Archive for the ‘Autos’ Category

This is part of a sponsored safety campaign with DiMe Media and Allstate Foundation. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

It’s always great to learn about programs that have been successful at positively impacting the community through their initiatives. One signature program that I’d like to highlight in this post is the one Allstate Foundation has successfully implemented for the past 10 years where they have reached over 56 million people with resources and important information. Wow, this number is huge but there’s still a lot more work to be done and both you and I can help with increasing the number.

Over the course of ten years All State Foundation has helped reduce teen driving fatalities by almost 50%. But wait, because what’s more alarming is to know that today, car crashes cause more teen deaths per year than homicide, suicide, cancer, or drugs. And to combat this issue and spread awareness, Allstate Foundation has created a Driving Change report, a coaching guide, a comprehensive study of the state of teen driving, quick tips and Teen Driver Laws. Additionally I have recorded a video for teens highlighting the safety precautions you all should take before taking off on your next driving journey.


I was once a teen and although my parents did take an active role in educating me about safe driving, but I had an accident when I was 17 years old. The accident could have been prevented if I was not texting and driving. That accident taught me a lesson, luckily no one was hurt, but I learned that a text message can wait and a life can never be returned. Did you know that parents are the NUMBER ONE influence on teens regarding their driving skills?


There are many useful downloadable bilingual tools and resources on the website, but one in particular that a parent and teen can use is the Parent Teen Driver Agreement. This document specifically shares the dos and don’ts of what is expected of your teen driver when they are behind the wheel. It’s highly important to have an open communication with your teen about this topic just as much as it is about other areas in their life.

While the campaign focuses on parents and teens I strongly believe that uncles, aunts and grandparents also play an important role for our teens because in Latino families we are also often role models to our nieces, nephews and cousins for many aspects of their lives. I have nieces that are driving and nephews who will soon be driving so I felt it was highly important to participate in this campaign so that I could send a meaningful message to a wider audience.


Tips for Parents

Be a passenger:

Ride with your teen driver at least 30 minutes a week especially during the first year your teen is licensed.


Follow Driving Laws:

Use these laws as a starting point to setting your own rules of the road for your child.

Lead By Example:

Remember your teen is always watching you.


Below are some driving statistics to illustrate how important it is to encourage safety behind the wheel in teen drivers:

  • 81% of teens eat or have eaten while driving. (NO multi-tasking, you can eat before getting in the car or at your next destination.)
  • 79% of teens and 84% of parentsadmit to speeding. (Seriously, NO speeding.)
  • More parentsuse their phones while driving than their teens. (NO Texting and Driving. Please use my life story as an example. In a matter of seconds everything changes.)
  • About half of teen drivers will crash before graduating high school. (Alarming.)
  • The more friends in the car, the more likely a teen will crash. No more than 2 passengers in the car.
  • 69% of teens think they should have more practice behind the wheel.
  • 61% of teen passengers killed in car crashes were NOT wearing seat belts. (It’s the law simply click-it.)
  • The most deadly time for teen drivers is 6 PM to midnight.

In the following video I highlight some of the most important tips for teen drivers:

There are many other tips we must follow while driving, but if our teens start out with the most basic, it could save their lives and the lives of those around them on the roads. Share with us what are some of the tips I may have not discussed and that you have given your teen?

For more information on the #GetThereSafe campaign visit:

And also visit Allstate on their social media pages:


El pasado mes de mayo se llevó a cabo el evento anual de la revista People en Español – “Los 50 Más Bellos” donde año con año dan a conocer nuevas caras de quienes poseen esta característica física del mas bell@.

El evento se realizó en la torre IAC de Nueva York y el Toyota Camry 2015 formo parte de la acción en el evento estelar de una manera muy particular. Mientras que los invitados disfrutaron de una exhibición de arte que destacaba el Camry, uno de los invitados especiales de la noche, el actor cubano William Levy, lució una chamarra de piel exclusivamente diseñada con el mismo tipo de piel y costuras detalladas en color rojo que se pueden apreciar en el Toyota Camry 2015.

William Levy Toyota Jacket

La chamarra, creada y diseñada por la diseñadora y estilista colombiana basada en Miami Kathy Kopp, quien ha trabajado para muchas estrellas incluyendo Shakira, fue confeccionada con el mismo tipo de piel utilizada en los asientos del vehículo y cuenta con los mismos detalles de costura en rojo. La diseñadora se inspiró en el diseño audaz y distintivo del Camry, que le sirvió como fuente de inspiración para diseñar esta prenda singular.


Otra de “Las 50 Más Bellos”, la cantante Becky G., se unió a Toyota, la automotriz líder en el mundo para darle a conocer a sus seguidores los momentos más íntimos ocurridos esa misma noche en la alfombra roja. Becky G compartió mensajes y video en Toyota Latino a través de canales como Twitter y Facebook.


Existieron otras actividades patrocinadas por Toyota durante la noche como el siempre popular concurso “Elige tu Bello”, que obtuvo más de un millón de votos de los aficionados en el Internet, y la nueva serie de videos de People en Español “Bellos Unplugged”. Esta serie de videos les ofrece a los lectores las fotografías exclusivas, consejos de belleza y entrevistas con algunas de sus 50 celebridades favoritas en la página principal de People en Español.

Para más información destacada de Toyota en este evento, visita

For the past 6 years that I have been living in Los Angeles one of the long-standing to do’s on my bucket list was to attend the Long Beach Grand Prix (LBGP) and finally this past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to be there as a VIP spectator. WOW—Amazing Opportunity! The 41st Long Beach Grand Prix took over downtown with thousands of racing fans who enjoyed every aspect of the event.

I could not have imagined a better way to attend the LBGP this past weekend than having a VIP experience thanks to the Verizon IndyCar partnership, which aligns INDYCAR – the fastest, most versatile motorsports series with a heritage of innovation – with Verizon, whose technical expertise benefited fans, the series, teams, commercial partners and race venues.

On opening day, which was on Friday I was able to get a first-hand experience of the two-seater car ride, was smack-down in front of all the action in the pit views and pit lanes. I was able to watch a couple of the practice races in preparation for the weekend races and of course the Verizon IndyCar Series Practice was included on Friday’s activities.


To have a pit view access was an extraordinary experience and one that I will always remember because this is one great and unique way to experience the event. The smell of rubber, the pounding noise of the cars- almost tearing up your eardrums and the race fans made my experience exceptional.

I also had the opportunity to get an all behind the scenes tour of the IndyCar Paddock and there I saw everything that happens in preparation for the grand race.

And this year for those that were not able to be physically present at the race Verizon made sure that fans who couldn’t attend the event they wouldn’t miss anything with the IndyCar 15 Mobile app. The app was available cross-carrier in the U.S. on both Android and iOS devices. Verizon Wireless customers had access to exclusive features including an interactive 3D live view, live in-car camera video streaming and radio broadcasts and live driver and pit crew transmissions.

For the race fans that were not physically at the race Verizon did a magnificent job including them by showcasing LTE multicast which included live in-car cameras, views from alternate camera angles and the live broadcast feed. And once you downloaded the app onto your phone you could follow your favorite driver and get all the inside scoop from the race and their performances.

New Zealand’s Scott Dixon won the IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday, beating runner-up Helio Castroneves of Brazil for his 36th career Indy car victory.

The LBGP is officially an event, as any attendant, race fan or not, is fully capable of enjoying without stepping foot into the grandstands to watch an actual race; between the return of the Lifestyle Expo and the Family Fun Zone housed in the Long Beach Arena and Saturday evening’s Rock-N-Roar concert, delicious food, there was something for everyone.

I couldn’t leave on Friday without having a delicious and authentic burrito from the famous Los Angeles fast-food restaurant King Taco.

PicMonkey Collage 2

There’s no doubt in my mind that I will be returning next year and will be bringing a bigger crowd of friends and family with me because it’s an event nobody should miss.

Thank you Verizon and everyone that made this experience possible for #AVivirLA and to be able to experience an iconic Southern California event was unforgettable! Zoom! Zoom! #AVivirLA lived it up big time and this grand experience is definitely added to one of my favorites on my books!

If you would like to see videos and more pictures of my VIP experience follow me on Twitter: @gusjournalist and Facebook: /gusjournalist

Since the official name of the fresheners wasn’t really on purpose — it just came to mind for Ruben Dario Villa, CEO and Founder of Fuchila Fresheners and look at the success it’s had since its launch, well then it’s a project worthy of highlighting. Villa blames his weird sense of humor to the creation of Fuchila Fresheners because he yelled it out one day and realized how funny and unique the word was in the Latino culture so he decided to keep it.


After Villa had secured the unique name the real work began for the company. He thought about who he might want to feature first, how the design would look and what scent they would be. His family and friends played a huge role in getting a lot of his ideas solidified and supported him all the way. Once he had some designs and the branding secured he approached Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, and that’s where it all began.

Within Kickstarter he saw the grand support that existed in a community where the product didn’t even exist yet. From there on he knew his product was off to a great beginning in November 2014. By December supporters had already purchased the product and Fuchila Fresheners were for the first time hand-delivered on Christmas Eve. What a great and meaningful gift many received if you ask me! And the online store was launched on January 3, 2015.

Have you always had that entrepreneurship side of you?

Villa: I believe all Latinos/Mexicanos have entrepreneurship in our blood. We were brought up that way. My mom taught me how to negotiate at our garage sales and to collect cans and bottles for money. As cliché as it sounds, I started mowing lawns at the age of 10 going from door to door charging US$ 20 per lawn. We never called it “entrepreneurship” but that’s exactly what it was.

And although the name of the company came to Villa quite easy some real thought does go into what Chicano/Latino figures are portrayed on Fuchila Fresheners. Villa portrays those figures that have touched his life in some significant way as well as icons that painted the walls of his childhood memories.

One iconic figure that marked Villa’s life was the musical legend Selena so he wanted her to be the first icon he portrayed on the fresheners because still today she has this amazing power to inspire and make you fall in love according to the CEO and Founder. Selena freshener has been hands down the best seller and Villa is working on having the product re-stocked for all Selena fanatics since its currently sold-out. The list is endless as to who else he would like to portray, but to mention a few: India Maria, Pedro Infante, Cesar Chavez, Jenny Rivera, Edward James Olmos, Vicente Fernandez and many more.


Why join this industry and what’s next?

Villa: I don’t see it as scented decoration for your car; I see it as a little piece of art, an opportunity for education for those who ride with you, and a token of pride for your cultura. It’s a way to pass along a legacy left behind by those who came before us. I am developing a line of scratch and sniff stickers as well as coloring books for children.

Villa enjoys the idea that customers have reached out to him to let him know that Fuchila Fresheners is a product that is getting shared with entire familias. His brand is not cold, boring or devoids creativity. Rather it is the way he manifests how he feels about his cultura: warm, embracing, bright with colors and always a sense of community.

What! George Lopez — to be featured on Fuchila Fresheners?

Villa: ¡Orale! One of my biggest idols! He is a down and brown Chicano! I was very fortunate to meet him recently and well I came prepared with my Cantinflas freshener in hand. He said “Wow that is cool! Where did you get it?” When I told him that I was the designer and Fuchila was my company he immediately said, “We need to make one of me! Can you do that!?”

So now Villa is working on creating Lopez’s own freshener titled “El Mas Chingon,” the look is yet to be determined and soon you all have the opportunity to buy it.


Villa knows the sky is the limit for his company and is looking forward to working with companies such as Uber, Target and 7-11 to have his product featured. There’s a lot more to come for Fuchila Fresheners so don’t lose them from your radar.

A company that gives back directly to its community succeeds more than those who don’t and Fuchila Fresheners is committed to paying it forward. Villa started the Fuchila Familia Scholarship Fund almost immediately after sales started. He wants to target young, aspiring entrepreneurs ages 10-19 who have or want to start a business in art or design.

How are you exemplifying #AVivirLA?  

Villa: No matter what I ever do I know nothing is worth more than my familia. My familia is the very reason I do what I do. As a first generation Chicano, my parents did everything they could to set me up for success in life. That’s the reason why I earned 2 degrees and worked 3 jobs during college. My advice to people is don’t be attached to the outcome. Do what you want to do for the journey, not the end result. Do what you do because you love it. People can feel the difference. This attitude will exude from you in a way people can’t help but be attracted to.

Fuchila Fresheners is based out of San Jose, CA. Hey! Great and prosperous start-up companies come out of the Silicon Valley so I have no doubt this company is off to a very successful future. ¡Primero Dios!

You can find and buy online at, at some brick and mortar locations in San Jose and San Diego and at art and cultural events in the bay area.

Go buy this culturally relevant product and “Welcome to the Fuchila Familia.”

Website and Social Media?

TW: @fuchilafresh

IG: @fuchilafresheners

FB: /fuchilafresheners

The 85th Geneva International Motor Show introduced the newest to all of us car aficionados and although the auto show has closed its doors many of the new cars are still getting much attention on the web. Many of the car unveilings had heads turning and cameras flashing.

There were so many great cars at the Swiss auto show and they are in no order other than highlighting some of the ones that received major attention.

Ferrari 488 GTB


Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce


Audi R8

Audi r 8

Continue Reading

People should think twice when texting while driving because that can kill.
Tougher penalties to discourage people from texting while driving could be introduced.
We have Gustavo Gutierrez with more on this story.

In order of appearance:
CG: Shawn Taylor/Los Angeles Resident
CG: Vladimir Medenica/USC Student
CG: Liane Schirmer/Los Angeles Resident
Credits: “file”
CG: Christen Lehmann/USC Student
CG: Felix Padilla/ Los Angeles Police Department
CG: Shawn Taylor/Los Angeles Resident

September 2010

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