Things That Matter

9 Inventions Made By Latinos That We Are #Blessed To Have

Latinos have helped make multiple contributions to the way we consume media and live healthy, productive lives. From pushing the frontier of television to helping women make choices about their bodies, these are the Latinos who helped create inventions for the good of all humankind.

1. The Birth Control Pill

The oral contraceptive pill has helped women around the world plan pregnancies on their terms, combat the effects of debilitating cramps or regulate periods to be shorter and lighter. It comes as no surprise then that the co-inventor of the pill, Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes, received multiple recognitions. One honor is being named alongside Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers as creating one of the 40 most important inventions between 1794-1964 by the U.S. Department of Patents.

2. Color TV

Another Mexican invention helped change the lives of millions of people thanks to Guillermo González Camarena. He invented the color-wheel type of color television. Episodes of El Chavo del 8 become instantly more vibrant—literally—all due to González Camarena’s tireless work in electrical engineering.

3. The Beautyblender

Contouring and blending got a huge makeover when Rea Ann Silva, a Latina makeup artist with over two decades in the industry, created a little colorful sponge applicator. Although the trademark teardrop was already in stores by 2003, the applicator didn’t start getting recognition until the last several years when beauty bloggers were showing the bright pink sponge all over YouTube.

4. The Neonatal Artificial Bubble

Premature babies have to receive extra care and attention when it comes to their first few months of life. Thankfully, Peruvian inventor Claudio Castillón Lévano helped make them feel as comfortable as possible with his invention. The neonatal artificial bubble has improved neonatal treatment of high-risk newborns, allowing for a “continuous and regulated air flow of filtered, oxygenated, tempered and humidified air to the newborn child,” according to its patent.

5. The Electric Brake

Pump the brakes. Did you know a Mexican inventor is behind the invention that allows your car to stop instantly with a light tap of your foot? Mexican inventor and revolutionary Victor Ochoa patented the electric brake in 1907.

6. Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, a Guatemalan inventor, had already changed the way we access information. His company reCAPTCHA is one of the pioneers of crowdsourching. After figuring out a way to make sure you aren’t a robot by solving those annoying little puzzles, von Ahn moved on to help society learn multiple languages.

7. The Mondragón Rifle

A Mexican officer changed the course of modern warfare when he figured out a way for a gun to reload with manually ejecting the spent shell. The gun was first used in the Mexican Revolution and then became more prevalent in World War I.

8. The Artificial Heart

Housed in the Smithsonian Museum, the creation of Argentine inventor Dr Domingo Liotta is displayed to show the world the importance of this invention. Dr. Liotta is seen as a pioneer in heart surgery and bestowed the gift of the first totally artificial heart to be transplanted in a human being.

9. The Acceleglove

José Hernández-Rebollar is credited with making a special glove that helps translate sign language into speech. Hernández-Rebollar invented the Acceleglove, which used “sensors attached to the glove and the arm, this prototype device can currently translate the alphabet and over 300 words in American Sign Language (ASL) into both English and Spanish,” according to the Smithsonian.

READ: 20 Addictive Latino “Junk Food” Snacks That Are Totally Vegan

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We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

Things That Matter

We Have Latinos To Thank For Some Of America’s Biggest And Strongest Businesses

Latinos may have given us Hot Cheetos and Zumba Fitness but there are so many more companies, products, and businesses that were created and influenced by Latinos as well.

In fact, a lot of successful American brands and products you love and use on a daily basis were in fact founded by Latinos. From beauty products, clothing brands, and Fortune 100 companies, the influence of Latino’s is endless.

According to a report from Fortune, 73 percent of senior executives in Fortune 500 companies are white. “The rest are 21 percent Asian, 3 percent Latino/a, 2 percent Black, 0.6 percent two or more races, 0.2 percent Native American and 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.”

While there’s still a long way to go in regards to the Latino community earning as much money as their white counterparts and holding positions of power within a company, we’ve rounded up 10 Latinos that have paved the way for future generations to thrive.

Check out these 9 companies and brands you didn’t know were influenced by Latinos.

1. Facebook

CREDIT: Photographer: Nicky Loh for, December 6, 2017

Yes, you’re reading that right – Facebook was co-founded by a Latino.

Brazilian born entrepreneur and investor, Eduardo Luiz Saverin is one of the co-founders of Facebook and as of this year, he owns 53 million Facebook shares. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $11.1 billion.

Currently, Saverin lives in Singapore after moving there to become a venture capitalist. He renounced his U.S. citizenship which might have been in part because he wanted to avoid paying taxes.

It’s also been reported that he had gotten into disputes with Mark Zuckerberg over shares of the Facebook company, according to Bloomberg.

All in all, however, we have the successful 36-year-old to thank for bringing us one of the most popular companies and social media networks.

2. Hot Cheetos

CREDIT: Amazon / RPMontanez / Twitter

Of course, this is by far the best invention in the history of the humankind.

Without further ado, the mastermind behind the iconic red bag that has us lickin’ our fingers clean is Richard Montañez. You’ve probably heard this story before, but if you haven’t, here’s a little refresher: he worked as a janitor at a Frito-Lay plant for years before becoming the Executive Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Activation for PepsiCo.

Now, Montañez might finally be able to tell his story on the big screen. We can’t wait to sneak Hot Cheetos into that theatre.

Richard Montañez has an estimated net worth of $14.4 million

3. Instagram

CREDIT: mikeyk / Instagram

Thirty two-year-old, Mike Krieger is a Brazilian entrepreneur and software engineer who co-founded Instagram along with 34-year-old Kevin Systrom.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Kriger moved to California in 2004 and attended Stanford University. That’s where he met Systrom as well. Six years later, the two co-founded one of the fastest-growing mobile apps.

According to Industry Leaders Magazine, within two years of Instagram’s launch, the social media platform was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

Now, Instagram is currently valued at $50 billion.

4. Zumba Fitness

CREDIT: zumbabeto / Instagram

The Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Pérez created the fitness program Zumba in the 1990s. If you’ve never taken a class, you’ve probably heard of someone who’s done Zumba.

The aerobic and dance exercise is accompanied by music from various genres such as hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, tango, flamenco, merengue, and mambo.

Zumba is a high-energy, fun, and kick-ass workout that involves martial arts moves, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

So if you ever want to get some cardio in or simply polish up your dance moves, make sure to book a class ASAP.

5. Shazam

CREDIT: productivelives / shazam / Instagram

From 2010 to 2013, Mexican businessman Carlos Slim was ranked the richest person in the world by Forbes.

Slim is a Mexican business tycoon, engineer, investor and philanthropist. The 78-year-old has derived most of his fortune from his holdings and control in various Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso.

Mexico, however, isn’t where his influence begins or ends.

In July 2013, he invested $40 million in Shazam – the music recognition app – for an undisclosed share.

As of June of this year, Slim has been ranked the seventh-richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

6. Budweiser

CREDIT: corona / Instagram

Ever heard of Anheuser-Busch InBev? It is one of the world’s largest beverage and brewing companies.

If you’ve ever popped open a cold Budweiser, Corona, or Stella Artois then Anheuser-Busch InBev is where these beverages come from.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is based in Belgium but also has locations in São Paulo, New York City, London, Mexico City, and more.

Aside from brewing beverages that are popular in Latino households, one of AB InBev’s investors is Brazilian. Marcel Hermann Telles is a board member of the company and increased their equity by one billion dollars, according to Forbes.

7. Heinz

CREDIT: heinz / Instagram

Born in Brazil, Carlos “Beto” Sicupira is a businessman and a partner in 3G Capital.

Most of his wealth, however, comes from his shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev – the world’s largest brewer – where he owns about 3 percent of stakes.

As a partner of 3G Capital, he also owns and has major stakes in companies and brands like Burger King, H.J. Heinz Company and Lojas Americanas.

8. New York Times

CREDIT: nyccallsyou / productivelives / Instagram

It’s no surprise that one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim, would make this list twice. It’s clear that his influence and mark in successful American brands and companies will continue to be.

The 78-year-old owns stakes in Mexican construction, mining, and real estate companies, and he also owns 17 percent of The New York Times. Mexico’s richest man acquired shares to The New York Times in 2015 and became the largest shareholder of the paper.

As of April of this year, Slim started to sell his New York Times stock and shares which lowered his stake in the company to about 15 percent. That’s still about 24 million in shares. Not too shabby.

9. Amazon

CREDIT: jeffbezos / Instagram

Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos’s net worth is $149.3 billion.

He was also the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of World’s Billionaires.

You might be wondering why he’s on this list since Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas. He was raised by Cuban engineer Miguel Bezos who arrived in Miami in 1962.

Jeff Bezos’s mother remarried Miguel Bezos after divorcing his biological father. Together, they raised the richest person in the world.

READ: Latino Veterans Who Are Changing The Game In Business

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