By Isa Traverso - Burger

Surely you have heard of people who call themselves vegetarians while chewing on a piece of red snapper. Truth is vegetarians don’t eat any animal products besides dairy and eggs; the so-called vegetarians who consume fish and seafood actually don’t belong to that group, even when most of the times they avoid eating cadavers. To set the record straight we researched that: Vegans avoid all animal products while vegetarians are allowed to consume lactose and eggs, hence the denominations of lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian and lacto-ovo- vegetarian.
So next time you come across a person who claims to be a vegetar- ian, make sure they are strict about their eating habits and beliefs; don’t accept fake vegetarianism as a category, that is, people who eat healthy most days but sporadically devour a plate of Steak Tartar. Even individuals who refuse meat and poultry but eat fish or seafood can’t be labeled as vegetarians; perhaps omnivorous is the right word for them.
Now, Vegetarian doesn’t mean Organic, although they go well hand- in-hand. You see labels of ‘organic’ everywhere nowadays, and here’s what that means according to the Berkeley Wellness Health Letter:
Foods that carry the green “USDA Organic” seal have been grown and processed according to strict criteria, as verified by private or state organizations. The use of most conventional pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, geneti- cally modified organisms, irradiation, and sew- age sludge is prohibited. Animals are raised on 100% organic feed and are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. If they get sick and need antibiotics, they are removed from the other ani- mals and not sold as organic. The animals must also have access to the outdoors, though in fac- tory farms (a growing trend in the organic indus- try) they may never actually go outside or spend much time in pasture. A new proposal by the National Organic Standards Board aims to close this loophole for dairy cows, by specifying how much time they must spend in pasture eating grass, as opposed to eating grains in feedlots.
The best reason why to buy organic is because it’s better for the environment. Conventional farming erodes and exhausts the soil while gen- erating pollution of land, water, and air. On the other hand, organic farming uses animal ma- nure, crop rotations, beneficial insects, and other techniques to develop a sustainable agricultural system which conserves soil quality, plant biodiversity, water, and utilizes a lot less fossil fuel (non-renewable source of energy).
Try these organic wines, proposed by popular English Chef Jamie Kennedy, and taste the dif- ference!

- Barbera del Moferrato Minola 2001, Nuova Cap- pelleta, Piedmont, Italy.
- Nativa Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Vena Carmen, Maipo, Chile.
- Albet i Noyal Xarello Classic 2004, Penedes, Spain.
- Soave Borgoletto 2003, Fasoli Gino, Veneto, Italy.
A votre santé!
Cheers! Salud! Salute! Fisehatak! Zum Wohl! L’Chaim!


Open your MIND and close your MOUTH

By Eli Bravo

Hispanics going to the supermarket is a frequent ritual that keeps the food industry salivating: we go three times more than the rest of the inhabitants of the USA and we spend 43% more in food purchases. Our acquisition power, estimated at $1 Billion for 2010, is changing the map of flavors in the country and has obligated the big brands to create strategies to ensure a place in our table and pocket. At the same time, Hispanics are the ethnic group with the largest increases in obesity, especially among women and children –a ‘round’ business, literally and metaphorically speaking.
“Historically, national kitchens have been stable and op- posed to change”, writes Michael Pollan on his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “which explains why the immigrant’s refrigerator is the last place to look for signs of similarity.” Perhaps grandma’s recipes survive inside the kitchen and hearts of Hispanics, but the process of adaptation into the culture we live in and the products offered by this society have changed our eating habits.

How many times have you heard: since I came to the United States I gained two sizes? The cause for fat- ness is not only Big Macs, but also the disappearance of certain rules when cooking and eating that affect our relationship with food. Accord- ing to Pollan, throughout centuries men have increased their knowl- edge on food: how to differentiate the good from the toxic, the right combination to assist digestion, the quantities to serve per plate and the best way to consume them depend- ing on the time of day. All this is an inherited cultural learning which, combined with the energy we burn during our physical and mental ac- tivities, allows us to keep our body in balance.

But nowadays with microwaves, caned goods, frozen foods, extra large portions, and the lack of the family dining ritual, millions of people are eating more than necessary and not essentially the best kind. Industrial revolution along with globalization have placed never before seen quantities of food over our table, at the same time making us identify the real dilemma, “To eat this or no? That’s the question.”
The Unites States actually consumes 200 calories more than during the 1970’s. On the other hand, the food expense -in comparison to personal income- is one of the least in history: 12% in U.S.A, 20% in Europe. Those extra calories come from industrially processed foods offered at low costs in supermarkets, where we can buy them without remorse because we have the money to do so; more food, at lower costs, with fewer nutrients. The result is just love handles that have nothing to do with health or better nutrition.
Hispanic cuisine symbolizes our identity and provides a great contribution to American culture, but during its adaptation in the U.S.A market it has entered a greasy circle: more acquisition power to purchase more industrially processed food which is infused with hormones or chemicals, easily heat-able in a micro- wave, served in humongous proportions to be consumed in front of the tube (TV). Nothing similar to what grandma used to preach and cook!
How we eat and how we feel while eating is as important as ‘what’ we eat. In this society that constantly debates about diets and obesity, it isn’t enough to read the labels to count carbs and fat; it’s essential to think about the origin of food, and most of all, to analyze: how much we really need to stay alive, how much we need to satisfy ourselves and how much is considered excess.



Welcome to another edition of Echo, where we gather the most interesting quotes from sources such as: Associated Press, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, CNN, MSNBC, Reuters, New York Times, IMDB, and foreign press. The word is mightier than the sword, always.

1. “Spain is the country where we have the most vices, where people drink most, where they smoke most, where you go to most parties. That’s just typical Spain.”
30-year-old jewelry designer, Josefina Suarez, on the law passed by Spain aiming to reduce cigarette smoking in public.

2. “This great city will rise again”
President george Bush, on new orleans rebuilding, days after katrina struck.

3. “The era of finding isolated tribal groups is probably over.”
Dr. fratkin, a professor at Smith College who has lived with the Ariaal for long stretches and is regarded by some of them as a member of the tribe.

4. Have you ever tripped on acid and listened to music?
that’s for another interview. [imitating a preacher] got to stay clean here, brother!
Rolling Stone interview on Academy Award winner, Jamie foxx

5. “You can make me go to bed, but you can’t
make me go to sleep. It’s my brain!”
6-year-old Max Bloom, son of paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at yale university and author of “Is god an Accident”.

6. “I remember how it fucking smelled. And that shit blew my little mind wide open. I became so obsessed with the Beatles from the age of six until the age of ten or eleven. I used to jump off my roof and try to say all their names before I hit the ground. I only did it a couple of times. It hurt.”
Dave Matthews on the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour

7. “I’m the guy you’re looking for”
Fire fiend peter Braunstein, before stabbing himself in the neck on a Tennessee college campus, in front of armed cops.

8. “It’s a historic process because (Evo) is the first indigenous candidate to be ahead in an election. But his ideas are too radical for a developing country.”
Javier pacheco, a 34-year-old Bolivian architect- on who would he vote for.

9. “That’s not going to stop Mexican migration. More lives will be endangered but filtration will continue.”
Jose puente, political consultant of Braceroproa, an organization that represents Mexican ex-braceros - on the possible creation of walls on the borders between Mexico and the u.S.A.



Many great things come from Brazil, not only Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival and famous drinks such as Caipirinha. That’s why we pay homage to their gorgeous, sensual language in this Distrikt issue. Read on and remember to practice, practice, practice.
Fernanda Montenegro won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role on the film, “Central Station”. Gisele Bundchen is known not only for her spectacular modeling career but also for her past relationship with Leonardo Di Caprio. Both are proud Brazilians and so are these notorious characters:

Fernando Meirelles, director of “City of God”

João Gilberto, singer and composer

Caetano Veloso (1942-), singer and composer

Paulo Coelho (1947-), writer

Lúcio Costa(1902-1998), architect creator of Brasília

Gilberto Gil (1942-), singer and composer and Minister of Culture

Walter Salles, award-studded director of Central do Brasil.

These are a few of the popular futbol figures (remember they live for what Americans call SOCCER):Cafu, Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Romario, Roberto Carlos, Garrincha and lets not forget the popular Formula 1 racers: Fittipaldi, Senna, Barrichello, and Piquet.

Portuguese is spoken in:
Brazil, Portugal, Angola,Mozambique, and several other Communities of Portuguese Language, Cape Verde, East Timor, European Union, Guinea Bissau, Macao S.A.R. of China, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

The total number of speakers is about 210 million. Portuguese (português) is an Iberian Romance language that originated in Portugal.

Learn some phrases, just read textually:




A few years ago I fell unilaterally in love with a banker who was heavily involved in the SM scene. I liked the guy a lot, but I didn’t know crap abut SM so -to prepare myself for our first date- I went to a beginners’ meeting organized by a bondage association in New York City. That night I walked up to the door of an apartment in a particularly gothic-looking building in the Village, having no idea what was waiting for me on the other side.
A few irrational scenarios crossed my mind as I was waiting for the door to open. Would a gang of hooded bodybuilders in leather and chains tie me up? Would they flog me, brand me, and pass me around like a bong in a frat party for one last round of rape and mayhem? I was freaking out and yet, I found myself unable to walk away.
But what I found behind the door didn’t look like an orgy at all. It was more like a Tupperware party: I was greeted by an older gentleman whose little leather vest turned out to be the only sign of perversion in an otherwise rather homey apartment.

The motto of the association was “sane, safe and consensual,” so their policy was to over-explain the dynamics of SM, preparing the torture sessions with the same detail that my mother would put in planning a picnic.Sitting in the living room, and surrounded by a small group of friendly beginners snacking on coffee and cookies, I prepared myself for my introduction to bondage.
The first lesson was just semantics: never refer to the practice as S&M. The actual term is “sadomasochism,” not “sado and masochism”, so using the “and” makes “S&M” sound like the candy that melts in your leather pants not in your hand.
But more practical knowledge was soon to follow. For instance, if you’re planning to pour hot wax on your lover’s genitals, what kind of candles should you use: the cheapest or the most expensive ones? If you said the cheapest, you are right. The expensive ones are usually made of pricey beeswax instead of inexpensive paraffin. Beeswax heats up much more than paraffin, causing third-degree burns, which could be a “turn on” only if you like to end the session in the emergency room playing doctor.

It’s also recommended to choose a password that will let the flogger know that it’s time to slow down the whipping.
Screaming: “Please! Stop! I beg you!!!” can be part of the fun, so they advice you to come up with an expression that has nothing to do with stopping, like “five arm mortgage” or “republican vote in congress,” to remind your executioner that some pain is fun, but if he keeps at it, you’ll require reconstructive surgery.
Apply this concept to your unhappy marriage or to your dead-end job and you’ll save yourself thousands of bucks in psychotherapy.
However, the most interesting thing that I learned that night, was the concept of “service.” The master –meaning the one who’s hitting you- is “servicing” the one who’s tied up. We would think that the poor guy handcuffed to the headboard is the one who’s at the disposal of the master. But like in real life, human relationships are never what they seem, and at the end of the day the one inflicting the pain is fulfilling the fantasy of the one who likes to be punished. In other words, there are no victims, only volunteers.

So armed with all this fresh knowledge, I finally went on a date with my leather banker wondering if that night I would end up tied up to a whipping pole screaming “republican vote in congress”, but my banker explained over dinner some details of his complicated sex life: he already had a lover, two slaves and a few casual victims here and there, however, he courteously offered to add me to his personal list of “flogees”. As tempting as it was to practice what I only knew in theory, I had to decline. Maybe I could enjoy the pain, but I just couldn’t stand the drama.



by Vanessa De La Rue

What would happen if you knew that there is someone or something that can examine every single bug/microbe/germ that harms your body? Are you willing to enhance your physical condition without pharmaceuticals? The use of magnets for healing purposes (magnotherapy) exists since about 3,000 years ago in China. Here in the West it has been accepted recently as a valuable and inoffensive aid for pains and various illnesses and conditions.
Magnets are objects that produce some type of energy called magnetic fields and although there is no scientific evidence to prove it, it is known to help the blood stream helping circulation of oxygen and removing toxins, assisting in the healthy development of new cells and increasing the capacity of auto- healing. It is also known for its ability to reduce lactic acids just as if you were doing exercises;balancing the levels of alkaline and acidity in your body and organs.
This last part (alkaline v. acidity) is a very interesting topic. According to my magnotherapy doctor in Mexico, all illnesses arise from bacteria, viruses, germs and other microorganisms that settle in different organs causing the pH of each one to unbalance. When the magnets are positioned on different parts of the body, the organs are neutralized to an optimal level, killing these microorganisms. Sometimes it takes several sessions to achieve this because some of these little bugs are very stubborn. In my experience, the result is a complete improvement in problems such as gastritis, colitis, throat pains, cough and symptoms that are not yet a disease but that could probably become with time. So, it’s not only curative but also preventive. I used to call my doctor, “El exterminador de las bacterias!.”
Some scientific reports give proof that magnets have an effect on saline solutions (blood is basically a saline solution). Maybe this is why thousands of people in the world talk about the benefits of magnets. Something important to mention is that there has never been adverse side effects demonstrated. Each day, famous and non-famous people discover that in this practice if it doesn’t compliment you it won’t hurt you either. Of course, talk to your doctor about it.
There are two kinds of magnotherapy: One that is used in conventional medicine under the supervision of an authorized person which through electromagnets you get help in accelerating the healing process of fractures.
The other one –the one referring to in this article- is used in alternative medicine where the static magnets are applied directly over the skin to treat multiple aches, pains and disorders.
Even though it’s very possible that magnotherapy is effective, like in my own case, Distrikt recommends that you consult an expert before changing your current treatment for alternative medicine, each person is unique and our bodies respond differently to the same stimulus.




Distrikt was invited to Langerado Festival on its fourth annual event that took place in Markham Park in Fort Lauderdale. In my opinion, the only bands missing were Bright Eyes, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews and Long Beach Dub All-Stars but considering their amazing line-up, it was so much worth going. Big names such as Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Black Crowes, Flaming Lips, Wilco, The Meters, Robert Randolph, Brazilian Girls, Burning Spear, Keller Williams, Boxelder, Kinky, G-Love & Special Sauce, Amigos Invisibles, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, MOFRO, Slightly Stoopid, Brothers Past, Steel Train and Disco Biscuits jammed their instruments off during the 2 day hippie affair –I can’t emphasize enough that I’ve never seen so many herb-loving, tree-huggers together; maybe at a Widespread Panic concert-.
Thousands of people were dancing liberally and blissfully under the awesome weather as the stages exposed the brilliant talent of the musicians. There was a feeling of freedom all over the place and the mix of different rhythms provided me with an unforgettable occasion that I hope to repeat next year. Here’s a brief on some of the bands:
Brothers Past is a band from Philadelphia. They say their music can be compared to Pink Floyd, The Cure, and Radio Head but with a dash of electronica and catchy pop songs. In the future they hope to be playing in Madison Square Garden but if not, they are pleased to travel and jam all over the country.

What would they ask humanity to do? To chill out, read a good book and help the less fortunate.
Slightly Stoopid is a group of attractive guys from San Diego. 15 years ago they were listening to Motley Crew, Led Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, a lot of reggae and 80’s music. The Mexican band member, Kyle, confesses he was listening to Mariachis, of course. Ten years from now they hope to be doing the same thing; the stage is their home. Their live show is really uplifting and inspiring; they mix reggae with funk, rock, punk, blues, dub, and a lot of vibe. They got it going on!
What would they ask humanity to do? Walk around with a smile, respect, listen to their hearts and pray.
Los Amigos Invisibles are everything but invisible, they put a show full of funky beats, sensual lyrics and awe-inspiring percussion. They are originally from Caracas, Venezuela but have called New York their home for the past 4 years. More than a decade ago these musicians were into Red Hot Chili Peppers, acid jazz, The Police, The Cure, Jamiroquai and really, every song their families exposed them to.

They were fans of Soda Stereo, Café Tacuba, and the popular sounds of Fania All Stars.
Jose Luis, the virtuoso guitarist also known as DJ Afro, would love to move to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, where he plays a gig every 2 months. What would they ask humanity to do? To use condoms, to be tolerant, to change the software inside their brain and to respect.
One thing is certain about all these musicians, they are ecstatic about what they do, their love for harmony and music, and they want to be on a stage again and again, playing live, watching people dance to their beats, exhilarating the scene, stimulating the brain and clearly having a great time sharing the concept of ‘one love’.


- CARS + COMMUTING = Cost Efficient, Greener solutions

Did you know that there are about 400 available rides to share for your commute to work, everyday and at all hours? You can even find partners for road trips and to go run errands. Why does this matter to you? Because the savings are huge! According to Easyride, “A forty mile total daily commute costs about $2600 per year, estimated as of 2003. Ridesharing with one other person can save you $1300. Double the figure for an eighty-mile total daily commute.” Other than sharing rides and splitting gas costs, there is also Amtrak and Greyhound for inexpensive prices; it’s not bad at all, I’ve tried each one, although the comfort of a train beats riding a bus anytime.
Let’s say you can’t really do the share-a-ride thing because you have an attitude, or because you’re not fond of giving control of your life to someone else. Whatever. And let’s pretend you are not comfortable enough to ride a bus, nor the train. So, that’s fine as long as you pitch in to help the environment. How? By reading these suggestions we found while doing research. Most of them you probably don’t know about.
We learned that going hybrid is the right way, but there are other alternatives. The way you keep your vehicle and the way you drive will cause an environmental impact.
- Avoid rapid starts and forceful driving- gas to the pedal means more money and higher pollution. Listen to this: “one second of high- powered driving can produce nearly the same volume of carbon monoxide emissions as a half hour of normal driving.” Damn!
- Avoid rush hour –I don’t think Miami can apply– stop-and-go driving as well as carrying loads, and even your air conditioning increase fuel consumption.
- Keep your tires inflated. The pressure recommended is in your owner’s manual...or ask someone who owns the same vehicle. You should check regularly.
- Seek out for LRRs (low-rolling-resistance) tires. These improve your car’s fuel economy.

- Getting a tune-up also helps fuel economy, and we like that word, ‘economy’. But always make sure your vehicle fluids are disposed or recycled.
Don’t forget the oil and filter change. And don’t overlook, if something lights up on the panel inside your car, go figure out what it is.
- Unless your car requires it, premium, high- octane fuels don’t help the car’s performance or your fuel economy. Now, THAT you didn’t know, ha?
- Don’t spill gasoline when trying to fill up the tank past its limit. It evaporates or can leak into groundwater.
- Look for the black accordion-looking nozzle hose, they offer a vapor-recovery system.
- Try to park in the shade to minimize evaporation of fuel. Who would park under the sun anyway? If you live in Florida and have no option but to be under a hot sun, get the windshield shade to ease up the heat. If you’re in Louisiana, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”
Finally, we go back to the basics: sharing rides cuts pollution, reduces traffic, and conserves energy. Ask your community or office if they have a Commuter Choice program. If not, suggest to start one. We only hope, they’ll listen.




The Fairchild Tropical Garden founded in 1936 is one of the oldest institutions in Miami Dade. Its main focus is on conservation and education believing that botanic gardens grow people and plants. The peaceful surroundings and interesting art exhibits are an opportunity to explore the ancient link between plants and people. Even if you don’t know about flora and fauna, you will be delighted by the unusual facts and the pleasant journey when you visit this natural habitat. Tropical plants are part of everyday life. Particularly in Miami, we are in a wonderful position to explore.
Chihuly is the precursor of blown glass in the form of sculptures. His inspiration: environmental art.
Now until May 2006, Chihuly’s exhibition will be on display at the garden and in this case it also allows for an education opportunity for students in grades K-12 in order for them to connect glass, nature, ecology and technology. Mike Maunder, Director of the Museum spoke to Distrikt.

Where did you get the idea to bring an artist like Chihuly to the botanical garden?
Over the last three years we have brought more artists to the garden. Venezuelan Patricia Van Dalen, then the Luminous Garden two years ago, the McKee Gallery brought a Daisy Youngblood sculpture. We needed something really big, and with Chihuly we achieved another level.
This is the first of our annual sculptor exhibitions. We present one major art exhibition per year, but smaller artists are presented ongoing throughout the year. There is also the The Rare Event -A Connoisseur’s Auction of Rare and Uncommon Plants- which benefits conservation purposes.

What do you expect from Miami?
Some people don’t even know about us down here, we are Miami’s best-kept secret, a world class, beautiful botanical garden dedicated to conservation. Down the line, we plan to become the central part of Miami, the defining public space.

How will the visit of Chihuly enhance the Fairchild?
Young kids are blown away by the art pieces, people from all over have visited, not only the traditional group that visit the botanical garden on a regular basis. It’s a sad reality that parents take their children to the Fairchild only when the zoo is closed. They should appreciate that they can explore the beauties of the tropics and be exposed to thousands of trees, flowers and plants that you can’t see anywhere near Florida. Our mission is to let everyone understand what the garden is about. We feature live music, have a delicious restaurant on location and many different events and activities throughout the year. The intention is for everyone to know about it.
Even though some people are not sure of what will happen inside the garden after CHIHULY is gone, we thank this beautiful and lively space for bringing to the city the incredible mastery of this world-renowned glass sculptor.




Ron Magill is the Miami Metrozoo Communications Director and Goodwill Ambassador. His journey involves the task of connecting kids and people to nature and animals. In this Distrikt ‘innerview’ after which we were all moved by his sensibility, we truly perceived a glimpse of a real illuminati, one who perhaps could change the world to make it a better place, using only his heart. His child-like energetic disposition to communicate is contagious and uplifting. He has been interviewed by many important sources and has even met Michael Jackson, but he keeps his ego very low, and that’s why we are fond of Ron. You will too after reading his soul.

Where were you born?
I was born in New York, my father was a Cuban immigrant; my mother was born in NY. I was raised in a 5-acre ranch that my parents bought in the 1970 's. My father always had a dream of growing avocadoes and mangoes, so I grew among horses, mangoes and avocadoes.

What part of your body doesn’t feel too good?
I feel great about everything. I’ve never had an alcoholic drink or a cup of coffee in my life. I have been injured a lot, bitten by several animals. I have stitches all over my body. On that note, on the positive side, I was bitten very badly by a crocodile and that’s how I met my wife. She was part of my physical therapy team after surgery. I was in the hospital feeling horrible and then she walks in and it was 18 years ago. Even when some bad things have happened to me, the pay off is wonderful.

What do you do?
I started 20 years ago as a zookeeper, but I always talked about what I did.I love animals. My thing has always been the wildlife, so I love talking about it. Now I’m the Goodwill Ambassador of the zoo. I go out and do a lot of public presentations, to civic and educational groups; I do TV shows, but all with the purpose of getting people excited about the animals. One day I am in National Geographic doing a serious documentary, then, the next day I can be in Sabado Gigante making goofy faces.

What are you doing tomorrow?
I’m going to be with my family. I have found that family is the most important thing. I cherish that open affection that Latino people have. I used to hug and kiss my father everyday. I have a hard time understanding people who shake the hand of their parents. I can’t imagine shaking my father’s hand.

Tell us about an anecdote that changed your life.
I grew up watching one TV program; it was the Crocodile Hunter of my time: Jim Fowler. I watched him and said, “That’s what I want to do with my life.” Other than my father, he was my hero. Three or four years after I started working here and met him. We became great friends. He also presented an award to me for my work in conservation. I never imagined to be presented with such a prestigious award, in the city where I was born, by my mentor and hero.

What were you doing a day like today when you were 12?
I’d be outside turning around any rock I could find, looking for bugs, taking them home and looking at them through magnifying glasses.
In springtime, I used to find cocoons, put them in a jar, come home from school and look to see if it was yet a butterfly. My biggest thrill was to see if the cocoon was opening up. It was magical to see the caterpillar become a beautiful butterfly. I did all kinds of weird things. For example, I started putting animal bones together. (Grabs a huge frog) This frog it’s a rare African Goliath frog, I put it together.

Little kids build models, I built models out of skeletons. I learned that way about bone structures.
I’ve been so lucky; I worry that something horrible is going to happen. I have an incredible wife; two gorgeous kids and I worry about that because I have had such a great life. I’m living everybody’s dream. I look at 20 or 30 thousand animals in the Serengeti, when I arrive in Africa, and I begin to cry. I’m 6’6, 225lbs. and I cry like a baby. I can’t believe that I’m out there. I get so emotional. I want to make sure that the kids can see those places. One of my favorite quotes is:
“We haven’t inherited this earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children.” So we need to protect it. Another one I really like is, “in the end, we protect what we love, we love what we understand, and we understand what we were taught.” It’s our obligation to teach kids. I visit the indigenous people in the rainforest and people look down at them. I got stung by a wasp really bad in the rainforest, an Indian came running, chewed on a bark and spit on my bee sting, in seconds, the pain was gone. It was. That is knowledge! If I could market and sell it in the drugstore, oh my God! There is so much we can learn from them. Whatever the illness, there is a cure in a plant in a forest somewhere. The most fascinating things don’t have a price tag. There are so many things we don’t know. That’s what makes my job so great.

If you could mix three people to achieve a great human being, whom would you suggest?
It sounds cliché, but I would say my mother and father for all their inspiration.
My dad had a third grade education. My mom had an incredible personality. Then I look at somebody like Jim Fowler, a man with adventure, who showed the world about nature. Also, Mother Theresa, another cliché. I’m not a very religious person, I’m spiritual, but I believe that when I look at the rainforest up from the top of a tree, that I’m closer to God there than in any church. However, Mother Theresa demonstrated what she felt, she did things that were unbelievable. It was altruism at its best. She was an inspiration. The conditions in which she lived and still gave to the needy, is remarkable.
Which was your most important professional moment?
When I climbed a tree in the rainforest to capture a Harpy Eagle. This is one of my favorite animals; it was in Panama in my 30’s. We found a nest; I climbed to the nest about 120 feet up. I’ve been with lions in the Serengeti, and swimming in the Galapagos, but this was one of the greatest moments in my life (shows an amazing picture of that very moment). This is one of the rarest and most powerful pray-birds in the world.




Czech born Andrea Dasha Reich was probably motivated from the time she was growing up in her Bauhaus style home. She studied Graphic Arts in the prestigious Bezalel in Jerusalem and later Architecture in New York. Her mother graduated in Applied Arts so it might have had a huge inherent effect on this talented artist.
It seems Dasha is inspired by everything around her life. Before committing to being a professional painter, she became a fashion designer, then a textile designer and even a color forecaster. She opened her own boutique in Manhattan called Pinola -her design for Dansk’s “Danika Rose” is a collector’s item-.
She is proud to apply her mental picture about what she sees in the world through travels in North Africa, India, China and Europe.

The Vizcaya Palace in Miami is also an inspiration for one of her artworks. She associates color and texture to feelings and characters and shapes. In her own words, She works with concentrated pigments and dyes as well as metal leaf to produce canvases of luminous complexity. The process requires alternate applications of image and resin, often as many as five layers deep. The images, which are carefully composed, are created kinetically, from drizzles, pours, spatters, and drawn lines.
Honestly, you need to see her stuff. It’s a carnival of colors, beautifully joined together to express a specific feeling. Mixed media on wood is viewed in a new and contemporary way. Through her hands and her mind, Dasha brings progressive creativity to her pieces. Her art has been exhibited worldwide in exclusive places, such as Pismo Gallery, Atmosphere Gallery, Free-Form Art Gallery, Grohe/Signature Gallery, Crossroads Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Whistler Gallery.




For the past three months, Colombian Isa Zapata has been the artist-in-residence at the Miami Children’s Museum. She began drawing doors and windows, until one day she arrived to the Land of Opportunity and was faced with the discovery that she could no longer draw doors and windows and instead, her hand went for her inner child and out came the cutest fantasy characters. Her artwork has been exhibited both privately and collectively in places such as Brickell Key Art Show, HCC Art Collectors in New York, D’Cota, and Grand Bay Club. She is happy to showcase her talent for great non- profit organizations to help children. We tried to find out where her inspiration came from but according to her testimony, it may be that some giraffe takes over her soul when she is drawing.

Where does your passion for illustration begin?

Well, it started when I was a little girl. When I was about eight, I began copying landscapes, impressionism, realism, antique houses with earth colors. I don’t know why but I would paint houses with doors and windows. My heart was into that more than anything else. I came to live here and stopped painting for a while, and then one day I bought the tools and started painting again. I tried painting the houses and it didn’t work, it didn’t happen. It didn’t come to me and I thought, “I forgot how to paint, my God”. Suddenly a child appeared in my drawing, and I wondered how it happened, so I continued to enhance it with bright colors. It was like something inside me opened up; maybe because when you’re surrounded by family you are not aware of your full capacities and I had to come here alone and perhaps because I didn’t expect it, a new artistic side was born. I discovered who I was. I began drawing children themes and I didn’t know where they came from. Once, a friend even asked me what kind of drugs I used. I don’t. It was an awakening.

How is the creative process to create caricatures, how is the internal procedure? Sometimes I guide myself through watching the animals, or the theme, but most of the times it just comes out from within, I can’t explain it.
It arrives to my hand. I try to tell a story in every drawing, for example, a giraffe might have tennis shoes on, a mushroom will have a ladybug near, I don’t know, a bee can be in the background, but everything tells a little story.

Which is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is the dolphin but I always draw giraffes.
What other techniques you use?
For work I mix digital with water paint sometimes. But mostly I work with acrylics, water colors, paper machier.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years?
I would like to have my own line of clothing with my designs for children and all the line for towels, sheets, etc... I want to paint it all!

How would you define your style?
Infantile, but there is a hidden message I perceive, a subliminal aspect. I look at a finished piece and I see something else too. I don’t know but I see an adult facet in it.

What is more transcendental about your art?
What I try to awaken, a feeling that makes you vulnerable to a juvenile sensation.
This proposal you bring is it the result of a dream or a dream to come true? A dream to become reality.

I’ve heard in many painters that they began painting closed doors, just like you, and that then the doors begin to open. In your case you found animals and distinctive places, what stage do you think you’re heading to?
I have ideas to get the characters out of paper, and become three-dimensional. I want them to start running around and become palpable.

What are your immediate plans?
I am writing a story and also writing for children’s magazines. I’m working.

What is the most difficult part of your work?
To begin. Once two lines are drawn I see a shape. I don’t like to view books, I do it when the client requires a specific subject, but when I’m creating it’s doing those two lines that are the hardest part of the creation process.




• What’s Basel? – Basel is a City in Der Schweiz (that’s Switzerland). It’s a medieval city on the Rhine River where Switzerland, Germany and France meet.
• It’s an event that only takes place once a year in Basel and once a year in Miami Beach, Florida.
• Last Art Basel took place from December 1st to the 4th at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
• There was a record of 36,000 visitors. • 195 galleries around the world participated. • 28 countries were present. • Over 1500 artists exhibited their work.
• We confirmed that it is definitely one of the best cultural events in the world.
• Art Basel Miami Beach generated a fascinating atmosphere around the city with many museum and gallery supported activities, outdoor sculptures, parties, and crossover events combining exciting music, film and design.
• Art Basel Miami Beach offers the most important cultural and social art show to the American Continent.
• It’s a magnificent event that showcases artists and attendees in their best humor and attires, while they have a drink in the central bar, sitting on minimalist sofas surrounded by a blissful mood.


CHROMOTHERAPY decoration for your health

**originally published by Distrikt Magazine 02/2006**

Perhaps you are one of those people who dress in black to feel cool, or in white to feel pure. Well, your idea is not at all wrong. Color Theraphy (Chromotherapy) is widely used by alternative medicine in the world. What color does is, it balances your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental energy through the use of tools such as gemstones, wands, candles, bath treatments, smells, and even colored glasses. Studies have found that each individual responds to color and light differently, once you know which colors affect you favorably, then your healing journey begins. Chromotherapy has been used for many years but it became popular in 1878, when Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt published Principles of Light and Color.
Color does play an important role in how one feels. The way Rev. Stefanidakis explains, “The aura is an effect – an outward expression – of that which is taking place within the mind, the soul, and the spirit of the individual.” So in other words, chromotherapy can be implemented in various ways to heal a person and provide an energy boost.
In a very summarized way, here is an example of what colors do for our pains, our life and our chakras:

Red: Also known as, “The Great Energizer” causes release of adrenalin, which results in greater strength, increased energy and body temperature. Maybe that’s why bulls are attracted to red.
Orange: Also known as “The Wisdom Ray”, has a freeing effect on the body and mind. It mixes mental insight with physical energy, because it’s a blend of red and yellow. It links to the sacral chakra.

Yellow: An excellent choice of color to strengthen the mind and the nerves as it awakens inspiration. It’s supposed to aid liver, stomach and skin conditions.

Green: The universal healing color because is midway in the color spectrum; containing equal balance in a physical and spiritual nature. It’s also the color of nature and earth and stimulates the heart chakra. It energizes and soothes equally. You can never go wrong with green.

Blue: Is generally associated with the throat chakra, which affects the center of expression –communication-. It’s a cool astringent color also indicating loyalty as in the term, ‘true blue’.

Indigo: Is the color that controls the brow chakra, where the third eye is located. It’s considered the ray of the Holy Spirit.

Violet: The color of the divine Spirit. It is linked to the crown chakra to help expand your understanding and nourish your brain. It’s only related to spiritual problems.

White: Is a symbol for perfect harmony as it is full of color. It’s considered the light of consciousness, or Divine Light. According to experts, it’s the perfect color. Perhaps that is why we say, white wedding, white Christmas, etc.

In chromotherapy, ways to provide healing involve the visualization of colors, color water healing, radiant color magnetism, and of course, choosing the correct colors in your surroundings to determine your mood. Even eating certain colored food can stimulate your energy. I hear Broccoli might be good for you... I hear that all the time, don’t you? Eat your greens!
Other known chromotherapies are, Aura-Soma (Eastern-influenced therapy that uses colored essential oils to reveal a person’s “true inner self”) and Esogetic Colorpuncture Therapy (ECT), which basically consists of treating health problems, such as migraines, placing colored light on acupuncture points. The way color therapies work is by electromagnetic waves of energy that convert into impulses and trigger the discharge of hormones. Have you heard the one about lack of sunlight causing depression on people? Well, it’s due to the lack of light, which has a deep effect on people’s behavior, motivation, etc.

Believe it or not, the effect of colors is not merely psychological. As a matter of fact, have you ever tried sleeping for a few days in a black room? Red increases blood pressure while blue decreases it, and studies say you don’t have to be staring at the color to feel the change. For starters, remember that warm colors are yellow, red, magenta, and brown; the cool ones are violet, blue, green, and grey. Also, you must remember to cover your walls in soft, pastel shades, which indicate a positive condition; dark and murky shades (not necessarily colors) tend to be associated with negative conditions. If you want peace of mind, don’t press hard on the paintbrush in your room!
Fresh and dried plant materials and pure essential oils may be used for your self-made chromotherapy.
RED - bergamot, mint, orange PINK - costmary, calendula, rose ORANGE - basil, jasmine, clary sage YELLOW - neroli, lavender, saffron GREEN - freesia, gardenia, meadowsweet TURQUOISE - woodruff, rose, plumeria BLUE - camomile, hops, lily of the valley INDIGO, VIOLET, AND PURPLE - lemongrass, stephanotis, ylang-ylang MAGENTA - vanilla, carnation, sweet pea WHITE - clove juniper, myrrh BLACK - geranium, vetivert, basil GREY - fennel, thyme, yarrow SILVER - nutmeg, vanilla, lilac GOLD - patchouly, basil, sweet pea BROWN - clove, yarrow, water lily



**originally published by Distrikt Magazine 02/2006**

When we talk about film, almost every time, we begin by asking if it’s independent/artsy or commercial. As we all know, one of the main differences in the cinematographic formulas used between the Old Continent and the ones Made in America is the language utilized. European films, in their majority, use an expressive language as they photograph the actors’ expressions, like in the long takes where the audience is responsible for “reading” the acting and the emotion as they interpret it (happiness, pain, etc).
In the American formula, which we are used to on this side of the planet, the actor ‘has’ to let us know everything that is happening in the plot, leaving little for us to analyze, summarizing the climax and resulting in similarities with the rest of the films.
From my own point of view, this is one of the reasons why there is a controversy stating that European movies are slow and boring, while Hollywood is perceived as brainless and lacking in depth –always the same outcome-. A great balance between the predictable Hollywood cinema and the sometimes-incomprehensive European one would be the formula used in many of the Spanish films.
Even though Spanish (from Spain) cinema occupies an inappropriate position in the world of entertainment, it has been an important influence for the rest of the cinematographic styles of the last decade, blending quality, stories filled with emotion, free sex and urban realities. Its’ agile rhythm and typical timelessness make this cinematographic formula one of my favorites.
Ten or fifteen years ago, Spanish films had terrible sound; experts say that the final success of a movie lies in 40% how it looks and 60% how it sounds. Maybe that was the reason why Spanish cinema never transcended until they began recording the audio the way they should, and it’s now done. As if this wasn’t enough already, Spanish culture involves a narrative structure of “dialogue” that is warm and interesting; inviting us into their culture, traditions and moral ideologies. These always leave me with an air of freedom and weightlessness for the rest of my day.
In other words, if you care to watch something other than the traditional Californian plots and conclusions, but are not willing to make your brain exhausted, here are some of my recommendations on this marvelous genre, which I’m sure will not disappoint you:

Lucia y el Sexo
Eng: SEX AND LUCIA Director: Julio Medem
Ideal mood for watching this movie: With a friend (opposite or same depending on your preferences) and a couple of glasses of wine. This exquisitely erotic film and Paz Vega makes everyone (boy or girl) think about electric impulses inside our bodies.
Los Amantes del Circulo Polar
Eng: The Lovers from the North Pole (USA) The Lovers of the Arctic Circle (International: English title) Director: Julio Medem
Ideal mood for watching this movie: I suggest watching this movie with your loved one under a warm blanket. This is a very strong and amazing love story, like it has never been told before.

Hable Con Ella
Eng: TALK TO HER Director Pedro Almodóvar
Ideal mood for watching this movie: This masterpiece is good at any time, especially on a good Sunday afternoon (no hangover this time please). Try to have enough time after it to take a small walk on a park to chat about your experience.... This is, in my own opinion, the best job of Almodóvar so far...It’s the U2’s Achtung Baby for him. He’s the greatest Spanish movie director of his era.

Eng: ¡Átame! Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Ideal mood for this movie: Friends, beers and snacks...This is a classic, one of the first great ones (sound and picture quality). It’s a crazy and fun love story with lots of nude scenes and Antonio Banderas acting (can you believe this?) instead of showing off his Spanish accent like he does nowadays!


PUERTA al mar


This ecological and architectonic wonder is located on its own private beach bay, on the sunny coast of the Mexican Pacific. Puerta al Mar welcomes you with a hand made stone rotunda and an amazing view of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo.
As the ocean breeze conceals the environment during a clear day you can view the reef, located a few yards away from the beach. This spectacular house involves two of the most complicated construction processes in the world. The first one is the weave of the ‘palapa’ (roof), which varies according to quality and durability. This texture, found in the principal part, can be described as a huge cloth weaved by hand. The second process, (to me, the hardest one) requires finding rocks in the river, carefully chosen by hand to give life to amazing rock carpets and borders that surround each inch of the whole house, including the rooms.
It’s incredible that nature provides us with these quantities of rocks of the same color, shape and texture, able to be planted in humid cement. This tremendous labor is predestined for women from the region only, experts in the meticulous selection process. They work in groups of 6 to 8, advancing an average of 3 to 6 ft. per day. If we add the total length of the borders of the house we discover a true example of the magnificent artisan hand labor found in the region.
The house has several rooms adapted to modern comforts, and spectacular views. The pool includes a Jacuzzi in one end and several sofas and beds from which you can view breathtaking scenery.

The TV room invites you to sit down and relax, but if in any case you forget about the paradisiacal location you are at, just turn to your right to remember.
The dining table is also unique. It’s made of granite with a swivel center of the same material, made by one of the best artisans in Mexico. Even though it’s a heavy piece of furniture, almost impossible to move, is practical because of it’s revolving capacity.

As you descend from the steps, reaching the middle of local vegetation, you discover a beach enclosed by hills, alienating it from rest of the zone. Walk into the water with one of the beach toys provided by the house, or enjoy the small reef as you snorkel.
From my point of view this is one of the most privileged places in the Mexican Pacific; not only because of the architecture and lifestyle but also because of the geographic spot it occupies.

ANESTHESIA, SYNESTHESIA and our brain hygiene habits

**originally published by Distrikt Magazine 02/2006**

Have you ever heard a song that takes you back to the exact feeling as when you heard that song for the first time?
Well, let’s call this feeling a “body taste”.
If you ask yourself what color the number 5 is, do you know? How about number 9 or number 2, can you identify inside your head the colors of these numbers?
This is called synesthesia, and this basically means: two parts of your brain mixing up just a little and giving you, for an instant, images or flavors where there are none, and it’s exactly the opposite of anesthesia, which is the feeling of not feeling, and disconnecting from your senses...But, let’s return to our subject.
I like the way my synesthesia works, since I can really relive memoirs of certain stages of my past just by listening to music; it’s amazing how alive my “body tastes” are when I hear a song, again, after time has passed. I also have a whole palette of colors in my head with the first 20 numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6...) and when I move to the hundreds, I include different colors and backgrounds.
The thing that intrigues me the most is, that my brain can make analogies of people’s names and provide me with different options of food along with their face. For example, if I meet a Mark, I imagine tobacco and brown colors with dry elements, if I meet a Daniela, I usually get a honey image; and this is regardless of the personality of the person.
Why don’t you try to get in touch with your synesthesia? Please take your time to feel this!
Think about these names (I’ll tell you what I think of):
Frank (I think of milk, caramel, jelly) Daniela (honey) Michelle (bees) Dave (pines and green pointy plants)
Think about amounts of money: $10 (brown \black) $200 (greenish) $1,500 (blue\green)
$60,000 (dark blue with white)
In my point of view, this ability or ‘cool disorder’ that we all have, in a smaller or larger concentration, can work for diverse creative and life purposes, since our mind is working and thinking about anything and everything 99% of the time. It’s never quiet! .... I bet this is how magazines are born!
Usually, our mind doesn’t think about positive things or images and this would be the main reason why sometimes it’s so complicated to “be happy”, all the time. By the way, our thinking intentions (positive or negative) are also a habit; the more we use the happy muscle, the stronger and predominant it becomes (like the rest of our muscles and organs in our bodies)...Unfortunately vice- versa also works this way.
This is why meditation works so well for so many people (regardless if the meditation technique is new age, old age, religiously focused or simply about creating pretty images in your head). The whole idea is to try and give your mind a small dose of a healthy pattern in order to make it mature a bit more every time the meditation/habit period takes place.
Hopefully, this next century will be a very productive one on research about our mind and how it focuses; We should learn how to maintain our mental health in order to get positive results; unveiling, in layman’s terms, the next step in human evolution...This would not be the control of our environment and material world like we brag and care for these days, but the control of our minds, our thoughts, ourselves and therefore, our acts that, believe it or not, when focused on a positive way can make an everyday habit work for a common good and wealth. In the end, we are all stranded in the same water or on the same dust balloon, right?
Meanwhile, lets patiently wait doing the new “Office Yoga” and the usual chair stretching exercises that the Japanese are showing, every other month, on TV. By the way, when you get a chance, watch a movie called “What The Bleep Do We Know”.... For me, it shows how all the different ideological trends are uniting little by little, and step by step, towards one single purpose: Doing Good! Or how we say in Spanish, Bien Común.