17 Latino Celebs We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving week, a time to look back and dar las gracias for all the blessings in our lives. Here at Latina.com we couldn’t help but give thanks for some of our community’s brightest luminaries. From a boxing champion with the looks of a supermodel to an actress helping mothers protect their children toxic products, here’s a look at the Latino men and women we’re most grateful for this year.

1. Celebs Thankful: Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez

Narcisco Rodriguez has dressed starlets like Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek and Kate Winslet; Michelle Obama even wore one of his dresses to celebrate her husband’s victory as our nation’s first African American president. And he’s bringing his simple-yet-stunning designs to the masses via his just-launched collection at Kohl’s.

 


2. Celebs Thankful: Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

In this age when former child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Selena Gomez has remained a positive role model for young girls everywhere—even while breaking away from her squeaky clean Disney image with grittier roles. It’s no wonder she was named Glamour magazine’s 2012 Woman of the Year


3. Celebs Thankful: Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

In 2004, Rosario Dawson and Maria Teresa Kumar launched Voto Latino to get Latino voters engaged in the electoral process and mobilize them to cast their ballots. Well, their eight-year labor paid off this election year, as Latino voters made up 10 percent of the overall electorate, according to CNN. That’s up from 7.4 percent in 2008. Proving that with star power like Dawson’s committed to the cause, ¡ se puede!

 


4. Celebs Thankful: Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria spent the last year trying to get out the Latino vote, in this case to get the president re-elected. The outspoken Obama supporter served as co-chair of his campaign, appeared in political ads, spoke at the Democratic National Convention and campaigned for him in key states. In the end, Obama won Latino voter support over Mitt Romney by historic margins – 72 percent to 23 percent nationwide. “It was a huge night for Latinos, and I was very happy to be a part of that," said Longoria.


5. Celebs Thankful: William Levy

William Levy

There’s no denying William Levy is a superestrella in Latin America, but this year the telenovela star conquered the U.S. with his good looks, toned physique and sizzling moves on Dancing with the Stars. He even landed his first People cover and made the magazine’s Hottest Bodies 2012 list. "Girls have come up, ripped my T-shirt and all that stuff," Levy told People.


6. Celebs Thankful: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

She may have been inspired to pursue a legal career and become a judge by watching the fictional Perry Mason on television, but these days U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the real-life source of motivation for young Latinas everwhere after becoming the court’s first Hispanic judge in August 2009.


7. Celebs Thankful: Nely Galan

Nely Galán

Nely Galán is moving Latinas forward. The successful entrepreneur and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant recently founded The Adelante Movement, a grassroots program that provides Latinas with the information, resources and connections to gain economic freedom and provide their children with the future they deserve. Through a series of national conferences, Galán is empowering Latinas everywhere to take charge of their lives and take action. 


8. Celebs Thankful: Marlen Esparza

Marlen Esparza

Marlen Esparza may have an endorsement deal with CoverGirl, but don’t let her modelesque looks fool you. The girl can throw a mean punch! And the six-time national champion has the 2012 Summer Olympics bronze medal to prove it. Esparaza, who has been profiled in Vogue as the sports “most astonishing and graceful star,” has redefined what a “tough girl” looks like.


9. Celebs Thankful: Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Since her first leading role in Selena, the biopic about another voluptuous Latina, Jennifer Lopez has never been ashamed of showing the world that real women have curvas.  This year, at the age of 43, la Lopez has even flaunted her world famous curves in stylish swimsuits (for a Vogue spread), a sexy bedazzled body suit (worn on her world tour) and more.  


10. Celebs Thankful: Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice

She’s only 19, but Victoria Justice already knows the importance of giving back. When she’s not acting or making music, the Nickelodeon star dedicates her time to causes like the Children’s National Medical Center’s “Music Makes It Better” campaign, the United Nations Foundation and Girl Up. “I want to spread the word as much as I can and get other people working together. Before you know it we can actually make a difference,” Justice has said about her charity work.


11. Celebs Thankful: Pitbull

Pitbull

Its no wonder Pitbull recently graced the cover of Rolling Stone’s first bilingual issue.  Single after single, the rap superstar manages to release music that makes you want to bailar like there’s no tomorrow.  Whether he’s “On the Floor” with Jennifer Lopez or taking us “Back in Time” a solas, Pitbull knows how to craft a dancetastic hit!

12. Celebs Thankful: Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera

From hosting the GLAAD Media Awards to appearing in anti-bullying PSAs, Naya Rivera has been an ally of the LGBT community. But it’s probably her portrayal of lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee that has made the biggest impact. Last season, she came out to her classmates and her family in heart-wrenching stories that shined a spotlight on what it’s like to be gay and out in America. “But we still need more.  More lesbians, more transgender people, more allies and more stories,” said Rivera at a GLAAD event.

13. Celebs Thankful: Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara

Sure, she’s a stunner. But there’s more to Sofia Vergara than her good looks! The woman is hysterical. From her award-winning role as Gloria Delgado Pritchett on Modern Family to her sidesplitting appearances on talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Vergara really knows how to induce laughter, even at her own expense. She’s like the modern day Lucille Ball… with an accent!

14. Celebs Thankful: Berenice Bejo

Berenice Bejo

This year Bérénice Bejo earned a well-deserved Oscar nod for her star-making role as beautiful ingénue Peppy Miller in The Artist – despite not uttering a single word in the black-and-white silent film. Not only did she break through the silence to critical acclaim with her animated facial expressions, she also managed to win our hearts in the process. And that’s no small feat! 

15. Celebs Thankful: Xtina & Demi

Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato

Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato have lived through career highs and lows and bounced back to take their music to new heights. And now the pop stars are sharing their life lessons with contestants on The Voice and The X Factor, respectively, as they mentor the next generation of artists, some of them Hispanic, to advise them on what it takes to make it in the industry and how to hopefully avoid any serious missteps.

16. Celebs Thankful: Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie

Call her a “bad girl gone good!” Early in her career, Nicole Richie’s bad behavior resulted in significant media attention from the tabloids, especially during her The Simple Life days. But after turning over a new leaf and becoming a mom, the reality-TV-star-turned-fashionista has gone on to become a Hollywood darling. She’s created a fashion empire, which includes the recent launch of a fragrance, and become more involved in charity work and environmental issues. Lindsay Lohan, take note!

17. Celebs Thankful: Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

She may one of the sexiest women in the world, but these days Jessica Alba is just a concerned mother making a difference. Earlier this year, she received Self magazine’s Do Good Award for launching The Honest Company, which makes and sells eco-friendly and affordable baby, bath, body and household products, to help families lead greener, healthier and happier lives. “I created The Honest Company to help moms and to give all children a better, safer start," says Alba on her company’s website.