Happy Birthday, Ana de la Reguera! 8 Ways She Gives Back to the Latino Community

Since portraying Sister Encarnación in 2006’s Jack Black-starrer Nacho Libre, Ana de la Reguera has been making her mark in Hollywood, as well as maintaining her superstar status in Latin America. But the Mexican actress, who just happens to be turning 36 today (April 8), hasn’t forgotten her roots. When she isn’t acting or modeling, de la Reguera spends her time with charitable projects. Here’s a look at her philanthropic efforts.

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Kahlua with a Cause

In 2010, Ana de la Reguera appeared in Kahlua’s new ad campaign, “Delicioso,” which aimed to celebrate the rich history and heritage of Veracruz, The actress, who was born and raised in the Mexican state, invited viewers to meet the people and explore the culture of Veracruz, while spotlighting the origins and ingredients of the brand. For her involvement, Kahlua donated $50,000 to help the Capadocia actress establish a foundation to help Veracruz recover from Hurricane Karl, which ravaged the area days before shooting the Kahlua ads.

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Call to Action

On September 10, 2010, the Mexican Red Cross posted a video on YouTube featuring de la Reguera encouraging people to donate money and goods for the relief efforts following Hurricane Karl, which has been hailed as “the most destructive tropical cyclone to strike the Mexican state of Veracruz on record.” The storm caused an estimated $5.6 billion USD in damage. “I just came back from Veracruz yesterday,” de la Reguera told Latina.com. “There was a very bad category 4 hurricane in my hometown of Veracruz and the whole state was devastated. I was there for three weeks to help. But the situation is not easy right now." The video went viral on Twitter and other online sites, raising much needed money for the storm’s victims.

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There’s No Place Like Home

After Hurricane Karl ravaged her home state, de la Reguera stepped up her efforts to do her part to help. The Mexican actress founded the charitable organization VeracruzANA AC to help rebuild de la Reguera’s hometown of Antigua, one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane. Antigua is considered one of most important and historic communities in Veracruz.

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“Ayudar Se Siente Bien”

One of the charity’s first big projects involved reconstructing the streets of Antigua, including the creation of a touristic boulevard named after the actress. The Mexican actress was present on June 5, 2011 to help inaugurate Boulevard Ana de la Reguera. Here’s a YouTube video filmed at the event. The VeracruzANA AC website features before and after images of Antigua, as well as a quote from the actress:  “Muchas gracias por compartir conmigo este proyecto tan especial donde AYUDAR SE SIENTE BIEN.”

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Booking Additional Funds

de la Reguera didn’t rest on her laurels after helping in the reconstruction efforts in Antigua. She lent her support to the book Antigua Veracruz, Lugar de raíces profundas, which demonstrates the beauty and richness of the culture and natural habitat of the region through stunning photos taken by Adel Buzali. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book benefited de la Reguera’s charity.

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Home is Where the Art (History) Is…

As part of her foundation’s mission to help her hometown, de la Reguera created the Casa de Cultura y Capacitación VeracruzANA, which aims to promote the culture and identity of Antigua, Mexico. Along with a permanent exposition that highlights the town’s rich history, there are several exhibitions that highlight the community’s historical significance.

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Beyond Veracruz…

de la Reguera doesn’t just focus her charitable attention on her home state of Veracruz. Last year, the Mexican actress served as one of the hosts  of the art charity event Project Paz, which aimed to raise money for the children of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The New York City event featured fashion designers like Narciso Rodriguez, Carolina Herrera and Tory Burch contributing one-of-a-kind photo that were auctioned off to raise money for the charity, which aims to spread hope to future generations and  promote peace in Ciudad Juarez, which has seen a dramatic increase in drug-related crimes.

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Olympic-Size Recognition

Last summer, de la Reguera had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch as it made its way to London for the 2012 Summer Games. De la Reguera, who was selected by her country to help carry the Olympic torch for her humanitarian efforts, took the torch through the Aylesbury on July 9, 2012.