Giveaway

Disclosure:  This post was created in partnership with the Stiletto Blogger Network and Univision. However, all opinions expressed herein are my own. 

As I mentioned earlier this week, Univision recently announced their new telenovela,  ”Lo Que La Vida Me Robo”.  The Mexican telenovela will  capture your attention by telling the  story of  love, laughter, betrayal and wealth in the small town of aguazul.  The Mexican telenovela is also full of interesting characters that will keep you entertained.

I’m looking forward to the new novela and plan to use the Univision UVideos app to stay connected with the telenovela and host of characters.  Tune in to Lo Que La Vida Me Robo weekenights at 9pm on Univision. I recommend you check out the app or videos as well and download the app to get insider information on your favorite character too.

Can’t wait? You can find a  plethora of juicy clips to keep you busy on their dedicated novelas video page.  

Lo Que La Vida Me Robo unfolds in Aguazul, a picturesque village where Montserrat Mendoza, a socialite lives.   The telenovela scenes are surrounded my breathtaking architecture, design and views.

My favorite character is Nadia Medina Arguelles, a smart and distinguished socialite.  Nadia starts her married life full of hopes and expectations, but soon realizes she is trapped in a cold marriage.   Nadia desires to find love and seeks refuge in the arms of Victor Hernandez. Her close friend, Montserrat is willing to make any sacrifice for her family and is eventually manipulated by her mother, Graciela Giacinti, to marry a rich man.

The characters are involved in a classic love triangle and experience love, friendship, passion, contempt and resentment between them, because of secrets, betrayal and hatred caused by the greed and avarice of those around them.    Make sure to watch “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo” telenovela to find out Montserrat’s and Nadia’s fate.  The telenovela will have you on the edge of your seat every evening!

To celebrate the Telenovela, Univision is offering one of my readers a $50 American Express Card!  You have the opportunity to win it by participating in the giveaway below:

Giveaway

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

HSF & Coca Cola Scholarships – $200,000 For College Bound Students #CokeForEducation

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  I am an advocate of higher education and support HSF’s initiatives to help Hispanic students further their education.

Did you know that Coca Cola and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund are offering $200,000 in scholarships to college bound Hispanic seniors to help close the college attainment gap among Latino students.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund was founded in 1975.  HSF provides internships, mentoring opportunities and connects scholars with other organizations.   Each year HSF awards 150 types of scholarships and has administered over $400 million dollars in scholarships.  I had the honor of attending the Leaders in Educating Awards earlier this year and met  students and Hispanic Scholarship program alumni that have been helped by HSF Scholarships.

As part of the HSF & Coca-Cola “Share Possibilities/Comparte Possibilidades” Scholarship program, the grand prize winner will receive $20,000.  Four students will be awarded $10,000 and sixteen will receive $2,500.

What:

HSF & Coca-Cola Scholarship Program

When/Important Deadline:

December 15, 2013

Where to Apply:

www.Coke-HSF.com

Students are encouraged to share their profiles and gain community votes. Each eligible participating voter is automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card and can vote up to five times a day.

HSF will select the scholarship recipients based on the Fund’s standard selection criteria for awarding scholarships, factoring in community votes gathered online. Final winners will be announced by May 2014.   Official rules can be found here.

Make sure to apply for the scholarships if you are a college bound Hispanic student or forward the information to someone you know who is a potential candidate.

In Support of Higher Education,

Have You Tried the Abdominal Stretch?

Are you looking for the best fitness routines with exercise? The California Milk Processor Board recently launched a new series of ten (10) Hazlo Ejercicio video segments to encourage you to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The video segments will air on Despierta America every weekday morning from January 7th to January 18th between 7 am and 8 am (PST). The trainer and his assistant will show you how to do fun and easy exercises that you can do at home.

If you miss a segment, you can always visit Hazloejercicio.com to watch more easy-to-do exercise videos and share them with your friends.

Today I learned how to do the abdominal stretch. I get to tighten my abdomen and get a pedicure at the same time.   It’s a lot harder than it looks, but it is a lot of fun.  The best part of all is that I get to tighten up my abdomen and get a pretty pedi at the same time.  I like to refer to my exercise as a “pedi-crunch” or “Adominal pedi”.    The exercise is a lot of fun.  After I complete my exercise  I drink a glass of milk to refuel & recover.  How is that for multi-tasking?

I’ve been following the videos for the past 2 weeks and they’re easy and fun to do alone or with a companion.  The best part is that it makes exercise fun.  I’m start to feel the results!

 

 

This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Nescafe Memento Coffee-House Experience

There is nothing like the perfect cup of coffee in the morning.  I start my daily ritual with exercise, a cup of coffee and daily news to get me on track for a great day.  As a busy mom I’m always looking for creative ways to save time and money.  I recently discovered Nescafe Memento. NESCAFÉ® Memento™, is a delicious single-serve instant coffee that offers the coffeehouse experience in one convenient stick pack.

It is made with real coffee, milk and sugar.  Memento is the very first instant coffee that has a rich, luxurious foam that can match any coffeehouse cappuccino.

This past week I had the opportunity to taste all the Memento flavors:  Caramel Latte, creamy Cappuccino and rich chocolate Mocha.   My favorite flavor was the Carmel Latte.   One of the things I love about Nescafe Memento coffee is the taste and rich foam.   It has the flavor and quality of specialty coffeehouse drinks without leaving your house.
I even had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Nescafe Memento coffee with Guava Pastelitos!  Next time your in the supermarket make sure to pick up a couple of Nescafe Memento coffees for the office and the home.  At 100 calories a pack and $4.29 for a box of 8 packets it’s definitely something to add to your New Years resolutions!
Nescafe Memento can be found at your local grocer nation wide. For more information about the delicious Nescafe Memento coffees, check out their website at http://memento.nescafeusa.com/  or “Like” Nescafe on Facebook and request  a FREE sample with for a limited time only.  Your Sample pack includes two (2) NESCAFÉ® MEMENTO stick packs and a coupon to Save $1.00 on your next purchase of any NESCAFÉ® MEMENTO product. Offer good in the US only.
Buen Provecho!

 

 

Disclosure:  This personal experience has been sponsored by Nescafe and Being Latino.  All opinions are my own.

 

Join us for a “Preparados Para El Fin Del Mundo” Twitter Chat with Nat Geo Mundo

Are you concerned with the end of the world or do you have any similar family members in your home?   Are you prepared?   Nat Geo will be debuting “Preparando Para El Fin Del Mundo” a program that follows the life of preppers as they proactively prepare for natural disasters, earthquakes and more.

During 1998-2000 there were several reports of  about the world coming to a complete halt because of the Year 2000 or “Y2K”.  Some members of my family prepared for the evemt proactively for several years by stashing water, food and discussing an emergency meeting spot for our family in the event of an outage.  With the Mayan Apocalyptic date of December 21, 2012 approaching a group of people known as “preppers,” are preparing for the end of the world.

 

Please join me for a Being Latino “Preparando Para El Fin Del Mundo” Twitter Chat.  We’l’ be discussing unique beliefs, motivation behind the beliefs and disaster preparedness.

Tweet Chat Details:

What: Nat Geo Mundo ”Preparados Para El Fin Del Mundo”

When: Thursday, December 13 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET

Where: http://tweetchat.com/room/preparados

Twitter Hashtag: #Preparados

Who to Follow:

Panelists: @Franklogic, @Eva_Smith @TeresaGarza @RemingtonsWorld

Moderators: @BeingLatino

Brand: @NATGEOMUNDO

Like: Nat Geo on Facebook

RSVP:  RSVP HERE.

Nat Geo Mundo a Spanish-language channel created as a joint project of Fox Networks Group & National Geographic Ventures, launched in 2011.    Nat Geo Mundo inspires US Latino families to expand their horizons through high-quality educational entertainment about the world that surrounds them.  Nat Geo Mundo is a non-fiction entertainment channel featuring original high quality programming linked to nature, science, culture and history for the bilingual, bicultural U.S. Latino.

For information on Nat Geo Mundo’s availability, we encourage you to visit the website http://www.natgeomundo.com/ and click on the tab to the right under ‘Encuentra Nat Geo Mundo.’ Contact information is provided based on your location.

 

El Joe La Leyenda – Celebrate Memory of Salsa legend El Joe Arroya

 

I received a copy of “El Joe La Leyenda” DVD for review.  The DVD celebrates the memory of Salsa legend El Joe Arroyo and his music.  El Joe La Leyenda, a telenovela will debut on Mundo Fox starting August 13.  I’ve been watching and listening to the DVD  a couple times a week since I received it.

Cast

The Spanish telenovela features Colombian actor Jair Romero (El Joe),  actress Estefanía Borge (Jackeline Ramón), actor Andrés Suarez (Fransisco Vergara) and  Colombian actress Jeimmy Paola Vargas (Adela).

Telenovela Overview
The Colombian Caribbean has a color, rhythm and a unique taste, and in the center of it all was Joe Arroyo, the salsa star who redefined the genre with his  infectious music and charming personality. This thrilling story is is set during the 1970s and is based on his life, when Joe had no idea the influence he would have in the future of music.  His failures and successes, tumultuous relationships and health problems, come together to tell the story of the famous Colombian singer and songwriter.
The telenovela will also feature a lot of music, dancing, El Joe Arroyo live music and performances.

I’m looking forward to the telenovela.  Check your local Mundo Fox listing for programing.

Question:  Will you be watching El Joe La Leyenda telenovela?  What is your favorite El Joe Arroyo song?

Disclosure:  This is not  a sponsored post.  I received a copy El Joe La Leyenda DVD for review.  All opinions are my own.

Comfort Plus Provides Resources for Families Caring for Family Members or Friends

According to the The State of the Hispanic Caregiver white paper developed by researchers, there are roughly 4,000,000 Hispanics over the age of 65 in the U.S.  There are also currently over 50 million Hispanics in the US.  By 2050, elderly Hispanics share will almost triple to 17 percent from 6 percent in 2005.

When I think of the statistics, I wonder whether or not people will be able to care for their loved ones.  I also wonder how they will be able to care for them. Most importantly I wonder how I will care for my family when they get older.

I recently found out about Comfort Plus.  The company is family-oriented and believes that everyone needs the best service when dealing with the care of their loved ones.  Comfort Plus, Inc. launched www.comfortplusonline.com in March of 2012 with the intentions of making products and services more accessible to at-home caregivers.  Comfort plust also distributes  Tranquility products and provides ample resources and services to help and ease the job of home caregivers

Furthermore, Hispanics have higher rates for the causes of incontinence (diabetes, overweight, Alzheimer’s, etc.) Also, Hispanic women reported more urinary incontinence than did non-Hispanic white women. These higher prevalences were largely associated with diabetes and other physiological issues (Firouz Daneshgari, 2007). 21% of Hispanic caregivers cite that they help their care recipients with dealing with incontinence.

Thanks to Comfort Plus I am prepared when I need to use the services to care for my family.

If you or someone you know is caring for an elderly  family member or friend, visit Comfort Plus at www.comfortplusonline.com.  You can also “Like” Comfort Plus on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Comfort Plus is also currently offering a discount code to my readers: Use LMB2012 at checkout for $10 off any case of Tranquility products.

Disclosure:  This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers andComfortPlus Online However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Disneyland is Celebrating Three Kings Day

I’m really excited to share that for the first time ever, Disneyland Park will be celebrating Three Kings Day, also known as Dia de los Reyes Magos on January 6-8, 2012 from 10am to 6pm with special decor, food and entertainment that showcases the Latin American Holiday tradition. [Read more…]

El Album de Los Maestritos del Vasito Medio Llenito concurso de fotografía de Facebook

For English Please Click Here:

Estoy tan emocionada de compartir que a partir del 04 de octubre el “El Maestro Del Vaso Medio Lleno” está poniendo  un divertido concurso de fotografía de Facebook pidiendo a los aficionados a subir una foto de su hijo / hijos con un vaso de leche como El Maestro Del Vaso Medio Lleno.  Este concurso va a ser muy divertido! [Read more…]

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