Category: Podcasts

The Salsa Project

Ep. 8 – Brandon Espinosa, Founder of the Salsa Project and GM of the Bronx Brewery

Brandon “The Salsa Pops” Espinosa

Brandon Espinosa is an amazing person who from a young age fell in love with Salsa Music and the rich history and origins. Calling himself a Bronxite he has fixated himself within the salsa community as the pioneer to bring the music and keep it alive for many future generations.

At a concert him and his infant were caught dancing and thats how The Salsa Project and The Salsa Pops were born. On this episode we can hear about that event and how it launched this movement! We learn about his upbringing, college years and how his undying persistence has allowed him to reach amazing goals.

I definitely recommend you going to one of The Salsa Project’s events and meeting Brandon. His energy is infectious and next thing you know you will be jamming to Salsa and moving those hips and feet to the music!

Connect with Brandon

Ep. 7 – Barbara Fernandez Valdes, Educator & My Amazing Mother

Barbara Fernandez Valdes

Today’s show is a special one because I interview an amazing woman who was in education for over 30 years, who fought for equal rights for her students and lastly and selfishly most important is my loving mother.

I recorded this show while taking the altMBA and I am so glad I did it because I got to see a side of my mom you don’t normally get to know and on top of that record. I learned a lot more about her childhood, her struggles, and the perseverance she portrayed early on in her life to accomplish her dreams.

Outside of me bragging about my mom, October is a special month for her because her favorite holiday is Halloween and she also celebrates her wedding anniversary with my dad on the 29th.

I have no doubt that listening to this episode will give you some behind the scenes information on my mom’s story as a Latina and growing up with my grandparents who came to the US to seek a better life. Enjoy and let me know your favorite part in the comments!

LinkedIn – Barbara Fernandez Valdes

Ep. 6 – Jorge Ayala – Owner of El Barrio’s La Fonda Boricua & Curious Soul

Jorge Ayala

Today’s episode brings on the show Jorge Ayala who currently owns La Fonda Boricua in El Barrio. I have to admit I knew little about Jorge before agreeing to meet with him but it was a refreshing conversation and I believe an important one.

He moved from Puerto Rico in the 80’s to obtain his masters degree and continue his education but one thing never changed. That one constant was his never-ending curiosity. He loved learning how people work and function and just the different dynamics of human interactions. This lust for learning led him to work on neighborhood social programs in East Harlem eventually allowing him to take over a restaurant, La Fonda Boricua, a staple in the neighborhood.

Several decades later he has used his community involvement coupled with his quest for learning to continue the history of La Fonda. He has learned how to run a restaurant and is overly humble to admit he knows more than the average man.

The podcast closes with some solid advice that no matter what your upbringing or schooling it should never impede your quest for wisdom and knowledge. Some of the smartest minds in the world didn’t have a formal education and that shouldn’t be a barometer on how you interact with people on a day to day basis.

Listen and hopefully learn a bit about Jorge and his life. After if you are in the NYC area, maybe swing by La Fonda and check out the amazing artwork and enjoy it’s tasty Puerto Rican cuisine.

Here is the link to his episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”

Ep. 5 – Oscar Benitez, Director for Third Sector Capital & Color Commentator of Los Jets en Español

Oscar Benitez

Today’s episode brings us another Oscar but this one is very different. (of course in a good way) Raised in LA by his single mother, he and his mom knew how important education was in life being a ticket to success in the United States. Also a little football talk – JETS fans should be excited!

On the episode we talk about our own internal challenges with identity and our “Latino-ness”. We also how talk about relocating to colleges where we found out there are huge differences in not only our latino counterparts from other Latin American backgrounds but also with our international peers from Latin America.

It’s a great episode in learning that we always need to hustle and put our best work forward. Also, I think the biggest gem is looking at different career paths to find and learn the skills that will allow you to shine in your future career goals. You have to listen to find out what I mean by this and I hope you find the same motivation I did when hearing Oscar’s story.

Los Jets en Español

We close the episode with some football talk and how he became the commentator for Los Jets en Español. A side gig he has been jet-setting coast to coast doing for the past 10 seasons. Enjoy!

Learn more about Oscar

Stephanie Flor, Beauty Expert

Ep. 4 – Stephanie Flor, Founder of ATW Beauty and Celebrity Makeup Artist

Stephanie Flor

Today’s episode brings Stephanie Flor on the podcast to talk all things beauty. Stephanie knew from an early age what she wanted to do for a living and hasn’t let anything get in her way.

Find out how Stephanie by-passed the usual career track and pathways to achieve her dreams from jet-setting as a celebrity makeup artist to leading worldwide beauty tours, this is not an episode to miss. We find out from her how she manifests her goals and her current and future dreams. Also there are a few tips out there for the men who think this is just an episode aimed towards women!

If you are interested in joining one of Stephanie’s upcoming trips to Japan or Morocco or just want to follow her journey please checkout the links below.

Let me know your favorite part of the episode and your takeaways!!! As always thanks for your support and always listening! Make sure you subscribe on iTunes & Spotify!!!

Ep. 3 – Oscar Collazos, Comedian and Founder of Hilarious Colombian Americans

Oscar Collazos

Today’s guest is Oscar Collazos, an amazing comedian who lives in New York. I asked him to join us on the podcast today because I loved hearing about his journey into comedy and making it in New York.

Episode 3 Summary

As some of you know I moved to NYC about a year ago and its had its ups and downs. It was definitely not as smooth as I thought it would have been but I have persevered and continue to roll with the punches. During this time, Oscar and I have met up a few times and probably unbeknownst to him he gave me the boost of motivation here and there to get through some of the difficulties. This is why I wanted to share his story with my listeners and spread the hope and laughs to make it in a new environment.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

This podcast runs a little on the long end but it is packed with gems of valuable tips and advice for anyone; not just people interested in comedy. It shows how in life you may be put in uncomfortable or foreign situations but once you push through you only become stronger and wiser. Also there will be doubters along the way but use that as fuel to really challenge yourself to prove them wrong.

Lighting Round

We close up the podcast with the lighting round where Oscar answers two valuable questions:

  1. What are some tips for people who move to a new environment?
  2. What is Oscar’s mantra that he repeats to himself to stay motivated?

I hope you enjoy and I can type forever on how much I love this episode but I will let you listen first and please share with me in the comments (here or on social media) on what you think about the episode and your favorite takeaway. Lastly, please follow, subscribe, share and hopefully give five stars to the podcast to let Apple know we are cool….. Gracias

You can find Oscar and the Hilarious Colombian Americans at:

Colombia not Columbia
Please make sure you spell Colombia Correctly 🙂
latina; latinista; diversity

Ep. 2 – Yai Vargas, Latinx Diversity & Strategy Expert

This episode set a high watermark for my future episodes but that only motivates me to really keep up finding high quality guests and interviews.
I’ll be honest, I recorded this episode in February 2019 and it took me a while to face my fears to really kick off the podcast. Even though this was recorded months ago it offers timeless advice that both women and men can use to really propel their careers and life skills.

Yai who reigns from the Dominican Republic has focused her career on diversity and moreover the inclusion and success for women in the workplace. Seven years ago she created the Latinista which is an organization focused on the professional development that has satellite offices in Chicago, Miami, LA with their home base in New York. The Latinista was born when Yai noticed the need for professional development for Latinas. She’s a hands on trainer who gets right to work with all the women (and men) who come and participate in her workshops. I definitely recommend you check out and attend her next workshop.
We dive into issues of DNI, affinity groups, and navigating the corporate office to achieve your career aspirations.

Lastly we close with some great takeaways on:

  • What can women do to establish a fair playing field in business and life to close the gap in the gender inequality?
  • What can men do immediately to help support women empowerment?

My biggest takeaway learned from the episode:

Be bold, offer value, and unapologetic and strategic in working towards your goals!

You can follow and find Yai and The Latinista at the links below:

podcast, latino, episode 1, Empowerment

Ep. 1 – Introduction of the Platform Latino Podcast

Allow me to introduce the Platform Latino Podcast! This has been a work in progress and I am glad to have it finally launch. Listen to the first episode to find out who I am, what inspired me to start the podcast and my goals for the podcast.

I’m mixed with wonderful feelings from happiness, to share this with the world, to scared to see how it will be received. In the end I know sharing the stories of these amazing Latino/a’s will be a positive influence to all who listen.

Enjoy! Let me know what you liked most about the episode. If you know someone who would be a great guest please feel free to send me a message.

Thank You!