Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Nearly half of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America. Some speculate the church will embrace this growing population and give the world its first Hispanic pope.

“There’s a sense this is the time a pope will come from this whole growing area of the church,” said local Catholic leader Father David Garcia.


When the cardinals meet to elect the next pope, many will be praying he comes from Latin America.
“I think I’m excited that our next pope might be from outside of Europe,” said local parishioner Brian Przybla.


For the first time in centuries, cardinals will have time to discuss candidates ahead of time and perhaps listen to others.
“I think they will take into consideration someone younger and maybe Hispanic would be great,” said local parishioner Theresa Cuellar.


Already there is speculation about the Hispanic who could be pope. Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of Brazil, the largest Catholic country in Latin America, is seen as the front-runner.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez

Also mentioned is Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Before the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Rodriguez said, “It would be a great hope for many of the young Catholics to have a pope who could come from Latin America.”
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City is another Hispanic papal contender along with Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez from Columbia.
A third of American Catholics are Hispanic. That number is expected to grow, especially in Texas.

Read more: KHOU

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President Barack Obama leaves today for a trip to a summit in Latin America that may have as much resonance in domestic politics as in hemispheric economics. Discussions at the meeting of North and South American leaders in the resort city of Cartagena, Colombia, will cover trade, economic growth and the battle against drug trafficking. Yet the White House is mindful that about 16 percent of U.S. residents trace their roots to the region, and that group may play an outsized role in the November presidential election.

photo source AP

“The president desperately needs high voter turnout among Hispanic Americans,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University in Houston. “It doesn’t hurt for him to be in Colombia, and being seen with Latino leaders of the hemisphere is not a bad photo-op in an election year.”

Obama’s campaign is gearing up for a close election fight against Republican Mitt Romney, putting a premium on gaining an edge with any voting group. Obama is actively courting Hispanics — who gave him 67 percent of their votes in 2008 — with a Spanish-language website and by recruiting Spanish-speaking volunteers and using Spanish-language voter registration forms and phone banks.

President Barack Obama addresses the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 34th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

“Key swing states that have large Hispanic populations will be extremely attentive” to the trip, said Susan MacManus, professor of political science at the University of South Florida in Tampa. “Many feel that Latin and South America has been ignored.”

Swing State

One of those states is Florida, with 29 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency and where Hispanics make up 22.5 percent of the population. Before Obama meets with the other 32 leaders at the Summit of the Americas he’s scheduled to stop at the Port of Tampa.The theme for that visit, as at the summit, will be expanding U.S. exports and gaining greater access to Latin markets for small businesses. About 40 percent of all exports from Tampa go to Latin America, and the port means 100,000 jobs and generates almost $8 billion in annual economic impact, according to its website.

President Obama waves as he arrives to speak at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., Friday April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) CHRIS O’MEARA — AP

Total U.S. exports in the Americas amount to $700 billion a year out of $1.5 trillion worldwide, according to Commerce Department figures. Among the summit participants, Canada is the biggest U.S. trading partner, Mexico is the third largest and Brazil ranks ninth.

Hemispheric Trade

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the Port of Tampa on April 13, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The President, on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, used the visit to emphasis small business trade with countries in Latin America.
(April 12, 2012 – Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America)

“The U.S. economy benefits substantially from our trade in the Americas, and over 40 percent of our exports currently go to the Americas,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told reporters in an April 11 briefing. “Those exports are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world.”

US President Barack Obama with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff Photo: Reuters

Latin America managed to largely escape the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Brazil (BZGDYOY%) is the world’s sixth largest economy, and the ranks of the middle class have swelled. The World Bank classifies most countries in the region as middle- income or higher. As countries in the region have grown more prosperous, they are less reliant on the U.S., the world’s biggest economy. That growth also comes as the Obama administration has made a deliberate pivot to focus more on Asia.

Diminished Role

Obama is “quite comfortable with the diminished role of the United States in the hemisphere” and that it’s “the natural order of things,” said Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. “The U.S. is going to continue to be engaged but no longer has the domineering authority it once did.”

President Obama arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 13 for the Summit of the Americas

The summit host, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, has an agenda focusing on boosting advances in technology, finalizing the free-trade deal between the U.S. and Colombia, lessening income inequality and improving responses to natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

Obama remains popular in Central and South America, though promises to rebuild cooperation at the last summit, in 2009 in Trinidad, may have fallen short, according to the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based policy group that focuses on the Western Hemisphere.

“The U.S. must regain its credibility in the region by dealing seriously with an unfinished agenda of problems — including immigration, drugs and Cuba — that stands in the way of a real partnership,” according to a policy report issued yesterday.

Illicit Drugs

Bigger issues that aren’t on the official agenda are legalization or decriminalization of illicit drugs and whether Cuba should be allowed at the next summit. Selee said that while he doesn’t expect “dramatic outcomes” from the summit, one area where “sparks” might fly would be the debate raging in Latin America over drugs. The presidents of Colombia and Mexico have called for a discussion about easing penalties for drug use. Obama’s aides say the U.S. will resist such proposals.

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon (R) speaks to journalists as Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe listens during a news conference at the presidential residence Los Pinos, in Mexico City November 10, 2008. REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO)

“The president doesn’t support decriminalization,” Dan Restrepo, Obama’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, told reporters.

There is friction between the U.S. and some summit leaders over restrictive U.S. policies toward Cuba. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is boycotting the summit because of Cuba’s absence. The region’s sole dictatorship is the only nation excluded from the gathering of heads of state from the Western Hemisphere.

Brazilian President

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told Obama during a White House meeting April 9 that this should be the last such regional meeting without Cuba in attendance. In an e-mail interview with a group of Latin American newspapers, Obama said his administration has done more than any in decades to improve U.S. relations with Cuba and blamed the communist regime for the nation’s exclusion from the summit.

SOURCE: AP/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Barack Obama meets with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the United Nations in September 2011.

“We’re looking for a new era in the relationship between our two countries,” Obama said, according to a transcript of the interview published in Spanish by Bogota’s El Tiempo newspaper. “History shows that the longing for liberty and human dignity can’t be ignored forever. No authoritarian regime lasts forever. The day will arrive when the Cuban people will be free to determine their own destiny.”

While Obama moved to ease travel restrictions earlier in his presidency, the U.S. wants Cuba to release political prisoners, increase political freedoms and adopt democratic principles.

File: Barack Obama attends Cuban Independence Day celebrations in Miami in May during his run for president.
Read more: FOX NEWS

“Cuba authorities continue to deny the Cuban people their universal rights and the president will continue to stand up for those rights,” Restrepo said.

The policy is in keeping with those of past U.S. presidents from both parties, said MacManus, the Florida professor. As with other issues at the summit, Obama’s position on Cuba has political implications.

“If Obama can keep some of the Cubans who voted for him last time, appease them with that kind of stance, then that could be the difference” in winning Florida, MacManus said.

Read More: Bloomberg 

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God Bless and make it a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog




Pampers®, the diaper brand committed to making a difference for Latino parents and babies right from the start, today debuted its new online initiative Mi milagro. Nuestra herenciaPampers is providing Hispanic moms with a forum to connect and discuss how they celebrate and preserve their cultural roots, pride and traditions with their little miracles. The new dedicated heritage tab is part of an online offering on the Pampers‘ Latino Facebook page (Facebook.com/PampersLatino).

“With one in four babies born in the U.S. being Hispanic, we understand how important it is to provide moms with ongoing support through programs that speak to their everyday needs”

The Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia. Interactive Forum

The forum offers Hispanic consumers the opportunity to connect with the Pampers Latino community and share personal baby care tips, cultural traditions or special memories from their childhood. The online forum celebrates and supports parents in their quest to raise their little miracles in the American experience while encouraging them to protect their Hispanic cultural pride and traditions.

To commemorate the debut of the online initiative, Pampers is encouraging Hispanic consumers to honor their little miracles’ culture by logging on to the Pampers Latino Facebook page and visiting the special Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia. heritage tab (located on the top of the screen); to participate in weekly giveaways for a chance to win customized Pampers’ body suit featuring the names of several Latin American countries of origin.

Beginning today, fans will get the chance to participate in weekly cultural body suit drawings’. One lucky family will even be selected at random to win the ultimate grand prize – a vacation to visit a Latin American country to reconnect with their cultural roots1. The promotion ends May 31, 2012.

“At Pampers, we recognize the need to honor the uniqueness of Latinos living in the U.S., American parenting and the cultural duality that they encounter with their little miracles,” added Olmo. “Whether a parent is from Mexico, El Salvador or Puerto Rico, we want to be the brand that supports Latino parents in preserving their Hispanic cultural roots while they strike a balance to embracing their American lifestyle and journey with their little miracles.”

For more information on Pampers’ Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia., please visit www.facebook.com/PampersLatino.

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If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog



Hispanic Consumer Research: A Beginner’s Guide to Spotting and Seizing Opportunity



It is a very common situation – marketers who had never gotten around to establishing a specialized Hispanic program are suddenly faced with a corporate mandate – “Go after the Hispanic market!” Other companies and brands are clearly benefiting from having done so and may appear to be very far down this road – but you are just taking your first steps.


There’s no need to be intimidated; in fact, by starting now you can benefit from the best practices established by others and avoid the pitfalls (and the bumps and bruises) they encountered.

Before you get going, you need to do your homework – to understand what you should do, could do and need to avoid at all costs. Most advertisers begin with research, both internal and with a partner who intimately understands the Hispanic market. You can be wiser than those who may appear to be further along by relying on expert research that has much more refined tools and methods – that recognizes that the “Hispanic market” is heterogeneous and ever-changing.

Syndicated data has its place in this process, yet often falls short by having no Hispanic data view. To properly identify the Hispanic opportunities for your products in your categories, you need to develop a tailored program – one that reflects both your needs and your budget.

Of course, there is no one singular way to go about this process of discovery – but here is a general guide, based on years of experience with clients in dozens of CPG categories.


Start with some secondary research to quantify basic information about your company categories, to see which are the lowest hanging fruit – the ones in which Hispanics over-index. For this you would use shopper data or syndicated studies that show market activity and incidence levels by market (and ethnicity).

There may, however, be bigger opportunities in categories in which Hispanics under-index; here you can examine why there is a lack of interest, possibly “introduce” the category, present your brand as the solution, and own it. But tougher categories are best taken on when you have a better idea of what you are doing; it’s best to start with the simplest tasks.

To make this effort more than an activity you need a filter. The bottom line is to ask yourself the following questions as you examine the secondary data:

  • What are my objectives in targeting the Hispanic population?
  • What can I learn from competitive brands that target Hispanics?
  • What has my company done that has succeeded or failed?
  • What holes in my discovery need to be filled with custom research in order to have a solid strategy and activate tactics?


At some point, if it has not been done already, the group will consider hiring an ad agency and/or a strategic consultant that specializes in the multi-cultural or Hispanic-specific market. This can be done at any point, but the strategic consultant is often brought in to lead the secondary data search. An ad agency typically comes on board after the secondary research phase but before the start of custom research; this way, the agency can be part of the learning and benefit from the insights and consumer input (as well as contribute to the process from their own unique perspective).

Because hiring an ad agency can be a long and involved process, this is sometimes done after the client has figured out what categories, brands and products they will be focusing on. The client might pick a very different agency depending on their starting point, as they will be looking for teams with certain types of experience. At the very least, sub-optimally, the agency people can then be exposed to the video tapes and transcripts of the earlier qual work.


Most companies start with exploratory qualitative, just to get the lay of the land. Likely areas to explore include:

  • key issues
  • views of the competitive set
  • category drivers for Hispanics
  • usage occasions for the category and brands
  • histories with the category and brands in Latin America

If you have the budget and need to find out more based on the qual results, you may want to consider ethnographic research – shop-alongs, home visits, groups of “comadres” or “compadres” who will gather at someone’s home and talk informally or go out together to partake in the retail experience.


photo source: courtesy of the Little in the Middle denim brand. The leader in denim for Latinos. http://www.littleinthemiddle.com

Your quantitative research path will depend on your objectives in targeting the Hispanic population. For instance: Are you targeting within the existing brand portfolio? Are you thinking about a separate ad campaign, with or without specific in-store activation? Or, are you launching a new brand? With quantitative research, you can test the hypotheses that well-executed secondary and qual has developed.

Many clients simply start with an Attitude and Usage study to quantify the opportunities raised in the qual and ethnographic work, and to get a clear idea of where an existing brand is positioned in the market. Yet, an A&U could fall very short of providing the information you need if you are talking about messages and/or new product launches. For these, you need to undertake more comprehensive research.

With a solid A&U in your pocket, you can confidently pick a category to start with, a brand to focus on, make projections for ROI, establish budgets – and really get going. You can also use the A&U as a benchmark wave for any future tracking or brand health monitoring.


Clients often try to simply adapt their general market strategy to the Hispanic market. This can be problematic, as needs/priorities can be very different among Hispanics – especially when the issue is messaging and ad creative.

This is why, as part of the ad development process, clients will often commission more Hispanic-focused quant research to test the positioning concepts or messaging before picking one to be produced. The client may then set up some test markets (and a control or two) to monitor the progress for the brand and the quality of the campaign. After two or three waves of a pre/post tracker, the client can decide to go national with the effort or to roll out regional approaches if deemed best for the category.

After a campaign has proven its potential, other elements are added, such as in-store promotions and co-op marketing like store flyers, events, online, and promotions – all of which can and should be researched prior to launch.


As the effort matures, additional categories can be tackled, and ultimately you reach the holy grail of marketing to Hispanics – marketing not just your products, but your Master Brand. This is one of the more effective ways of building a deep, abiding relationship with Hispanic consumers, one based on confidence that the brand will be there for them.

Eventually, doing solid Hispanic research and marketing will become a standard part of every company’s everyday business. You will have integrated your Hispanic effort into your mainstream campaigns, so it will be seamless and synergistic. For the moment, however, adoption of Hispanic marketing into the mainstream is inconsistent – which means that untapped opportunities still abound; so don’t feel bad you’re getting a late jump. Start the process of finding your Hispanic-market-fueled profit growth today!


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If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog


THE HISPANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

The Iowa Caucus proved one thing for certain: Mitt Romney is still the GOP candidate to beat. While Rick Santorum rode a stunning surge in the caucus, Romney still came out first (if only by eight votes). The former Massachusetts governor has run a highly disciplined and well-oiled campaign that, though solid, has yet to catch fire with the GOP primary voting public. From his stance on gun control, to his positions on health care and immigration, Romney has drawn criticism from both the right and the left for supporting radically different policies at different moments of his political life. Fox News Latino has compiled a list of some issues key to the Hispanic vote and where Mitt Romney stands:


Romney’s stance toward immigration can be described as evolving. He has been criticized for changing his mind on what to do about undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., sometimes arguing for a path to citizenship and at other times calling that amnesty. In a 2006 interview with Bloomberg, Romney sat in the middle saying “we need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status.”

Currently, however, Romney strongly opposes any any immigration reform that leads to a path to legal status or citizenship, regardless of how long an undocumented immigrant has spent living in the country, whether they have American citizen family members or dependents, and their behavior and accomplishments.

Over the weekend while campaigning in Iowa, Romney also said that he strongly opposed the DREAM Act –proposed legislation that would legalize the status of people brought to the country as minors and were either attending college or enlisted in the military– and would veto any legislation that gives “dreamers” a path to citizenship. While he said before that he opposed the legislation, the comment made on Saturday was the first time he explicitly said that he would veto it.

Like many of this fellow GOP hopefuls, Romney is also opposed to the idea of sanctuary cities –localities that refuse to share local police information with a federal immigration database.

Border Security

Romney is in the camp that believes that Islamist extremist groups are using Mexico and the rest of Latin America as a staging ground for attacks on the United States. “We have, right now, Hezbollah, which is working throughout Latin America, in Venezuela, in Mexico, throughout Latin America, which poses a very significant and imminent threat to the United States of America,” he said during a recent debate.

Romney ties the idea of border security to the immigration and is a supporter of a fence between the U.S. and Mexico. He’s also a proponent of the government’s E-Verfiy system, which makes employers certify that their workers are legally allowed to work in the U.S. “I am in favor of building a fence and having a secure border. I am in favor of electronic verification system. The big debate is those who have already came here illegally,” Romney said back in 2007, according to IowaPolitics.com.


In September of last year Romney introduced his economic plan that argues the best way to revive the economy is to get the government to stay out of the way of corporations. The Bain Capital co-founder highlighted overhauling federal tax, regulatory, trade and energy policies and also took tough stances on China and labor unions. His plan wants to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility.

“It is at once a deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well and a highly ambitious departure from the policies of our current leadership. In short, it is a plan to get America back to work,” Romney’s website said:


Romney said that if he was elected he would immediately work to repeal the national healthcare legislation passed in 2010,also known as Obamacare, and replace it with market-based reforms. He said that this would empower states and individuals and reduce health care costs.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney signed into law a private, market-based reform that ensures the state’s citizens will have health insurance and in 2007 he revealed his national health care plan that would allow states to choose individual health care plans for their fellow citizens.

Speaking specifically about Obamcare, Romney has said that it “is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today,” he said, according to Forbes.

Romney acknowledges that his plan is not perfect, but highlighted that it received bipartisan support, while Obama’s plan had no Democratic backing.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/01/04/mitt-romney-and-latino-vote/

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If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

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