South American Celebrities

Famed Personalities from South America

South America is not only rich in culture, tradition, and natural resources. It is also home to some beautiful and talented people who are widely known in most countries. You might have seen most of them in popular Hollywood movies, while the others appear on famed television shows. Whatever the case is, they all serve as an inspiration and pride to the people of South America.

So let’s get to know some of them, shall we?

Andy Garcia

Sounds familiar? He’s just one of the few Hispanic actors who managed to break through casting stereotypes and became one of the Latino community’s most beloved leading men. He was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for his impeccable performance as Vincent Mancini in “The Godfather Part III” and influenced a new generation of Latino actors. He knows his way on dramatic and comedic roles and is also a director and producer capable of attracting popular stars.

Sofia Vergara

She’s a star on the hit television series “Modern Family” and famous for his role “Gloria” which is a full-pledged Colombian. Aside from being a successful actress, she’s also a business savvy who has an empire of followers on social media that admired her authenticity.

Selena Gomez

After succeeding on her huge leap from a child star to an adult celebrity, Selena has proven her talent in the music scene and on the big screen. She exhibited a great deal of independence and sense of control over her career and image as a role model for her Latina fans.

Michelle Rodriguez

Her rigid, tough girl image appeals to both fans and filmmakers alike. She’s known for giving life to action-packed roles on Hollywood movies such as the “Fast and the Furious” franchise and is admired for staying true to her roles, ideals, and philosophies in life.

Michael Pena

He’s one of the few rare breed actors who can work in both English and Spanish and can also make audiences cry helplessly one minute, and laugh hard the next. He has co-starred in some of the great movies in the past like “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash,” “American Hustle” and the Marvel movie “Ant-Man.”

Zoe Saldana

The actress exhibits strength, confidence, and toughness on most of her roles in Hollywood films. She’s an inspiration to adult Latinas who appreciates her unwillingness to conform to Hollywood standards. Directors and producers also admired her for being simultaneously feminine and strong.

Jennifer Lopez

We all know JLo, but many fans admired her more for a successful self-reinvention after dismantling her reputation as a diva, to someone who’s an advocate of good will. She’s now a part owner of a TV network that focuses on multicultural millennials and diversity.

Penelope Cruz

Her beauty and talents inspired not only the general audience but also some older, cultured, and more educated Latina women. The Oscar-winner chose to be an inspiration and a model to younger generations when she decided to live a more private life, far from tabloid sagas and excessive social media sharing, and closer to the things she loved most.

Antonio Banderas

His Latino good looks, charming personality, and surprising comedic timing made him one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood. He rose to Stardom on his role as Zorro and is loved by Latino families in his voicing as the charming and adventurous animated character “Puss in Boots.”

 

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Blending In Fashion Tips for Tourists in South America

As tourists, I know we all want to be as comfortable as we can on our skin to enjoy our travels.

People tend to think that because you are in a place where no one knows you, you already have the right to do what you want, be what you want, and wear what you want. Although this statement is true in its sense, there will still be limitations in it, which are bounded by culture, people, and the place where you are visiting. As much as possible, we need to be mindful of how we present and express ourselves to the locals. Although fashion is one form of self-expression, there are still restrictions we need to observe and follow—especially when we are in foreign land.

So here is the thing: normal people dress formally in South America than elsewhere and dressing down has never been their option. As an extremely class-conscious society, no one wants to be ever mistaken for the lowest lower class in Latin America. And as tourists, we don’t want to be treated and looked at differently, right?

So to make the most out of your South American trip, here are some fashion tips to blend in well:

One Word: Layers

In Latin America, people don’t usually wear t-shirts when they go out. But don’t worry because you can still wear your favorite shirts inside the house, or perhaps when doing some gardening in your backyard. But when you’re going out to see tourist spots and to explore the place, considering adding layers to your good old shirt is a wise decision. So you’ll do fine wearing that simple button-up shirt.

Ask Yourself: Are You Hitting the Gym?

People in South America don’t naturally wear sneakers, tracksuit, exercise shorts and pants except when they’re actually at the gym and about to do jumping jacks or some pushups. They hit the gym wearing some fine clothes, and bring with them their workout wardrobe. Once they’re done, they keep it on their bags and wear some nice clothing again on their way home. This is how they do gym sessions. So you might consider packing other shoes than your sneakers.

Is It Your Birthday?

When going to birthday parties and clubs women in Latin America will do extreme measures to showcase their “features.” And I must say most of them have what it takes. But if you’re a tourist, you might skip on wearing too skimpy clothes. Pieces of clothing such as super short shorts, a micro top, and an itsy bitsy skirt where your body parts are practically showing itself to the world is not something nice to wear there, especially on churches.

Let’s Just Go To the Beach

If beach mode is your default setting as a person, then you might want to consider shaking things up a little for once. Flip-flops, sandals, and shorts for men are considered too casual as an everyday outfit in South America. For them, you only wear these items when walking around the house, working out, or going to a beach. So let’s just go to the beach, shall we?

Your Smile Is Your Best Piece of Clothing

If you’re now too stressed thinking of what to pack for your trip, then this might make you feel better. South Americans are known to be very gracious hosts, and a smile is something they consider as an all-time key fashion accessory. You might not know how to speak Spanish, but wearing a simple smile can help save your day.

It’s something they understand and appreciate. So I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun on your holidays.

 

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A Quick Glimpse on the History of South America

Between 12,500 and 70,000 years ago, people migrated from Asia to Alaska using a land bridge across the Bering Strait and wandered towards the south. Between 5000 BC and 2500 BC, agriculture was developed in South America and emerging societies turned into major civilizations. One of which is considered the most sophisticated of them all, the Inca Empire.

In the early 16th century, the Spanish invasion came, ruling over people from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina. They arrived in the continent in 1492 when Christopher Columbus, who found an alternative route to the spice islands of Asia, saw the Caribbean Islands. A Portuguese by the name Vasco de Gama also founded the new sea route to Asia, brewing the rivalry of Spain and Portugal in claiming newly discovered lands.

Representatives from Spain and Portugal met in 1494 and drew a line about 48-degrees west of Greenwich, giving Asia and Africa to Portugal and the New World to Spain. This treaty put Brazil’s coast to the Portuguese giving them access to this new continent.

The explorations made by Spain intensified in 1496 and 1526 because of rumors of a golden kingdom in Southern Panama, convincing authorities from Spain to finance a 200-men expedition. This expedition was headed by Francisco Pizarro, who saw the Inca Empire. His small force of Spaniard soldiers terrorized the place and used his deadliest weapon that killed the empire’s ruler Huayna Capac. This weapon is an infectious disease known today as smallpox.

The seat of power in Spanish South America founded by Lima in 1535 became the base for their explorations and conquests. Spaniards defeated two Inca rulers Manco Inca and Tupac Amaru in 1572 and strengthened Spain’s claim over the continent.

In the 18th century, Spanish colonies began a movement for independence. Spaniards brought its troops to the war against France and lost control of its colonies. By the end of the war in 1814, Argentina and Venezuela declared independence from Spain. Other Spanish colonies followed suit in the next seven years. In 1807, Brazil became autonomous and already declared independence in 1822.

Over the last twenty years, a stronger force was used towards regional integration with the support of South American institutions like the Andean CommunityMercosur, and Unasur. With Hugo Chávez’s 1998 election in Venezuela, the region experienced what has been referred to as the pink tide, with several leftist and center-left administrations being elected to most countries except for the Guianas and Colombia.

As of today, South America’s tourism is booming and considered a significant income source for most of its countries. Its historical relics, natural wonders, colorful tastes of food and culture, vibrant cities and picturesque landscapes and sceneries attract millions of travelers yearly.

Some of the places worth noting and visiting include the Iguazu FallsMachu Picchu, Amazon rainforestRio de JaneiroSão LuísBuenos Aires Angel Falls Nazca Lines Belo HorizonteLake TiticacaSalar de UyuniJesuit Missions of ChiquitosLos Roques archipelagoGran SabanaPatagoniaTayrona National Natural ParkSanta Marta CartagenaPerito Moreno Glacier, and the Galápagos Islands.

 

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