Cooking with Bricia Lopez al estilo Guelaguetza @Macys

Bricia Lopez presented recipes from Guelaguetza Restaurant and inspired us to eat more comida oaxaqueña.

Bricia Lopez presented recipes from Guelaguetza Restaurant and inspired us to eat more comida oaxaqueña.

Do you love comida oaxaqueña? I do. The more I learn about Oaxaca, a beautiful state in México, the more I want to visit again.

Last Saturday, the lovely ladies from Macy’s Special Events hosted Bricia Lopez at their Macy’s Home Store in South Coast Plaza for a cooking demo. We learned 3 new recipes inspired by the famous Guelaguetza Restaurant owned by Bricia’s family in Los Angeles.

A nice crowd, mostly English speaking, turned out for the event, and we were all delighted with the dishes Bricia presented and taught us how to make.

A very attentive crowd showed up at Macy's Home Store, South Coast Plaza.

A very attentive crowd showed up at Macy’s Home Store, South Coast Plaza.

We had Red Mole-Black Bean Soup, Chileajo Tostadas, and Jamaica Mint Lemonade.  Se me hace agua la boca just by typing. Everything was delicious.  

Preparing the Red Mole-Black Bean Soup.

Preparing the Red Mole-Black Bean Soup.

Thank you Bricia and Macy’s for the recipes and the great event. Ya compré mis dos moles para aventarme unas recetas. 

And from what I heard from some of the people attending, yo creo que ya tenemos mas converts to authentic Mexican food en el OC, even if they have to travel up the 405 North to get to LA and find it. Mole is an exciting thing and definitely worth a trip to Guelaguetza. I’m glad people are expanding their horizons beyond the typical commercial stuff and willing to give it a try.

(DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, nor have I been compensated in any way, shape or form for my opinion by anyone mentioned here. I just happen to rave about the things/events that I love, especially if it involves good food.)

Next up, A Taste of Mexico, where Guelaguetza and many other Mexican restaurants will feature their cuisine for the ever expanding Angeleno fan base de la comida mexicana. It’s happening October 11 at La Plazita de la Cultura y Artes. You can find more info here on their website: A Taste of Mexico.

Can't wait to try out my Moles: Mole Negro y Mole Rojo from Guelaguetza.

Can’t wait to try out my Moles: Mole Negro y Mole Rojo from Guelaguetza.

I’m including  the recipe for the Red Mole Black Bean Soup, from Restaurante Guelaguetza. You can purchase their moles (several varieties) and visit their website at www.iLoveMole.com.

Red Mole- Black Bean Soup (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons grape seed or corn oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Guelaguetza Mole Rojo paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Mexican sour cream
  • 1 tablesspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tortilla strips (for garnish, optional)

Directions: In a medium bowl, stir in Guelaguetza Mole Rojo paste, apple cider vinegar, and about a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Stir with a spatula until the mole paste has fully dissolved. Reserve.

In a medium pot, put oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until fragrant, about a minute or two.

Stir in Guelaguetza Mole Rojo mix, vegetable broth, black beans and season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high. Once the soup has come to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes.

While the soup cooks, combine sour cream, coriander, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Reserve for garnish.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and about 1 tablespoon of cold water, stir to combine.  After the soup has cooked for about 15 minutes, transfer 2 cups of it to  blender and add the cornstarch mixture. Puree until smooth. Return to pot. Cook, stirring until soup thickens, about 2 minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with the Coriander Crema. Top with tortilla strips if desired. ¡Provecho!

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Libros y Movies en Español this weekend en DTLA: Hola Mexico Film Fest & LéaLA

This weekend sounds just like heaven with libros y películas en español happening all over Downtown LA.

Yes, the Hola Mexico Film Fest and LeaLA Feria del Libro en Español are finally here.

Which only begs the question, why did these two events decide to coincide the same weekend? Nos vamos a tener que dividir entre tantas cosas que queremos ver.

The HOLA MEXICO FILM FESTIVAL, now in its 5th year running, kicked off on May 15 and runs all through the weekend till Tuesday May 22nd. It’s a unique chance to see películas en español that would otherwise be hard to see here in LA. Nunca traen movies mexicanas a menos de que sea en este tipo de festivales. Pero ese es otro asunto.

So if you’re a movie fan, si te gustan las películas en español, el buen party y la gente cool, this is definitely something you need to check out.

This year they are also expanding to include food and music as part of the program, with Bricia López from La Guelaguetza leading the way and a number of visiting Mexican chefs, like Baja California favorite Javier Plascencia, from Mision 19 in TJ, who always delivers amazing, innovative dishes.

Check out the complete sked for the film fest on their website here. The venue is the Los Angeles Theater on Broadway.

Hola Mexico Film Fest

By the way, here’s a movie trailer that made me laugh and is part of the lineup this weekend. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see it. Se llama Suave Patria and it looks like the kind of slapstick dark comedy that’s easy to enjoy. Salen los televisos Adrian Uribe y Omar Chaparro y Héctor Suárez (yes that Hector Suárez, parece que ya regresó) so maybe it’s worth checking out.

As I mentioned recently, something not be missed this weekend is the Feria del Libro en Español de Los Angeles, LéaLA starts on Friday at the LA Convention Center in downtown y se organiza por la Universidad de Guadalajara. It runs through Sunday May 19.

Libros y mas libros en español, conferencias, pláticas y presentaciones. Todo GRATIS (my favorite price) y con algo para toda la familia.

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Check out the program here and go support authors and publishing houses, libros en español que otherwise we would never have a chance to buy here.

Books and films this weekend, people. Truly my cup of tea.

Where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in LA? Come on over.

Cinco de Mayo weekend (yes, this year it’s a whole fin de semana) is upon us and if you haven’t yet made any plans, here are a few options I’ve been running into on my daily morning websurf. They all sound like fun and gives us a chance to remember this Mexican holiday, that is not Independence Day but La Batalla de Puebla, when we beat the powerful francesitos.

Tacos & Beer 5K & Festival, Saturday May 4

Long Beach has a few options that stand out, for example the TACOS & BEER 5K & Festival which gives you a chance to run a 5k antes de que te eches tus ice cold chelas. Sounds like a plan, especially with this calorón we’ve been having.

Check for the details on the image below, from their facebook page: facebook/tacos&beer5k .

Look at the Finisher’s Medal. May I say, what a clever, clever idea of having it do double duty as a cerveza bottle  opener. That’s what I call multitasking!

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Good idea! 5K&Beer medal serves as a bottle opener too.

Good idea! 5K&Beer medal serves as a bottle opener too. Photo from facebook.com/5K&Beer.

MOLAA Cinco de Mayo Festival,  Satruday May 4 and Sunday May 5.

For those of us who aren’t running anywhere in this kind of weather, maybe the Museum of Latin American Art Cinco de Mayo Festival in Long Beach sounds like a much more relaxed, but still cerveza friendly outing with events all happening weekend long.

Check out their webpage for more details, but they have a Cinco de Mayo Beer Tasting event on Saturday May 4 from 7:00 pm on, where you can sample beers from L.A. based Golden Road Brewery and some others from artisanal beer producers from Baja California. (Got to support my peeps!)

On Sunday, starting at 11:00 am, the Cinco de Mayo festival gets under way with music performances, art, vendors and great food, like burgers from El Burger Luchador Food Truck (me gustó el nombre) and Zumba demo classes to burn it off.

You can check out the details on their website here.

Target Free Sundays@MOLAA celebrates Cinco de Mayo this Sunday.

Target Free Sundays@MOLAA celebrates Cinco de Mayo this Sunday.

Other options:

If you’re craving Mexican food, then take a look at Jonathan Gold’s list of Best Mexican Food restaurants in Los Angeles, from the LA Times website.

In my humble opinion, I concurr with one of them on the list: La Guelaguetza in K Town has the most amazing Oaxacan Mole in Los Angeles.

Click here for the complete list.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Baby! Remember to stay safe and don’t drink and drive.

From the LA Times and Jonathan Gold: Top 14 Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles. www.latimes.com

From the LA Times and Jonathan Gold: Top 14 Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles. http://www.latimes.com

Save the Date: LéaLA Feria del Libro en Español comes to LA

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It’s back! The annual LéaLA Feria del Libro en Español de Los Ángeles happens again in a few weeks. Mark you calendars for this book fair that always has something for everyone who loves to read en español. No pierdan la oportunidad de buscar nuevos libros, apoyar la lectura y participar.

The Feria dates are Friday May 17th, Saturday May 18th and Sunday May 19th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and it will be held at the LA Convention Center.

You can look at the program here, where you’ll find the publishing houses attending, all the pláticas y conferencias by the authors and moderators, activities for kids and fun for everybody.

A few items stand out for me on the program, sólo por el nombre de la plática y el subject. Creo que I’m gonna have to split myself in two or three to be at all the conferences I want to see. This is just a sample of the program.

Viernes 17 de Mayo:

Homenaje a la Música Norteña. Salón Rómulo Gallegos. 5:00pm

Sábado 18 Mayo:

Conferencia: Divas del Cine Mexicano en Hollywood, con Michael Schuessler. Salón Carlos Fuentes, 1:00 PM.

Presentación del Libro “Me Vale Madres, Mantras Mexicanos para la Liberación del Espíritu” de Prem Dayal. Presenta Andrés Ramirez. Salón Rómulo Gallegos, 1:00 PM. (Si no han visto el video del autor presentando este libro, por favor busquenlo en YouTube (link here, it’s an instant classic! Y apréndanse los 3 Mantras…)

Conferencia: “Parientes, Encargos, Raiteros, Fayuqueros y Peregrinos Fronterizos” presentada por Rubén Hernández León, Center for Mexican Studies UCLA. Salón José Martí. 1:00 PM.

Presentación del Libro: Historias Pérdidas 2, de León Krauze. The news anchor from Noticias 34 Univision en LA is also an accomplished author. (Y es EX-A-TEC a mucha honra.) Salón José Martí. 2:00 PM.

Presentación del Libro: “Jenni Rivera: La Increíble Historia de Una Mariposa Guerera” por la autora Leila Cobo. Salón Miguel de Cervantes, 4:00 PM. (Creo que es la primera biografía autorizada de la cantante y actriz. Should be interesting.)

Presentación del Libro: “Viviendo” por Adamari López. Salón Miguel de Cervantes, 6:00 PM. (Muy importante conocer la historia de esta guerrera que venció el breast cancer.)

Domingo 19 Mayo:

Beto Cuevas, a man of many talents, will be presenting his book “El Arte de Ser Beto Cuevas” en el Salón Miguel de Cervantes a las 2:00 PM.

Yes, it must be an art form to be a chileno rocker-entrepreneur-coach-actor among other things in this day and age, especially when he’s done it since his La Ley days. Looking forward to this one! (Beto, Soy tu fan.)

See you there amiguitos!

(Photo from DigitalGirl Inc./Rocío Gutiérez on Facebook) Beto Cuevas en una conferencia de prensa hoy para promover LéaLA La Feria del Libro en Español. Su libro "El Arte de Ser Beto Cuevas" se presenta el 19 de Mayo a las 2pm en el Convention Center.

(Photo from DigitalGirl Inc./Rocío Gutiérrez on Facebook) Beto Cuevas en una conferencia de prensa hoy para promover LéaLA La Feria del Libro en Español. Su libro “El Arte de Ser Beto Cuevas” se presenta el 19 de Mayo a las 2pm en el Convention Center.

A big hit: Feria de la Salud y Bienestar presentada por Telemundo 52

La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar 2013 presentada por Telemundo, en el Convention Center de Los Angeles el domingo 10 de marzo.

La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar 2013 presentada por Telemundo, en el Convention Center de Los Angeles el domingo 10 de marzo.

Getting adequate and affordable healthcare is a concern for everyone, especially when you are uninsured and have a hard time paying for basic medical services to give you a profile of your health. Unfortunately, los Latinos somos de los que menos contamos con health insurance y menos vamos al doctor, so we rarely get tested for anything until we feel really sick. That’s a big problem.

We’re also a group at high risk for serious illnesses. The statistics are pretty alarming for diabetes, not to mention heart and cardiovascular disease. So it’s up to us to take care of ourselves as best we can and try to get to the doctor for checkups before a health crisis shows up. (If only we would do this!)

With the community in mind, the good people over at Telemundo KVEA 52 in Los Angeles organized their annual health fair, La Feria de la Salud y Bienestar, this last Sunday. The goal is to help by providing FREE medical services and wellness education for anyone who needs it. The downtown LA Convention Center was packed with approximately 30 thousand people of all ages and families of all sizes. Medical exams with on the spot results were provided by healthcare companies who partnered with Telemundo for this event. You could get screened for diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid disease, arthritis, have eye exams, receive dental care, wellness information, yoga classes, zumba dancing and win yearly gym membership prizes, y todo fue GRATIS.

People were in line by 8 in the morning, and by the time the event opened, thousands of people were already eager to receive their tests. Cortando el listón de la ignauración estuvieron el Doctor Ed Hernandez, California State Senator for district 24; Celia Chávez, President and GM Telemundo 52 KVEA Los Angeles; Dunia Elvir, from Buenos Dias, and Johanna Suarez, anchor, Noticias Telemundo 52 Fin de Semana.

You can imagine the lines were long, but the people were patient, sometimes a little antsy (especialmente cuando les estaban dando el piquetito del examen de la diabetes, que no duele nada) and everybody was extremely grateful. It was goodwill in action, as people left with a clearer picture of their health, follow up recommendations and resources to continue taking care of themselves para prevenir enferemedades y cuidar la salud.

They also had a chance to meet and greet (con besos y abrazos bien apretados) a la Doctora Ana Maria Polo from Caso Cerrado (quien tiene un fan base impresionante y apasionado),  Adamari Lopez, from Un Nuevo Dia (que es la persona más linda y atenta y simpática que se puedan imaginar) and some of the Telemundo 52 news anchors (muy guapos y queridos por su público) so that was very cool.

All in all a great day, which reminded everyone que lo más importante que puedes tener en tu vida es tu salud… Ya con eso, es ganancia.

Great job Telemundo 52!

At the Feria opening, Johana Suarez, from Telemundo 52, California State Senator, Dr. Ed Hernandez, and Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chavez.

At the Feria opening, Johanna Suarez, from Telemundo 52, California State Senator, Dr. Ed Hernandez, and Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chavez.

There were booths for every health care concern and service.

There were booths for every health care concern and service.

At the Telemundo 52 booth, people waited patiently to meet with the celebrities.

At the Telemundo 52 booth, people waited patiently to meet with the celebrities.

Photo opp! Tomate la foto con tu artista- standee favorito: Jose Luis Pila y Aracely Arambila de la Patrona; Rebecca Jones y JenCarlos Canela de Pasion Prohibida.

Photo opp! Tómate la foto con tu artista- standee favorito: Jose Luis Pila y Aracely Arámbula de la Patrona; Rebecca Jones y JenCarlos Canela de Pasión Prohibida.

California State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and KVEA Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chávez.

California State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and KVEA Telemundo 52 President and GM, Celia Chávez.

Noticias Telemundo 52 weekend Johanna Suarez and a fan.

Noticias Telemundo 52 weekend Johanna Suarez and a fan.

FERIA sign

All exams were free to everyone.

The screening area, where people waited for their tests.

The screening area, where people waited for their tests.

The diabetes exam, un piquetito nada mas.

The diabetes exam, un piquetito nada mas.

Eating well prevents disease. En este saloncito de daban tips, to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Eating well prevents disease. En este saloncito de daban tips, to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Puppet theater, to explain Obamacare. Hey that's very clever!

Puppet theater, to explain Obamacare. Hey that’s very clever!

President Obama explains Obamacare en español. Kids and adults were very attentive.

President Obama explains Obamacare en español. Kids and adults were very attentive.

Clases de Yoga para todos. Deberiamos hacer esto todos los dias!

Clases de Yoga para todos. Deberiamos hacer esto todos los dias!

Teaching kids to eat well, with veggies and fruits.

Teaching kids to eat well, with veggies and fruits.

Para adelgazar y divertirte, clases de Zumba que pusieron a bailar a muchos.

Para adelgazar y divertirse, las clases de Zumba pusieron a bailar a muchos.

Celia Chavez, Adamari Lopez y Dunia Elvir, de Telemundo.

Celia Chavez, Adamari Lopez y Dunia Elvir, de Telemundo.

Mucha gente se acercó a saludar a Adamari López de Un Nuevo Dia.

Mucha gente se acercó a saludar a Adamari López de Un Nuevo Dia.

Feel the love! La Dra. Ana Maria Polo de Caso cerrado, muy querida por sus fans.

Feel the love! La Dra. Ana Maria Polo de Caso cerrado, muy querida por sus fans.

Todo el mundo recibió un abrazo fuerte de la Dra. Polo.

Todo el mundo recibió un abrazo fuerte de la Dra. Polo. Tiene fans de todas las edades.

Los anchors de Telemundo 52, Edgar Muñoz y Ana Patricia Candiani, con Jessica Carrillo de Acceso Total y Alejandro Navarro de los deportes.

Los anchors de Telemundo 52, Edgar Muñoz y Ana Patricia Candiani, con Jessica Carrillo de Acceso Total y Alejandro Navarro de los deportes.

Random acts of kindness by Jenni Rivera

Jenni Rivera’s passing on Sunday has brought all sorts of tributes and appreciations, constant reports in Spanish television channels and radio stations, and an outpouring of messages from her fans and friends social media. It was sad news all over.

While I personally was not a fan of her banda music, I had grown to like her personality and her story. She was a Mexican American who was born and raised in Long Beach, California, who came from nothing to make herself one of the most successful women singers, Hispanic entrepreneurs and role models, in spite of all the drama and troubles that continually followed her.

Her death seems unfair because at 43 years of age, she was at the peak of her career, and she was expanding beyond the music and the reality TV shows. She also leaves behind a large family and 5 kids.

And yet there is another side of the artist coming out: the version of Jenni with generosity and kindness she showed to people, to her fans, to Latinos, to her fellow musicians. It’s as if she won you over just by getting to know her. Como dijo Miguel Bosé about meeting her for the first time, her fellow judge/coach on the Mexican version of “La Voz de México”: “Fue amor a primera vista.”  

Someone who knows firsthand about her generosity and kindness is Krystle Corral, who works at Telemundo in Los Angeles and who was kind to share this story and photos of her experience meeting Jenni Rivera just a few months ago.

Krystle is a cheerleading coach at Wilson High School in El Sereno, California (Los Angeles) where she coaches 20 kids (boys and girls) between the ages of 14- and 18. The WHS Cheerleaders were fundraising to attend and compete in the National Cheerleading Association’s High School competition in January 2013 and they needed money for the team and their chaperones. They reached out to famous people via social media and websites, and the first one to respond was Jenni Rivera’s assistant, to inquire and see how they could help.

As it turns out, Jenni Rivera herself surprised the team during one of their practices on August 15th. The kids did not know she was coming, and they literally did flips of joy when she showed up at their gym. Jenni spent about 40 minutes with them, watching their practice, posing for pictures with everyone, giving out hugs and words of wisdom. She also mentored them and asked them to do 4 things:

1. To listen to their coaches.

2. To stay in school and get good grades.

3. To compete in the Nationals and represent Los Angeles proudly.

4. To continue volunteering and give back to the community.

She told Krystle that a check would be coming in the mail for them. To their amazement, a few days later, they received a check for 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS for everyone to attend the Nationals. She paid for everything they needed to get to the event in Dallas on January 12 and 13, 2013. Imagine that!

On October 17th, the cheerleaders visited Jenni at the radio station where she recorded her weekly show. Again she posed for pictures with the team and wished them good luck and asked them to keep her posted on their progress.

On Sunday, the kids were volunteering at a Senior Citizen’s center in LA when Krystle had to break the sad news. As you can imagine, the kids were devastated and couldn’t understand why this happened. La verdad es que nadie lo entiende…

But their spirit to win is now stronger than ever. The kids have dedicated their performance and all their preparation to Jenni Rivera. Sirve de consuelo saber que ya están siguiendo los consejos, and that they are already volunteering and giving back. 

So thank you Jenni Rivera, for this and the countless other acts of generosity that mostly went unnoticed, like paying for a young child’s kidney transplant in my hometown of Mexicali, B.C.… like helping battered women get back on their feet after episodes of domestic violence… liking helping organizations that help a los indocumentados en Estados Unidos and standing up for them… And thank you for proving women can make it happen y que pueden salir adelante cuando son luchonas y le echan ganas a todo.

As her father Pedro Rivera said last night, “She never gave up and she was always good to people.” Descanse en Paz.

Back on August 15th, 2012 Jenni Rivera surprised the Wilson High School Cheerleaders in El Sereno, California. She later supoprted them with a check for 15 thousand dollars to attend a national cheerleading competition next January.

Back on August 15th, 2012 Jenni Rivera surprised the Wilson High School Cheerleaders in El Sereno, California. She later supoprted them with a check for 15 thousand dollars to attend a national cheerleading competition next January.

Jenni Rivera with 2 of the cheerleaders. She was in a leg brace that day and went to visit and wish them luck.

Krystle Corral wrote a letter and Jenni Rivera responded. Jenni was in a leg brace that day when she went to visit and wish them luck.

On October 17th the cheerleaders visited Jenni at the radio station.

On October 17th the cheerleaders visited Jenni at the radio station.

Rock of Ages starts tomorrow!

Here’s a movie I’m looking forward to seeing, and which I’ve been hearing about for months. Rock of Ages is the debut film for our very own Diego Boneta (paisano nuestro) who leads an all star cast including Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julianne Hough, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, and Alec Baldwin. Is that a cool lineup or what? The screenplay is by Justin Theroux (el novio de la Jennifer Aniston), Chris D’Arienzo and Allen Loeb, and the director is Adam Shankman. (Todos tienen nombres de rockeros…)

Rock of Ages is a rock musical I don’t want to miss. Here’s the movie poster you can win below.

The movie starts tomorrow, but the good people at Warner Bros. want to share the excitement by giving away a few gifts from the movie. Here are the prizes:

1 – Rock of Ages Splat Hair Color Kit (Various Colors: Lusty Lavender, Electric Blue, Hot Pink, Jet Black, Luscious Berry) like the image below.

This is the Splat haircolor that is all the rage at the moment.

·         1 – Rock of Ages Splat Bag

·         1 – Rock of Ages Arsenal T-Shirt

·         1 – Rock of Ages I Love Stacy Jaxx Tank

·         1 – Rock of Ages Poster

All you have to do is leave a comment below, and unscramble the words to reveal the Mexican born actor starring in ROCK OF AGES:  GIDEO ATBENO

Visit and Like “Warner Bros. Latino” on Facebook, where you can find additional content, promotions and updates on behalf of the film. Click on the facebook icon to go to their page.

 

“Rock of Ages” tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake and more.

Nuestro paisano Diego Boneta tiene su primer estelar. Let’s go support our homie!