Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NYE: Salsa at the Century Ballroom

Click on the above image for more info and for tickets! Everybody have a fantastic and safe New Year's celebration!

More Ag News! (free farm ed!)

Another discovery today in the world of Washington State Agriculture: business resources for the Spanish-speaking farmer! The Washington State Department of Agriculture has produced a five-disc set of audio CDs - (10) 30-minute segments on business and financial planning, marketing, crop insurance, good farm practices, safe use of pesticides, food safety, alternative energy, and state and federal farm projects.

These were produced with assistance from Washington State University (previously known as Washington College of Agriculture, if I recall correctly!).

The set, called Risk Management Strategies for Farm Businesses: Information for Latino Farmers in Washington State, can be ordered FREE by contacting Patrice Barrentine at smallfarms@agr.wa.gov or by phone at (360) 902-2057. Also try Malaquias Flores, Latino outreach coordinator for the WSU Small Farms Project, at (866) 978-9165.

Bilingual Agriculture Education Program

OK - I just learned about a really cool program offered through Wenatchee Valley College. The Bilingual Agriculture Education Program offers a variety of courses for Spanish-speaking orchard employees, including an introduction to horticulture, advanced horitculture, IPM technician, farm management, and introduction of viticulture. Also offered are pesticide license and forklift certification workshops and other continued education.

About 700 students have gone through the program since it began 16 years ago!

What's more, Wenatchee Valley College has an agreement with Washington State University which enables students to put credits toward a Bachelor's degree. This is just a fantastic way for our state's Latinos to further their careers and their opportunities. Kudos to Wenatchee Valley College!

Our Favorite Client

Hola - just got an interesting bite from a prospective client. Turns out, his business already has Spanish-speaking staff in place to support his intended Hispanic marketing efforts. Kudos to you, Brent!

We're letting you in on a little secret here: If you'd like to attract Latino consumers, start by putting an infrastructure in place (customer-facing staff, printed materials such as contracts, phone IVRU, etc) *before* you place that ad in Spanish-language media or even display that Spanish-language poster.

Think about it: Nothing's more disappointing than thinking that you'll get the service you need, when really all the company had for you is a poster in the window.

Plaza Bank is one of those rare businesses in our area that was built on the premise of truly serving Latinos (versus simply attracting them). Of course, most companies weren't founded on this premise, but that doesn't exempt them from making their very best effort to provide high-touch support to Latinos they do attract.

>> If you have questions about what this means for your business, just give us a ring at 206-621-2185 or write info@conexion-marketing.com.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sí, Latinos are spending $$

We've been looking into the effects of the current economic downturn on Latinos statewide and Gigi came across this current Yakima Herald article. I like the title (and significance) of it: There's No Stopping the Shopping for Valley Latinos.

Take a read!

Neat coverage of Hispanic culture in The Seattle Times!

See recent article on Las Posadas, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and other traditions:

and this Quinceañera story, on yesterday's front page!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Images from Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe @ St. Mark's Cathedral

Above is my old friend Alfredo Feregrino, who gave a sermon at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish-language service at St. Mark's Cathedral up on Capitol Hill, December 14. He tells me that despite the inclement weather, there was great attendance at this first annual event and most of the performers showed up.

There was a group from Oaxaca that performed the Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feather, literally translated) and also La Banda Gozona.

So this was a service flavored with indigenous roots and unlike any other Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in Seattle!

And...apparently Alfredo and our friend from KCTS/V-Me, Tony Gomez, played some music together! Wish we could've been there!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Latinos migrating northward

Liz Jones at KUOW did an interesting story yesterday on Seattle-area day laborers and the impact that our current construction industry woes are having on that particular community.

Apparently, the growth attached to the Olympic Games in Vancouver BC is looking pretty appealing right about now to construction workers.

Check it out: Seattle Day Laborers Head to Canada.

The flip side of this story is that, because other areas of our economy are still stronger than those of neighboring and border states, we'll likely see some immigration.

Standing by to see if any of this actually happens ...

Education Alert!

copying & pasting this important opportunity:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a scholarship opportunity for "low income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science."


This is an on-going opportunity so if the January 12, 2009 deadline does not work for this year, this opportunity is likely to be repeated next year and it would appear from the description that disadvantaged students majoring in public health or science are preferred.

TRANSLATIONS: ¡muy importante!

I'll take this moment while I'm stuck in a Spokane, WA hotel to tell you why I know that translations are ¡pero, muy importante!

At Conexión Marketing, we do a lot of work with the Spanish language. In fact, nearly all the creative we're involved with is in Spanish, targeting the U.S. Hispanic market. We do our own original copywriting in Spanish, as well as translation management.

Many times, our clients come to us with a translation they've been provided by a third party. Sometimes these translations work just fine; other times they're just not good or (GASP!) clearly Internet-generated translations. (That's a definite NO-NO!) Sometimes the mistake isn't syntactical, but cultural.

So even just in the past couple of weeks, we've seen our share of big mistakes:
  • Credit card communications copy in which the legal disclaimer had inaccurate translation that would render the Client liable;
  • An interview screener that asked the wrong question in Spanish, based on cultural differences, and caused the "qualified" participants to become "unqualified," creating a last-minute scramble and additional cost to replace them;
  • And our favorite (those who know Spanish will see the humor in this one): a client who provided the translation for "fro" (as in "afro") as "vaivén." This term can refer to something that waves do in the ocean, for example. ?? We couldn't figure out this one until we did some research. The dictionary showed one definition of "vaivén" as "to and fro." Even non-Spanish speakers will see how very wrong this is, because the "translator" took the term "fro" completely out of context. It made absolutely no sense!

To top it off, the above examples are from brands you all know!

Of course, we scrutinize all copy, whether we've managed the translation job ourselves, or are provided with a translation the client would like us to work from. It's always included in our service.

We've found that it ends up costing the client less money, and certainly less time and trouble, to get a correct and culturally relevant translation in the first place.

Think about it: If you wanted some copy written for your website, would you just turn to the first person who happens to speak English to write that copy for you? Well, this is what we've seen over years and years in the business! Our clients suggest that they have someone on staff (not a writer, not a creative) who "speaks Spanish." Sometimes that person isn't even a native Speaker! Sometimes they have not formally studied the language, so while their conversational abilities are just fine, they are not qualified to write your copy.

That neighbor who's from south of the border, or that staff person who is a native speaker, may give you a really "good deal," but you must think of your translations as an investment. You don't want a "good deal," you want it done right.

The language you employ--be it in your advertising, on your website, on your voice greetings--reflects your very brand. Make sure it speaks to your audience the right way in every language you take on.

Lagging behind on posting...blaming travel & snow

Hi, all - sorry for the delay in getting new posts...posted. I'm stuck in Spokane on business (you should see this snow). So here are a couple of updates:

CASA Latina, our local social services agency specifically helping Latinos, is enjoying the last moments of its online auction offering everything from dining and Pilates to wine tasting and a behind-the-scenes tour of King 5. Please help them out: http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/123casa

Another CASA Latina benefit was originally scheduled for this evening - a jewelry sale courtesy of our friends at Cintli - but due to snow that might be rescheduled...

I'll be back again later today with more! Stay warm, dry and safe!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Las Posadas - any comments?

OK so I missed El Rey's Posadas event yesterday (thanks, snow) so if anyone reading attended, please comment on the event! Was it fun? Worthwhile? Specific comments are appreciated! Just post your comment here, or if you're feeling shy, you can email me directly at lauri@conexion-marketing.com.

Hope everyone stayed safe and warm this chilly weekend. Welcome back to the workweek!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seattle Central steps it up / El Rey Posadas event

What a terrific opportunity - now students can complete their GED in Spanish if they so choose, thanks to a new program at Seattle Central Community College!
Students enrolled in the GED classes will be required to enroll in ESL classes as well. English classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays (or in the mornings), and GED classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All classes run from 6:00p.m. – 8:20p.m. Classes cost $25 for the quarter (three months). For more information, visit the Basic & Transitional Studies office in Room 3122 or call us at 206-587-4180.

Help Seattle Central spread the word about this opportunity for more students to earn their GED and enjoy greater potential--for themselves, their careers, their families!

This Sunday 12-4 Seattle Central will be present at the Las Posadas event in White Center at Evolución (16th & Roxbury). Talk to them about this possibility! And enjoy our first annual El Rey Las Posadas--toys and games for all ages, live music, free food--what more could you want?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Take a read of a review on Yelp for the Seattle Pro Musica event, by our friend Valentina (a terrific photographer):


There is still a chance to see them at the Chapel at Bastyr University (14500 Juanita Drive NE, Bothell) this Saturday, December 13th.


Cool Celebration: Las Posadas

DID YOU KNOW about Las Posadas?

It's a nine-day celebration, beginning December 16 and ending December 24. It symbolizes the troubles Mary and Joseph endured trying to find a place to stay when traveling to Bethlehem. I believe its origins are in Puerto Rico, but you can correct me if it's practiced elsewhere.

During this event, children and adults (the pilgrims) go from house to house singing a traditional song and requesting lodging (posada). In each house, the owner responds with refusal (also in song), until they reach the designated site for the party, where the owner welcomes them.

Pilgrims carry small lit candles, the head of the procession will have a candle inside a paper lamp shade, or farolito. Pilgrims pray and sing traditional Christmas songs, a party for adults and children follows, including the traditional piñata.

Well, our local El Rey radio station is celebration Las Posadas this year--a first, this Sunday! If you want info on the event, please email me at lauri@conexion-marketing.com.

Our friends from Seattle Central Community College are helping sponsor the event. If anyone else is involved, feel free to comment here or shoot me an email--I'd love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This Sunday: Another Big Celebration

SPREAD THE WORD: Our Lady of Guadalupe will be celebrated in style at St. Mark's Cathedral this Sunday, starting at 3:30pm. For information please contact Alfredo Feregrino at aferegrino@aol.com.

Gates Foundation gives $70M to Hispanic education effort

Just sharing this terrific news from the Puget Sound Business Journal today:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it will give nearly $70 million in grants to aid Hispanic education efforts concentrating in New York City, New Mexico and California.

The Seattle-based foundation said the goal is to double the number of low-income students who earn a degree by age 26, or an increase of about 250,000 graduates each year.

“Hispanics continue to grow as a proportion of the labor force, and yet they are not getting the postsecondary degrees that will prepare them to excel in the modern economy. With these new grants, organizations will be able to help more young people get through college,” said Gil Conchas, senior program officer with the Gates Foundation, in a statement.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Seattle University is holding the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe this Wednesday, December 10th at 12:05 pm in the Chapel of St. Ignatius. If you haven't yet visited this amazing chapel on the SU campus, just off Madison and 12th, take the opportunity to celebrate this occasion while surrounded by natural elements and award-winning architecture.

In the Roman Catholic Church calendar, December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe which is also celebrated as a major religious holiday in Mexico. This date is the anniversary of the Mexican Indian Juan Diego's second encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill outside Mexico City in 1531. Resident Minister Maria Ochoa will share reflections on the readings for the feast in Spanish.

For details, please contact Campus Ministry: agila@seattleu.edu

Need to Relax? Need to Network, Too? CHECK THIS OUT!

Join Professional Women of Color Network for a Joint Women's Business Networking Spa Event! Not only will you hear from speakers and mentors, but a spa service is included in your registration! How's that for an excuse to get pampered?

Several organizations are getting together with Professional Women of Color Network to put this event on, including my personal fave, Women Business Owners.

> Where? Vida Spa Seattle
> When? This Wednesday, December 10, 6 pm - 9 pm
> How much? $75.00 includes 1 hr. Spa Treatment & Appetizers (Space Limited Per Group)

See http://www.pwocn.org/ for more info and to register!

Friday, December 5, 2008

THIS SUNDAY: Unique Concert!

This should be a great way to spend your Sunday evening -- a Seattle Pro Musica concert featuring Christmas music in Spanish as well as indigenous languages from Latin America.
Town Hall, Seattle
3pm Family Concert
7:30 Concert
If you're like me and enjoy cultural events, please join me in making this one a success!

Girl Scouts RULE

So yesterday was the Leadership Luncheon for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. It was a terrific event and very well-attended. I loved talking to the girls about their roles in the event: some sang, some spoke. They wore their sashes with pride!

The organization is clearly reaching out to a multicultural population of girls, as was illustrated by the video shown at the event as well as the scouts in attendance.

I was impressed by the Hispanic initiatives that this organization is committed to. María Alejandra Gómez is the Latina Program Coordinator, and she showed me all the stuff Girl Scouts are doing to meet the needs of Latino families in Western WA. Yes, they've got practically everything translated into Spanish, but it goes beyond that.

It's not just about recruiting Latina girls; it's a program that supports their success as Girl Scouts! María Alejandra has been actively seeking opportunities in the community to share the story--on local Univision 51, at the Latino Youth Summit in Olympia, at Mariners games.

In fact, they've increased Hispanic participation in troops in East King County by 26% this year!

If you would like to volunteer to help change the life of a girl, a troop, a community--call María Alejandra Gómez at 425-614-1126.

As an aside: Turns out, María Alejandra and I are both attending graduate programs at Seattle University, so perhaps I'll see her on campus one of these days! (Just 5 more days of school 'til end of quarter...)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

FREE EVENT: Local Writers Showcased

Our friends at House of Writers / Casa de Escritores invite you to participate in a literary and cultural event that will take place this Friday, Dec 5, from 6-9 p.m. at the Taqueria del Rio on 10230 16th Ave SW, White Center, WA. There you'll enjoy a variety of readings, music and food.
This is a FREE event for the community, so please spread the word! See the organization's blog for more on House of Writers / Casa de Escritores: http://houseofwriters.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Announcing another addition to the Conexión Marketing team!

A warm welcome to Mauricio Ayón, Development Director for Conexión Marketing. Mauricio's a well-connected guy who has joined our team to help us strategize our approach. You may know him from the King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce or other local organizations--Mauricio knows how to bring people together in great ways.

Of course there are a lot of businesses that we can provide value to with our Hispanic marketing, communications and research services, but with Mauricio's assistance we're focusing on specific industries that have yet to get into the business of truly serving Latinos--and in which these companies will see a tremendous ROI.

¡Bienvenido, Mauricio! Why don't you welcome Mauricio personally? Feel free to do so at mauricio@conexion-marketing.com.

p.s. I took this picture of him today at the delicious Salvadorean Bakery! mm mm good!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How U.S. Hispanics are celebrating Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all - I wanted to introduce you to a relatively new site called Mi Apogeo http://miapogeo.com/. No, it's not a Seattle-specific site, but it's a very cool interactive Latino community I thought you should know about. And it's in English, likely based on the fact that Latino youth in the U.S. are typically English-dominant and also that the majority of Hispanics online are somewhat bilingual and accustomed to English-language sites.

I was particularly interested to see submissions on Latinos and their Thanksgiving celebrations http://miapogeo.com/main/content/view/480/1051/. It's fun to see how people with different cultural backgrounds are managing to meld those into a very American celebration.

Check it out! And be it Turkey Day--or Ham 'n' Clove Day, or Tamale Day--enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, safely and happily!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome, Raul!

His name is Raul Villalobos, Jr., and he started recently as our marketing intern at Conexión Marketing. He's completing his bachelor's degree at the UW, and he's on the home stretch! He helps us with all kinds of stuff--today he's doing preliminary research on L.A. Hispanics and what percentage of that group travel by air and how they get to the airport.

Raul's family is from Peru, and both his parents are good cooks. He shared a description of a traditional dish with us that is definitely a detour from American cuisine.

I'll call it Shish-ka-hearts. The actual term for it is anticuchos. It's basically delicate fillets of heart, skewered. Raul says he doesn't like eating most organs that are typically eaten in Peru and other Latin American countries (is tongue an organ? he doesn't like that, either), but he does like him some anticuchos!

After the Peruvian cuisine conversation, Gigi took it upon herself to visit the Latin tienda at Pike Place Market to pick up some Inca Cola, originally from Peru. Of course, in Peru they use cane sugar to sweeten it; in the New Jersey production we learned high fructose corn syrup is substituted.

Smells like bubble gum, looks like Mountain Dew, tastes like heaven in a cup.

NAVIDAD: Christmas in the New World

We're working with Seattle Pro Música to help this choral ensemble promote its upcoming events, which are right up our alley!

Enjoy the lively rhythms of Latin America and Spain as Seattle Pro Musica presents NAVIDAD: Christmas in the New World. The concert features a majestic candlelight processional and captivating Baroque villancicos for voices, guitars, and percussion, blending indigenous music from Spain, Africa, and Latin America. The unique percussion for this vivacious music, ranging from log drums and rain sticks to river stones and deer antlers, is sure to be a highlight of our annual holiday concert. Seattle Pro Musica performs this joyful music from the Baroque era by composers from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia.

Also featured on these concerts are new works by contemporary Latin American composers from Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Aruba. Some of these new works incorporate fascinating vocal techniques, with singers imitating the sounds of the Amazonian jungle, Latin American folk instruments and vocal percussion. In addition to singing in Spanish, Seattle Pro Musica will also perform works in Quechua (the language of the Incas, still spoken in Ecuador today), Nahautal (the language of the Aztecs) and Papamiento (the language spoken in Aruba and Bonaire), and Hausa (one of the main languages of the African Sahel.

Performances also include a free pre-concert talk by conductor Karen P. Thomas one hour prior to all performances except Family Matinee. Learn more about the intriguing history of Latin American music, as well as the latest developments in choral music in Central and South America.

Sunday, December 7, 2008 3:00 pm & 7:30 pm
(Pre-Concert Lecture at 6:30 pm only)
Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle
Family Matinee at 3 pm. Music and fun at this shorter performance for children and families, which includes stories and a sing-along of favorite carols. Children twelve and under free with advance purchase.

Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:00 pm & 7:30 pm
(Pre-Concert Lectures at 2:00pm and 6:30 pm)
Chapel at Bastyr University, 14500 Juanita Drive NE, Bothell

General admission is $22. For more details, please see their site: http://www.seattlepromusica.org/

Please join us for a very special cultural celebration this holiday season!

Give to a child or elder through Seattle University

It's that time of year again! The Giving Tree – sponsored by the Seattle U Center for Service and Community Engagement – is a great way to help grant the holiday wish of a child or an elder in our community. They make it easy for us to step up and help.

Starting Tuesday, November 25th, please stop by the Seattle University Student Center Pavilion, Room 124, to take a tag from our tree and buy a gift for a child at Childhaven or Treehouse and/or an elder at Elderhealth Northwest.

Please return UNWRAPPED gifts with the tag attached by December 11th for delivery. If you have any questions, please contact David Henry, SJ at 206-296-2326 or henrytd@seattleu.edu. Thank you for helping them reach their goal of 100 gifts for the holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL - Ke Buena goes local!

THIS JUST IN: Jaime Méndez and Mario Rodriguez (aka Zuper Mario), both longtime on-air talent over at the former Radio Sol, have been snatched up by Bustos Media's Ke Buena station on 1210 AM. This marks the first local venture of Bustos Media in our market that I'm aware of, and I am glad to see they're stepping up to the challenge! For so long, these stations have delivered music--and audiences--but their true presence in our market was lacking. This will give their AM station a big boost.

So Jaime's beloved La Voz de Washington community program will resume on Ke Buena, M-F 3-4pm. Zuper Mario will bring back his show including music, entertainment and community interaction (including a unique brand of radio classifieds) from 4-8 each evening.

ON THAT NOTE: Rebecca Lambert of Bustos Media is looking to hire! They're looking for one or two new account executives to support what should be some serious interest from advertisers. Contact her if you'd like more info on this opportunity at rlambert@bustosmedia.com.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hispanic Focus Groups

Since we're busy with focus groups these days, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to share some tips for successful Hispanic focus groups. Please note that these tips are based on seeking more recent immigrants versus American-born or acculturated Latinos. There are definitely some differences in how you manage this group.

For example, when you're recruiting for the group, the screener should identify the qualified participant as Spanish-dominant. Many Latinos are bilingual, but immigrant Latinos will likely say they're more comfortable conversing in their native Spanish. These are likely your target (versus the more acculturated Latino who may be better integrated with the general market group or at the least involved in separate research).

We recommend that Hispanic focus groups are kept small--6-8 participants is usually ideal. Why? The Latino participants are generally more likely than the general market participants to "follow the leader" and allow one participant to dominate and influence the rest of the group. By keeping the group small, there's more opportunity for each to speak his/her mind.

Once your participants pass the screener and confirm attendance, you'll be wise to mention that they should make arrangements for their kids (as appropriate). So many times, I've moderated groups in which the participants show up with kids in tow. It's a shame, because they're perfectly qualified for the research, and yet now they're turned away because there are no accommodations for their kids. Better just say it up front.

This goes for guests, too. Oftentimes their spouse or friend who may have driven shows up and expects to stay. This is not recommended, and it's wise to make it clear as you confirm their appointment.

Sometimes it's been helpful to offer an additional cash bonus to the first to arrive, or to those who arrive before the actual start time, when possible. It's a definite incentive and compensates for any cultural differences in terms of how time is viewed!

Keep writing exercises to a minimum if possible. We just learned this one recently. Writing assignments can be difficult for people who are not accustomed to writing and impossible for those who may not have learned to read. The immigrant population can include both groups, so it's best to keep the conversation going. We found in our last experience that it works to provide participants with sheets to rank their favorites (to avoid the influence of others), but to limit it to check marks and numbers versus explanations, for efficiency's sake.
>>Please note that in no way am I making the assumption that foreign-born Latinos can't read/write! But when you're planning your research, it's helpful to understand that education isn't always accessible for those from other countries; they may have had to work at an early age, or help their parents, etc. Just a different culture than what most of us in the U.S. are familiar with.

Let me know if you have other suggestions for our readers (or for us!). We're always learning!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sandra Maqueda on El Rey

This morning I drove to work (unusual since it's just a walk down the street, but I had meetings in Redmond just a little later on). After paying the meter at 4th and Union, I bumped into the lovely Sandra Maqueda who just started at El Rey 1360 AM as the station's new community outreach director. She's also on-air 10-11 weekday mornings.

She was interviewing Latinos for breast care awareness and asked to interview me (in Spanish). I told her I wasn't a Latina, but she seemed OK with that. ;-) She did a brief interview and then moved on. Said she was really enjoying being downtown and that there are so many Hispanics for her to talk to down here.

I wish a few of our clients saw it that way! See, that's the unique thing about our market: Latinos are literally in every city--for example, did you know Issaquah, Mukilteo, and practically all of Seattle are seeing big growth in Hispanic populations?

We're off to moderate a Spanish-language focus group about the new nutritional information available soon at fast-food restaurants. This focus group is not taking place in Yakima, or the TriCities--but right here in Seattle.

Everyone listening?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jaime Méndez back on the radiowaves!

It's finally official--starting December 1st, Jaime Méndez will be making his debut on Ke Buena, where he's resuming his La Voz de Washington call-in show 3-4pm weekdays.

Jaime was a DJ with a longtime Radio Sol program until the recent makeover into El Rey, when several of the regulars were taken off the air. He continues as a newscaster on the local Univision affiliate KUNS Northwest news.

We're glad the local and very interactive show will have a place on the radiowaves once again. Following Jaime's show will be Zuper Mario, another unfortunate El Rey casualty. Glad to see you guys back in action!

Let me know if you have any questions about how to get on the air with Jaime or Zuper Mario.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Busy Bees, Off to Sacramento

Hola - we've been uber-busy around here the last few days, hence my lack of posts. We love our clients, but why is it that their requests seem to converge?!

Hope your work is keeping you busy and challenged, too!

I am still excited because at the American Marketing Association luncheon this past Wednesday my guest and I each won $50 gas cards--how cool is THAT? And gas prices are decreasing, so they're worth even MORE. ;-)

Speaking of fuel--we've got multiple travel dates coming up next week and into December: Hispanic focus group work in Yakima, Tri-Cities, possibly Spokane and--what do you know--even Seattle (travel there only involves the Metro).

But today I'm thinking about my trip to Sacramento, which will commence in just hours and last through Monday. Visiting my little sis and her family (younger son is turning 5!) and looking forward to that time with them. I've turned the boys on to V-Me, the Spanish-language public programming that is a great resource for parents who don't want their kids watching (sometimes unexpected trash), and they're hooked. Great programming for kids and adults, available in our market as well.

That's all I've got today. Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Toallas Higiénicas

Toallas higiénicas, compresas--call them what you will. I'm talking about Maxi Pads.

Why? NEWSFLASH: I just learned that in Latin America it may be customary for women to choose pads over tampons!

Why is this in my blog? Because we're talking about the Hispanic market, and what Latinos like and don't, and what traditions they or their families may bring from their homelands. Of course, this is all anecdotal, but it shows how makers of all things should do their research to understand the choices their target demographic is making, and why.

The anecdotal reasons given for the pad-over-tampon choice is that girls may be discouraged from using tampons because of more conservative and/or Catholic practices of Latin American society. Once these girls get started with pads, they may be hooked 'til menopause.

Another reason given is that tampons are a more expensive purchase in Latin America (and perhaps in the U.S. as well).

Here are some more thoughts, direct from our non-scientific, four-Latina, feminine-protection focus group straight from South America:
  • Depending where are you from, tampons might not even be marketed, or our mothers didn't know about them (it all depends on levels of education and buying power).
  • All four girls tried tampons but stopped using them because (1) it was uncomfortable and (2) they had read articles about all the chemicals companies use in manufacturing them.
  • You may wish to learn that here in the U.S., it takes a while to find the “right” pad. In Latin America there are no “long,” “regular,” etc.--one size fits everybody! Also, here it’s not that easy to find details about the type of pad (what are they made of, is the cover cotton or plastic?). Interesante.
A recent study published by Business Wire shows that the leading company in the 8-country Latin America market that was studied in 2006 was Procter & Gamble; the second-largest player was Kimberly-Clark; Johnson & Johnson took third place.

What this means to U.S. marketers is that these manufacturer's brands may already have clout among new Latina immigrants--so there's less of a barrier to acquire those consumers stateside. And, on the flip-side, it translates to additional challenges for the other brands looking to appeal to this segment.

Look for more feminine protection updates, coming your way. Or not.

Thanks, gals, for your insight.

Mission Accomplished!

It's a good day in Mrs. Bolano's Heritage Spanish class at a North Carolina high school--thanks to DonorsChoose.org and several nationwide who believed in her need for Spanish-to-Spanish dictionaries, her classroom is now equipped with the tools she needs!

I posted on this a while back; if any of my readers were among those to help out, ¡mil gracias!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Did you know that Seattle is home to Spain Association of the Pacific Northwest? Check it out: http://www.spainassociation.org/. This is a group of Spaniards who have chosen the Seattle area as their new home + the people who love them + the people who just love all things Spanish.

They periodically hold events that may be of interest to you. I personally cannot wait for the New Cinema from Spain Festival, right up the street at the Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. It will be held November 14th through 20th. In fact, on Saturday, November 15th, they are sponsoring a Gala event at which they'll show the Spanish movie "7 Billiard Tables". The event will start at 1pm and will end at 4pm. If you think you want to attend, go to their site and click on the Evite link! ¡Fácil!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attention SU Marketing 491 Students

I'm going to be teaching your Service Management & Marketing class this afternoon! And yes, I will make sure you know all about Hispanic marketing and its necessity, even right here in lil' ol' Seattle.

Here's a teaser of what I'll be sharing:
  • what makes service marketing a challenge
  • stories about some of the service-oriented brands we're working with and why they are successful with their strategies.
  • ways brands can grow their positive public perception, even in tough economic times
  • examples of how to market inside out for best customer retention
  • and much, much more!

You'll want to be there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Democracy Rules!

One of my neighbors is feeling like I am--proud to be an American!


The People Speak

The University of Washington worked with State Farm Insurance and tú Decides Newspaper to conduct a Hispanic market study at a recent event.

Here are some highlights:

  • When local Latinos were asked about the most important issues when it comes to choosing a president, they listed economy and jobs at the top.
  • As issues with greatest importance, the nation's economy, the state's economy and education led.
  • When asked about whether the situation for Hispanics in Washington State was better, worse, or about the same, males and females responded significantly differently. The majority of women found it about the same (56.5%) or worse (30.4%), whereas men responded that it was about the same (38.3%) or better (30%). In general, we could say that Hispanics feel their situation here is about the same. Note that there was no significant difference in how U.S. born versus foreign-born Hispanics responded.
  • Men were found to be generally much more confident about their financial situation than women, but in general Hispanics are only somewhat confident.

For more details on the study, visit the newspaper's bilingual site and look up the October 31, 2008 edition:

Monday, November 3, 2008

FOTOS: Seattle Center Day of the Dead Celebration


>>Sugar skulls on display, and a beautiful altar.
>>A wall of local messages created a skull design.
>>The tapete created out of sand was just gorgeous, as was this perfect Day of the Dead couple!

Friday, October 31, 2008

V-ME is all about Día de los Muertos!

So I've found your Washington State resource for all things Day of the Dead: V-Me, the Spanish-language public TV affiliate through KCTS. Heck, they've even got a recipt for Pan de Muertos! Yum.


PERSONAL NOTE: I am really excited because my Sacramento-based nephews are now tuned into V-Me and its fantastic kids' programming. Five-year-old Aaron exclaimed, "This is the BEST because it's in SPANISH!"

>>V-Me will be hosting live updates, interviews and policitical banter en español 4-10pm on Election Day 11/4.

Peruvian Shamans at Work on U.S. Presidential Candidates!

I try to stick to local stuff, but this was too good to pass up.

1) Shamans in Lima are working their magic to provide for a fair presidential election in the U.S.

2) They have predicted that Obama will emerge the victor.

see it for yourself:


Hi - just an update to the Global Partnerships Business of Hope Luncheon. Even in our less-than-ideal economy, 1200 people showed up at the fundraiser and between them and the sponsors, the organization raised $560K to help individuals start and expand their own businesses in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia.

Next up for Global Partnerships? Mexico and Ecuador. At Conexión Marketing we wish them all the best in spreading prosperity!

Article detailing the event: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008332042_opin31lance.html

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Día de los Muertos - MAÑANA

Tomorrow join our friend Antonio López at his wonderful shop, Aztlan Home Décor, just down from Pike Place Market. He's been importing beautiful artisan work from Mexico, and doing it in a way that directly benefits the artists themselves! This is a fabulous place to find that unique gift, or even a museum-quality piece. We shopped at Aztlan when we were decorating our office, and always get compliments!

It's going to be fun - enjoy Day of the Dead Bread (one of my faves) and tamales - and meet one of the coolest shop owners in town.

In Phinney Ridge??? No way, José!

When I think Phinney Ridge, I think of Red Mill Burger (where even the Garden Burger is delicioso), or Woodland Park Zoo. It's a terrific residential area.

But Phinney Ridge has a new face for me, now that they're putting on a celebration of Día de los Muertos! Friday, November 7, from 6:30 - 9:30pm, you can enjoy a procession, music, poetry--and of course, sugar skulls and chocolate caliente!

Check it out: http://www.phinneycenter.org/events/dayodead.shtml

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stealing a gem from my esteemed colleague....

I just received the best set of tips, from Beatriz Bonnet and our friends at Syntes Language Group in Denver, Colorado. I'm including an excerpt here.

When you're marketing to Hispanics, and considering translation:

Identify your audience. The US Hispanic population is extremely diverse and encompasses natives of all the Spanish-speaking countries plus part of the US-born first generation of Hispanics. It includes all races and socio-economic backgrounds as well as many different cultures and sub-cultures. Therefore, translating for a mass market audience requires a different approach than translating for a restricted, more easily identifiable audience.

If a construction company, for instance, hires only workers who are originally from Mexico, it is easy to tailor the translation of a safety manual just for them and write it in “Mexican Spanish.” On the other hand, if a consumer goods company, for example, is trying to reach the widest possible market and is advertising through mass media, then the most neutral Spanish possible is needed to appeal to all the Spanish speakers in the United States and, most important, in order not to offend any one constituency.

In addition, defining the audience in terms of demographics will help to determine the style used in the translation, as well as such factors as whether the formal you (usted) or the informal you (tú) should be used.

Thanks to Beatriz Bonnet for this fantastic introduction for anyone looking to appeal to Spanish speakers in the U.S.!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ATTN: Youth Leaders from the Latino Community

The City of Seattle is recruiting Latino youth for the Mayor's Youth Council. The MYC application deadline was a couple of weeks ago but there were no applications from Latino youth. Please help recommend Latino youth and/or encourage Latino youth to apply for this leadership opportunity. Applications will be accepted through this week.


WHO: Mayor's Youth Council (MYC) is comprised of twenty high school-aged youth between 15-19 years old who represent Seattle's thirteen neighborhood districts.

WHY: Mayor Nickels and other city leaders want youth input on neighborhood issues, city projects and policies.

WHAT: The Mayor's Youth Council has four main parts:
  • Gain skills and knowledge: Participate in ongoing trainings to build leadership skills and knowledge of civic engagement.
  • Youth voice: Discuss solutions to community issues and make recommendations to the Mayor.
  • Learn about city government: Hear from Mayor Greg Nickels, City of Seattle staff and department directors.
  • Organize youth events: Host the Mayor's Youth Town Hall and Youth Community Meetings to discuss important community issues impacting youth today.

WHEN AND WHERE: The MYC meets 2-3x per month on Thursdays from 4 pm - 6 pm downtown at Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, between James Street and Cherry Street) October through May. Special events will be held at various places throughout the city.

COMMITMENT AND EXPECTATIONS: Council members are expected to attend all meetings, events and a mandatory one-day retreat on Saturday, October 25th 10 am - 6 pm. Missing more than two meetings/events may result in removal from the Mayor's Youth Council. In addition to meetings, members will be expected to dedicate an average of 10 hours per month to projects.

For more info:
Patricia Lopez 206-684-0464
City of Seattle
Department of Neighborhoods
"Connecting people, communities, and government."

Scholar Recognition: Rebecca Nelson

Well this is cool - Rebecca Nelson, a senior at Auburn High School, was selected as a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar!

She was among 5,000 students selected out of a pool of more than 200,000 Hispanic/Latino high school students who did well on standardized tests as well as held a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

The National Hispanic Recognition Program was founded in 1983 to recognize students like Rebecca and to share information about these motivated, talented students with colleges and universities.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat Photo Charity

Come visit Venezuelan Valentina Vitols (say that three times fast) and her new SODO studio. She's hosting an afternoon of coffee and Macrina treats for grown-ups, and photo playdates for the kids.

Where? 1943 1st Ave S, Suite 2D in Seattle (98134).

$15 donations will benefit the kids at Broadview Emergency Shelter.

More info: http://www.solid-ground.org/

RSVP: studio@valenvitols.com or (770) 329-7872

Day of the Dead at Tacoma Art Museum

Centro Latino has been working with Tacoma Art Museum to produce a stunning Day of the Dead event, four years running. This year's tapete (a large sand mural) contains 2,000 pounds of sand, and local celebrated artists and volunteers worked together to create a temporary work of art.


What's super-cool about this link is that, at the bottom of the page, you can watch last year's tapete in its process of creation. It's an amazing tradition and I invite you to take a look, and visit Tacoma Art Museum this coming weekend! The celebration ends with a celebration from noon to 6pm on Sunday, with traditional music, dance and food.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All this talk about Day of the Dead this month, and my thoughts keep returning to my stepsister April.

April Carlson was a beautiful woman with a smile everyone remembers. She and I went to Vancouver BC together, to INXS and U2 shows, dined at Capitol Hill restaurants, and went dancing. We texted every day and spent hours on the phone. She was a great friend to me.

The last thing April did on October 15, 2006—before calling family because she had trouble breathing—was clean her bathtub. We know she was using Drano. It’s possible that it mixed with another cleaner used either by her or the building maintenance staff, or simply that ventilation wasn’t sufficient.

I asked my doctor about this, and he mentioned being aware of multiple cases in which patients had died after mixing cleaning agents. Common examples he gave were combining bleach with vinegar, ammonia, or cat urine (in the case of cleaning out a litter box). All three combinations can produce a deadly gas.

While we’re not certain this caused April’s death, I’ve since shared this important information with a lot of people and most of the time the response is surprise. That tells me that more people need to hear this message.

So >>
· Read household cleaning product instructions.
· Do not mix your cleaners!
· Keep rooms ventilated when cleaning.
· And if you’re ever feeling faint, or your throat and nostrils begin to burn, pick up the phone and dial 911 immediately.

April was just 37 when she passed away. I’ll remember her fantastic sense of humor and her love of Ireland, mystery novels, bread pudding and British actors. And I’ll never forget the special way she had of making me feel great.

When I got my first client at Conexión Marketing, she was the one who enthused, “We need to celebrate!”

And we did.

The AFrican ConeXion 09

I'm spelling it the way they spell it! The AFrican ConeXion 09 is a local performance group that is auditioning for its bilingual performance of Callejón next Tuesday, October 28th. For details: http://tpsonline.org/auditions/auddb.php?Aud_ID=19113

Rose Cano and team are also unveiling 09 plans at an event starting 11 am this Sunday, October 26th at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, where you can see videos of their projects and give input into future endeavors for the group. Coffee and pastries will be served.

This group was awarded the Large Projects Grant from the Department of Neighborhoods - pretty cool. I'm looking forward to seeing the production of Callejón next June!

Local Spanish-Language Literature Group!

Did you know there's a growing business right in in Pioneer Square that's devoted to the Spanish language and literature?

Maria Victoria and Paula Taylor co-own House of Writers / Casa de Escritores, a thriving literary hub (casa) committed to the use and enjoyment of the Spanish language through literature.

Check out www.houseofwriters.com to learn about their literature and creative writing workshops and other opportunities.

  • Spanish literary workshops
  • Spanish writing workshops
  • Spanish as a Second Language Classes
  • Spanish Classes for Heritage Students
  • Editing and Translation of literary material
  • Literary trips

And for current info about what House of Writers / Casa de Escritores is up to, subscribe to their blog: http://houseofwriters.blogspot.com.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I want to tell you about a Seattle woman named Sandy Kemper because I think her cause is outstanding.

Her organization is called SMILES FOREVER, and it's devoted to helping elevate the people of Bolivia in three ways:

1) by training indigenous women as dental hygenists, they are able to sustain themselves and their families,

2) increase access to preventative dental care, which is rare in Bolivia and much of South America, and

3) elevate entire communities, by getting individuals out of poverty who then inspire others.

Sandy's hosting the 7th Annual Live and Silent Auction Dinner, called Dancing with the Latin Stars, and featuring terrific Brazilian musician/dancers. Penny LeGate is MCing.

It's on Saturday, November 1st at the Edgewater Inn starting at 6:00pm and costs $70.
Please please please consider a night out to help this amazing work Sandy and her team are doing!

You can purchase tickets on-site or contact Sandy directly:
sandykemper@comcast.net or 206-719-7163

The site is http://www.smilesforever.org/ but it's a work in progress and there are no ticket sales for this event through the site.

If you can't attend the event, please consider donating directly to Smiles Forever.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 30 - Latin Career Expo

LATIN CAREER EXPO: an event coming up next week that targets Latino/bilingual job-seekers! According to a Puget Sound Business Journal update I just received, our state's unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent in September from August’s 6.0 percent level.

But somehow it doesn't feel like it! This event is just what Latino job-seekers are looking for.

Thursday, October 30, 2008
1:00pm - 6:00pm
Everett Community College

If you go, please post a comment describing your experience!


We're just one week away from the Business of Hope Luncheon, an annual fundraiser for Global Partnerships, only our very favorite local microcredit organization!

Check it out: www.globalpartnerships.org

They're busy in countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia, helping women start their own businesses, become self-sufficient, support their families and communities, and achieve their dreams through microloans. It's a proven system and has amazing results! At each annual luncheon, we get to meet another microcredit recipient whose life has changed thanks to the good works of Global Partnerships.

I urge you to check out this organization and join the luncheon Tuesday, Oct 28 at 11:30 at the Westin.

Monday, October 20, 2008

29 DAYS LEFT to help Heritage Spanish program

This is a special cause. While it's not local, I think it's an important one. I invite you to take a look at http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=189127 and see if you agree.

You see, there are approximately 44 million Latinos in the States, but not all of them are truly fluent in their families' language. And it's a popular misconception that Latinos who can carry on a conversation in Spanish can also write well in the language. Many Latinos who grew up here didn't actually study Spanish in school; instead, they picked up colloquial material at home with los papás. That works great in conversational settings, but if these Latinos are hired as bilingual employees, they may lack when it comes to reading/writing the language.

This teacher needs just $155 left, within the next month, to reach her goal of distributing dictionaries for her Heritage Spanish students. Every little bit counts!

>>If you agree this is a neat way to help, please forward this post to others you think might want to reach out.

Neighborhood Gallery is moving ;-(

Conexión Marketing is mourning, because the artist who created the beautiful painting that hangs in our office (and from which we created last year's holiday card) is closing his Capitol Hill gallery and consolidating in San Francisco. Warren Knapp Gallery has lived on my street for years, and I'm going to miss peering in at the artwork on my way to Bauhaus for coffee.

SILVER LINING: There's a sale! A tremendous sale, actually, on all the original paintings at this location! Today, tomorrow and Thursday from 6-9pm stop by 1530 Melrose Avenue for amazing savings on Warren's great pieces. For example, you can get a 48"x 60" painting for just $250! Check out his site for examples of what's in store: http://www.warrenknapp.com/.

Adiós, Warren. You'll be missed!

POSITION AVAILABLE: Bilingual Account Manager

There's a fabulous opportunity for someone with unique qualifications, including bilingual ability (English/Spanish) and agency experience. See below for more info from the recruiter.

Our rapidly growing client, in the mobile marketing arena, is
looking for an account manager who is willing to make a
significant contribution to the company’s success and is
passionate about mobile marketing! Is that you? If so, read on.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Act as the primary point of contact for clients
• MUST speak Spanish fluently
• Responsible for the planning, execution, cultivation, and
monitoring of client accounts
• Train and familiarize client sales team on the benefits of
mobile marketing and introduce new features and
functionalities to programming and promotions
• Provide new clients with initial (1) one day on-site training
and system familiarization
• Responsible for the creation of new client-specific
template examples
• Develop and review with each client a
Promotions/Campaign Calendar
• Ensure that campaigns are matched effectively with client
• Business development activities include: identifying
potential decision makers, identifying cross-selling and
contract renewal opportunities, and conducting client
• Manage and maintain new campaigns for our clients and
ensure a high level of effectiveness for the advertising
being served
• Develop effective working relationship with clients to
educate their customers about mobile marketing
• Use data to proactively work with existing clients to
improve user expertise and effectiveness on the
client's solutions
• Maintain client records in the online management tool
“Project Tracker”
• Manage daily/weekly client support calls and calls and
produce sales reports
• Monitor the client’s system to determine audience
feedback and make adjustments as needed.
• Conduct separate follow-up on-site visits to stimulate
utility of service and brain storm client specific
• As requested, compose creative ideas/concepts for the
client to help them incorporate text into sales,
programming and promotions
• Schedule and conduct a second one day onsite training
and system familiarization within 60 days of the first on
site visit (advanced session)

Education and/or Experience Requirements:
• Bachelor's degree, preferably in Business Administration,
Marketing or Communications
• Minimum (2) years experience in broadcast programming,
promotions, or sales
• Bilingual in English and Spanish, verbal and written
• Excellent computer skills, including MS Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, Explorer, Outlook
• Ability to utilize technology tools available such as email,
telephone, seminars, webinars, conference calls, instant
messenger, etc.

Competencies and Skill Requirements:
• Exceptional oral and written communication and strong
presentation skills
• Able to communicate ideas well and connect business
needs to solutions
• Able to question and listen to coworkers and clients for
the purpose of gaining understanding
• Able to organize and manage both information and time
• Professional vocal skills: courteous, well spoken, pleasing
vocal tone, and polished in asking questions and sharing
• Competent in multi-tasking
• Enthusiastic, confident professional, and creative problem
• Understands margin, profitability and basic sales concepts

Working Conditions:
The work environment characteristics described here are
representative of those an employee encounters while
performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with
disabilities or special needs to perform the essential functions.
• All employees must be aware of adhere to the Company
safety standards and procedures.
• Travel 25%
• Based on sales cycle to meet targeted goals, position
requires flexibility for extensive hours on occasion
• Fast-paced and empowered environment. Requires
passion and commitment to developing leading edge
technology, working hard and having fun in a dynamic,
ever-changing environment.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact
Lori Roberts at YER: 425.943.6132 or loriroberts@yer.com

You say "pantalones," I say "pantelones" ...

Yeah, another typo has reared its ugly head on my blog. Those of you who know me personally realize how mortifying this is for me.

Good thing I have sharp readers who alert me to all my mistakes. Gracias a todos.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Support Nicaraguan Artisans and Get 25% Off!

OK, I'm promoting not only the good that my university, Seattle U, does for people in countries like Nicaragua, but also a fantastic opportunity to save 25% on your purchase of a unique, handmade pottery item. They're on display right now at the Seattle U Bookstore, on campus.

Seattle U has been partnering with the University of Central America to import fine artisan products. That partnership helps provide microloans and business training to the participating Nicaraguan artisans. Orders placed for these products are coordinated by Nitlapan without any governmental or corporate intermediary – when you purchase these you are essentially dealing directly with the artisan.
>>Nicaraguan artisan products make great gifts in the spirit of compassion.
For more info on what's available and details on the program, see:

Day of the Dead Preview

OK - this it NOT an official Day of the Dead event! And certainly not an official translation (which instead of reading "Day of the Dead [Ones]" reads "Day of Death" but with an atrocious grammatical error. Whoops! And who is DJ King of Pants? ¿El Rey de los Pantelones? Oh, dear!

But this image DID get your attention, ¿no?

In real Day of the Dead news - Seattle's official celebration takes place November 1-2 down at the Seattle Center. Altars, sugar skulls, y mucho más! For more info please visit http://www.tallermexicano.org/.

Typically there's a counterpart celebration down south, in Tacoma. When I hear more about that one, I'll post.

Last year we celebrated with a special party at Conexión Marketing offices downtown, which attracted way more people than we could fit (thank goodness for the hallway, which made for a scalable party)! Good times. This year I'm heading over to others' parties instead.

I like celebrating Day of the Dead instead of Halloween because there are no costumes involved...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Off to Eastern WA

Hello, All - I'm off to Eastern Washington this weekend. Spokane, to be specific.

There are lots of people right now thinking, "Ah, so devoted to her work!" You know, because Eastern Washington in itself is a Hispanic market.

Not so fast. Yes, there are several very concentrated groups of Latinos throughout Eastern WA - namely in Yakima and the Tri-Cities - but Spokane is like an oasis in that landscape. It's very white. Or as they say in Censusese, "white non-Hispanic."

Also, this might be an opportune time to point out that there are actually MORE LATINOS IN WESTERN WA than east of the mountains. This is true! The difference is, they're less concentrated, more integrated in the Puget Sound region.

For example, Census figures from 2006 show 285,600 Hispanics (with buying power of $3.7 Billion) in the Seattle-Tacoma market. At the same time, they show 168,000 (with buying power of $2.3 Billion) for the Yakima-Tricities market. While we know the Census doesn't get a complete count, not here nor in eastern Washington, we have enough evidence to say that the Puget Sound Hispanic market is simply bigger,

This might also be a good time to mention that the markets east vs. west are entirely different. As examples, generally Latinos in the Seattle area are better educated, have smaller households, and be more likely to be bilingual. They are also more likely to be from South America or Spain their their east-of-the-mountains counterparts, who are mostly Mexican, with some Central Americans.
We'll talk about Central WA some other time.
Enough preaching! Enjoy the weekend. The CASA Latina Gala. The Latino Entrepreneur Fair. The Two Vaults Gallery exhibit. etc. etc.
Or maybe just a nice relaxing weekend at home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hipsanic (sic)

OK, OK - I would call myself an expert proofer (in fact, I'm considered a professional because people pay me to do it!), but I must confess that I just sent out an email to fellow professionals with the typo "Hipsanic." Nice.

And that made me wonder: Have I made that same mistake here? This is one of those commonly made typos for me, like wiht, or form.

If so - past or future - please excuse my human-ness. lj

Monday, October 13, 2008

En español - Entrepreneur Fair this Sunday

Sunday, October 19 -- Washington CASH is putting on an entrepreneur fair at Renton Technical College, from 12-4. This event targets Spanish-speaking immigrants who have started their own businesses or are looking into becoming business owners. There will be workshops to focus on relevant topics of business: finance, accounting, legal, marketing, real estate, etc. Several groups are participating in this, including Community Capital Development, SBA and SCORE, and Plaza Bank. And - organizers say they're serving up not only food but also entertainment! How can you refuse? For more info: http://www.washingtoncash.org/.

Latino Community Fund Summit coming October 25th

Thought I'd pass this one along, since this organization invests in the well-being of Washington State Latinos. You won't want to miss this opportunity to participate and work across sectors (business, academic, government and non-profit) to strength the Latino/Hispanic community leadership.

The Latino Community Fund (LCF) in partnership with WA State Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) and the University of Washington College of Education invite you to the 2008 Latino Community Fund Summit Working across sectors (business, academic, government and non-profit) to strengthen community leadership

Saturday October 25th, 2008 8:00 am to 2:30 pm

Spirit of Washington Event Center
233 Burnet Ave. S
Renton, WA 98055

Breakfast and lunch included!

**The Latino Community Fund is a Public Foundation created by Latinos to invest in the well being of Latinos in Washington State.

Details and registration at www.latinocommunityfund.org/summit08

ARTE: Chanda Castillo

Two Vaults Gallery in Tacoma is featuring a Day of the Dead exhibit, including local artist Chanda Castillo who we just LOVE. (The above art is also a Chanda piece, although not part of this particular show.) The exhibit opens this Thursday, October 16 and runs through month and into November. There is an opening reception this Thursday in conjunction with the Artwalk, which will include wine and apps.

I invite all to make the trek to Tacoma! Visit http://www.twovaults.com/ for more information about the show; see http://www.twovaults.com/artists/castillo/castillo.htm for a sampling of Chanda's amazing creations that will be featured in this special show!

From ink 'n' paper to online = Colors NW

Happy Monday, all. ColorsNW, the local multicultural magazine that ran for years, is no longer a hard-copy rag, but has stepped up its website for more complete, up-to-date coverage of multicultural stories in Seattle and beyond. Check out their site; this link in particular is for a story regarding Alcatraz Mexican Restaurant in Rainier Valley, whose owner is a 23-year-old! http://colorsnw.com/colors/2008/09/19/taste-buds-alcatraz-neighborhood-mexican/

I've always enjoyed the articles in ColorsNW and was really sad to hear this summer that they were discontinuing their quality printed magazine, so I'll be watching this site and its content. Please comment on it, too, anytime!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Univision Upfronts

Last Thursday evening I enjoyed the Univision Upfronts at Fisher Plaza, with our hosts the KUNS sales team: Rich Roberge, Violeta Alano, Teresa Jones and Harold Avelar. It was a lovely event and great people there, but I think it may have been overshadowed by last year's grand Launch Party.

Turns out, I was in Spain at the time, right after the network affiliate launched here in Seattle, and just before its weeknight newscast went local. Apparently I missed THE party--big crowd, dancing, a real party. This time it was much more subdued, say those who attended both. We heard from a band I think was called New Age Flamenco, a guitar-strumming duo that were really terrific (especially enjoyed Hotel California). What was a little surprising was the music between sets was....(drumroll)...Gypsy Kings! Yes, the band from France. A decades-old recording. ¿Cómo? We have sooo much wonderful talent (and/or Grammy winners and/or club favorites) on the Latin music scene; I wondered why none of those were selected.

But all in all the event was wonderful; I met some new folks, a nice mix, whom I will be contacting (some have already followed up with me -- ¡gracias!). Saw many familiar faces, too; people who have been around and continue to be an integral part of this community. Newscaster Jaime Mendez wasn't there (bad back), but it was great seeing the sales team out of their regular environment and they are some cool people. Everyone was introduced to the Fisher executives, and to the coming seasonal programming on 51 over-the-air (for me, stuck with Millenium-turned-Broadstripe Cable, KUNS airs on Channel 16). In the national portion of the video we saw, they tried to tell us that novelas weren't just soap operas, they were adventure! Love! Exotic places!

Guess I'll have to tune in to more than Jaime's newscast.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Media Updates!

I failed to mention another interesting update in Washington state Hispanic media, which was just announced in the current issue of Tú Decides, the bilingual newspaper that earlier this year made its way over the mountains to Western WA.

Several big-name businesspeople have invested in the paper. They are:
  • Edgar Martinez, CEO of Branded Solutions by Edgar Martinez.
  • Dr. Pedro Celis, Distinguished Engineer and CTO in the SQL Server group at Microsoft
  • Frank Armijo, Program Director and General Manager for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services
  • Diehl R. Rettig, Senior Partner of the law firm Rettig, Osborne, Forgette, O’Donnell, Iller & Adamson LLP
  • Michael E. Sotelo, President of Approach Management Services (Approach) and W.G. Clark Construction Co. and Chairman of the Washington State Association of Hispanic Chambers
  • William N. Lampson, President of Neil F. Lampson, Inc., one of the largest crane and heavy rigging organizations in the United States
  • Todd Halterman, President & CEO of Pacific Crest Planning, Inc., a financial planning firm
  • Craig Gaylord, founder and owner of Fiesta Foods in Eastern Washington.
  • Dr. Robert Rettig, founder of Back to Basics Chiropractic in Kennewick
  • Fran Forgette, partner in the Tri-City law firm of Rettig Osborne Forgette, LLP
  • Albert Torres, founder and CEO/Publisher of Tú Decides Media, Inc.
  • Blanca Torres, founder of Tú Decides Media, Inc. and President/CEO of EXPO NW LLC
  • Ismael Campos, founder and Vice-Chairman of tú Decides Media, Inc.
  • Gracie Campos, founder of tú Decides Media, Inc. and Vice-President of EXPO NW LLC
So it appears that this relatively new publication is stronger than ever. What impressed me was the involvement of non-Latinos in the future of Tú Decides.

The company's deal with The Seattle Times, to include Tú Decides in Times issues going to Newspapers in Education, should take effect in the coming months.

More to come...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Media Updates

OK, so we've shared about Radio Sol, ahem, EL REY. It's generally the same format but a new name/new management/new DJ. Tune in to 1360AM.

The latest at El Rey is that longtime Radio Sol sales guy Edgar Solares has moved to El Mundo, our area's oldest respected Spanish-language newspaper out of Wenatchee, which serves western and central WA. So for all your western Washington El Mundo ad deals call Edgar! He's a great guy and really takes care of his clients.

(And for your El Rey advertising we urge you to call Greg Kronlund, who has loyally served us at Conexión Marketing.)

>>Or just call us, and we can direct you to the best in the biz and help you with your creative as well!


  • Onfe has changed its name. We think it's now Onfe Home Loans.
  • Onfe Foundation is the new non-profit created by the same Onfe team. Mission: Development of financial education and information to creating sustainable prosperity and strengthening of America through both local community events targeting families and individuals as well as small business entrepreneurs. (as it appears on their website) Oh and longtime local musician (think: Bochinche) Eddie Quintero serves on the Board.
  • Onfe Founder and President Gustavo Montoya has purchased El Mundo newspaper from Jim Tiffany and Carlos Rossetti.


OK, we are aware of possible changes a-brewin' at Bustos Media, but nothing's official yet. Stay tuned...

POR FIN: Latino Expo

I say "por fin" (finally) because the event took place this past Sunday, but I'm just now getting to this post. Ah, the life of a socialite....I mean student.
I also say "por fin" because it's about time the Seattle area has an event of this scale that's dedicated to professionals.

The Latino Expo (aka the Latino Consumer, Business and Career Expo) at Meydenbauer Center was a pretty big event, as it turns out. This I believe is Expo NW's first event of this type in Western Washington (correct me if I'm wrong), although they've mastered it in Pasco!

They sold out all the exhibitors' booths and had an interesting combination of banks, schools, insurance carriers, cookware, jewelry, and and and the list goes on. It was hard to know whether I should apply for a job, enroll in school, or get car insurance. I think if the event were more focused (or somehow categorized) it might be more meaningful to attendees and bring more of the exhibitors' target to the event and to their booth.

All in all, I was happy to see that there was indeed some attendance there (including some of my favorite people) and I know that with more events in our area, Expo NW will see success with their well-planned events.

Say "Vay-May"

In case you're not aware of the coolest in Spanish-language children's and educational programming, turn to V-Me, the local affiliate of the national network. This station is run by our own KCTS and you should tune in to what they've got to offer, on V-Me as well as KCTS, Channel 9:

TONIGHT ON V-ME Presidential Debate: Live in Spanish
Tuesday, 10/7, 6 pm V-me will simulcast the debate between candidates McCain and Obama with live Spanish interpretation.

WEDNESDAY ON KCTS 9 History, the Arts, and Political Power
8 p.m. - Midnight Tune to KCTS 9 for a fantastic line-up celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month:

Secrets of the Dead: Aztec Massacre 8 pm: By analyzing codices and using forensic science, this program rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the Aztec reaction to the Conquistadors.
Latinos ’08 9 pm: Latinos will play a growing role in American politics this fall and beyond. Join acclaimed director Phillip Rodriguez (Brown Is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream) for a cutting edge exploration of the diversity, unpredictability and growing power of Latino voters.
Los Lonely Boys: Cottonfields and Crossroads 10pm: Following the Garza brothers out of rural West Texas, award-winning documentarian Hector Galán follows the rise of Los Lonely Boys from humble beginnings to fame and critical acclaim as some of rock’s freshest innovators.
A Quest for Home: Latino Artists in Seattle 11:30 p.m.: Longtime Northwest producers of national Univision programming Mario Zavaleta and Martha Sanchez connect with our region’s Latino artists, musicians, writers and dramatists to explore the emergence of a vibrant new art scene.

Check www.KCTS9.org for more information.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Man, that was a great Hispanic Chamber Gala!

Saturday night's gala was a great event, well attended with lots of good networking, an inspiring address from our Governor as well as one from the Republican gubernatorial candidate, some well-deserving people getting awards (no one at my table was sure how one becomes eligible for this honor), the food was phenomenal, and on and on.

I thought it was super-cool that Cris Guillen was recognized for the commitment he's shown to the Chamber and to pulling all the Washington State Hispanic Chambers together as one association. He literally quit his job to take on that task and his accomplishment was celebrated at the Gala.

But it became really obvious that this event was (with the exception of Chris Gregoire) all about men!

Everybody on the new Association of Washington State Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Board of Directors and all regional Chamber leaders--men, all of them!

All three award winners? Men.

The MC? a man.

That was more than a little disheartening, especially since I have personally chatted with many successful businesswomen (Latina and otherwise) not only at that event, but throughout the year at King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce events. Are we not leaders? What's going on?

I invite your comments.

Friday, October 3, 2008

In Today's Puget Sound Business Journal

TGIF - the week's PSBJ has come out and with it, a great local focus on banking (how timely!).
And ... Don't miss the op-ed piece from Carlos Guangorena, president and CEO of Plaza Bank, the Northwest's first Latino bank.
>>The article focuses on a new City of Seattle initiative, Bank On Seattle-King County, to reach the unbanked population here locally. It's an initiative that's taken off in San Francisco, and we think it will here, too. If you're not a subscriber and would like a PDF of the article, please email us at info@conexion-marketing.com.

If I don't post again today, wishing you all a fabulous weekend! See my post yesterday about all the happenings in the Latino community ...