About The Founder, Rod Ponce

Proudly brought up by Ecuadorian parents in Toronto, I grew up with friends from so many different Spanish-speaking countries.  There are so many sayings that are unique to each country, right down to regions and even neighbourhoods. Culture and language are truly synonymous. In my particular case, I grew up Spanglish.

Spanglish is currently considered a hybrid language by linguists—many actually refer to Spanglish as "Spanish-English code-switching", though there is some influence of borrowing, and lexical and grammatical shifts as well.

This daily shift in language is central to who I am today. From landing my first professional gig in Huntington Beach, CA to my experience at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC - I was immersed into a unique world where being fluent in both languages helped me thrive. 

The grand marble structure next to the White House is the headquarters for the Organization of American States, an international diplomatic body that promotes peace and commerce between North and South American nations. The art and history of the building is a story in itself, but what struck me the most were the two women statues on each of its grand entrance. One woman looked rich and the other poor. One representing North America and the other South America. This left a deep impression in my psyche.

Years later, there were a number of TTC ads that depicted Latinos in a negative light. This was catalyst to Hispanos En Canada TV and Mercado Magazine. I had absolutely no experience in what it took to produce a television show nor any publishing experience. This did not stop me though. I produced and published for the next 5 years to counter negative media portrayals of our community and celebrate our unique Spanglish culture. I can proudly say that at its peak, Rogers TV picked up the show and my magazine was sold across Canada via Chapters-Indigo. The message was clear. We are not all gangsters. We are also educated professionals and we can do whatever we set our minds to. When I concluded this phase in my life, but I understood where it all stemmed from. Spanglish pride. I wanted to debut and celebrate positive role models for our next generation. The medium I chose, television and print.

Language like culture, is powerful. Words likes smells and sights, can trigger deep memories from the recesses of our minds which helps us grow through reflections of good and dark memories. This is why I created this website. To share with you these words and memories growing up. I have chosen street-wear as my medium this time around to celebrate our unique culture and language and also remind others that the future speaks Spanglish.