Juan Carlos Alanis, founder of Gente de Minnesota, founder of the blogs Tech Notas and Latino Gamers, and VP of business development for Latino Communications Network, passed away Tuesday at the age of 45. Alanis died from a heart attack, said his business partner Alberto Monserrate.
“I will remember him as a visionary who had one of the best marketing minds in the country on how to reach Latinos,” Monserrate said. “Throughout his life he was totally committed to improving the lives of and fighting for immigrant and LGBT communities.”
His passing has left the entire Hispanic communications and social media community reeling from the loss of a noted influencer.
“He was just a really nice guy,” says Lance Rios, founder of Being Latino. “Whenever I would see him at an event, he’d always want to connect to follow up with me. Even though we’d see each other once or twice a year, he made sure to always reach out to me one way or another every couple of weeks. The Latino blogger community has lost a genuinely great person.”
Alanis was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and graduated from Nuevo Leon State University with a degree in Computer Science. Later, he moved to Minnesota. It was there that he founded Gente de Minnesota, a newspaper devoted to the new Latino community of Minnesota.
When asked about why he started the newspaper, Alanis said, “I saw the opportunity to create a publication that truly reflected the interests and goals of the Latino community, particularly the immigrant; something that could unify and help our community to grow.”
Gente de Minnesota was eventually merged with the most recent newspaper acquisition of LCN, La Prensa de Minnesota.
In 2011, Alanis founded TechNotas.com and LatinoGamers.com, further cementing his role in the Hispanic community as a respected authority in the technology and gaming fields. Not even two years later, Tech Notas was providing content to about 30 Web sites and Hispanic newspapers.
Alanis was also a contributor to the Huffington Post, and he is survived by his husband, Rosbel Garza Cienfuegos, and their extended family.
There is no doubt that the Latino blogosphere, as well as the tech and gaming industry, has lost a dear friend and esteemed colleague.