Category Archives: kindness
Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!
Hoy quiero introducirles a mi nueva causa favorita en El Salvador. Glasswing International es una organización independiente, y tienen muchas valiosas iniciativas que estoy planeando apoyar con mi dinero – y ojalá un día cuando regresamas a El Salvador, con mi tiempo. De las iniciativas que tienen, Club Glee es una de mis favoritas. En Club Glee, los jovenes aprenden como cantar y bailar – pero es mucho más que esto. Los jovenes que participaron aprenden cooperación, se sienten aceptados, hacen amigos, y ganan confianza. Al final, programas así no sólo ayudan a los niños, pero también el futuro del pais porque está creando mejores ciudadanos.
Aquí hay un video que realmente me llegó al corazón. Chécalo.
Si quieres apoyar a programas como Club Glee, aprender de sus otras programs, (incluyendo programas en Guatemala y Honduras), o seguir sus perfiles de medios de comunicación social – dale una visita a Glasswing.org [en inglés], o en español AQUÍ.
Today I want to introduce you to my new favorite cause in El Salvador. Glasswing International is an independent organization, and they have many worthwhile initiatives that I’m planning to support with my money – and hopefully one day when we return to El Salvador, with my time. Of the initiatives they have, Club Glee is one of my favorites. In Club Glee, the youth learn how to sing and dance – but it’s much more than that. The young people who participate in the program learn cooperation, feel accepted, make friends, and gain confidence. In the end, programs such as this not only help the children but also help the future of the country because it’s creating better citizens.
Here is a video that really touched my heart. Check it out.
If you want to support programs like Club Glee, learn about their other programs (including programs in Guatemala and Honduras), or follow them in social media – give them a visit at Glasswing.org [English] or in Spanish HERE.
Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!
Mi cumpleaños fue el mes pasado y mi madre me sorprendió con el regalo de una bolsa hecha de arpillera que una vez llevó frijoles de café de El Salvador. Mi mami fue varias veces para Mayorga Coffee y preguntó si tenían bolsas de El Salvador. Significa mucho para mí que mi mamá pensó en un regalo creativo que se ajuste a mis intereses y estilo, y también que ella fue a tantas molestias para conseguirlo.
Si tuviera que adivinar, (y estoy totalmente adivinando), yo diría que esta bolsa es El Porvenir Cup of Excellence de San Miguel. Este café es descrito como “Aroma/Sabor: Aroma picante, mango, mora, cítricos, florales, miel, chocolate, arándano, melaza.” Yo no soy una gran bebedora de café y por lo general mezclo crema y el azúcar tanto que yo nunca sería capaz de probar todas esas sabores, pero es delicioso imaginarlo.
Mi madre dijo que ella iba a tener la bolsa enmarcada pero es bastante grande y ella no quería cargarme con un objeto enmarcado tan grande. Esta fue probablemente una decisión inteligente, porque el espacio es limitado en las paredes de mi casa.
Eso deja la pregunta de qué hacer con la bolsa. He visto a algunas personas que reciclan estas bolsas de café en almohadas, bolsos, y alfombras – pero me decidí a poner la mía en el sofá hasta que decida qué hacer con ella.
Parece bien así, ¿verdad? ¿O crees que debería hacer algo diferente con ella?
My birthday was last month and my mother surprised me with the gift of a burlap bag which once held coffee beans from El Salvador. She went multiple times to Mayorga Coffee and asked if they had any bags from El Salvador. It means a lot to me that she thought of such a creative gift that fits my interests and style, and also that she went to so much trouble to get it.
If I had to guess, (and I’m totally guessing), I’d say this bag is the El Porvenir Cup of Excellence variety from San Miguel. This coffee is described as “Aroma/flavor: spicy aroma, mango, berry, floral, citrus, honey, chocolate, cranberry, molasses.” I am not a big coffee drinker and I usually mix in so much creamer and sugar that I’d never be able to taste all those notes, but it’s delicious to imagine.
My mother said she was going to have the bag framed but it’s pretty big and she didn’t want to burden me with a large framed object. This was probably a smart move because wall space is limited at my house at this point.
That leaves the question of what to do with the bag. I’ve seen some people recycle these coffee bags into pillows, purses, and rugs – but I decided to just lay mine on the back of the sofa until I figure out what to do with it.
It looks kind of good just like that, doesn’t it? Or do you think I should make something with it?
Update: After posting this, a friend (from Mexico), asked if “frijoles de café” is how you say “coffee beans” in El Salvador, because she knows them only as “granos de café.” It turns out that “frijoles de café” is just my very literal and incorrect translation from English. I have always called coffee beans “frijoles” and Carlos, for whatever reason, has never corrected me. Maybe this is his payback for me laughing at his English.
Another interesting note, after I posted this, Carlos kept referring to the bag as a “costal” (a new word for me.) “Costal” is the word for “sack” and is more accurate than calling it a “bolsa” or “bag.”
Over the weekend I shared on Facebook that I discovered these Spanish-language Conversation Hearts at Target and I asked if I should give away a bag here on Latinaish. As expected, the answer was an overwhelming “¡Claro que sí!” so here is your chance to win a bag of Spanish candy hearts for Valentine’s Day! See the rules (below) for how to enter.
(Random fact: The brand name is Brach’s, a company started by a German immigrant in the United States but the package says these particular candies were made in Argentina. Interesting!)
—GIVEAWAY CLOSED. CONGRATS TO: JEN E!—
Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a 1 lb. bag of Brach’s Spanish Sayings Conversation Hearts in Classic Flavors.
Approximate value: $2.50
How to Enter:
Just leave a comment below telling me what Spanish word or short phrase you would want on the candy heart someone gives to you, or what you would put on the one to give to your valentine. (Please read official rules below.)
Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will not be shared with any third parties. This prize was purchased by Latinaish.com and will be shipped by Latinaish.com. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between February 4th, 2013 through February 7th, 2013. Entries received after February 7th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. I will try to have the prize shipped so it arrives before Valentine’s Day but I do not make any guarantees that it will arrive on time. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.
Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Brach’s was not contacted by Latinaish.com and Brach’s does not necessarily endorse Latinaish.com. All opinions are my own.
Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation in italics!
Sí, ya sé que es muy temprano por escribir sobre El Día de San Valentín, (también conocido como “Día de los Enamorados” y “Día del Amor y la Amistad”), pero yo no puedo esperar porque les tengo una sorpresa.
He creado algunos “valentines” para ustedes en español! Por favor, siéntase libres de compartirlos en las redes sociales, a través de E-mail, o incluso imprimirlos y darlos a su amorcito. Son completamente gratuitos. Besos!
Title: 10 Valentines
Yes, I know it’s too early to write about Valentine’s Day, (also known as “Día de los Enamorados” and “Día del Amor y la Amistad” in Latin America), but I can’t wait because I have a surprise for you.
I have created valentines for you all in Spanish! Please, feel free to share these in social media, through E-mail, or even to print them and give them to your sweetheart. They’re completely free to use. Kisses!
Please note: The license on each of these photos put in place by the individual photographers allows for non-commercial use and adaptations of the original with attribution. Each photo has been watermarked by me with the photographers name and linked to the original photograph. I want to thank the photographers for making their photos available for use under Creative Commons.
If you’re a fútbol fan, chances are you know a big game is on tonight. El Salvador vs. Mexico. (The U.S. vs. Guatemala also!)
If you’re Salvadoran or Mexican, you know that games between the two tend to stir up some animosity. Even though a lot of people tell me I’m naive to think I can make a difference, each time Mexico and El Salvador play each other, I tend to make a public appeal that the teams, as well as the fans, respect each other and the game. Carlos has told me before that I’m wasting my time and that the two will always be bitter rivals. There’s no problem with a little rivalry, but I still think we can be respectful rivals.
If I keep even one Salvadoran from throwing things at Chicharito, or encourage even one fan of El Tri to rethink and ultimately decide not to make an ignorant comment about Salvadorans, then I’ll be happy.
Here are two graphics I made which I encourage you to share around social media. Help me spread the word. Keep Calm and Respect Each Other. Mantengan la Calma y Respetense Uno al Otro.
While I was creating these graphics, I stumbled upon a photo of President Obama holding a blue T-shirt. I couldn’t help but do a little photoshopping.
Looks like Pres. Obama is a reluctant fan of La Selecta. I think his facial expression reflects what a lot of us are feeling about tonight’s game. We’ll put on the azul, but maybe we’re not feeling all that hopeful.
Either way, buena suerte to both teams. Win or lose, I hope they give us a good game.
Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!
Hay unos comerciales que salen en la televisión que no están vendiendo nada salvo la idea que podemos hacer actos de bondad, y practicar otras virtudes como la honestidad. Esos comerciales son producidos por La Fundación para una Vida Mejor y cuando los veo, a veces me sacan las lágrimas porque me pongo a pensar que bonito podría ser el mundo si todos intentaban tratar a los demás con amabilidad.
Viste los comerciales de La Fundación para una Vida Mejor? Cuál es tu favorito? Cómo te hacen sentir?
There are some commercials on TV that are not selling anything but the idea that we can do acts of kindness, and practice other virtues like honesty. These commercials are produced by The Foundation for a Better Life and when I see them, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes to think how beautiful the world could be if everyone just tried to treat others with kindness.
Have you seen the commercials from the Foundation for a Better Life? Which is your favorite? How do they make you feel?
One of the great things about having a blog is that sometimes opportunities come along to use that blog to do good – this is one of those times. I have an amazing project to share with you today, and then after that, a really unique giveaway.
First, the project – Nestlé Juicy Juice and Feeding America are working together to literally put fresh fruit into the hands of children who otherwise wouldn’t have it, and there are a lot of ways you can help make that happen.
Ways to contribute to the Fruit For All Project
• Now through August 31st 2012, when you buy Juicy Juice products, Nestlé will donate fruit to Feeding America.
• Now through August 31st 2012, you can complete “challenges” such as sharing a photo on Juicy Juice’s Fruit for All website, in return Nestlé will donate fruit to Feeding America.
Ready to help out? Here are the websites in English and Spanish:
Okay, now for the giveaway – I hope you believed me when I said this is unique. The prize in this giveaway is a donation of 400 meals to a food bank in your community! What an amazing gift to be able to give!
How to Enter
All you need to do to enter is just leave a comment below telling me your favorite fruit! (Please read official rules below.)
Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be living in the United States. Your information will only be shared with the company in charge of prize fulfillment. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between June 8th, 2012 through August 1st, 2012. Entries received after August 1st, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post. The only compensation I received was the offer to donate 400 meals to my local food bank. All opinions are my own.
Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation at the bottom!
Carlos no es tímido, pero es algo antisocial. Uno no pensaría esto si uno lo encuentra porque él es un tipo simpático, agradable, pero la mera neta es que él prefiere pasar el tiempo con la familia y la gente que ya conoce muy bien.
Yo estoy lo contrario. Por naturaleza soy tímida pero me obligo a no actuar en el impulso de quedarme solita. Pasar tiempo alrededor de un montón de gente me agota, pero por iqual, me encanta vivir nuevas experiencias y tengo curiosidad por los demás.
Por eso, yo estaba sorprendida y feliz la semana pasada cuándo Carlos me dijo que unos de sus compañeros de trabajo nos invitaron a su apartamento y después a jugar fútbol. Bueno, ellos nos han invitaron un par de veces antes pero Carlos siempre no queria ir. Esta vez, (no sé por qué) él me preguntó si me gustaría aceptar la invitación. Mi repuesta fue, “Por supuesto! ¡Por fin!”
Así que fuimos viernes por la tarde al apartamento de su compañero, Mando. Ya conocia a él, su eposa e hijo porque fuimos una vez al cumple del niño, pero eso fue ya dos años pasados y ahora ellos están viviendo en un nuevo lugar.
Nos sentamos en las sillas del comedor y Mando abrió las ventanas para que la brisa entrara porque ellos no tienen aire acondicionado. Después, como buen anfitrión, Mando nos ofreció tamales; cuando aceptó con entusiasmo, él desapareció detrás de una cortina que divide la sala y comedor de la cocina.
Miré las paredes de la casa mientras yo esperaba. En una pared desnuda de otro modo había colgado un póster grande en un cuadro plastico. Era el tipo de póster que pueden verse en el pasillo de una escuela. El póster mostraba un águila con una bandera americana ondeando en el fondo – en la parte de abajo en una fuente blanca y con letras mayúsculas, decia: “COURAGE” (coraje) … Me pregunté si sabían lo que significa, ya que no hablan mucho inglés. De cualquier manera, me tocó ver ese póster en su apartamento – Me pareció simbólico.
Mando regresó con un plato de poliestireno lleno de tamales envueltas en papel aluminio. Él puso un vaso en la mesa. “¿Agua?” preguntó, sosteniendo una jarra de líquido morado. Le permití que me sirve un vaso de “agua” morada, aunque yo no tenía idea de lo que era. Resulto ser “agua de uva”, pero Mando y los otros compañeros se refieren a la bebida simplemente como “agua”.
Después de comer, fuimos a la cancha. Allí me senté en la banca con las otras mujeres y niños, mientras que los hombres jugaban. “¿Las mujeres nunca juegan?” le pregunté a la esposa de Mando. Ella me miró como si yo fuera un poco rara, pero con una sonrisa amable ella negó con la cabeza. Me molesto un poco que no podía jugar fútbol también pero lo acepté para no avergonzar a Carlos o hacer incómodos nuestros nuevos amigos.
En vez de jugar, saqué fotos, (lo cual era, probablemente, también una extraña cosa gringa que hacer.)
¡Qué hermosa es la cancha? ¿No están de acuerdo que parece a El Salvador o de algún país lejano? Esto en realidad es Pensilvania.
Pasé la tarde y la noche hablando con las mujeres y jugando con los niños. La esposa de Mando está embarazada y hablamos sobre nombres de bebé entre otras cosas personales. Ella me habló sobre su familia en México y se ofreció a enseñarme cómo hacer una salsa especial que hace. Se sentía bien hacer una amiga, observar cosas nuevas y experimentar la bondad de los demás pero salió la luna y todos los hombres proclamarón que estaban agotados, así que nos regresamos a casa.
Lo mejor? Carlos dice que podemos hacer esto todos los viernes.
Carlos isn’t shy, but he’s kind of antisocial. You wouldn’t think that if you met him because he’s a nice, likeable guy, but the simple truth is that he prefers spending time with family and people he already knows very well.
I’m kind of the opposite. By nature I’m shy but I force myself not to act on the urge to stay to myself. Spending time around a lot of people exhausts me, but just as much, I love new experiences and I’m curious about others.
So I was surprised and happy last week when Carlos told me that one of his co-workers invited us to their apartment and then to play soccer. Well, they have invited us a couple of times before but Carlos has always refused to go. This time, (I don’t know why) Carlos asked me if I wanted to accept the invitation. My response was, “Of course! Finally!”
So Friday afternoon we went to the apartment of his friend, Mando. I had met him, his wife and son before because we went once to the child’s birthday party, but that was already two years ago and now they live in a different place.
We sat in mismatched chairs and Mando opened the windows so the breeze could come in because they don’t have air conditioning. Then, good host that he is, Mando asked if we’d like tamales; when I accepted with enthusiasm, he disappeared behind a curtain that divides the dining and living room from the kitchen.
I looked at the walls of the house while I waited. On an otherwise bare wall hung a large poster in a plastic frame. It was the kind of poster one might see in the hallway of a school. The poster showed an eagle with an American flag waving in the background – at the bottom in a white font and in capital letters, it said: “COURAGE” …I wondered if they know what is says since they don’t speak much English. Either way, it touched me to see that poster in their apartment – It seemed symbolic.
Mando returned with a styrofoam plate filled with foil-wrapped tamales. He put a glass on the table. “Agua?” he asked, holding a jug of purple liquid. I allowed him to serve me a glass of purple “water”, although I had no idea what it was. Turns out it was “agua de uva,” [a type of grape juice] but Mando and the others refer to the drink as simply “agua.”
After we ate, we went to the soccer field. There I sat on the sidelines with the other women and children while the men played. “Do women ever play?” I asked the wife of Mando. She looked at me like I was a bit odd, but with a friendly smile she shook her head. I got a little annoyed that I couldn’t play soccer as well but I accepted it, not wanting to embarrass Carlos or make our new friends uncomfortable.
Instead of playing, I took pictures, (which was probably also a strange gringa thing to do.)
How beautiful is the soccer field? Doesn’t it look like it could be El Salvador or some distant country? This is actually Pennsylvania.
I spent the afternoon and evening talking with the women and playing with the children. Mando’s wife is pregnant and so we talked about baby names and other personal things. She opened up to me about her family in Mexico and offered to teach me how to make a special salsa that she makes. It felt good to make friends, see new things and experience the kindness of others but soon the moon came out and the men proclaimed that they were exhausted, so we went home.
The best part? Carlos says we can do this every Friday.
While we have plenty of people living in poverty here in the United States, it usually isn’t quite so visible, especially if you live in the suburbs.
Going to El Salvador was eye-opening for the boys, and it reminded Carlos and I to be thankful for what we have, too. There were two encounters we had with people that have especially stuck with me.
The first one happened on our way to a mini-carnival. During the first week of August, carnivals pop up all over El Salvador. This one wasn’t well-known or in any way special, but it was close by so we thought we would walk over and ride a few rides one day.
As I climbed the sidewalk which curved up and around into a parking lot where the carnival had been erected, a half-empty 2 liter bottle of Sprite came rolling to a stop at my feet. I picked it up, and awaited the owner, who I knew must only be seconds behind, chasing it down the hill. Sure enough, the owner of the bottle arrived. A little girl, maybe 8 years old, stood before me. Her hair looked like it hadn’t been brushed in days, her face had smears of dirt on it, and her clothes were little more than rags. Next to her stood a little boy, probably her younger brother. He was in a similar condition. Both stood wide-eyed, looking at me, their arms filled with remnants of food they had dug from the trash. I situated the bottle back into the crook of her arm so she wouldn’t drop it. Before I could say anything, she whispered “gracias” and they both disappeared into the crowd.
The second encounter was on our last day. We had walked around the mall buying some last minute souvenirs and then decided to get some paletas. Our youngest son had ordered a paleta de uva and rejected it after his first bite. “This has real grapes in it!” he said, disgusted.
“You ordered grape!” Carlos said angrily.
“But I wanted just regular purple grape,” he said looking sadly at his paleta.
I touched Carlos’s arm gently. “Nene, he didn’t know better. He was expecting artificial grape flavor like American popsicles,” I said.
Carlos sighed, took the paleta for himself even though he didn’t want it, and bought our son another one.
We headed back to the hotel while we ate our paletas. By the time we reached the pasarela stairs, the boys and I had finished ours but Carlos still had a few bites left on the stick.
“Chele,” a woman said to Carlos, as we started up the stairs. She looked up at us, her face pressed between the railings.
“Regalame su paleta,” she said. [Gift me your popsicle.]
Somehow I could tell, the woman wasn’t terribly old, but a rough life had aged her prematurely. She was thin and wrinkled, her hair unwashed for a long time.
Carlos handed her the popsicle.
“Disculpe,” [Forgive me] she said, as she turned away and finished off the paleta.
Carlos and I exchanged looks. We turned back around and rushed to the first fast food counter we could find, ordering her a hot dog and a soda.
When we went back to the pasarela, the woman was still in the area, just down the street a little. I gave our younger son the hot dog and our older son the soda. I wanted them to be the ones to hand it to her so they would remember it.
“Hot dog para usted,” our youngest son said, giving her one of his infectious smiles. Our older son handed her the soda wordlessly.
The boys say her face lit up with a smile and she thanked them.
From the top of the pasarela we watched her for a few minutes. She opened the bag that contained the hot dog and stared into it then closed it up tight. She did this several times. The soda she hid under a nearby bush. We couldn’t really make sense of what she was doing. I told Carlos we should keep walking. Regardless of what she ended up doing with the lunch we gave her, we left feeling that we had done something good and that we had given the boys one of the most valuable souvenirs ever.