Out & About

Latinos in the Movies 2020

Latinos in the Movies

Para español clic aquí -> Latinos en el Cine

By Cody Downey

“In the Heights” was going to be the biggest Latino film of 2020. Directed by “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu, the film featured an almost all-Latino cast in a story written by Latinos about Latinos. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, “In the Heights” will no longer be coming out this year.

Now moving to June 2021, 2020 has been left without one of the biggest films for Latino representation in years. Though nowhere near the same level as “In the Heights,” there are numerous films that do feature Latinos in prominent roles throughout the rest of this year. Here are some of the most prominent of these films. (Releases may move as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.)

Hamilton - July 3, 2020

Releasing in time for the celebration of the United States’ independence, “Hamilton” moves from its home on Broadway to the comfort of your homes via Disney+.

The film follows Alexander Hamilton, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, as he fights for independence against the British to eventually become one of the founding fathers of the United States. Instead of an adaptation of the musical, the film instead chooses to use recordings of previous performances.

One of the things that “Hamilton” is known for is their non-traditional casting, which has given the ability for Latino actors to participate in roles they previously wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play before. As previously stated, the film has Puerto Rican-American playwright and actor Miranda in the titular role. The film also stars Puerto Rican-American actor Anthony Ramos in dual roles as John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton.


Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo - July 7, 2020

We all know Danny Trejo from his appearances in “Spy Kids,” “From Dusk till Dawn” and “Machete.” But, in this new documentary, viewers will get to know more about Danny Trejo and how he got to be where he is.

Directed by Canadian documentarian Brett Harvey, “Inmate #1” tells the story of how Danny Trejo went from being in prison to be an extra in Hollywood. The film goes onto show how Trejo became an icon and changed what it meant to be a Latino in cinema.

Along with Trejo himself, the documentary will also feature prominent Latino celebrities such as director Robert Rodriguez, “Fast & Furious” actress Michelle Rodriguez and “Up in Smoke” actor Cheech Maron.


The Tax Collector - August 7, 2020

Helmed by “Suicide Squad” and “Bright” director David Ayer, “The Tax Collector” looks to take viewers on a gritty thriller following two “tax collectors” in Los Angeles.

David, played by “A Better Life” actor Bobby Soto, and Creeper, played by Shia LaBeouf, are “tax collectors” for a crime lord known as Wizard. However, with the return of Wizard’s rival, the pair’s jobs and lives are in jeopardy causing them to need to find a way to protect their families.

Being set in Los Angeles, it is to be expected to have a Latino cast, and “The Tax Collector” doesn’t disappoint. From “Once Upon a Time” actress Lana Parilla and “Predator” actress Elpidia Carrillo to comedian George Lopez and MMA fighter Brian Ortega, the amount of representation in this film is off the charts.

The Tax Collector Movie


The One and Only Ivan - August 21, 2020

Adapting the award-winning children’s book, “The One and Only Ivan” looks to provide a new heartwarming tale for the current generation.

Ivan, voiced by Sam Rockwell, is a gorilla who lives in a cage on top of a mall with an elephant, voiced by Stella, and a dog, voiced by Danny DeVito but has no memory of how he got there. After the animals take in a young, abused elephant, they decide that things need to change for them.

With a film mostly starring animals, much of the human cast is made up of Latinos. Puerto Rican-American actor Ramon Rodriguez plays George, a custodian at the mall where Ivan and his friends live. Starring alongside Rodriguez, Puerto Rican-American actress Arianna Greenblatt will play Julia, George’s daughter who befriends the animals.

The One and Only Ivan

The New Mutants - August 28, 2020

After years of setbacks and reshoots, “The New Mutants” will conclude the “X-Men” franchise with a horror twist before being added into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A group of five young mutants from all over the world have been placed into a secret facility and are looked after by fellow mutant Cecilia Reyes, played by Alice Braga. However, the mutants discover that the facility isn’t exactly what it seems to be and plan to escape.

Special from many of the other superhero movies out there, half of the cast of this film is Latino. Brazilian Alice Braga plays the mutant’s mentor in the facility, who may be hiding something from them. Joining his fellow Brazilian, actor Henry Zaga plays the Brazilian mutant Roberto da Costa, who has the ability to control solar energy. Playing a non-Latino role, British-Argentine actress Anya Taylor-Joy plays Russian mutant Illyana Rasputin, who can teleport and wields a magic sword.

Wonder Woman 1984 - October 2, 2020

Bringing the most iconic female superhero to the big screen once again, “Wonder Woman 1984” takes the heroine to a new time for a new adventure.

Operating as Wonder Woman during the Cold War, Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot, comes into conflict with new enemies Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig, and Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal. As she prepares to battle these foes, Diana is also reunited with her believed dead lover Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine.

Taking a departure from his usual heroic roles in “Narcos” and “The Mandalorian,” Chilean American Pedro Pascal takes the role of media mogul Maxwell Lord. Lord is a constant foe of the Justice League in the comic books, having even killed some superheroes.

Wonder Woman

The French Dispatch - October 16, 2020

Bringing his unique and eccentric style back to the cinema, Wes Anderson returns with yet another quirky film in “The French Dispatch.”

Working for the French bureau of a Kansas newspaper, a group of American journalists covers a variety of events from the kidnapping of a police officer’s son, a student-led revolution, and the work of an incarcerated man.

Despite the film being set in France, this doesn’t mean that there is no Latino representation to be had. Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro plays Moses Rosenthaler, an artist serving a term in prison. Also appearing in the film is Guatemalan-American actor Tony Revolori in an undisclosed role once again working with Anderson after starring in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

The French Dispatch

Snake Eyes - October 23, 2020

Rebooting the iconic “G.I. Joe” franchise, “Snake Eyes” takes a look at the character who has been around for almost 40 years.

After the death of his father, Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding, trains to become a ninja to seek revenge. Along the way, he will meet his rival and adversary Storm Shadow, played by Andrew Koji.

Taking on one of the most iconic villains from the “G.I. Joe” franchise, Spanish actress Ursula Corbero is set to play Baroness. The character is well-known for being a prominent member of the evil organization Cobra and constantly coming into conflict with the Joes.

Henry Golding in 2014

West Side Story - December 18, 2020

Returning to the big screen almost 60 years after its’ first adaptation, “West Side Story” takes another look at these iconic star-crossed lovers.

In 1950s New York, Tony, played by Ansel Elgort, and Maria, played by Rachel Zegler, fall in love with each other. However, the two are torn due to their allegiances to rival street gangs, with Tony belonging to the mostly white Jets and Maria belonging to the mostly Puerto Rican Sharks.

Differing from its’ 1961 original, this version of “West Side Story” features more Latinos cast in the roles of the Sharks. Maria is played by Colombian American newcomer Rachel Zegler. Cuban-Candian performer David Alvarez will play the role of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose will play Anita, the girlfriend of Bernardo. Even Rita Moreno, who won the Academy Award for playing Anita in the 1961 film, will appear in the film as Valentina, a reworking of the character Doc.

As you can see, just because “In the Heights” won’t be coming out this year doesn’t mean there will be no Latino representation in film. This list doesn’t include all the films with Latinos in supporting roles with high-profile films such as “No Time to Die” and “Monster Hunter.” It shows that slowly, but surely, Latinos are working their way into bigger and better roles in the film industry.



Domestic Wine Beyond California

Domestic Wine Beyond California

By Rebeca Pinhas, CSW, CSWS

Para español clic aquí -> Vino Nacional Más Allá de California 

Although most people are familiar with Napa and Sonoma when it comes to domestic wine, there are some *246 legally defined wine-producing regions in the United States, known as AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), throughout 33 states. This is quite a bit of domestic winemaking! However, not many of them are known as destinations for wine tourism. 


After months of different degrees of quarantine, our family took a trip to Elijay, Georgia. Being the wine enthusiast, I am, I naturally researched wineries and vineyards in the area, and to my surprise, this town located some two hours north of Atlanta had plenty! Most were not only beautiful venues but also offered a family-friendly environment which allowed me to taste new wines while the little ones rolled down the hills. I wouldn’t say the wines were life-changing, but that does not mean they were not interesting, especially because they were grown and produced in a place that is not known for viticulture.     

Grapevines are not the easiest crop to grow, and in fact, quality grapes are only produced in zones located (roughly) between the 30 and 50 degrees of latitude, both north, and south. While most of the United States is located within those parameters, high humidity, extremely hot temperatures, and freezing winters rule out a great part of the territory. All that being said, grapes also manage to sneak their way into borderline regions, where certain varieties and even different species of vines (we will get to that in a moment) manage to survive and even thrive. If you take a walk down the French Quarter or even Uptown -as some acquaintances report-, you may find a vine here and there growing amok on walls and iron gates. 


Most wine produced worldwide utilizes the Vitis vinifera species, which is of European origin, but native North American species like Vitis labrusca (mostly for table grapes and grape juice production) and Vitis rotundifolia (used to produce wine) grow around the country. While in Georgia, I was able to taste for the first-time wines made from native grape varieties like Muscadine, and hybrids (the offspring of two different species) like Seyval Blanc. In general, wines made from these grapes are a little rougher on the palate, but many wineries have evolved and become able to create more refined wines from native varieties and hybrids. 

So, if you ever want to plan a family-friendly trip to wine country, look for those areas that may not be as known and will offer both great value and something different to taste. 


To learn more about wine and book a wine class by the glass, visit vinomomnola.com


I Scream, You Scream, we all scream for…Mexican Treats

I Scream, You Scream, we all scream for…Mexican Treats

By Angela Hernández

Click aqui para español- >Yo quiero, tú quieres, todos queremos los postres mexicanos


I stumbled upon La Michoacana by accident. I was on the hunt for some elote, but when I quickly peered through the window it seemed like the place was just like any other Kenner Latin store. The bright pink and green walls did call my attention, so I looked in and saw they served ice cream, which I wasn’t in the mood for. I turned to my brother and said, “This is just an ice cream shop, let’s go somewhere else.”
Two days later, my friend Melisa posted an Instagram story of what looked like the tastiest mangonada I have ever seen.

It was from the same place I had ignored before, so I immediately regretted not going in. Melisa had discovered La Michoacana on Instagram, and she decided to check it out because “being from California, this type of stuff is big back home, so I just had to try it.The elote and the mangonada are my two favorites. It tastes just like back home and it brings back memories,” she told me.

I’ve only had a mangonada once before in Laredo, TX, and back then, it was foreign to me. I remember the taste of mango chunks drenched in a sweet and spicy syrup called chamoy. It was unlike any dessert I have ever tried with a mixture of tangy, spicy, and sweet flavors all at once, so I decided to head back to La Michoacana and get one before the weekend was over.

The following day, I stood in a long line on a hot afternoon. La Michoacana was only allowing six people to enter at a time due to social distancing guidelines. This time, I peered in the window with great anticipation, trying to figure out what to order. I saw their large menu that listed items like exotic flavors of ice cream, milkshakes, popsicles, and ironically, they also had the elote that I was longing for a few days earlier. 

While the bubble waffle ice cream cone and concha ice cream sandwich were tempting, I decided to get the mangonada. This one was way better than the one I had in Texas. Chamoy syrup lined the cup filled with generous amounts of freshly made mango sorbet. It is topped with fresh mango chunks, traditional sweet and spicy Mexican candy, an additional drizzle of chamoy, and a Tajin rim.

After the first bite, I was hooked! I even devised a plan to get my dad to treat me to another visit to La Michoacana arguing “I’ve never been.” Within one week, I visited the ice cream shop again and tried their fresh fruit paletas, ice creams, elote, and mangonadas. So much for trying to stay fit during the self-quarantine!

The thing that I like most about La Michoacana is its ties to Mexican and Latino food culture. No one gets it if I sprinkle Tajin on my mango slices. The concept of kernels of corn covered in Valentina hot sauce, cotija cheese, mayonnaise on top of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos may be disgusting to some people. The masses can keep their synthetic fruit popsicles. I’ll be enjoying my paletas with real fruit inside. These snacks are more than snacks, they are a part of the culture I grew up in and that makes me proud to be Latina.

For years snowballs were my favorite treat to beat the New Orleans heat. But it’s time to make way for an array of Mexican frozen desserts and snacks. La Michoacana is located at 2309 David Dr., Ste D, in Metairie, Louisiana. If you visit there, you might just catch me trying to decide which dessert to try next. 

Food-Friendly Wines

Food-Friendly Wines

By Rebeca Pinhas

Click aqui para español- >Vinos de fácil maridaje

Very rarely is wine enjoyed alone: a bottle is usually shared with others, and a glass accompanied by something to nibble on. While the relationship between food and wine is millenary, it is certainly true that some wines are more food-friendly than others. Given that New Orleans is a city where people talk about what’s for dinner when they are having lunch, it is always fitting to talk about some wines that, in the utmost general sense, go well with everyday foods.

It is important to understand what “food-friendly” wines mean. Sometimes, said term is used to indicate a wine that lacks complexity and sophistication –just as a similar “easy-drinking” denomination– but that is certainly not always the case and not a negative thing either. Who said a wine needs to be complex and sophisticated to be enjoyable? Choosing wine is like choosing a movie: sometimes I’m in the mood for a rom-com that will demand none-to-little attention, sometimes I crave a psychological thriller that will keep one guessing until the end. While the latter has the potential to be life-changing, they both provided the entertainment you sought. Similarly, some wines will remain in your mind and palate forever, while others will be drunk and gone. 

Food-friendly wines are those that will go well with different types of food due to some of their consistent characteristics regardless of the production method: low to moderate alcohol, low tannins (for red wines) and low to medium acidity (for white wines), they are people pleasers (you could serve it at a party and most people will like it), and they are meant to be drunk young rather than after years of cellaring (which would add complexity). Also, they are readily available at most stores, which facilitates its everyday consumption along with everyday meals.  

These are some types of wine that are usually food-friendly.


Food-friendly Reds

Zinfandel: Zin is great to be enjoyed on its own or paired with uncomplicated meals, such as beef stew or roasted chicken. This variety has somewhat of a negative light around it because people often associate it with White Zinfandel –a sweet concoction that gained popularity some decades ago. Red Zinfandel, on the other hand, is available in several price ranges, which presents the chance to taste and try without investing too much. California -more specifically Sonoma and Napa counties– produces amazing Zinfandels that are much more accessible than those regions’ Cabernets and Chardonnays.

Cabernet Franc: Noticeable body but not as heavy and tannic as Cabernet Sauvignon, who in fact is Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc’s offspring. This variety is great for those who don’t usually drink red wine and is grown in several regions around the world.


Food-friendly Whites

Riesling: When the general consumer thinks Riesling, they can’t help but to imagine sweet wine, which could be the case, but dry* Riesling’s availability, production, and popularity are increasing. And I will not deny that my tiny cellar never lacks a few bottles of this. Riesling comes in all levels of dryness, yet it always provides great texture and flavor which is great to accompany food that may be light in body but rich in flavor. Off-dry Riesling (some perceivable sugar left) is great for spicy foods such as Indian and Asian, and of course, hot Louisiana dishes.

Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris: These two white varieties –both mutations of Pinot Noir– are often overlooked by most consumers as they are not as recognized or widely planted as other grapes such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Their mostly neutral profile, however, along with moderate ABV (alcohol by volume), makes them suitable for a wide variety of meals, from vegetarian dishes without a lot of spices, to chicken in different few ingredient preparations.

For questions or suggestions on upcoming topics, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*When discussing wine, the term “dry” refers to the amount of sugar left in a wine after fermentation rather than how you would use it to describe food (ie: dry vs. moist chicken)

Malbec: The variety that found a new home in Argentina

Malbec: The variety that found a new home in Argentina

By Rebeca M. Pinhas @vinomomnola

Click aqui para español- >Malbec: La variedad que encontró un nuevo hogar en Argentina

When a solution against phylloxera - a parasitic insect with a taste for vine roots - was finally found, its passage had almost completely devastated the areas of most important and historical wine production in the world. Although the plantations eventually recovered after the arduous effort and the implementation of new agricultural techniques to prevent the spread of the destructive insect, many winegrowers lost the interest and ability to harvest again certain varieties of grapes that were once abundant in certain regions. The Malbec grape is one such example. 

Malbec was one of the originally authorized varieties in the recognized blends of Bordeaux (France, where it is also known as Côt and Auxerrois) and the main ingredient of Cahors Black Wine in the Southwest of the same country. However, growing this grape was not an easy task in these regions, so the winemakers decided not to invest more time or money in replanting it after crises such as phylloxera, other pests, and adverse natural events such as frost.

The first Malbec vineyards arrived in Argentina around 1850, and their affinity for the terroir (a French term used to describe all the characteristics and physical circumstances of a wine region) was evident from the beginning. The conditions that this stock so longed for in France were provided through a dry climate, abundance of sunlight, and steep altitudes. Today, Malbec is the characteristic red variety of Argentina, where most of the production is concentrated in the province of Mendoza, with 85% of the current crops. The province of Salta, to the north, has one of the highest elevation vineyards in the world, Altura Máxima, which sits 2,300 meters above sea level.  
 Some of the main characteristics of Malbec are its purple color, the intensity in which it reaches almost a black tint, as well as a magenta variation that is evident towards the edges. It has aromas of red fruits such as raspberry and plum, and it has soft tannins and can be enjoyed young or after a few years in the cava. The customary pairing is the equally desired Argentine meats and roasts, as well as other typical dishes such as lamb ragout.
Although other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the most popular in the American market when the consumer is looking for a heavy red wine, the reputation of Argentine Malbec is establishing itself in the market, where it can be found in a wide range of prices. It is definitely a variety that should be considered as the barbecue season approaches. 

A Guide to Netflix’s Latino TV Shows

A Guide to Netflix’s Latino TV Shows

By Cody Downey  @codyalexdowney

Click aqui para español- >Guía de series Latinas en Netflix

In modern television, it is very rare to find a series that prominently feature Latino Americans’ stories and casts. With the exception of shows like Freeform’s reboot of “Party of Five” and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” spinoff, “Mayans M.C.,” the number of representation Latinos get is few and far between. However, Netflix makes up for this including many different shows focused on the Latino experience. 
Here is a quick guide to the shows both old and new that Netflix has to offer.

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
Limited Series / Serie Limitada / Episodes: 6

Following the trial for the murder of an eight-year-old boy by his mother and her boyfriend, this documentary questions how the system looks after children in terrible situations.
Though not the most fun viewing, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” looks at an important topic and isn’t afraid to shy away from the disturbing details.

Seasons: 1 / Episodes: 10

Running their family taco shop in Los Angeles, the Morales cousins must work together to save their shop from the gentrification going on in their neighborhood while also trying to accomplish their own goals and dreams.
With an almost unknown cast, “Gentefied” takes a look at something that many Latinos already deal with in real life in a light-hearted yet serious way.

The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia
Seasons: 1 / Episodes: 8

Graduating from MIT at the age of 15, Ashley Garcia, played by Paulina Chavez, moves in with an uncle in Pasadena for the opportunity to work for NASA. Created by former “Saved by the Bell” star Mario Lopez, “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia” provides a more family-friendly look at Latino life and provides a role model for all the young Latinas in the family.

On My Block
Seasons: 3 / Episodes: 28

A group of friends transition into their freshman year of high school as they deal with gang members, first loves and conspiracies about stolen money.
“On My Block” mixes drama and humor to provide an engaging and realistic tale of a group of teenagers trying to grow up when they know they may not make it out of their neighborhoods.

Narcos: México
Seasons: 2 / Episodes: 20

Changing locations from Colombia to Mexico, this “Narcos” spinoff takes a look at the rise of Felix Gallardo, played by Diego Luna, in the 1980s as he is chased by DEA agent Kiki Camarena, played by Michael Pena.“Narcos: Mexico” follows up on the success of its predecessor bringing a new story that connects to the current tensions between the United States and Mexico. 

The Circle: Brazil
Seasons: 1 / Episodes: 4

Going off of the same premise as both the British and American versions of “The Circle,” this Brazilian edition of the reality show makes people compete against one another only able to communicate with one another through an app called The Circle.
“The Circle: Brazil” takes the already-established concept of “The Circle” and gives it a Latino twist. If you already like the other versions, you will love this one as well.


Mardi Gras 2020 Parade Schedule

02/01 - Krewe of Chewbacchus..........................Marigny, 7:00pm

02/07 - Krewe of Boheme......................French Quarter, 7:00pm

02/08 - Krewe de Vieux...........................French Quarter, 6:30pm

02/08 - Krewe of Bilge............................................Slidell, 12:00pm

02/08 - Krewe of Poseidon......................................Slidell, 6:00pm

02/08 - krewedelusion............................French Quarter, 7:00pm

02/09 - ‘tit rex.........................................................Marigny, 4:30pm

02/09 - Krewe of Little Rascals.........................Metairie, 12:00pm

02/09 - Krewe of Perseus.........................................Slidell, 1:15pm

02/09 - Krewe of Slidellians.....................................Slidell, 1:00pm

02/09 - Krewe of Pearl River Lions Club.......Pearl River, 1:00pm

02/09 - Krewe of Nefertiti.................New Orleans East, 11:00am

02/14 - Krewe of Cork.............................French Quarter, 3:00pm

02/14 - Krewe of Cleopatra..................................Uptown, 6:00pm

02/14 - Krewe of Eve........................................Mandeville, 7:00pm

02/14 - Krewe of Excalibur..................................Metairie, 6:30pm

02/14 - Krewe of Oshun.......................................Uptown, 6:00pm

02/14 - Krewe of Alla.............................................Uptown, 7:00pm

02/14 to 02/16 - Family Gras..............................................Metairie

02/15 - Mardi Gras 5k................................Clearview Mall, 8:00am

02/15 - Magic Krewe of Mad Hatters................Metairie, 5:00pm

02/15 - Krewe of Centurions...............................Metairie, 6:00pm

02/15 - Krewe de Paws of Olde Towne...............Slidell, 10:00am

02/15 - Krewe of Choctaw....................................Uptown, 2:00pm

02/15 - Krewe of Freret.........................................Uptown, 3:00pm

02/15 - Krewe of Olympia................................Covington, 6:00pm

02/15 - Krewe of Tchefuncte.......................Madisonville, 1:00pm

02/15 - Krewe of Ponchartrain............................Uptown, 1:00pm

02/15 - Knight of Sparta........................................Uptown, 5:30pm

02/15 - Krewe of Pygmalion.................................Uptown, 6:15pm

02/15 - Mystic Knights of Adonis.................West Bank, 11:45am

02/15 - Krewe of Titans............................................Slidell, 6:30pm

02/15 - Knight of Nemesis...............................Chalmette, 1:00pm

02/16 - Mystic Krewe of Barkus.............French Quarter, 2:00pm

02/16 - Krewe of Atlas..........................................Metairie, 4:30pm

02/16 - Krewe of Kings.........................................Metairie, 5:30pm

02/16 - Krewe of King Arthur..............................Uptown, 1:00pm

02/16 - Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale...........Uptown, 11:00am

02/16 - Krewe of Carrollton...............................Uptown, 12:00pm

02/16 - Krewe of Dionysus.......................................Slidell, 1:00pm

02/16 - Krewe of Push Down.....................Abita Springs, 2:00pm

02/19 - Krewe of Nyx.............................................Uptown, 6:45pm

02/19 - Krewe of Druids........................................Uptown, 6:15pm

02/20 - Knights of Babylon...................................Uptown, 5:30pm

02/20 - Knights of Chaos......................................Uptown, 6:15pm

02/20 - Krewe of Muses........................................Uptown, 6:30pm

02/21 - Krewe of Hermes.....................................Uptown, 5:30pm

02/21 - Le Krewe d’Etat.........................................Uptown, 6:30pm

02/21 - Krewe of Morpheus.................................Uptown, 7:00pm

02/21 - Krewe of Bosom Buddies.......French Quarter, 11:30am

02/21 - Krewe of Selene...........................................Slidell, 6:30pm

02/22 - Krewe of Iris............................................Uptown, 11:00am

02/22 - Krewe of Tucks.......................................Uptown, 12:00pm

02/22 - Krewe of NOMTOC...........................West Bank, 10:45am

02/22 - Krewe of Endymion.................................Mid City, 4:15pm

02/22 - Krewe of Bush................................................Bush, 9:00am

02/22 - Krewe of Isis................................................Kenner, 6:00pm

02/23 - Krewe of Bacchus.....................................Uptown, 5:15pm

02/23 - Krewe of Mid City...................................Uptown, 11:45am

02/23 - Krewe of Okeanos..................................Uptown, 11:00am

02/23 - Krewe of Toth.........................................Uptown, 12:00pm

02/23 - Krewe of Athena......................................Metairie, 5:30pm

02/23 - Krewe of Pandora....................................Metairie, 6:30pm

02/24 - Krewe of Red Beans................................Marigny, 2:00pm

02/24 - Sub-Krewe Feijao.....................................Bywater, 2:00pm

02/24 - Dead Beans Parade.....................Bayou St. John, 2:00pm

02/24 - Krewe of Orpheus....................................Uptown, 6:00pm

02/24 - Krewe of Proteus......................................Uptown, 5:15pm

02/25 Mardi Gras Day

02/25 - Krewe of Argus.......................................Metairie, 10:00am

02/25 - Krewe of Elks Jeff ersonians.................Metairie, 11:00am

02/25 - Krewe of Jeff erson.................................Metairie, 11:30am

02/25 - Krewe of Zulu............................................Uptown, 8:00am

02/25 - Krewe of Rex...........................................Uptown, 10:00am

02/25 - Krewe of Elks Orleans...........................Uptown, 10:30am

02/25 - Krewe of Crescent City..........................Uptown, 11:00am

02/25 - Covington Lions Club........................Covington, 10:00am

02/25 - Krewe of Covington...........................Covington, 10:30am

02/25 - Krewe of Folsom........................................Folsom, 2:00pm

02/25 - Krewe of Chahta....................................Lacombe, 1:00pm

Hispanic Chamber Receives Grant

NEW ORLEANS - On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 11 a.m., Verizon presented a $100,000 grant to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL) in support of its various workforce and enrichment programs available in New Orleans and throughout the state.

While the Hispanic population of Louisiana continues to grow, it remains vastly underserved. The HCCL is taking a leadership role in making New Orleans and Louisiana a more inclusive community and state, one that is open to diversification. One of the HCCL‘s most important efforts to encourage this change is the expansion of its Bilingual Workforce Training and Business Development Program and the Financial Capacity Building Series. The Bilingual Workforce Training and Business Development Program (BWTDP) is the only web-based bilingual soft skills workforce training program in Louisiana. This center provides numerous services with personalized assistance in Spanish and English.

Verizon has joined forces with HCCL to help build programming focused on digital literacy, technology workforce development, and STEM education to prepare more people for meaningful careers in a digitized workforce. Verizon‘s vision is that such partnerships will help to reduce social disadvantages, increase economic equity for all, and offer opportunities for program participants to improve their financial lives and those of generations to come. For more information about the program, visit hccl.biz.

The Music of Cimafunk

The Music of Cimafunk

By Claudia Vallejo

Click aqui para español- >La Música de Cimafunk

Things in life must be taken slowly.” That’s what the first line of one of Cimafunk’s songs would translate to, a statement quite the opposite to the rapid rise of the musical career of this Cuban artist. He dances on stage with tremendous “tumbao”, spinning from side to side and moving his arms rhythmically. It seems he’s reminiscing the past with his flare pants, open-chested gold shirt and big sunglasses; yet his music is very much about the present, the people, the party, and even about a broth of beans or “El Potaje,” a Cuban staple that his most recent production is named after.


Billboard Magazine named Cimafunk one of 2019 Top Ten Best New Latin Artists. His career began less than two years ago, and he’s already debuted at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin and at the SummerStage Festival in New York’s Central Park. He has sold out concerts in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and several other cities throughout the United States, in Latin America and Europe. His name has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Miami Herald and numerous media outlets.


Cimafunk visited New Orleans for the second time to play at the music venue Tipitina’s.  A surprise performance took place during a press conference where local bands Tank and the Bangas and The Soul Rebels played along Cimafunk and ten music students from the Trombone Shorty Academy. The impromptu performance was a tease of an encounter between the artists that will take place during the Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba next January.

Viva Nola Magazine spoke to Cimafunk about the cultural ties between these two cities, about his album “El Potaje,” and about his dazzling career.

VIVA NOLA: There is a very special connection between New Orleans and Cuba...

Cimafunk: Totally! There is a very strong musical and cultural relationship. Overall, the music of both places is very spiritual, deep, and very much of the town’s folk, which connects us and it’s nice to be able to feed of each other.

In other articles, the press has named you “a bridge between Cuba and the United States.” Isn’t that a big responsibility?

I’m not really the bridge. There are many people who have been collaborating for some time between the two countries and bringing musicians from both places. There are people who are very committed to that mission and it’s because of them that I’m here. I’m just doing my part within my time doing what I love, bringing my music everywhere.

What is the real meaning behind the title of your single “El Potaje”?

You add water to a pot, add some chili, pepper, seasoning, and throw in some food: sweet potatoes, malanga, pumpkin... a piece of chicken.  You pressure cook it and once it is well done, you get El Potaje. It’s an analogy to those who took part in making the song.

In “El Potaje” you bring together great artists such as Omara Portuondo, Pancho Amat, La Orquesta Aragón and Chucho Valdés. It’s like grouping the old avant-garde with the modern...

But it is the most up-to-date avant-garde we have right now in the Cuban entertainment industry. We live by recycling what they invented. We are feeding off of them. It’s not the same thing writing a song that I’m going to sing on my own, than writing a song that Omara or Aragon will sing.  You have to think it through because their dialogue is very different; you have to think about the advice they would give you. It’s like the advice I’ve received from my mother and my grandmother who are from their same generations and who possess the same wisdom about life. [Collaborating with them] was a beautiful experience. It was a constant learning process. Getting Omara to the studio to record in an instant. Chucho, was also amazing; he recorded his piano solo in thirty seconds. Pancho Amat gave a master class in the studio. The Aragon, all the arrangements, they were key.

Cimafunk singing with Alejandro Sanz at Madison Square Garden; Cimafunk singing with Fito Paez, how were those experiences?

Those are magical experiences in life. And this whole year has been full of gifts. Fito started it all. He gave us such a boost when we were just getting started. With Alejandro, it was something very casual. He liked the project, he liked our music, and he asked us, “do you want to close with me at Madison Square Garden and then open two concerts in the Miami arena?”. We were super excited; we got to learn and enjoy a lot. After all, when you get to do those things, you realize that everything is going well, and you must thank life.

The name Cimafunk gives recognition to the Maroons (rebel slaves who escaped in search of freedom). Is that an analogy to the type of music you play?

In the end music explains the way you live, and who you are. Regarding the cimarrones, they were very important characters in the Afro-Cuban movement because they were living outside the barracks, they had escaped to live in the mountains, and they were creating a new culture, playing something different. They were slaves from different regions who mingled to live with a common enemy and with a culture of their own. That’s a fundamental of the Afro-Cuban culture because they were creating freedom. For me, Funk is very similar. Funk was a process of developing an expression and a detachment from things, it was a way of expressing what we like with a groove. With funk, I can express the things that fill my soul, so, in that sense, the two parts, the genres that influence my music are very similar.


Cimafunk is a phenomenon, but Erik Alejandro Iglesias Rodríguez, the former medical student from Pinar del Río, is a simple, quiet pinareño, who, like the guajiros in the provinces of Cuba, talks with leisure and goes without haste... “That fame thing, I still don’t focus too much on that. It makes me waste my time.”

Dia del los muertos Festival

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL) to celebrate annual Dia de los Muertos Festival


NEW ORLEANS (October 25, 2019)— The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana and its Hispanic Young Professionals Committee  will proudly present its Día de los Muertos Festival at the New Orleans Baby Cakes Stadium on Sunday, November 3rd,  from Noon to 6:00 pm. Hispanic integration has become essential to the economic and cultural vitality of our area. The Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life that originated in central and southern Mexico and dates back 3,000 years. The free festival will celebrate this cultural tradition and attract the local community to enjoy local food, music, kids’ activities, shopping from local vendors and much more.

The Lineup

The event will have an afternoon filled with top entertainment and family friendly activities for all ages. Talent includes jams to the tunes of DJ Emotion, the contagious rhythms of La Tran-K Band, modern dances by Ritmeaux Krewe and Viva mi Tierra Folklore, las rancheras with young prodigy Madison Guzman, interactive entertainment from Krewe de Mayahuel. Our featured closing act will be in charge of Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Future Famer, Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat and Louisiana’s fiddler, Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys.

The Food

Enjoy a gastronomic experience that will satisfy diverse and adventurous palates; including a variety of vendors such as Chilangos Seafood, Don Cruz Roasted Corn, La Cocina de Jose Antonio, La Michera Grill, Lucky Dogs, Los Jefes Grill, Sully’s Mangos, Lilly’s Pupuseria, and Lillie’s Cajun Kitchen.

Our Children’s Corner will be filled with art and crafts, face painting, spacewalk and free snacks including ice cream and snowball courtesy of CRC Global Solutions; popcorn and cotton candy courtesy of Bounce World.

Other activities will include an attractive marketplace with unique finds such as jewelry, pottery, art and more. Don’t forget to bring your Ofrenda, and honor your loved one at our authentic Altar. Lastly, dress to your best Dia de los Muertos attire and participate in our Costume Contest open to all. We will be awarding first, second and third in children’s and adult categories.

About the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana

The HCCL is a non-profit organization with a mission to foster the continued economic growth, development, and promotion of Hispanic businesses and their associations in the state of Louisiana.

Gretna Heritage Fest: Latino Village 2019

Viernes 9/27/2019







10:00pm ORO SOLIDO


Sabado 9/28/2019



12:30pm ROLO 37

1:15pm MUEVELO











Domingo 9/29/2019




1:15pm JULIO & CESAR






Direccion del evento 327 Huey P Long Ave, Gretna, LA 70053



New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2019

Thursday 4/25/2019

Rumba Buena

Acura Stage 11:20 AM - 12:20 PM


Papo y Son Madao

Jazz & Heritage Stage 4:50 PM - 5:45 PM


Dr. Nativo of Guatemala

Cultural Exchange Pavilion World Journey 3:20 PM -4:20 PM
             Jazz & Heritage Stage 6:05 PM - 6:55 PM


Friday 4/26/2019

Santiman and Garifuna Generation 

Cultural Exchange Pavilion World Journey 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM 


John Lawrence & Ven Pa’ Ca Flamenco Ensemble 

Lagniappe Stage 12:35 PM - 1:30 PM


Javier Gutierrez & VIVAZ! 

Cultural Exchange Pavilion World Journey 1:45 PM - 2:35 PM

Jazz & Heritage Stage 5:45 PM - 6:45 PM



Acura Stage 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Saturday 4/27/2019

Septeto Santiaguero of Cuba TBD


Javier Olondo and AsheSon

Cultural Exchange Pavillion World Journey 11:30 AM -12:20 PM

Jazz & Heritage Stage 3:35 PM- 4:25 PM


La Tran-K Band

LagniappeStage 5:40 PM - 6:30 PM 


Sunday April 28

J Balvin

Gentilly Stage 5:45 PM - 7:00 PM 


Thursday May 2

Julio y Cesar

Lagniappe Stage 2:15 PM - 3:20 PM 


Friday May 3

Grupo Sensación NOLA

Congo Square Stage 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM


The Iguanas

Acura Stage 11:20 AM - 12:20 PM


Patrice Fisher & Arpa

Lagniappe Stage 12:40 PM - 1:30 PM


Los Lobos

Blues Tent 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM


Saturday May 4

Tribu Baharu 

Cultural Exchange Pavillion 12:40 PM - 1:40 PM

Jazz Heritage Stage 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM


Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez

WWOZ Jazz Tent 4:20 PM - 5:10 PM



Congo Square 5:40 PM - 7:00 PM


Sunday May 5

Mariachi Jalisco

Folklife Stage in Louisiana Folklife Village 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Jazz & Heritage Stage 3:40 PM - 4:30 PM


Alexey Marti & Urban Minds

WWOZ Jazz Tent 1:30 PM - 2:20 PM


Tribu Baharu

Jazz & Heritage Stage 2:25 PM - 3:20 PM

Cultural Exchange Pavillion 4:40 PM - 5:45 PM


Treces del Sur

Lagniappe Stage 1:55 PM - 2:45 PM



More info click here ->JAZZFEST

Workforce Development Series at the New Orleans Public Library

Workforce Development Series at the New Orleans Public Library.

By AnaMaria Bech

Click aqui para español- >Serie de Desarrollo Laboral en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva Orleans

Despite the technological advances that for decades have threatened the demise of books and print, the importance of the library as an educational, recreational and community resource very much remains.

Beyond hosting books on various topics and offering a litany of information free of charge to the public, libraries hold an essential place in society.

The New Orleans Public Library has been working hard to become a relevant community resource that offers a variety of interesting programs for individuals of all ages. These efforts complement their vision of becoming catalysts of change in a growing, connected, and vibrant city.

Transforming lives, enriching neighborhoods, and preserving history continues to be the mission of the New Orleans Public Library, a system that has 15 locations throughout the city. In its varied agenda, one can find writing workshops, computer courses, story time, creative seminars, homework clubs, crafts sessions, and language conversation groups, among many other activities.

During each year’s first semester, the New Orleans Public Library offers its "Workforce Development Series": a free series with valuable resources for people in different stages of life who are looking for work or new work horizons.

The series is designed and directed by Jessica Rareshide, a Certified Personnel Consultant, and a credentialed Certified Staffing Professional. Ms. Rareshide has worked with various nationally recognized organizations.

Carlette Dennis of the Algiers Library believes that since its inception, the Workforce Development Series continues to be highly rewarding for both Rareshide and the New Orleans Public Library, and for the community. Ms. Dennis raves about how Ms. Rareshide presents her workshops and goes above and beyond to help attendees, stating that "[Ms. Rareshide] has valuable business knowledge and she handles development issues very well. Her knowledge is vast and remains valid."

In creating this series, Rareshide considered the needs of people at different stages of life and included topics for those looking to change careers, those who have been out of the workforce and who want to return after a long hiatus, and even for those trying to cope with retirement. For entrepreneurs, Rareshide created "Corporation of One", a popular workshop where she emphasizes the need to create and maintain a personal brand.

April Martin, the Adult Programs leader at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library adds, “the workshops address soft skills such as interviewing and confidence techniques along with more traditional job readiness training like resume building” in describing the successful Workforce Development Series where library patrons obtain the tools they need to present themselves to potential employers as prepared and qualified candidates.

The New Orleans Public Library invites New Orleans residents to visit their venues and discover all the programs offered throughout the city and to take advantage of the vast knowledge and expertise of Jessica Rareshide during the Workforce Development Series workshops.

Samuel J. Green Charter School

Samuel J. Green Charter School

Click aqui para español- >Samuel J. Green Charter School

Known as the “Jewel of Freret,” Samuel J. Green Charter School opened in 2005 as part of FirstLine Schools. Serving grades Pre-K - 8th, Green is working to provide more seats for children from all New Orleans backgrounds to learn together.

The mission of Samuel J. Green Charter School is to prepare 100% of students for college, careers, and a successful life. With a rigorous and creative curriculum, Green focuses on providing a strategic use of blended and personalized learning. This dedication to the individual needs of each student is why Green was recently recognized by the state as a top performer both in the city and statewide, with an “A” rating for student growth.

In addition to the academic curriculum, students at Green benefit from hands-on learning experiences daily through FirstLine’s nationally renowned gardening and culinary program, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans.

For more information, visit FirstLineSchools.org/Samuel-J-Green-Charter-School, call 504-304-3532 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Carnival Exchange Program

The Carnival Exchange Program

By Angela Hernandez

Click aqui para español- >Proyecto de intecambio Carnaval

When it comes to Mardi Gras, local dance group Dile Que Nola, likes to celebrate it “a lo Cubano.” For the past three years, the rueda de casino group has worked to bridge the gap between New Orleans and Cuba through The Carnival Exchange Project.

According to Dile Que Nola’s Executive Director Nicole Goldin, the Carnival Exchange Project was created to celebrate and educate the community on Cuban culture. The five-day festival is not only geared towards education through dance but also as a means of cultural exchange between Cubans and New Orleanians. At the end of the festival, attendees parade on Mardi Gras day as one krewe during the Zulu parade.

"The project was an idea of my friend Abril Baloney. She has a company called Diaspora Travel Experiences and she has been hosting intercultural exchanges with Cuba,” said Goldin. Baloney’s idea for the first year was to bring a school from Cuba that would teach the Cuban folkloric dances. In return, New Orleanians would travel to Cuba to share their culture.

Although The Carnival Exchange Project’s inaugural year was a success, the festival hit a snag in its second year due to immigration sanctions. This made it difficult to bring one of the Cuban instructors. Sponsors also backed out, causing a financial strain, but the initiative continues.

Now in its third year, Goldin is hoping to bring instructors from Cuba if they can find sponsorships, and she encourages business owners, organization leaders and individuals to consider one of their different sponsorship levels to make the exchange with Cuba happen. The Carnival Exchange Project is a 501(c)(3) organization and the sponsorships are tax deductible.

If she can’t secure sponsorships, Goldin is determined to continue with the project and her alternative plan is to bring in Cuban nationals who reside in the United States or neighboring countries. “Regardless, we are going to bring Cuban talent, but ideally we would to give people from Cuba an opportunity to leave the island and share their traditions and dance skills with us,” said Goldin.

During the festival, attendees can expect several dance workshops and dance socials with the unique opportunity to truly get to know and teach one another. Instructors have been carefully selected not just because of their dance level but also for their ability to foster a sense of community.

There will be a daily beginners’ track for attendees who have never taken a dance class before. In preparation for the parade's choreography, Goldin plans on releasing the video tutorials in mid-December for those who are coming from out of state. Locals will be able to join in the practices in town at a location to be determined.

Those who would like to participate in the Carnival Exchange Project can buy their passes on their website at thecarnivalexchangeproject.com. Passes range from a $20 party pass to a $200 full experience pass.

You can find sponsorship information on the website and contact Nicole Goldin, by emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2018 Azúcar Ball Press Release

2018 Azúcar Ball Press Release

The New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation (“NOHHF”) will host its annual fundraiser, theAzúcar Ball on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Hotel, located at 601 Loyola Avenue, in downtown New Orleans.  The theme for this year is Una Vez en Nueva Orleans (Once Upon a Time in New Orleans).Presented by Pan-American Life Insurance Group, the 2018 Azúcar Ball will start with a Patron Party at 7 p.m. followed by the Ball at 8 p.m., featuring the food from the best local restaurants, great Latin music and a silent auction of wonderful items.

Proceeds from the event provide scholarships to high-achieving high school Hispanic students in our community, who have demonstrated – through their academic record – the desire and ability to excel. Since the work and expense of this NOHHF fundraiser is put together by volunteers, almost every penny that is contributed (after the cost of the event) goes to scholarships for these outstanding young adults.

The NOHHF is a non-profit community organization that was founded in 1989 to cultivate and promote the Hispanic heritage of New Orleans and the Southern region. The Foundation provides talented Hispanic high school students with scholarships at some of the best private and parochial local schools participating in the NOHHF Scholarships Program.  The Foundation also grants one-year college scholarships to outstanding seniors from our local public high schools. Throughout the years, the NOHHF has awarded over 800 scholarships to high school students from our area.

President of the NOHHF Board of Directors is Ileana Suquet. Chairs of the 2018 Azúcar Ball Committee are Gracia-María Zaccaro and Rossana Bracho.  This year’s Gálvez Cup award will be presented to The Brennan Family.

Tickets and Sponsorships are available at www.501auctions.com/azucarball

For more information,  call 504-636-0107 or visit www.nohhf.org  

See attachment below.






Click aqui para español- >Día de Acción de Gracias

When it comes to celebrating holidays, there are many that translate well as they are universal holidays. And then, there are some that we adopt and make our own. Growing up in the United States I never realized that holidays such as Thanksgiving don’t exist in my parents’ countries. And yet my parents and grandparents came to this country and embraced this holiday for what it represents: The act of giving thanks and family.

For me, Thanksgiving means driving 5 hours to Houston to visit with my tios y primos. It means “estrenar” a new outfit even if all you are doing is chasing after your baby cousins or sitting in the living room chatting with your aunts. It’s the smell of pernil that’s been cooking for hours and trying to steal a spoonful of arroz con gandules when nobody is watching. Or finally, hearing my tio announce that the food is ready, but making sure that first we give thanks to God for all the good He has done for us.

And I can’t forget my second favorite part of the night, after eating, of course…we take pictures! Taking pictures can last over an hour as we make sure to take every group photo possible. First, the Hernandez and then the Posas, the Aranzazu and the Valladares. Now all the first cousins and now the new generation. It can be annoying, but at the same time my Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it.

Local TV personality and DJ Felipe Estrada never celebrated Thanksgiving before moving to the United States. In fact, the first time he celebrated the holiday was while visiting family in Orlando, Florida when he was 15 years-old. Although the holiday was strange to him, he remembers trying sweet potato pie for the first time and really liking it. “At first I didn’t get it, but the following year I ended up understanding the whole concept,” said Estrada. Since his first Thanksgiving, Estrada’s family continues to celebrate the holiday as a fusion of his two cultures, stating that at his table there is always a turkey and the Honduran stape, sopa de caracol (conch soup).

EatenPathNola’s Nicole Caridad Ralston had a different experience while growing up in South Florida with her Cuban family. From a very young age, Ralston loved to help her mother in the kitchen. “Our menu was very different. We always had a turkey, but we also had congri, yuca, platano, so it was a mix,” said Ralston. Even now the food blogger loves to cook and volunteers to prepare the turkey in a mojo, whether she is spending time with her family in Florida or with her husband’s family.

It also never occurred to me how my Thanksgiving experience differed from that of my non-Latino friends. I recently had a non-Latino friend tell me that she thought it was so odd how we dress so fancy or how we eat so late. Another friend told me that he was shocked because his family tends to be distant, but he was surprised at how his Latino friend’s family made him feel right at home. I couldn’t help but laugh at how true some of these observations are and how strange my Thanksgiving traditions might seem.

While Thanksgiving might not be a universal holiday and our traditions vary from person to person, one thing is for sure: Thanksgiving has a universal message, one that everyone can relate to regardless of the cultural barrier. As humans, sometimes we can get so wrapped-up in our daily lives that we forget to be grateful. In some ways I think this holiday is necessary to slow down for at least one day to recount the good things in our life…and if it comes with a side of pernil and arroz con gandules, why not?

Redefining Office Space

Redefining Office Space

By AnaMaría Bech

Click aqui para español->Redefiniendo la Oficina

The co-working movement surfaced in San Francisco in 2005 as an idea to combine the independence of freelancing with the community and structure of an office space. These co-working spaces emerged to offer flexible alternatives while helping foster a professional community for entrepreneurs seeking something beyond a café or the isolation of working from home.

The Shop is a comprehensive co-working development at the Contemporary Arts Center and it is designed to provide valuable business/cultural programming and services to tenants in addition to the features, amenities, membership packages, and benefits that form the cornerstones of a successful co-working space. “Many people enjoy having the flexibility to work by their own rules and vary their work environments, but what’s often missing from that is a sense of community,” says Pam Meyer, Community Director at The Shop at the CAC. “Current members regularly tell us that they’re more productive when they’re working around and able to connect with other creative, goal-oriented members."

According to one ResearchGate report, people who belong to co-working spaces report levels of thriving at an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. Research conducted by organizational psychologist Craig Knight concludes that “empowered offices” -- in which workers can choose their conditions -- can increase productivity on cognitive tasks by 25 percent or more. One of the top benefits that people identify in terms of value is the focus on having a community that provides networking opportunities, which in turn helps them grow their business.

Numerous members at The Shop have acquired new accounts, clients, financing, and more, due to their time spent working in the space. The need for a progressive workspace like this in New Orleans helped The Domain Companies drive the development of The Shop, which provides innovative design and competitive amenities like onsite car and bike parking; secure, 24/7 keyless access through a mobile app; a full kitchen with coffee and beer on draft; member events; local and company-focused discounts; and more.

For Matt Schwartz, Principal of The Domain Companies, this alternative works “extremely well” for New Orleans, adding that the main goal for The Shop was “to give locals and visitors a place to congregate, share ideas, and in turn, foster a creative, entrepreneurial community. New Orleans is open to that. It’s a creative city with a ton of opportunity, already full of great ideas that we can build on.”

The Shop is an innovative workspace. Located in the heart of the historic Contemporary Arts Center, The Shop features over 40,000 sf of award-winning, art-filled space curated to highlight local artists and designers, featuring both temporary and permanent installations; seven conference rooms equipped with the latest technology; private phone booths; and more. One of the more unique aspects of The Shop is the local, creative focus on the artwork and educational and cultural programming that connects members with what’s happening in New Orleans currently across the arts, business, local government, and more.

To learn more about The Shop at the CAC visit the website or schedule a tour: https://theshopcac.com.

The Bean Scene

The Bean Scene's Shift Toward Latin American Cuisine in New Orleans

By Rachel Strassel

Click aqui para español->Consumo de frijoles

There’s no denying South Louisiana’s love for beans. After all, what’s Monday without red beans and rice? The bean business in New Orleans dates back to the 1850s, according to Vince Hayward, fourth-generation owner and CEO of the popular Camellia Brand beans.

Many New Orleanians will attest that the red kidney bean is king, but in the 13 years since Hurricane Katrina, it’s garnered some stiff competition from two other varieties— pintos and black beans. The consumption of pintos and black beans has increased significantly in the Crescent City following Katrina. This is due in large part to the cultural influence of the Latino community who came here post-storm to help rebuild.

Along with an “all-hands on deck” attitude, they brought family recipes and a cuisine heavy in pinto beans (Spanish for “painted”) and black beans. Local food personality Poppy Tooker describes New Orleans as a “city of two beans” (the red bean and the pinto bean). She says the community has especially embraced the pinto bean’s versatility, flavor and place on the table.

“Since most people didn’t have functioning kitchens following the storm, food outlets became gathering spots,” Tooker says. “Because beans were widely available and economical, it was easy to make a large pot to share with family, friends and neighbors.”

 With a wide array of ingredients at Latino markets throughout the city, locals have taken Latin American flavors and incorporated them into traditional New Orleans cuisine, as well. “We have been introduced to ingredients that come along with that style of cuisine,” Tooker said. “You find the flavors of the Hispanic kitchen showing up in surprising ways throughout the city.”

As they were for decades before Hurricane Katrina and in the 13 years since, beans of all varieties continue to serve an important role in the history and culture of New Orleans cuisine, Hayward notes. Camellia Brand distributes 18 varieties of beans, peas and lentils.

“Whenever I’m wearing a shirt with the Camellia logo, people stop me to talk about beans, to share memories or stories about their family, and ask for secret recipes,” he said. “Regardless of who you are, where you came from or what your background is, beans are most likely a part of your culinary heritage.”

NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

By Angie Hernandez

Click aqui para español->NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

The New Orleans Salsa-Bachata Festival is back for its second year this coming August. What started as a small festival held in an Uptown dance studio has quickly turned into the largest dance event in the state of Louisiana. However, this wasn't an overnight process for the festival's founder and president, Rubia Garcia. Garcia began dancing in 2003. At the time, Garcia found herself between homes. It was through a friend's cousin that she discovered salsa dancing.

After her classes, Garcia would crash on her friend's couch. A journey which started by merely finding a place to stay quickly turned into a lifelong passion. Since then, Garcia has trained in the Dominican Republic, has become a dance instructor, and has traveled and performed at major dance festivals across the country. Not only was her dance career thriving, but the dance community in New Orleans was thriving as well. In 2005 all that came to halt because of Hurricane Katrina. "Everything I knew and loved about our community changed literally overnight.

There were no more classes. There were no more socials. No more performances and training. No dancers, period. Everything and everyone was gone," said Garcia.

During the aftermath of Katrina, Garcia discovered a new love and passion for New Orleans. "When I moved back from the Dominican Republic, I knew I wanted to become a teacher, to work with the youth of my community, and play a role in the rebirth of our dance community. I knew then, one day, this festival would happen."

Twelve years later, Garcia was finally able to produce the first major Latin dance festival in New Orleans. The three-day festival will take place at Le Meridien Hotel from August 3rd to August 6th. Over 10,000 square feet of ballroom space will be dedicated to salsa, bachata, and kizomba for over 20 hours of nightly social dancing throughout the weekend.

The festival will also provide for a learning experience by bringing international dance instructors who will be teaching over 60 hours of workshops, private instruction, and many fun challenges. Festival goers can choose different workshops such as salsa on 1 or on 2, Cha-cha, Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk, Samba, Ladies Styling and Latin fusion, among others.

As far as skill level, Garcia encourages everyone to attend! Most workshops will be offered in a variety of skill levels from beginner's basics to advanced performance-based workshops. Garcia adds, "my advice to first-time festival goers is to be as open, as flexible, and as fearless as possible."

Although New Orleans may fall behind in terms of a well-established Latin dance scenes when compared to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, Garcia is committed to putting New Orleans on the map. Garcia exclaims, "There are plenty of places that host these types of dance festivals. You can go to any major city in the world and find one. But in all the world, there is no place like New Orleans!"

Economic Development

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King Cake

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Tamales By Marcella Escarfuller Click aqui para español- >Tamales Aside from family, the one thing synonymous with the...

New Orleans Premier Multicultural Magazine