This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (January 2010)
Alvarado was born in New York City, New York. She first met her husband during the production of the 1988 film Salsa. In 1990, the couple wed. Rosa reignited his solo musical career in 1994 with the album Frio. That same year, the couple had their first child, Revel. Rosa continued producing albums for other artists while Alvarado remained dedicated to raising her son. By 2001, the couple had another son, Redamo. Alvarado returned to acting when she appeared in episodes of various U.S television series.
Alvarado is also the director of several of her husband's music videos, including "Madre Tierra", "Mas y Mas", "Lie Without a Lover", and "Dancing in the Rain". The last three videos come from the album Mad Love, released in 2004. Alvarado worked closely with her husband for the production of this record. In September 2004, alongside her husband, Alvarado won a Latin Grammy Award for the video "Mas y Mas".
Alvarado appeared in the 1993 film Judgment Night, the 1997 film Hollywood Confidential, in the 2001 tv movie Boss of Bosses (starring Chazz Palminteri) and in the 2007 drama Freedom Writers, playing the mother of April Lee Hernandez's character. In 2003 she was in the NBC series Kingpin as DEA agent Delia Flores.