Why I Love Mexico (Part IV)

Who needs sophisticated marketing tools and job classifieds when you can advertise a job in a very simple, straight-forward way?


The picture above, taken somewhere in my beloved Mexico City, was sent to me by a reader of my blog, though I believe he is not the rightful owner of the image. So if you are, please step in, so I can take my (mariachi) hat off.

My Butt is Not Latina Enough


Speaking about culturally relevant modifications to products and services, I remember a press release I received the other day from Fiorana, an apparel maker from Fort Worth, Texas, announcing the launch of its first women’s “Latina Cut” line of jeans.According to the company’s founder and president Mike Braden, “The Latina body is different in waist and hip structure.” The conclusion? “When wearing Anglo cut jeans, there is always a fit problem around the waist area.”

What a relief! And to think that for a while — a long while — I thought my inability to squeeze into my Levi’s or Gap jeans had something to do with a recent trip to Mexico City, where I indulged in sopes and quesadillas as if there was no tomorrow. As it turns out, and according to Mr. Braden, the only reason Latino women like myself are having trouble fitting in their regular jeans is the result of our naturally and genetically-programmed bootylicious look.

I wrote this post originally for Advertising Age’s Big Tent. To continue reading, please click here:

Dems Respond to Bush’s Address in Plain Spanish


Millions of viewers who tuned in to the Univision network to watch last night’s State of the Union address were not only treated with the first-ever State of the Union televised live entirely in Spanish, but also saw a radically different Democratic response to Bush’s last address to the nation.

Unlike what millions of Americans saw immediately after Bush’s address to the nation (the English-language response by Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius) Univision viewers got their very own respuesta, in Spanish, delivered by Mexican-American Leticia Van de Putte (pictured above) the Texas State Senator with a mildly unfortunate name. Just to clarify: while Mr. Bush’s speech was simultaneously translated into Spanish, Van de Putte’s response –which is already up in YouTube— was delivered in her almost-perfect Spanish.

In her response, Van de Putte termed seven years of Bush administration economic policy as a disaster (or shall I say desastre) for many Hispanics. “Latinos find themselves working more and more in our country today and taking home fewer wages,” she said.

Kudos to Univision for putting that together. And for those of you who don’t know, Van de Putte is the politician behind the 45-day walkout to New Mexico in 2003 and one of the few women lawmakers who last year supported a controversial plan to vaccinate young girls against a sexually transmitted virus. She has also (of course!) named Mexican-American woman / politician / person of the year by numerous Hispanic organizations nationwide. Go figure.

H&R Block Wants you to Pay Taxes (Latino Style)


I love marketers; always so accommodating to our Latin lifestyle! Whatever that might mean.

In the most recent sign that Corporate America really likes us (and wants our money) H&R Block today announced that it has opened not one but 257 Latino offices designed specifically to serve Hispanic tax payers.

“These new offices have been designed to provide a family-friendly and culturally inviting environment for Latino clients. The offices feature work by local Hispanic artists, a children’s play area and magazines, all designed to make clients’ overall tax preparation experience easier and less stressful,” said the company in a press release.

Oh, such disappointment! And I thought accommodating Latinos meant we would have “tamale” vendors while we wait, or direct access to Mexican accountants specialized in not paying taxes at all, or at the very least coyotes for hire available to do the trámite for us with a simple mordida.

Now, that would be a real Latino tax experience! (Who has heard of paying taxes anyway?)

English is for Business. Spanish is for Gossiping


In a story this past Sunday about English-only policies in the workplace, the New York Times quoted some ‘brilliant’ cultural insights from Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, which in October did a study among Latina executives, finding that many refrained from speaking Spanish at work because they felt that doing so would hurt them professionally.

“Spanish is not associated with business connections. It’s associated with gossiping or wasting time,” she said.

¡Pero mamita! Doesn’t she know we Latinas like el chisme and wasting time in both, English and Spanish?

¡Pepe el Toro es Inocente! (and He’s Made of Vinyl)


And speaking of godly figurines, I’m happy to report that my people (i.e. Mexicans) have finally done it. And by this I mean, a couple of nutty, very creative guys have come out with a vinyl-made collectible figuring of Pepe el Toro, that endearing character played by Pedro Infante in one of the most tragic and intense films ever made. Ever.

Julio Iván “Rictus” and Juan Alarcón are selling their Pepe el Toro figurines like hot cakes, and are reportedly already preparing their next Golden Era vinyl hit: Jorge Negrete.

But wait! what about Chachita and la Chorreada?

My Blog (Which is Also Yours) Turns One Today

So much for the bitching and complaints about so-called Hispanic marketing. Today is a happy day, as my blog turns one year old! Yep, it was on Jan. 24, 2007 when I decided to do something totally productive with my newly created unemployed status free time.

It took only a year to realize that this is exactly what I like doing, except -of course- nobody gives me a dime for my ramblings. Oh well, as if everything had to be about money…

Así que, common, drop me a line and help me at least reach the 100,000 visitors mark. Why? just because…

Help Make Chilangolandia a Monopoly Destination


Attention, Mexico City lovers!

The world’s most chaotic and lovable city is among a list of 68 world capitals that could make it to the upcoming world edition of Hasbro’s Monopoly game. Winning will be tough, as chilangolandia is up against major world capitals, including Sofia, Zagreb, Tallinn, Riga and Ljubljana (don’t ask!)

But hurry, you only have 37 days to vote and be eligible for a prize of… well, nothing. But how about the pride of having the D.F. included in the next Monopoly game? Priceless

How to Throw the Perfect ‘Hispanic’ Wedding

It was only a matter of time before somebody came up with a Spanish-language magazine for the Latino bride. So meet Bodas USA la revista, a magazine, whose editors and writers are pitching as the ultimate source of information for Hispanic brides.

Helming the new glossy is former La Opinión editor Katia Ramirez-Blankley, who was at hand this week to present the mag to California’s advertising community:

“Our editorial team is made up of Latino professionals from across the country who are experts in wedding planning, cuisine, travel, relationships, nutrition, entertainment […] but most importantly our stories are not translations but rather written in Spanish with a cultural touch that only Latinos can relate to,” Ramirez-Blankley said.

I guess that only means Latinos can expect to see some of the following headlines in the new title:

I Sent Out 100 Invitations and 250 People Showed Up. Now What?

Where to Find a Saca-Borrachos for your Big Day (Find by Zip Code Now)

10 Subtle Ways to Tell your Tíos from Zacatecas They are NOT invited to your Wedding

Wedding in the ‘Burbs? Where to Shop for the Best Pancita for the Tornaboda

15 Honey Moon Paradise Spots for You … and Your Parientes from Michoacán

And I could go on, and on, and on… Can someone please give me a job there?

‘Unamundo’ Host Esteban Colberto Does Lou Dobbs


In case you missed this, Stephen Colbert this week incarnated Esteban Colberto, a Spanish-language speaking Latino of dubious origin. As host of Colberto Reporto Gigante, Colberto “sat down” with Lou Dobbs to talk about fences, corporate America and the war on the middle class, all in perfect Spanish.

The spoof was hilarious and very well-written (you can see it here) but my favorite part was the purple suit and, of course, the Latino chicas dancing around with the host. Any similarity to persons you see every night on Spanish-language television is purely coincidental.


And Now… Naked News en Español

Tired of all those news anchor muchachas at Univision, Telemundo and Azteca America who only show us cleavage and legs but nothing more?

Despair no more. The creators of Naked News, the Canadian broadcaster that features news presented by an anchor who gradually removes their clothing, is plunging into the multilingual arena, with upcoming shows in Spanish, Italian and Korean.

“Our intention at Naked News is to be a global media source, much like CNN or BBC World. We are looking forward to expanding into other languages as well, because there is definitely a market demanding our brand of infotainment,” Naked News founder David Warga said in a press release.

You go, Mr. Warga! finally we’ll get to see some real action in the otherwise dull news world.

A Bus Load of Latinos Head to Pasco’s State Capitol!

I bet you didn’t know this, but today (Wednesday Jan. 16) is Hispanic Day in Pasco, WA (pop. 200,000). And what this means, say political leaders, is simple: today is the day in which a group of local politicians will lobby the state Capitol to consider laws with Latinos in mind.

“It’s not just suits lobbying politicians, the group is bringing a bus load of families from Pasco to talk face to face with representatives,” said a journalist of Pasco’s local CBS affiliate.

Oh dear! I don’t like the sound of “a bus load of families” and might advice them against this. What if the INS is waiting? or the Minuteman?

El Chavo Makes Animated Debut… Sans Chilindrina

After what seemed like an endless wait, Univision has finally announced the Jan. 20 premiere of El Chavo del 8 animated series, the half hour series featuring -in cartoon form- all those friendly characters we, Mexicans, grew up with. But if you are a die-hard fan of El Chavo like myself, you will notice something odd in the following press statement:

Fans of the original series will be delighted to see the familiar characters that populate the neighborhood including: Quico, El Chavo’s best friend and frequent co-conspirator; Popis, the stuck-up little girl; Don Ramon, El Chavo’s perennial target of mischief and part-time father-figure; Doña Florinda, Quico’s mother; Professor Jirafales, her erstwhile suitor; Doña Clotilde, the neighborhood spinster; and Señor Barriga, the neighborhood landlord, among others.

What??? What about La Chilindrina? As it turns out La Chilindrina will be forever absent due to an ongoing dispute between María Antonieta de las Nieves and Roberto Gómez Bolaños on rights over the character. De las Nieves claims she should be entitled to monetary compensation if La Chilindrina (the character she brought to life in the television series) appears in the animated series. Roberto Gómez Bolaños claims that since he created the character, only he owns the rights to such character. This dispute still hasn’t been resolved, leaving us with an incomplete picture of the real vecindad.

All we can say about that is: Pi, pi, pi, pi, pi, pi, pi!

Wanna Go to P.R? Watch Out for Chupacabras

You might have seen this before, but you will have to forgive my tardiness (as I’m still cleaning up my Inbox). The New York Times informs me that Marvel Comics has released Isla de la Muerte, a new comic featuring none other than the infamous Chupacabras.

The comic, available in English and Spanish, launched late December and it features the Fantastic Four battling “a rabid band of chupacabras in the Puerto Rican rain forest.” But what’s most fascinating about the whole thing is the author’s motivation: “My aim in this book was for the reader to learn about Puerto Rico,” Tom Beland, a Guanabo-based writer told the U.S. press.

Oh dear! I have never been to Puerto Rico, and after this I don’t think I’m gonna. (And to think that all these years I thought Chupacabras was a Mexican creature)