* Danny Ponce (Willie on TV’s “The Hogan Family”) was recently named Worldwide Youth Ambassador for the relief agency CARE. His first official act held special significance for the 17-year-old actor--a visit to his father’s homeland, Guatemala. “I feel fortunate to have achieved success in the United States,” Ponce said. “It makes me happy and proud to share my good fortune with the people of my father’s native land.”

Univision airs the second annual Premio Lo Nuestro May 24 from Miami. You may recall that Billboard magazine and Univision united last year to create the awards ceremony, which recognizes excellence in the Latin music industry. This year’s nominees for “Crossover Artist of the Year” are Gloria Estefan, Kaoma, Xuxa, Gypsy Kings and Eydie Gorme. Winners of the 18 award categories are selected in voting conducted among record retailers and program directors from Spanish-language stations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

La Toya Jackson, Michael and Janet’s singing sister just back from a mini-tour of Sweden, is set to make her movie debut in “Payback,” opposite Erik Estrada. The film begins shooting next month in New York. Estrada, of Puerto Rican heritage, currently appears in the feature film, “A Show of Force,” with Robert Duvall and Amy Irving.

Mariachi USA, the first mariachi festival to be held at the Hollywood Bowl, will bring Mexican rhythms to that famous outdoor amphitheater next month. The June 24 musical extravaganza will feature renowned mariachi groups, plus performances by Linda Ronstadt and Vikki Carr.


Universal Studios’ recent Telenovela Festival included appearances by Latino soap opera stars of the series “Rubi,” “Simplemente Maria” and “Dulce Desafio.” Part of the fun included scene re-enactments with members of the audience playing opposite their favorite star.