Latina Musicians

Music2We are currently jamming out to these Latina musicians. Who is your favorite? 

Buffalo Moon/Monella

Buffalo Moon is also known as Monella. She has an eccentric music style, which is a combination of pop, old rock and Latino influence. Buffalo Moon sings in both English and Spanish so you have a wide variety of songs and rhythm combined with 2 amazing languages. With topics such as relationships and personal experiences, Buffalo Moon has captivated the music industry by sharing stories about her life. 

Check out: “Machista” & “Poolside Dreaming”

Esperanza Spalding

With African and Hispanic ascendency, Esperanza Spalding is a singer and bass player who has centered her music in jazz. Her voice is sweet and powerful, and her ability to play the bass/double bass on stage gives her performance something exceptional. Songs about relationships and being proud of who you are are abundant in Esperanza’s discography. 

Check out: “I Can’t Help It” & “Black Gold”

Raquel Sofia

Originally from Puerto Rico, Raquel Sofia  sings in Spanish and has a wonderful sound that makes you want to dance and wish you had her voice at the same time. Raquel has a wide variety of songs suitable for many situations you’ve probably experienced before. 

Check out: “Te Amo Idiota” & “Agridulce”

Natalia Lafourcade

Born in Mexico, Natalia has been in the music industry for many years, and has explored different styles, worked as a producer and has performed in a group and as a solo artist. Natalia is full of surprises; she has released many songs with artists from different genres.  Her pop/rock style is worth a listen!

Check out: “Hasta La Raiz” & “El Amor Acaba”

Latinas in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Screen-Shot-2014-08-16-at-5.45.26-pm-1There has not been a large variety of leading Latinas in television shows. If a show has a Latina actress, one assumes she is there for diversity instead of representation. And shows having two leading Latina actresses are even more rarer. Suddenly in the fall of 2013, FOX unveiled its new comedy about the crazy antics of police detectives working for a fictional Brooklyn Precinct, Brooklyn Nine Nine. Created by two writers who had previously worked for The Office and Parks and Recreation, Dan Goor and Michael Shur. Brooklyn Nine Nine has won two Golden Globes so far due to its witty script, character development, and all star cast. The cast has a variety of actors with different ethnic and career backgrounds. Including comedy veterans like Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio, and Terry Crews or dramatic actors like Andre Braugher. However, Brooklyn Nine Nine‘s most representational casting choice came when they cast two up-and-coming Latina actresses, Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz.

Melissa Fumero, or formerly known as Melissa Gallo, was born on August 19, 1982 in New Jersey to Cuban parents. Her parents are first generation Cuban immigrants. She was formally trained to become an actress, receiving her Bachelors degree in Drama from New York University in 2003. Fumero is mostly known for her role of “Adriana Cramer” in the Soap Opera One Life to Live from 2004-2011. While working for the soap opera she met David Fumero whom Melissa Fumero married in 2007. She also has had a small supporting role in Gossip Girl. It wasn’t until 2013 when she proved that her acting range was not solely dramatic.

 Stephanie Beatriz was born on February 10, 1981, in Argentina to a Bolivian-American mother and a Columbian-American father. Even though she has a large variety of Latino roots in her, she was raised in Webster, Texas. She graduated from Stephens College in 2002. It wasn’t until 2010 when she got her big break with a small role in the independent movie “Short Term 12”. From there she was attained a small role in Modern Family and eventually was able to get her current role as the short-tempered yet tough Rosa Diaz in Brooklyn Nine Nine.

In an interview with Front Row Live Entertainment, Stephanie Beatriz was asked about what it feels to be a successful Latina actress within Brooklyn Nine Nine. She exclaimed. “I’m not doing an accent of any kind, I’m playing this great strong woman character, and there is another Latina on the show too. It’s not just one of us. That felt like a success to me.”

Spotlight: Latina Artist, Author, and Poets

Art is a lifestyle of hard work, dedication, and creativity. These outstanding mujeres make it look so easy.

Rosa Guerrero, founder and artistic director of the International Folklorico Dance Group, is an inspiring folklorico dancer. As an artist, educator, dance historian, and humanitarian, teaching, she has an extensive background and involvement with the El Paso, Texas community.  She is the first Latina in El Paso to have a school named after her: Rosa Guerrero Elementary. Winner of several awards including, but not limited to, the Outstanding Woman in the Arts from Woman’s Political Caucus, LULAC Arts and Humanities award, Arts Alliance Individual Dance Award and Outstanding Hispanic of El Paso.

Helena Maria Viramontes is an iconic Chicana writer whose literary masterpieces reflect her childhood upbringing in East Los Angeles. Her first novel, Under the Feet of Jesus, jumpstarted her career as a renowned author. She is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Cornell University, and is a community organizer and former coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association.

Bessy Reina, a highly accomplished poet, was born in Cuba and raised in Panama. Her poetry has been published in both English and Spanish, and in 2001, she was named Latina Citizen of the Year by the State of Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission. Later, in 2012, she was named as one out of ten women honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.  Vivian Shipley, another highly accomplished poet, describes Bessy’s poetry as a “…. a channel, a way to bridge east and  west by reconciling the warring needs of the body, the mind and the heart. Whether Reyna is dancing with a stalk  of sugar cane in Hartford, Connecticut, or in her birthplace of Cuba, poem after poem is as lively as a salsa. Like chewing sugar cane, her poems ultimately reward with their hard-won sweetness, with the taste that leaves us wanting more.” She is currently a writer for the Hispanic newspaper Identidad Latina and for www.CTLatinoNews.com.

Julia de Burgos
A renowned Puerto Rican poet, she is best known for her feminist written contributions for African/Afro-Caribbean writers. As a civil rights activist and teacher, she has, and continues to, inspire many women writers. Her poetry on the struggle of feeling oppressed has touched so many hearts, including the one of the famous Pablo Neruda. Her final poem foreshadowed her death in 1953, and, in 1986, she posthumously received a doctorate in Humans Arts and Letters from the Spanish Department of the University of Puerto Rico.

Latina Artist Spotlights

“Latino Art is often not integrated into the narrative of American Art” –Minimalistic artist, Jessie Amado

The world of art is known for its very different, and sometimes weird and beautiful, perspectives of artists. We present different contemporary voices from prestigious galleries, such as: “Y Qué?”, “Young Latinos Artists” and so much more.

Nanibah Chacon
A Navajo and Chicana artist, Chacon is prominent muralist. We all have done some garabato on our notebooks at school, but Chacon made it into a career! She began doing graffiti as a protest for feminist’s rights, and then began doing acrylic paintings.  She is recognized as an artist whose paintings try to place women in the contemporary era.  Recently, she revealed Apart Together  at “Y Qué?” Exhibition in Austin, TX.

Olga Albizu
We go down hasta Puerto Rico with the amazing Olga Albizu. Her paintings have vivid colors and geometrical figures, which are mesmerizing and can instantly catch a viewer’s attention. Chica, if anyone knows how to master the abstract, it is  Albizu. She has studied with German painters and has sold her paintings to museums in Paris.

Natalia Anciso
Natalia Anciso, she is one of the known artists who emphasizes borders. Her paintings are recognized for sharing a story with her viewers about the life near border of US-Mexico; one of the paintings that describe this type of life is Pinches Rinches. She uses the word “Rinches” to form a reference for the Texas Ranches illustrating the sad and discouraging behavior these people make on the lives of millions of migrants along the US-Mexican border zone. So chica, if you want to know more about life near the edges, you should look at Anciso’s artworks.

Judithe Hernandez
Hernandez has made massive works in galleries, such as The Juarez Series, The Adam and Eve Series and Expo Line Station Santa Monica. Her paintings emphasize surrealism in its higher presentation. She specializes in pastel paintings, and has made a great contribution to the western aesthetic tradition.

Suzy Gonzalez
Gonzalez, the girl from Texas, showcases feminism in her zines and paintings. A couple of her exhibitions include Feminized, Converge, and Art as Activism and Craft of Time: Essential for Craft Labor. Her paintings portray the feminism side of the contemporary youth.

Myrna Baez
This Puerto Rican descendent is actually one of the few that portrays Latino America and Puerto Rico in her paintings. Although her portraits is her preference, her painting is heavily influenced by her daily life and activities.  She is a great example of how embracing yourself as a women and as a Latina in a self-portrait is both moving and a form of creative expression. We should follow her example, chicas!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens-1As of January 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the fourth highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office; raking in $1.54 billion and is projected to overtake “Avatar” at $2.89 billion, “Titanic” at $2.19 billion and “Jurassic World” at $1.67 billion. The big-screen often lacks diversity and representation of women, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens enhances both the strength of women and representation of minorities.

Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac and British-Nigerian actor John Boyega as Finn have received wide acclaim for their roles in the film. Isaac received recognition for his role in the 2013 black comedy-drama Inside Llewyn Davis.  Isaac is often noted as part of the next generation of great actors, garnering comparisons to Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, and Jon Voight. Isaac’s rise to fame and increasing importance in Hollywood is a step towards equal representation of people of color in film, since he subverserses Hollywood’s expectations for Latino actors by avoiding being typecast.

“The people that cast films and TV shows, hopefully they will able to see past their limited ideas of what ethnicity is,” Isaac said in a backstage interview after his Golden Globe win. “There’s not a lot of us and it’s difficult for people that look not like the status quo in this country to get great roles, and it’s happening a little bit more and I feel humbled and honored and blessed to have the opportunity to do that.”

Although not a Latina, actress Daisy Ridley deserves recognition for her role as Rey. Ridley provides much needed female recognition in big budget blockbuster action films. Unlike other females in actions films, Rey is not meant to be a supporting character to a male lead, but rather she is her own character: steadfast, strong, resilient, self-sufficient, and smart. While her character could use further development, it is important to note that this is only the beginning of Rey’s journey, the audience expects to see her character grow and mature as the trilogy goes on.

Nonetheless, it is Nigerian-Mexican Lupita Nyong’o who also deserves recognition in her role of Maz Kanata. Nyong’o lends her voice to the thousand-year-old sage pirate that has a mysterious connection with the force and helps our heroine, Rey, through her journey.

Nyong’o was born in Mexico City to Nigerian parents. Although raised in Kenya, Nyong’o spent time living in Guerrero and studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico at the Learning Center for Foreigners. Nyong’o lays claim to her Latinidad through her Mexican nationality and brings much needed recognition to the 1.38 million Afro-Mexicans who were just officially recognized by the Mexican government this past December.

Nyong’o’s breakthrough performance was in 2013 in the critically acclaimed historical drama Twelve Years a Slave. Her role as Patsey earned her an academy award for best supporting actress; she is the first Kenyan and the first Mexican actress to receive an academy award.

“I’ve seen the quarrels over my nationality, but I’m Kenyan and Mexican at the same time,” Nyong’o said in an interview with El Mañana. Furthermore, Nyong’o talks about the difficulty and racism she faced while living in Mexico. People are quick to disregard Nyong’o’s Latinidad by claiming that just because she was born in Mexico City that does not mean she can be considered Latina. It is time for Nyong’o’s complex and hybrid Latina identity to be embraced by Latinos just as Latinos should embrace the large community of Afro-Latinos who have been subjugated, underrepresented, and oppressed for too long.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Wars fan or not, seeing strong female characters (who can forget Leia) and the inclusion of minorities in the big-screen is noteworthy.

Self Defense

Learning to use the mind as a weapon is empowering. It is also, paradoxically, humbling. And power that is cooled by a sense of humility is a good thing,” said Myrna Y Boyer, the founder of the Women’s Personal Defense Center in El Paso.
Boyer was able to share with us her amazing story about how she survived and overcame an attack that almost took her life. When she was 36, Boyer encountered a male passerby in a hallway and immediately sensed danger. To refrain from being impolite, she decided to smile at the man, showing no hard feelings. After they passed he turned and hit her in the back, throwing her far down the hallway rendering her unconscious. Her spidey senses weren’t far off, but she ignored them. She woke up in a room with the man’s legs on her arms pinning her down, with his hands tight around her throat. Miraculously she was able to lung him off of her and escape, but so did he.
Almost twenty years later, Boyer has been able to focus her energy on helping women learn self defense mechanisms. Boyer believes self defense skills are important for girls and women with statistics stating how one out of every five women in America has been the victim of rape, or attempted rape according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Also, less than half domestic violence reports are reported to police, so something must be done. Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing a rape or sexual assault finds the Department of Justice. With these grave facts sweeping the nation, Boyer gives free self defense lessons and workshops to women, and lectures around town. She has written on the power of the mind in the face of an assault and informed Latinitas on ways to stay safe.

Boyer also wrote the article, “The Mind as a Weapon: Gaining the Edge in personal Defense” as a guide to women on how to brace themselves in the face of an attack. First she describes personal safety. “Effective personal defense practices are 90 percent attitude and 10 percent technique,” she shared.

Boyer also urges an awareness of your surroundings to help form the correct attitude if any danger should occur. Once again, Boyer stresses how important your attitude is, even the attitude your body language can communicate. “Defense begins with prevention,” and the more you can communicate an awareness of your environment and those around you, the better you can become at taking preventative measures. “Often people unknowingly allow a potentially dangerous situation to escalate simply because they fail to spot the threat.” Boyer is describing the fact that an attacker can come in the form of anyone, that cute guy down the way, the weird one in the corner or some random person walking by, “safety demands that you understand the dynamics of an assault and an assailant.” Boyer also stresses how your intuition will more than likely come in handy in the face of an attack, “listening to your inner voice when a man is giving you the creeps is a good start.” In other words, when your spidey sense is acting up, listen to it, try to understand what it’s telling you. Get away, go somewhere overtly public. If you have a bad feeling inside, then you are more than likely sensing a surrounding danger.

There are a few helpful tips Boyer has left with us to keep in mind just in case you’re met with any kind of fear for your life.

1. Make yourself less accessible. If you can take cover take it, if you can run, run.
2. Never bargain with your attacker.
3. Use all weapons at your disposal.
4. Fight furiously and maintain forward pressure against your attacker.
5. Don’t stop fighting until you are safe.
6. Fight to get away, practice getting away.
7. If your assailant has a weapon, (if you are in grabbing distance) Defend, Disable, and Disarm, focus on what holds the weapon and attack it. (if you are further away) escape.

Boyer states, “techniques ride on mindset. As important as they are to learn and perfect, they are useless if you are paralyzed with fear.” She stresses the use of the mind as a weapon in any type of situation. The more control you can have over you mind in a tense or stressful situation, the better able you are to think, you’ll have a better ability to react quickly and make smarter moves. Regardless, there are preventative actions to be taken in a sticky situation, staying calm and understanding your surroundings with the right attitude are what Boyer lives by. So remember girls, the more alert you are, and the better attitude you can muster in any given situation, the greater the outcome. Latinitas greatly appreciated the time Myrna Boyer spent with us and we hope you can all learn a little something from her advice.

5 Latina Musicians to Check Out

These Latina musicians are worth listening to and their sound is getting them noticed. They are great artists and are a part of the Latina community. Check out these amazing Latinas below!Carla Morrison

Carla Morrison:
This girl has a tremendously special voice. It is unique and peaceful. Her melancholic and acoustic sound will make your time pass without even noticing. Between sad and love songs, you have a variety to listen to. If you like to listen to music in Spanish, this girl is a great addition to your music library. Born in Mexico, Carla has reached audiences in many Latin American and European countries in the past years by participating in big music festivals and solo shows. She has released 6 albums, so be sure to check her discography!
Listen to: “Dejenme Llorar”, “Compartir” and “Hasta La Piel”.

Melanie Martinez:
With her fresh, new and different sound, Melanie Martinez is here to steal our hearts. She was part of The Voice’s season 3 and since then she has been working to be famous. Melanie was born in New York and has Puerto Rican and Dominican roots. Similar to Lorde and Halsey, only 20 years old and she already has a huge fan base with her electronic/pop/alternative sound to listen to everyday.  Listen to: “Pity Party”, “Soap” and “Carousel”.

Kat Dahlia KatDahlia
With a slightly faster sound, Kat Dahlia is here to stay, she has combined rap, hip hop and her melodic voice with an influence of Latina. You can hear that on “Crazy.” She was born in the US with Cuban and Lebanese roots. She has a more aggressive sound and she knows how to mix it with different musical vibes. Her lyrics are strong. She talks about being a woman and getting through tough moments alone, and how girls can be strong without the need of a man to her side.
Listen to: “Gangsta”, “I Think I’m In Love” and “My Garden”.

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
The combination of rock, soul and pop in this band is incredible. The melodies, the voices and everything is amazing. This band’s sound is similar to Amy Winehouse and Alabama Shakes, they have Latin influences un their sound and you can hear that on “Sorry I Stole Your Man.” Jessica Hernandez has been performing since an early age. After trying for a long time, she signed with a record label and started to release music. Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas made an apparition on The Letterman Show and that set a starting point for the band to be heard for many more people.
Listen to: “Sorry I Stole Your Man”, “Don’t Take My Man to Idaho”, “Caught Up”

Hello Seahorse!
The surrealist Mexican band Hello Seahorse! has music in both English and Spanish. They got together around 10 years ago. Their sound is incredibly unique because they have combined many different vibes, from synth pop to rock to experimental music. Denise Gutierrez, the lead singer, has an exceptional voice. Not a lot of singers can reach her tone. Hello Seahorse has won multiple awards and has shared the stage with many American artists such as The Killers. They’ve participated in different music festivals around the American continent.
Listen to:“Won’t Say Anything”, “Velo De Novia” and “Un Año Quebrado”.

If you know any other amazing artists, let me know!

K-Pop and Latin America

Music2Have you even heard of K-Pop? If you have, it is more than the songs of PSY, the solo artist whose song “Gangnam Style” went viral with over 2 billion views on YouTube. K-Pop is more about Korean culture and the artists, and, the most surprising thing, is that K-Pop has a high popularity in Latin America — specifically, Peru and Chile.

The are many reasons why K-Pop is now rising to popularity. From the catchy tunes and the artists’ good looks, but the success of K-Pop is also attributed to their personalities and the numerous behind-the-scenes documentaries. Korean dramas, also called K-dramas, has immensely helped K-Pop become bigger in Latin America, since singers often appear both in the music and acting industry.

Almost all K-dramas are subbed in Spanish by the fans themselves in order to share their love of Korean culture. In fact, K-Pop continues to be so popular that in 2013 some Peruvian barbers were offering K-Pop inspired haircuts!

Maria Gonzalez, 16, explains why she loves K-Pop, “I like it so much because of their music are so fun and upbeat to hear. They’re much more modest and it’s not that sexual like American pop music.”

“It also helps that they are so handsome and beautiful,” adds Maria.

It might seem confusing for Latin American fans to listen to K-Pop where the language and their culture are so different from each theirs. But some might be surprised at the two main similarities: family and language.

Within Korean culture, family is very important as it is not unusual for young people to continue to live with their families until they are married, which is usually not until their 30s. This might seem familiar with Latino culture as families are generally filled with parents, children, grandparents, with even aunts and uncles.

In addition,  both Korean and Spanish share deep respect for elders just as Latinos do, so language is important. For example, we have had to have a mood of communication where are you words to those above us the chance to send the word usted to a professor.

“They might speak and sing in a different language,” says Marissa Montes, “But us fans feel the happy energy and charisma of our favorite group and artists. This is literally the case of when music has no boundaries.”

Whether you are into Korean culture, K-Pop is worth giving a shot. Bands like BOYFRIEND, JYJ, super Junior, Big Bang, and 2NE1 are worth a listen.

What’s the big deal about ‘Jane the Virgin’?

Jane The VirginBy now you have probably heard about the hit TV show ‘Jane the Virgin’, starring Gina Rodriguez as the titular star. The show, which is based off a Venezuelan telenovela called ‘Juana la Virgen’, debuted in the fall of 2014 on the CW. It is set in Miami, a city known for its lively Latino culture, and features a largely Hispanic cast and much Spanish-language dialogue. The sitcom immediately took the airwaves and the awards season by storm, and Gina herself won this year’s Golden Globe for Best Actress.

So why is this new show so explosively successful? For one, the premise and main character are in stark contrast with many other shows popular among preteen and teenage girls. Jane is, like the title says, a virgin who is waiting until marriage to have sex. The show explains early on that her reason for this decision is multifold: She is Catholic, she does not want to get pregnant before marriage, and she deeply respects her grandmother who taught her the values behind waiting to have sex. But Jane is no goody-two-shoes: She is a normal 23 year old woman who is both studying to become a teacher and working as a waitress at a posh hotel. Also, she has a boyfriend of two years whom she plans to marry.

She ‘miraculously’ becomes pregnant after a visit to the doctor’s office, where her gynecologist mistakenly artificially inseminated her. When she discovers what happened her life is thrown into turmoil. Her boyfriend, who had just recently asked her to marry him, tells her he does not want to raise another man’s child. Her mother is grief-stricken that her daughter will become a single mother like she did. Jane is horrified that the father of the child, Rafael, is a notorious playboy and also the owner of the hotel where she works.

But Jane’s miraculous pregnancy is only a small part of the whole show. The first season is laced with intrigue, as people are mysteriously murdered at the hotel and Rafael’s wife attempts to get custody of the unborn child. Jane also finally meets her own father, whose identity has been kept a secret her entire life. The one constant in Jane’s life, however, is her own integrity. Though she is often overwhelmed by the pregnancy and the drama that has turned her life upside down, she maintains her pure heart and her desire to pursue her dreams. She does not quite her job or school when she falls pregnant, but continues to work hard to achieve her goals. Throughout, she is loving to her mother and grandmother even when they disagree on how she should live her life. She is compassionate towards Rafael despite the fact that she does not want to have his child. But just as importantly Jane is never a doormat. She openly asserts her wants and needs and she protests when others attempt to manipulate her. Jane is truly a new sort of sitcom heroine, one whom is not ashamed of her beliefs and consistently acts with intelligence and empathy.

And what makes Jane’s character even better is the fact that she and her close-knit family deeply embrace Latino culture and values. Of Venezuelan descent, they often speak Spanish [with subtitles] and openly practice their Catholic faith. They exhibit a truth about the US’s Hispanic population that is often ignored by mainstream media: we are growing and flourishing and possess strong beliefs and character. Latinas are proud to have Jane as part of our ranks! And we can’t wait to see what adventures the second season of her show will bring!

The Immigrant Struggle in ‘Boyhood’

11189929_ori‘Boyhood,’ the 2014 film that spans twelve years of a boy’s life, from age 6 to 18, won Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.  The acclaimed movie takes the audience through the growing-up process of Mason, a boy living in Texas with divorced parents. Throughout the film there are a couple scenes that prominently feature Hispanics. The first features a teenaged Latina girl who appears with Mason’s sister as they flip through fashion magazines after school. The second Latino portrayed is a Mexican immigrant who does some work for Mason’s mother on her new home. Mason’s mother recommends that he go to school. A few years later he comes up to her at a restaurant to tell her that he took her advice, got a degree, and is about to be promoted to a managerial position at his job.

Latinitas provided me with the opportunity to attend a Google Fiber Q&A session with the film’s main actor, Ellar Coltrane, who plays the role of the boy Mason. While there I asked Ellar why he believes the Hispanic immigrant’s role was included in the film.

He had two answers for me. Firstly, because the film takes place in Texas it just wouldn’t make sense if no Hispanics were featured, particularly those who recently immigrated. Secondly, the Hispanic immigrant provides a direction comparison to Mason’s mother, a single mother struggling to support two children. Both immigrants and single mothers, Ellar said, battle difficulties in achieving their dreams for themselves.

Most would agree with Ellar that a Texan film should present Hispanics to be credible. After all, recent statistics from the United States Census Bureau show that Texas is about 40% Hispanic. Pew Research Center demographics show that 88% of those Hispanics are Mexican, while almost half of all Texan Hispanics were born in their native countries.

Most would also agree that both single mothers and immigrants face financial and social difficulties that others do not. While the factors vary greatly, depending on the unique situation of the individual, both single mothers and immigrants occupy spaces outside of traditional society that create or complicate difficulties. Single mothers struggle to take on both their maternal role and an additional financial one. Immigrants, thrust into a starkly different country, must adapt to a new job, a new language, a new culture entirely.

However, after Mason’s mother suggests Enrique go to school he does not reappear until years later, when he is all smiles and boasting of his achievement. His brief explanation leaves the viewer with unanswered questions, wondering about the difficulties not portrayed in the film. How did Enrique pay for school? How did he balance work and study? Did he have a family at home needing immediate financial support? Did he struggle to understand and read English? Was he undocumented, and if so how did it complicate his schooling and career search? These are but a few examples of real-life scenarios that could have affected Enrique as he pursued his dreams. So while it’s glad that Enrique took the advice of Mason’s mother I’m aware that ‘Boyhood’ did not portray the many struggles he must have faced along the way.  ‘Boyhood’ is not a film about an immigrant’s triumph over struggle. I get that. Still, the simplistic picture painted of Enrique’s success reminds me that for those Americans unfamiliar with the struggles faced by immigrants, the movie did little to educate them further. Nonetheless it’s never a bad thing to portray the American success story of a Hispanic immigrant.