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Latin Distractions: Escapes, Experiences and Events

GAIA Riverlodge in Belize: Incredible Jungle Escape

April 28th, 2014

Retreat, explore, dine and indulge within one of Belize's most celebrated ecotourist destinations.

Located in the lush Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and surrounded by the sparkling Five Sisters waterfalls, GAÏA Riverlodge is one of Belize’s most celebrated ecotourist destinations, offering the traveler an incredible jungle escape. Imagine an opportunity to enjoy your own private cabana, perched upon the edge of a valley overlooking waterfalls. You can choose from 15 private retreats, each featuring Belizean hardwoods, traditional bay leaf thatched roofs and incredible mahogany interiors.

Spend the day zip-lining, mountain biking, cave tubing or bird-watching amongst the trees. For a road-trip, hop over to the Mayan ruin at Caracol and experience Belize’s ancient wonders.

Back at the lodge, take in expansive views from the wrap-around terrace at GAÏA Riverlodge’s restaurant and lounge, or retreat into the comfort of your own private cabana. Take in your own custom view from a private veranda with hammock, relax under ceiling fans, or enjoy the many other amenities including a bathroom decorated with hand-painted Mexican tiles, beds with pillow top mattresses, and Matouk and Frette linens, your stay has all the comforts you desire.

If you’re wanting to indulge, sumptuous treatments and blissful relaxation at the newly opened Spa on-site are just for you. Natural ingredients from the Belizean jungle are infused in each treatment, such as the Banana Papaya facial, Sunset Aromatherapy Massage and Eco-calm facial.

Considering that Belize is so close to the U.S, is the only English-speaking country in Central America (with a diversity of opportunities including rainforests, the mysteries of Ancient Maya, fabulous white sand beaches and an enormous 174 mile-long barrier reef), the real question is: “When are you going?”


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Latin Fashion. World Cup.

April 28th, 2014

Color Latino Tees

It’s time to get your latin fashion on! Every four years, millions of soccer fans around the globe tune into the World Cup. Whether they’re among screaming fans in the stadium or gathering with friends to view on television, they can be seen proudly sporting team-related apparel to show their support. After all, what’s a supporting event without some boasting?

Color Latino carries an array of culturally relevant pieces for eager fans anticipating this June’s upcoming spectacle. Among the pullovers, beanies and sunglasses, Color Latino’s collection of stylish shirts reflect countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic and of course, Brazil, this year’s World Cup host.

And the work with a greater purpose: Color Latino is sensitive to the challenges faced by Latinos in Latin America and the US. They make those challenges their own, from production to marketing and distribution Color Latin works hard to make a positive impact in their communities. While not a charity organization, but rather use a business model, they work alongside charities to solve some of the problems facing the Latino community.

Consider giving your support to Color Latino while you sport your favorite World Cup team colors! Available for both men and women (in numerous styles), the t-shirts and tanks are perfect for viewers who will be supporting their qualifying teams this summer from the sidelines.


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Sun Triangle Hosts 2014 Surf Open League Mexico

April 28th, 2014

Guerrero's Sun Triangle to Host 2014 Surf Open League Mexico Professional Surfers from Around the World to Participate in 2014 Surf Opens Throughout the Coast of Guerrero

Internationally renowned for its breathtaking beaches and unbeatable waves, the Sun Triangle will host the Surf Open League Mexico, a series of international surf events throughout the coast of Guerrero in Acapulco, Troncones, Ixtapa and Papanoa Bay.

Sun Triangle Surf Competition

For third consecutive year the 2014 Acapulco Surf Open will take place in Revolcadero Beach July 5-12. The 4-Star ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) event will bring more than 150 professional surfers from 30 different countries to compete for a chance to win a $100,000 cash prize.

The Surf Open Acapulco, Latin America’s most important surf event, seeks to establish the presence of Mexico on the ASP North American series and provides an opportunity for surfers to gain experience to compete in future ASP 6-Star events. The Surf Open Acapulco will feature motocross exhibitions, a surf clinic, outdoor movie screenings, concerts and a surf village. For more information on the Surf Open Acapulco please visit:

Additional Surf Open League Mexico events include the Surf Open Troncones September 5-7, the Surf Open Ixtapa October 3-5, and the Surf Open Papanoa November 15-17. For more information on the Surf Open League please visit:

“We are proud to host the Surf Open League Mexico in the Sun Triangle and we look forward to welcoming international surf aficionados to our world-class amenities and beaches,” said Javier Aluni, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Guerrero.

Acapulco will also host the REEF Acapulco Pro Surf Open, which will take place April 24-26 at Bonfil Beach. The event will bring international surfers to compete for the $9,000 cash prize in the surf and bodyboard categories. The REEF Acapulco Pro Surf Open will feature movie screenings, art exhibitions, pool parties and a “Miss Reef Mexico” competition.

The Sun Triangle tourism initiative was created by the state of Guerrero, Mexico to highlight and promote to the international travel community the state’s top tourism destinations: Acapulco, Taxco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The Sun Triangle destinations offer award-winning properties including Capella Ixtapa and Banyan Tree Cabo Marques which were featured on Conde Nast’s 2014 Gold List; La Casa que Canta featured on Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best list; and Hotel Encanto recently awarded The Five Star Diamond Award by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

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8th Annual Sacred Mayan Journey

April 28th, 2014

50 oarsmen on board 35 canoes will cross from Xcaret to Cozumel – a 17 mile trek each way – to worship the goddess of fertility, Ixchel.

The 8th annual Sacred Mayan Journey that will take place in Cancun on May 22 – 24.  As the fourth most popular summer destination in the world for 2014 – according to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) – Cancun is thrilled to welcome visitors to witness this Mayan spectacle. Every year, more and more tourists wake up at the crack of dawn to send off these oarsmen and to experience Xcaret’s pre-Hispanic market for a dose of all things Maya.

Replica Canoes Used In Ancient Navigation

350 oarsmen on board 35 canoes will cross from Xcaret to Cozumel – a 17 mile trek each way – to worship the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. The Sacred Mayan Journey is a pre-Hispanic ritual from the Late Post Classic Period (1250-1519 A.D.) which, after more than 500 years since the last crossing, was recovered as a practice that strengthens the cultural identity of Cancun and has a positive impact in the preservation of the historical legacy of the Maya.

Tourists who visit Cancun during this time will not only be there to cheer the rowers on as they depart, but will also be able to visit a Mayan pre-Hispanic interactive market and be fully immersed in Mayan lore and culture. This market blends the colors, aromas and flavors of the Maya into one place and offers visitors a chance to live the way the Mayans did, even if only for a few hours. Guests will exchange their dollars for cocoa beans – the ancient Mayan form of currency – and be able to purchase handicrafts and other homemade goods from the Mayan people that live in the surrounding area. Articles like homemade jewelry, food, clothing and other local items can be purchased.

Teams Participating in the Sacred Mayan Race

This ancient journey transports guests back to the Mayan civilization of the 11th and 16th centuries and showcases the courage of ancient seamen, whose trade routes contributed to the Mayan civilization’s glorious final days in the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Experience the Source of Chocolate in Ecuador’s Amazon

April 26th, 2014

Quito-based tour operator partners with Pacari Chocolate to fashion travel itinerary to please chocoholics, culture vultures and eco tourists alike

As hard as it is to imagine, once upon a time there was no such thing as chocolate. Then a cacao tree sprouted somewhere in the Ecuadoran Amazon, providing the essential ingredient for what would eventually become the world’s favorite treat. Step back to where it all began and see just how far chocolate has come south of the equator with Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon, a fascinating and multi-faceted new tour from Metropolitan Touring.

Source of Chocolate © Metropolitan Touring

With its focus on hands-on cultural immersions, Metropolitan Touring has teamed with award-winning Pacari Chocolate, the family-owned creator of the country’s highest-quality organic chocolate, to fashion a getaway to please chocoholics, culture vultures and eco tourists alike. Perfect for two or more travelers, the two-day/one-night tour led by guide and driver offers bird watching, cacao farming, thermal springs, and accommodation at a magical rainforest lodge. It all unfolds near the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site city and a rewarding destination in its own right.

On the Chocolate Trail
Though previously believed to have originated in Central America, the cacao tree was recently proven to have taken root in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon tour takes travelers there and back, climbing high into the Andes before descending into the “green mansions” of the rainforest.

Spot myriad species of humming birds and other creatures before spending a pleasant day in the small town of Archidona and the community of Santa Rita, home to the Pacari Agro Tourism Project, developed by the chocolatiers of Pacari to purchase cacao at fair trade prices and provide technical assistance to farmers. Travelers on tour get to jump right in, learning about harvesting and production of cacao, creating chocolate paste with local ingredients, and sampling chocolate – with some to take home – throughout the day. A hike highlights the history of the region, with ancestral traces of native cultures that once inhabited the Sacred Valley of the Anaconda.

The journey continues in the jungle town of Misahualli, with accommodation at the remarkable Hamadayade Lodge with swimming pool, butterfly garden, bird watching, and high montane forest all around. The route back includes a stop at Termas de Papallacta Resort and Spa, the finest of its kind in Ecuador, with beautiful natural volcanic thermal pools, lunch and spa treatments (at extra cost) for travelers to enjoy.

Metropolitan Touring’s Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon is available daily from Quito from February to July only. Order of itinerary may vary depending on weather conditions.

For more information on booking Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon through Metropolitan Touring, please call 888-572-0166 or visit

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Discover La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

April 25th, 2014

Experience Eco-Friendly Adventures at Sea or Upon Land in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Known as the City of Peace, La Paz has become a sought-after vacation destination with travelers who want to connect with nature. The capital city of Baja California Sur is the gateway to the Sea of Cortez, which is comprised of 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that together form one of the world’s most diverse ocean ecosystems, prompting marine biologist Jacques Cousteau to dub it the ‘Aquarium of the World,’ and UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Site. Discover La Paz.

Shopping © La Paz

The most diversity underwater can be found in its rocky depths, less than 50 meters deep, mainly around the islands and coasts of the Peninsula of Baja California, considered one of the big five most productive marine ecosystems of the world.

Due to their richness in endemic species, the islands found within the Sea of Cortez are not only examples of evolution but have been and may continue to be important natural laboratories for research, teaching and outreach. The relative isolation of the islands has been making them attractive to biologists and tourists alike.

From the pristine natural landscape to all the wonder of Sea of Cortez, La Paz can be explored year-round, offering a unique eco-experience each season.

Grey Whales © La Paz

Sea Activities
Whale Watching, November – March
Each year, gray whales, orcas and humpbacks make a 12,000-mile journey to the waters surrounding La Paz. Magdalena Bay, Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio are amongst the best places to whale watch in Baja Sur. In 2014, 2,107 whales were registered in Ojo de Libre, dubbed the ‘sanctuary of the gray whale’ with a total of 1,241 adults and 866 calves. The number of the blue whales registered this year surpassed prior ones with a record of two dozen.

Scuba Diving © La Paz

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling, All Year Round (Peaks in November)
The waters surrounding La Paz are home to 891 fish species (90 of them endemic), making up 39 percent of the world’s marine mammal species and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species. It comes as no surprise why the area is widely considered one of the top 10 places in the world to dive.

The epicenters of diving action are the Bay of La Paz; Isla Espiritu Santo, a protected island about 23 miles north of La Paz; and Isla Cerralvo, east of La Paz. In these waters it is common to spot giant mantas, whale sharks and hammerheads…not to mention a population of more than 500 California sea lions eager to greet visitors, often nibbling fingers and tugging on fins.

Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez © La Paz

Sailing, Kayaking and SUPing, All Year Round
With its calm, transparent, azure waters, sandy anchorages, and average winds of 15 knots and 340-plus days of sunshine per year, the Sea of Cortez offers sailing enthusiasts unmatched yachting, cruising and sailing experiences. Visitors can also enjoy a guided kayak tour or paddleboard across the mangroves of Balandra beach, named one of Mexico’s Best Beaches by Trip Advisor. For those bringing their own boats, the city boasts three marinas-Marina La Paz, Marina Costa Baja and Marina Palmira-that provide all the necessary services for vessels up to 250 feet long.

Sports Fishing, All Year Round
The Sea of Cortez, home to hundreds of species of trophy fish, including dorado, tuna, marlin, roosterfish and yellowtail makes for some of the best sports fishing in the world. Many international fishing tournaments are held in La Paz each year, attracting experienced anglers and tourists from all over the globe. La Paz has several world-class fishing outfitters that can provide everything needed for fishing excursions.

La Paz’s top fishing tournament, the 8th Annual Gold Cup Black & Blue Marlin Tournament (September 25 – 28), will offer ambitious anglers a hand at landing the biggest fish in the Sea of Cortez and a jackpot of $1,00,000 pesos (approximately $76,586 USD).

Companies such as Mosquito Fleet, The Moorings and The One Baja lease everything from pangas and cruisers to large yachts at reasonable rates.

Land Activities

The beaches surrounding the Sea of Cortez are an ideal setting for rustic camping in the untouched landscape, difficult to experience anywhere else. Punta Coyote and San Evaristo are located approximately 60 miles away from La Paz and directly in the foothills of the Mountain Range of La Giganta.

Hiking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding
There are numerous places where one can enjoy the panoramic sea views during invigorating walks and jogs through the trails carved through desert hills in and around the city of La Paz.

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LAMC Announces Concerts At Central Park

April 24th, 2014

The Latin Alternative Music Conference Announces Annual SummerStage Concert Line-Up Featuring Pioneering Rappers Beatnuts, Grammy Winners La Santa Cecilia, Legendary Rockers Babasonicos, Fan Favorite Ana Tijoux, Innovative Songstress Juana Molina, Local Hero Bodega Bamz and the Legendary DJ Tony Touch

Lollapalozza and Ana Tijoux Crowd

The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) returns to New York this summer for a special 15th anniversary celebration, including two free concerts at Central Park SummerStage featuring Beatnuts, Ana Tijoux, Bodega Bamz and DJ Tony Touch onWednesday, July 9th and Babasónicos, Juana Molina and La Santa Cecilia on Saturday, July 12th.

Join thousands of musicians, entrepreneurs, DJs, journalists, marketers, managers, programmers and all kinds of music lovers in New York City to celebrate LAMC’s Quinceañera at our new home at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

With key support from Google, Google +, Google Play, YouTube, AT&T, KCRW, Shure, Epiphone, LARAS, Herradura and more, the LAMC is the largest annual event for Latino innovators and trendsetters.

Watch the new LAMC video by Latin Recap:

Now in its 15th year and called the “Sundance of Latin music” by the NY Times, the LAMC features free concerts at SummerStage in Central Park and Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park, plus intimate private concerts at various venues around the city, as well as numerous industry panels and Q&A’s with special guests, showcases and events. Additional LAMC events and concert line-ups will be announced shortly.

Registration is now open; discounted yet once again at only $99 for a limited time at

Early bird registrants are automatically entered into a contest to win an exclusive LAMC guitar from Epiphone.

Discounted hotel rates now available:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 7pm
Beatnuts / Ana Tijoux / Bodega Bamz / DJ Tony Touch

The legendary Beatnuts are a groundbreaking rap group that emerged from Queens, New York in the late 80s and made hip-hop history with classic collaborations with Biz Markie, Fat Joe and Method Man. The Beatnuts, which includes Ju-Ju (of Dominican descent) and Psycho Les (of Colombian descent), have paved the way for new generations of Latin artists as the only Latin members of the infamous Native Tongues collective. Known for their classic hits “No Escapin This,” “Off The Books,” and “Watch Out Now” (which was later sampled by Jennifer Lopez for her radio hit “Jenny from the Block”), The Beatnuts have earned a stellar reputation for energetic live shows that showcase their diverse talents as MCs, DJs and producers.

One of the most respected MCs in any language, Ana Tijoux has been winning over fans around the world since her debut ‘1977’ bubbled up from an underground sensation into mainstream recognition after being featured on the hit TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ and favorited by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Ana Tijoux’s new album ‘Vengo’ showcase the nimble MC over lush, golden-era hip-hop production rooted in traditional Latin instrumentation. Rolling Stone named her performance at SXSW on of the best concerts of this year’s festival, while the New York Times has called her “South America’s answer to Lauryn Hill: equally skillful at singing and rapping.” Born in France to Chilean parents in political exile during Pinochet’s dictatorship, Tijoux moved back to Chile as a teenager and found a home in the emerging hip-hop scene of Santiago. In concert, Tijoux takes the stage with a full band that brings to life the intricate arrangements of the new album, a whirlwind trip through hip-hop, jazz, and funk, spiced with a bit of politics and her great sense of humor that has led audiences around the globe fall in love with her.

Spanish Harlem native, Nathaniel De La Rosa publicly known as Bodega Bamz aka PAPI is taking the New York hip-hop music scene by storm. By infusing his rich Latino roots with his urban lyricism, Bamz has created his own sub genre known as Latin Trap. Born of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, his culture has always played a large role in his musical inspiration. From Hector Lavoe to Tupac, Bamz has mastered the art of incorporating Caribbean sounds and raw emotion filled lyrics. His stage name alone is symbolic of his drive and deep connection to his heritage, the name Bodega comes from the concept of “bodegas” or corner stores being pinnacle aspects to Latino communities, and Bamz is an acronym for “By Any MeanZ,” which means providing a variety of quality music by any means necessary. Although he is a fresh face to most listeners, Bamz has been rapping for over a decade. With the help of his younger brother, and engineer, Obed “Ohla” De La Rosa, Bamz mixtape ‘Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z (Proud and Powerful Individualz)’ created an instant buzz online. Bodega Bamz has exhibited a great amount of versatility, not only paving the way for other Latinos, but also earning his way into hip-hop history.

Tony Touch A.K.A Tony Toca, began as a B-Boy during the rap music renaissance era of the early 80’s, and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since. From his legendary mix tapes, to his skills on the 1’s and 2’s, he has become one of hip-hop’s most recognized DJs and is known in the streets and industry as the real ‘Mix tape King’. This C.E.O/Artist/Producer recently dropped his 7th commercial release, and over the years has worked with everyone from Nina Sky to Snoop Dogg, and Tego Calderon to KRS One. Touch is a champion for the Latino community, as well as a global icon, having toured in over 30 countries. You can catch Tony on his weekly radio shows, for more info

Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 3pm
Babasónicos / Juana Molina / La Santa Cecilia

With determination, talent and intelligence, Babasónicos has became one of the most successful and recognizable groups to come from the “sonic” underground rock movement in Argentina in the 1990’s. With 11 official albums and more than 22 years of constant touring with great success throughout Latin America, they’ve experimented with various diverse styles throughout their career, and continue to fill stadiums with screaming fans. Although they’ve never sought to conform to the typical Argentinean rock sound, this alternative band has established itself as a mainstream marketable group around the world.

Born in Argentina, Juana Molina grew up in a musical environment, learning guitar at the age of five. After a wildly successful career as a comedian and actress, Molina turned her focus back to her first love, music. She released her first album in 1996, and after the release of her second and third albums, she quickly became the darling of the international indie/electronic/folk scene, and praise began pouring in from admirers in all corners. Her music features a highly unique and personal mix of elements ranging from folk to ambient and electronica. Her live performances combine live loops, effects created on-the-fly and her deft acoustic guitar playing, creating a lush sounding and visually compelling experience. On her latest album, ‘Wed 21,’ she remarkably expanded her palette of instruments, incorporating electric guitars, bass, drums and inventive electronics, giving the album a richer, broader sonic spectrum, guided as always by her trademark spirit of experimentation and her deep melodic sense.

Los Angeles band, La Santa Cecilia consists of accordionist and requintero Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, and lead vocalist La Marisoul, whose captivating voice sings about love, loss and heartbreak. Their influences range from Miles Davis to The Beatles, Zeppelin to Janis Joplin and Mercedes Sosa to Ramon Ayala. Their common love of music and openness to all genres led them to the concept of La Santa Cecilia in 2007 – named after the patron saint of musicians. Their songs have been featured on a number of shows, including the Emmy award-winning series Weeds, and they’ve enjoyed great critical acclaim in the Wall Street Journal, NPR (named to numerous ‘Best of 2013’ lists), and Ad Age Magazine, who named the band a must for any Ad Agencies looking to launch a Hispanic campaign. In 2013, the band released their debut ‘Treinta Dias,’ which features  a collaboration with fan Elvis Costello on “Losing Game.” The band also celebrated 2014 with a GRAMMY win (Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album).

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Beauty Brand Gives 100% Profits to Amazon Rainforest

April 24th, 2014

Amazon Water Lily © CamilyTWU via Flickr

Balanced Guru is honored to announce the launch of their Giving Back Program, customized limited edition product collections designed for non-profit organizations to sell and fund their causes.

Through the Balanced Guru SEVA AMAZON Line featuring a Rainforest Body Balm,Rainforest Body Oil, and Rainforest Body Scrub, 100% of the profits from these three products will go towards saving the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, part of our Amazon rainforest. For this, the brand is partnering with Off The Mat Into The World ( through their SEVA AMAZON challenge to help save one of the most diverse and rich ecosystems in the world.


SEVA AMAZON: Rainforest Body Scrub

Raw Sugar Cane, Dead Sea Salt, Coffee Beans, Shea Butter, Agave Ferment, Avocado Oil
Body Scrub

Would you like some sugar with your coffee? Better yet, add some Dead Sea Salt, Cinnamon and Clove to spice up the mixture. The end result is a rich and aromatic exfoliator for your whole body. As you scrub away dead skin cells, new ones take their place, leaving behind glowing and radiant skin. Nourishing shea butter, avocado and coconut oils help protect and moisturize your skin.

$40 via


SEVA AMAZON: Rainforest Body Balm

Cocoa Butter, Babassu Oil, Shea Butter, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Mandarin Essential Oil
Body Balm

Treat your whole body with a smooth and buttery body balm. Enriched with healthy butters and an invigorating blend of essential oils that will wake up your senses and moisturize your skin without leaving it greasy or tacky. Make sure you work it well into elbows, knees and even your feet. They’ll thank you later.

$45 via


SEVA AMAZON: Rainforest Body Oil
Baobab Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sesame Oil, Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, Lavender, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil

Body Oil

Balanced Guru decided that getting a massage should become a daily ritual, so they created a wonderfully scented soothing body oil. Baobab, Jojoba and Avocado are rich oils that will leave your skin soft and smooth. Sesame and Argan will balance your skin so that it never feels oily. Lavender, Orange and Geranium essential oils work together to create a nurturing scent that will linger throughout the day.

$30 via

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La Vida Boheme Frontman Turns to Twitter Activism

February 25th, 2014

Amid Violence, La Vida Boheme Frontman Turns to Twitter Activism as His Songs Become Protest Anthems

La Vida Boheme

Henry D’Arthenay, the leader of Venezuelan rock group La Vida Boheme, has spent most of the past week inside his home in Caracas, communicating with bandmates who live on neighboring streets via Skype and tweeting videos of street violence, blockade alerts and lists of names of student protesters detained by police.

“This is a civil war,” D’Arthenay declared when reached by phone on Thursday (Feb. 20). “…it’s going to hell.”

On Feb. 12, after the deaths of three demonstrators led to an explosion of social outcry and responding violence in Venezuela, D’Arthenay posted a video for La Vida Boheme’s song “Cementerio del Este/Cementerio del Sud” (Eastern Cemetery/Southern Cemetery) dedicated “to our dead.” The video shows the Caracas landscape at night covered with neon crosses. The sober image changes as the crosses appear to dance along to the music and then rise as if in resurrection.

The members of the band have also seen the words of the songs on their 2013 Latin GRAMMY-winning album “Será” — released on Nacional Records — take on urgent new life in the context of the uprising in their country, where people have adopted the songs to express their feelings about current events.

“I have never heard so many truths at once about the moment that we live in [as] with the album Será,” one fan tweeted this week.

Another expressed her longing to go outside and sing one of the songs from the album out loud.

Of the fifteen songs on the album, “Aún” is the track whose lyrics are most often being used as a rallying call on social media: “My knees are trembling but I can’t stop. I want my children to have what they wanted to take away from me.”

Although the record’s powerful and often disturbing lyrics transcend a specific context, “Será” is fundamentally a concept album about Venezuela. It was rooted in dark times for the country and the band members, whose personal experience with Venezuela’s spiraling crime came tragically close when the band’s booking agent was abducted and murdered. In an interview with Billboard when the album was released, D’Arthenay described it as the soundtrack to an apocalypse, and “the last cry before everything burns to hell.” The album ended on a positive note, with tracks alluding to the coming of better times.

“I think the most spooky part about ‘Será’ is that I wrote it in order for this not to happen,” D’Arthenay said Thursday, referring to the uprising. “It is what we can now see as our failed attempt to avoid this. We were not seeing the future, we were seeing what was around us at the time. We were not the only ones to see it, [but] things just got fucked up.”

La Vida Boheme was set to play shows in cities around Venezuela in March, a tour that included several free shows. That tour has been postponed and will likely be canceled, says César Elster, the band’s manager and head of label Discos Caracas.

“In these times bringing together 10,000 people, most of them students is not a good idea,” Elster told Billboard, adding that almost all of the activity of the label’s artists has come to a standstill. “Nobody feels like partying now.”

La Vida Boheme is still scheduled to travel next month to perform at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City.

“We tried to avoid what is happening here through art,” D’Arthenay reflected, referring to the message of “Será.” “Now we have to create a new reality. The way to denounce injustice is to create a world where it is not unjust, and music and art is a place where we can do that. Music now has a bigger responsibility than ever.”

By: Nacional Records

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Extreme Kayaking in Mexico with Rafa Ortiz

February 24th, 2014

Compliments of Red Bull’s Adventure video series, take a trip down Agua Azul waterfalls in Mexico with adventure kayaker Rafa Ortiz. Extreme kayaking desires present challenges leading up an arrival at their ultimate playground. Listen to their impressions of the Lacandones, indigenous persons living deep within the Lacandona jungle. Ultimately, daydream through incredible cinematography as captured from GoPro cameras which display the overwhelming power and strength of five falls. Rafa and friends carefully drop, yet they do so extreme-style.

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