Being a Latina in the US is fabulous, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Sure we rock the best of both worlds, but it’s not always easy striking the right balance between traditional, church-going, family-oriented good girl life and sexy, independent working woman. We love Jimmy Choos and we love maduros. We love our mamis even when they nag in Spanish about our gringo boyfriends; and we rely on la Virgencita as much as we do on our iPhones. Sometimes, though, it’s still hard battling stereotypes. For example, we are not all Mexican (there are like 20 other nationalities, people!) and we don’t all break out into dance the minute we hear the sound of congas and an electronic keyboard (thanks, Dave Chapelle, for that one). And it’s annoying being constantly referred to as “spicy” or “caliente”. There are many non-food related adjectives I’d rather be described as. Overall, though, it’s pretty fantastic being bicultural. LaCosmopolatina understands and celebrates that, challenges and all. That’s why you’ll always find everything you need to know this minute on LaCosmo to continue being your fabulous self.
Tanya Alvarez- La Gringa.
A gringa who wears bright colors, loves empanadas, and has Shakira hips that definitely don’t lie? Finally! Every gringo’s dream of finding just the right amount of sabor has come true! Colombian at heart, but gringa to the core. Don’t let her dark hair and dark eyes fool you, try speaking to her in Spanish and be ready to hear, “huh?! I mean, que?” You would think that growing up as a first generation Colombian in Miami has taught her how to lose the “glish” in Spanglish, but with no luck, La Gringa uses her expert skills to move between both worlds with ease. Be ready to keep up with this fast paced, marathon-running gringa-Latina who brings home the bacon and can fry it up with sazon too!
Lizbeth Cardozo – La Colombiana
Made in Colombia. Born in the USA. One Size Fits All.
La Colombiana has a PhD in teaching extranjeros how to perfectly roll their “rrrr”s. A true jet-setter, Lizbeth has roamed the world, from Chicago, Orlando, Colombia, Miami, New York, Italy and finally ending back in New York. With an arepa in one hand and the Colombian flag in the other, she will talk up a storm with anyone who is willing to listen. And who can stop her!? By the end of the conversation, you too will be saying, “Viva Colombia!” If she’s not in the kitchen cooking up a sancocho that will make you forget all about watching your carb-intake, you can find her in the center of the dance floor proving that Latinos are born knowing how to shake what our mama’s gave us!
Melissa Gaviria—La Bilingüe
Watch out for the language police! Don’t even try to mess with Melissa’s English language skills, OR her Spanish ones either! From miles away Melissa can notice a comma and an accent mark missing and after giving you a fine, she will kindly let you know how to fix it. La Bilingue is that perfect blend of a Latina that lives in a Spanish world—literally! She lives in Colombia!—but thinks and dreams in English. She can be ready to pick up and go and learn from her friends from all over the world in a flash. Underneath the uniform, though, she is a true softie. With her baby boy as her pride and joy, La Bilingue devotes her life to embracing her roots and imparting that passion on her son. The world is her playing field, and her family, her anchor. You’ll never catch her without her dancing shoes handy, though. She will bust a move on any dance floor, anywhere she may be. And yet, offer her a comfy spot on the couch with a classic black and white movie on TV and you’ll get her to delay her flight, but just until the movie is over.
Las Chicas De LaCosmo
Esther Gutierrez—La Exploradora
A vegetarian Dora the Explorer with Mr. Backpack always handy to hop on a plane or bus ready for her next adventure, Esther is full of contradictions. Wait! A vegetarian Latina?! Those exist? Didn’t they go extinct with the discovery of carne asada? It may be rare, but she survives, we promise. Find her waiting in line for some delicious tacos–sin carne, por favor!—or cooking up a mean portabello mushroom burger, with papitas on the side. With an accent that is a mix of her Mexican heritage, American culture, and New York City upbringing, and a wardrobe that screams downtown chick with a New England comfort, this roaming spirit cannot be contained! A Latina nomad with her veggie cookies packed and her passport in hand, La Exploradora is always ready to roam the world. And yes, chicken is still considered meat, and no, she doesn’t just eat lettuce.
Isabela Molina, La Soñadora
Like her nickname, Izzymole, she admittingly is a lot like Mole… complicated! A little Totonacan Indian (come again?), a touch of Spanish, a sprinkle of Dutch and the ingredients continue until you have someone who’s complex yet totally worth el coraje! With a complexion as light as vanilla, you probably wouldn’t guess this Mexicana’s roots come from where vanilla actually originated. Proving once again that Latinas everywhere come in different sabores. So instead of gossiping behind her back, ask her to sing you a Mariachi standard and hear her belt out, “Que Viva Mexico, Si Senor!” This singing diva was purchasing her first Spanish pop record at 3, declaring to be just like Lucerito, and determined to prove to everyone that dreams can come true. You’ll find this soñadora daydreaming, claro, all the while inspiring others to follow their hearts but never half-heartedly…con ganas!
Ivan Castellanos, El Ninja
Ivan is a man of few words, quiet observer, and steady gaze but don’t let that fool you. His exterior may be unassuming but watch out, he’s a man of many hidden talents under his quiet and tough-as-nails exterior. He nunchucks web design with ease, takes video content and edits it with the stealth of a ninja, and assassinates any CMS programming issue dead in its tracks.
Jonathan Velazquez, El Genio
Our Einstein of programming, Jonathan wants to rule the world one program at a time. But before he takes over the world, you can find him building complex back end platforms and creating algorithms that would make a lay person’s head spin tres vueltas. Having a fascination for all things tech, you’ll find him 90% of the time in front of his computer lost in the world of programming. The other 10% is spent, well, refueling so he can go back to taking over the world. Hands down, Jonathan is perhaps the best tech brain in this part of the hemisphere, maybe even, the World.