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Future leaders of the arts.

This issue is chockfull of stars. Eduardo Yanez, Ricky Martin, Jacob Vargas and Patricia Riggen, just to name a few. But this portfolio is not about that. It's about showcasing some great yet relatively unknown talent that you should really get to know. There's Daniela Ruiz, a young filmmaker who is working hard to make it in Hollywood, where there is few women directors and even less Latinas. Or how about Catalina Gonzalez, a Dallas fashion designer who launched a baby line of clothing. There's more, much more. If you are looking for culture, you came to the right place. Take David Torres, a journalist turned poet who explores being Latino in America. Or Marco Antonio Flores, the author of a thriller novel from Arizona who may just have the key to border relations. All of our portfolio leaders are brilliant. Enjoy.




THOUGH DANIELA started her storytelling journey in theatre, film theory and writing for television, she has made a sharp turn into producing films in Hollywood, CA. Daniela Ruiz is a millennial, bilingual and bicultural filmmaker--with many stories to tell. Daniela fell in love with film as a kid when she spent endless hours watching films with her father.

She followed her passion by earning a Bachelor of Science in TV, Film, and New Media Production from San Diego State University. After graduating she wrote, developed and produced multiple seasons of Spanish language shows for MTV Networks in Miami and later in New York City.

Earlier this year Daniela earned a Master of Fine Arts in Producing from the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles, CA. While at the AFI she produced seven narrative short films and is currently in development with two feature films set to begin production in 2016. One is a Spanish language comedy entitled He Matado a mi Marido that she is developing with other Latino filmmakers.

Daniela is an active member of Women in Film and is passionate about her participation in the Latino Donor Collaborative (a national organization dedicated to reshaping the perception of Latinos as part of the American social mainstream).

Photo by Marianne Williams




"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute, we read and write poetry because we are members of the human race," said Robin Williams as English teacher John Keating, in that classic 1989 film, Dead Poets Society.

AS A JOURNALIST who covered L.A.'s 1992 riots, traveled to some perilous parts of the world and been all over the U.S. writing about social and immigration issues, David Torres does poetry not because its pretty, but because it makes him -and us- more human.

His book, Heredad de sombras (Inheritance of Shadows), is a lean mean book of free verse poems. The Mexico City native who has lived in the U.S. since the early 1990s now dwells in Washington D.C. where he works for America's Voice.

The poet is about to launch two new works: "Nomadas palabras" (Nomad Words) and Attar de umbrales (Altar of Thresholds), the latter a book of short stories.

If you want to perfect your Spanish, read good poetry or go deep into the modern roots of Mexican letters, Heredad de Sombras is a good way to go.

As Javier Moro Hernandez says about Inheritance of Shadows, its about "silences that are more painful than a scream, there are extensions of reality that poetry can trap like a winkle, a peek of eternity. We are inheritors of shadows, of phantoms, of silences, of voices, of goodbyes that have created us, that have been polishing us letter by letter, until forming a gaze that can see through solitude and silence to reconstruct them patiently, slowly."

Photo by Paola Hidalgo/ Excelsior Newspaper




How do you fashion baby clothes? What materials do you use?

ASK CATALINA GONZALEZ, founder of Dondolo, a luxury brand that specializes in baby clothing. She got the idea of starting a product for babies after she got a soft Peruvian Pima cotton sleeper.

"I saw the need for elegant, high-quality --yet durable and comfortable-- garments," Gonzalez said.

Originally from Colombia, Gonzalez lives in Dallas, from where she directs Dondolo. The designer uses high-quality Pima Cotton for her designs.

"By wrapping your child in simple elegance, you are wrapping the world with warmth and hope," Gonzalez says.

When you buy from Dondolo, part of the funds goes to needy families and women of Colombia, who are working in confectioning the brand's line. How cool is that!

You can find boutiques that carry Dondolo's line at

Courtesy photo




Marco Antonio Flores, author of Nogales, may redefine the political thriller

THE FATE OF THE world hinges on the actions of a couple of cops from two different countries in a small border desert town.

That's the plot of Nogales, a novel by Marco Antonio Flores, a Southern Arizona native whose book has already caused a stir in the local scene even before publication. The plot of this international thriller happens in Nogales, a name for the two neighboring towns in the U.S. and Mexico that are separated by the border.

A horror worse than 9/11 is upon the border, it threatens the presidents of both countries and the stability of the world. But will the sacrifice and friendship of two locals--each from an opposite side of the border--stand a chance against such evil?

The man behind the thriller is a suave, mild-mannered gentleman of culture who was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona. He knows every inch of the border and his town and believes the people of the area will be pivotal for the future of both the U.S. and Mexico.

Could Flores be the next Frederick Forsyth, the master of political thrillers? Only time will tell, but some locals believe that the hype behind his novel is completely justified.

For now, the debonair writer who resembles "The most interesting man in the world" is only interested in telling the story of his hometown.

If you would like to contact Flores he says to email him at

Photo by Noel Weatherbie
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Title Annotation:PORTFOLIO
Publication:Latino Leaders
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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