Caridad De La Luz
Caridad De La Luz (born January 21, 1977), a.k.a. "La Bruja" (The "Good" Witch), is a poet, actress and activist. De La Luz, whose parents moved to New York City from Puerto Rico, was born and raised in the South Bronx. There she also received her primary and secondary education. As a child she was always surrounded by the sounds of salsa music since she lived in a section, which is also known as "El Condado de la Salsa" (Salsa County). De La Luz would often prepare shows for her family, imitating her favorite salsa singers Celia Cruz and Celina Gonzalez. She also enjoyed writing, especially poetry. She graduated with honors from Murry Bergtraum High School's secretarial studies major.
De la Luz made her debut as an artist in 1996 when she made her presentation at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. The Cafe is known as a place where many poets got their first start in front of a live audience. Among those who have performed there are: Miguel Piñero, Pedro Pietri and Edwin Torres. Her one-woman show Boogie Rican Blvd. traces the life of the Puerto Rican persona from the Bronx to Puerto Rico. In it, she blends characters, poetry, photography and music. Her show was a success and it was not long before she was touring her show in different cities of the United States, Europe and Latin America.
In 1998, she participated in an uncredited role as a dancer in the movie Dance with Me, starring Vanessa L. Williams andChayanne. In 2000, De La Luz made her featured movie debut as "Cuca" in Spike Lee's film Bamboozled.
On October 2001, "Boogie Rican Blvd." made its Off-Broadway debut at The Producers Club and later at La Téa Theater. Among the other theater productions in which she has performed are: "Ubu Unchained", "El Spanglish language Sandwich" by Pedro Pietri and "Women Like This" a Hip Hop festival held in Switzerland.
In 2002, De La Luz gave a reading entitled "WTC" (World Trade Center) simply by utilizing the three letters of the historic acronym, which reminded the audience in HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam, how complex the events of 9-11 are and will continue to be. That same year she also participated in HBO's Hip Hop Hope. Her poems have been published in magazines such as Shout, Vibe, Source, AWOL, Urban and Stress Magazines, El Vocero and in El Centro journal for Hunter College.
In 2004, she played the role of "Lucy" in the film Down to the Bone and in 2005 she played a psychotic girlfriend who uses witchcraft in the Latin comedy movie El Vacilón. In the History Channel's series Witch Hunt, she was cast as "Tituba." HBO Latino recruited her for their series Habla and she released an album on her own record label De La Luz Records entitled Brujalicious, a mixture of Latin-tinged hip-hop and reggaeton.
De la Luz who is a mother of two children, taught a workshop called "How can I change the World" for the East Harlem Tutorial Program and is currently teaching a writing workshop called Write Your Way representing Voices UnBroken (an organization of which she is a board member), YAFFA, and her own organization, Latinas 4 Life. During her spare time she enjoys singing, dancing and traveling to Puerto Rico. She appears as a spokes model for Levis Jean's in a nationwide print campaign that runs in Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly and Marie Claire magazines. In 2005 De la Luz was selected by the New York Spanish language newspaper El Diario/La Prensa as one of the 50 most distinguished Latinas in the United States.