Wine industry aims to attract more Latinos


Research shows that wine consumption among Latinos has dramatically increased in the last few years, and wine makers are taking notice.

Part of what's pushing the increase in consumption is sheer demographics, with Hispanics accounting for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade. Another factor is a cultural shift among the more established Latino generations.

Among the companies trying to reach more Hispanics is Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif.

It's running Spanish-language television spots in Southern California. Beringer also has arranged sampling events and Spanish-language displays in Latino supermarkets and national chains with a large Hispanic customer base. READ MORE

Read more…

8602365253?profile=originalShareDiscussDownloadThe buying power of Latinos in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last 10 years. That economic clout grew even during the most recent recession. But many businesses are still learning how to tap into the Latino market.

The intersection of cultures was recently on display at a business expo in Kennewick, Washington. Jessica Robinson followed one small business owner as he tried to make a good impression.

Let’s face it. There are certain things that most people are willing to do without in an economic downturn.

Dale Haven: “My name is Dale Haven. I do custom ice sculpturing.”

Ice sculptures might be one of those things.

Dale Haven: “Cinderella castles, swans, Honda emblems, I’ve done swans, hearts with fifteens in them. I’ve done fifteens with their names in them.”

Fifteens. That’s the category where Dale Haven has been seeing serious growth. The “fifteens” are for 15th birthdays, which is when Latina girls traditionally throw a quinceañera celebration.

It’s like a debutante ball the size of a wedding, complete with a big cake, fancy dresses, music, and yes, sometimes ice sculptures.

That’s what brings Haven and his glass-like carvimgs to this recent Latino Business Expo -- to meet potential customers.

Dale Haven: “So is this your baby?”

Glenda Moreno: “My oldest one yeah. They’re already ‘Look mom, look mom, look what you can do for my quinceañera!’”

Dale Haven: “¡Sí!”

Haven has learned a few phrases in Spanish for these occasions. Like this one, to describe his work.

Dale Haven: “Mucho bonita.” READ MORE

Read more…


At the end of May 2007, Jorge Sanchez loaded his cousin's pickup truck and moved his young family from an apartment into a house in Fitchburg. The house was just three years old. Its light brown siding was accented by a bright red front door. A park sat invitingly down the street.

That was six years after Sanchez and his wife, Minerva Abrajan, natives of Puebla, Mexico, arrived in Madison. They're not citizens, but, as permanent residents who pay U.S. taxes, the UW-Madison janitors obtained a mortgage under a new loan program aimed at extending home ownership to people who previously couldn't qualify.

"We wanted a house because we had two kids already," Sanchez said. "We wanted something better for them."

The new program opened a door to home loans to non-citizens, helping usher in a sharp increase in homeownership among local Latinos in the second half of the last decade — shortly before a corresponding increase in foreclosure filings against the same group a few years later.

The loans, first offered through a Wisconsin Housing and Economic Authority (WHEDA) pilot program and later by an array of private lenders, allowed people with individual taxpayer identification numbers, or ITINs, to apply for home loans. But ITIN loans suffered from bad timing and, in some cases, left the intended beneficiaries more downtrodden financially than before they got the loans.

In 2004, when ITIN loans started being issued by a local lender, foreclosures were filed against eight Latinos in Dane County, based on a review of court documents identifying Latinos by what the federal Census Bureau defines as commonly occuring last names. In 2009, that number ballooned to 125 — Jorge Sanchez among them —an increase of 1,462 percent. Total foreclosure filings skyrocketed as well but at an increase of 302 percent. READ MORE

Read more…

Striking number of obesity risks hit minority kids

The odds of obesity appear stacked against black and Hispanic children starting even before birth, provocative new research suggests.

The findings help explain disproportionately high obesity rates in minority children. Family income is often a factor, but so are cultural customs and beliefs, the study authors said. They examined more than a dozen circumstances that can increase chances of obesity, and almost every one was more common in black and Hispanic children than in whites.

Factors included eating and sleeping habits in infancy and early childhood and mothers smoking during pregnancy. In a separate, equally troubling study, researchers found signs of inflammation in obese children as young as 3 years old. High levels were more common in blacks and Hispanics.

These inflammatory markers have been linked with obesity in adults and are thought to increase chances for developing heart disease. Their significance in early childhood is uncertain, but the study's lead author says she never thought they'd be found in children so young. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Vatican picks a Latino to lead Los Angeles Archdiocese

The Vatican's choice of a Mexican-born archbishop, Jose Gomez of San Antonio, as the next prelate of Los Angeles reflects the formal acknowledgment of a remarkable, decades-long shift in the center of gravity of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church -- from Northeast to Southwest, from Eurocentric to Latino-dominated.
The 58-year-old Gomez has the potential to reshape the Archdiocese of Los Angeles over most of the next two decades, assuming he can successfully steer it past the shoals of a lingering sexual abuse crisis. In him, Pope Benedict XVI clearly saw a leader for a new kind of American church, one that is in sync with changing demographics but also adheres to Benedict's traditional notions about Catholic theology.

"This is an epic moment in the life of the church in the United States," Cardinal Roger Mahony said Tuesday as he introduced his successor during a news conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, itself a symbol of L.A.'s position as the new capital of U.S. Catholicism. Gomez, who stood near Mahony, nodding and smiling slightly as he was introduced, struck a humble tone in his own remarks to reporters.

"I know that God will give me the grace to serve this local church well, as Cardinal Mahony has done for so many fruitful years," he said. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

8602374070?profile=originalThe number of new marriages between spouses of a different race or ethnicity increased to 15.1 percent in 2010, and the share of all current marriages that are either interracial or interethnic has reached an all-time high of 8.4 percent, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project.

Of the 275,500 new interracial or interethnic marriages in 2010, 43 percent are white/Latino couples, the most common type of intermarriage couple.

According to the report, intermarriage rates are highest among Latinos and Asians. In 2010, more than a quarter (26 percent) of Latino newlyweds, and 28 percent of Asian newlyweds, married someone of a different race or ethnicity, or “married out.” By contrast, about one-in-six (17 percent) newlywed black non-Latinos married non-blacks, and less than one-in-ten white non-Latinos (9 percent) married someone who is not white, the lowest among all groups.

Whites are by far the largest racial group in the United States, meaning that marriages between whites and people of color are the most common types of intermarriage. READ MORE

Read more…

Gay Latino Americans are 'coming of age'

Perez Hilton is a celebrity blogger who dishes out the latest Hollywood gossip, but there's something about his personal life you may not know. Hilton is a Latino pioneer. He is one of the first Latino public figures in the U.S. to be openly gay. While Latinos have broken ground on the U.S. Supreme Court, in Hollywood and in professional sports, gay Latinos in the nation's public arena remain largely invisible. Hilton says deep-seated homophobia within the Latino community has forced many gay Latinos to go underground, but attitudes are shifting. "At the beginning, when I came out to my mom, she reacted with a sigh and said, 'You're my son and I have to love you,' " Hilton says. "But now she says, 'You're the best son in the world, and we need to find you a man.' " Some gay Latino leaders are starting to share Hilton's optimism. The Latino community has long had a reputation for being notoriously homophobic. But some surprising developments within the Latino world -- in the United States and abroad -- suggest that may be changing, gay scholars and activists say. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

NPR: I Love Ricky


NPR has recently started a new series called "2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S." Pop culture will be one of many elements the series examines, as it does in a timeline out today, From Ricky Ricardo To Dora: Latinos On Television. While that's a more comprehensive look at everyone from Freddie Prinze to Sofia Vergara, in this short essay, Luis Clemens reflects on why hearing Spanish spoken on television made an impression on him as a kid in Miami. Stay tuned for more from this series.

I remember being wowed the first time I heard Spanish spoken on English-language television. It was a 1970s re-run of an I Love Lucy episode. I do not remember what was said. Just that Ricky Ricardo said it en español. And I remember how it made me feel — wondrous, proud, confused.

I was confused because it was disorienting to hear Spanish used on English-language television. As a Cuban-American kid growing up in Miami, I watched English and Spanish-language television but the two languages didn't overlap on-screen. There was the local newscast and then there was el noticiero local; each in a separate tongue and each with a different worldview. READ MORE

Read more…

THE LATEST thing in Latino cooking is a little less Latino. The growing political and cultural clout of American Hispanics has infused the collective American dinner plate with the flavors of the Latino kitchen. And it turns out that culinary cultural exchange goes in both directions. As Hispanic communities have grown and increasingly rubbed elbows with neighbors, the American Latino kitchen has changed, too, adopting more of the flavors and ingredients of other cuisines, according to Daisy Martinez, of Food Network's "Viva Daisy!" The result is an exciting fusion of Hispanic, Asian, Italian and all-American cooking. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

United Way of Greater Toledo currently employs eight Latinos who work at the social service agency in a variety of capacities. Here are brief biographies of the eight, along with some personal insight into the work they perform for United Way and the community. Milva Valenzuela Wagner Milva Valenzuela Wagner serves as United Way’s Director of Major Gifts. She cultivates and develops relationships with donors and potential donors in order to enhance individual gifts, both annual and planned. She also focuses upon growing all levels of major gifts with focused programs for $25,000 and up, $10,000 and up (Alexis de Tocqueville Society), Leadership Programs ($1,000 and up) and retirees. In addition to her duties in the Major Gifts department, Milva also oversees United Way Conexion Latina (the Latino initiative of United Way), which is working to expand Latino involvement in our community. “I enjoy working at United Way because it allows me to facilitate ways in which individuals can make a difference in our community,” says Milva. “I also have been delighted to see the growth of United Way Conexion Latina and the impact it is having in the community.” READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Grand jury reaches out to young, Latinos

The Sonoma County Grand Jury is embarking on a recruitment campaign to draw more Latinos and younger people to the jury. "Basically, grand jurors are older, gray-haired people who are white, and they really do not reflect accurately the population of Sonoma County," said current jury foreman Richard Klein of Santa Rosa. "There are significant issues in Sonoma County that have to do with Hispanics and Latinos and things that have interest to younger people, and we just don't have those (jurors)." The jury examined its own makeup in an investigation and has begun reaching out to community groups of active young people and Latinos. The group is also on a quest to generate more applicants from all county residents. The goal is to receive 80 applications, but only 30 have been submitted to date, and the deadline is April 19. "Last year, we had so few applicants to the grand jury that we ran the risk of not having a complete jury," Klein said. "It's an untenable situation." READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Lorraine M. López made her notable debut in 2002 with the story collection "Soy La Avon Lady." Two novels later, she returns to her strength as a master tragicomic storyteller with "Homicide Survivors Picnic" (BkMk Press, $16.95), a book that explores the Latino family's intercultural and interracial experiences in the American South. Only two of the 10 stories are connected, and two take place in California, but most of the characters are familiar with the same territory -- Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Since the American South is still learning to reconcile with its newest and fastest-growing ethnic population, Latinos have little choice but to depend on each other. Such alliances are not without problems -- and with situations like Lydia's in the stories "The Flood" and "The Landscape." Lydia is a professor and childless, which makes it easy for her cousin Shirley, an unfit mother, to all but abandon her daughter, who is half black, into Lydia's care. So it's Lydia who must endure "the looks she got from strangers puzzled by her relationship with the biracial child." A troubled motherhood also awaits Tina, the young pregnant woman in the title story whose black lover has been murdered. To ease her mourning, her quirky and inappropriately funny mother has the bright idea to crash a support group that meets in a nearby town. The third member of this party is Ted, who's feeling the culture shock of moving from California to Georgia. And because they have yet to know their way around, they end up "lost as a trio of lunatics who's wandered from the asylum to find themselves inexplicably rattling around in a used Toyota Corolla." The stories "Sugar Boots," "The Threat of Peace" and "Women Speak" all deal with grown-ups negotiating roles as surrogate parents. But it's the third story, about a Latina speech instructor who's unable to verbalize her wishes to her own daughter, that's particularly devastating. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

More Bad News From the Job Market

You’ve been out of work for a year now and you are wondering what’s ahead. Or you are one of many couples who lost a paycheck and you are trying to get by on one only. Or you are middle-aged and had a good-paying factory job. But there are very few factory jobs today in your Rust Belt city. Or you are black or Latino and a lot of your friends can’t find a job either. Where are we headed at the start of 2010? As a number of recent reports point out, the Great Recession still hangs heavily over our heads, with losses more severe and painful than most imagine and some workers facing the likelihood of even greater job setbacks ahead. For many blacks and Latinos, the job losses will continue to mount, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. While the unemployment rate for whites is expected to hit 9 percent in the third quarter of this year - up from 8.1 percent in the most recent period - it is likely to reach 17.2 percent for blacks and 13.9 percent for Latinos for the same time period. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Latino parishes waiting for new Catholic priests

With the departures of the Franciscan Friars from St. Anthony parish on Milwaukee's south side and Father Eleazar Perez from St. Adalbert, the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee is searching for ways to meet the pastoral needs of the largest Latino parishes in the archdiocese, said Father Pat Heppe, the vicar of clergy. In addition, there's another opening for a Spanish-speaking priest at St. Patrick's in Whitewater, where Father Rafael Rodriguez has been reassigned to the seminary, he said. "It all comes together at the same time, so what we are trying to do is organize the placement of priests so there's not a domino effect," he said. "We are trying to look at what is best for the parish and the priest." It also comes during a time when here, as across the nation, it's the growing Hispanic community that's filling many pews at Catholic churches. "We need to be on top of that growth, and we need to make sure the Hispanic community is spiritually attended to," Heppe said. And while speaking Spanish is important, Heppe said that when he met with parishioners at St. Adalbert, they emphasized that what's needed is "a priest who understands the Hispanic heart." At a Mass Sunday to welcome him to the Hispanic community, newly installed Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki told an overflow crowd at St. Adalbert: "I know that you are waiting for a pastor, and I know that the Latino community is very important to this archdiocese." READ FULL STORY
Read more…

During all their swine flu briefings the past few months, city and federal health officials have been virtually silent about the outsize impact the pandemic appears to be having on blacks and Hispanics. The Centers for Disease Control alluded to the problem in a small Sept. 4 report, but only in a passing mention. That report, an analysis of the first H1N1-related deaths among U.S. children, revealed that 33% (12 of 36) were among Hispanics. All told, half of the H1N1 children's deaths between April and August were among African-Americans and Hispanics. That's considerably more than the percentage of both groups in the population. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Gustavo Dudamel gets a special Latino welcome

Perhaps no one was more excited about the L.A. Philharmonic's new music director than the 60 members of the Latino Welcome Committee, which formed shortly after the Venezuelan's appointment. José Luis Sedano says that his love of classical music began as a child, when his father, a bracero worker in the United States, would bring records home to Mexico City. "The first music I knew was Chopin’s ‘Polonaise,' " says the 67-year-old photographer and filmmaker. Later, after he moved with his family to Los Angeles, Sedano worked as an usher at the Hollywood Bowl, where he saw the Beatles perform, then at L.A.'s newly built classical music temple, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. This week, Sedano was back at the Bowl with a videocamera making a documentary about the newest and potentially most significant link yet forged between classical music and Southern California Latinos: the appointment of Gustavo Dudamel as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Read more…

Even with Tiger at No. 1, golf still mostly white

William Lewis started playing golf with nothing but a 9-iron and he never stopped swinging, even when his favorite sport doled out a racist hazing. Now a graying golfer, he spreads that same passion to dozens of kids from a predominantly black neighborhood in Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown. Somewhere in the nearly 50-year span of his career, he thought it would get easier. But there's just that one role model. Tiger Woods. "It really is surprising," said Lewis, who teaches the sport to inner-city youths at The First Tee Atlanta. So many expected Woods' historic victory in the 1997 Masters — and the 13 majors since then — to inspire other African-Americans to follow him into a game that was reserved for whites over more than a century.
Read more…

Hispanic foods moving out of the ethnic aisle

After moving to the U.S. 10 years ago, Juana Carabarin still wanted to cook Mexican food for her family but often didn't have time to go to specialty shops for the ingredients. Now the Publix grocery in Norcross, Ga., near her home carries products used in Mexican cuisine — including corn husks for tamales, chilis in the spice aisle, chorizo and queso fresco in the refrigerator case and some branded items. And she no longer has to make do with stand-ins. READ FULL STORY
Read more…

Astronaut Taking Raider Pride to Outer Space

You may have heard the inspiring story of Jose Hernandez, who grew up a migrant worker in San Joaquin County, didn't learn English until he was 12, and is now a NASA astronaut preparing to blast off in the Space Shuttle Discovery currently scheduled to launch at about 10 p.m. Pacific Time Tuesday night. What you may not have heard that the guy is a lifelong, die-hard Oakland Raiders fan. And he's taking a Raider flag with him to plant on the International Space Station, 220 miles above the face of the earth, so the silver & black may be represented in the final frontier. Darth Vader couldn't be more pleased. The Raider organization is also pretty stoked. "We wish Astronaut Hernandez, the entire crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery and NASA all the very best with the upcoming 30th US Mission to the International Space Station," Raiders CEO Amy Trask told Raiders.com. "The Raider Nation is now represented not only across the globe, but throughout the galaxy." READ FULL STORY
Read more…

'Right Stuff' restaurateur to see first shuttle launch

The story going around Boron these days is that a shuttle landing is not complete unless it ends with dinner at Domingo's. While Domingo Gutierrez is often telling the story, it isn't idle boasting by this eastern Kern County restaurateur. It's the truth. Within four to six hours of a shuttle spacecraft landing on Edwards Air Force Base's dry lake bed, the crew is in Domingo's Mexican restaurant on Twenty Mule Team Road, chowing down on fajitas and enchiladas, and knocking back Boron water - shots of Gutierrez's $150-a-bottle tequila. After days, maybe even weeks, in space, "those guys are really hungry," says Gutierrez. READ FULL STORY
Read more…