NEW YORK, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when our nation is caught up in the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, Reader's Digest Selecciones salutes five notable individuals who are making a difference in their communities by giving back to those in need. Their heroic efforts epitomize "Orgullo Latino," Latin Pride, and will be featured in Selecciones' annual October Hispanic Heritage issue that will hit newsstands on September 27.
"In keeping with the editorial tone of Selecciones, our emphasis in this issue is on real people who've overcome adversity and are now helping others through their commitment to important causes in the Latino community," said Genevieve Marlin-Fernandez, Selecciones Managing Editor. "We're proud to honor these everyday heroes whose stories offer inspiration, empowerment and guidance to our readers."
In this edition of "Orgullo Latino," Selecciones celebrates the following Latinos:
Jesse Zermeno -- After visiting living quarters of Mexican immigrant workers in Florida, Zermeno founded Operation Hope (http://www.migranthope.org), a non-profit organization that provides education, legal advice, social services and food distribution to thousands of children and adults.
Sonia Perez -- The Puerto Rican widow of a cancer patient, Perez founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House (http://www.aphh.org) in Florida, a permanent "house" for families of children with heart disease, where parents and children seek comfort and support from other families.
Manny Mota -- This former professional baseball player founded The Mota Foundation (http://www.mannymotafoundation.org), an organization that strives to eliminate poverty through education and baseball clinics for children of Dominican descent.
Maria Rocio Gomez -- A breast cancer survivor, this Colombian born mother of two is the only Spanish speaking volunteer in an educational program in New York, and has spent the last eight years providing support to other cancer patients. Visit http://www.cancer.org.
Jaime Rodriguez -- This 18-year old Mexican-American is a burn survivor who suffered burns over eighty percent of his body when he was two years old. He's now an advisor in Beyond the Scars, a special camp sponsored by the Burn Institute (http://www.burninstitute.org) where he helps other young burn victims.
The "Orgullo Latino" issue also includes a special interview with superstar Ricky Martin, whose foundation and project People for Children (http://www.peopleforchildren.org) has helped rescue hundreds of children from prostitution and slave trafficking. Martin talks of his recent tour of Asian countries devastated by the December tsunami. He says, "I still have nightmares...nothing can prepare you for what I saw." His new album, "Life," releases October 11.