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Longoria Reveals Yet Another Artistic Quality

Laura Martinez

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Documentary film making is next in long list of achievements

Not content with having achieved a successful career as a television star, restaurateur, philanthropist and museum buff, my favorite retro-acculturated Latina, Eva Longoria, is ready to make a splash in the world of documentary filmmaking.

As an official Pepsi spokesperson, Longoria is set to direct and produce an intriguing documentary about Hispanics and how our experiences "have helped shape the American landscape," which I think has nothing to do with landscaping, but you never know.

Eva's documentary is part of a bigger effort, inexplicably called "Yo Sumo" and launched by Pepsi to show how U.S. Hispanics count, contamos or -as the company will have you believe- sumamos.

I personally want to sumar my voice and congratulate Mrs. Longoria Parker on her new venture, although I fear it might interfere with her role as an active member of the CSPCNMAL. Only time will tell.

Texas School Urges Children to Study and Be 'Seasoned' Like a Beef Fajita

Laura Martinez


Motivational speaker Fabián Ramirez brings electric grill to make his point

When it comes to our children education, no efforts should be spared... even if you live in Texas, whose Board of Education this month decided to re-write History.

That is why Crockett Elementary School in Dallas last week hosted a school assembly and invited motivational speaker Fabian Ramirez to encourage students to do their best on the upcoming Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Speaking to 200 kids that are scheduled to take the test in April, Ramírez went straight to the point:

"You have to be seasoned before you get grilled," he said while holding 2 pounds of seasoned beef fajitas in the air before laying a portion over an electric grill. "Seasoned students are well done after they have been grilled."
While this blogger greatly appreciates the metaphor, I think Mr. Ramírez should have added that failing the TAKS would turn these children into a bunch of burritos.
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Salma Hayek Wants to Clean Your Guts... and Apparently Also Your Wallet

Laura Martinez

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Not content with being married to, like, one of the richest men on the planet, Mexican bombshell Salma Hayek is launching Cooler Cleanse, a line of "hydraulically pressed cleansing juices" aimed at making us all look fabulous... just like her.

According to TMZ.com serious journalistic sources, Cooler Cleanse comes in 5 gut-busting flavors: green juice, grapefruit mint, beets and apples, young coconut water, and nut milk sweetened with dates.

Salma's "hydraulic diet" is said to cost about $58 a day, which is kind of OK if you're married to a millionaire and all.

Personally, my finances are "hydraulically squeezed" right now, so I will stick to Dr. Manny's advice and run to my nearest bodega for my $2-a-pound bag of tomatillos.

U.S. 'Taqueros' Join Immigration Cause By Donating -What Else?- Money from Tacos

Laura Martinez

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Want immigration reform? Grab a taco first

I always knew there was nothing like a good taco to get people moving. That is why I was happy to learn about Tacos for Justice, an initiative launched by a group of food vendors to raise money towards the fight for immigration reform.

According to California's Valley Star, taco vendors are giving discounts to customers and at the same time contributing to the national Immigrant Justice Campaign by accepting coupons at their taco trucks and restaurants throughout the country.

As of March 18, three days before Sunday's march for Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C., more than one million discount coupons to participating restaurants and lunch trucks had been distributed.

This blogger will gladly participate, but can I get a torta ahogada, instead?

Holy Crap! Latest Vatican Gay Sex Scandal Involves Cubans

Laura Martinez

For years now, I have decided not to write anything about sex scandals involving the Catholic Church, because really, I would have to blog about it everyday. But the following story really caught my attention, simply because it involves members of my beloved Hispanic community: very tall, black, Cuban gay lads, a former model and rugby player.

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How Do You Say Enrique Iglesias in Chinese?

Laura Martinez

I have no idea what this CD is all about, except that "Mr. Lglesias" has recorded something with someone presumably called Sarah Connor.

Curious to learn more about this unconventional cover -and singing duo- I scourged the Internet for hours seconds, and found the following video which made everything so much clearer now. Danke schön!

If This Doesn't Make Latinos Fill Out Their Census Form, I Don't Know What Will

Laura Martinez

Attention, Latinos! These ladies from Univision's República Deportiva have a message for you: Will you stop staring at our cleavage and get yourself counted in the upcoming Census instead?

Do you think you can do that?

Longoria Joins Alba in Search for 'Hispanicness'

Laura Martinez


It turns out Jessica Alba is not the only one working hard at her Hispanicness.

According to The Panamerican, the student paper of the University of Texas-Pan American:

The one and only Eva Longoria, queen of the $34 tortilla española (and a.k.a. La Prieta Fea) is not only working on her master's degree but taking a course in Hispanic Studies.

We congratulate Longoria on her academic efforts. It must not be easy to combine all that study with her culinary duties and her ongoing role at the CSPCNMAL... [Oh, I did I mention we just celebrated Eva Longoria Parker day in Nevada?

'Our Family Wedding' is a Chuck Full of Stereotypes About Blacks and Hispanics

Laura Martinez

In an effort to capture two active movie-going audiences (African-Americans and Hispanics) the folks at Fox Searchlight have concocted Our Family Wedding, a "culturally relevant" film about a young Latina (América Ferrera) marrying a black guy (Lance Gross) and all the imaginable stereotypes that come with that, including "a goat for the Mexican celebration" this blogger has failed to understand.

Pitched as a culture -and ethnic clash of sorts, Our Family Wedding stars Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, América Ferrera and -of course- Lupe Ontiveros, who plays your typical ultracoservative, funny-sounding abuela, who faints upon seeing a black man in her casa.

¡Ay, caramba!

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Mexicans Might Not Win an Oscar. But They Sure Know How to Make One

Laura Martinez


Photo: 'Hoy' Chicago

Chances are Martín Vega will not get up to the podium this Sunday to be recognized for his many Academy Awards. But the Michoacán native has his hands on a lot of these golden statuettes. Literally.

Vega is one of the many Hispanic employees at R.S. Owens & Company, the Chicago-based factory charged with making the famous Oscar statuette. In fact, according to Tribune's Hoy Chicago:

"Although Jorge Marroquín, the factory chief, is a native of Guatemala, the Oscars have a strong Mexican component, as five of the people involved in their making are of Mexican origin."
So there you have it. Don't worry if you don't see many Latinos this Sunday at the awards ceremony. If we ever feel left out, we'll just make our own Oscar.

Women Prison in Ciudad Juárez Preps Behind-Bars Beauty Pageant. Seriously

Laura Martinez


The Mexican government might not be able to stop the bloodshed in Ciudad Juárez, but officials at the local penitentiary system are busy working on something more constructive -or at least, more fun: the upcoming Belleza Cautiva (Captive Beauty), an inmates-only beauty pageant to celebrate International Women's Day in March 8.

According to the local press, Ciudad Juárez' Centro de Readaptación Social (i.e. local prison) is calling on female inmates to take part in the Belleza Cautiva pageant. Candidates will be vying for the titles of Miss Captive Beauty, Miss Elegance, Miss Congeniality and Miss Fotogenic. Watch as some of these ladies get ready for their lock-up... sorry, close-up.

Video: Milenio Televisión

Donny Deutsch Apologizes to Hispanics for Using the C-Word. It's Not What You're Thinking

Laura Martinez

I have to plead complete ignorance on this one. In case you missed the latest brouhaha involving a non Hispanic person and his Hispanic non-counterparts, advertising guru Donny Deutsch this week had to apologize to a bunch of people for using the C-Word when referring to a Latino person. And no, it is not what you are thinking. According to sensationalist professional media outlets:

"MSNBC regular Donny Deutsch apologized via Twitter for calling Republican senatorial hopeful Marco Rubio "coconut," a racial slur which the New York Times defines as "being brown on the outside and white on the inside."
I don't know you, but as a proud member of the "Latinos Who Don't Understand Why Coconut is an Insult Coalition" (LWDUWCIC) I demand Mr. Deutsch go beyond 140 characters to explain the whole thing properly. [To my defense: I was not paying enough attention. I was busy myself apologizing for my missing National Tortilla Chip Day.]

Second to Winning This Year's World Cup, This is What Mexicans Dream About

Laura Martinez

From the funny folks at The Onion News Network via my friends at Vivir Latino.

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Weir Hits the Ice to the Rythm of Juan Gabriel

Laura Martinez


Turns out Hubertus von Hohenlohen is not the only one making sure Mexico is not forgotten at this year's Winter Olympics.

U.S. figure skater -and fur-loving- Johnny Weir this week stunned this blogger the world with a gracious performance, skating to the tune of -who else?- Juan Gabriel.

I don't know you but as of today I am adding Weir to my list of favorite Winter Olympians. Ever. [After the Prince, of course.]

Click here to watch Johhny doing his Juan Ga thing..

Hispanic Members of the CSPCNMAL Inch Closer to Potential Museum Possibility

Laura Martinez


Emilio Estefan flanked by some very happy Latinas

Are you clueless about Latino culture?

Worry no more. The Nobel-prize-winning Obama administration this week got a step closer to the creation of a National Latino Museum in Washington.

A dedicated commission, aptly named "The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino," (from now on referred to as the CSPCNMAL) has retained two companies -Balsera Communications and República -- to outline a work schedule aimed at completing the report and submitting it to Congress before the end of the year.

Spearheaded by Spanish tortilla empresaria Eva Longoria (aka La prieta fea) and Emilio "Lord of Miami" Estefan, the commission is working in determining how this national museum would best serve in portraying the history and culture of Latinos in the U.S.

It is yet to be seen how the CSPCNMAL will manage to raise the estimated $300 million needed for the thing. But I'm confident this will happen: aren't Latinos the trillion-dollar opportunity?

[The group should feel free to contact this blogger, who is willing -an able- to lend a hand. Nothing would make me happier than becoming a member of CSPCNMAL.)

Loyola Graduate Finds Business Success in the Sticky Sweetness of Pulque

Laura Martinez


Mexican entrepreneurs and MBA's, pay attention! A young American businesswoman has found her own liquid ElDorado by importing -and marketing- pulque among the estimated 2-million Mexicans that live in Chicago and its suburbs.

And no, she is not a paisana. She is, as she likes to call herself, a gringa who found a great opportunity in the centuries-old drink made of the sap of the maguey plant.

33-year-old Heather Weinthaler, a graduate of Loyola University, began importing pulque in 2008 and selling it to a few shops. Today, she sells it to a network of over 300 stores, turning a profit of $120,000 last year.

But don't think everything is about cracking figures. Ms. Weinthaler sure knows how to pitch her product among her target market:

"I dress up like China Poblana (a folklore character based on an Asian woman who came to colonial Mexico as a servant) in stores and offer samples of pulque to Hispanic consumers," Weinthaler, told EFE.

Did the Jesuits teach her that? I wonder...

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Want to Reconnect with your Hispanic Roots? Hire a 'Hispanic Studies Professor'

Laura Martinez

One of my favorite retro-acculturated Latinas, Jessica Alba, is determined to honor her Mexican heritage at all costs. And that is why she hired a "Hispanic Studies Professor" to teach her -and her daughter, Honor- some Spanish.

Alba told Siempre Mujer (hopefully in Spanish) that she wants to help her daughter avoid the criticism she endured when she was younger and her non-fluency in Spanish made headlines. "God knows that I wish I was raised bilingual," Alba says. "But it wasn't to be."

If you asked me, I think a good first step to have your child avoid criticism is to not name her Honor, but hey, that's me! On second thoughts, she might be onto something by picking a truly bilingual name for her first born: one that sounds awful in both English and Spanish.

As for the Hispanic specialist, I guess a Spanish-language teacher would suffice, but heck, if you are Jessica Alba you might as well go the extra kilómetro and make things right.

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