Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Celebration with Posolè

The smell of the flavorful broth fills the home with warm feelings of togetherness.
By Cecilia Rey, Food Editor, The American Latina

Cecilia Rey
Most Latinos know that it brings in the New Year, keeps our tummy full and warm for every party throughout the year, and recipes have been handed down for hundreds of years.  I’m talking about good old fashion and traditional Posolè.

The smell of the flavorful broth, a mixture of onions, garlic and chilies, combined with port meat, fills the home with warm feelings of togetherness.  For me, as it does for many Latinos, the smell of Posolè brings back childhood memories, especially family gatherings. 

There are many different ways of making Posolè, based on the taste each cooking person’s taste, yet it’s simple to make. 

The key ingredients used are onions, garlic, and chilies.  They are the foundation of the broth along with the meat.  Historically, Posolè is made with pork meat including la pierna (butt), espinaso (spine), lomo (loin), and pata (foot).  But the pork can be substituted with chicken, pork rinds, turkey and vegetarian, usually without losing the flavor. 

Today, a staple ingredient has become optional, but it is what made this soup a delicacy with Spanish Conquistadores writing about it and introducing it to their Queen - the corn (maiz) or hominy.  Corn was sacred among many of the indigenous inhabitants of pre-Columbian America and was viewed as a true gift of the Gods.  Many tribes believed that God had made humans from corn. 

Well, I happen to like pork in my recipe with maiz (hominy) - in fact, in my home, the more maiz the better.

I make Posolè as the ancient peoples of Mexico did centuries ago, only for special occasions.   Plus, leftover Posolè is ever so tasteful, or as we Latinos call it “recalentado” (reheated).  After letting the broth cool, it becomes thicker because of the fat in the pig’s feet, but when it’s reheated slowly, the meat falls apart because of its tenderness.  By the way, before cooking, I wrap the pig’s feet to help keep them together. 

Posolè is a great soup for the “pobrecitos” (poor ones) who over indulged the night before during a celebration and suffer from a “cruda” (hangover).  I can personally say that it does wonders for an upset stomach.

I always set up the table in a “buffet” style, where family and guests serve their own bowls of Posolè soup and garnish it with shredded cabbage, coarsely chopped onions and tomatos, sliced radishes, and slices of lime.  I do the same when making the “tortas” (sandwiches made with French rolls or bolios) and tostadas, except instead of providing the soup I only provide the reheated leftover Posolè meat.

As with many Mexican foods, Pozolè can be enjoyed with a beverage of your liking.  My favorite is a good Mexican beer or margarita. 

I hope you can enjoy this recipe and be sure to measure it for your own taste - until the next time.

My Posolè Recipe
(For 20 People)

The Soup
Fill a 20qt stockpot to ¾ water
Add:  1 onion cut in half; 1 whole peeled garlic head; port meat (stir occasionally to prevent meat from sticking to the pot)
Boil meat and ingredients for one-half hour (when foam appears, remove with spoon – this may occur a couple of times)
When foaming stops, add: ¼ cup salt; ¼ cup garlic salt and reduce heat to slow boil for one-half hour

Peel and clean chili pods and place in a medium saucepan filled with ¾ water and let it simmer until the pods soften and water turns red, then let it cool
Take soften pods and place into blender and add a little of the water from the saucepan.  Grind until liquid.  Pour through strainer into the soup, which should have been cooking for about an hour.
Add two cans of hominy and continue simmering for 20 to 30 minutes
Pour into serving bowl

Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and 6 large radishes and place in separate serving bowls
Coarsely chop three large tomatoes and 1 onion and place in separate serving bowls
Pour ½ cup of Mexican sour cream into serving bowl
Pour ½ cup of salsa into serving bowl

Ready to serve.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A picture of the growing Hispanic consumer power webinar


Registration link address is:

MIAMI (APRIL 26, 2011) ‐‐ Tomorrow, a webinar will be conducted at 2 p.m. EST and 11 a.m. PST that will provide insights into the changing face of the American economy with the rise of Hispanics, and in particular Latina consumers. Called "Picture of the New Mainstream; Today's Latina Consumer," the webinar features multicultural sales and marketing experts from Geoscape and GfK MRI. It will look at how the more than 50 million Hispanics in the United States wield an increasingly powerful influence on the American economy.

The webinar will feature Susan Nunez, of GfK MRI, whose specialty is developing multicultural strategies for advertisers and advertising agencies. Ms. Nunez will provide insights into the most effective strategies and best practices when reaching out to this powerful economic force. The webinar will feature data from GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, overlaid with Geoscape’s proprietary Hispanicity acculturation segmentation and presented within the Geoscape Intelligence System (GIS).

The importance of Latina consumers is often overlooked. Latina consumers often serve as the gatekeepers for Hispanic household buying decisions. The webinar will take a unique look at the influence these consumers have on the American economy and the companies that focus on serving this rising market segment.

To register for this informative webinar click here.

Registration link address is:

About Geoscape

Geoscape serves its clients by providing business strategy, analytics, research, databases and automated intelligence systems. The online Geoscape Intelligence System (GIS), the DirecTarget® database enrichment system and a variety of geo-demographic, consumer, business and media databases enable actionable insights that lead our clients to gain significant business advantages. Geoscape is a privately held company owned by New MainStream Capital LLC and César M Melgoza, Founder & CEO, and is headquartered in Miami.

Contact: David Radoff 415‐760‐6336 /

Latina teen fakes pregnancy to make a point

Fake pregnancy shines light on Latina teen rates.
By Shannon Dininny, Associated Press

TOPPENISH, Wash. (AP) -- When Gaby Rodriguez took off her fake baby belly and revealed to her classmates that for months they had been part of an elaborate social experiment, she did more than force members of her community to examine how they treat pregnant teens - she got the attention of the nation.

The Yakima Herald-Republic detailed the experience of the 17-year-old Rodriguez in a story Wednesday that caught the attention of shows like "Good Morning America" and resonated with viewers of popular teen mom reality shows.

School officials said they and Rodriguez would have no more comment until she returns from a class trip next week. But her action thrust her into a growing conversation.

The profile of teen moms has changed in recent years. Kids on shows like MTV's "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" have taken spots alongside movie stars on magazine covers.

Three years ago, Bristol Palin was a pregnant 17-year-old introduced to the world during her mother's run for vice president. And today, she has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as a spokeswoman who works to prevent teen pregnancy.

It seems teen mothers are the talk of the nation. But most experts say more conversation is still needed.

"There is a certain amount of acceptance or apathy around the issue, where we just accept it and it's just something that happens here," said Dr. Jennifer Unger, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic in Toppenish, Wash., where Rodriguez revealed her secret Wednesday to a stunned student body at an assembly at Toppenish High School.

Only a handful of people, including her mother, boyfriend and principal, were in on the secret. The rest of the community in this Western-themed city, in central Washington's agricultural Yakima Valley, had no clue.

They were kept in the dark as part of her senior project on stereotyping. The Herald-Republic reported that Rodriguez found that she was treated quite differently when people thought she was pregnant.

Consider a comment read from a notecard during the assembly by her best friend, Saida Cortes, a 17-year-old senior: "Her attitude is changing, and it might be because of the baby or she was always this annoying and I never realized it."

Rodriguez kept track of statements like this over the course of her 6 1/2 month ruse.

"I'm fighting against those stereotypes ... because the reality is I'm not pregnant," she said.

The population of Toppenish is about 75 percent Hispanic. And the student body at Toppenish High School is 85 percent Hispanic. Her experiment takes on particular significance given this setting.

Nationally, teen pregnancy rates have been steadily declining for years. However, Latinas have the highest teen pregnancy and birth rate among any major racial or ethnic minority.

Roughly 51 percent of Latina teens will get pregnant before age 20, compared with about 30 percent of teens overall, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

"It's a shocking statistic," said Jessica Sheets, the group's spokeswoman. "I'm impressed by how courageous she was and by how much empathy she has. It's pretty clear that she was able to reach a pretty large group of her peers in a very innovative way."

David Crist, a 75-year-old retired teacher in the Yakima Valley, also commented on Rodriguez's "guts."

Crist remembers when pregnant girls were shuffled to an alternative school so that other students wouldn't be exposed to them, much like special education students.

"I would hope it's not something to be glorified, because once you've got that baby, your life changes 110 percent," he said. "But sometimes these things happen. These girls need to be supported."

Crist also said he didn't think any of his now-grown children would have succeeded with such a project.

"My son's a professional actor," he said, "and I still don't think he could have pulled it off."

Unger deals with a lot of teenage pregnancies at the clinic and knows Rodriguez, but wasn't aware of the girl's project until she read about it in the newspaper. Efforts like that, though, help to break the "code of silence" around a passive issue, where girls don't take an active role in taking preventive measures, she said.

"This is one of the issues where I feel like we have to try a little harder," she said. "Her intent was to explore people's reactions if a top student, someone you wouldn't expect, were to get pregnant. She started a conversation." she said.

Laura Yepez, 17, agreed, saying she was proud of her friend Rodriguez, but stunned by the announcement.

"She just wanted to put her feet in the shoes of girls who've been pregnant and see how they're treated. I'm proud of her."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Latina Orchestra Conductor will showcase musical event

Sonia Marie De Lèon de Vega, who has been exposing children to classical music in the Los Angeles area, will present a México Sinfónico Event to Showcase Music of Great Mexican Composers.

By Susie Albin-Najera The MEXICO Report
“The Good News About Mexico, Travel & Culture”

Sonia Marie De Lèon de Vega
LOS ANGELES, CA - Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega is the music director and conductor of the Los Angeles-based Santa Cecilia Orchestra (SCO), the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to expose classical music to Latino communities. Maestra De Léon de Vega is celebrated in education circles for creating the Discovering Music Program in 1998, a two-year program that is currently offered in 18 elementary schools throughout Los Angeles. The program has touched the lives of more than 40,000 students in 35 schools through the power of music education. Due to its success, Discovering Music has been expanded to include a string program that offers free violin lessons throughout the school year and a mentorship program in middle schools.

Sonia, of Mexican descent, was born in San Antonio, Texas and is the daughter of actress/producer Sonia De Léon and singer/guitarist Reynaldo Sanchez, who are San Antonio natives. At the age of four De Léon de Vega moved to Los Angeles, California, where she was raised and began her musical training becoming an accomplished pianist and organist. While always distinguishing herself academically her graduate studies led her to love and specialize in conducting studies with Dr. David Buck. She also trained at the Herbert Blomstedt International Institute for Instrumental Conductors and at various American Symphony Orchestra League workshops with Otto Werner Mueller, Maurice Abravanel, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Zubin Metha and Ricardo Muti.

Recognized as a noted symphony and opera conductor, Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega has achieved distinction as the first woman in history to conduct a symphony orchestra at a Vatican Papal Mass. Sonia was also the first Hispanic classical artist ever featured internationally on the Univision network’s signature Orgullo Hispano, which highlights the most successful Hispanics in the world. Her musical talents have inspired a large following in Southern California through live orchestral presentations, as well as an international audience through televised performances in the United States, Latin America and Europe. She is also the Producer and Music Director for the annual Opera Under the Stars concert in Los Angeles, a venue credited with launching the careers of many young operatic vocalist

On May 22, 2011, Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play México Sinfónico! This 80-piece symphony orchestra event will showcase the music of great Mexican composers and with great pride, will present Daniel Catán, Mexico’s pre-eminent living composer. The symphony orchestra will also include 14 percussionists to perform Silvestre Revueltas’s La Noche de los Mayas. “The Night of The Mayas” hurls itself at an audience like a Mexican Rite of Spring. Extravagant sonorities, panoramic scene-painting, and driving rhythms abound in this magnificent work. Que Viva México!

México Sinfónico
May 22, 2011, Sunday 4pm
Occidental College • Thorne Hall
1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles
Prices: $26, $20, $7 (youth)
Purchase Tickets

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Latinas are treated at upscale make-over counters

As everyday Latinas, we have a responsibility to perpetuate proper etiquette, attire, and personal grooming.
By Zury Magana, Fashion Editor, The American Latina
Publisher's Note:  This is a continuing series about how Latina's are treated at upscale fashion and makeup stores in the U.S.
Zury Magana
SACRAMENTO, CA - We have all heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover,” well unfortunately we do, making it very important for us to pay attention to our appearance.  American culture has often depicted Latinas as houses keepers, nannies – the hired help.  It was not until cable television, Spanish TV specifically, that people began to see Latinas in a more positive light.  As everyday American Latinas, we have a responsibility to perpetuate these ideals to our current generation by demonstrating proper etiquette, attire, and personal grooming.  In addition, to meet the individual and cultural needs of Latinas, American clothing designers and cosmetic manufacturers must be more responsive.  This includes providing proper service.

Keeping that in mind, I visited a local Macys located in Sacramento, California to see how responsive they would be to a young Latina’s needs.  While passing the Estelauder counter, the clerks greeted me attentively, with smiles and friendly eye contact.  As I walked past the BOBBY BROWN counter, there four young female employees who ignored me, demonstrated they were too busy putting on their own makeup and failed to acknowledge any attempt at eye contact.  When I reached the MAC counter, my initial destination, things were looking up.
Zury Before Make-over
The MAC counter had five chairs waiting for heavily booked appointments. Their makeup artist Jill said she would love to do my makeup, but would have to return at eleven thirty, 20 minutes to kill.  She also mentioned that I would have to purchase ($75) worth of products in exchange for the make over. 

Since I had to wait, I decided to head over to LANCOME counter where an older Latina friend of mine was experiencing a makeover of her own.  The LANCOME representatives were very professional and attentive to my friend, who shared she was very pleased with their service.

Zury After Make-over
It was now time for my makeover.  So once again I passed by BOBBY BROWNS makeup counter only to be ignored a second time; however, Jill at the MAC counter greeted me and quickly began to work her magic.  The moment I sat, Jill started with a dark Smokey black eye shadow. She then prepped a pair of ($14) fake long beautiful eye lashes. After she had placed the fake lashes over mine and tinted them with dark black mascara, she applied a ($26) skin base visage on my face for the prime. Jill pointed out that the product was not to be used near the lip area. After applying the base, she layered it with a coat of ($29) SPF15 foundation then lightly contoured my eyes with a dark black eye liner.  Finally to finish the make over, she traced my lips with a light brown lip liner, followed by a light and not to noticeable lipstick.  My result?  It was a signature look for every woman that was there.

Overall I was very pleased by the products and service at this M.A.C. counter in Sacramento and based on that, I would recommend getting a makeover at M.A.C. and use of their products to anyone.

Latina to head Latin Chamber of Broward County

BankAtlantic's Patricia Barrientos-Maiz was appointed Chair Elect of the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Broward County.

Patricia Barrientos-Maiz
HOLLYWOOD, FL. - BankAtlantic, of Florida announced that Patricia Barrientos-Maiz, Market Manager of its South Pembroke branch, has been appointed Chair Elect of the Board of Directors of the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Broward County.

Mrs. Barrientos-Maiz who is responsible for sales, business development and local market management for BankAtlantic's South Pembroke branch has over 17 years of banking experience in the Pembroke Pines area. 

The Latin Chamber of Commerce of Broward County founded over 24 years ago is located in the city of Hollywood, Florida. The chamber is 425 members strong and comprised of community leaders, small and large business, executives and professionals from a broad range of nationalities and operations. The chamber endeavors to increase business and economic opportunities for Hispanic and associated business communities; enhance private and public partnership alliances; develop targeted access and links to the Hispanic business and consumer markets and provide support for educational, social, political and economic development of the Hispanic business community 

"We are very proud of Patricia's accomplishments and involvement in the Latin Chamber of Commerce. It is people like Patricia whose professional influence build and sustain cohesive relationships, which the entire business community can benefit from," said Jarett Levan, BankAtlantic's President. "We congratulate Patricia on her new appointment as Chair Elect of the Board of Directors and wish her and the Latin Chamber of Commerce continued success," he added. 

Mrs. Barrientos-Maiz is also a current member of Mujeres Latinas Impulsando Mujeres Latinas and Dominican Republic Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of Hispanic Unity of Florida where she serves as Committee organizer of Hispanic Fest and their Annual Gala "Noche de Estrellas". Patricia is a graduate of Barry University where she earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology and a Certificate in Human Resources. She resides in the City of Pembroke Pines. 

About the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Broward County: The Latin Chamber of Commerce of Broward was founded in 1987. We are located in the heart of Broward County, in Hollywood FL. Our Mission is to enhance economic growth and stability to our members and our community at large. We have 425 members comprised of community leaders, small and large business, executives and professionals from a broad range of nationalities and operations. We coordinate recurring events such as: Bimonthly Business Networking events (every other Wednesday) as well as Monthly Luncheons (last Friday of every month). In addition we host a Scholarship Luncheon, a Legislative Luncheon, a Business Expo and a Gala. These events help us develop the potential to recruit new members and to pass on marketing messages to others. For more information, please call (954) 961-6386, write 121 South 61st Terrace, Hollywood, Florida 33023, email, or visit

Latina leader recognized with honorary Doctorate

Janet Murguía heads the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organizations in the nation.

Janet Murguia/NCLR
Carson, Ca. - On May 20, the California State University, Dominguez Hills, will present an honorary doctorate to Janet Murguía, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of La Raza.  Named as one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business Magazine, Murguía heads the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organizations in the nation. 

A former legislative counsel to former Kansas Congressman Jim Slattery, Murguía became a key figure among Latino community leaders when she was named as head of NCLR on January 1, 2005.  In addition, she has served as deputy assistant to former President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000, and as deputy campaign manager and director of constituency outreach for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign.

In 2001, Murguía joined the University of Kansas (KU) as Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations, overseeing KU’s internal and external relations with the public, including governmental and public affairs. She coordinated the university's strategic planning and marketing efforts at the four KU campuses with those of the Alumni Association, the Athletics Corporation, and the Endowment Association.

Murguía is currently a Board member of the Independent Sector, a coalition of leading nonprofits, foundations, and corporations committed to connecting, informing, and advocating on behalf of the nonprofit and philanthropic community. She is also a member of the Merrill Lynch Diversity & Inclusion Council and is an executive committee member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. In addition, Murguía sits on the Board of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Janet Murguía grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, where she also attended Kansas University and attained degrees in Journalism, Spanish, and a J.D.

Murguia will receive CSU, Dominguez Hills honorary doctorate at the College of Business Administration and Public Policy at a ceremony planned for 6 p.m. at the Home Depot Center tennis stadium on campus.