Posts tagged with "Cuba"

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21 in 21

21 Afro-Latinxs to celebrate in 2021 and beyond! 

By: Javier Pedroza

It’s Black History Month, which gives the planet time to reflect on how African American achievements have contributed to US history and how African achievements have contributed to the world. Although, don’t forget it is important to highlight and celebrate Black accomplishments year around. Due to the current global climate, it’s important to become more knowledgeable and celebrate the Afro-Latinx population for its contributions to US history and the world.

After 2020, it is an especially important time to embolden the community to take part in the celebration of Black culture. This year, the Black History Month theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” which explores the African diaspora and their contributions.

To really understand the African diaspora it is essential to acknowledge that there were more African slaves to Latin America than to the United States. “There were 11.2 million Africans who came to the New World in the slave trade and of that 11.2 million, only 450,000 came to the United States,” Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said in a discussion about his PBS documentary series Black In Latin America. He added, “The real black experience, in terms of numbers, is all throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

Today, Latinx should understand their roots, which have an undoubtedly long history of African heritage. Hispanics & Latinx identities are beautifully complex, multifaceted and multidimensional. A Pew Research Center survey of Latinx, adults shows that one-quarter of all U.S. Latinx self-identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, or of African descent with roots in Latin America. This is the first time a nationally representative survey in the U.S. has asked the Latinx population directly whether they considered themselves Afro-Latinx.

Many Latinos identify with their ancestral countries of origin – Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic, etc. Others may also identify with their Indigenous roots and all of these experiences made contributions to Black History. A goal to have moving forward is to celebrate global Black History and continue to recognize the contributions African-Americans have made to the world, including achievements made by Afro-Latinxs & Afro-Indigenous people. It’s imperative for Latinxs to acknowledge their African & Indigenous heritage given that history and cultures are inextricably linked to slave trade in the Americas, genocide and the African Diaspora. 

Here’s a growing list of amazing Afro-Latino (a,x) heroes and their contributions. 

1. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

(January 24, 1874 – June 10, 1938)

Place of birth: Santurce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, born to a Black mother and father of German descent, was a historian. Mr. Schomburg is considered to be one of the Fathers of Black History & a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Schomburg’s lifework consisted of research and preservation—work that would lead him to become one of the world’s premier collectors of Black literature, slave narratives, artwork, and diasporic materials. 

2. Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega 

(January 3, 1942)

Place of birth: East Harlem, New York

Contributions: Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega is an Afro-Boricua who established the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). Dr. Moreno Vega has been an advocate for cultural equity, cultural studies and education. As the second director of El Museo del Barrio, one of the founders of the Association of Hispanic Arts, Network of Centers of Color and the Roundtable of Institutions of Color, Dr. Moreno Vega has contributed to assuring that the contributions of African and African descendants are integral to the lives of civil society in the Americas. 

3. Celia Cruz 

(October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003)

Place of birth: Havana, Cuba

Contributions: Celia Cruz was a singer & recording artist born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. Her many honors included three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammys for recordings such as Ritmo en el corazón (1988; with Ray Barretto) and Siempre viviré (2000).

4. Dr. José Celso Barbosa 

(July 27, 1857 – September 21, 1921)

Place of birth: Bayamón, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. José Celso Barbosa was a Physician, Sociologist and Politician.  Known as the father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement, Barbosa was the first Puerto Rican, and one of the first persons of African descent to earn a medical degree in the United States.

5. Ruth Fernández (Ruth Noemi Fernández Cortada) 

(May 23, 1919 – January 9, 2012)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Contributions: Ruth Fernández, “El Alma de Puerto Rico Hecha Canción” (“The Soul of Puerto Rico Turned Song”) was a Puerto Rican contralto, actress, and a member of the Puerto Rican Senate. She was the first and only singer ever elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico. She was considered by many to be the Rosa Parks of Puerto Rico when she refused to enter the Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan through its back entrance because she was a woman of color. The owners of the hotel stated that blacks had to enter through the rear of the building, but during one evening where she was set to perform at the hotel’s ballroom, she marched into the hotel via its front entrance. After this event, the hotel changed its policy.

6. Cardi B (Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar)

(October 11, 1992)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York

Contributions: Afro-Latina Cardi B is a Dominican & Trinidadian rapper, songwriter, and actress raised in the Bronx, New York. Recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential female rappers of all time, Cardi B is known for her aggressive flow and candid lyrics, which have received widespread media coverage. She is the highest certified female rapper of all time on the RIAA’s Top Artists (Digital Singles) ranking, also appearing among the ten highest-certified female artists and having the two top-certified songs by a female rap artist.

She is the only female rapper with multiple billion-streams on Spotify and became the first artist to top the inaugural Billboard Global 200. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, eight Billboard Music Awards, five Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, eleven BET Hip Hop Awards and two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year awards. In 2018 Time magazine included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2020, Billboard honored her as Woman of the Year. 

7. Rosa Alicia Clemente 

(April 18, 1972)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Afro-Boricua Rosa Alicia Clemente is the 2008 United States Vice-Presidential Candidate, Producer, Journalist, Political Commentator & Scholar-Activist. Rosa is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies of University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

8. Congressman Ritchie John Torres 

(March 12, 1988)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Ritchie Torres is an Afro-Boricua politician who is a member of the Democratic party. He is the US representative for New York’s 15th congressional district. Torres was the first openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, and the youngest member of the city council. Torres won the November 2020 general election and assumed office on January 3, 2021. This makes him one of the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress (along with Mondaire Jones). This also made Torres the first openly gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. As such, he is one of the nine co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus in the 117th United States Congress. 

9. Zoe Saldana (Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario) *Trending Now

(June 19, 1978)

Place of birth: Passaic, New Jersey

Contributions: Zoe Saldaña is of mixed ethnic heritage, with her mother being of Puerto Rican descent and her father hailing from the Dominican Republic. Zoe is the only performer to get star billing in more than one movie that grossed over $2 billion worldwide with Avatar and Avengers: Infinity War. 

10. Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos 

(September 12, 1891 – April 21, 1965)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos was a Puerto Rican attorney, social activist, nationalist and the son of a mixed-race mother who was the daughter of slaves and a Basque father from a farming and landowning family. The latter not only provided no financial support but also did not legally recognize his son until he was 19, and Albizu Campos grew up in poverty. In 1912 he was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry and engineering at the University of Vermont. He transferred a year later to Harvard University, majoring in chemistry and literature and becoming the first Puerto Rican Harvard graduate. Many people in Puerto Rico consider Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos the father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. 

11. Carmelo Kyam Anthony

(May 29, 1984)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Carmelo Anthony is an Afro-Latino professional basketball player. He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six-time Anthony also played in the 2016 Olympic Games, his fourth straight stint in the Olympics, which was a record for a US male basketball player, breaking the old record of having played in three Olympiads he shared with James and Robinson. He has celebrated his roots by giving back to Puerto Rico, remodeling basketball courts in a poor neighborhood 3 years in a row now. 

12. La La Anthony (Alani Nicole Vázquez) 

(June 25, 1981)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: La La Anthony is an Afro-Puerto Rican actress, host, producer and New York Times best-selling author. La La Anthony has supported charities such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Gabrielle’s, Angel Foundation, GLAAD and Voto Latino. 

13. Rosie Perez (Rosa María Perez) 

(September 6, 1964)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Rosie Perez is an Afro-Latina actress, choreographer and community activist. Rosie was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS by President Barack Obama in 2010. Among many honors, Rosie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fearless as well as three Emmy Awards for her work as a choreographer on In Living Color (1990–1994).

Perez has also performed in stage plays on Broadway, such as The Ritz, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and Fish in the Dark. In addition, she was a co-host on the ABC talk show The View during the series’ 18th season. 

14. MJ Rodriguez (Michaela Antonia Jaé Rodriguez) 

(January 7, 1991)

Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey

Contributions: MJ Rodriguez is an African American and Puerto Rican actress who is among the largest cast of transgender actresses on the show Pose. MJ made history by becoming the first Trans woman to ever sign a beauty deal with Olay Body. MJ was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Special Trailblazer Award at the 31st Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington D.C. 

15. Ramon E. Contreras 

(22-years-old)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Ramon Contreras is a young political activist, advisor and filmmaker who is changing the nature of civic engagement by championing and encouraging minorities to participate in politics. Ramon is a fierce gun control enthusiast and founded YouthOverGuns, a platform advocating for change in underserved communities of color. He led a protest of thousands across the Brooklyn Bridge and is the National Strategist for the nation-wide organization, March for Our Lives. 

16. Laith Ashley De La Cruz 

(July 6, 1989)

Place of birth: Harlem, New York

Contributions:  Laith Ashley is a model, actor, singer-songwriter and entertainer of Dominican descent. He was the first transgender man to be featured in a Diesel campaign. Laith has been on the cover of countless magazines and has had featured stories published on countless others all around the world; ie, British GQ.

Laith was on the cast of the reality TV series, “Strut,” executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, and raised the heart rates of viewers in his appearance on hit series, “Pose,” on FX. Ashley is also an activist, particularly in transgender issues. He worked with FLUX, a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to trans and gender-nonconforming people. 

17. Dianne Morales 

(June 21, 1967)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York 

Contributions: Double Ivy League graduate Dianne Morales is an Afro-Boricua with degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. Dianne is the former CEO of several multi-million dollar social service nonprofits and is also the first Latina / Afro-Latina candidate for New York City Mayor. 

18. Johnny Pacheco 

(March 25, 1935 – February 15, 2021)

Place of birth: Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Contributions: Johnny Pacheco was one of the most influential artists of Latin music. He was one of the creators of The Fania All-Stars and Fania Record (#latinmotown), the most successful record label in the history of Latin music. 

19. Aida Rodriguez (Aida Margarita Parada Rodriguez) 

(August 29, 1977)

Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts

Contributions: Aida Rodriguez is a comedian, host, producer, actress and the first Latina / Afro-Latina (Puerto Rican & Dominican) to appear in two comedy specials airing in one month on both HBO and Showtime. Aida’s latest comedy special premiered on Netflix as part of the “They Ready” series hosted by Tiffany Haddish. Rodriguez has also appeared on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, The Nightly Show, five-time host of the PBS Imagen Awards, NBC Last Comic Standing’s finals, TRUtv’s Laff Tracks and is also a regular contributor for The Young Turks. 

20. Indya Moore 

(January 17, 1995)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Indya Moore is of Haitian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican ancestry. They are an actor among the largest cast of transgender on the show Pose. Moore does not identify as a Latinx, and instead identifies as Afro-Taíno. In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named them among the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.” 

21. Gina Torres 

(April 25th, 1969)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York 

Contributions: Gina Torres is an actress and the first Afro-Latina to create, produce and star in her own show, ‘Pearson’. Torres won the ALMA Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series for her role in Cleopatra 2525. Gina also received the Best Supporting Actress award by The Imagen Foundation (Spanish for “image”) Awards, the only premier Latino entertainment awards program dedicated to honoring the positive portrayal and creative excellence of Latinos and Latino cultures on screen. 

Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!

The Next ‘It’ Health Trend

Celebrity chef and author of EAT LIKE YOU GIVE A FORK: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive, Mareya Ibrahim, offers an early sneak peek at the newest “it” health trend of 2020: black cumin seed. Respected throughout the culinary industry and wellness market for her innovative, accessible approach to clean eating, visionary inventor and CEO of Grow Green Industries, Inc. Mareya Ibrahim shares a sneak peak into her annual “8 Hottest Healthy Food & Beverage Trends Report”, now in its 8th consecutive year.  This season, hot on the heels of her latest book release, America’s favorite “Fit Foodie” offers an in-depth look at why black cumin seed is the ‘Next It Superfood’ – and how it relates to her heritage as an Egyptian-born immigrant. Found buried among the treasures of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, Nigella Sativa (or black cumin) is believed to be a life-extending secret of the pharaohs. Drastically different from its more commonly-known counterpart, Cuminum Cyminum the cumin spice which serves as a staple in many Mexican and Cuban dishes – black cumin seed is referenced in some of the oldest religious and medical texts as a “cure-all.” Ancient civilizations trusted this medicinal herb to treat a variety of diseases, from diabetes and hypertension to inflammation, eczema, and headaches.

“In Arabic, we call it ‘habbat el barakah’ which literally means ‘seed of blessing.’ I grew up with it in a lot of our foods, and it has a really distinct, pungent flavor that I grew to love.  When I started researching the plethora of incredible health benefits, I realized this is something everyone needs to know about, and importantly, how to incorporate it tastefully into their everyday diet.  Many of the recipes in my new book are from my beloved Egypt, so this miracle black cumin lends itself perfectly to blend it in seed or oil form,” commented Ibrahim With a diverse chemical composition containing rich amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and the powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant thymoquinone, black cumin seed oil delivers multi-faceted healing benefits, including: relief of allergies and asthma; an immunity boost; naturally inhibiting the growth of cancer cells; reduction of inflammation; actively fighting off harmful bacterial-, virus- and fungal-related microbes like MRSA; powerfully aiding in digestion; improving the quality of hair, skin, and nails; healing persistent skin problems; promoting heart health by supporting proper cholesterol levels and normalizing blood pressure; inhibiting Candida, along with other internal and external forms of fungal overgrowth. While its proven benefits are broad and promising, a strong flavor (similar to black licorice) makes black cumin seed difficult to stomach. Thankfully, Chef Mareya comes to the rescue with not one, but four ways to integrate this “miracle” supplement into a balanced diet using healthy, delicious recipes from her newest book, Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive:

● Add 1 teaspoon black cumin seed oil to finished Ful Mudames recipe, a typical Egyptian meal

● Add 1 1/2 teaspoons black cumin seed to Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, and Feta Salad

● Blend 1 teaspoon black cumin seed oil to any salad dressing or dip, like the Grilled Artichoke Hummus and the Real Ranch Dressing

● Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons black cumin seed into the crust of Lucca’s Chicken Tenders

● Add 1 teaspoon black cumin seed to Real Vitality Tonic with ginger and cinnamon

Cuba Travel

On June 4, 2019, the Trump Administration announced further restrictions on travel to Cuba, immediately halting cruise ship arrivals and some other forms of travel. Edward Piegza, founder of Classic Journeys, explains the latest rules.

Why should I care about the new Cuba Travel Restrictions?

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Trump administration announced new rules about people-to-people and cruise travel to Cuba. These will affect most Americans traveling to Cuba. If you have plans for such a trip – or have been thinking about making them – you may naturally be confused. Here’s a summary of the changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the section at the Department of the Treasury that regulates the trade and travel embargo to Cuba and which issues licenses for travel to Cuba) and the Commerce Department, respectively.

Can I travel legally to Cuba with Classic Journeys on its People-to-People programs? 

Yes, indeed. Your travel to Cuba on Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs is 100% legal because our programs fall under OFAC’s ‘grandfather’ clause. OFAC considers the grandfather clause to apply when a People-to-People organization like Classic Journeys had completed a travel-related transaction prior to June 5, 2019, in connection with a particular departure date, even if, prior to June 5, 2019, you as a traveler had not yet reserved your trip. In other words, because we had already reserved our hotel accommodations for our People-to-People trips in Cuba prior to June 5, 2019, your travel to Cuba on our People-to-People programs is grandfathered in as completely legal.

How do the new regulations affect People-to-People travel?

OFAC has allowed U.S. organizations whose people-to-people programs in Cuba fall under a ‘grandfather’ clause, such as those operated by Classic Journeys, to proceed with those programs through the end of 2019. 

So, what is a qualifying “travel-related transaction” that allows Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs to Cuba to be legal under the grandfather clause? 

The qualifying “travel-related transaction” that needs to have been completed prior to June 5 could be, for example: having made a reservation for an accommodation (whether or not paid for) or booking and paying for transportation. These are just two examples and are not meant to be exhaustive. In the case of Classic Journeys, our close relationships with local people in Cuba mean that we already had our hotel reservations confirmed prior to June 5.

What People-to-People programs and dates are legal with Classic Journeys under the new regulations? 

All three of our People-to-People programs (Long Weekend in Havana, Cuba for Families: Havana and the Viñales Valley, and Havana Cienfuegos & Trinidad) and all of their departure dates for 2019 are 100% legal.

Can you still fly to Cuba legally on commercial air flights?

Commercial air flights are not affected by the changes. Note that your airline will ask you at the time of ticketing to select from a listing of the type of license under which you are traveling to Cuba legally. Your first choice option for the license will be a “people-to-people” exchange with the “grandfather clause” aka referencing the fact that your People-to-People organization- Classic Journeys – has made its arrangements prior to June 5, 2019. If that option is not available, you can select “educational activities” (so long as there is no mention of a degree requirement). If the airline you are considering does not have one of these options right now, they are likely playing catch up with the new regulations; so you can check back with them in a few days or try one of the many other airlines with commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.

How do the new regulations affect cruise travel to Cuba?

The changes have immediately ended travel to Cuba by U.S.-flagged cruise ships or foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from U.S. ports. The Commerce Department has not included a “grandfather” clause to allow cruises that have already been scheduled, and for which passengers have already made arrangements. If you have a paid a deposit or final payment for cruise travel to Cuba, you should contact your cruise company for a refund.

What about private aircraft and boats; can they travel legally to Cuba? 

No. The authorization for private vessels and private aircraft (such as private fishing boats and private sailboats, and corporate or private jets) is revoked.

How will the changes under President Trump affect the people of Cuba?

We’ve made so many wonderful friends in Cuba and seen the lives of the Cuban people change for the better during recent years. So, of course, we’re concerned about what it will mean to their prosperity and general welfare with the enaction of these new travel regulations. The Cubans have been through so much in the last 60 years. They’ve always managed to bear their hardships with grace and warm solidarity in their families and communities.

One known feature of the new regulations is that they will cap remittances – the money that can be sent to Cubans from friends and family members in the U.S. – at $1,000 per person every three months. In a country where the median monthly salary is just $32, you can only imagine how a reduction in remittance income will impact everyday life. In addition, travel had become a major source of income for Cubans, as well, so any reduction in that resource will echo throughout the country in a way for the people who can least afford it and whom we and our government want to help.

We choose guarded optimism.

We are approaching Cuba as we always have – with care, enthusiasm, and with pride in the fact that legal travel for Americans to Cuba has changed the lives of our American guests and the everyday local Cubans they’ve met, in overwhelmingly positive ways. You can still travel to Cuba legally with Classic Journeys. We like to think of this way of travel as an informal version of ‘Voice of America” with boots on the ground… yours in fact, as you communicate a positive story of the American people to local Cuban people. We urge you to hold fast to your plans. And if you’ve been hesitating to plan a Cuba trip, you know now that you can, and we encourage you to do so.

ABOUT CLASSIC JOURNEYS

Since its founding in 1995 with one style of travel in a total of three countries, Classic Journeys has expanded to offer five styles of travel (culture + walking, culinary, family, multi-sport, and river cruising) and 100 itineraries in 50 countries across six continents. With its focus on providing every guest a handcrafted trip of a lifetime, Classic Journeys has won awards from a variety of publications including Afar, Saveur, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure – the latter having named it a “World’s Best Tour Operator” every year since 2007. 

Refinery29’s Style Out There

WATCH NOW: SEASON 3 PREMIERE OF REFINERY29’s SERIES

Style Out There

Refinery29 returns with season 3 of the award-winning video series, Style Out There. With over 23 million views over the last two seasons, host and journalist Connie Wang digs back into the way clothing has given women a way to speak out, look within, and identify the forces that limit their potential. Through these stories, Wang discovers the powerful way fashion illuminates social and political issues, ranging from the connection between sexy clothing and sexual assault to instances when cultural appropriation can actually be both useful and productive.

Episode One of Style Out There is Now Available

In episode one, Connie Wang explores the cultural phenomenon of Disneybounding. Despite Disney’s strict rules prohibiting adults from wearing costumes inside its theme parks, die-hard fans have found a creative way to nerd out with their clothing.

Episode One Highlights:

On What Draws Disneybounders to Disney’s Films and Theme Parks:

“I didn’t grow up speaking English, they would take me outside of class to teach me how to speak English and I felt like that was pretty much Ariel. She was not feeling really part of the Mer-world but not too much part of the human world. Her story to me was very like I get it, I’m in that in between space, I’m neither here nor there and that’s okay and I can be part of both worlds.” – Evette, Disneybounder

“Disney to me is selling a feeling of happiness and joy and magic and nostalgia. No matter how uncertain the world seems, Disney kinda stays constant and consistent.” – Chelsea, Disneybounder

“In a land of synthetic monuments, Disneybounders have found real reasons to share hope, friendships and fanny packs. If the world looks better through rose colored glasses, maybe I’ll grab a pair? Hey, those could go great with a piglet disneybound.” – Connie, Host

On Disney’s Growing Diversity:

“We’re going to see a queer prince one day. We’re going to see a Vietnamese, a Japanese, different parts of Asia we’re going to see a Latina princess from Puerto Rico, from Cuba, from South America. I feel like slowly we’re going to get there one day.” – Evette, Disneybounder

Style Out There will premiere new episodes every week on Refinery29’s YouTube channel, exploring Japanese Cholas subculture in Nagoya, the rise of Afrofuturism across the globe, the American Escaramuzas, and Jamaica’s dancehall queens.

About Refinery29

Refinery29 is the leading media and entertainment company focused on women. Through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, social, shareable content, and live experiences, Refinery29 provides its audience with the inspiration and tools to discover and pursue a more independent, stylish, and informed life. Please visit www.refinery29.com/en-us, www.refinery29.com/en-ca, www.refinery29.uk and www.refinery29.de for more information and to browse content.

LILIMAR

*Featured image by Amanda Elkins

Rising star, Lilimar, is the embodiment of class and style. She is a young, energetic and gorgeous Latina – born in Venezuela to Cuban parents – and is the accumulation of everything Young Hollywood strives to be. She is best known for her series regular role on the Nickelodeon series “Bella & The Bulldogs,” but can now be seen starring in the networks popular new series: “Knight Squad,” which returns for season 2 in early 2019. Lilimar stars as the lead role of “Sage” a very interesting witch, that is full or fire and fury (but in a good way!). “Knight Squad is set at a magical school for knights in training, where two mismatched students form an unlikely alliance to protect each other’s secret and pursue their dreams,” according to a Nickelodeon show description.

Off-screen, Lilimar has used her strong social presence to set empowering, self-love social initiatives like #FreshFaceFriday and #StarGazeSaturday; with the goal of lifting up her followers and encouraging them to embrace their unique beauty and individuality.

I was really excited to start both of these on my socials, because I just love connecting with my stargazers (my supporters). I’m so incredibly grateful for every ounce of love & support they show as it always keeps me so positive and happy so I wanted to do something that shows that I support THEM just as much.” – Lilimar

The goal is to encourage young people to break boundaries and not be afraid to show the world who they really are beneath the make-up, the clothes, and fake images we try to portray online. We live in a world where we’re forcing ourselves to achieve perfection through photos instead of embracing our true natural beautiful selves. Connecting directly with her fans on these topics, Lilimar discusses issues that teens think about today like peer pressure, family, owning your individual power, societal norms in the modern age.

Her messages of truth and self-love are the reason why she’s poised to be America’s newest sweetheart.

Instagram

Twitter

14 MINIMALIST TRAVEL POSTERS

Minimalism is all the rage at the moment thanks to writers like Fumio Sasaki, so why not apply that approach when planning your next vacation? There’s so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming when you start researching places to go, with so many offers, travel guides, blogs, photos, videos, podcasts and all the rest. Sometimes you just need to drown out the noise and focus on what’s important.

That’s why Expedia has created these minimalist travel posters to help you see the essential elements on 14 of the top vacation destinations in the world. They’ve picked out the most important aspects of each destination, namely where you should go first, what food you should eat and where you can get that one stunning and shareable photo for your Instagram or Facebook page.

If you go to Berlin, for example, a whistlestop tour using these posters would take you to the aptly-named Panoramapunkt for a panoramic view of the TV Tower, followed by a trip to the past at the historic Brandenburg Gate. For food options, currywurst is a spicy taste of Berlin life and culture, while you can finish your stay with an energetic and symbolic bike ride down the Mauerweg, which follows the route of the old Berlin Wall.

Swapping Germany for South Africa, Cape Town has plenty to offer, even in the snapshot form of a minimalist visit. Speaking of snapshots, Bloubergstrand is the place to go to get that iconic photo of Table Mountain while you’ll also want to keep your camera to hand when you’re at Boulders Beach so you can get a shot of the penguins. Yes, there really are penguins there. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is a good place to get souvenirs, while the recommended dish of the trip is potjiekos, a traditional meat stew.

As you’ll have seen from these two examples, there’s so much you can fit into even a minimalist travel poster if the destination is as exciting as Berlin or Cape Town. Others getting the minimalist treatment include Havana, London, Paris and even the Serengeti and Siam Reap, the Cambodian home of 800-year-old temple Angkor Wat. You can probably guess what the iconic photo from that trip would be.

So check out all 14 of these minimalist travel posters from Expedia and see which of the legendary destinations captures your imagination. Given that you can take in all the sights in just one day, you could even do a tour…

 

Cuba Cars

Check out from publishers . Cuba is worth a visit. Or, as the authors of this book discovered, several. Cuba is still associated with Tobacco and Cohiba, Rum and Mojito – and above all the old classic, American cars of the Fifties, still running.
 
This coffee-table book is a presentation of the unbelievable variety of classic car models against the backdrop what Columbus described as “the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes.”


 Purchase

WINTER HOLIDAY CABINS BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS

Cabin space is still available for the winter 2017 holiday season on small-ship cruises to such coveted destinations as Antarctica, Baja California, Costa Rica, the Galapagos and Cuba, reports AdventureSmith Explorations, the company that brings cruise guests into intimate contact with seldom-visited shorelines around the world.

Antarctica
Travelers who want to maximize opportunities for wildlife encounters on land and sea can still book passage on one of three Antarctica programs inclusive of air transfers across Drake Passage. This segment of a cruise normally consumes several days of at-sea-only travel both coming and going. Popular air cruises fly guests over the often-turbulent Drake Passage, turning a two-day crossing into two hours. Following are air cruise departures with space available as of mid August. For more information and specifics on all the various itineraries offered by AdventureSmith Explorations please see Antarctica cruises.

  • If booked before Aug. 31, 2017, clients receive a 20 percent discount on a mid-December departure Dec. 15-22 of Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake. Also available are Dec. 16-23and Dec. 20-30 departures. This eight-day itinerary is from $9,495 per person double on the 132-passenger Ocean Adventurer or the 108-passenger Island Sky.
  • Antarctica Air Cruise offers three holiday departures still with availability: Dec. 16-23Dec. 21-28 and Dec. 22-29. This cruise is eight days from $10,995 per person double on the 72-guest Ocean Nova or the 71-guest Hebridean Sky XXI.
  • Polar Circle Air Cruise picks up the holiday slack with its Jan. 1-10, 2018, departure for 10 days from $14,495 per person double aboard the 72-guest Ocean Nova.
  • There is still ample space on a non-air cruise, the 11-day Antarctic Explorer expedition, an 11-day journey from $5,995 per person double, exclusive of the air cruise benefit. Four ships carrying from 132 to 199 passengers conduct this cruise.

Baja California and Costa Rica
Two very popular, close-to-home small ship cruise destinations as of late summer have good holiday cabin availability to accommodate families and groups. Some programs include special offers. Baja cruises in late December and early January coincide with the beginning of the peak season for viewing gray whales and for snorkeling with sea lions.

  • Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez has holiday availability on Dec. 14-22and Dec. 22Jan. 2 departures. This is a 12-day adventure from $5,250 per person double aboard the eight-guest yacht Westward.
  • Baja’s Bounty accommodates the holidays with departures Dec. 16-23Dec. 23-30Dec. 30Jan. 6 and Jan. 6-13 The Dec. 16 and Jan. 6 programs come with a bonus of $800 off on cabins booked by Sept. 30, 2017. This cruise is over eight days from $2,995 per person double aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavor.

Friendly, tropical and easy-to-access, Costa Rica is a holiday destination primed for families. Small ships provide easy, inclusive access to rain and cloud forests, tropical birds and wildlife, active volcanoes, waterfalls and beaches. Whale watching ramps up this time of year, with the season for humpback whales running January through March. Holiday cruise options include $800 off the cabin rate and free round trip from Miami on some trips if booked by Sept. 30, 2017.

  • Unveiled Wonders: Costa Rica & the Panama Canal holiday departures are Dec. 15-23 ($800 off cabin rate), Dec. 22-30Dec. 29Jan. 6 and Jan. 5-13. This is a nine-day program from $4,395 per person double aboard the 62-guest Safari Voyager.
  • Costa Rica & the Panama Canal holiday departures are Dec.16-23Dec.23-30Dec. 30Jan 6 and Jan. 6-13, all with free round-trip airfare from Miami. For eight days from $5,990 per person double guests enjoy the hospitality of the brand-new 100-guest National Geographic Quest.
  • Treasures of Costa Rica & the Panama Canal holiday departures are Dec. 30Jan. 6 and Jan. 6-13 aboard the 34-guest Callisto for eight days from $2,790 per person double.

In addition, numerous Costa Rica lodge-based trips have availability. Please see AdventureSmith’s Costa Rica page for more trips.

Galapagos Islands
Although the Galapagos Islandsoffer sailings year-round, warmer water temperatures make the region highly sought-after come December for snorkeling and swimming. As AdventureSmith’s most popular holiday destination, it’s the first to sell out. However there’s still availability on the 16-guest Seaman Journey and Sea Star Journey sister ships for four days from $2,529 per person double; on the 90-guest Santa Cruz for five days from $3,388 per person double; on the 40-guest Isabela II for five days from $3,268 and on the 48-guest La Pinta for five days from $4,136 per person double.

Cuba
The Cuba by Land & Sea Cruise aboard the 46-guest mega yacht Harmony V comes with the expert team at Lindblad-National Geographic. The 11-day trip is from $9,500 per person double.

Active vacationers might also want to consider a Peru trekking adventure that pairs day hikes with nights in remote lodges. Amazon cruises are also a warm-weather option for winter travel. While they sail year-round, December and January departures come with high water season, which typically runs from November through May. During this time rivers, creeks and lakes are more navigable, as the waters are some 23 feet higher. This brings passengers closer to the canopy and wildlife.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2017-2018 reservations, please call 900-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.

About AdventureSmith Explorations – Think Outside the Boat!
Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler‘s prestigious World’s Top Travel Specialists List as the leading expert on small ship expeditions.