Category Archives: celebration

Fiesta DC 2012

Taking photos at Fiesta DC this past Sunday was a challenge for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons was the sheer number of other people trying to photograph and video tape the event. At times I felt like I was in a group of paparazzi fighting for position – and then when I would finally frame the perfect shot, someone would inevitably ruin it by running across with a video camera or sticking their iPhone in front of me.

Some of the people were amateur or hobbyist photographers like me, some were obviously freelance professionals or working for media – And then there were young males, usually equipped with cellphone cameras, who were just trying to photograph the nalgas of the cachiporras to share on their Facebook.

Anyway, here are my favorite shots which I had some fun editing and a video of the general atmosphere.

By the way, speaking of nalgas, at one point during the parade a woman with a very generous backside stood in front of us. Carlos, to his credit, didn’t even seem to notice despite the fact that her “pants” were actually leggings and you could see her thong through the fabric.

“¡Qué bárbara!” a little old man said. The old man, not content to enjoy the view by himself and feeling the need to share, elbowed Carlos. Jutting his chin towards the woman in front of them he said, with a lascivious expression on his face, “Ella es Santa Bárbara, ¿vá?”

Carlos looked confused, “Oh, ¿sí?” he replied.
“Ssssíííííí,” the viejo hissed appraising the woman’s behind, practically licking his lips. Noting the fact that Carlos didn’t understand what he meant, the viejo then asked, “¿No sabes?”

“¿No?” Carlos said, the question on his face.

I rolled my eyes at the predictable dirty old man.

“¡Es santa por delante y bárbara por atrás!” the viejo said, erupting in laughter as if he had said the most clever and original thing in the world.

Carlos laughed politely and I pinched him.

“What?” Carlos said.
“Stand back here, away from the viejo chuco,” I said.

After the parade we had lunch. I wanted pupusas but Carlos made a good point that we eat pupusas all the time and that we should eat something different, so we ended up buying delicious Mexican tortas. (The boys and I had the torta milanesa de pollo with horchata. Carlos had the torta de carnitas with agua fresca de tamarindo.)

Just as we finished eating and were deciding what to do next, I heard “Los Hermanos Lovo” announced on a nearby stage.

“No way!” I said out loud, “Hermanos Lovo!”

Carlos looked at me like I had lost my mind as I pulled his hand in the direction of the stage.

“It’s the Chanchona music I blogged about. Remember?… Hermanos Lovo!”

For three songs I tapped my hand against my side, tapped my feet, and moved my hips, waiting for people to dance, but only a few people were dancing, and they were getting stared at. Everyone else just pretty much stood there and watched the performance. I found this a little strange given that at most Latino dominant events I’ve been too, there’s usually not a lack of dancing. I wonder if most of the people there have become too Americanized in this respect? Too self-conscious?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I leaned toward Carlos and he leaned toward me so he could hear me.

“Want to dance?” I asked, eyes brimming with hope like a child asking for a puppy.

Carlos said nothing, just turned toward me and took me in his arms, and we danced.

Within seconds much of the crowd had turned to look at us and stood gaping. Carlos whispered in my ear, “We’re being photographed and video taped.” I felt a flood of gringa self-consciousness wash through me but we kept dancing, and soon, the people around us, were just a blur of colors.

Happy Independence Day, Guanacos!

I wanted to do something special for El Salvador’s Independence Day, so I decided to make a few regalitos for all my cheros guanacos.

First, here is free desktop wallpaper for your computer!

Desktop wallpaper! Click for full size.

To use it:

• Click the image to enlarge
• Right click and select “Set as Desktop Background”
• Customize it to your desktop as you wish (I think “Tiled” looks best)
• Click “Set Desktop Background”

I also created some fun worksheets for you and your cipotes. Choose the one you like, click the link or image, click “Download” over on, and then once you have it on your computer, open the PDF and print.

Click here to go download the crossword puzzle!


Click here to go download the word search puzzle!


Feliz Día de la Independencia a El Salvador! (Happy Independence Day to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua as well, también a nuestros amigos en México who will celebrate tomorrow.)

Piñatas Peludas

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!

Ustedes ya saben que me encantan las piñatas, (Bueno ¿Qué tipo de persona sin corazón no le gusta de ellas?)

Pero, la semana pasada encontré unas piñatas que nunca vi antes. Las piñatas eran bien grandes pero la cosa que me impresiono más era que las piñatas eran peludas – ¡sí! Peludas!

Les voy a enseñar para que me entiendan mejor qué estoy diciendo.

Ya ven que no estoy loca y tenía razón! Las piñatas son peludas, ¿vá?


You all already know that I love piñatas, (well, what sort of heartless person doesn’t like them?)

However, the other week I found some piñatas that I had never seen before. The piñatas were kind of big but the thing that impressed me most was that the piñatas were furry – yes! Furry!

I’ll show you so you have a better idea of what I mean.

You see, I’m not crazy, I was right! The piñatas are furry, are they not?

4th of July Reminder

It’s almost the 4th of July, gente. You know what that means, right?

Image source: Paul Long

Time to stock up on fireworks so you have cuetes to set off later this year on Noche Buena.

Image source: Guillermo Flores

Piñata Grande!

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 in italics!

Un día yo estaba buscando fotos de una piñata cuando encontré esta foto.
One day I was looking for photos of a piñata when I found this.

Image source: Christopher Thompson

Yo no podía creer lo que veía y decidí seguir investigando.
I couldn’t believe my eyes and decided to investigate further.

Image source: Christopher Thompson

Aparentemente esta piñata estableció un récord mundial. La piñata fue construida en Filadelfia por Carnival Cruise Lines en 2008. Era casi seis pisos de altura.

Apparently this piñata set a world record. The piñata was constructed in Philadelphia by Carnival Cruise Lines in 2008. It was almost 6 stories tall.

Image source: Christopher Thompson

La pregunta importante: ¿Habia dulces en la piñata? ¡Sí! … y caos rodeó el evento, (igual que si era una fiesta de cumpleaños!) Disfrute!

The important question: Was there candy in the piñata? Yes! … and chaos surrounded the event, (just like it would at a child’s birthday party!) Enjoy!

La emoción en rumbo al evento y, a continuación, la decepción.
The excitement leading up to the event, and then, disappointment.

Noticias sobre cómo la policía detuvo el truco de publicidad por razones de seguridad.
News report about how the police stopped the publicity stunt for safety reasons.

Así es como la piñata se rompió finalmente.
How the piñata was ultimately broken.

Esto es como Carnival Cruise Lines utilizaba la piñata en un comercial.
The way Carnival Cruise Lines used the piñata in a commercial.

Fiesta Latina vs. Fiesta Gringa

It’s birthday party season again and one of the more popular posts on Latinaish is Latino vs. Anglo Birthday Party. A Spanish version of this post was even published in the June/July 2010 issue of SerPadres Magazine after being discovered on Tiki Tiki Blog. So here it is for those of you who are new here or who might have missed it!

The Differences Between an Anglo Kid’s Birthday Party and a Latino Kid’s Birthday Party

#1. Who gets to come?

Anglo – Those whose names are written on the invitation.

Latino – Those whose names are written on the invitation, plus their uncles, cousins, and sometimes random neighbors who had nothing better to do that day.

#2. What time should we come?

Anglo – The time is right there on the invitation.

Latino – An hour late, or else the hosts won’t be ready when you arrive.

#3. Food Etiquette

Anglo – Eat only what is given to you. Don’t ask for seconds even if you’re really hungry.

Latino – Eat as much as you want and then ask for plates to take home leftovers for eating later or to bring to family members who didn’t feel like coming.

#4. Singing, dancing, music

Anglo – The only music heard is when the kids sing “Happy Birthday” at cake time. Dancing is rare, but when it happens, it is usually the “Hokey Pokey”.

Latino – WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD! … Adults dance Perreo in front of the kids, no importa.

#5. Alcohol?

Anglo – Of course not! What’s wrong with you?! It’s a CHILDREN’S birthday party!

Latino- Claro que sí! … The cerveza is there in the cooler, hermano!

#6. Entertainment

Anglo – A strict schedule of organized activities and games for the children.

Latino – Niños, go play in the street or something. Stop bothering the grown ups! We’ll do the piñata later! Híjole!

#7. What’re we eating?

Anglo – Probably pizza.

Latino – Steak, chicken, rice, beans, salad, tortillas, etc. Load your styrofoam plate up until it’s ready to crack under the weight.

#8. When does the party end?

Anglo – Refer to your invitation. Thank your hosts and excuse yourself on the dot. Clear out!

Latino – Party until everyone’s tired and/or Tío Eduardo passes out on the couch while watching a fútbol game.


Credit: Images by Eric Peacock and Paul Kelly used to create graphic.

Cinco de Mayo Humor

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!

Hola gringos! Listos para celebrar cinco de mayo este fin de semana? Bueno, por los que no son gringos, les explico por qué celebramos el aniversario de una batalla en Puebla, México. La mayoría de la gente celebra cinco de mayo en los Estados Unidos no más por tener excusa tomar cerveza, margaritas, y tequila, disfrutar de música mariachi, vestirnos en sombreros y sarapes y comer comida “mexicana” (estilo estado unidense, todo cubierto en queso y salsa.) Eso es!

Y sí, sabemos que somos un poco ridículos – hasta podemos reírnos de nosotros mismos!


Hola gringos! Ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend? Well, for those of you who aren’t gingos, let me explain to you why we celebrate the anniversary of a battle in Puebla, Mexico. The majority of the people in the United States celebrate Cinco de Mayo just to have an excuse to drink beer, margaritas and tequila, enjoy mariachi music, get dressed up in sombreros and sarapes, and eat “Mexican” food (American-style, all covered in cheese and salsa.) That’s it!

And yes, we know we’re a little ridiculous – we can even laugh at ourselves.

Cascarones vs. Easter Eggs

The first year we made cascarones, I didn’t have any dye so I tried to decorate the entire egg with colored tissue paper and glue. It was messy and they didn’t turn out very pretty, so this year I decided to do it the right way and dye the eggs. I bought your typical $1 kit with colored tablets for egg-dyeing at Easter time – a package that is familiar to me from childhood. However, because these kits are meant for American-style Easter eggs, they come with additional items you don’t need for cascarones which apparently perplexed my 10 year old.

Him: What are these for? [picking up stickers and cardboard egg holders]

Me: We don’t need those. Those are for making American Easter eggs.

Him: You put stickers and these thingies on them before you break them on someone’s head?

Me: No, [laughing] You leave the egg in the shell and cook them – you know hard boiled eggs?

Him: [nods]

Me: Then you dye them, put stickers on them, and these little cardboard thingies are so you can display them until you eat them.

Him: You eat them?! That’s weird!

It kind of boggles my mind that my 10 year old couldn’t remember what regular Easter eggs are – I mean, I made them with them before? When they were little? In the past? Didn’t I?… I don’t remember anymore. Apparently, in recent years I’ve done such a good job of teaching the boys Latin American culture that I now need to step it up with showing them Anglo-American traditions from my own childhood.

Have you been whipped by the devil today?

El Día de Los Talcigüines

El Salvador is home to some traditions which can seem funny even to native Salvadorans. This week marks “Semana Santa” (Holy Week) in the Catholic faith, and so today is Lunes Santo, (Holy Monday.)

In a small town called Texistepeque in the department of Santa Ana, Lunes Santo means it is also “El Día de Los Talcigüines” – The word “talcigüines” means “deviled men” in the native language, Nahuatl. Like many traditions in El Salvador and throughout Latin America, the holiday is a result of the mixing of Catholic and indigenous beliefs; this occurred with the arrival of the Spanish and their desire to convert the native people to Catholicism by introducing their religion in ways that would seem familiar to the people.

On “El Día de Los Talcigüines” men dress as devil-like figures and whip people on the streets to absolve them of their sins.

Just make sure that if you ever visit Texistepeque on Holy Monday, you take measures to protect yourself…

whipping devil El Salvador

dónde cuenta.


Read more: History of El Día de Los Talcigüines and how to take part on Official El Salvador Tourism site.

See more: Slideshow of El Día de Los Talcigüines – La Prensa Gráfica

Image source: Images are still frames taken from video by La Prensa Gráfica.

Celebrando Noche Buena

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!

En este tiempo del año me he dado cuenta de que Carlos se pone un poco deprimido. A pesar de que celebramos la Navidad en todos los sentidos imaginables, en Noche Buena nunca hicimos más que envolver los regalos me olvidé de envolver, ir a un servicio religioso, y luego tratar de empujar a los niños a la cama con las amenazas de que Santa Claus se saltará nuestra casa.

En El Salvador, Noche Buena se celebra a lo grande – con música, cuetes, fiestas y todo, así que la tranquilidad de la Noche Buena en los Estados Unidos parece deprimente en comparación.

Este año, ya que no podemos estar en El Salvador, me decidí traer un poco de El Salvador a nuestra casa. Este año vamos a celebrar Noche Buena, estilo salvadoreño.

Los tamales que usualmente hago por Navidad, voy a hacer un día temprano.

Compré una piñata y dulces por llenarla.

(La unica cosa es que, las piñatas estilo estrella se supone tienen siete puntos para representar los siete pecados. Esta piñata tiene sólo seis…Entonces, quedamos con uno.)

También hice papel picado por dar a la casa más ambiente.

He encontrado algunos cuetes que no usamos en el día de la independencia.

Aunque Carlos y yo ya intercambiamos regalos, le compré uno regalito extra para que tenga algo por abrir.

Y me aseguré que mi estación de música cumbia esta listo en

La única cosa es que ahora, mirando mi casa, me hace reír. Me había olvidado de cierto episodio de I Love Lucy hasta ahora. Recuerda aquel en el que Lucy trata de decorar su apartamento como Cuba para Ricky? (Salvo que se parecía a México, pero de todos modos…)

Cuando la gente dijo que “el amor te vuelve loco” – Nunca pensé que querían decir clínicamente, pero la prueba está en la piñata que está colgada en mi sala.

¡Felices fiestas, amigos!


This time of year I’ve noticed that Carlos gets a little depressed. Even though we celebrate Christmas in every way imaginable, Christmas Eve has never been spent doing more than wrapping gifts I forgot to wrap, going to a religious service, and then trying to shove the kids off to bed with threats that Santa Claus will skip our house.

In El Salvador, Christmas Eve is celebrated in a big way – with music, fireworks, parties and everything, so the quiet of Christmas Eve in the United States seems depressing in comparison.

This year, since we can’t go to El Salvador, I decided to bring a little El Salvador to our house. This year, we’ll celebrate Christmas Eve, Salvadoran-style.

The tamales I usually make for Christmas, I’ll make one day early.

I bought a piñata and candies to fill it.

(The only thing is, the star-shaped piñatas are supposed to have seven points to represent the seven sins. This piñata has only six points, so I guess we get to keep one.)

I also made papel picado to give the house more ambiance.

I found some fireworks we didn’t use on Independence Day.

Even though Carlos and I exchanged gifts early, I bought him a little extra one so he has something to open.

And I made sure that my cumbia music station is ready on

The only thing now is, looking around my house, it makes me laugh. I had forgotten about a certain episode of I Love Lucy until now. Remember the one where Lucy tries to make their apartment look like Cuba for Ricky? (Except that it looked like Mexico, but anyway.)

When people said “love will make you crazy” – I never thought they meant clinically, but the proof is in the piñata hanging in my living room.

¡Felices fiestas, amigos!


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