The Santa Ana Sentinel

Latino LA aiming to become Latino Cities

Posted in Arts & Culture by Omar Ávalos Gallegos on December 12, 2012

Los Angeles, CA. Abelardo de la Peña announces a campaign to transform Latino LA into Latino Cities. Latino LA and Latino Cities are comprised of user-generated content. De la Peña seeks to include more input from local Latino voices, from cities like Santa Ana for example, into the Latino Cities project. A fundraiser for the Latino Cities project has over half of the funds needed to start up so far with just under a month left to reach its goal. Anyone interested in donating can do so at this link.

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LatinoLA, as our loyal readers and contributors know, is the online home to Southern California’s Latino voices, lives and souls. It’s the cultural and community website that features Latino news, commentaries, expressions, and events.

L.A.-born and raised Abelardo de la Peña Jr. AKA El Editor started it as an email newsletter in 1998, but since then, he, together with his partner Richard Koffler (a Peruano) pioneered user-generated content, where anyone with something to say can share their story and/or promote their event.

We are unbridled, independent, welcoming and still 100% Latino-owned; a place where Latinos y Latinas of every walk of life can gather, learn, share and find creativity, comfort and controversy.

So far, LatinoLA has published more than 11,000 articles and breaking stories, shaping the civic conversation and modeling a new kind of media. We have showcased a wealth of writers and storytellers, including Al Carlos Hernández, Frankie Firme, Guadalupe González, Gustavo Arellano, Sara Inés Calderón, Kat Ávila, Edie Adler and many, many more.

We’ve also listed nearly 21,000 events. Our self-submitted event listings have spanned from stadium concerts to community health fairs, DREAM Act workshops to art shows, DJ sets to film festivals, and more.

Fueled by passion, pride and ganas, we’ve survived more than a few Internet bubbles, but the best is yet to come.

Where we are going … LatinoCities

We are now ready to take the next step, by building LatinoCities, a network of Latino “hubs” — cities, regions and communities large and small throughout the U.S. –, each one reflecting the sabor of its local cultura.

It’s in these hubs where contributors can share their words, music, film and images and engage with each other via social media.

LatinoCities will also be a place where musicians, actors, poets, community activists can self-publish their events and activities, appearing in a newly-built, easy-to-use and intuitive calendar.

Organizations, businesses and institutions — no matter how small or large — can get listed in LatinoCities comprehensive directory, accessible to both their local community and a national audience.

Finally, we’ll collaborate with myriad websites, blogs and bloggers that cover local Latino communities and regions, giving them an open place to share their voices, lives and souls with millions of others.

The screenshot above is a detail of an early version of the LatinoCities home page. Click on “Gallery” above to view the entire page. Also view the “pitch” video which demonstrates why it’s best that El Editor stays behind the scenes.

Stay tuned for updates and enhancements as they happen!

What we need & what you get

We can’t create LatinoCities without resources, which is why we’re asking our great and growing family of readers, contributors and supporters to donate to our campaign.

Our goal is to raise $15,000 by January 7, 2013. We gladly accept any and all donations, but to make it more compelling to you, we’re offering premiums — or “Perks” –– for various levels of giving. They’re listed on the right hand side of this page, and we’ll be adding more as our campaign continues.

One blast out of the past: Early on, we partnered with Homeboy Industries to produce limited-edition LatinoLA t-shirts, which we used to raise a modest amount to get us through a rough patch. Well, we’re doing it again. The newly designed LatinoCities t-shirt will be produced by the only program of its kind that gives high-risk youth an alternative to gang life.

What we’ll do with your contributions

Our target is to launch LatinoCities during the first quarter of 2013 with a handful of hubs, growing steadily from there.

Your contributions will help us with research, insights, strategy, design, programming, testing, marketing, outreach and more. With the help and guidance of Sensis, a full-service interactive agency, we’ve been doing some of that already, and commit to complete and fine-tune LatinoCities during these next few months.

The LatinoCities team

We know it’s important for you to know not only what project or organization you are giving to, but also who the team consists of.

Abelardo de la Peña Jr., is LatinoLA’s co-founder and el editor, a communicator who connects the Latino community by using digital and social media to keep Latinos informed and give them an online voice.

Richard Koffler is also LatinoLA’s co-founder and CEO of LatinoCities, Inc. A born-and-raised peruano, he is a seasoned C-level high-tech entrepeneur who has been successfully launching and nurturing technology ventures for over 25 years.

Carl Kravetz is on the board of directors of LatinoCities. He’s founder and CEO of Vida y Salud Media Group Inc., publishers of VidaYSalud.com, a Spanish-language consumer health information and education website.

José Villa is an advisor to LatinoCities. He is the founder and president of Sensis, a precision advertising agency using digital thinking to reach the multicultural mainstream.

Nonny de la Peña is an advisor to LatinoCities. She is a pioneer in the area of immersive journalism and co-founder of Stroome.com, a collaborative video editing & sharing site.

Luis Ayala is an advisor to LatinoCities. As Chief Wow Officer for Conexion and YSN Entertainment, he produces and promotes national and local events through an extensive network of vendors, sponsors and media channels.

You’re on our team, too!

Promoting LatinoCities is just as beneficial to our campaign is as benefial as donating funds directly or offering a premium. Please subscribe to, follow, and like the websites below.

• LatinoLA.com

• LatinoLA on Facebook

• LatinoLA on Twitter

Best of all, share our campaign with anyone you can. Comment on how we’re doing. We’ll provide frequent updates. And send you love.

¡Muchas gracias!

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