"During our launch our greatest challenge is to help people understand that LatinConexiones.com is not just another dating site and how the differences will benefit those who choose to be members. I believe that the sharing of my own personal experiences along with volumes of data collected during the planning stages of the site will help to establish a strong reference base that leads us to build a very helpful site that will be very successful."
We also wish to emphasize that membership is not only for Latinos or Caribbean people but is open for all who are in a dating mode and are also interested in the wonderful cultures that exist among Latin and Caribbean countries. Our mission is quite simple. We wish to create a social environment that allows all members to express their rich cultures and religious faiths that are the foundation for the many qualities, values and virtues that potential partners bring to a relationship.
I have been traveling throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America for several years now. I have done much hiking in some of the most beautiful and as yet undisturbed jungles and mountains throughout all of the areas. To me hiking in nature has the same spiritual sanctity as someone else who is going to church. I am always alone and I make my own trails so it is like wandering this planet many, many years ago. I have had very scary incidents but I'm still here and still anxious for my next hike.
I have also spent time immersed in much of the social life and cultural environment and I have made some very interesting observations. I have met many of my "new friends" during my travel and through other internet social sites that concentrate on the Latino and Caribbean communities. I am happy that I now have good friends throughout those areas. So, I have had help learning what life in general is like and specifically some of the challenges that the people have to participate in this global society in which we now live. More importantly, I learned exactly where I can make my contribution to the overall betterment of the Latin and Caribbean communities so they can continue to hold onto their rich traditional and cultural heritage.
There are some common anomalies in those countries. While the jungles and mountains and country areas are very pristine and beautiful many of the urban areas are blighted and life for many is very difficult. San Jose in Costa Rica reminds me of Saigon, Vietnam. Parts of Santo Domingo bring tears to the eyes. They do not have water every day and the electricity is subject to "go out" any time every day. San Pedro Sula has the highest crime rate in the world two years in a row. Kingsport Jamaica is very beautiful but the streets are terribly littered and the poverty is appalling.
In spite of their conditions the people in these countries have such positive and upbeat attitudes. They are happy. It is like they fully accept all of the reasons why their governments and economic systems have failed them. But I am impressed beyond normal by the women in those countries. It is my opinion that women are treated as second-class citizens in all parts of the world. It seems that the women in the Caribbean and Latino countries suffer a much lower second-class status than anywhere else except maybe the Middle East.
Yet the girls there amaze me. They are so hopeful that their status will change. They continue to hold tightly to their religion and their family values and their own personal virtues. The enrollment rate for girls at the universities is so much higher than for males and in spite of the hardships they are obtaining their university degrees. The crime that exists taking advantage of the conditions is the many, many universities everywhere taking the money from the girls with when there are little-to-no job prospects.
I have never been characterized as a Woman's Advocate but I do know when I see inequities. No matter where those inequities occur. I have met women with their degrees from the universities who are very intelligent and knowledgeable yet they are working in jobs for below minimum wages living in houses that would be considered 30% constructed in more developed countries.
I have attended family gatherings and had Sunday dinner in some of those houses. I have been a part of the rich tradition of celebrating the entire extended family every week and remembered when those gatherings were commonplace in my neighborhoods in the United States. I have seen that the women fulfill their reputations for their family-oriented values and they are wonderful mothers. They are very supportive and loyal to their spouses and the love that exists throughout the entire family is always apparent.
Part of the reason for the social degradation to second class citizenship for the women is due to a great many males in those countries. Just as in the other countries. Yet not all of the males participate in this class designation and there are many good men that are good potential partners for the women. Those good men exist not only in their countries but all around the world. Locally, however, for many of the girls the #1 complaint is that there are not enough good men available for lasting partnerships.
But there is a greater false characterization that is being made about the girls in the Latino and Caribbean countries by many of the existing dating sites. Many of the sites are openly guilty by advertising to find sexy Latinas and having specific "bikini sections" on their sites or "sexy Latinas" sections. Or they have "most popular photos" section and every girl in that section is in a bikini.
There are other sites that pose as "dating" sites when they are actually sites to arrange weekend "romantic encounters" at hotels that are almost exclusively dedicated to those sites and public beach areas that are fairly well cordoned off from other beach patrons.
Those sites have created a very false perception of the women in the Latin and Caribbean countries. Those sites have done so much harm to the reputations of the women to such extent that many women will not participate in the sites. The girls that do participate feel encouraged to fulfill the reputation of those sites so they present themselves accordingly. Many other girls avoid the sites altogether and find themselves without a legitimate environment in which to present themselves to the rest of the world. It is not uncommon to meet a girl who feels compelled to begin the relationship defensively trying to separate herself from the reputations that have been created.
LatinConexiones.com is different. It even looks different. We do not feature a sexily clad Latina on our home page. Our home page and all of our pages depict what love really looks like between two people who are committed to each other. We show couples living in the glow and warmth of love and we subscribe to the data and history that says both men and women live longer, happier and healthier lives when in that kind of relationship.
LatinConexiones.com is committed to empower and enable all of its members to build their profiles to fully present all of the good things they can bring to a loving, long-term relationship. We are also committed to be certain that all potential new members recognize that LatinConexiones.com is far different, and better, than what they have become accustomed to seeing as a dating site for the Latin and Caribbean communities.
Reaction from the women has been fantastic. Their response has validated the creation and purpose of our site. The site is welcomed with enthusiasm and comments that LatinConexiones.com has been needed for a long time. We expect to see the same reaction from the men when they discover the same beautiful qualities of Latin and Caribbean women that we recognized a long time ago.
We are just beginning our "launch" on the internet and through our circles of friends and acquaintances and established media outlets in the United States. We have developed videos to be posted on the internet and shared though electronic messaging. We have extensive research occurring now to investigate media campaigns in all of the countries that make up the Latino and Caribbean communities.
We have also recruited and we are training individuals from each of the major cities throughout the Caribbean, Central and South American countries to serve as our "boots on the ground" for some conventional marketing efforts. So far, we have several such marketing personnel in place and it is amazing to see how happy they are for a very legitimate opportunity to earn an income. Although it is a very small effort so far we are already making a contribution to those communities.
We are currently developing the phone apps to enable members to utilize the site without the need to be on their computers. We have many things that are on the planning board as additional features and benefits for the site and some things that will be very nice adjunct capabilities for members of the site who are interested in participating.
We did not set out to change the face of dating sites for the Latin and Caribbean communities but we do feel that those communities are better served with the care and concern that we have at LatinConexiones.com