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11 Moments That Made Us Proud To Be Latino In 2013

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Pope Francis drinks 'mate' - traditional South American infused drink - as he arrives for his general audience at St Peter's square on October 30, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) | GABRIEL BOUYS via Getty Images

With newfound representation in politics, trailblazing reforms in Latin America and new inroads in the entertainment industry, 2013 was a great year to be a Latino. Relive 11 moments that made us proud to be Latino this year.

  • 1
    Record Number Of Latinos In Congress
    Getty Images
    In January, a record-number of 31 Latinos took seats in Congress, including three senators.
  • 2
    Richard Blanco Recites The Inaugural Poem
    In a nation of immigrants, who better than Spanish-born, Cuban-descended Richard Blanco to read the inaugural poem? He was the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay poet to receive the honor.
  • 3
    A Big Step For Spanish In Politics
    In a historic first, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) became the first Republican to give a bilingual rebuttal to the State of the Union speech.
  • 4
    First Latin American Pope
    The Vatican looked beyond Europe to select Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio in March to become Pope Francis I, the first Latin American pontiff.

    It was a logical choice. Latin America is home to more 480 million Catholics, according to CNN -- more than any other region in the world. Picking a Pope from outside the world's richest countries appears to have had an impact. Pope Francis has turned heads by reportedly sneaking out into the middle of the night to minister to the homeless, and his stinging criticism of capitalism.
  • 5
    Carlos Arredondo To The Rescue
    Costa Rican immigrant Carlos Arredondo became a nationally praised hero when he helped rush Jeff Bauman to receive medical attention after his legs were blown off in the Boston bombings in April. One of the most unforgettable images of 2013 was that of Arredono pinching one of Bauman's arteries closed to staunch the bleeding as he rushed from the scene with an emergency responder and a volunteer.

    It's worth pausing to note that at one point Arredondo had lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Luckily he wasn't deported.
  • 6
    Sebastien De la Cruz Shut Down The Haters
    When 11-year-old mariachi singer Sebastien de la Cruz took the stage to sing the National Anthem before game three of the NBA Finals in June, he faced a deluge of criticism from Twitter haters wondering why a "Mexican" took the honor.

    Unfazed, de la Cruz answered his critics with class, saying: "They don’t know my life. My father was actually in the Navy for a really long time… People don’t know, they just assume that I’m just Mexican. But I’m not from Mexico, I’m from San Antonio born and raised, a true San Antonio Spurs fan."
  • 7
    First All-Latina Leading Cast In Prime Time
    Actress-Producer-Activist Eva Longoria made TV history in 2013 with the debut of "Devious Maids," featuring an all-Latina leading cast. While the show marked a move forward in an industry that often leaves Latinos out, the show was also criticized for reinforces stereotypes of Latinas as over-sexed maids.
  • 8
    A New Spanish-Language Film Record
    "Instructions Not Included" set a new record at the box office, becoming the most successful Spanish-language film to hit the silver screen in the United States.
  • 9
    Home Run Derby Champ
    Cuban-born Yoenis Céspedes became the first person to win the Home Run Derby after getting passed up for the MLB All-Star Game.
  • 10
    Still The Highest-Paid Actress In TV
  • 11
    Uruguay Legalized It
    By legalizing the government-controlled production and sale of marijuana, the government of Uruguay dealt a modest but significant blow to an irrational, U.S.-led war on drugs that has empowered violent cartels across Latin America.

What other moments made you proud to be Latino in 2013? Let us know in the comments.

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