Monday, December 28, 2009

Cinco Años

Wow. I just looked at my calendar and guess what--It's been 5 years since I opened shop.

That's right: Five years ago I purchased my domain and applied for a business license and developed the Conexión Marketing brand and, little by little, I had a business. My early menu of services included marketing communications (collateral and merchandising), public relations and overarching strategies--services based on several in-house positions I'd held over the previous 16 years.

Friends, family and colleagues all asked, "Why are you doing Hispanic marketing in Seattle? Why not Yakima, or L.A.?" Seattle is my home, it's where I want to be--and though the Hispanic market was the fastest-growing cultural minority in our region, no Hispanic marketing firms called Seattle home.

My first clients were such a celebration, and they were such an important daily reminder of the talents and skills and experience that I offer in the area of Hispanic marketing.

Since those first clients, I've been on an amazing journey with this business. We began to partner with a handful of global agencies (and their national accounts) and are still happily helping many of them with Hispanic efforts today. We've even worked with a few local ad agencies on work within Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

We've worked in advertising as well, with one caveat to our clients: They must be able to provide a positive customer experience for the Latino consumer before advertising commences. We believe in "marketing inside out," meaning, make sure you can truly service this segment before you target it with advertising.

We then made the big move to our downtown office at Third & Union, an important move for so many reasons. Most importantly, we're accessible to many of our clients while enjoying the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle. (Feel free to schedule a visit!)

But helping local companies understand their need to reach this fast-growing segment in the right way continued to be a barrier, so we produced our own research. Hispanic Consumers in the Puget Sound Region was a first-of-its-kind study that helped local companies visualize the important of the local Latino community. It included much more than demographics; it included primary data on such topics as media consumption, language preference, top-of-mind brands in several categories, and more. This study is still available as a free download at our website. (Note that while most of the information is likely still very pertinent nearly three years later, our local media environment has seen many changes since we published the study.)

This study was an important benchmark for Conexión Marketing and the industry; it put the local Latino community on the map in the minds of marketers doing business in our region.

Since then, we've conducted much more research, mostly through partnerships with local research firms. Learning about Seattle-area Latinos is so essential in order to effectively understand their needs. Ours is truly a different market--unlike any of your "typical" Hispanic markets, and even wildly different from that of Eastern Washington markets.

We branched out with the verticals we've served over the past five years, helping companies in a variety of industries--banking, communications (telecom, broadband, cable), healthcare, insurance, civic efforts, media, retail, and consumer packaged goods.

Another way that our firm has branched out has been to incorporate social media into plans when it makes sense. We've done this for several clients now, and while it's difficult to measure ROI on social media, we have seen that it really does nurture a sense of "community" and that consumers enjoy being able to interact with brands. And we're certain that Latinos here are embracing social media because we see them regularly posting on several sites--including at least two local social media sites developed specifically for Latinos!

So while some companies may be holding back on their marketing budgets until the recession's in the rear-view mirror, other companies are stepping up with effective strategy and messaging and becoming #1 in their category locally, even nationally. That's the power of the fastest-growing cultural segment, nationally and locally.

What will 2010 hold? Hopefully, more of the same! Especially since we're expecting this coming year's Census figures to blow away U.S. marketers. Those of you already on board with Hispanic marketing, kudos! You're getting in while competition's light and media is affordable--so your brand is benefitting in a cost-effective way. Who knows what will happen after Census data is released?

I love my business, and I work with so many wonderful and talented people--our clients, our vendors and partners. A big GRACIAS to our many loyal clients, several whom we've served 4+ years!

And here's to a 2010 full of joy and prosperity for us all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Javier Cáceres: The Next Guillermo del Toro?

I am so proud of my high school alma mater. Shorewood High School recently took on a challenge by rival Shorecrest to create a music video. And in my humble opinion, SW still rules!

I saw the video on You Tube by way of Twitter, but now after reading Nicole Brodeur's column in The Seattle Times, I am truly blown away.

Javier Cáceres created, with probably hundreds of classmates participating, the most amazing video, "Shorewood Lip Dub." Cáceres conceived this thing, and choreographed it, *backwards*. That's right: Everyone in the video was moving forward but singing backwards, so when he played the video backwards, all students are lip-synching perfectly to the music--but walking, dancing backwards!

The coolest part of all is that Javier Cáceres is a high school senior--from Peru. He came to the States just six years ago with his family. He didn't speak much English then, but now he's a Running Start student with dreams of becoming a director. According to the Times columnist, even Ben Stiller and Ashton Kutcher are tweeting about this genius.

This is the American dream, folks.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Reaching Unbanked Latinos

In celebration of Plaza Bank President & CEO Carlos Guangorena's birthday today, I'd like to write a little about banking and Latinos. In general, immigrants to the U.S. are much less likely to be banked than American-born. In addition, certain minorities are especially unlikely to have a relationship with a banking institition.

The problem with not having that banking relationship is that then it's difficult to establish credit. And we know that, without credit, many things--like home ownership--are simply unattainable. Now sometimes we hear that employers even check credit reports of their candidates to ensure that they're "responsible." Well, not having any credit at all doesn't make a person "irresponsible," it just means they're living outside the societal norm in the United States. And if they come from a place where banks closed and they lost all their savings, you can understand their hesitation. But now, you see, they have limited opportunities.

According to a first-ever federal survey on the topic, minority groups showed to be much less likely than the overall population to have standard banking relationships. In fact, an article in yesterday's L.A. Times reports on the survey: "Nearly 22% of black households were unbanked, as well as 19.3% of Latino households and 15.6% of Native American households. Just 3.5% of Asians and 3.3% of whites did not use banking services." That's an astounding gap.

Excerpt from the article:

"Many Latinos are most comfortable operating in cash," said James Gutierrez,
chief executive of Progreso Financiero in Mountain View, Calif., which focuses
on giving small, short-term loans to Latinos. Instead of having a paycheck put
on hold for several days at a bank, many turn to expensive payday loans for
immediate liquidity. "There's a lot of distrust of banks," Gutierrez said. "But
even though it's convenient for them to operate outside the financial
mainstream, they can't build a credit history, get a small-business loan, build
wealth. You need to give people a staircase upwards."

Here in the Puget Sound region, Plaza Bank was formed, about four years ago, on this very principle. The founders and directors wanted to create an institution that would be accessible, and since many of them were Latino, they created the Pacific Northwest's first Latino bank--with bilingual/bicultural staff, services and materials. They of course welcome everyone to bank there, with business lending and administrative office is right here in downtown Seattle, and a gorgeous retail branch at the Kent Station Shopping Center in Kent. The Bank has been offering not only your typical bank products for consumers and businesses, but also opportunities for financial literacy. This is what sets Plaza Bank apart from the bigger banks. It's a community bank that is truly reaching out.

For the same reason, the organization Bank On Seattle was created a couple of years back. The mission of Bank on Seattle was to make banking accessible to the unbanked--and keep this population from losing all its money through payday loan services. They formed a cooperative of many credit unions and banks, including Plaza Bank. If anyone can provide information describing the organization's current efforts or achievements, that would be great to learn.

As a side note, in our own survey of Puget Sound Latinos two years ago, we learned that 56% of local Latinos are banked (meaning they have a savings account, checking account or both), which makes the Seattle area market very different from the national average.

Sources: Hispanic Consumers in the Puget Sound Region study available FREE at; ;

Friday, November 13, 2009

Latino Media in the Seattle Area

This just in - a study of Seattle-area Latino adults and their Spanish-language media consumption by Portland's Rojo Research illustrated a clear preference for Univision.

In fact, Univision earned 67% market share, followed by KDDS 99.3 FM – La Gran D which saw 42.7%. Note that I'm not sure whether they were measuring actual consumption of the local Univisión affiliate (over-the-air) or the national network channel.

The study involved traditional media (versus online). In May, Rojo Research interviewed 485 Latino households in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit, Thurston, Kitsap, and Island counties for a 58-question, 22 minute study. More than 33,200 households were contacted; 55% of participants preferred to respond in Spanish.

The Top 10 Seattle Latino Media Ranking according to this 2009 Rojo Research study:
  1. Univision
  2. KDDS 99.3 FM - La Gran D
  3. Telemundo
  4. Spanish-Language Outdoor Advertising
  5. TV Azteca
  6. KKMO 13360 AM - El Rey
  7. KTBK 1210 AM - Ke Buena
  8. Sea Latino Newspaper (now defunct)
  9. El Mundo Newspaper
  10. La Raza del Noroeste Newspaper
Latino media consumption is based upon a 7-day cume for TV and radio, a 4-edition cume for weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly publications, a 6-month cume for business directories, and a 4-week cume for outdoor advertising. The researchers captured over 400 data points on local media consumption, purchasing plans, shopping behavior and personal demographics. Seattle-area Hispanic media will leverage the data to highlight the value of their offerings, and be able to better justify a return on investment for their advertisers.

This is it, folks - if your company or organization wants to benefit from the patronage of our Hispanic population, please consider getting involved in Hispanic marketing now while rates are at an all-time low and your message will shine bright! Once the 2010 Census data is out, Hispanic media rates and availability will change forever. Make sure your brand is the one Latinos are thinking of, starting NOW.

Imagine: Your brand can be the category leader for the largest minority and the fastest-growing population here and nationally.

And, of course, we can help. Call me at 206-621-2185 and let's talk!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shakira's impacting her community...we can, too!

The following post is from Matthew Bernton, intern. Matthew is currently studying International Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies at Seattle University and scheduled to graduate in December.

I would like to spotlight a well known artist today who is not only creating worldwide hits, but is making an impact on the world. That artist is Shakira. She won this year’s social work award at the MTV Latino awards, which took place in her home country of Colombia earlier this month.

Shakira has a passion for working with children who lack basic resources and manages the Barefoot Foundation, which offers underprivileged children free education. According to La Raza del Noroeste, her work currently reaches more than 5,000 children in Colombia.

I have always respected people who give back to their communities, and I find it inspiring that someone who has achieved superstardom can still be humble enough to remember where she came from and the issues that affect her community. Maybe it shouldn’t take a superstar to inspire someone to do good in the world, but it certainly helps bring attention to social causes when a star is backing them.

This award seems rather timely, as Shakira is on the front page of November’s Rolling Stone. I think the fact that she is on the cover this coming month, rather than being solely featured somewhere in the body of the magazine, says a great deal about her personal achievements. She graces the cover of a major media magazine because she is Shakira and the world knows that she is a very creative, unique woman in entertainment. She is not on the cover based on her ethnic background. Congratulations, Shakira!

I think it is important to remember that we can all learn something from artists who are able to mix their professional career with social work. I am not saying that we all need to open our own nonprofit organization to validate our impact on the world, but we should constantly be engaged about the issues going on in the world around us, as there may be a particular cause that we feel especially passionate about.

By engaging in service, we can learn more about members of the community, while simultaneously learning what our passion is.

Check out the Barefoot Foundation website for more information about Shakira’s organization.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

La Raza: Pastor alemán, por ejemplo

I just read the latest post from Deb Arnold on the importance of knowing your audience. The moral of her story is to ask yourself: Who do you think you're talking to?

So many businesses forget this really important step of identifying your audience prior to crafting communications to that audience. It can be disastrous, even in a low-key, skill-building, team-building situation like the one Deb describes.

But imagine if you're brand is making its first impression!

Take a read! And think: What dog breeds do you know in a second language?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do Hispanics rate products higher because they're Hispanic?

This is a question that multicultural researchers deal with in our work: Are our research participants responding frankly, or are they being polite? Because based on their culture, they may just be responding in a way they think is "appropriate."

Hispanics in particular tend to not want to show disrespect to authority (which can include the focus group moderator). This means that, when you are seeking true reactions to your marketing communications, your product, your new policy--you might have to take this cultural nuance into account in your summary.

Something I do when I'm moderating Hispanic groups that has been very helpful in encouraging their truthful opinions is that I use humor and humility at the outset, before we even get started. I also make it abundantly clear that I am in no way attached to the product or communications we're discussing. This seems to break the ice in a way that encourages more honest responses throughout the session.

This topic was brought to mind thanks to this month's newsletter from Quirk's Marketing Research Review. I've pasted in the piece below, for your consideration:

A trend has emerged in multicultural research showing that Hispanics rate certain products higher than non-Hispanics simply because they are Hispanic. The phenomenon is known as cultural lift, and it can be taken into account to improve the accuracy of results when conducting preference testing.

According to Savitz Research Companies, Dallas, Hispanics gave 5.9 percent higher average ratings than non-Hispanics in the U.S. on a zero-to-100-point scale, even though high product ratings often didn't translate to a rise in sales and usage. It has been thought that cultural influences may make Hispanics more reluctant to provide negative or impolite feedback.

When evaluating soft drinks, for example, Hispanics rated Pepsi 80.8, while non-Hispanics rated it 74.8, making it appear that Hispanics like Pepsi more and would be a better target. Ratings for 7-Up were essentially the same, at 73 for Hispanics and 73.7 for non-Hispanics. When asked to rate Fanta, a drink which Hispanics are known to prefer, Hispanics gave a rating of 80, compared to a 57.6 rating by non-Hispanics. After the 5.9-point adjustment of the Hispanic ratings to remove the cultural bias, Hispanics and the general population actually feel about the same about Pepsi, non-Hispanics prefer 7-Up and Hispanics still definitely like Fanta more than non-Hispanics.

What do you think? What have your experiences been, and how have you handled differences in communication? Please feel free to share here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surprise! NOW: Another Spanish-language Film Festival!

Yes, CineSeattle's production is just behind us and, again we have a local film festival with a focus on Spanish-language pieces--this time, from Spain. The below information regarding The Festival of New Spanish Cinema is direct from our friends at Spain Association of the Pacific Northwest:

Estimados Amigos de España
I wanted to let you know that we are collaborating with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) presenting The Festival of New Spanish Cinema at SIFF Cinema October 15-21.

Now on its second run, the Festival of New Spanish Cinema continues its annual celebration of films, mainly premieres in the US.With films by such veterans as Juan Luis Iborra, Javier Fesser, and Gabriel Velázquez shown side-by-side with cutting-edge debut productions from the newest generation including Albert Arizza, Irene Cardona, David Planell, Santiago Zannou, and Miguelanxo Prado, there is much to relish in this year's festival. Presenting new and outrageous interpretations of classic genres including melodrama, thriller, and animation, this year's styles range from superb examples of Spain's offbeat thrillers like Ramirez, and the brutal, wrenching fairy tales Camino and The Sound of the Sea, to socially engaged cinema like A Fiancé for Yasmina or One-Armed Trick. You can view trailers from select films online by clicking here.

As an Amigo de España, you can enjoy tickets for all the movies shown during the Festival at a discount price - $8. In order to get the discount, you just need to mention that you are an “Amigo of the Spain Association of the Pacific Northwest” at the booth. It’s that easy!

Nos vemos en el cine!
Amigos de España

The Festival of New Spanish Cinema
Opening Night FiestaThursday, October 15, 9:30pm (immediately following the Opening Night Film, Desperate Women)The Alki Room at Seattle CenterJoin us for a special celebration in honor of SIFF Cinema's presentation of The Festival of New Spanish Cinema. Enjoy Spanish music while sipping complimentary Freixenet Spanish Cava and nosh on paella prepared and served onsite by Taberna del Alabardero. Special guest Irene Cardona, director of A Fiance for Yasmina, is scheduled to attend.

Desperate Women(Enloquecidas)Thursday, October 15, 7:30pmSaturday, October 17, 12:00 NoonThe eagerly anticipated new film from writer-director Juan Luis Iborra (Km. 0, Mouth to Mouth) follows three women trying to track down a missing lover. Blanca meets the man of her dreams, falls in love and loses him, all in one week. Then, by chance a few months later, she and her aunt Barbara (Almodóvar favorite Verónica Forqué) find a portrait of him in the house of a charming old couple. The man is revealed to be their son-who is further revealed to be long dead. Determined to learn more about the mysterious man, Blanca and Barbara begin an unpredictable and hilarious investigation. This often outrageous thriller gathers three generations of the best Spanish female actresses and some of the rarer-seen odder areas of Madrid.

A Fiancé for Yasmina(Un Novio Para Yasmina)Friday, October 16, 7:00pmSunday, October 18, 2:30pmLola loves weddings, even though her own marriage is on the rocks. She suspects that her husband Jorge has fallen in love with Yasmina (brilliantly played by Moroccan actress Sanaa Alaoui), who is in need of a visa to stay in Spain. Meanwhile, Yasmina is in a hurry to marry Javi, who proves a master of foot shuffling in his reluctance to set a date. While Alfredo is against the marriage, he'd be ready to get married for friendship.... or for money. A tenderhearted romantic story, Fiancé charts the tangled imbroglio that arises when emotional dilemmas, star-crossed relationships, and the unpredictable effects of love bring mayhem upon a group of friends. A Fiancé for Yasmina is a fresh take on the ensemble drama that swept the awards at the Malaga Film Festival as Best Film, Best Actress, and & Audience Awards. Director Irene Cardona will be in attendance for a Q&A session following the October 16 screening.

Camino Saturday, October 17, 2:00pm, Wednesday, October 21, 8:00pm A daring, compulsively watchable melodrama against religious fundamentalism inspired by real events, Camino dances, stomps, and kicks the viewer's emotions while focused on an 11-year-old girl simultaneously faced with two completely new events in her life: falling in love and dying. On his third film Fesser (The Miracle of P. Tinto, Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure) once more offers a child's perspective on the adult world. Newcomer Camacho navigates the most sophisticated cinematic ordeals with courage and bravura. In the unpleasant role of her mother, Elias fearlessly brings the viewer face-to-face with extreme fanaticism. The uncompromising script is not anti-religious, though it successfully condemns the dehumanizing effects of religious extremism. It is earmarked for media attention thanks to its biting criticism of the controversial Opus Dei movement and Catholic fundamentalism in general. Widely acclaimed at its San Sebastian debut this year, the film won six Goya awards (Spanish Academy Awards) including Best Director, Best Film and Best Original Script. Above all, Camino intertwines melodrama, horror and animation in outrageous new ways to enrich us with what is one of the most powerful Spanish films of the decade.

The Sound of the Sea(De Profundis)Saturday, October 17, 10:00amTuesday, October 20, 9:00pm Spanish graphic novelist Miguelanxo Prado, one of the best-known and important European comic authors, turns to animation with The Sound of the Sea, a simple and lyrical labor of love about freedom, passion, and loss. A woman plays the viola while her painter partner, fascinated by the sea, is away on a fishing boat. The boat is taken by a storm and, with a mermaid, he undertakes a dreamlike underwater journey through a series of evocative seascapes. The Sound of the Sea is a strange and fantastic history of love, attacking adults and infants alike. With themes brought to life by the digitization of thousands of the Helmer's oil paintings, drawings, and acrylics, it offers an ode to the ocean that feels like a return to the early principles of cartoon art. The unique film is a creative voyage of a painter, a game of metaphors, but ultimately an homage to the Sea (the real sea and its mythical qualities) that will stay with you.

The Shame(La Vergüenza)Saturday, October 17, 8:00pmMonday, October 19, 9:00pmThe feature directorial debut from the strongest emerging talent in Spain, award-winning writer David Planell boldly allows us a glimpse into the home of Pepe and Lucia, a modern and attractive couple with a big problem: they cannot handle Manu, their eight-year-old Peruvian adopted child. They soon realize the price they must pay if they want to go ahead with their brazen plan: to send him back. Planell, the director of the multi-award winning shorts (Ponys, Trivial) skillfully makes the jump from screenwriter to director, using this strong premise to tell a caustic, tender, and funny tale about doubts, paradoxes, and the wounds of an ashamed couple. The film was the top performer at this year's Malaga Film Festival.

Amateurs Sunday, October 18, 9:00pmTuesday, October 20, 7:00pm Julio Nieves is a 65-year-old foreman who has spent his entire life in the Madrid suburb of Vallecas. In the blink of an eye, he goes from contentedly facing his retirement alone to the possibility of companionship in the form of a 16-year-old girl from Marseille, who claims to be his daughter. But what if she's not his flesh and blood? And what if Nieves takes her in to ease the pain of his own solitude? How far can people go to avoid being alone?

Ramírez Friday, October 16, 9:15pmSunday, October 18, 7:00pm Ramírez is a confident loner whose fox-like ways and alluring face allows him to wander aimlessly through life. Despite a luxurious Madrid apartment and upper-middle-class status, he has chosen a life of crime. A drug dealer by day, and by night a dangerous hunter of anonymous women-objects of his perverse "artistic" tendencies. His character is shrouded in mystery although perhaps the key to unlocking it rests in his indifference to his bed-ridden mother. As his obsessions with one-night stands and photography crash together and in an unforgettable climax, he becomes a victim of his own heartlessness.

One-Armed Trick(El Truco del Manco) Monday, October 19, 7:00pm Santiago Zannou makes an impressive feature film debut in this winner of three Goya awards (Spanish Film Academy) including Best Debut Film, Best Acting, and Best Music. Paralyzed on half of his body from childhood, Cuajo has a single dream: to succeed in music. Together with his friend Adolfo, he attempts to set up a studio while gathering some of Barcelona's freshest hip-hop talent. One-Armed Trick features some of the hottest stars of Spanish rap-among them Elio Sagues, Ovone Candela, and La Mala Rodriguez and El Langui, lead singer of La Excepción, recently voted the best Spanish-language rappers on MTV.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Global Partnerships, in the Business of Hope

This past weekend, there were a couple of articles in The Seattle Times that caught my eye.

One was an editorial entitled, "Especially in hard times, we must invest in our women." This article espoused the idea that families and communities can be best helped through the women: "More than ever before, women are playing a critical role in protecting the well-being of our families and communities."

This immediately reminded me of one of my pet causes, Global Partnerships. And sure enough--the editorial was co-authored by Leanne Moss and Bill and Paula Clapp--the latter two being the founders of that very organization. Global Partnerships is a fabulous cause that works with women in rural Latin America, most of them indigenous, offering hope for self-sufficiency, self-esteem and equality through microcredit loans.

What first lured me in? That just $50 of mine can help a woman get on her feet, starting a business doing something she knows how: weaving, baking, sewing, retail ... She pays that loan off and the $50 goes to the next woman who has a skill she'd like to share to put a roof over her family's heads, or help see her kids get educated.

I saw a documentary, No Son Invisibles, during the Seattle International Latino Film Festival a few weeks' back that showed in amazing detail the kind of help and hope organizations like Global Partnerships can bring to a community. It all starts with one woman, and what we may consider pocket change. Then she's in business, working hard, and she's relatively successful--and it's contagious. The other women want to have that, too. They make a pact (peer lending) whereby in many cases no new loans are given until the first one is paid off, and the lendee is held accountable by her peers as well as by the lender. And then after paying off the first loan on time, she has an opportunity to borrow more to expand her business. And so on ...

So it's that time of year when I'd like to promote a very important event. It's the organization's annual fundraiser on Tuesday, October 20, 11:30am - 1:15pm at the Seattle Westin. Please consider attending the Global Partnerships Business of Hope Luncheon and learning about the wonderful ways this organization works to help the poor free themselves from poverty in Central and South America. I think they may in Mexico by now, as well. Here's a link to check out the event and learn more about the work Global Partnerships does.

The second article from the Times this past weekend was about how Global Partnerships and PATH are teaming up with Pro Mujer (Pro Woman) to bring health services to the same populations; as Global Partnerships CEO Rick Beckett points out, "poverty and poor health are inextricably linked." I'm sure this new partnership will be among the announcements they share with Business of Hope Luncheon attendees. I'll never forget the year they announced that my school, Seattle University, had invested a half-million dollars in their program. I can't tell you how proud I was to be affiliated with that school.

Events of past years have been wildly successful, and I'm really hoping this year is no different. The folks at Global Partnerships, like Chris Megargee, really show gratitude for their connections and donors. So, if you can afford to do it, go--and learn how so few American dollars can turn so many families around in rural Latin America.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Latino Market Numbers Amaze

So the problem with an event-filled month like Hispanic Heritage Month is that I get behind in posts and .. filing. I'm working on both now.

Speaking of this month of events, did you know that an estimated 90,000 Latinos turned out for our area's biggest event of the year: Fiestas Patrias at the Puyallup Fair. That's double the Latino attendance last year. It just keeps growing. A reflection of the growing overall Hispanic presence here in the Puget Sound region.

Last week I attended a great workshop hosted by the City of Federal Way. And this is my opportunity to say "Bravo" to Federal Way, because this City has its own Hispanic Liaison--Teniel Sabin--who is a very approachable young lady who is helping Federal Way officials effectively reach out to its Latino residents and make services and opportunities known. Very cool!

Anyway, this workshop was entitled, "Business Development in the Hispanic Market." I expected a lot of companies to show up, looking for ways to better link to Latinos locally. There were some, yes, but there were also a fair number of Hispanics--established business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, others in transition. That surprised me, but I thought that was cool that they were showing up for a government workshop, which by the way, was partially presented bilingually.

Before the presentation attendees were encouraged to check out several displays of some of the services available, including those of Washington CASH and others.

Idalie Muñoz was the speaker. She worked for the U.S. Census in a past life--so she loves numbers. Idalie covered a lot of data, most of which I was very familiar with but will repeat here nonetheless for those of you just tuning in:
  • There are about 46 million Latinos in the U.S. That's about 15% of our total population. In fact, in the entire world, the only country with more Hispanics is Mexico.
  • Washington is one of 16 states that has at least a half-million Hispanic residents.
  • Washington is one of 20 states wherein Hispanics are the largest minority.
Check this out--overall, buying power (personal income for spending) is growing by leaps and bounds in the Hispanic segment, especially when you compare it to the non-Hispanic population. In Washington, while the non-Hispanic population saw 265.9% growth in buying power, Hispanics experienced 788.1% growth!

Between 1990-2008, the Hispanic segment saw a great advantage nationally as well.
  • Hispanics: 348.9%
  • Non-Hispanics: 140.75%
And watch the growth that is expected to take place when we elongate that time period to 1990-2013!
  • Hispanics: 554.3%
  • Non-Hispanics 211.1%
The main message here is: In this shrinking economy, the Hispanic market is growing. And so is its pocketbook!

National numbers from the U.S. Census show unbelievable Hispanic buying power growth:
1990 - $12 billion
2000 - $450 billion
2008 - $951 billion
>>and forecast for 2013? $1.4 TRILLION.

What are some of the factors in this growth? It's the fastest-growing segment, there's a higher level of education attained now versus in the past, this segment boast a larger young population entering the job market, and a fast-growing number of Hispanic-owned businesses were cited by Idalie.

In addition to U.S. Census numbers, she also referenced The Multicultural Economy 2008, from the Selig Center for Economic Growth, University of Georgia. It's an amazing reference for anyone interested in an in-depth look at some more current numbers.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bravo, Nordstrom!

...And I'm not just referring to yesterday's Fall Fashion Show.

When it seems most companies are pulling back on sponsorships and special events, Nordstrom steps up to the plate and more. I read an editorial in The Seattle Times the other day that hailed the retailer for stepping up and taking over a sponsorship when another company backed down.

And of course there's the annual Latina Empowerment Summit, what appears to be a venture between Nordstrom and local iconic leader Dr. Sandra Madrid. In past years, an employee or intern of mine would attend the event, meant for Latinas. This year, I sent myself.

I am so glad I finally had an opportunity to see what the fuss is all about! It's a half-day of inspiration, of laughter, of sharing. Truly empowering, even for this gringa.

The day was kicked off with Nordstrom staff (Go, Amelia!) and Dr. Madrid who is always so warm and welcoming; then Marisa Rivera-Albert took over. She is the president of MPowerment Works and previously served as president of the National Hispana Leadership Institute. This woman is the BOMB--she has amazing energy and just makes you feel GOOD.

And she offered up some cool figures to show us just how important women are to U.S. marketers:
  • Women are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases in the U.S.
  • Women own 70% of small businesses.
She also talked about Latinas specifically:
  • Latinas are the fastest-growing segment among small business.
  • Among Latinos, women have 62% of the purchasing power.
Marisa made a good point when she said that "opportunity + preparation = success." An easy formula for success. She said the two things we all need to thrive are 1) a mentor and 2) allies.

After Marisa lifted us with her candor and passion, we had the pleasure of hearing from a panel of women who were each so different from each other.

Blanca Santander
An artist and communicator, Blanca celebrated the achievement of getting a tote bag featuring her beautiful work distributed throughout U.S. Barnes & Noble stores. Hurrah! I urge you to seek out this piece and buy it. I think she said it was just $10, but the art is priceless--very magical.

Blanca urged Summit attendees to "Follow your heart, no matter how difficult," explaining that doors were going to open if we follow our passion. She talked about how hard it is to be a successful female artist, and that being Latina makes it that much more difficult.

The Rt. Reverend Bavi Edna "Nedi" Rivera
Bishop Rivera was a hoot! She had a wonderful, calming presence, but her humor was fantastic. She is the first and only Latina bishop (and one of only 27 women, of thousands of bishops). She's the 12th female bishop in the Episcopal Church. So she's clearly a pioneer. Oh and she had a role model: Her father was the first U.S. Hispanic bishop in the Episcopal Church.

She shared a telling story about discrimination: That when she lived in Northern California, a neighbor was trying to keep Latinos out, mentioning that he/she didn't "want those people moving in." Nedi replied, "You should know, then, that about 60% of your current neighbors are 'those people' and that I am also 'those people.'"

She explained that every time she's been in transition, she's been open to a greater number of choices. Her mission? "To help people. We're here to serve one another."

Sonia Rodriguez
Sonia is a current council member of the Yakima City Council, and is running for re-election. Sounds easy, considering she's the only Latina/o candidate (and the only Latina/o currently serving). But it's not. Despite the fact that Yakima has a Hispanic population density of 40%, there still exists a lot of discrimination there. Many there fear that the Latinos will "take over" if they amass power, shared Sonia.

Her advice for success? "Always take risks. Don't stay in your comfort zones."

And she said something else that she finds to be a misconception about Latinos. "They think I can represent the entire Latino community," but, she warned, "You can't group us all together." As for Sonia, she's a young mother and attorney--and leads the largest firm in Yakima.

By the way, a bag was passed as the speakers talked, and it filled with checks and cash for the Committee to Re-Elect Sonia Rodriguez. Sonia's platform focuses on the gang problem, public safety, economic development, and control of the budget. If you'd like to contribute, here's the address:

Committee to Re-Elect Sonia Rodriguez
P.O. Box 768
Yakima WA 98907

Sometime during the morning's events, they asked who had been to previous Latina Empower Summits, and many of those in attendance had--and one had been there for every single event.

There was something else I just have to relate: Mother-and-daugher pairings were asked to stand and be introduced, and there were at least 10 of those pairings--including one representing not two but *three* generations! (Which reminded me of a photo The P-I took of my grandmother, my mom, my little sister and I--in matching dresses--in front of the Women's University Club, back in the day.) It was pretty neat.

Other cool stuff happened, such as the "Cosmetics Presentation," which I frankly dreaded would be a hard sell. It wasn't. It was just some cool Nordstrom employees representing different brands and products, willing to show us how the products work and also willing to give some of it away. Women were asking questions about their particular skin types and situations, and were very engaged. So in the end that was a very positive part of the program.

Fun stuff was given out all day (I was not one of the lucky ones)--mostly from Nordstrom (including a coveted pedicure at the Nordstrom Spa). Also - It was really cool of SAM to offer up free passes to the museum for us all, and Capitol Hill's Barrio to give us all gift cards!

Beautiful event. I will continue to encourage my Latina friends to attend. And now I know why, first-hand.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Countdown to Seattle Int'l Latino Film Festival!

The first-ever Seattle International Latino Film Festival is nearly here!
  • It begins tomorrow evening with a big splash, goes through the entire weekend and ends Monday.
  • There are some 40 films total (feature-length and shorts) from 11 countries.
  • Four fabulous theaters are participating: Harvard Exit, Northwest Film Forum, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, and the Cinerama.
This is just the kind of film festival Seattle has been wanting for over a decade now! Let's show the organizers that we are their audience, and attend this event! Four-day passes are just $125, and screenings are $10. Get your tickets now and make a plan to participate in the Festival's debut!

TaniaMaria Rosario of CineSeattle says they still need more volunteers. Please contact her direclty if you can give two hours of your time! or (888) TMR-1118.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Culture Shock: TIME

Punctuality can mean different things to different people, even in our own country. Heck, even within our own families. So imagine the culture shock of being an uber-punctual person and entering the traditionally slower clock of Latin culture! Or imagine the opportunities lost in the reverse situation.

In a class I took last quarter on negotiations, we role played in every class. The last one we had to do was an intercultural negotation between U.S. businesspeople and those from a make-believe country called Amazonia. I was on the U.S. side, and when we sat down to get started, we waited. And we waited. I thought, "Wow, our classmates sure don't care about this negotiation!" "They sure aren't respecting our time," our teammates said. And it got worse from there.

Well, what we didn't know upfront about this particular negotiation is that they were coached to, among other things, 1) not obey the clock, 2) not negotiate with women, and 3) talk about families, cars--anything but the business at hand. So you can imagine how this negotiation process went! Pretty quickly I saw what was happening--and applauded the Amazonia team's fabulous acting. But many U.S. teams never quite figured it out.

Last weekend I went to a quinceañera, celebrating the 15th birthday of the daughter of a friend of mine, from Mexico. It was to start at 5, so I arrived at 5:15. The next guest arrived around 6. Most were there by 7, but they continued to trickle in. That's the way it is.

But it's not that way in every situation and for every Latino.

I read an article in last Sunday's Seattle Times. "Mexicans know when they should be punctual and which things start punctually," for me was a helpful quote from the article. This one's worth a read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Mexican Independence Day!

It's September 16: Today's the day Mexico celebrates its independence!

And we've talked a lot about the fast-growing Mexican and general Latino populations, but did you know that Latinos have lived in Washington state since the 1770's?

The below history comes to us from the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs, via El Mundo newspaper.

In Washington State, the familiar names of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, and Rosario Strait are a legacy of Spanish influence in the state. But what is missing is the Latino (Latin American v. Spanish) imprint. The Spanish influence is a Latino legacy, more importantly a Mexican legacy that began in the 1770s.

Two Mexicans in particular contributed greatly to early knowledge of Washington state. José Mariano Moziño participated in the 1792 expedition, known as the Malaspian Expedition. He produced an ecological catalog of 200 species of plants, animals, and birds. He documented his research in Noticias de Nuka: An Account of Nootka Sound in 1792. Also a member of the Malaspian Expedition, Anastasio Echeverría was considered the best artist in Mexico at the time. Echeverría sketched one of the first detailed landscape profiles of the area.

From Mexican mule packers in the 1770’s to the farmers of today, the Latino influence in Washington state is not a new phenomenon, but a tangible aspect of the society. Yakima Valley, Pasco, Burien, or Mt. Vernon will notice an undeniable Latino influence. In the Yakima Valley alone, from Wapato to Prosser, Latinos make up the majority of the population. Yakima County as a whole has a population of 231,586, of which 38.6%, or more than 89,000 persons, are of Hispanic or Latino origin.

So...when you hear talk about how we "suddenly" have so many Hispanics in our state, you may want to explain that the migration to Washington actually started in the late 1700's. And when you hear another myth, that Hispanic immigration is the cause of the population explosion, you can explain that population growth is due more to U.S. births than to immigration--even before the recession.

Que tengas un bonito día.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bilingualism just one facet of the best candidates today

I just was introduced to a great blog by BilingualHire, based in Oregon.

The post that got my attention was about employment candidates and bilingualism. The point is, while being bilingual is absolutely a gift in all ways, and potentially a fantastic boon to one's career, it does not cover up one's abilities, experience, and studies--and it shouldn't overshadow these.

Take a read and let me know whether you agree.

But let me make one thing clear: I am all about teaching kids Spanish and English in this country. Latino parents, in my opinion, should do everything in their power to impart their language to their children. Non-Latinos should consider sending their kids to immersion programs early on (before age 6) so that they can compete in an increasingly Latino U.S.

By 2025, 30% of the U.S. population will be Hispanic--many of them Spanish-dominant. Make sure you--and your offspring--have what it takes to compete in this dynamic, bicultural climate!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Northwest Latinos Showcased by City of Seattle

Arte Para Todos - Art for All honors National Latino Heritage Month, Día de los Muertos

Pasting City press release:

Latino City Employees and Latino Cultural Magazine present the exhibition Arte Para Todos - Art for All at City Hall to celebrate National Latino Heritage Month (beginning Sept. 15) and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, Nov. 2). The exhibition runs Sept. 9 to Oct. 31.

The exhibition features more than 50 artworks in a variety of media by eight Northwest Latino artists: Marcio Diaz, Isaac Hernández, Rene Julio, Hugo Ludeña, Jennifer Molina, Jaime Olaya, Jose Orantes and Blanca Santander. The works include color photographs of Latino life; landscape, portrait and abstract paintings in acrylic, oil, and egg tempera; and pastel and scratchboard drawings.

Arte Para Todos - Art for All spans the City Hall Lobby Gallery and the Anne Focke Gallery, on the L2 level of City Hall. City Hall is located at 600 Fourth Avenue and is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, call (206) 684-7171 or visit

In conjunction with Arte Para Todos, a free concert featuring the acoustic Latin jazz of Carlos Cascante will take place 12 to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 at City Hall. An artist reception with light refreshments will follow from 1 to 2 p.m.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs promotes the value of arts and culture in communities throughout Seattle. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.

Rundown of the Seattle International Latino Film Festival

Hello - I'm pasting this information which came to us from Centro Cultural Hispano Americano because this film festival--the first of its kind in our region--needs to be super-successful so we can enjoy it as an annual tradition!

Please excuse the lack of editing in the below.


These are the venues were Movies will be shown:

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center: 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144
Northwest Film Forum: 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (NWFF)
CINERAMA: 2100 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Harvard Exit: 807 E Roy St., Seattle, WA 98102


The light of the forest/ La luz del bosqueSunday, September 27 - 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM @NWFF 4580/2008-Argentina North American PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Jorge José Pstyga & Ofelia Escasany.Cast /Elenco: Cecilia Carrizo, Fernando Lupiz, Jorge Dorio, Micaela Brusco.Three children lost in an enchanted forest, live fantastic adventures engaged in the eternal struggle, between good and evil. Hunters, loggers, and the Fire Destroyer have a job to do: save the spring so the forest doesn´t die.

Los últimos malos días de Guillermino/ Last bad days of GuillerminoSunday, September 27 - 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM @NWFF 11975/2008-Colombia North American PremiereSpanish/EspañolDirected by/Dirigido por: Gloria Nancy Monsalve.Cast/Elenco: Cristian Fernando Osorio, Daniel Betancourt, Edward Betancourt, Gloria Nancy Monsalve, Juan Carlos Arango, Daniela Arciniegas, Oscar Hernández, Gustavo Vallejo, Tulita Gómez.When you are eight years old and live in a neighborhood full of friends and fantastic places, you can have lots of fun and adventures, as well as get into a few tight spots. While playing ball with César and La Guama, Guillo loses the money Rosalía, his mother, gave him for errands. Unbeknownst to Guillo, El Chino, who’s watching the game, pockets the money when no one is looking. Now he’s in the worst trouble he can imagine, since Rosalía warned him to stay out of trouble or else. She threatens to send Guillo away, to pick coffee beans at his Uncle Libardo’s plot, outside Pereira.

Teo’s journey /El viaje de TeoSaturday, September 26 - 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM @NWFF 119100/2008-México NW PremiereSpanish/w English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Walter Doehne. Cast/Elenco: Damián Cañizares, Erick Cañete, Joaquín Cosío, Dagoberto gama, Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Dolores Heredia.A touching and inspiring story! Teo, a nine year old boy, travels toward an uncertain destiny, with his father. Teo has never met his father, until he appears in Teo’s kitchen to take him away. Father and son, illegally, cross the Mexican-American border, with the help of a negligent “pollero”. During the night, in the Sasabe desert, they are attacked and robbed. Teo runs away, in an attempt to keep his belongings, but gets separated from the group. When he stops his frantic sprint, he realizes he is by himself and alone, in the night. Chuy, a 12 year old pollero, meets Teo and helps him escape the desert. Teo is forced to wait at the check point, in Nogales, for his father’s certain deportation. Day by day, he witnesses the failed attempts of men and women who are sent back to México, while a strong friendship develops between the two boys.

Mission in Mocland. A super special adventure / Misión en Mocland. Una aventura super-espacialSaturday, September 26 – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center84/2008-Spain (Animation/Animación) North-American PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglés. Directed by/Dirigido por: Juanma Suárez.Cast/Elenco: Paco Cardona, Lola Álvarez Bermejo, Bernabé Rico, Juan Carlos Villanueva, Nonia de la Gala, Alberto Hidalgo, Jorge Tomé, Jesús Prieto, Ángel Corpa, Antonia de Miguel.Planet Moc is in distress. Límbar, the essence of its life, has disappeared and all of its inhabitants are at serious risk. The terrible general, Neflin, has stolen the vital substance.Determined to restore peace and life to Mocland, Queen Pola, ordered an expedition seeking Áloma, a power generating mineral. Lalo, Mina, Gobi and Lilium are chosen for this mission, but will they finally find the Áloma or will it be just a legend?



The accordion's angel/El angel del acordeٕónSaturday, September 26 - 5:45 PM– 7:45 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center119/2008-Colombia Musical (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Spain) NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: María Camila Lizarazo.Cast/Elenco: Camilo Molina, Cesar Navarro, Dyonnel Velasquez, Carlos Buelvas, Etty Grossman, Estefanía Borge, Marlon Moreno, Alfonso “Poncho” Zuleta (Grammy Vallenato) and Gonzalo “El Cocha” Molina (Grammy Vallenato).This story takes place in the exotic Guajira, of Colombia. Poncho Danza, an eleven year old boy, who is an incredibly talented, good person, has two dreams: get an accordion and win over the heart of Sara María, the girl of his dreams. She has the challenged him with becoming a great accordion player, capable of composing a heartfelt song. However, his family’s financial problems demand great effort. As a result, he is unable to obtain an accordion and learn how to play. His father, a male chauvinist, humiliates him for being left-handed and obsessed with music. He, also, suffers because of Pepe, Sara María’s other suitor. Pepe manages to get a beautiful accordion, which he uses to captive the girl. Poncho will be forced into adulthood because of these great circumstances, but he will, also, become a great legend. He will be known as “The Accordion’s Angel”.

============================ADULT COMEDY

A boyfriend for my wife/Un novio para mi mujerSaturday, September 26 - 3:10 AM – 5:30 PM @NWFF 11996/2008-Argentina NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Juan Taratuto.Cast/Elenco: Valeria Bertuccelli, Gabriel Goity, Adrián Suar.“El Tenso” doesn’t know how to tell his wife, “La Tanal”, he wants a divorce. She is, constantly, cranky and protests everything. "El Tenso" convinces "The Raven Flores," an irresistible, old fashioned Latino seducer, to charm his wife into falling in love with him. Once she does, he hopes she will, finally, be compelled to leave him.Que parezca un accidenteFriday, September 25 -8:15 – 10:00 p.m. @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center89/2008-Spain NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Gerardo HerreroCast/Elenco: Carmen Maura, Federico Luppi, Celia Castro, Javier Collado, Marta Fernández Muro, Juan Carlos Guerra, Yaiza Guimaré.Pilar, a widow, contently lives her day-to-day life, but begins to see her lovely routine come apart when she discovers her son-in-law has been unfaithful. Pilar is determined to end this annoying problem; and in a comedic fashion, she decides “to fix it”, by contracting Arturo. He is just the right man for the job, as he keeps wives happy by “eliminating” their irritating husbands.

Gigante (*)Sunday, September 27 – 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM @CINERAMA 84 MIN/2009 Uruguay West Coast PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Adrian Biniez.Cast/Elenco: Horacio Camandule, Leonor Svarcas, Fernando Alonso, Diego Artucio, Ariel Caldarelli, Fabiana Charlo.A chronicle of a supermarket security guard's obsession with a late‐shift janitor.Winner of the Silver Bear Award at Berlin International Film Festival This will be an American Premiere.NochebuenaSaturday, September 26 - 5:45 PM – 7:45 PM @NWFF 11984/2009-Colombia West Coast PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: María Camila Loboguerrero. Cast/Elenco: Matías Maldonado, Connie Camelo, Edgardo Román, Roxana Blanco, Alberto Valdiri.In this hysterical dark comedy, from Colombia, Bernardo has his hands full after having invested all of the family savings in a bad, Indonesian stock deal. This is all done in order to pay off a large debt, to the sleaze-ball provincial governor. And as if that weren’t enough, he is having an affair with the governor’s daughter, who is also his brother’s wife, while his mother tries to fix him up with an unattractive widow, who might be his only way out of this mess.

============================ADULT DRAMA COMEDY

The gift/El regaloFriday, September 25 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center108/2008-Chile NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Cristián Galaz & Andrea Ugalde.Cast/Elenco: Nelson Villagra, Francisco Rodríguez, Julio Jung Jr., Verónica Hodar, Jorge Arecheta, Mario Soto, Oscar Vásquez, Paula Ruiz, Verónica Lapostol, Rodrigo Molina, Felipe Vera, Paulina Stuardo.The real gift is the story of three close friends, Francisco, Pacheco and Tito. Francisco, recently widowed and retired, is going through a difficult time. To cheer him up, his friends decide to invite him to the Chillan hot springs. They, also, invite Lucy, the love of Francisco’s youth, who, excitedly, agrees to join them. However, things are not always as we plan for this tour will bring many surprises. They will meet Carmen, Nicholas, and Martin and the following events will change the plans and lives of all involved.

Looking for Palladín. Saturday, September 26 - 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM @NWFF 119115/2008 –USA (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Guatemala) North West Coast PremiereEnglishInglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Andrzej Krakowski.Cast/Elenco: Ben Gazzara, Talia Shire, Vincetn Pastore, David Moscow, Angélica Aragón, Pedro Armendáriz, Jr., Roberto Díaz Gomar, Jimmy Morales, Sammy Morales.A young, Hollywood player is drawn into a remote place, looking for a quick deal. Instead, he finds a sanctuary, a community, and himself.

El arriero. Saturday, September 26 - 5:45 PM – 7:45 PM @NWFF 45104/2009-Colombia (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Spain) North-American PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirector: Guillermo Calle.Cast: Julián Díaz, Paco Hidalgo, María Cecilia, Paula Castaño.I am Ancizar López, Colombiano. I live in Madrid and I am in love with two women: Virginia, my wife, and Lucía, my lover. I met Virginia in Barranquilla, but my mother- in-law threatened to kill me. We had to split. Of course, I came back for her when I made my first Euros and married her. Later, I met Lucía, a fascinating, little Spanish girl. I got involved with her and decided to keep them both. When I began thinking about retiring, I began to think about breaking up with Lucía. To get back at me, she told Virginia everything. Virginia escaped to Colombia, with all my dough and gave some to Lucía who disappeared, in Madrid. Lucía was my mistress, she could betray me. Not Virginia, she was my wife. She had no right to betray me. I had her killed.

============================ADULT DRAMA COMEDY VIOLENT

I love you Ana Elisa/ Te amo Ana ElisaThursday, September 24 – 7:00 PM @ Harvard Exit104/2008-Colombia NW Premiere FESTIVAL OPENING Directors’ favorite!Spanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Robinson Díaz, Antonio Dorado.Cast/Elenco: Adriana Arango, Robinson Díaz, Juan Carlos Vargas, Julián Arango.A new heroine, powerless but with values, strives to overcome a number of cruel situations to achieve her dream: graduating as a doctor. Ana Elisa lives in neighborhood where life and death are harsh, constant realities. Nonetheless, she feels strong because she has the gift of healing. Ana knows this gives her a privileged place in her community. She can prevent people from feeling pain. Full of courage, Ana decides to; finally, confront her ex-boyfriend, leader of a gang of thieves. The decision has dire consequences and Ana Elisa is, ultimately, forced to leave the city. She travels to Bogotá looking for aid, from what’s left of her family hoping they can help her, during this difficult time.

============================ADULT DRAMA VIOLENT

Dog eat dog/Perro come perro. Friday, September 25 – 10:30 – 12:00 Midnight @ NWFF106/2008-Colombia Sundance award winner NW PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Carlos Moreno. Cast/Elenco: Marlon Moreno, Oscar Borda, Blass Jaramillo, Alvaro Rodríguez, Paulina Rivas.A gritty, Colombian gangster flick — with humor! Dog Eat Dog follows two small-time thugs, Eusebio and Victor, who share a room and a boss. When, for completely different reasons, they manage to get on the boss' bad side, they try to escape their fate, with the each other’s help.

La milagrosa. Saturday, September 26 – 8:00 PM – 9:45 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center104/2008-Colombia NW PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirector: Rafael Lara.Cast: Antonio Merlano, Guillermo Iván, Mónica Gómez, Hernán Méndez.In 1999, an upper–class young man, from Bogotá, is kidnapped, by a guerilla group. His life is radically transformed as he lives captive, in the midst of a violent conflict between the army, the guerillas, and paramilitary groups. His vision of reality and of a country turned upside down changes, while he struggles not to lose his sanity… and life itself.

The enemy/ El enemigoSaturday, September 26 – 10:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center82/2008-Venezuela West Coast PremiereSpanish w English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Luís Alberto Lamata.Cast/Elenco: Lourdes Valera, Carlos Cruz, Daniela Alvarado, Elba Escobar, Darío Soto.She is Antonieta Sánchez, a humble single-mother, who fought to give her son, Odulio, a good start in life. Despite her efforts, he becomes a juvenile delinquent. When Odulio is shot, Antonieta’s life won’t be the same. He is Benigno Robles, a public prosecutor. The day after Elisa, his only daughter, has been shot; Benigno’s life will never be the same. However, this encounter between Antonieta and Benigno, apparently a product of chance, is not fortuitous. A secret is hidden behind the false coincidence.

============================ADULT DRAMA

Zeal/Celo. Saturday, September 26 – 8:00 PM – 9:45 PM @ NWFF 11994/2007-Argentina North-American Premiere(Erotic thriller)Spanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglesDirected by/Dirigida por: Fabián Forte.Cast/Elenco: Julieta Benedetto, Martín Borisenko, Matías del Pzo, carlos Echeverría, Monica Escudero, Monica Galán.Daniel (Carlos Echevarria), a typical thirty-something, reunites with Eduardo (Martin Borisenko), a high school peer. Eduardo does not remember him fondly, but meets Lucia (Josefina Sanz) because of him. Their relationship begins to grow, under the gaze of Eduardo who offers the use of his house, for sex. Eduardo grows in curiosity as Daniel grows in passion. Eduardo remains close to Lucia and has impromptu sex with her. She becomes an uninhibited lover, with him. Daniel is falling in love, but Lucia disappears at the crucial moment. Daniel visits Eduardo, in his photography studio, looking for advice. Eduardo shows sparing and recommends Daniel forget her. A few minutes later, Daniel finds a photo of Lucia, among the photos of many models. This first discovery, in a disquieting chain, will allow him to understand the kind of trio, in which he is involved.

My Name Ain´t Johnny /Meu Nome não é Johnny. Sunday, September 27 – 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center128 Min/2008-Brazil North-American PremierePortuguese w/English subtitlesPortugués con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Mauro Lima.Cast/Elenco: Selton Mello, Cleo Pires, Júlia Lemmertz, Cássia Kiss, Eva Todor, André Di Biasi, Ângelo Paes Leme, Rafaela Mandelli, Giulio Lopes, Gilray Coutinho, Luis Miranda, Aramis Trindade, Kiko Mascarenhas, Flavio Bauraqui,Orã Figueiredo.João had everything but limits. João Guilherme Estrella was a typical, middle class guy of Rio de Janeiro, who lived his youth intensely. Clever and charming, he was loved by his parents and was popular among his friends. His adventurous and Bohemian spirit drove him to live all the expected craziness of youth. It, also, drove him to the unconventional. In the beginning of the nineties, he became the drug trade King of Rio. His name passed from the agenda of his cool clients, to the list of those prosecuted by the police. Once arrested, his name was printed in newspapers’ front pages. Instead of parties, he entered the hall of defendants. His story reveals dreams and dramas common to all youth, in any place around the world. Based on a true story.

María Antonia. Sunday, September 26 – 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM @NWFF 119Cuba Classic111/1991-Cuba NW PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigida por: Sergio Giral.Cast/Elenco: Alexis Valdés, Alina Rodríguez, Daysi Granados, José A. Rodríguez, Tito Junco, Asenenh Rodríguez.In this melodrama, Maria has been waiting for her boyfriend to be released from prison. He is an aspiring luminary, in the boxing world. Though she is a prostitute, she earns her living, primarily, as a "kept" woman. She does not have to walk the streets. At first, he is glad to see her, but his dreams of making the big time lead him to send her away. Perhaps he only wants to concentrate on his athletic pursuits, in that ascetic way some sports figures favor. However, she must still earn her keep, and she takes up, briefly, with a married man. Meanwhile, followers of an Afro-Cuban belief system, Santeria (a voodoo-like religion), have been warning her that the loas (spirits) are not happy with her. She must ask their forgiveness for the affronts committed. Soon after taking up with the married man, she meets another man. This man would love to marry her and take her away, from her sex-for-hire world. However, the married man turns out to be insanely jealous, as well as being deeply insulted by Maria’s slight. His efforts to get revenge soon take on a violent, even tragic, turn.

Broken Gods /Los dioses rotos (*)96/2008- Cuba, México West Coast PremiereSpanishEspañolDirected by/Dirigida por: Ernesto Daranas.Cast/Elenco: Silvia Aguila, Carlos Ever Fonseca, Néstor Noas, Annia Bu Maure, Isabel, Eman Xor Oña.Laura es una profesora universitaria que investiga sobre el famoso proxeneta cubano Alberto Yarini y Ponce de León, asesinado a balazos por sus rivales franceses que controlaban el negocio de la prostitución en La Habana de comienzos del siglo XX. Interesada en demostrar la vigencia del legendario personaje, se adentra en una de las zonas más complejas de la realidad habanera de hoy. Near the end of the film, Laura, a university professor who delves into the Havana underworld says, “Like a reoccurring cycle of reincarnations, Alberto Yarini returns to be crowned in San Isidro, Belen, Jesus María, Colon, and Guanabacoa. His power of seduction captivated the soul of a culture that both criticizes and reveres him. I don’t want to be sacrilegious...and in fact, I would like it be the other way around.” This is precisely the ambiguity between adoration for those whose passions plunge them into the abyss and the rationality of the intellectual who seeks understanding. This passionate and beautiful film is a Cuban version of the Greek tragedy as recreated in Carlos Felipe’s play Réquiem por Yarini.

The good life/La buena vida. DIRECTOR’S FAVORITESunday, September 27 – 12:45 PM– 2:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center90/2008 –Chile (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Spain, Argentine, UK, France) NW PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by: Andrés Wood. Cast/Elenco: Aline Kuppenheim, Manuela Martelli, Eduardo Paxeco, Manuela Oyarzún, Paula Sotelo, Nestor Corona, Daniel Antivilo, Alfredo Castro, Bélgica Castro, Francisco Acuña, Jorge Alis, Luis Roque.In the ensemble narrative form, respected Chilean filmmaker, Andrés Wood, created a complex and affectionate patchwork of stories. These stories are about ordinary people struggling to follow their dreams in a despairing world. A social worker teaches prostitutes about safe sex; ironically, her troubled, teenage daughter (a brilliant, brooding performance by Manuela Martelli) becomes pregnant and can’t confide in her own mother. The daughter has dreams too; she is secretly writing a novel. A hairdresser applies for car financing through a lonely loan officer, who quietly pines for him. The hairdresser is lonely too, but family obligations stand in the way, leading to a bitter unraveling of their budding romance. An ambitious young clarinetist auditions for the hallowed philharmonic orchestra. Frustrated in this aspiration, he settles for joining the army, and playing with the military band. Home alone, he plays Puccini to fill the void. These small stories of perseverance and frustration are presented with penetrating empathy. Together, they rise to the level of the human comedy of everyday life, in a Chilean metropolis. Though the stories are told in a parallel fashion and intersect in, only, a few, small instances, they coalesce on a different plane. Driven by dissatisfaction and reaction against circumstance, at some point, everyone commits thoughtless acts once deemed unthinkable. They struggle to make their lives work in an unaccommodating world, where mere survival is equated to success.

Heart of time/Corazón del tiempo. Saturday, September 26 - 3:10 PM – 5:30 PM @NWFF90/2008-México North-American PremiereSpanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglés Directed by: Alberto Cortés.Cast/Elenco: Rocío Barrios, Francisco Jiménez, Leonardo Rodríguez, Marisela Rodríguez, Doña Aurelia.In La Esperanza de San Pedro, Chiapas, in the midst of the Zapatista struggle, Sonia, a member of the community, is about to be married. Her dowry, a cow, has been delivered. Her boyfriend’s family has been spoken to… However, Sonia is in love with another: an insurgent. Now, the EZLN (Zapatista Army) has a problem on their hands and the entire community must come together so that the voice of its members can be heard and respected; and so that duty may be overcome by love.

============================ADULT FANTASTIC

Saints/Santos. Sunday, September 26 - 12:45 PM – 2:30 PM @NWFF 11980/2008-Chile NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by: Nicolás López.Cast/Elenco: Elsa Pataky, Javier Gutiérrez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Guillermo Toledo, Teresita Reyes, Nicolás Martínez, Sebastián Berta Muñiz.Santos is a failed comic book artist living in a parallel universe. Here he becomes a superhero charged with saving the universe. This enjoyable, wacky world will appeal to sci-fi fans, especially as dozens of film references will keep film buffs on their toes. Writer-director Nicolas Lopez has included a myriad of ideas into the visual wit of this alternative universe.


Indigenous languages Children of Amazon Friday, September 25 - 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center72/2007-Brazil (*Coproduction/Coproducción: USA) NW PremiereEnglish, Portuguese & Surui-Nagarte w/ English subtitles Inglés, Portugués & Surui-Nagarte con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Denise ZmekholChildren of the Amazon follows Brazilian filmmaker, Denise Zmekhol, as she travels a modern highway deep into the Amazon. She is searching for the Indigenous Surui and Negarote children she photographed fifteen years ago. Part road movie, part time travel, her journey tells the story of what happened to life, in the largest forest on Earth, when a road was built straight through the Amazon’s heart.

Grissi Siknis, la enfermedad mágica de la selva. Saturday, September 26 - 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM @NWFF Grissi Siknis, The Magic Sickness of The Jungle94/2008-Nicaragua (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Spain, Mexico) West Coast PremiereMiskito, Spanish w/ English subtitles.Miskito, español con subtítulos en inglés.Directed by/Dirigido por: Enrique Ruiz-SkipeyThe jungle madness known as Grissi Siknis is a contagious, naturally bound syndrome occuring among the Miskito of Eastern Central America. It predominately affects young women. Grissi Siknis is typically characterized by long periods of anxiety, nausea dizziness, irrational anger and fear. These periods are interlaced with shorter periods of rapid frenzy, in which the victim loses consciousness, believes that devils beat them, and has sexual relations with them. Traditional Miskito belief holds that Grissi Siknis is the result of evil spirits or black sorcerers. While western medicine typically has no effect on the sick, the remedies of Miskito herbalists are often successful in curing the madness.

No son invisibles: Maya women & microfinance. Sunday, September 27 – 11:00 AM– 12:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center45/2008-USA (*Coproduction/ coproducción: México) North-American Premiere. Maya, English & Spanish w/English subtitlesMaya, inglés y español con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Melissa Eidson. Interviewees/Entrevistados: Josefina Patricia Vázquez Hernández, Lorenza Hernández Pérez, María Verónica Sánchez Pérez, Micaela García Jiménez, Pilar García Quintana, Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Peace Nobel Prize).In the highlands of Mexico, the Maya women of Chiapas have a story to tell about survival, strength, and endurance. Microfinance loans have given these women the chance to start or improve a small business. This gives them the ability to lift themselves and their children out of abject poverty, through their own talents and skills. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, explains how microfinance works while we see it through the lives of Maya women. He appears and is the voiceover in the film.

Shika Shika. Sunday, September 27 – 11:00 AM– 12:30 PM @Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center10/2008-USADirected by: Stephen Hyde.*******Shikashika is a short documentary that offers a rare glimpse into life, in the Andes mountains of Peru. The filmmakers focus on the unseen practices of extracting glacial ice for shikashika, which is sold at the steps of a cathedral beneath the mountain, Huscaran.


Fidel Castro: Hombre o Mito/Fidel Castro - Man and Myth Friday, September 25 - 10:15 – 12:00 Midnight @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center60/2008- Germany (*Coproduction: Cuba, USA) Seattle PremiereEnglishInglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Stephan Lamby.Interviewees/Entrevistados: Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Former United States President George Bush sen., James Baker, Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara; Hubor Matos, Castro's comrade; Natalia Revuelta, mother of Castro’s daughter Alina; former CIA-agent Philipp Agee, former US-diplomat Wayne Smith.He outlived generations of American presidents, Russian leaders, CIA-directors, and exiled Cubans. He survived innumerable assassination attempts. He was in power for, almost, fifty years. Fidel Castro: an idol, an enemy. Over decades, he is the world’s most controversial statesman. Even after his resignation in 2008, he continues to influence Cuban politics. What kind of person is Fidel Castro? What kind of character is hidden, behind the facade of an army uniform? Is he a revolutionary, a Latin American caudillo, or just a dictator addicted to power? This documentary is a key into Fidel Castro’s mysterious psyche. It describes Fidel Castro’s life, from the early years as the son of a wealthy farmer, near Santiago de Cuba, to his time as a talented law student, in Havana. It analyzes Castro’s behavior, during the revolution in 1959, his friendship with Che Guevara, and the treatment of rivals such as Camilo Cienfuegos and Huber Matos. With never before known details, the documentary explains how Castro’s love-hate-relationship with the United States developed, especially under President John F. Kennedy. It explores how he behaved after the end of the Soviet Union and during recent conflicts, with the United States. Furthermore, the documentary describes the religious side of Castro’s character, his qualities as a womanizer, his moral convictions, and his lack of fear. The directors of the film took a close look at Fidel Castro at public events, were able to use unknown archival footage.

Agustin´s Journal /El diario de Agustín. Saturday, September 26 - 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM @NWFF 45Seattle Premiere80/2008-ChileSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Ignacio Agüero.A group of students, from the University of Chile, investigate the newspaper El Mercurio’s responsibility in human rights violations, during Pinochet’s dictatorship. The search reveals how the newspaper, the oldest and most influential in Chile, manipulated information by hiding crimes.

============================Inmigration Made in LA. Friday, September 25 – 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM @ NWFF 11970/ 2007-USA – Emmy award Winner Spanish w/English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglesDirected by/Dirigido por: Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar.Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature documentary (70 min) that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from trendy clothing retailer Forever 21. In intimate observational style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.


Celia the queen. Friday, September 25 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ NWFF 11990/2008-USA NW COAST PREMIERED IN SEATTLE in APRIL WITH LHAAFF and CineSeattle.Spanish & English w/ English subtitlesEspañol e inglés con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Joe Cardona & Mario de Varona.Interviews with Celia Cruz, Wyclef Jean, Quincy Jones, Gloria Estefan, and Andy Garcia offer insight into the rich legacy of legendary, Cuban vocalist, Celia Cruz. This documentary explores how one woman's voice shattered the barriers of racism and sexism, across the globe.

Painting Alfredo Arreguín. Friday, September 25 - 3:10 PM – 5:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center30/2008-USA DIRECTOR AND ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE. EnglishInglésDirected by/Dirigido por: John Forsen. Born in Moreila, Michoacan, Mexico (1935), Alfredo Arreguín developed as an artist in Seattle. He has resided, since 1958, in this city. Arreguin's work is in many public and private collections, including The Smithsonian Institution, The National Academy ofSciences, the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, California, and the Denver Art Museum.Dance

Dance of my heart/Danza de mi corazón West Coast PremiereFriday, September 25 - 3:10 PM – 5:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center80/2007- Cuba (*Coproduction: USA, Canada)English & Spanish w/ English subtitlesInglés y español con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Ricardo Acosta.The co-creator of Cuban classical ballet and the choreographer of “Carmen Suite” is ninety years old, healthy, and vibrant. Working every day at a community college in north Florida, he teaches kids how to dance with the same passion he had all his life, working with some of the most important ballet dancers of the twentieth century. Ricardo Acosta’s “Dance of my heart” is a sensitive, well documented portrait of the Cuban dancer/choreographer Alberto Alonso.The film is not only an ode to the nester of classical Cuban dance, but also an ode to the power of art, love, and beauty that will not succumb to the power of time.

That Samba thing!Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:45 PM – 2:30 PM @ NWFF 45Directed by Teddy HayesFive interlocking fictional stories depicting the lives of Brazilians and Londoners who co-exist under difficult emotional and psychological circumstances. The turmoil takes place against a backdrop of haunting memories, broken dreams, future hopes, exciting samba music and the festival spirit of London's spectacular Notting Hill carnival. With Joseph Marcel, a famous Caribbean thespian, who once was Will Smith's Butler on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.Teddy Hayes is the writer of Langston Hughes PAC upcoming play, "Obama on my mind" that will open in October in Seattle.


Luchando. Saturday, September 26 - 10:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight @NWFF 55/2009-USA (*Coproduction/Coproducción: Cuba) North West Coast PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglés Directed by/Dirigido por: Noelle Stout.Luchando chronicles the everyday struggles of four Cuban jineteros (hustlers), who set out to resolve their touching, and at-times humorous, dilemmas in Havana’s gay underground. The film combines verité footage and informal interviews, to offer a first-ever look at same-sex prostitution, in Cuba. Historically, "luchando" has meant the fight for the Cuban revolution, but in Cuba's gay enclaves, the word describes the struggle of having sex for money. After the fall of the Socialist Bloc, in the early nineties, Cuba suffered a total economic collapse and witnessed the rise of same-sex prostitution. Luchando provides a window into this growing community of sex workers, through the lives of four of its most compelling characters: Diosa, an articulate travesti who was kicked out of her father’s home for cross-dressing; Manuel, a macho technician who grapples with his sexual identity as he engages in intimate relationships with men; La Gorda (The Fat Girl), an aspiring rapper; and Yuris, a cocky 19-year-old whose womanizing has resulted in four children, he must hustle to support. Together, the characters’ stories embody the dilemmas of post-soviet Cuba--a nation torn between the ideals of socialist equality and a rapidly widening gap between the rich and poor.

============================SHORT MOVIES

Dossiê Rê bordosaFriday, September 25 – 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center15/2008-Brazil (Animation) U.S PremierePortuguese w/ English subtitlesPortugués con subtítulos en españolDirected by/Dirigido por: Cesar Cabral.Cast/Elenco: Grace Gianoukas, Laert Sarrumor, Paulo Cesar Peréio.Envy? Ego issues? Malice? In 1987, Angeli, one of the most important cartoonists in Brazil, coldly murdered one of his most famous creations: the underground diva Rê Bordosa.

Forever Lupe. Friday, September 25 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ NWFF 11930/2007- México North-American Premiere DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCEEnglishDirected by/Dirigido por: Martín Caballero.Cast/Elenco: Marieli Romo, Pablo Azar , Delia Casanova.Here is the story of one of the most famous, Mexican divas of all time. Her story is tragic and glamorous. Her relationships with Gary Cooper, Johnny Weissmuller, Arturo de Cordova, and Harold Ramond pushed her to commit suicide.

The gift/El regalo. Friday, September 25 – 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM @ NWFF 1195/2009-México NW PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Stuart Escobedo Altman.Cast/Elenco: Pedro López, Emilio Rosal, Luis Deveze, Chris Ingersoll, Chris Barron.Three Mexican immigrants, on their “Homeric Adventure”, use a mythical beast in order to cross the border into the United States. It is a political comedy which shows the vicissitudes of three Mexicans, in search of “The American Dream”.

Morpheus’ Arms/Los brazos de Morfeo. Sunday, September 26 - 12:45 PM – 2:30 PM @NWFF 11919/2007-Colombia/USA NW PremiereEnglish-Inglés Directed by/Dirigido por: Juan Gabriel Pérez Arjona.Cast/Elenco: Rhiann Woodyard, Dustin Varpness, Omar Avila.A young, narcoleptic writer searches for the story behind a strange message left on a record. Within the realm of dreams, memories, hallucinations, and reality, she will find traces of a story that ties the record to the rivalry, between her young, punk-rocker brother and her Latin boyfriend.

GraceFriday, September 25 - 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center8/2009-USA West Coast PremiereSpanish & English w/ English subtitlesEspañol e inglés con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Alrick Brown.A short film about a woman, a mother, and an immigrant with everything to lose, but her faith.Jale (*)Saturday, September 26 - 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM @NWFF 11910/2009-USAJale is Spanish for “pull”, but is, also, Chicano/Mexican slang for “work”. The title refers to the push and pull of immigration, which draws Mexicans to the U.S. This film attempts to create a metaphor for the experience of day laborers, in the Chicano community, through the eyes of a Mexican day laborer, Fulano. When Fulano is hired to dig a grave, he learns about the duplicity of North American policies and attitudes towards undocumented labor.The directors conducted six months of research, in San Francisco’s Mission District, and spoke with undocumented laborers to create an original story that explores this unique, social perspective. In an attempt to create a new form of Chicano Third Cinema, the director decided to employ real day laborers, as untrained actors, and shoot the entire film in true, guerrilla fashion.

Niña quebrada. Friday, September 25 - 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM @NWFF23/2008-USASpanish & English w/ English subtitlesEspañol e inglés con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Jen Kleiner.Cast/Elenco: Yvette Yates, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucki Wheating, Lily Tinoco, Jessenia Quiroz.At her boyfriend’s pleas, Lucena, a teenage girl runs away from her family, in Mexico, for the chance at a better life, in Los Angles. She stepped into her boyfriend’s car and, unbeknownst to her, into a nightmarish world of child prostitution and sex trafficking.

What Goes Up /Todo lo que sube. Saturday, September 26 – 10:00 – Midnight @ Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center18/2008-Venezuela West Coast PremiereSpanish w/ English subtitlesEspañol con subtítulos en inglésDirected by/Dirigido por: Miguel Ferrari.Cast/Elenco: Dora Mazzone, Sonia Villamizar, Rosario Prieto, Gabriel Rojas, Albi de Abreu, Daniela Bascopé, Héctor Manrique, Julio Pereira, Jesús Cervó, Rebeca Alemán, José Manuel Suárez, Jimmi Quijano. “What Goes Up” takes place in the reduced space of a commercial building’s elevator.There are a series of characters that get on, men and women, who pretend to be something they are not. They are forced to share an uncomfortable space, in which even each other’s breathing is noticeable. It is an atmosphere filled with silences, accidentally met glances, uncovered intimacies, emotionally revealing perfumes, and not so pleasant smells no one takes credit for. “What Goes Up” is a reflection of a world where what you are worth is determined by your appearance, causing the weakest people to have a distorted self image.

============================INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

Ordinary Boys/ Chicos normales. Saturday, September 26 - 8:00 PM – 9:45 PM @NWFF 4585/2008-Spain West Coast PremiereEnglish subtitlesDirected by/Dirigida por: Daniel Hernández.Cast/Elenco: Rabia Bouchfira, El-Khader Aoulasse, Youseff Belefki, Mohammed Saadoun.Chicos normales/Ordinary Boys, a film based on true events, enters the homes and lives of three youngsters from Jamaa Mezwak. This is a Tetuan slum, and birthplace of the five terrorists responsible for the Madrid killing, on March 11, 2004.

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*New* Local Spanish-Language News Online

This post is contributed by Intern Melissa Duque.

The Northwest now has a daily Spanish news website
… and I couldn’t be more excited.

I moved to the Northwest about a year ago, and over this past year I have been having trouble with my Spanish. I left a predominately Spanish-speaking community in Los Angeles to move to the Seattle area, where I have slowly begun to meet other Latinos.

My biggest issue hasn’t been speaking the language (a quick phone call to a friend or ordering in Spanish does the trick); it has been reading and comprehension that have caused me difficulties.

When it comes to getting my daily dose of news I watch local English-language television stations before my commute to get the weather and traffic. I get my national and international news from English-language broadcasts. Occasionally I will watch the local Spanish news station, Univisión, for international news but not for local.

I did try to read El Nuevo Herald from Miami for a couple of months, and although the celebrity news was great, the news stories weren’t relevant to me. Same goes for La Opinión from Los Angeles--lots of great information but not the stories I needed.

I am not like many of the local Latinos who go to small carnicerías (or "marquetas" as they call them) in the area, so I don’t have a chance to pick up “La Raza de Noroeste” but as of today I can go online to find daily Northwest news in Spanish at the publication's brand new site, Nuestro Noroeste.

The site is pretty easy to navigate and so far I like it. On my iPhone, it's a little difficult to navigate (really big photos) but on a desktop that's definitely visually appealing.

In the following weeks we shall see if this website becomes part of my morning ritual. For now, I will give it a chance. Let me know what you think about this new resource for Spanish speakers by leaving a comment.