Remembering El Chavo Del Ocho

It’s difficult trying to describe the nostalgic bliss that comes whenever I hear the “El Chavo’s” theme song on TV. The appropriately titled song, “The Elephant Never Forgets” by Jean Jacques Perrey, can take whoever grew up with the series back to their childhood. Forty years after El Chavo Del Ocho’s inception, it continues to warm the hearts of Spanish-speakers. Following the recent death of Roberto Gómez Bolaños, the creator of El Chavo Del Ocho, we decided to review the different aspects that make this show so magical.

The History of the Show:

El Chavo Del Ocho was a Televisa-produced thirty minute sitcom that aired from 1973-1980. The show featured the antics of the orphan El Chavo and company in their fictional home of the “vecendida,” which was a low-income housing unit. El Chavo was an eight-year-old boy that liked to hang out inside a barrel. Around him, the characters would have their storylines. The composition of the El Chavo Del Ocho differed from other family-oriented shows because the children were impersonated by adults. Regardless of acting choices, the actors were wonderfully over the top. The kids would throw throw tantrums, act out, act envious, etc.. The adults would fall in love, teach the children a lesson, or annoy the children.

The character “El Chavo” was first introduced in 1971 on The Chespirito Show. The series and character was created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños (A.K.A. “Chespirito”). Even though the other characters that Chespirito had created were popular, the first sketch that featured El Chavo, La Chilindrina, and Don Ramón was revolutionary. The sketch used a low-income fictional housing unit, the vecendidad, as its stage. This scene resonated more with underprivileged families than the popular soap-operas of the day did because soap operas were often portrayed Anglo-Saxon actors whose struggles were solely exclusive to the upper class.

When Bolaños was offered the chance to introduce “El Chavo” as a thirty-minute television show to the public in 1973, he ended his variety show. El Chavo Del Ocho was then made into the well-known sitcom. From there Chespirito (as El Chavo) produced the show’s content alongside Florinda Diaz (Doña Florinda), Ramón Valdés (Don Ramón), Carlos Villagrán (Quico), María Antonieta de las Nieves (La Chilindrina), Rubén Aguirre (Señor Jirafeles), Édgar Viva (El Señor Barrage), and Angelines Fernández (Doña Clotilde).

Over the course of seven years, eight seasons, and two hundred and ninety episodes El Chavo Del Ocho ended it’s television run. However it to continued to exist within Latino popular culture by syndication, that means it was put on reruns. The show has been syndicated since 1992 and according to Forbes Magazine the show has earned an estimated $1.7 Billion in syndication fees as of 2012.

Animated for a New Generation:

El Chavo Del Ocho’s magic was also brought into the new millennial by it’s animated spin-off, El Chavo Animado. The show started in 2006 and has produced seven seasons and 139 episodes. It featured all the characters animated, with the exception of la Chilindrina. The reason for this is that María Antonieta de las Nieves, the actress who portrayed the character, believed that she had a legal claim to the character. Since this dispute couldn’t be settled, Chespirito replaced her with Popis, Quico’s cousin who is portrayed by Florida Díaz.

There are many fans of El Chavo Del Ocho throughout the world. It was a large hit within the Spanish-speaking countries from Latin America, South America, Mexico, Spain, and some parts of the United States with predominately Hispanic roots.

Growing Up with El Chavo:

Even though I haven’t taken the time to watch an episode of El Chavo Del Ocho recently, I can bust out the lyrics to “Que. Bonita Vecindad” on cue. This show has had a large effect on me while growing up. I used to try to imitate Quico’s or the Chilindrina’s brattiness just for fun. That is what happens when you’re raised in a Mexican-American household in the 1990s. My first language was Spanish. I watched dubbed versions of cartoons in Spanish. El Chavo Del Ocho was one of the few shows that I watched that was made for the language that I was used to. It was also the first show that made me interested in satire.

It’s crazy that even though I was born in 1995, fifteen years after the show had ended, reruns of the show caused me to have a similar connection that my parents had with the show. I asked my mom to comment on the show’s effect on her life and she said this.

“I was raised with this show as it was going on. There have been people in my life whom I’ve related to Don Ramón, or Quico. When I was ten, I dressed up as la Chilindrina, and won the best costume award. This show is loved in Mexico. It might be called the Mexican-version of The Brady Bunch except that it is still applicable to other Spanish-speaking generations.

El Chavo Del Ocho is one of the most wonderful shows of all time. Regardless of generational gaps, Spanish-speakers continue to love this show by it’s running gags, quirky characters, and emotional stories. It’s a shame that Roberto Gómez Bolaños passed away on November 28, 2014, at the age of 85. His art as a comedian influenced many generations of Spanish-speaking individuals. When it was first shown, this show practically raised my parents. Through syndication, people like me got to experience the magic for themselves. And, through creation of the animated version of the show these characters will continue to amuse more generations of Latinos. El Chavo Del Ocho will always be able to can make us feel like kids again.

Latina Authors You Should Know About

Julia de Burgos was a Puerto Rican poet who lived from February 17, 1914 to July 6, 1953. In addition to being a poet she was an advocate of Puerto Rico Independence and a civil rights activist for women and Afro-Caribbean writers. A celebrated poet, her most famous poem was “El Río Grande de Loíza” in where she personifies the river as a liberator. Julia de Burgos even had a position of power as the Secretary General of the Daughters of Liberty within the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

 

Pat Mora is a writer of poetry, nonfiction and children’s books and an advocate of childhood literacy in Spanish speaking communities. She was born in January 19, 1942 in El Paso, TX. She got a a Master of Arts from The University of Texas at El Paso and has obtained two Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and the University of Buffalo. Her works are often themed at addressing Mexican American border relations.

 

Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American writer who has received critical acclaim by her memoire book, “How the García Girls Lost their Accents” (1991). She was born in New York on March 27, 1950, however she was raised in Dominican Republic for the first ten years of her life. She came from a wealthy family and was forced to relocate when her family participated in a failed attempt to overthrow the dictator Rafael Trujillo. She received her Masters from Syracuse University in 1975. Her writing style includes a hybrid of English and Spanish words and her literary works are themed of assimilation and incorporation. For this she is highly regarded as one of the most important Latina writers from the 20th century.

 

Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American writer who is mostly known for her critically acclaimed coming-of-age novel, “The House on Mango Street” (1984). She was born on December 20, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. While growing up, her family kept close transnational ties with family members from Mexico, for this reason she always found it hard to assimilate or to connect with one sole culture. She received her Bachelors from Loyola University in 1976 and her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 1978. Her books have helped young Mexican-Americans find the best cultural identification in a world that only allows them to pick one.

 

Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American novelist and short-story writer who is well-known for her magic-realist themed books like “The House of the Spirits” (1982) and “City of Beasts” (2002). She was born on August 2, 1942 in Lima, Peru to Chilean parents. Her father was at the time of her birth the second Secretary of the Chilean Embassy. When she was three, her father was kidnapped. Her mother then moved Allende’s siblings and her to Santiago, Chile. Her mother then remarried a future Chilean ambassador of Argentina. Isabel Allende was a well-read woman who knew how to speak English and Spanish. She married young and had two children. Isabel Allende’s daughter passed away in 1992 due to rare enzyme disorder. She wrote her heartbreaking narrative “Paula” in her daughter’s honor.

 

Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean poet, diplomat, educator and feminist. She was born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga on April 7, 1889. She was raised in a small and poor Andean village in Montegrande, and was taught at school by her oldest sister. After the formal education was completely she was allowed to become a teacher in 1900. At fifteen years old, she fell in love with a railway worker who later killed himself. This affected the nature of her poetry for the rest of her life. She climbed up the latter as an educator and poet and in 1921, she defeated the incumbent of the Radical Party, Josefina Dey del Castillo. Mistral was then named Director of Santiago’s Liceo. In addition to her time in public service she wrote two Poetry anthologies. She was the first Latin-American and fifth woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Gabriela Mistral passed away in January 10, 1957.

 

Denise Chavez is an Mexican-American playwright. She was born on November 8, 1953 in Las Cruces, NM. She received her Bachelors from New Mexico State University and Masters of Fine Arts from Trinity University. Her most notable play is Novitiates (1971). Denise Chavez received the Rockefeller Playwright Fellowship in 1985.

 

Ana Castillo is a Chicana writer. She was born to Mexican-American parents on June 15, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. Her works often depict Socio-Political commentary on race and gender. Ana Castillo’s first book “The Mixquiahuala Letters”, received critical acclaim with a Carl Sandburg Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry.

 

Esmeralda Santiago is a Puerto Rican novelist, activist, and former actress. She was born on May 17, 1948 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Esmeralda Santiago’s book “When I was Puerto Rican” (1993) which detailed her home life in Puerto Rico.

Super Women On Screen

Super women are coming to a screen near you. Superheroes are really big right now. From Captain America and Spiderman on the big screen to Arrow and The Flash getting their own TV shows, these crime fighting men are everywhere. There’s clearly something missing though. Where are all of the women? Saving the world isn’t just for the guys.

Luckily, Hollywood is slowing getting the memo. There has been a recent upsurge of movies and shows featuring female superheroes coming to the big and small screen. Here is the rundown on these super women’s new films and where you can find them in the comic books. Because the book are always better than the movies anyway, right?

Captain Marvel

With no relation to Captain America, Captain Marvel is the alias of Carol Danvers—a NASA employee turned superhuman. Growing up, Carol dreamed of attending college to become an astronaut. Her father refused to pay for her education because she was a woman although she was the smartest of her siblings. She decided to prove him wrong. Carol joined the Air Force and quickly moved up the ranks until she was approached by NASA to become their head of security.

She lived her dream until an encounter with an alien race gave her superhuman strength, the ability to fly and shoot light beams out of her hands. She is a fan favorite and even goes on to lead The Avengers for some time. Her movie isn’t set to come out until 2018, so in the meantime, you can find her in her comic books. Start with issue #1 of the Captain Marvel 2012 series.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a longtime symbol for female strength and empowerment in the pop culture universe. She is the daughter of an Amazon queen and the Greek god Zeus. Her story begins when she travels to America with a man that crash lands on her island. She decides to stay to protect all of love and humanity.

Wonder Woman is the definition of confidence and strength. You can see her heroics in the upcoming Wonder Woman film as well as the Justice League movie. Actress Gal Gadot will be donning her famous gold gauntlets and Lasso of Truth. Read about Wonder Woman’s exciting adventures in the New 52 version of the Wonder Woman series.

Sue Storm

Sue Storm is one-fourth of the Fantastic Four. She’s the only woman on the team, but she does a good job of showing just how powerful she is. She wasn’t born The Invisible Woman. Sue had to raise her brother at a young age. One day she befriends a scientist who takes them both into outer space. There they are dosed with cosmic rays and gain powers. That’s how the Fantastic Four was formed.

Sue is definitely a team player. She uses her power of invisibility to save the world. But she has even needed to save her own team. In one story line, Reed Richards, the scientist, turns bad and she has to lead the Fantastic Four to save him from himself. She always looks out for the ones she cares about. The Fantastic Four Ultimate series is a great place to learn more about her.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones isn’t coming to the big screen, but to the computer screen. Set to be a new Netflix series, Jessica Jones is a different kind of superhero. Jessica got her powers after her family was in a car accident with a truck carrying radioactive materials. After struggling to accept her superhuman strength as a teenager, she took comfort and gained confidence in knowing she could her power to do good in the world.

AKA Jessica Jones will pick up after she has hung up her superhero cape and opened a detective agency instead. She helps superheroes and normal humans solve crimes. You can check out Kristen Ritter’s performance of Jessica Jones later this spring. Until then, you can follow some of her cases in the Jessica Jones comic series.

Supergirl

Yes, she is related to Superman. Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin that crash lands on Earth after her home planet is destroyed. She hides her powers for some time but decides to embrace them as a young adult to protect the world.

Kara is set to face some pretty big villains from the comic book universe. While you’re waiting for Glee’s Melissa Benoist to bring the character to life on CBS, check out her in Showcase Presents Supergirl: Volume 1.

It’s about time these super women get some screen time. Comic books aren’t just for boys, and neither is saving the world. Hopefully Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel are only the first of many female superheroes we can get excited about. Until then, we have a few more powerful women paving the way for equality in Hollywood.

Latinas to Know in the World Cup

Women’s soccer is a growing sport. soccer photo 2The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. But it wasn’t until 1991 that women got the chance to participate. This year, Canada will host the seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup. Women from all over the world will show off their skills including some very talented Latina players. Here are some of the women creating buzz and names you are sure to hear a lot.

 

Marta Vieira da Silva – Brazil

This 5 time FIFA World Player of the Year has played for the Brazil national team since 2002.  Marta plays as forward and is at the top of the Women’s World Cup goal scorer list. She was drafted to play for a professional league at the age of 14 and has managed to make herself internationally renowned since then.

Charlyn Corral – Mexico

Charlyn will be playing for the Mexican national team in her second World Cup. She is relatively new to the cup scene, but she no stranger to soccer. She began playing for the Mexico Under-21 team at the age of 14. The striker was recently signed to a Finnish senior team in 2014.

Cecilia Santiago – Mexico

Celcilia is only 20, but is already working on her second World Cup. She made her debut during the 2011 World Cup as the youngest goalkeeper ever. Speaking of new faces, Cecilia just began her senior club career in 2010 and has played for two club teams since. Her success at record-breaking young ages has caused sports fans to take notice, and she still has room for several more World Cups.

Cristiane Rozeira – Brazil

Cristiane began playing as a forward for the Brazil national team in 2006. This will be the 29-year-olds fourth World Cup. At the club level, she has played for six different countries. She has scored over 70 goals during her career and holds the record as the woman to score the fastest hat trick in Olympic history.

Yoreli Rincon – Colombia

Yoreli joined the Colombian national team in 2010 and is working on her second World Cup. No stranger to competition the midfielder has played for six club teams since age 12.  She impressed soccer fans recently with her performance at the 2014 Copa America by coming out as their top goal scorer.

Gloriana Villalobos – Costa Rica

This Costa Rican midfielder is only 15, but has been playing for a club team since 2012. Last year, was a big one for Gloriana. She joined the senior national team and scored a goal that helped Costa Rica’s national team move up the qualification ranks to the World Cup.

Vanessa Arauz – Ecuador

Vanessa isn’t actually a player, but she is the coach of Ecuador’s women’s national team. At only 26 years old, she spent the last few years quickly working her way up the coaching ladder. She is the first woman to graduate with a coaching degree in Ecuador.  She is outspoken about the lack of respect for women in soccer in Ecuador and how that only feeds her desire to succeed.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup starts in June, so you still have time to find your favorite team. No matter who you root for, you’ll be supporting some very talented women.

Take the Field with New Sports

SportStaying active is important to your health, no matter what time of year it is.  The Federal Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people participate in a physical activity for at least sixty minutes a day. Sometimes that can feel hard to do. Whether it’s too cold to go outside, your favorite sport is out of season, or you’re getting tired of the same old routine, try a sport that is a little off the beaten path. The best things in life are always a little wacky.

Kickball

This is a game for fans of baseball and softball. The rules are very similar. There are four bases and a pitcher’s mound. A pitcher rolls a kickball to the person at home and they try to kick far enough to have time to make it to the next base. If the defense catches the ball or tags them with it, that’s an out. The familiar rules make it easy for anyone to join in.

“Another organization challenged my national honor society group to a game of kickball once and it got very competitive,” said Mariah Cruz, age 19. “It felt like I was just hanging out with friends and I had a lot of fun.”

Some areas have community leagues. You can stay active and meet some people who live in your neighborhood.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is basically football and Frisbee combined. A regulation field is 70 yards long, but can be adjusted to any space constraints. The important thing is that there are two goal lines on either side of the field.

To start, the offense throws the Frisbee to the offense while each team stands at their end zones. The offensive player must throw the Frisbee to someone else on their team. When someone is holding the Frisbee they cannot move and they only have ten seconds to make the pass. No extra steps or running with the Frisbee. The defense tries to intercept the Frisbee, but physical contact with other players is not allowed. No tackling! When the Frisbee is caught by someone in their end zone then that team scores. Rules are enforced by the players and honesty and fairness is a big part of the sport.

Rock Climbing

A fear of heights isn’t the only challenge to this sport. Lifting yourself up a rock wall is a lot of work! Arm, leg, and ab muscles help you climb and keep your hold. You don’t have to go out and find a cliff to scale either. Some gyms have rock walls as well as entertainment centers. Safety harnesses and shoes are provided some places and help keep you safe. If you do have a fear of heights, this might be a good place to start. You can rock climb alone or take a friend along and see who can ring the bell at the top first.

“For me, rock climbing isn’t a sport–it’s a way to conquer my fear of heights,” shared Chin Lin Pan, age 21. “It’s scary, especially once you’re halfway up the wall, but it’s rewarding once you get all the way up to the top.”

Quidditch

Yes, that magical sport from the “Harry Potter” series is real. No one is actually flying around, but there are brooms involved.

“My college has a quidditch team and it is really intense,” shared Amanda Rubio, 20. “I am a huge ‘Harry Potter’ fan, and I love that this sport became a real thing.”

In quidditch, there are three chasers who score with a volleyball, two beaters who defend the chasers with the three kickballs, and a keeper who guards the goals at each end. Everyone runs around on broomsticks and the game ends when the person dressed as a golden snitch is caught by a seeker. Grab some friends or see if your town is one of the many communities with a quidditch league.

Social Dancing

You may not think that dancing is a sport, but look at “Dancing with the Stars.” It can get competitive and is a good exercise. There are competitions for everything from salsa and tango to the waltz and the polka. If you want to get started or are looking for something with less pressure, social dance nights are fun.

Different dance-oriented organizations host special dance nights where you can go out and learn a new skill. If you don’t know anything about these dances, that’s okay! Many places have free lessons, so you can pick up the basic steps.

Next time you’re in a rut, go out and give one of these sports a try. No matter what your interests are, there is a sport out there for you to try. As long as you are moving and having fun, you are on your way to staying healthy.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire’s Audrey Ramirez

Warning: Spoilers ahead

We have Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, and now Elsa and Anna. These gals are the most prominent faces for young girls and their Disney princess movie infatuations. These animated women transform into their role models and embody what they foresee as beauty and the ideal woman.

With this in mind, Disney has taken steps to add diversity to their collection – like The Princess and the Frog - and even opened up “true love” to include family – yes, we are looking at you Brave and Frozen! But this new and necessary transformation has many waiting for the Latina princess, especially after the controversy with Sofia the Firsta TV series on Disney Channel that was revealed that the young princess is not actually “Latina.”

Audrey-atlantis-photo-450x370-pr-amrks9sm1However, between the anticipating and controversies for the Latina princess that young girls can idolize and relate to, why has no one acknowledged Audrey Rocio Ramirez from Disney’s Atlantis?

Atlantis: The Lost Empire was released in 2001 and follows a young man and his crew on an expedition to find the lost city of Atlantis. The crew, composed of unique and interesting individuals, includes a Latina, Audrey Ramirez. Audrey Ramirez is a sixteen years old engineer with a big personality. She’s tough, sarcastic, sassy, and intelligent. Breaking all stereotypes for women, she’s a tomboy that loves to get her hands dirty and very skilled in auto mechanics.

Throughout the movie you learn more about the young engineer, such as how she honed her skills while helping her dad at his Auto Repair Shop at age five. Also, she reveals that her sister is a boxer with a shot at the title. In a touching conversation with Milo, the protagonist, she even shares that with the money they’ll receive from the expedition, she plans to open up her own high end repair show with her father. Through this interaction and other mentions throughout the film, her love and pride of her family is unmistakable.

Another notable aspect of this character is her compassion for friends despite her tough exterior. Both young in age, she connects well with Milo and jokes around a lot with the crew. In a series of unfortunate events that causes her and the crew’s loyalties to be skewed, she is the first to feel guilt on turning on her friend and returns to her loyalties.

“I think people always forget about Atlantis [the movie]because it’s not a big princess movie, but it is a great movie for any gender or any age!” 18-year-old Reana Chavez said. “I liked Audrey’s character a lot – she was my favorite! She’s so spunky and tough and it doesn’t matter if she’s not a princess. She’s different and more relateable to me.”

Audrey Ramirez’s tanned skin, big brown eyes, and black hair does not mislead her culture. Her subtle accent and Bronx attitude does not deceive the audience. She is a Latina and she is strong. Always donning a white shirt and blue overalls – however, cleans up nicely at an award ceremony – she’s young, beautiful, and innovative.

The teenage female mechanic is a grease monkey within a Disney world of pink dresses, endless ruffles, fairy godmothers, handsome princes, and fancy balls. Her attitude and perspective is modern and competes with the rebellious princesses, such as Mulan and Merida. She demonstrates that girls can succeed in STEM and compete with the boys – forget the crown.

Audrey Rocio Ramirez may not be a princess, but her character is undeniably role model worthy for young girls.

Quiz: What’s Your Learning Style?

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Have you ever studied intensely for a test but were extremely disappointed when you received your grade back? Don’t fret, chica! We have all been there. Instead of going out and buying a pint of ice cream to cure your study blues, take a moment to fill out this quiz and learn some techniques that will help you take your next exam by storm.

1. Where do you prefer to sit in class?

A. In the front row so I can see the board clearly.

B. It doesn’t matter as long as I can hear the teacher.

C. Towards the back so I have a good view of everything.

 

2. What past time do you prefer?

A. Watching my favorite tv shows and movies.

B. Listening to my favorite music.

C. Sports or any type of physical activity.

 

3. When I study I like to  ____________.

A. Be alone in a quiet area/

B. Be in a group.

C. Play games that reinforce the material.

 

4. If I’m trying to remember something I like to ____________.

A. Write it down over and over.

B. Record it and listen to it over and over.

C. Write it down and read it aloud over and over.

 

5. What subject is your favorite?

A. Spelling

B. Foreign Language

C. Science

 

6. When you first meet someone, what do you remember about them the most?

A. Appearance

B.  Name

C. Personality

 

7. How do you get your news?

A. I scroll through online content.

B. I like to listen to it on the radio.

C. I like to flip through a news paper or magazine.

 

8. What word best describes you?

A. Artistic

B. Listener

C. Active

 

9. How would you describe your style?

A. Very colorful, my style is always changing.

B. I like to keep up with trends.

C. I like comfort.

 

If you answered mostly A, you are a visual learner.

Visual learners grasp concepts best by seeing the material. You excel at spelling and like colors and fashion.

Study tips for visual learners:

  •          Study in a quiet area
  •          Create outlines and diagrams when taking notes
  •          Use highlighters, circle words and underline when reading
  •          Watch videos that reinforce the concepts
  •          Make color coded flashcards

 

If you answered mostly B, you are an auditory learner.

Auditory learners grasp concepts best through hearing things. You are good at remembering names. You are not afraid to speak up in class, and you also really enjoy music.

Study tips for auditory learners:

  •          Form study groups
  •          Record lectures
  •          Play word association games
  •          Read assignments and directions out loud
  •          Create rhymes

 

If you answered mostly C, you are a physical learner.

Physical learners grasp concepts by experiencing or doing things. You can’t sit still for long periods of time, and you enjoy adventure books and movies.

Study tips for physical learners:

  •          Take breaks when reading and studying
  •          Role play
  •          Go on field trips
  •          Use flash cards
  •          Draw pictures in your notes to reinforce material

 

Sometimes you can by a hybrid between two different learning techniques, so don’t be afraid to try out study habits from different learning styles. Test these tips and adjust them to your study habits and prepare to be amazed. Happy studying, chicas!

Quiz: Which Latina Actress Are You Like?

film-reel-2Ten years ago, Hollywood was a place of limited opportunities for Hispanic actors, where most roles fell under stereotypical Latino portrayals. Since then, times have changed to where Latina actresses are making their presence known to mass audiences through not only snagging lead roles but through empowering their fan bases to be bold, ambitious individuals who stay connected to their culture.

1. How would you describe yourself?
A) Artistic

B) Energetic

C) Smart

D) Caring

 

2. How would your friends describe you?

A) Creative

B) Hilarious

C) Loyal

D) Adventurous

 

3. If you were a Disney princess, who would you be?

A) Mulan from Mulan 

B) Ariel from The Little Mermaid 

C) Belle from Beauty and the Beast 

D) Jasmine from Aladdin

 

4. One life goal you have is to:

A) Learn a foreign language

B) Be a star

C) Write a book

D) Make a difference

 

5. Pick your favorite subject:

A) Art

B) P.E.

C) English

D) History

 

6. If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?

A) Start a business

B) Go traveling

C) Give to family

D) Donate to charity

 

7. How do you make yourself feel better after a tough day?

A) Express it by writing, drawing, singing, dancing, etc.

B) Talk about it with friends or family.

C) Have quiet, alone time to relax.

D) Go out for a walk/run or for fresh air.

 

8. What is your spirit animal?

A) Owl

B) Peacock

C) Elephant

D) Dolphin

 

9. Which singer inspires you?

A) Taylor Swift

B) Selena Gomez

C) Ariana Grande

D) Demi Lovato

 

10. What activity are you most likely to join?

A) School newspaper

B) School play

C) Sports team

D) Volunteer club

 

No matter their differences in background, acting choices or lifestyle, they are Latinas who have worked towards building their reputation as respectable, accomplished women. While we have seen them in movies, TV shows and commercials, they are more than pretty faces. They are inspirational figures, in their own respects, for younger generations in the Latino community.

 

Mostly A: Rosario Dawson
You are warm, compassionate and an independent spirit. You have a unique intelligence, creative talents and a love of knowledge. Your friends and family think of you as dependable, patient, and down to earth. When things are tough, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

 

Mostly B: Sofia Vergara
You are a lively person who enjoys being active and having fun with friends and family. You speak your mind and aren’t afraid to try something new or do the right thing, no matter what people think. People like to be around you because of your motivating, fun attitude. You like to look at things a different way and aren’t afraid of exploring out-of-the-ordinary things.

 

Mostly C: America Ferrera
You’re a strong, kind and dependable person who believes in working hard and finding success. People trust you and respect the attitude that you have towards your goals. You have natural leadership skills, which prompt you to take the initiative in everything you do and believe in always having the freedom to express yourself. You see challenges as exciting and have a fearless attitude about diving into something new.

 

Mostly D: Eva Longoria
You’re generous, supportive and honest to others. You are realistic about situations and have a strong will of thinking about your own life decisions. You are aware of other people’s feelings and take them into consideration, along with your natural instincts. Because of your imaginative nature, you excel in creative situations and never lose sight of doing the right thing.

Review: Book of Life

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Director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo Del Toro center the story plot, animation and characters on Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday, which is celebrated on November 1 throughout Latin America. This festivity celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed away with parties and activities that serve to recognize death as a natural part of life, and also as a way to invite spirits to return from their eternal sleep and join their families in the celebrations.

The film follows the story of three childhood amigos who are caught in a love triangle. Manolo (voiced by Diego Luna) is a tender-hearted hero who comes from a long line of champion bullfighters but finds his true passion in playing his guitar. Then we have Joaquin (voiced by Channing Tatum), a macho-man bandit rustler with medals around his neck and pride in his stride. These childhood friends vie for the love of Maria (Zoe Saldana), the smart and multi-talented daughter of the general who runs their village of San Angel.

All the while, two spirit forces watch over the trio and over their magical lands, a part of the story that taps into Mexican mythology surrounding the Day of the Dead. La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), ruler of the Land of the Remembered, roots for Manolo to win the heart of Maria while Xibalba (Ron Perlman), who rules over the Land of the Forgotten, believes Joaquin will win her heart.

As a result, Manolo is sent on an adventure through the whimsical lands and encounters a series of challenges along the way to seek Maria, who has fallen into a “Sleeping Beauty”-style slumber. Meanwhile, their village of San Angel is being threatened by Chakal, a metallic monster bandit with a gang of thieves.

Throughout the film, the Día de los Muertos theme is embraced through the vibrant characters and settings that have the most familiar symbol of the holiday with calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls). Mexican folk art inspires much of the animation, filling the screen with eye-popping colors and details. While the plot itself has been seen before, the visuals and the worlds seen in the film resemble a Day of the Dead themed “Candyland” setting, which is sure to keep the audience pleased.

The characters of Manolo and Joaquin represent positive human qualities such as nobility and self-sacrificial love. While Maria holds an empowering image for the main female role as a headstrong martial arts expert and bookworm, she falls under the “damsel in distress” role at one point and has to be saved by her hero. However, most of her character is positively depicted as an independent woman who is free to make her own choices.

Throughout the film, the significance of Día de los Muertos is constantly being portrayed through the adventures of the three amigos and the spiritual beings that influence their worlds. This multi-tiered plot takes the audience through the general cultural customs of Day of the Dead through acts that include the tales of life after death, good forces of nature over evil and the pursuit of staying close to loved ones who have influenced your world, long after leaving the human realm.

Review: Juanes Concert

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Written by Lucero Estrella

As a kid growing up in a border city, I was constantly exposed to Spanish music from different Latin American artists on the local and Mexican radio stations.  Among the mix of songs and artists on the radio was one amazing superstar from Medellín, Columbia, Juan Esteban Vásquez, more commonly known as Juanes.  With his mixtures of Latin rock and pop, Juanes has conquered the hearts of many people around the world with his music– and the 16 million of copies CDs sold, two Grammys, and 19 Latin Grammys are there to prove it.

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Being at the first weekend Austin City Limits (ACL) festival on Saturday, October 4, took me back to my childhood.  Juanes shared the stage with his group and constantly changed guitars to perform both old and new music. He played his new hits, “Loco de Amor,” “Mil Pedazos,” and “La Luz,” as well as older songs like “La Paga” and “Me Enamora,” and the popular hit “A Dios le Pido.” The moment that Juanes stepped on stage and began signing “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor,” I felt goose bumps all over my body.   Standing in the front rows next to people singing and dancing along to Juanes’ songs was an unforgettable experience.

Juanes finished his performance with a surprising cover of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ “Could You Be Loved,” and then closed the night with one of his most popular hits, “La Camisa Negra. ” This left the crowd begging for an encore — me included.  After the performance, I waited with a crowd of fans to catch a glimpse of Juanes backstage, and I was lucky enough to stand less than a foot away from him and snap a few pictures.

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Being able to see Juanes live was a million times better than listening to him on my CD player — for the younger readers, an old-school device before the iPod.  His voice, appearance, and presence made me feel like a child once again. I can’t wait for Juanes to return to Austin so I can watch him once more.

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