Time’s annual look at the 100 most influential people in the world is out and nine Latinos from the U.S. and abroad have made the list.
Dulce Matuz: With something as polarizing as the immigration debate it’s easy to get caught up in black and white constructs like left vs. right, Dream Act vs. SB1070 and more. What’s harder to remember is that this simmering debate involves actual people, with lives and stories. Matuz, 27, is an undocumented Latina with an electrical engineering degree who put herself through college. Now she advocates for the Arizona Dream Act Coalition where she promotes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before they were 15, attend college or serve in the military and are of good moral character. Why does she continue to do this in the face of so much opposition? “We are Americans,” she says. “And Americans don’t give up.”
Marco Rubio: The Florida Senator is a rising star in the Republican Party and many in the GOP view him as a savior for them in the 2012 election. Rubio could very well help the party win Florida, but his sway among national Latino voters is yet to be tested. Regardless, Rubio will be an influential figure in a close election.
Louis CK: One of the top comics in the U.S. is half-Mexican and his sitcom “Lucky Louie” is a hit. In her blurb about him for TIME, Joan Rivers says Louis CK, 44, knows the future of comedy revolves around the Internet and social media. He started a trend which is picking up steam by bypassing entertainment companies to sell his new comedy special directly online for $5, a move since followed by comics including Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan.
Jose Andres: This high profile chef has won nearly every major culinary award in the U.S. but it his giving back which is being noticed. The Spain native’s collaboration with DC Central Kitchen, which fights hunger and poverty by teaching culinary job skills, inspired him to establish World Central Kitchen — “an international think tank finding creative solutions for feeding the world’s hungry.” In his blurb for TIME, Anthony Bourdain — no slouch in the kitchen himself — says that Andres has extraordinary restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas but he is also an “advocate, promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, artist. Keep up with him at your peril.”
TIME Magazine also included Latinos from Latin America. Soccer wunderkind Lionel Messi, Brazilian economic tycoon Eike Batista, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Brazilian oil baron Maria das Graças Silva Foster made the list.
To see the full list and read the blurbs by famous people in their own right, check out TIME.com.
Who do you think TIME left off the list? Let us know below or on Facebook.