Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez took a hiatus from social media recently after she came under heat for a comment she made

During an interview, the voice actress for Netflix’s new Carmen Sandiego animated series, said Latina actresses get paid less than Black actresses.

Strong voices in the Black community and other critics accused her comments of being out of touch with the facts.

But guess what? It’s true.

Latinas get paid less than their Black, White and Asian counterparts.

Latina women earn 54 cents for every dollar made by their White male counterparts.

Meanwhile, Asian, White, Black and Native American women earn 87 cents, 79 cents, 63 cents and 57 cents, respectively, for every dollar their White male counterparts make.

And the wage gap doesn’t only affect Latinas, men in our community are also earning less.

The Economic Policy Institute reports that in 2017, Hispanic men made 14.9 percent less in hourly wages than comparable White men.

Rodriguez returned to social media to promote new projects such as the crime action flick, Miss Bala, but closed the comments section of her Instagram feed.

In an interview with SiriusXM’s Sway In the Morning, she got candid about the impact of getting people so riled up over an issue close to heart.

“I never said actresses,” she said getting teary-eyed. “I wasn’t speaking about my industry. I always find it difficult to talk about equal pay as a woman who makes a substantial amount of money. As somebody who came from poverty to now the amount of money I get paid, it doesn’t feel right that I’m the one talking about it, because I’m so damn grateful.”

She said she was hinting at intersectionality to nix the pay gap in the bud.

“And so the backlash was devastating to say the least because the Black community was the only community I looked towards growing up,” Rodriguez said. “We didn’t have many Latino shows and the Black community made me feel like I was seen, so to get anti-Black is to say I’m anti-family.”

She apologized to those she may have inadvertingly hurt through her comments.

Major props to Rodriguez and other Latina actresses who are taking on the enormous responsibility of advocating for equal pay for nuestra gente.

So long as we keep speaking up about the pay gap, we’ll keep making progress.

DNA tests are all the buzz these days, but don’t they don’t tell the whole story, especially for Latinos

If you’ve turned on the T.V. in the last year and made it to your favorite show’s commercial breaks, chances are you’ve seen an ad for a DNA test.

It seems like they’re more popular than ever, but for Latinos, DNA tests just don’t tell our whole genetic story.

Historically, people of European ancestry have taken more DNA tests, resulting in much more comprehensive DNA databases for them than for people of color.

This lack of DNA testing by Latinos, coupled with our ancestral mix of European and indigenous roots, has made our gente’s results less accurate.

But with more folks of non-European ancestry buying DNA tests at higher rates, test-making companies are being forced to make their databases more diverse.

While the more popular companies get it together, there’s one lesser-known DNA test company that’s already better serving our community.

We Are Cousins is a website that helps Latinos trace their Native American and Spanish roots.
By knowing our roots, we can keep our family’s history alive for generations to come.

Hispanic vs Latino

Here’s a simple way to think about the difference between “Hispanic” and “Latino.”

“Hispanic” = Language
“Latino” = Culture

The U.S. government first started using the term “Hispanic” during Richard Nixon’s presidency in the late 1960’s to describe Spanish-speaking American citizens.

It first appeared on the U.S. Census in 1980.

“Latino” is used more broadly for anyone from Central and South America or some countries in the Caribbean to group people who feel cultural or georgraphic ties to this region.
“Latino” was officially adopted in 1997 by the U.S. government, and was supposed to replace “Hispanic” with “Hispanic or Latino.”

But not everyone from the region identifies with the terms “Latino” or “Hispanic.”

Check out this video for more thoughts on these terms:

‘Despacito’ Losing at the Grammy’s Surprises No One

The Grammy Awards Sunday night robbed the best-selling Spanish-language song of ALL TIME not once, not twice, but, yes, a whopping three times.

“Despacito” was undoubtedly the biggest song of 2017. It sold nearly 7 million track-equivalent copies last year. It tied the record for the longest-running No. 1 on the Hot 100 in history, sitting at the top for 16 weeks. It’s also the only YouTube video in history to reach 4 billion views, making it the most-watched video in more than 50 other countries across the globe.

This is an impressive feat, and moreso when we revisit Latin music’s journey at the Grammy’s. To put it in perspective, the last “remotely Latin” nominees to even make it close were Carlos Santana’s English-language “Smooth” and Ricky Martin’s English “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and this was 18 years ago in 2000. The first (and only) time a non-English song won Song of the Year was at the second Grammy Awards, in 1959, when an Italian song called “Volare” took the top honor.

So, does it surprise us that the biggest Latin song of all time didn’t take home the gold? Nope. But one can dream.

To cheer you up, here’s the latest episode of Latino U.S.A where host Maria Hinojosa dives into the making of this epic song. It will make you proud!

Salvadorans Welcomed then Kicked the Eff Out… A Brief History

The Beginning: 13 days into 2001, a massive earthquake hit El Salvador. This earthquake was no joke. At least 944 people were killed, more than 5,000 were injured, and tens of thousands of homes destroyed. To help, the U.S. gave 200,000 Salvadorans Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to live, work (and play) legally in the U.S. Aren’t we just so nice?

The Turning Point: No fear of la migra for these folks! Until Nov. 2016, of course, when the U.S. elected their very own version of a Latin American populist. Since then, Trump has been notably deplorable to our community, most recently by ending protections for 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, unless Congress grants these DREAMers a path to legal status by March 5.

But also…The Department of Homeland Security said that because El Salvador had been reconstructed since the earthquakes, it was time for more than 200,000 Guanacos to get lost by September 2019.

The Aftermath: The country may be better now, but El Salvador ain’t exactly paradise. Drought, poverty and la mara sill ravage the country. Imagine, if on top of that, 200,000 people, many who have been here for most of their lives, were to just roll up like, “Howya doin’?”

To understand this struggle first-hand, meet the Salinas family, TPS-holders in danger of being deported.