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

Latinos

CREDIT: Photographer: Nicky Loh for Bloomberg.com, 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

Hot Cheetos Inventor
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.

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

latinos
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

latinos
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

latinos
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

latino
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

latinos
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

latinos
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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Brazil’s Remote Indigenous Communities Are At Risk Of Covid-19 After Healthcare Workers Test Positive

Things That Matter

Brazil’s Remote Indigenous Communities Are At Risk Of Covid-19 After Healthcare Workers Test Positive

Michael Dantas / Getty Images

The Coronavirus pandemic has been ravaging Brazilian cities for months. In fact, Brazil is number two in the world when it comes to both deaths and infections. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have struggled to carry on as much of the economy and the health care system has collapsed. Many have attributed these dire conditions as consequences of President Bolsonaro’s failed policies.

Now, Brazil’s remote Indigenous communities are facing a similar crisis – although one that could be even worse thanks to a severe lack of access to medical care. A team of medical workers sent to protect the country’s native populations has actually done the opposite – as more than a thousands workers test positive for the virus and have spread it among remote tribes.

For months, as the Coronavirus tore through Brazil, Indigenous tribes across the vast country have tried to protect themselves by strictly limiting access to their villages. Some have setup armed roadblocks and others have hunkered down in isolated camps.

But it appears that all of that may have been in vain. According to interviews and federal data obtained by The New York Times, the health workers charged by the federal government with protecting the country’s Indigenous populations may be responsible for spreading the disease in several Indigenous communities. More than 1,000 workers with the federal Indigenous health service, known as Sesai, have tested positive for Coronavirus as of early July.

As news of the infections spread across the villages, communities became alarmed. “Many people grabbed some clothes, a hammock and ran into the forest to hide,” said Thoda Kanamari, a leader of the union of Indigenous peoples in the vast territory, home to groups with little contact with the outside world. “But it was too late, everyone was already infected.”

Health workers say they have been plagued by insufficient testing and protective gear. Working without protective equipment or access to enough tests, these workers may have inadvertently endangered the very communities they were trying to help.

Now, news of the region’s first deaths linked to the virus have started to emerge and there’s fear it will get much worse.

Credit: Tarso Sarraf / Getty Images

The remote villages that dot the Amazon region have also started to report their very first deaths linked to Coronavirus. Despite raging out of control in Brazil’s cities, remote Indigenous villages have faired quite well. That’s all beginning to change.

The Amazon region, which Brazil’s government says is home to greatest concentration of isolated Indigenous groups in the world, is now seeing an outbreak of Covid-19 – one that many fear will be hard to stop. Experts fear the new coronavirus could spread rapidly among people with less resistance even to already common diseases and limited access to health care, potentially wiping out some smaller groups.

So far, more than 15,500 Indigenous Brazilians have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, including at least 10,889 living in protected territories, according to Instituto Socioambiental, an Indigenous rights organization. At least 523 have died.

The alarming news comes as Brazil continues to struggle in its response to the pandemic.

Credit: Michael Dantas / Getty Images

With nearly 2.1 million confirmed cases and more than 80,000 deaths, as of July 22, Brazil’s Covid-19 catastrophe is the world’s second worst, after the United States.

And now an illness that has ravaged major cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is at risk of spreading unchecked in some of the county’s most vulnerable communities. Health care workers, Indigenous leaders and experts blame major shortcomings that have turned Brazil into a global epicenter of the pandemic.

Robson Santos da Silva, the Army colonel at the head of Sesai, defended the agency’s response during the pandemic, and brushed off criticism as “a lot of disinformation, a lot of politics.”

Complicating the outbreak in Brazil’s remote villages (and even in the large cities) is that tests have been in short supply and often unreliable, which means some doctors and nurses with asymptomatic or undiagnosed cases have traveled to vulnerable communities and worked in them for days.

Criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, within Indigenous territories and beyond, is mounting.

Brazil has largely struggled to contain the pandemic thanks to the policies of its populist right-wing president who has denounced the pandemic as nothing more than a “little flu.” Within a couple of months of the initial outbreak, Bolsonaro lost two health ministers – who were physicians – and replaced them with an Army general who has no experience in health care.

And the backlash to Bolsonaro’s failed policies seems to be growing. Early this month, a judge on Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the government to redouble efforts to shield Indigenous people from the virus by coming up with a comprehensive plan within 30 days and setting up a “situation room” staffed by officials and Indigenous representatives.

More recently, another Supreme Court judge generated consternation in the Bolsonaro administration by warning that the armed forces could be held responsible for a “genocide” over their handling of the pandemic in Indigenous communities.

Greta Thunberg Is Donating $114,000 To The Brazilian Amazon

Fierce

Greta Thunberg Is Donating $114,000 To The Brazilian Amazon

Leon Neal / Getty

Greta Thunberg’s activism has mobilized hundreds of thousands of people across the globe to make the world a better place. She first gripped the attention of people the world over when she began holding climate strikes and further captured awareness a year later when she was 16. At the time she condemned political leaders like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in a speech for their part in the environmental crisis.

Now, even as the world seems to be on pause with the current pandemic, Thunberg is showing no signs of slowing down with her efforts

The teen climate activist announced that she will donate a portion of a $1.14 million prize she received to fighting the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the Brazilian Amazon.

Earlier this week, the teen activist won the very first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity for her role in environmental activism. The prize was launched by Portugal’s Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

In a video posted to her Twitter account, Thunberg accepted the honor and said the winning prize was “more money than [she] can even begin to imagine.” The large amount inspired Thunberg to give the money away through her foundation. Thunberg says that she will give $114,000 to SOS Amazônia, an environmental organization that CNN says is “working to protect the rainforest that also works to fight the pandemic in indigenous territories of the Amazon through access to basic hygiene, food, and health equipment.”

Thunberg will also donate $114,000 to the Stop Ecocide Foundation.

The foundation works to make environmental destruction (or ecocide) a recognized international crime. Thunberg explained in her Twitter announcement that the rest of the prize money will be given to causes that “help people on the front lines affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis especially in the global South.”

One hundred and thirty-six nominees from forty-six countries were considered for the prize that Thunberg was ultimately selected for.

The Chair of the Grand Jury Prize, Jorge Sampaio, explained in the announcement for the winner that Thunberg was selected for her effort to “mobilize younger generations for the cause of climate change.”

It’s not the first prize that Thunberg has won in recent months. Earlier in May she was honored with a $100,000 award for her activism and donated all of it to UNICEF “to protect children from the Covid-19 pandemic.” The award was given to her by Denmark’s Human Act foundation.