Nuestra gente doesn’t play with superstitions. The groom seeing his bride in her dress before the wedding and Friday the 13th strokes of bad luck are small matters compared to what abuela warned us about.
No matter how busy we are with the kids or how little space there is in the conference room, we make sure to never put our purses on the floor. We’re terrified of losing all our money otherwise … plus it keeps our handbags super clean.
Ever woken up terrified after dreaming about your teeth falling? That’s because we remember those dreams are believed to be a sign that a family member is about to die. Raise your hand if this has proven to be true.
And what about La Mal Sal? Abuela said to never pass salt directly by hand but to instead set the salt shaker on the table before picking it up again. It’s puro bad luck otherwise.
These superstitions, er, safety tips are sacred. What are some superstitions your Latino family shares?
Why has Hispanic history been separated from American history in textbooks?
It’s no wonder we get frustrated that others don’t seem to grasp our key role in history.
In the 1830s, Mejicanos were concerned about Americans migrating to their country, causing a massive migration into Texas. This small segment of history clashes with the Anglo narrative that dominates history books.
America’s dark past of lynching Black people extended to Latinos who acted “too Mexican” by speaking Spanish, taking away jobs from Whites and refusing to leave land that Whites wanted. These lynchings took place across the Southwest and historians says it’s a mistake America prefers to keep hidden.
American history wouldn’t be what it is today without our gente, so let’s do our best to preserve it.
The United States tends to place all Latinos in one category but a new study reveals nuestra gente has as many differences as it does similarities, including when it comes to ethnic origin.
Latinos in America, a study headed by Gabriel Acevedo, a professor at St. Mary’s University and Kevin Stuart, executive director of the Austin Institute, finds that Latino identity is complex and is impacted by country of origin and how many generations their family has been in the U.S.
The study revealed that there is no one single Latino point of view when it comes to important issues like civic engagement, religion, marriage and abortion.
For example, non-Catholic Latinos are also a small sector of a greater Latino population that may not be as vocal as their Catholic counterparts but are still active in social and political circles.
Our rich diversity further proves that we are a force to be reckoned with today and well into the future as our population continues growing.
We’re proud of famed Latino directors and actors like Robert Rodriguez and Gina Rodriguez who challenge Hollywood’s Diversity Program. Fortunately, there are several emerging artists following in their footsteps and we’re so here for it.
Among these rising talents is Magdalena Albizu, whose documentary La Negrita, highlights the Afro-Latino experience in the U.S. She is asking for donations to finish filming and complete her much-needed project. https://negritadocumentary.wordpress.com/
Then there’s Rodrigo Reyes, an up-and-coming Mexican director who created Purgatorio, a documentary that portrays the U.S./Mexico border as a mythical place. As promising as his future may be in Hollywood, he still holds down a day job. https://wearemitu.com/mitu-world/15-latino-directors-challenging-hollywoods-huge-diversity-problem/
Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin alum Diane Guerrero is working her way to the A-list ranks. She is now starring in DC Universe’s Doom Patrol as Crazy Jane, a character who has to deal with 64 complex personalities with superpowers, including one who can teleport. https://www.facebook.com/DCUDoomPatrol/
The sky is the limit for these rising Hollywood stars. Who do you think is another emerging Latino star or director?
With technology and science constantly evolving, there is a great demand for STEM professionals and Latinos are jumping on the opportunity. Role models like Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina to go to space and lead a space station, are proof anything is possible.
Ochoa first traveled to space on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery. She mentors young children and encourages them to pursue their dreams no matter what. http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3753806
Zaida Hernandez-Irisson was the first in her family to go college and today works as an electrical engineer at Fisher, USA. She advises Latinos that whatever path they choose they stay true to their own self as that uniqueness will ultimately help them stand out. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/latino-engineers-want-encourage-more-pursue-stem-careers-n975691
Emmanuel Rivera, a mechanical engineer at John Deere, advocates for diversity and inclusion and mentors younger generations like other Latinos in STEM. Meanwhile, retired NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez had to try a whopping 11 times to become an astronaut, before finally being selected on his 12th attempt.
Hernandez and other STEM stars advise younger generations to get back up every time they fall.
It’s hard to argue against the fact that racism and hate-crimes against Latinos have increased since President Trump took office. The number of recent incidents has angered nuestra gente.
According to an FBI report, anti-Latino crime spiked by 24 percent since 2016, while major hate crimes grew across the board against religious and ethnic minorities. One of the most recent examples is in 2018 when a Latino mother and son who were doing yard work in California were verbally attacked by a racist woman who called them “rapists, animals and drug dealers.” The encounter went viral https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2019/02/hate-and-extremism-spikes-across-the-us-in-anti-latino-hate-crimes/
Hehsus Baeza, a bartender at a West Texas Mexican restaurant, was upset after finding a “tip note” from a customer that said the tip was to be used to build the wall between Mexico and the United States. Baeza used the experience to advocate for victims of discrimination to stand up for themselves and for everyone to treat others with respect. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/customer-allegedly-writes-build-fing-wall-now-mexican-restaurant-receipt-002641877.html
Latinos are regularly subjected to cruel and ignorant remarks from fellow Americans. But nowadays there is less tolerance for hate. Together we can stamp it out.
When it comes to fighting worthy causes, Latinas in the U.S. often get inspiration from women in Latin America. Today we’ll highlight three of them.
First is Puerto Rican Pure Belpré who worked for 45 years at New York City Public Library to diversify the audience the library reached. As the first Latina librarian there, she expanded programming and diversified literature.
Next is Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum, who grew up in Quiché culture, a Native branch of Mayan culture in Guatemala. She defended her land, fought for women and indigenous rights and formed WINAQ, the first indigenous-led party.
Then there’s Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, a Honduran environmental activist, indigenous leader, and co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. David Castillo Mejía, the executive president of the company building a dam which Cáceres campaigned against, was arrested in 2018 for her murder.
We are thankful to these incredible Latinas for fighting against injustices and making our world a better place for all.
Latinos are increasingly finding it harder to get back into the U.S. after traveling abroad. They report feeling discriminated against by Border Patrol agents based on their darker skin tone, Latino features, accent and Latin American passports.
Meanwhile, their lighter-skinned counterparts are getting processed more quickly and efficiently. Take the case of Ana Suda and Mimi Hernandez, who were born in Texas and California, respectively, but were still detained by Border Patrol agents in Montana. Their so-called crime? Speaking Spanish.
Social justice sued the agency on the women’s behalf but they say they were humiliated and no longer feel safe in their own country. They’re not the only ones who feel this way. Joining them is a 19-year-old Latino named Robert who in a study said a CBP Office of Field Operations officer mocked his heart issue which causes his hands to shake uncontrollably.
This increased scrutiny at the border is a result of President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Respect is a two-way street.
And while that may be true, that’s not keeping nuestra gente from practicing extra caution while traveling.
You may have heard the story of Lorena Bobbitt, the battered immigrant woman who famously cut off the penis of her abusive former husband…
Lorena’s story is widely-known thanks to a documentary series of the same name but there are many abused women with stories that will never see the light of day. Hundreds of women endure domestic abuse in pursuit of the American dream.
Melvin Griselda Cruz-Lopez, a Salvadoran woman held in a Texas detention center while worrying her young daughter is being abused by family in Chicago, is in danger of deportation at any moment. She spoke out against injustices -including lack of medical care- while in detention and her supporters believe the potential deportation is retaliative.
The good news is that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, there is a public outcry over cases like Lorena and Griselda’s. immigrant women need to feel they have a support network and proper legal recourse should they decide to escape their abuser, and we all need to do our part to help.
Immigrant advocacy groups and domestic abuse shelters are good places to seek help or shelter.
Many Americans believe that Mexican food is an accurate representation of our culinary dishes, but there’s much more to Latin cuisine!
Caribbean recipes from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, call for garlic and herbs such as cilantro over chili peppers. Seafood dishes are popular, mofongo and tostones are served daily, red beans are preferred to black and tropical fruits are regular staples.
Northern South America, which includes Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, relies on beef as the main protein. Ceviche-style dishes are common, as are vegetables made of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic, and side dishes such as white rice, black beans and plantains. Venezuelan and Colombian arepas and Ecuadorian and Peruvian boniato are go-to corn-based meals.
Steak, ribs, chorizo and sweetbread are prominent cuisine in Argentina and Uruguay. Paraguay enjoys serving up barbecue and yuca daily. Seafood dishes are a staple in Chile and Argentina. European influences can be found throughout the region including in pasta and empanada fillings.
Central America serves up pork, chicken and chorizo. Beans are small and red and usually whole, rice is white and favorite sides include yuca, sweet potatoes, tropical fruit, tortillas and ripe plantains for breakfast.
Latin cuisine has something for everyone’s palate!