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Latinas on the Rise






Hispanic Biz News | CNN en Espanol | Latina Style


In the U.S. and many areas abroad, we are now approaching the era of the Latina. Americans with ancestral roots in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Peru, Portugal, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Columbia, the Dominican Republic-- indeed, all the Hispanic cultures. These Latinos have taken what's best and most vibrant in those traditions and married them to the energy and innovation of the United States, to create new styles and rythms for a wide variety of careers and professions. As the Latin population has grown in all of the U.S.'s major cities, new identities, forged by the challenge of equal rights and labor struggles, education, immigration, bi-lingualism and other daunting issues have created new power for Latinos who are seizing success in virtually every arena of life in the U.S. From cinema to restaurants, singing to salsa, Latinas are no longer on the fringes of power, but in the white hot center. Business and particularly advertisers, whose livelihood depends on keeping a sharp eye on such seismic shifts in population, buying power and increased affluence and success, have not failed to notice the next big trend: Latinas in the forefront. Consider the following:


Gloria Estefan, who went from being a refugee to having a $500 million fortune. Her concerts, contemporary, sizzling and well produced, none-the-less stress traditional Cuban family values with big screen photo albums of Gloria's baby pictures, her parents, husband and children. She introduced Nayib, her son, who's a drummer in her band, backing her up.


Sandra Cisneros , San Antonio resident and 1996 winner of the MacArthur "Genius" Award, the Oscars of the Multicultural Elite. Sandra Cisneros's "testimonio" literature has focused attention on gender and ethnicity. Cisneros ' The House of Mango Street, an almost autobiographical book dedicated "A las Mujeres" (To the Women) uses the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of daily family life to deal with the issue of growing up Latina in an Anglo society as well as growing up female in a male dominant society. Cisneros's works show the race-class-gender paradigm, an oppressive world seen through the eyes of her innocent Latina central figures.


Latin and Chicano art is booming. This has revived interest in classics like "Splendors of Mexico", wide popular acceptance of previous generations like Frida Kahlo, whose 1942 Self-Portrait With Monkey and Parrot fetched $3.2 million at Sotheby's in May of '95, or vibrant comtemporary artists, like Chileno, Alfredo Jaar, Mexican Julian Galan, and a whole coterie of young artists in Los Angeles , Miami and San Antonio... including the Franco Mondini salon, a magnet for Latino artists from both coasts as well as San Antonio's rising stars like David Zamora Casas who has already broken into the world art leagues.

Food/ Restaurants

In just about every price catagory, ethnic Latin food has hit the big time. Salsa sells better than ketchup and is now included in the U.S. Army's Meals Ready to Eat. Talk about mainstream. Fast food no longer means just burgers and chicken. Now, chains like Taco Cabano turn out roast chicken and fajitas with a shot of tequila on the side. Upscale restaurants like Americas in Houston, Texas are sizzling with authentic ethnic cuisine.


Southern Florida is considered by some to be the Northern hub of the Carribean islands . Miami is home to many Cubanos and Latin Americans who have the money and the votes to sway the national election: that's why all the candidates try to visit often and put a Latin "spin" on their policy positions. Speaking even a few words of Spanish and chowing down on Mexican food is considered mandatory, also, in parts of Texas, California, and many big cities.

Business / Marketing

Big time advertising agencies like D& B Americas are making money faster and easier than many of the old line Anglo firms by selling mainstream products like Coca Cola and Purina dog food to Hispanic markets in the U.S. and to the young markets of Latin America, hungry for American products.


If you're looking for hot spots , contemporary places and watering holes featuring live salsa and Latin music, authentic Mexican, Cuban, Carribean, Peruvian , Spanish cuisines, ambiente, icons and art in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, and Washington D.C. or perhaps your home town, try taking a look at Latina Style.



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