My goodbye letter To Salsaweb

(Salsaweb had to replace me with SEVEN people!  Imagine that!)
This letter was written at the end of November, 2000.

Miami News

Miami Resources


Well, everyone, in the next few days you will see a new Miami site.  After 4 and 1/2 years and thousands of hours of volunteer work for Salsaweb, they are pulling some underhanded moves and replacing me.  I've heard this through the grapevine for a couple of months now, but in spite of my letter to the Salsa Freak herself, Edie Lewis, and a copy of it to the CEO, Mr. Leon Zemel and the Webmaster, Mr. Benjamin Rappoport, I have not even received the common courtesy of a response. So, I am moving on to greener pastures. Search the web... you will find me nearby!!!

To all my fans through the years, thank you for your support and letters.  You can reach me at from now on!

Now, here's my unanswered letter (it has been about a month now) [originally this letter was sent in October, 2000]:

Hi Edie,

As you may recall, four years ago I came across the Salsaweb while surfing the internet one night. At that time there wasn't much more on the Cityguides section except some club listings in New York, Washington and LA. So I decided to help out a little, and I cut and pasted the Latin Clubs listings from the Miami Herald site and sent it to you. You wrote back and asked if I would like to be the Local Correspondent for Miami, and that is how I got started with you and Salsaweb.

Over the years that list has expanded to include many more clubs, I put together a comprehensive list of salsa schools, and then I began to do artist interviews, a Local Events page, which is updated at least twice weekly, and concert reviews. Recently I created a new page of Favorite Places for visitors to check out, and facilitated some 300 free tickets to the Marc Anthony taping for the Red Cross Benefit Concert this past Wednesday night, to be shown on the Fox network as a Christmas Special on December 23rd.

I organized an international meeting of Salsaweb readers for the Calle Ocho event last March, as well as taking money from my own pocket to have t-shirts made for the event.

In addition, I created (through my own personal contacts) the local Cityguide pages for Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. I routinely update Sicily (Italy) and Spain and the Bahamas, as well as any multi-lingual postings for the website. In addition, I also supervise other Florida listings such as Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach, and all listings for the Caribbean.

Through all the years I have always supported the Salsa community in South Florida, and around the world, in a totally professional manner.

So why is it that I feel you are trying to pull the proverbial rug out from underneath my feet, after all I have done for you and Salsaweb? You no longer contact me to tell me you are coming into town... I hear it from others. What I am also hearing from others is that you are setting it all up to replace me with XXX and YYY. I have heard this from 4 different sources.... and some of these people have been directly contacted by you...this is not third party information.

What's up with this kind of underhanded business practice... is this how you "pay" someone who has selflessly committed thousands of hours of high quality work to your organization? Is this how you "thank" someone who has single-handedly built practically your entire Latin American Cityguide section, recruiting the local correspondents from my own personal contacts? If you have a problem with the quality of my work, why don't you come and talk to me directly and tell me what it is?

You should open up your eyes, Edie, and check out Miami a bit more thoroughly. You need to stop listening to XXX so much and get in contact with the many other excellent schools here. Salsa Racing, for instance, just got chosen to represent Miami in a huge event in Paris. Regnier's Dance Studio wins competitions over XXX and his folks all the time. The shows that they put on are very innovative and creative...leagues beyond what XXX does. There are so many really great schools in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and all you are familiar with is XXXX XXX, which is not the best, it is simply the most COMMERCIAL. I can personally testify that all the other schools get xxx'x students in droves...just as soon as they get fed up with the crowded classes, the lack of individual attention and the elitist attitude...and I'm only repeating what the students have told me when they leave there and go to other schools.

XXX'S "Modus Operandi" for years has been to try to squelch other schools, instead of using that same (negative) energy toward making Salsa grow for the entire community. If you put XXX in charge of the Salsaweb in Miami, you will have the entire community in an uproar because of his isolationist tactics. He is incapable of being impartial and fair. You have been so hoodwinked by XXX that you are out of touch with what is going on in Miami.

Please, Edie, try to contact some of these other schools, visit them, see what else is going on here. Don't try to impose the NY or LA style here (YYY is an awesome dancer, but she is just now taking Casino style salsa lessons from Carlos Telles of Salsa Heat Wave Dance Studios) The Miami style is unique and creative and dynamic, and valid in it's own right. Don't put someone in the position of being the Broward correspondent who doesn't even dance like the rest of the south Florida Community.... when in Rome, do as the Romans.

Ultimately, it is not my site, even though I have built a huge section of it for you. Do as you wish, but you may be very sorry if you continue down this particular path. The long term repercussions could be devastating for Salsaweb...and I'm not just talking about losing me as a Local Correspondent for Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and World Cityguide Supervisor for Latin America.

Since you are going to be in Miami, perhaps you could make the time to sit down and discuss this face to face with me, which I think is long overdue. Please give me a call at 954-XXX-XXXX.


Jacira Castro - Cityguide Editor,  Miami & Latin America
Jacira Castro