From My View as Host: San Diego Latino Film Festival


Photo by Amanda San Martin

This year, the San Diego Latino Film Festival celebrated its 25th Anniversary! This is very impressive! The Festival started as a student film festival and grew into what it is today, an eleven day film festival, with more than 160 films, 20,000 plus attendees, the Sabor Latino – Food, Beer & Wine Festival, plus lots of events, red carpets, parties, press conferences, and of course the participation of many filmmakers and celebrities! It has become one of the largest film festival’s in the country! It is one of the largest Latino entertainment events in the nation! I have been hosting the Festival for four years. The first year, I Continue reading

Why I Participated in Women’s March This Year


Last year, my friend Lorena, her mom, and I joined thirty to forty thousand women at City Hall in downtown San Diego for the first Women’s March. We braved the rain and walked in ponchos, it was a wonderful and memorable experience! You can watch my video from last year’s Women’s March here or at the end of this post. This year, as the March date (Saturday, January 20) got closer, Lorena and I Continue reading

YWCA’s Tribute to Women and How It Made Me Reflect on My Life


This is my third year participating as a judge on the Selection Committee for the YWCA’s Tribute To Women & Industry Awards. I wrote about how I got involved with volunteering for the YWCA in a past post (click here for that post). Last year, I also participated on the Selection Committee, but did not attend the Awards Luncheon because Continue reading

Why I Continue to Attend & Support Mana de San Diego’s Latina Success Conference & You Should Too


As a young Latina, during my last year of college, I had the opportunity to apply for an internship with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). I was fortunate to be selected for Continue reading

Join Us for Exitos del Cine Latino Film Festival


The San Diego Latino Film Festival presents the third annual Exitos Del Cine Latino,  a summer celebration of Latino film, music, and celebrities. I am honored to be participating as the host and ambassador Continue reading

#GivingTuesday: You Can Donate & Meet Your Favorite Media Personalities


(Volunteering as Red Kettle Bell Ringers in the Gaslamp on November 19: with Robert Santos, ABC/10News, and Luis Cruz, The San Diego Union-Tribune)

There is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, they all involve sales & shopping. Did you know there is also Giving Tuesday? This year it is Continue reading

How a Ringing Bell Can Make a Difference


I was honored to be included in Giving Back Magazine’s November Issue which featured Community Leaders regarding how they were going to “give back” to local charities these holidays. I included the Salvation Army in my portion of the article because I have been volunteering with them for more than six years. I have seen first hand how they help thousands of San Diegans every year. As a member of their Public Relations Board for the San Diego & Imperial Counties Chapter, I have seen how they impact people’s lives, not only during emergencies and disasters around the world, but also locally. They have thrift stores which in addition to raising funds for their programs, also provide jobs, they also have camp programs for youth, the Kroc Center for children and families, they have a rehabilitation center, senior centers, food distribution services, a shelter home for women, and many more programs. They are rated as one of the best charities in regards to the percentage of funds that actually go to the charity and not administration or salaries. If I recall correctly, about 90% of every donation goes directly to the programs to help others, to the charity directly, that is amazing!

This holiday season, I supported the Salvation Army by producing and hosting two interview for them regarding their Holiday Fundraising Campaign and Toy Drive. I also volunteered as a bell ringer on the All Star Bell Ringing Day. We had fun! I was located at a Walmart in Santee, along with three other local celebrities – the Fox San Diego Sports Girls and the Chick-Fil-A Cow, and Lynn from the Salvation Army. My toes were freezing at the end of the night, but it was worth it! It was nice to see so many people donate to the red kettle, every little helps, some people donated ten, five, one dollar…or coins. They searched in their pockets for change and donated it. It was nice to see parents teaching their children to donate by allowing their children to be the one’s to place the money in the kettle and telling them that it was to help families in need. It also warmed my heart to hear stories from people which had been helped by the Salvation Army locally. So, next time you hear a bell ringer, hopefully you will donate in the red kettle, every little helps. If you’d like to support the Salvation Army , you can donate on-line at their site and also sign-up to be a bell-ringer, here’s the link. I’ve enjoyed volunteering with them, it is very satisfying!

Merry Christmas!

Do you volunteer with any charities?




All Star Bell Ringing Day: Lots of children went up to the Chick-Fil-A Cow to get a hug & take a picture with him. He told us he borrowed his jacket and hat from Santa, cute!


Interview day: We took a quick picture while they were preparing the guest in the background for the interview on the set.

salvation army interview hoidsys 2013 in studio

We took a group picture in the studio after the interviews. The man in the orange shirt is Justino, our wonderful floor manager, it is great to work with him during interviews! Standing next to me is Suzi Woodruff-Lacey from the Salvation Army, we’ve become friends over the years, she is sweet and a creative public relations expert!