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Jennifer López (37)
With a fortune said to be around $255 million, according to Fortune magazine; 22 films, four succesful albums, six fragrances and two clothing lines to her credit, it is not difficult to see why this talented Nuyorican singer, actress and businesswoman is one of the most important Latinos in the world.
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The hips of the singer-songwriter –and her extraordinary display on the video of the year, "Hips Don't Lie"– have motivated generations to learn the seductive belly dance. But the Colombian star not only cares about success in the music world; she has also seriously dedicated herself to her children's foundation, Pies Descalzos and the recently launched América Latina en Acción Solidaria [Latin America in Joint Action] (ALAS).
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Salma Hayek (40)
No risk, no gain! That seems to be the motto of the Mexican actress, who has challenged the rules with projects like Frida or Ugly Betty (ABC), the successful adaptation to English of Yo Soy Betty, La Fea. But, it is not only Hollywood that occupies Hayek, since she has dedicated a good deal of her time to defending women who are victims of domestic violence.
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Eva Longoria (31)
Inspired by Salma Hayek and Jennifer López, the Latin star of Desperate Housewives (ABC) is the model to follow for the new generations. "I can't wait to start a family, win an Oscar, do more charity work, change the world and help with the immigration laws," she confesses.
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Ricky Martin (35)
Ricky Martin (35)At the height of his successful career as a singer, this Puerto Rican has become the spokesperson for the fight against child exploitation. His humanitarian work has had an international impact through his foundation and his works as a United Nations goodwill ambassador.
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Gloria Estefan (49)
The Cuban singer-songwriter became the first to make the Latino crossover in this country with 70 million CDs sold (38 million in English), several awards and a public that is still electrified by her "Conga." With her worldwide successes, Estefan, now a children's book author, still finds joy in creating.
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Antonio Villaraigosa (53)
Following an exhausting race, the Mexican-American was chosen to be the first Latin mayor of Los Angeles in 133 years. His constant concern in improving the quality of life of Angelinos has made him one of the favorite politicians in the history of the city.
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Oscar de la Hoya (33)
Pity the person that faces this Mexican-American boxer and promoter. But outside the ring, his fist is an outstretched hand: He has donated part of his millions to the fight against cancer and to the construction of a high school in Los Angeles. "One day my mother told me: 'The more you have, the more you have to give,'" he says.
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Robert Rodríguez (38)
The help of his family allowed him to make his first short film. Years later, this Mexican-American director was the one who gave a hand up to Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in Hollywood. Now he has sagas such as Spy Kids and Sin City to his credit and a secure place in the film capital.
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Music is the passion of this Colombian singer-songwriter, but his cause is helping the victims of mine field explosions. Through his Mi Sangre foundation, Juanes organized a mass concert in May in Los Angeles to create awareness about this problem and to collect - with the help of other stars - some $380,000 for the survivors. "This gives them hope," he assures.
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Carlos Santana (59)
The guitar of this Mexican musical genius more than catching the ear, it touches the soul. The success of his music has allowed him, through his Milagro foundation, to donate more than $2 million to different causes. "I can make a difference. That is why I am on this planet," he confesses.
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Daddy Yankee (30)
Daddy Yankee's barrio life-inspired music, which was passed from hand to hand, was installed in popular culture when this Puerto Rican artist arrived with a tank full of creativity. "Being a rapper now is real cool, but ten years ago I was a criminal," the artist has said. "The new rappers have got it made."
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Bertha Flores (29)
This educator, who emigrated from El Salvador to the United States at the age of 11, was elected Teacher of the Year 2005 from the system of 11 alternative high schools in East LA. Her students were once problem kids, but when Flores began to teach, their performance improved to the point that this year 21 of 23 students passed the rigorous California high school exams.
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The brand name of the Venezuelan designer is the byword for elegance and good taste anywhere in the world. Whereas the Cuban American creator has already earned a place among the great on winning the Best Designer of the Year Award two years running from the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America.
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What could have been in the water in Mexico during the mid-sixties? Apparently something with movie superpowers, because that is the only way to explain this trio of gifted directors: Alejandro González Iñárritu (43 years old, left), Guillermo Del Toro (42) and Alfonso Cuarón (45, right). The trio has not only taken over Hollywood, but on the way has created an enviable camaraderie.
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María Celeste Arrarás (46)
When Newsweek magazine put this Puerto Rican journalist on its 2006 cover, it was already old news for millions of Latinos that have followed her throughout her career. "When one has influence, one has in one's hands a very powerful tool to change lives," says the editor of Al Rojo Vivo (Telemundo).
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The arbiters of the news
Planes crash in New York, bombs explode in Iraq, presidents are elected in Latin America. To whom do millions of Hispanics go to learn about this news? To María Elena Salinas (52 years old) and Jorge Ramos (48). And if they want entertainment? No contest, to Mario Kreutzberger (66, right), Don Francisco.
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Mario Testino (51)
Today there is no star that doesn't want to pose for him, but achieving this prestige was not easy for the Peruvian photographer, who, in his early days, almost gave away his work. That effort bore fruit: Currently, he is the one of those responsible for how –with successful advertising campaigns– fashion is sold around the world.
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Manolo Blahnik (64)
There is no woman alive that doesn't dream of having a pair of shoes in her closet by the famous Canary Islands-born designer. "I believe that if there's something I've contributed [to the new designers] is the return of absolute femininity," explains Blahnik.
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