Hispanic Pictures Wisdom y Sabiduría


Hispanic pictures Wisdom y Sabiduría invites us to thank and honor the “old men” in our lives. This month is the perfect time to do so.

This picture is not only honoring fathers but also grand fathers and all those viejos who left a positive permanent mark in our lives while sharing their wisdom.

Latin culture traditionally has been a patriarchal society with the man as the dominant family figure. This, of course, is rapidly changing with women increasingly becoming the head of households, but on this month’s photo contribution, I would like to step back for a moment and recognize and honor Nuestros Viejos (our old men) who are often wise with lots of Sabiduría (wisdom).

This photo, taken in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, simply reveals the weathered hands of an elder man, his dashing sombrero, well appointed cuffed pants and shiny black shoes.

You need not see anymore of his persona to know this man is a caballero! His relaxed stance conveys confidence, maturity, and a reassurance that his life’s lessons are plentiful. He surely has many a story to tell. Stories we can learn from and admire.

The photograph is part of the Fotografía America Latina Collection, which is attached to a Cultúrame Bilingual greeting card. The sentiment inside reads as follows:

“¡Oye, mi Viejo! Gracias for being who you are y presente when I need you most. Wishing you a beautiful day. Con Mucho Cariño.”

This is the perfect gift for that special Viejo in your life.

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur. View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Siesta Time

Hora de la Siesta

Hispanic pictures Siesta Time brings us back to this time in the day when we had the chance to relax, at least in Hispanic speaking countries. For many of us who grew up in Spanish speaking countries and now live in the U.S. this time of the day is a bit of a luxury.

When in America Latina? Get yourself some siesta time and dream in Espa?ol! Well, actually, a hamaca is not just for when you’re vacationing in Latin America!

Latin America may be where it originated but hammocks are now used throughout the world, especially in countries with warm climates.

As I was traveling throughout Asia recently, I saw hammocks under a shady tree or a hut in a variety of sizes and colors.

While driving in Vietnam, along the rice fields, there were roadside huts lined up with as many as 50 hammocks waiting for tired laborers to take a siesta during the heat of the day. It was fascinating, as I felt I could have been in Costa Rica or any Latin American country.

The only difference was the landscape could’ve been filled with banana trees, coffee or sugar canes instead of rice fields. A reminder of how we live in a small world where we may adapt different customs and rituals, but we all have the same needs.

Taking a siesta is good for the soul and productivity. We should do it more often. Don’t wait to vacation in the tropics to enjoy this worldwide ritual! Encourage friends to do it with this Culturame Bilingual Card.

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur.  View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Santuario de Velas

Hispanic Pictures Santuario de Velas is one of those images you will probably see time and time again while traveling throughout Latin America and Spanish speaking countries.

San Simon Candles Altar

San Simon Candles Altar

In our culture, sanctuaries are part of our tradition and we respect them tremendously because they reflect our beliefs.

We call sanctuaries many places. Two places come to mind distinctively, one is a sacred or holy place not necessarily in a church which can be a consecrated building or shrine, and the second one is a particularly holy place in a church.

There are all sorts of sanctuaries in Latin America. Churches are the most prevalent but there are many small neighborhood makeshift sanctuaries where people go to pray, seek comfort or find support.

The sanctuaries are decorated with saints, burning candles, which are lit up in memory of a loved one or a prayer, and healers or people from the community who are present to provide spiritual guidance.

This particular sanctuary, as photographed here, is in Guatemala. It is El Santuario de San Simón, a pagan saint of the people, who is known for guiding travelers safely through their travels.

I also selected this photo for the month of November as it honors Mexico’s festive holiday, El Día de los Muertos, in which people who have died are honored by their loved ones. Many visit santuarios, light up candles, pray and honor the deceased.

The glow of burning candles is very soothing and in santuarios it’s a sign of hope, love, and spirituality. Share this wonderful message by giving this original photograph in the form of a greeting card through Culturame.com

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur.  View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Piragua


Children and adults love to enjoy a piragua. We have seen the small carts in the corners of the Bronx and in El Barrio in New York. These carts sell these icy treats famous in Latin America.

It’s a steamy hot summer in much of the USA and there is no better way to cool off than with a “Piragua!” That’s what we call these shaved ice treats in Puerto Rico. In Cuba they are “Granizados”.

In the Dominican Republic, “Frío, Frío.” In Mexico, Colombia and Panama they are called, “Raspados.” In Bolivia, “Shikashika.” In Chile, “Mermelada con Hielo.” In Venezuela, “Cepillados” and in Peru “Cremolada.”

You’ll find vendors of these delicious treats, with colorful pushcarts, standing near parks and street corners in Latino neighborhoods.

You’ll be sure to savor this refreshing treat even before it touches your lips, as the vendor scrapes off the ice, places it on a paper cone, and pours your favorite fruit flavored syrup over the ice! Ay, qué rico!

This is a delicious multicultural summer treat with many countries where it’s hot and fruits are plentiful enjoying their own version of this frozen dessert.

“Halo halo” is what they call it in the Philippines. “Shave Ice” in Hawaii. “Kakig?ri” in Japan and “Ice kacang” in Malayasia.

At Cultúrame™ we honor this multicultural treat with a bilingual card to encourage friends and loved ones to enjoy and share the sweet pleasures of the day!

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur. View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Patience


Hispanic pictures Patience invites us to take it easy. In Costa Rica we would say pura vida, in Colombia tomala suave, in the U.S. simply take it easy.

Latinos have it ingrained within to take it easy and enjoy the day as it comes, which is a good thing, as it allows for greater pleasures and being in the moment.

I know as soon as I set foot on the tropics or my beloved Puerto Rico, my whole body language and rhythm changes. I am quickly transported into a Latino frame of mind as I begin to saunter my way through the day.

This month’s photo is titled “¡Paciencia! – Patience…” I came upon this man and woman sitting outside a bodega in Guatemala.

I was struck by their body language as it revealed this “take it easy, enjoy the day as it comes” attitude I’m talking about. It is an image found not only in Guatemala, but outside bodegas in El Barrio, The Bronx, or anywhere where Latinos reside.

For some of us it’s not easy to sit and wait. We live our lives in such a rush, trying to fit in more than we should in one day. But there is something to be said for waiting, being patient, and taking the day as it comes.

This photo is one of my Cultúrame bilingual cards. The expression inside the card reads: Good things come to those who wait! ¡Lo bueno le llega al que sabe esperar!

So, I say, “Saunter a little and enjoy!” Give this card to a friend and encourage them to find the Latino within.

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur. View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

The Changing Role of Latino Women


Hispanic pictures this month honors Hispanic women and their changing role in today’s world. This picture captures the morphing tasks of a “modern” woman, even though when you look at her you see an indigenous woman who can make you think this photograph was taken a long time ago.

The catchy phrase “You’ve come a long way, Baby…” was quite popular in the 1970’s when feminism and women’s liberation were in fashion! A more contemporary version today, would be “You go, Girl!”

Whatever the slogan, there is no doubt that in most cultures or countries today, women are rapidly gaining power and notoriety.

Whether they’re living in a modern or traditional setting, as illustrated on this photo of a woman counting her earnings at a cattle market in Ecuador in 2007, women are the force of the future as their numbers increase in the workplace.

Latinas are finding themselves in a new role as head of the households. However, this new role may come with familial conflicts, as Latino machismo diminishes with women gaining more independence and power. Leaving Latino men and women to renegotiate their status in the family.

The photo is a reminder of women, then and now, taking care of business and playing a central role in managing the livelihood of the family.

Surely, you know a woman who deserves this recognition today – your mother, sister, friend, or colleague. This Bilingual card as a celebration for all they have accomplished and do for their families every day.

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur.   View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Mi Hermanita My Sister


Hispanic pictures Mi Hermanita is a beautiful picture that shows our apparent differences even though we are all Latinas.

Last month on my January photo contribution, I made reference to the woman in this photograph “mi hermanita” and wrote about the cultural similarities and differences we share.

We are both Latin American women. She is from Ecuador. I am from Puerto Rico. Yet we speak different languages. I speak Spanish. She speaks Quechua. I am more contemporary in my attire and lifestyle. She is more traditional. We do share a common factor -we are both of Hispanic origin.

Although we share a Latin American background, our culture, traditions, rituals and languages differ. As bi-cultural Latin Americans, we may feel united as Latinos, but we enjoy holding onto the heritage of our country of origin.

The amount of history and culture associated with each Latin American country is so vast and representative of who we are as a people, our values, and identity, that it feels good to say I am Puerto Rican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, etc.

It’s fun to share our culture with others and we always appreciate when people acknowledge and respect the differences that exist among our Latin American “hermanos y hermanas.”

I hope my photographs convey some of these differences while revealing the uniqueness and individuality of the culture. For more Latin American photos and bilingual greeting cards go to www.culturame.com

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur.  View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™

Hispanic Pictures Latina Beauties


Hispanic Pictures Latina Beauties places us in an atmosphere of fiesta where we, Hispanics and Hispanic-Americans celebrate with beauty pageants and parades.

With the summer upon us, and the passing of our recent Fourth of July celebrations, I am inspired to share this photo of two beauty queens at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

It brings back memories of my days as a Teen “Queen of Naguabo” at the 1970 Puerto Rican Day Parade.

I remember sitting on top of a beautifully decorated float waving at the cheering crowds enthusiastically celebrating our Puerto Rican heritage – it was a wonderful moment in which I felt connected to mi cultura y gente!

For the many Latinos who participate in parades, representing their country of origin and sharing their customs and culture throughout the United States, it’s also a way to honor their homeland.

There are over one hundred Latino parades and festivals in the New York area alone. Aledia in her website, Dominicanidades, lists a calendar of events with photos that are filled with color, ornate costumes, and rituals by the diverse cultures of Latin America.

The increasing amount of cultural parades is a testament to the need for individual cultural identity and community.

Reach out to your Latina Mami, Prima, Hermana o Amiga with this Culturame card and share your Latino pride but more importantly let them know they are princesses in your eyes.

Debra Del Toro-Phillips is a photographer and Hispanic entrepreneur.  View this photo and others in our Fotografía of America Latina Collection at Cultúrame™