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After Chanel Perfume, Brad Pitt Now Hocking Cadillacs In China



BEIJING - From Brangelina to Bradillac? You have to be in China, but car lovers and movie fans now have a new automotive pinup after Brad Pitt was named official spokesman for the luxury Cadillac XTS sedan, being rolled out especially for the Chinese market.

The parent company of the Cadillac brand, Shanghai GM, is betting big on Pitt's star power. Cadillac only sold 30,000 cars in the Chinese market last year, well behind other premium carmakers such as Audi, BMW, and Volvo.

Beijing's Economic Observer reports that several more Chinese automobile companies are now negotiating with other A-list Hollywood stars to endorse their cars. Last year, Volvo hired Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American NBA basketball star, as the latest celeb to tout Western wares, becoming the face of the VOLVO S60.

Economic Observer notes that the company that attaches the greatest importance to celebrity endorsement is Mercedes-Benz China, which has signed up George Clooney, Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant.

Brad Pitt, himself, made advertising waves last year by becoming the first man to hock Chanel perfume. A true Oscar-caliber performance...?

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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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