The Top Ten Reasons Why Everyone Should Spend New Year’s Eve in Mexico City

zocaloI first started this list in 2010, and — fortunately for me and a few million other chilangos –— it stands intact.

So, in the most old-fashioned Letterman-style countdown, here are the Top Ten Reasons Why Everybody Should Welcome the New Year in Mexico City.

1. You can ice-skate in the middle of the Zócalo. For free.

2. Mexico City was the first Latin American city to have legalized gay marriage (not that I plan to marry a gal there. Yet.)

3. There are virtually no illegal Mexicans there (we’re all documented…sort of)

4. We think homophobes are just like Hitler

5. You can say “Happy New Year!” a full 2 hours before they do so in California

6. Our churches still know how to protect their sanctity

7. You can swear up to 20 times a day there

8. Chilangos beat the hell out of the English in group smooch

9. We have awesomely named sushi trucks…


and last, but not least:

10. Street taco makers will do anything to protect your health

Got other reasons? Share them with me and see you in 2016.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

5 Mexican-Themed Gifts to Spice up Your Christmas

This maraca-wielding Santa will ‘only’ cost you $154 on


Have you run out of Christmas gift ideas? Are you looking for something that will show  your love for other cultures and stuff without breaking the bank? Amazon has you covered. has a wealth of “multicultural Christmas stuff,” including tons of Mexican-themed Christmas ornaments, music and more. So here are my 5 FAVES, most of which go for under $25 and are most likely Made in China, with the exception of the maraca-wielding Santa, which for some strange reason will cost you a whopping $154.

1. The Westland Aye Chihuahua Guillermo Mexican Sombrero Tealight Candle Holder


2. The Sombrero-Wearing International Snowman


3. The Benelux Aluminum Mexican Flag Christmas Ornament


4. The Feliz Navidad Bossa Nova Latin CD thing


5. And – of course – The $153 maraca-wielding Santa


¡Adiós, Colberto! Why this Blogger will Forever Miss You

'Reporto Gigante'
‘Reporto Gigante’

Hispanic television has never been very good at poking fun at… well, Hispanic television, which is a shame since there’s just so much to poke fun at.

Fortunately, we had Stephen Colbert — and his hilarious Hispanic primo Esteban Colberto — to set the record straight when it came to Latino things, like that time he interviewed “the Latino Walter Cronkite” (i.e. Jorge Ramos) beginning all his questions with an upside down question mark and stating Latinos are too lazy to even deport ourselves.

There was also

Some more Latino jewels from Colbert here, here and here. Oh, and then there’s the Mexican Threat Special.

¡Adiós, Colberto!


U.S.-Cuba: The Thaw in Today’s Newspapers [photo gallery]


Click on each paper (below) to see full gallery…

I will be adding more as time -and energy- allow.

Americans: Here’s your [Last] Chance to See the Real Cuba

La Habana
La Habana

I am not going to bother you with details, but unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have no access to the Internet), I’m sure you know that hipster/communist/pothead/deranged/delusional President Barack Obama on Wednesday decided to be like BFF with the Castro brothers (and no, I’m not talking about those other Castro brothers.)

In any case, I’m sure you’re already planning your 2015 Cuba bacchanalia vacation thinking it’s going to be non-stop music, cigars, rum, chicas and fiesta. But let’s take a look at what this country looks like right now before you guys go ruin it all (HINT: It’s gorgeous!)

Oh, and by the way, I’m posting the following photos — taken by yours truly — with confidence I will not be deported and/or lose my Green Card in the process. (Should that be the case, please start raising some funds for my release.)

All photos by Laura Martínez (2012).

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Chicago Market Wants you to Know These Chips are ‘Hispanic’

Pyramid... the word 'Hispanic'... burros (donkeys). How can you go wrong?
A Pyramid, the word ‘Hispanic’, a caricature of a burro (donkey) on the bag…                                 How can you go wrong?

Marianos Market in Chicago seems to be aware of all the faux “Hispanic food” flooding the market these days, so it’s going the extra mile, labelling things properly, so customers can tell the difference between make-believe “Mexican food” and genuine Chichen Itzá-labelled, donkey-inspired corn chips.

¡Bravo! This blogger appreciates the effort. Really.

Photo: DonMarquito


My Office Welcomes Visitors with Mexican Christmas Flowers

Yes. That's a pool table back there...
Nochebuenas at the CBS Interactive offices in NYC. (Yeah, that’s a pool table in the background)

I know you were dying to know that Poinsettias (aka Euphorbia pulcherrima) are none other than the archfamous Mexican — and Central American — Christmas flowers better known as Nochebuenas or flores de pascua, which are not to be confused with these other delicious Nochebuenas.

The best part about Poinsettias?

Their English name derives from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the United States in 1825.

Now you know.

Let’s drink to Joel Roberts Poinsett.


The 'other' Nochebuena
The ‘other’ Nochebuena

Looks Like Mexican-Spanish Cuisine is a ‘Thing’ in the U.S.

Call me crazy, but last time I checked, Spanish cuisine had absolutely nothing to do with the cuisine of my forefathers (i.e. the Mexicans).

I mean, we cannot even agree on what the hell a tortilla is all about, so WTH?

Anyhow, I guess I shouldn’t be that shocked, after all this time living on this side of the border, the country that has given us the Fritos Enchilada Melt and the $10 non-taco tacos, among many other horrors.

So let’s welcome yet one more nonsensical ethnic meal and, ¡coño! ¡que viva la comida Hispano-Mexicana!