entertainment

21 Places To Visit In Latin America Before You Turn 30

It’s 2019, which means that its time to start dreaming up Instagram-worthy destinations to add to your bucket list. Whether you want to explore charming cliffside towns, wander throughout mysterious archeological sites, or learn to rappel down a waterfall, you’ll find something to love when you visit these destinations. With so many incredible places to choose from in Latin America, it’s hard to decide where to go. We have cut down the list to 21 fabulous places to visit before you turn 30. Get your suitcase ready. After reading this, you’ll be ready to start packing for your next trip.

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1. Tulum, Mexico

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Tulum is one of the hottest travel destinations anywhere. This eco-friendly hotspot has it all — Mayan ruins, lush jungles, and fabulous shopping. What else could you ask for in a vacation spot?

2. Santiago, Chile

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Santiago is one of the most vibrant and unique cities in South America. Enjoy a coffee in one of the picturesque cafés. If you like local art, then check out one of the many museums. Santiago is also an excellent destination for anyone who loves adventure. It is a gateway to Patagonia, which is full of wild and breathtaking scenery.

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico

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San Juan is a colorful, historic city. The best part about traveling to San Juan is that you don’t need a passport. Because it is part of the U.S., all you need is a driver’s license or photo ID to visit. While in San Juan, make sure you walk down the cute cobblestone streets and check out the colorful pastel buildings. If you want to stay active, take a hike through the El Yunque rainforest.

4. Lima, Peru

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Lima offers an unforgettable adventure. The city is full of unique flavors and lively experiences. Plus, it is close to some of the best backpacking locations in South America like Lake Titicaca, which is the highest accessible lake in the world.

5. Quito, Ecuador

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Quito is another South American must-see capital city. There are plenty of spots to watch the sunset thanks to Quito’s location high in the Andes mountains. Quito has a relaxed vibe. It is a peaceful, yet sophisticated city. You’ll find lots of nightlife and food options to sample. Take Quito’s main bus service to the Amazon basin and try whitewater rafting or mountaineering for the first time.

6. Mexico City, Mexico

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Mexico City is a colorful, bright city that is quickly becoming a travel hotspot. It has a hopping art scene, lots of great restaurants and impressive architecture. On a trip to Mexico City, you’ll find lots of great shopping, historical buildings and interesting museums to check out.

7. Ambergris Caye, Belize

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Belize is located right between Guatemala and Mexico. This Central American country has a laid-back atmosphere, beautiful coastline, and friendly locals. Ambergris Caye is the largest island and the most popular destination in Belize. The island has a fun, vibe. It is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to swim, windsurf or scuba dive.

8. Cartagena, Colombia

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The ancient city of Cartegena is filled with tradition and color. If you visit, plan to spend a couple of days at least. You’ll need it to explore all of the sights, history, and sounds of this fashionable seaside town. Wander through the maze of cobbled alleys of Old Town, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. Soak up the local culture and sensual atmosphere in one of the city’s nightclubs.

9. Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

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Bayahibe is a small, sleepy fishing village that is located just east of La Romana. This tranquil village is the perfect spot for anyone looking for a relaxed vacation. Relax on one of the white-sand beaches. Take a short taxi ride to the nearby town of Dominicus Americanus, a cute village that has several hotels, resorts and lots of shopping.

10. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu is a bucket-list destination that should be on everyone’s list. This far-flung destination is one that is perfect to see in your 20s. The hike to Manchu Pichu is truly amazing. Along the way, you’ll pass lots of natural beauty. Once you arrive at Manchu Picchu, you’ll be rewarded with a view of one of the most impressive archeological sites ever constructed.

11. Easter Island, Chile

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Easter Island is another place that every 20-something should visit. Easter Island is not your typical travel experience. It is one of the most remote islands in the world. This mysterious island is ideal for travelers who want to satisfy a sense of adventure. Easter Island is well-known for its numerous giant statues that dot the island. You have to see these statues in person to understand the intrigue that surrounds them.

12. Punta Arenas, Chile

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Punta Arenas, located in the Patagonia region of Chile, is a sprawling oil-rich city that is a gateway to Antarctica. Most people who visit spend a day at Torres del Paine National Park. There you will find spectacular scenery and exciting animal life. Enjoy views of snow-capped mountains as you hike through the park. Take in the mirrored lakes, glaciers and waterfalls along the way.

13. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

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Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is one of the largest salt flats in the world. It offers a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience that should be experienced in your 20s. The salt flat contains one of the most sought-after metals, lithium, which powers cell phones. As the demand for lithium grows, Bolivia’s salt flats may soon be no more. So, visit now while you have the chance.

14. Isla Holbox, Mexico

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Isla Holbox is a small fishing village located just north of Cancun. On Isla Holbox, you’ll find crystal blue waters, street art, white powdery sand. Stay at one of the cute boutique hotels on the island. Make sure you check out the pink flamingoes and brightly-colored homes. And, take plenty of colorful Snaps to share with your followers.

15. San Blas Islands, Panama

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Have you ever dreamed of exploring a deserted island? If so, then visiting the San Blas Islands is definitely something you must do. These islands are so remote that they are not even on Google Maps. It is surprisingly easy and cheap to get to them. Two-day tours from Panama are just $120 and up.

16. Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Monteverde, Costa Rica is one of the most exciting places in South America to visit for nature-lovers.  You can hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, which is a unique biological reserve. Because of its high level of humidity, there are more than 2,500 different kinds of plants and birds in the cloud forest. If you want to see the forest from a different perspective, you can zip line above it.

17. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is the ultimate destination for adventure seekers. The scenery is spectacular, and you’ll have the opportunity to make lots of epic memories. Make sure you dive into the deep blue waters on your visit. The marine life in the Galapagos is like nowhere else on Earth.

18. Havana, Cuba

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If you like warmth, beautiful beaches and new cultures, then Cuba might be a good destination for you to visit before you turn 30. Check out the many cute cafes and cool bars in Havana. Or spend a day at Cuba’s famous Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

19. Rio De Janiero, Brazil

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Rio de Janiero is a city that everyone should visit at least once. A delicious food scene, hot nightlife, and modern architecture make Rio a popular destination. Check out a spectacular fútbol match or learn the Samba. Make sure you get a close-up look at the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

20. Lake Atitlan Region, Guatemala

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The Lake Atitlan region is made up of more than a dozen different towns and villages. This area is a great place to spend a couple of weeks backpacking. Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in Latin America. It is surrounded by volcanoes and mountains. The weather is always nearly perfect, which makes it perfect for hiking.

21. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Buenos Aires is a large cosmopolitan city. It is known for its theater, fashion, and art and is sometimes called the “Paris” of Latin America. Nicknamed “the Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city known for its art, theater, and fashion.

Solving Hollywood’s Diversity Problem One Story At A Time

Entertainment

Solving Hollywood’s Diversity Problem One Story At A Time

Despite the fact that the year is 2019, women and people of color are still underrepresented in the television and film industry. The fight for diversity and equality in the entertainment industry is one that is definitely growing, but a recent study from UCLA found that women and POC are still the least represented. Here’s the crazy part: the study also found that audiences prefer to watch TV shows and movies where the cast is diverse. 

People of color – who make up almost 40% of the population in the United States – only made up 19.8% of movie leading roles, 21.5% of broadcast scripted series leads, 21.3% of cable scripted leads, and 21.3% of digital scripted leads, according to the study. Women – who make up more than half of the U.S. population – made up 32.9% of movie leads, 39.7% of broadcast scripted leads, 43.1% of cable scripted leads and 42.8% of digital scripted leads. 

But times are changing.

A huge reason for this change is thanks to leaders rising up within Hollywood and using their platforms to create the change that is necessary. That’s why it’s so exciting that AT&T has created the Hello Lab Mentorship Program to shine a light on Hollywood voices from women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color. AT&T believes these stories deserve to be heard, and they’re using their resources to create a safe space for underrepresented filmmakers to rise up.

What is the Hello Lab Mentorship Program and why is it important?

Most of us are familiar with AT&T as a mobile phone and internet carrier, but they’re much more than that. Not only does the company own DIRECTV, but the brand also launched its own streaming service, DIRECTV NOW in 2016. In 2018, AT&T merged with Time Warner, solidifying itself as a full media company. Thanks to the merger, AT&T will own several television networks, including HBO, along with Warner Brothers Studio. Because of this, AT&T is now in the unique position to create a vital, game-changing footprint in Hollywood.

Enter: The AT&T Hello Lab. 

The Hello Lab Mentorship Program exists to give an opportunity to underrepresented voices in the film industry. The program launched back in 2017 and serves to lift up filmmakers who are women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. The program provides filmmakers with a platform to tell their diverse and important stories.

Here’s another, very exciting part of the program: director, writer, actress, and producer Lena Waithe is serving as the lead mentor for the 2019 program! 

Along with her producing partner Rishi Rajani and Fullscreen, Waithe will oversee all of the film production phases in the AT&T Mentorship program. This includes talent selection, script editing, general counsel, set visits, and workshops. Basically, she’s running the show. It doesn’t get doper than that. Waithe got involved in the program because mentorship and finding new talent are top priorities for her – a program like this presents an incredible opportunity to find and have a hand in developing some great new writers and directors, while also helping to diversify the industry – it’s a win-win!

“What I consider activism, and what I consider my craft, are one and the same. Telling black stories, telling queer stories, working with up-and-coming talent – that’s my way of dismantling the homogony of Hollywood,” Waithe said in a statement regarding her partnership with the program.

Waithe continued, “And mentorship is essential for underrepresented creatives. Their stories are necessary for our culture and our collective growth. I’m proud to have a hand in ushering in a new generation of storytellers through this project. AT&T is walking the walk, and that in itself is special for a global brand with a massive audience.”

How It Works

This awesome mentorship program selects five up-and-coming talented screenwriters – AT&T will then produce and finance their projects. The screenwriters are paired up (by Waithe herself) with up-and-coming talented directors, to work together to bring their projects to life. The program is very hands on. The mentees are given access to the entire process – they’ll have opportunities to meet everyone from casting directors to major executives. This year, the esteemed Emmy-nominated casting director Kim Coleman (Black KKKlansman, Dear White People) has joined the program. Shelby Stone, the president of production at Common’s production company Freedom Road as well as an Emmy-winning film and television producer, will serve as an advisor for a third year in a row.

Running from June to November, the program will cover every stage of the process of making the films. Development began in June with various workshops and table reads. Next up was “Pitch Day”, complete with the director’s look books that lay out the style and tone of each piece, thoroughly describing how the directors plan to execute the screenplays. Production will take place between August 5 – 25, and then it’s onto the editing phase. After roughly six months, the program will wrap up in November with an exciting premier where the mentees will get to show their hard work to the world.

Another amazing aspect of the program is that it supports the filmmakers during the film festival season. The program supports the directors and writers as they go through the submission process, extending beyond 2019.

Meet the 2019 Mentees

The 2019 class of AT&T’s Hello Lab Mentorship Program is popping off with talent! From all across the country and from all types of backgrounds, the mentees have been specially selected for basically glowing with promise. Their backgrounds include everything from founding their own non-profits, to interning for Saturday Night Live, to create award-winning content for YouTube. These rising stars are ready to show the film industry what they’re really capable of… get ready!

This year, the directors in the program include Cierra Glaudé (Spilt Milk), Alison Eve-Hammersley (Fragile.com), Jessica Mendez Siqueiros (The Fat Friend), Vishnu Vallabhaneni (1/30), and Malakai (Postmarked). The writers include Mechi Parada Lakatos (Spilt Milk), Brittany Menjivar (Fragile.com), Jasmine Johnson (The Fat Friend), Malik Aziz (1/30), and Angela Wong Carbone (Postmarked).

The Workshops

These immensely talented mentees attended workshops over the course of four days in June. The workshops included panels and discussions on diversity and inclusion, development, production, post-production, mock-budgeting, marketing and social media training, and capturing content. The workshops had a multitude of special guests and speakers from all areas of the industry. There was also an exciting “speed-dating” event with producers, where each writer and director had five minutes to talk about themselves in order to find the best professional connection for them.

Though the workshop was only four days, the mentorship provided is daily. Mentors are in constant contact with their mentees, providing support that extends well beyond the program. 

The AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program is exciting and important. After all, who wants a bunch of straight white dudes creating everything? Audiences certainly don’t, and the film industry is beginning to catch on. According to a recent study from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, U.S. movies that featured a woman in a leading role increased 20 percent in the last 10 years. The report also found that out of the 100 highest-grossing films in the last year, 40 of those were led by women and 28 were led by minorities. It’s time to see those numbers increase even more.

It’s 2019, and although we’re a lot further than we were years ago, we have a long way to go. It’s inspiring and exciting that the landscape of the entertainment industry is changing.

Stay Tuned!

As we follow the journey of this year’s AT&T’s Hello Lab Mentorship Program class, we’ll dive deeper into who they are, their projects, and their visions. 

Here’s to diverse voices and talent being held up, showcased, and given the opportunity to share their stories with the world!

J Balvin Gets In The Business Of Japanese Hip Hop As He Announces New Project For Anime Film

Entertainment

J Balvin Gets In The Business Of Japanese Hip Hop As He Announces New Project For Anime Film

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J Balvin is totally on a roll right now. He’s just released a surprise album, Oasis, with Bad Bunny which has rocketed to the top of the charts and now the Colombian singer has announced a new project that will take him in an entirely different direction.

J Balvin is working with a Japanese hip hop group in an upcoming anime film.

Credit: @MeetMusicLovers / Twitter

Reggaetonero and Latin music superstar J Balvin has teamed up with Japan-based hip-hop trio m-flo on the theme song for a new animated movie, called HUMAN LOST, to be released in theaters worldwide this fall.

The popularity of Japan’s anime culture is increasing around the world, so it makes perfect sense for the “Mi Gente” singer to do such an incredible collaboration.

The anime film he’s working on is based on a sci-fi novel from 1948.

The original novel, called No Longer Human, is rated as the second best selling novel in all of Japan. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume, that with the backing of J Balvin and m-flo, the new adaptation will do even better.

No Longer Human is told in the form of notebooks left by one Ōba Yōzō, a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others, and who is instead forced to uphold a facade of hollow humor.

The film, along with the new track, will hit theatres in the US this fall.

While the animated movie is set to hit the theaters in the U.S. in fall this year, it had its world premiere last Friday at the Anime Expo 2019 in Los Angeles.

M-Flo made a surprise appearance at the event to announce their involvement in the movie’s main theme, which features Balvin.

Turns out, M-Flo and Balvin also performed together at last year’s Summer Sonic Festival in Japan – Balvin’s first time performing in the country.

Credit: @billboard / Twitter

The “Safari” singer performed in Japan for the first time last summer at the annual Summer Sonic music festival, where m-flo’s VERBAL suggested they work on the theme song together.

A known fan of Japanese popular culture, Balvin readily accepted the offer and the collaboration took off from there.

Quite a few J Balvin fans were surprised by the annoucement but most were super excited for the project.

It’s definitely a big departure for the reggaeton singer but with the global popularity of Latino singers right now, it’s seems like a perfect match to us.

Some people on Twitter admitted they were just here for the new J Balvin track…not the anime.

Credit: @pkjd818 / Twitter

Even if that’s true for some people, anime has exploded into a giant industry worth more than $18 billion globally, so I’d say Balvin is making the right decision.

READ: Bad Bunny And J Balvin Just Dropped Their Joint Album And It’s Exactly What You’d Expect From These Trap Royals

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