Diva. Lawyer. DivaEsq.

Diva. Lawyer. DivaEsq.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Home for the Holidays

You should all know by now that La Diva Latina *dot* com has been stolen. Which is why this issue is the shortest issue ever. I am still working to get my domain name back. In the meantime I have set up this alias site LaDivaLatinaMagazine.com. Please re-adjust your favorites list and tell all your friends.

For this issue we talk to the bold, brillant, beautiful and very Bronx- La Bruja! To know this positive Latina is to love her! Read on!

We also have an interview with Rudy Youngblood from Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Un Indio bello who is passionate about his work, his people, his culture, and about his role as Jaguar Paw in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Read on!

We also have coverage of our October event which was the CD release party for the Readnex Poetry Squad. They are cool mix of revolutionary lyrics and hip hop beats. Read on!

Thanks for all of your emails! My favorite is the one that says this: "You may have lost your domain name but you haven't lost your attitude!" Thank you! Thank you! It's emails like that keep me going! Read the rest of my mail!

Final note on the stolen domain name. I want to apologize for not answering back, until now. I am back online trying to pull myself together. To address most of your concerns I want to say that YES my domain name was stolen. YES La Diva Latina is trademarked. YES the name does belong to me. YES I sent out that email asking for help. And NO I can not do this by myself. I absolutely do need everybody's help. So YES if you haven't donated to my cause feel free to do so. I will have the link up for donations till about the end of December. And the law suit will be ongoing for as long as it lasts. I don't know for how long and I can't speak any more on it.

I can speak about other law suits going on and other items on the news which is what I do best! So check out the ¿¡Qué está pasando!? section now! I pray that I will be in my rightful.com home by Christmas! Home for the Holidays!

¡Feliz Navidades!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Rudy Youngblood --Interview

Rudy YoungbloodPassionate
about his work,
his people, his culture, &
his role as Jaguar Paw
in Mel Gibson’s
He’s gorgeous, speaks Spanish, looks Mexican but … he’s not Latino? He’s Indio- as in Native American. He’s passionate about his work, his people, his culture, and about his role as Jaguar Paw in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. Did I mention – he’s gorgeous?!

Originally from a small town in Texas, Rudy Youngblood came to Los Angeles to start a Native American dance troupe. As fate would have it, he was in LA for only about 3 months before he got the role as Jaguar Paw. He went for the audition and he got a call from Mel Gibson himself. “He calls me and says, ‘This is Mel Gibson’. I thought it was a joke, so I hung up on him. Mel Gibson then called my manager and my manager called me.”

He called Mel Gibson back and Youngblood left to Mexico the next day, early in the morning, to start on the movie. He still did not understand that he was going to have the starring role. “Everything happened so fast. ‘Starring role’ in a movie? I wasn’t sure what that meant. I would ask my friends, what does that mean, ‘Starring role’? Is that the ‘main guy’? It’s crazy!”

I asked him, “Your life is going to change once this movie comes out. What do you think about that?” “I don’t even think about it.” He laughs. “I’m just a country boy from a small town in Texas. It is just …” His dark piercing eyes seems to search for words. “It’s surreal. …. I don’t want to stop to think about it. I want to just be me.”

“You are Native American. It must be great that the first big role you get is representing one of your own.” He points out that he is not Mayan. “I am Comanche.”

“I understand, but to represent and play an indigenous role, a Native American, must be really amazing.” He agrees, “I wanted to do the role right. I wanted to learn the language well. I decided that the whole year I was only going to do 3 things: study, stay focused, and work out." I wondered to myself whether it was in that order! :) He continued, “I’m representing a Mayan person. I wanted it to be natural- as natural as possible, so I studied a lot. Day and night. I love the Maya people. They are gentle, giving, very intellectual and a beautiful people.”

I asked him how similar is the culture to Comanche. He said it is very similar but that “to learn the script was not enough. To learn to speak Mayan was not enough. I wanted to learn about the culture.”

“What about the Mexican culture? I mean you were in Mexico for a whole year. I imagine people thought you were Mexican, no? Until you opened your mouth and they found you didn’t speak Spanish.”

“I also speak Spanish, gracias. And yes many people thought I was Mexican when I was there- not all but - true people thought I was Mexican. I learned a lot about the Mexican people too. I learned Spanish while I was there.”

I’m thinking- did he just tell La Diva that he speaks Spanish? Does he not know then that I need to test him? But hey, let me not put a Hollywood star on the spot.

“So, the movie, if I’m not mistaken, because I haven’t seen it yet, is about a young man who is somehow separated from his family and it’s about the journey back to his family.” He explains that he doesn’t want to give it away but how, "It’s about 2 different ways of life clashing and how man wants more and more without giving anything back. And yes I do run back and have to find my family.”
“OK, don’t give any of it away – because I want to see it.” He laughs. “Of course! But you should know it is a fictional story. A fictional story based on a historical era.”

“Talking about history, as you know, being a Latina means being a part of a history of 3 cultures. One of those cultures being Native American -our indigenous roots. For Mexicans for example that is pretty simple. It’s very evident. But for Puerto Ricans- like myself – it is a little more obscure- shall we say? I interviewed the President of the United Confederation of Taino People and he mentioned it was time to ‘reaffirm our culture’. So Rudy, what would you say to someone that is trying to re-connect to their indigenous ancestry? What advice would you give to them?”

He sighed and said, “Wow. They have to breathe it…” Then he says in Spanish, “Mira, tu eres Latina y…” “Wait! You DO speak Spanish!” He smiles. “¡Seguro! I told you. We can do this interview in Spanish if you’d like.”

I’m thinking- a challenge for La Diva? No he didn’t! He goes on in Spanish. “Sí. Yo aprendí español en Méjico. Y yo puedo hablar español. Las mujeres mexicanas son muy bonitas y muy lindas. ¡Me encanta Méjico!”

I’m blown away! Gorgeous and speaks Spanish! “When did you learn Spanish?” “While I was there. I was there for a whole year and language to me – well, I find it easy to learn a new language – I mean it comes easier for me than most, I guess. I immerse myself in culture. And so to answer your question I think that you have to be passionate. Whoever is trying to learn about their indigenous roots, I would tell them that it has to come from the heart…. It’s spiritual…you know? It has to be a family thing – get everyone involved if you can."

He stops long enough to gather his thoughts. "What you are is very important. Who you are. If you don’t know who you are then you’re like a… like an empty vessel. So it has to come from your heart. You have to grow as a person, as a man, as a woman, from within and it … it really has to come from within to really understand. It’s like reading a poem. You can just read it but then you don’t understand its meaning. But if you read it from your heart and soul then you can really understand the message in the poem.”

Gorgeous, speaks Spanish, passionate and he has a way with words!!! What more can I say? “Listen, Rudy. All the Diva Latinas out there have asked me to ask you one more question… Who are you taking to the premiere???”

He laughs. “I don’t even know what I’m going to wear!” I said, “Oh, you don’t need to wear- I mean- worry- about anything! You are – I mean be- you’ll be- fine!”

Friday, November 10, 2006

STOLEN from the Internet!

It's been a very sad time these last few days, ...
ever since Wednesday, Nov 1st.
I am a victim of a cybersquatter
who took my domain name right from under me.
A google search will show the .com but when u click on the link it is not LaDivaLatina as we know it.
I wish I could explain more but really it's just that simple. Please do NOT go to ladivalatina.com.
It is full of advertisements, pop-ups, spyware, adware and probably viruses.
So DON'T check it out -
See the pdf of the site so you can see for yourself.

Click here to see it.

All the hard work I put into it for close to 5 years-
all gone in a blink of an eye.

It got me thinking what would La Diva do?
She is an extension of me but not all me.
She is what we make her to be.
La Diva would say -
after shedding a hidden tear behind those glasses -
that it's make-over time!
Time to put our best face forward and prepare for a fight!
La Diva would take off her glasses and lay down her hat, roll up her sleeves, and say,
"Where my girls at?"

Now that I gathered all of my people together, it's time now to put the hat back on, and the sunglasses and the bright red lipstick and a big bright smile because La DIVA ..... is BACK! While we prepare to go to court and in anticipation of everyone's participation in donating whatever you got in your pocket, I am happy to say that I AM ......
Check out the new domain name:
Please be patient for the December issue entitled - ironically –
Home for the Holidays
I pray that by Christmas we can be back to our rightful .com home.
Thanks everyone for your support all these years
To give financial support to fight this please go to the website
http://www.ladivalatinamagazine.com/If this wouldn't have happened I also had good news for you.
We are on the newsstands!
If we are not on a newsstand near you subscribe now!
The more subscribers we have,
the quicker we can get to a newsstand near you.
Click here to see the pic of magazine on the newsstand.

I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I was walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Either I went the wrong way or Broadway was the next block. I figured I'd ask someone instead of walking another long avenue to find out I was walking the wrong way. At the corner was a cute restaurant where you can sit outside. There were these 2 older white women sitting there shooting the breeze on this lovely summer day in New York City.

"Excuse me, can you please tell me which way is Broadway?" The women completely ignored me. They must not have heard me. "Excuse me, do you know which way is Broadway?" Again I was completely ignored. Wow! Are they ignoring me on purpose? Can it be? It was like I was invisible and I was about 2 feet away - maybe a little more than arm's length away. My heart sank because deep inside I knew that these 2 white women were ignoring me, giving me as much importance as the pavement underneath their feet. It's a feeling you get and every time it happens you still can't believe it. Not to me. Not today not in 2006 and definitely not on a beautiful summer day in New York City.

"Excuse me, which way is Broadway?" What if they ignore me again? The white women looked at me and smiled politely. "I'm sorry. What did you say?" I mimicked her smile, "Which way is Broadway?" "That way. And I'm sorry I was talking to my friend I hadn't heard you." How did she know I said anything then? "I understand. It's a beautiful day." "If you say so." "It's bright and sunny" "It's too damn hot!" "Well, I love the summer!" "Well, OK then you little latina [pronounced la-tee-na]!" Oh my! I was shocked. I tried to mimic her smile again and walked away not knowing what to say. At least I knew for sure that she ignored me because of her ignorance.

I could have taken it as a compliment, "Oh? Thank you!" Or I could've said, "You recognized me from Desperate Housewives. Thanks!" Or with a white girl accent, "Oh my Gawd! No, this is just, like, a good tan and a bad perm! " Or I could have said , "You stay in the shade then Miss Honky."

What could I have said to that? That's not the real issue. The real issue is she said it to my face. What does she say behind my back? What if I was black? "You little African American? N……aaaaaaaa! NA! Nope, I don't think so.

This is just asking for directions. What if I was asking for a job? A raise? What if I was trying to make an appointment to see the house for sale on the corner? Trying to make the earliest appointment because I found a lump?

Is it that deep? All I know is that I was minding my own business walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan looking for Broadway on a beautiful sunny summer afternoon. It was a day no different than any other. I wasn't feeling particularly Latina that day. It's not like I was waving my flag or had a t-shirt that said, "My friend went to Puerto Rico and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". There is no fruit basket on top of my head. But I am still a "little Latina". Why couldn't I be a big Latina? Or a powerful Latina? Lovely Latina would be nice.

No matter what we do we are still seen like Chiquita Banana. So I say you know what? Color me…Latina then. It is not a color but it's something that is easy identifiable somehow. Is it the sway of my hips? Or the sway of my lips wrapping around the english words? What ever it is- just color me Latina! We come in all shapes and sizes. We come from different countries. We have a unifying language that is Spanish and for that - color me Latina!

In this colorful issue we look at a Black Belt Latina who says it was her Abuelita that taught her her first self -defense moves. We talk to the founder ofbluelatinos.org, an online organization for Progressive Latinos. We are Living La VidaVerde with our article about being healthy and strong. We look at a funny story about 2 Latinasin a club who meet a white boy. We also visit Israelwith salsera Yesenia Peralta our cover girl. For our photo spread we see how Latinas do come in all different shapes, sizes and colors.

It's funny - the white woman that called me "you little latina" has no idea that I made a whole "issue" out of it! Just to have personal closure, let's re-play that scene again, shall we?

"Excuse me, can you tell me which way is Broadway?"

"Umm, excuse me, which way is Broadway?"

"Ummm, Broadway, please?"

"Oh sorry! It's that way."

"Thank you. Have a nice day."

"You too, you little latina!"

"That's La Diva Latina to you!!!"

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dominican Parade

I had the BEST time at the Dominican Parade down 6th Ave in Manhattan.
i wish i had more pictures but my camera had some technical problems.
enjoy the pics!
especially look at the last picture
see if u can find what's "wrong" with the last picture!

Flacos be gone! Gorditos hold on!!!

This Gordito asked me to dance so I said - seguro! He danced REALLY well. He introduced me to his friend- they looked like brothers- another "gordito". Or as we say on myspace "more to love".

So Gordito #1 was dressed all in white with dark rimmed glasses and slicked back hair in a ponytail. El Hermano- Gordito #2 was dressed entirely in black with pitch black hair and piercing black eyes to match and a perfectly shaped goatee.

It was towards the end of the night- and El Gordito comes straight at me, says - come dance with me - grabs my hand and says- ONE more! So I say ok let's go! Like I had a choice? J
Like I said he was a GREAT dancer but this time he held nothing back and this crowd started forming around us in a circle. Gordito can Groooooove! Pero espera - there's more!
El Hermano cuts in - but i mean smoooooth! Gordito turned me around and when I went to reach for his hand again - it wasn't him! It was El Hermano- u know Gordito #2! It was like from a movie!

El Hermano was FIERCE! I mean it was like he said - "oh yeah? so u THINK u could dance??? TOMA!" He spinned me so hard I was like a mannequin, a doll - twirling and twirling. And -- en una -- he releases me to see what i was going to do. I didn't skip a beat -b/c hey u know there was a crowd looking at us! But I laughed though!

Gordito then cut in and I held him firmly -- como quien dice -- give me a break! -- cojelo con takeiteazzzy! -- and so he went real slow - mambo front and back like our legs were one. Then he went on dancing and doing all kinds of steps -- hasta que -- he dipped me and everyone says, "ohhhhh!"

El Hermano cut in again and he was like "let's see if u could handle this? He held me with both hands around my hips. I mean this was a big man so when he holds u both hands around ur hips - ya tu sabe!!! i'm flying!!! and... PA!!! He twirls me super fast and dipped super hard and I snapped back as if we had this routine practiced forever!

El Gordito comes back in -- y fue come si el estaba dicendo -- - i'm the smooth operator here so he can take his snapping and super fast twirling -- pero que yo hago asi-- and he dips me and while I'm dipped head and body all the way back- he turns me around his body. And this is a big man so I went arooooound! J Whaoooo! Can u picture this - better yet can u feeeeel this???
ok, ok- So then so I'm like wow! I'm in another zone and the crowd is giving us room. El Hermano cut in again and was w/ this attitude like- I'm the dramatic one! here goes some more drama... Ready or NOT! -

He dipped me alllll the way down. I just let go, my neck, arms, legs my whole body was like rubber b/c this was a big guy so he held me and I had nothing to fear -flacos be GONE ! As I dip I kicked up and he took my leg and just lifted me up off the floor to dip me some more. The crowd clapped!!! They did!!!!

Finally Gordito cuts in and he was too smooth, too sure of himself, tooooo debonair! He was like - I'm just going to do MY thang! and we danced and then grabbed both my hands to the sides so that I can do my own feet work and I did - w/ kicks and que se yo que! He was just taking me around him as I did my footwork. I don't know what I did and the music was ending and he took cue and dipped me smoothly at the end of the song!

So my new motto is: Flacos be gone! Gorditos hold on!!!

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Mi Viejo - the most famous Father's Day song

Mi Viejo is so popular that in Mexico alone there are about 334 versions! Mi Viejo has been interpreted by about 500 different artists all over the world- Latin America, Europe, Japan, the U.S. 

Piero – José is the duo that created the paternal anthem, Mi Viejo. For about 30 years Piero and José Tcherkaski worked together. They were united in song and in politics. The two Argentineans protested their government through song. But their biggest fame is for Mi Viejo, a song where no politics is involved. 

Piero says that he sang the song to his father with the ink still not dry on the paper. When he looked up he saw his father crying for the first time. He began to cry too. In typical manly fashion, his father quickly wiped his tears and said, jokingly and chidingly, “Your mama is the one who walks slow!”

Fue una de mis primeras composiciones y está inspirada en la imagen de papá como institución. Pero fue a mi padre al que le canté el tema por primera vez, ni bien terminé de escribirla.

Lo recuerdo muy bien. Llegué a mi casa, descolgué el teléfono, cerré la puerta donde él se encontraba y sin anestesia le canté la canción con la letra recién escrita en un papel. Cuando levanté la vista, lo vi llorar por primera vez en mi vida... Entonces, yo también me puse a llorar. Al minuto mi padre reaccionó, se limpió las lágrimas, se reincorporó, me miró y me dijo: 'Ma quién camina lento la pu ta que te parió'.
 Interview from Bolivia.com 

According to Piero the song no longer belongs to him but to all who love it.

Mi Viejo es de todos y nos gusta que sea así. Es una canción que no deja de sonar".Quote from LosTiempos.com from Bolivia

See short video clip of Piero singing Mi Viejofrom TorontoHispano.com. There is a small link on the right hand side near the top of page.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Friendship STATISTICS... will u be my friend?

Hours/week men spend
with friends:
Hours/week women
spend with friends:
Having friends helps you live longer.In one study, those who had the most friends over a 9-
year period cut their risk of death by more than
Source: anapsid.org
Friendship is good medicine.Dr. Dean Ornish, a pioneer in reversing heart disease,
notes that no other factor in medicine - ''not diet, not
smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not
drugs, not surgery
- has a greater effect on how often we
get sick than the healing power of love.''
Source: capecodonline.comIn one study, women saw “volunteer friends” regularly
throughout the year. 72 % had a remission in depression.
That's about the same success rate as antidepressants.
Source: psychologytoday.com
Friends are good for your heart and soul. People with a strong social network are more likely to
survive a major illness such as a heart attack or cancer.
Human companionship can also help reduce the effects of
stress on the body, protect against illness, and help us heal
when we do get sick.

They're also less susceptible to chronic illnesses such as
heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.
Source: capecodonline.com
Smoking, obesity and lonelinessThe famed Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical
School were so significant, the researchers concluded,
that not having close friends was as detrimental to your
health as smoking or carrying extra weight.
Source: anapsid.org

You will go through 396 friends in a lifetime but will have
only 33 at any one time.
Source: flatrock.orgStudies show unequivocally that it's the friendship part of
marriage that makes marriage last.
Source: psychologytoday.comBest friends annoy each other less as they age.
Source: Michigan Daily OnlineModern friendship - the Silent Friend Very rarely do they speak on the phone, and they are
even less likely to meet face to face. One in 3 people
admit they have "silent friends" and say they make
contact with them up to 4 times a day.
Source: microsoft.com

The Science of FriendshipThe many factors that influence an individual’s fate to meet
an acquaintance and decide to become a friend are
impossible to capture, but physicists have done it anyway
and “with near precision”.

“The idea behind our model, though simple, is different
from the usual paradigmatic approaches,” Gonzalez told
PhysOrg.com. “We consider a system of mobile agents
(students), which at the beginning have no acquaintances;
by moving in a continuous space they collide with each
other, forming their friendships.”

Using physical science to understand human
interactions? Well, it was Social Statistics that guided the
development of the kinetic theory of gases. I’m not sure
what that means – but I feel a poem coming on – We are
like molecular gases in the atmosphere…

Source: physorg.com

What does this all mean?
Stop counting your money and start counting your friends.

Más vale un buen amigo que un peso en el bolsillo.

So... will you be my friend??? :)


Monday, March 6, 2006

Interview with Roberto "Mucaro" Borrero: the Taino Chief

"It's time to affirm our culture." 

Roberto Múcaro Borrero
United Confederation of Taíno People

"...considered [one of the] leading authorities 
on ancient Taíno Indian culture." 
- Thirteen/WNET

All I could think of when I met the President of the United Confederation of Taíno People was – is he for real?  According to everything I have been taught – he doesn’t exist.  Everyone knows that Christopher Columbus did not discover a thing.  Yet we still want to hold on to the other part of the fable.  We still want to believe that the friendly Indians were wiped out.  Gone.  Forever.  Yet here he is - "Modern-Day Chief of the Taíno nation", officially the President of the Confederation of Taíno People, UCTP.    

The first thing I had to ask was, “Are you for real or an apparition?  You’re not supposed to exist!”  He laughed and said, “Yes.  I’m real.  You can pinch me!”

I told him that according to a well respected PhD. in the Dominican Republic, the Taínos not only did not die and still exist, but that they are the Dominicans themselves (and the Caribbean people) but they were just all lead to believe that they are not.  

He gives me her name, “Dr. Guitar.  I’m afraid that may be a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps.  I do not espouse that theory.  Our goal is simply to investigate how many of us there are out there with our Tribal Registration Project.” 

I tell him, “I just interviewed an 80 year old woman from Puerto Rico, >Señora Gramita who can recite specific facts on Columbus - the names of all three of his ships, several songs she learned as a little girl - but when I asked who was there when Columbus got there,  she thought about it before she said ‘los indios’.  I asked her ‘where are they now?’ and she said she had no idea."

He nods, “There are many 80 year olds from Puerto Rico that will go on for hours about their Taíno ancestry or their Taíno relatives.  But, unfortunately, the majority is probably more like her.  That is a perfect example of the colonization of our people, and the ineffectiveness of the educational system.”   

He explains that the Taíno struggle is about educating everyone about the fallacies in history.  He offers an example, “In the late 1500’s the King and Queen of Spain made a law that said Spain was not allowed to enslave Taínos.  When the Bishop read the new law in the town square of San Juan, it is said that ‘there were only 50 Taínos there’.  ‘There’ meaning ‘there in the town square’.  But it is understood as ‘there in the whole island of Puerto Rico’.  It is a prime example of the manipulation of history.”I ask him about the DNA testing that proves that the people of Puerto Rico are still much more Taíno than anyone would have even dared to predict.  He says, “I wouldn’t say that everyone needs to go and get a DNA test.  But those tests do prove what our oral histories, that have been passed down through the generations, have been saying all along.”  

I am taken in by the severity of his tone as he explains that, “There is one thing also that we care a lot about.  We want to assert our rights to care for our artifacts.  We don’t agree with the common practice of the display of our ancestors’ bones.  If it is right to display bones then display the bones of Ponce de León right up there too and other Spaniards or other people.  Why is it our bones?  If every Puerto Rican is proud of all three races, then they should be infuriated.  Those bones could be your Great Great Grandparents’.”

His words cut right to my heart.  I had never thought of it that way.  It really is common practice.  Those bones are like dinosaur bones – prehistoric, a relic from the past.  

He went on to talk about Columbus Day in the same powerful, enlightening words not too often heard, but truer than the light of day.  “Why is Columbus Day a federally recognized holiday?  My tax money is going to celebrate a man who was the 1st trade slave master and who was responsible for the death of thousands of people? Who never even set foot in the United States?  When he got there [Borinken, Quisqueya, or the Bahamas] nobody was starving.  There were no jails, no old age homes, no diseases.  Everyone was better off.  WE were better off.  We are not a movement of people trying to go backwards in time.  No.  It is an affirmation of culture.  Being able to speak out in a way our grandparents were not able to. What our grandparents said is now confirmed by DNA tests.  It’s time to affirm our culture.”

I decided to show him La  Diva Latina’s Taíno shirt to see what he thought because I get many emails about it.  Some say that unless I am Taína, I shouldn’t be selling the shirt.  Or that in the Taíno language, the men, women and children are all Taíno not “Taína”.  Or that Taíno is not a race.  The race is: Native American.

I pull out the carefully folded t-shirt and his smile widens on his face.  “That is great!  Where did you get it?”  I tell him, “I made it.  It’s for you.”  When I made the shirt I never imagined that I would end up handing it over to the President of the Confederation of Taíno people, but there he was smiling a gentle smile.  

Taíno means the good and noble people.  Taínos are said to be kind, giving, of a gentle nature. At least something we learned about the Taínos are  true. 

Thanks for reading my blog!

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