These Latinas move and inspire us thanks to their successful careers, growing empires, and charity works. There's no doubt that these 10 mujeres are helping make the world a better place and we are thrilled to honor them in our annual "Mujeres of the Year" list! Without further ado, we proudly present our picks!
1. Women of the Year: Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria, 37
She graduated from Desperate Housewives and has officially become a force behind the camera as executive producer of Lifetime’s Devious Maids and NBC’s Ready for Love. Even more inspiring is the Texan’s view on Latinos in Hollywood, “When the Latino community complains that we aren't on TV and in movies and we're not reflected, then I say get behind the camera and write it and produce it and direct it. We're not going to sit here and wait for someone else to do that,” said Latina’s November cover model.
Besides her work in the industry, the Mexican American star also helped rock the vote as the co-chair of President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. Who can forget her moving speech at the DNC when she reflected on her humble beginnings and expressed, “The Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers, she needed a tax break, but the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.”
2. Women of the Year: Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson, 33
From protesting for undocumented students to fighting against domestic violence, Dawson is the essence of celebrity activism at its best. The Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress also fulfilled her mission of getting young Latinos to the polls as the chairwoman for the non-profit nonpartisan organization, Voto Latino.
When it comes to her generosity and passion for helping others, the star told Latina in the September cover story, “I’m not giving the money to some family I don’t know and just hoping their lives improve,” she continues, “I give the attention, love and care.”
3. Women of the Year: Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara, 40
The mainstream finally got a taste of the talented Colombian actress on the hit ABC show, Modern Family, and it’s pretty obvious that fans are hooked on her character Gloria’s swag. Since starring on the hit show, Sofia has racked up endorsements with Covergirl and Pepsi, which makes-up her net worth of $19 million so far this year. She’s also the co-founder for the media company LatinWE, which earned about $27 million last year.
Moreover, the cancer survivor helped host the “Stand Up to Cancer” telethon, which aired across several networks earlier this year. The organization has helped raise more than $100 million towards cancer research.
4. Women of the Year: Shakira
Only the Colombian pop star makes posting a picture of her pregnant belly a worldwide event. While she’s expecting her first child from boyfriend, Gerard Pique, the Colombian pop star signed on to temporarily replace Christina Aguilera on The Voice early next year.
Need more proof 2012 was Shaki’s year? The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer closed a deal between Live Nation and her former label Sony for an estimated $60 million all the while she continued to lobby for quality education across the globe with her Barefoot Foundation.
5. Women of the Year: Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez, 20
Her breakup and makeup with longtime boyfriend and pop sensation Justin Bieber may have been a tabloid obsession for almost a month, but the Texan native clearly didn’t lose sight of her career through it all. The young Hollywood star is running a full-blown empire between her Kmart clothing line and successful fragrances. Let’s not forget her new music album due early next year and racy upcoming movie role in Spring Breakers.
With her full schedule, Selenita still makes time to give back as UNICEF’s youngest ambassador. She recently helped Chilean families with the “Programa Puede” program, which develops early childhood education in impoverished communities.
6. PlannedParenthood Ad
7. Women of the Year: Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez, 43
The Bronx native has come a long way from her “Jenny From The Block” days. According to Forbes, her annual net worth was $52 million as of May 2012. The mega pop star, who launched a successful worldwide tour this year, also gives back to her community as a spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the founder of Lopez Family Foundation, her nonprofit organization which helps provide medical care to women and children across the globe.
In addition, she recently launched the “J.Lo's Christmas Gift” drive, which allows fans to donate to some of her favorite charities including, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and The American Red Cross. She was also a strong support of the President’s Latinos for Obama campaign.
8. Women of the Year: Victoria Justice
Victoria Justice, 19
The beautiful half-Puerto Rican star shines bright as the lead on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious, and starred in the Halloween comedy, Fun Size, earlier this year. As her empire and career continue to grow, Justice has joined forces with the Act Out Loud campaign, which encourages teens to drive safely.
Last year, she also traveled to Guatemala with the United Nations Foundation Girl Up to help underprivileged communities in the area.
9. Women of the Year: Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba, 31
There’s no denying the Hollywood actress is beautiful on the inside and out. The mother-of-two has successfully spearheaded The Honest Company, which provides affordable non-toxic and organic baby products. Forbes named the venture one of the top 20 start-ups of 2012. Jessica is also planning on releasing a how-to guide on living an organic and non-toxic life titled, The Honest Life.
In addition, Alba was a strong supporter of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and is a celebrity voice for onemillionnewjobs.org, which is dedicated to lowering the unemployment rate among today’s youth.
10. Women of the Year: Ana de la Reguera
Ana de la Reguera, 35
Besides signing multimillion-dollar contracts with Pantene and Covergirl, Reguera also made Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful women in Mexico this year.
The Mexican star is also extremely dedicated to charity work and helped launch a viral campaign for victims of Hurricane Karl in Veracruz. She is co-producing her first bio-film about Lupe Velez this year.
11. Women of the Year: Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera, 32
Making $15 million a season as a judge on The Voice sounds as impressive as Aguilera’s signature powerhouse voice, but the Staten Island native knows how to spread her royalties for a good cause. The half-Ecuadorean pop star joined the all-star telethon to help raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims and Hillary Clinton recently honored her for her effort in fighting world hunger. She has been able to raise $115 million to help impoverish children across the globe.
“If I could sing Christina,” said Mrs. Clinton at the event for Aguilera, “I would want to be on your team.” Now that’s something to smile about!