5 Vídeos Favoritos – Agosto 2013

5vids

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!

Ya saben que siempre estoy colectando vídeos que me gustan para compartir con ustedes. Estos son mis vídeos favoritos en este momento! // You guys already know that I’m always collecting videos that I like so I can share them with you. Here are my favorite videos at this moment!

#1. No, no es un Justin Bieber Colombiano – es una parodia que hizo un taxista en Medellín. // No, it’s not a Colombian Justin Bieber – it’s a parody made by a taxi driver in Medellin.

#2. Tienes que escapar de los Zetas? Haganles una pizza como este dichoso salvadoreño – ¡Guau! // Need to escape from the Zetas? Make them a pizza like this lucky Salvadoran. Wow!

#3. Miren estas cipotas subiendo el árbol sin miedo y con tanta habilidad! Qué lindas son! // Look at these girls climb the tree without any fear and so much skill! How cute they are!

#4. Conan O’Brien aprende malas palabras en español por Diego Luna. // Conan O’Brien learns bad words in Spanish from Diego Luna.

#5. Mi amiga Maricela me dijo que el documental “Hecho en México” ya está disponible en Netflix. Se ve buenísimo. // My friend Maricela told me this documentary, “Hecho en Mexico” is now available on Netflix. It looks really good.

NOT the Latino Justin Bieber

Image source: Matt Hunter/Mi Señorita video

Image source: Matt Hunter/Mi Señorita video

“Justin Bieber can sing in Spanish?” was my confused reaction upon hearing Matt Hunter for the first time this morning. Apparently I’m not the only one who has made this comparison, as I found in this People en Español interview with the Latino American singer (who turns out to be of Colombian and Italian descent):

Y como los medios lo han identificado como el “Justin Bieber latino”, Matt responde: “Yo admiro a Justin Bieber; la música de él es bien cool, pero yo soy mi propia persona; tengo mi propia musica, mi propio estilo. A veces no me gusta que me comparen, pero me gusta mucho la música de Justin Bieber”.

Por eso prefiere que no lo presenten como el Justin Bieber latino: “No. Yo soy el Matt Hunter latino”.

- source: People en Español

So, out of respect for Matt’s wishes, I will refrain from calling him the Latino Justin Bieber even though I’m completely behind on new music right now, (as Matt has been making news since at least last year), and I seriously did think it was Justin Bieber singing in Spanish. I just want to say I love this video and this song is probably going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the week.

Fun Fact: Matt Hunter was the voice of Diego on Nickelodeon’s animated children’s show, Go, Diego, Go!

Finding My Heroes – a guest post

Today I’m honored to share a guest post from children’s author and Salvadoran, René Colato Laínez, as part of a “blog hop” and giveaway by Latinas for Latino Literature (L4LL).

Twenty Latino/a authors and illustrators plus 20 Latina bloggers, (well, 19 Latina bloggers and this gringa), have joined up with L4LL for this event. From April 10th to April 30th a different Latino/a author/illustrator will be hosted on a different blog. (Click here for all the posts!) Today you can read René’s touching article right here on Latinaish.com and then see the details to enter the giveaway below.

Without further ado, I present, René Colato Laínez.

Rene_Colato_Lainez

Finding My Heroes

by René Colato Laínez

I learned to read and write in El Salvador. As a child, I loved to read the comic books of my heroes: El Chavo del ocho, El Chapulin Colorado, Mafalda, Cri Cri, and Topo Gigo. My favorite book was Don Quijote de La Mancha.

When I arrived to the United States, I tried to find these heroes in the school library or in my reading books, but I didn’t have any luck. I asked myself, are my heroes only important in Spanish? I knew that the children from Latin America knew about my heroes but the rest of the children and my teachers did not have any clue.

One day, I was writing about my super hero and my teacher asked me, who is this CHA-PO-WHAT? COLORADO and then, she suggested, “It would be better for you to write about Superman or Batman.” On another occasion, a teacher crossed out with her red pen all the instances of “Ratón Pérez” in my essay and told me, “A mouse collecting teeth! What a crazy idea! You need to write about the Tooth Fairy.”

I started to read and enjoy other books but I missed my heroes. In my senior year of high school, my English teacher said that our next reading book would be The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. I will never forget that day when I was holding the book. It was written by a Latina writer and I could relate to everything that she was describing in the book. The House On Mango Street became my favorite book. I said to myself, “Yes, we are also important in English.”

I write multicultural children books because I want to tell all my readers that our Latino voices are important, too, and that they deserve to be heard all over the world.

My goal as a writer is to produce good multicultural children’s literature; stories where minority children are portrayed in a positive way, where they can see themselves as heroes, and where they can dream and have hope for the future. I want to write authentic stories of Latin American children living in the United States.

My new book is Juguemos al Fútbol/ Let’s Play Football (Santillana USA). This is a summary of the book: Carlos is not sure that football can be played with an oval-shaped ball. Chris is not sure that it can be played with a round ball. It may not be a good idea to play with a kid who is so different… He doesn’t even know how to play this game! Wait. It looks kind of fun… Let’s give it a try! Enjoy and celebrate the coming together of two cultures through their favorite sports.

To conclude, I want to share this letter in English and Spanish. Everyone, let’s read!

______________________________________________________________________________________

Dear readers:

When I was a child, my favorite place in the house was a corner where I always found a rocking chair. I rocked myself back and forth while I read a book. Soon the rocking chair became a magic flying carpet that took me to many different places. I met new friends. I lived great adventures. In many occasions, I was able to touch the stars. All the books I read transported me to the entire universe.

Books inspired me! I also wanted to write about the wonderful world that I visited in my readings. I started to write my own stories, poems and adventures in my diary. Every time I read and revised my stories, I found new adventures to tell about. Now, I write children’s books and it is an honor to share my books with children around the world.

I invite you to travel with me. Pick up a book and you will find wonders. Books are full of adventures, friends and fantastic places. Read and reach for the stars.

Saludos,
René Colato Laínez

En español:

Querido lectores,

Cuando era niño, el lugar favorito de mi casa era una esquina donde estaba una mecedora. Me mecía de adelante hacia atrás mientras leía un libro. Enseguida la mecedora se convertía en una alfombra mágica y volaba por el cielo. Conocía a nuevos amigos. Vivía nuevas aventuras. En muchas ocasiones, hasta llegaba a tocar las estrellas. Los libros que leía, me podían llevar a cualquier parte del universo.

¡Los libros me inspiraban tanto! Yo también quería escribir sobre ese mundo maravilloso que visitaba. Así que comencé a escribir mis cuentos, poemas y aventuras en un diario. Cada vez que releía y volvía a escribir un cuento, este se llenaba de nuevas grandes aventuras. Hoy en día escribo libros para niños y es un honor compartirlos con muchos niños alrededor del mundo.

Los invito a viajar conmigo. Tomen un libro y descubrirán maravillas. Los libros están llenos de aventuras, amigos, y lugares hermosos. Lean y toquen las estrellas.

Saludos,
René Colato Laínez

René Colato Laínez is a Salvadoran award-winning author of many multicultural children’s books, including Playing Lotería, The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, From North to South, René Has Two Last Names and My Shoes and I. He is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults. René lives in Los Angeles and  he is a teacher in an elementary school, where he is known as “the teacher full of stories.” Visit him at renecolatolainez.com.

The Giveaway

L4LL has put together a wonderful collection of Latino children’s literature to be given to a school or public library. Many of the books were donated by the authors and illustrators participating in this blog hop. You can read a complete list of titles here on the L4LL website.

To enter your school library or local library in the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, April 29th, 2013. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced on the L4LL website on April 30th, Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros, and will be contacted via email – so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If we have no way to contact you, we’ll have to choose someone else!)

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

The Girl

thegirl

When I first saw the trailer for The Girl, I knew immediately that I wanted to see the film – and then I found out that it opens on March 8th in New York and on March 15th in Los Angeles, (two locations I’m nowhere near.) Thankfully I not only got the opportunity to screen the film online, but to interview the director, David Riker.

I think you’ll be able to sense how much I loved this film from my interview questions (below), but if it isn’t clear enough, I’ll tell you – I loved it and recommend that anyone who is able to see it – go see it. I’ve watched a lot of films with immigration and border themes – this one is different thanks to the fact that it’s told through the eyes of a gringa who is already struggling with her own issues. The Girl will make you think, and then think twice about border issues and what defines a good life.

Description:

From David Riker, the director of La Ciudad, and Paul Mezey, the producer of Oscar-nominated films Maria Full of Grace and Beasts of the Southern Wild, comes a new film The Girl.

Abbie Cornish plays Ashley, a young single mom struggling with the loss of her child to Social Services, unwilling to accept the consequences of her actions and trapped in the quicksand of her south Texas life.

When Ashley’s path collides with Rosa (Maritza Santiago Hernandez), a strong-minded girl who has lost her mother while crossing the Rio Grande, she unwittingly begins a journey that will change her life forever.

Starting in a big box store in Texas and ending in a small village in southern Mexico, The Girl turns the immigrant story upside down, questioning the myth of the American Dream and asks that we consider the possibility of a better life – south of the border.

Interview with Director, David Riker

Latinaish: I understand you also wrote the script for this film? What was your inspiration?

DR: My inspiration to write the script has its roots in my debut feature, called ‘La Ciudad’ which was filmed over the course of five years in New York’s Latin American immigrant community. Listening to so many stories of sacrifice in crossing the border, I decided to travel there and see with my own eyes. What I saw was deeply upsetting, but also surprising, and after traveling back and forth through the borderlands I came to realize that my own preconceptions of the border were false — as is the central myth that hope is in the north. That realization led me to consider a story in which the logic of the border were turned upside down — and to ask the question, what might happen if an Anglo crossed the border — south.

Latinaish: The cinematography of this film was really breathtaking, particularly scenes that took place in Oaxaca, Mexico. Was this shot on location? Can you tell us about that?

DR: Yes, almost all of the film was shot in Mexico, but due to the violence in Tamaulipas (including Nuevo Laredo) we were not able to film along the border. This was a major creative setback as I had spent several years developing close relationships with people in the border city and had every location scouted. In the end we filmed all of the Mexico portion of the story in the state of Oaxaca — much of it in the Istmo, though some in the capital, in addition to the village at the end which is in the Sierra Norte. ‘Re-creating the border’ became the central creative challenge we faced, affecting every department from production design, casting, and wardrobe. The cinematographer is one of the stars of Mexico’s new generation, known for his lyrical work in El Violin.

Latinaish: Which scene was most difficult to capture, either emotionally or physically, and why? What challenges did you face on set?

DR: The most difficult scene… An interesting question. From an emotional standpoint, without a doubt the scene when Rosa realizes her mother has died. From a logistical standpoint, perhaps the nighttime river crossing which I intentionally wanted to film as a baptismal event. Every scene is a challenge, and every challenge is different. More than anything you are battling the lack of time and limited resources, and desperately fighting against compromise. But the Mexican crew and the actors were like a family and we all fought the battle each day together.

Latinaish: I love that the “gringa” in this film, “Ashley”, played by actress Abbie Cornish, spoke Spanish so much of the time, but there was no explanation in the plot as to how the character learned to speak it so well – Can we assume she learned it just by living in southern Texas or from her co-workers? Did the actress, Abbie, already speak Spanish before the film?

DR: You are right, Ashley’s character was a composite of many people I’ve known, and a number of characters I met along the borderlands. Ashley speaks spanish because she has grown up in a Spanish-speaking world in South Texas. But Abbie Cornish didn’t speak a word. I think it’s a great testament to Abbie’s talent and force of character that she was undaunted by the challenge and threw herself into it with total commitment. As she said the first day we met to talk about the project, she didn’t simply want to learn her Spanish dialogues by heart, she wanted to understand the language.

Latinaish: The character “Rosa” played by Maritza Santiago Hernández had a fantastically stubborn personality in the film and I really fell in love with her. Was this her first film? Are there any other projects we can look for her in any time soon?

DR: I too fell in love with Maritza. She is an amazing girl, and yes, this is her first film role. I spent a great deal of time ‘searching for Rosa’ and saw thousands of young girls in communities all over Oaxaca. The casting took more than a year of full time work. I was not looking for a girl who could ‘play’ Rosa — I was looking for Rosa. And when I finally found Maritza I knew I had found her. She needed to be small but very strong, or tough or as you put it ‘stubborn.’ She needed to be full of life and light, but also depth. She needed to be naughty but also thoughtful. And of course she needed to have the indigenous features of the zapotec people in Oaxaca. After the film’s Mexico premiere at the Morelia Film Festival many journalists asked if she wanted to have an acting career. Her answer: ‘first she’ll finish school and become a teacher.’

Latinaish: What do you hope to accomplish with this film? What do you want the audience to take away?

I appreciate the question, as hope is the thing that sustains every storyteller. I hope that the film helps to generate dialogue about what it means to be an American, what it means to be an immigrant today, uprooted and far from home. I hope it helps to re-frame these questions in such a way that real understanding can begin — not through the limited lens of political debate – but in the broadest sense — what is our common humanity? What is it that divides us, and what do we share in common? Of course I know that it is after all only a film, so the goal must be modest. If people enjoy the story, are happy to meet young Maritza and to travel the journey with Ashley, I’m already a happy man.

Links:

DavidRikersTheGirl.com
The Girl on Facebook
The Girl on Twitter

Películas Clasicas Mexicanas

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!

¿Te gustan las películas clasicas mexicanas? Aquí están algunas de mis escenas favoritas. ¿Cuáles son tus favoritas?

Do you like classic Mexican movies? Here are some of my favorite scenes. Which are your favorites?

Poker de Reinas – Corazón de Melón

Pedro Infante – Escuela de Vagabundos – Cucurrucucú Paloma

Pedro Infante – Carta a Eufemia

A Toda Máquina – Gringuita – Pedro Infante y Luis Aguilar

Los Tres Garcias – Pedro Infante

Los Tres Garcias – Pedro Infante, Abel Salazar, Víctor Manuel Mendoza, Sara García & Marga López

Jorge Negrete – Huapango Ranchero

Cantinflas – Por Mis Pistolas

La Música de Dawin y Una Canción Justin Bieber Estilo Bachata!

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!

dawin

Dawin Polanco es un joven músico dominicano-americano con mucho talento. Él no sólo canta, sino que también toca la guitarra y el piano. Vean por ustedes mismos – aquí es su versión de As Long As You Love Me por Justin Bieber, pero estilo bachata. Me encanta!

(Dawin Polanco is a young Dominican-American musician with a lot of talent. Not only does he sing, but he also plays guitar and piano. Look for yourself – here is his version of As Long As You Love Me by Justin Bieber, but bachata style. I love it!)

Claro que Dawin tiene sus propias canciones también, como esta canción, Light of Day (Let ‘Em Go). ¡Qué bella la canción!(Of course Dawin has his own songs too, like this one, Light of Day (Let ‘Em Go).) It’s so beautiful!

Quieren aprender más sobre Dawin? Aquí les traigo una mini-entrevista con él. Chécalo! (Want to learn more about Dawin? Here I bring you a mini-interview with him. Check it out!)

Latinaish habla con cantante, Dawin

(Latinaish speaks with singer, Dawin)

Latinaish: Eres dominicano-americano, ¿Cómo han contribuido las dos culturas en tu vida? (You’re Dominican-American – How have those two cultures contributed to your life?)

Dawin: Sí soy dominicano – estas culturas me han dado el lujo de poder disfrutar plenamente o comprender lo que sucede en el mundo inglés y español. (Yes, I’m Dominican – these cultures have given me the luxury of being able to fully enjoy or understand what is happening in the English and Spanish world.)

Latinaish: ¿Por qué haces música? Parece una pregunta simple, pero no siempre tiene una respuesta fácil! Lo sé porque la gente me ha preguntado por qué escribo.(Why do you make music? It seems like a simple question, but it doesn’t always have an easy answer! I know because people have asked me before why I write.)

Dawin: Es cierto. Por suerte siempre he tenido mi respuesta [se ríe.] Hago música porque es mi manera de vaciar mi mente de cosas negativas y crear música es mi forma de rejuvenecer. (It’s true. Luckily I’ve always had my answer [laughs.] I make music because it’s my way to empty my mind of negative things and making music is my way of rejuvenating.)

Latinaish: ¿Dónde podemos encontrar/comprar tu música? ¿Crees que un día vamos a escuchar una canción en español o spanglish de ti? (Where can we find/buy your music? Do you think we’ll ever hear a song from you in Spanish or Spanglish?)

Dawin: Mi música se puede encontrar en sitios como YouTube donde me gusta hacer mis estrenos. Tengo música gratis y disponible para descarga aquí: www.soundcloud.com/dawin y en iTunes. Te prometo que voy a hacer una canción en español o spanglish y como continuar con mi éxito, me gustaría hacerlo con artistas conocidos. (My music can be found on sites like YouTube where I like to make my premieres. I have free music and it’s available for download here: www.soundcloud.com/dawin and on iTunes. I promise I’ll do a song in Spanish or Spanglish and to continue with my success, I would like to do it with well-known artists.)

Enlaces/Links:

DawinMusic.com
Dawin on Twitter
Dawin on Facebook
Dawin on iTunes

Sonus – Bilingual Boy Band

sonus

Check out these clever, clever boys. Alex, Marcelo, and Andres are three brothers and together they are the band, Sonus.

All three boys were born in California but live in Argentina and I’m predicting right now, (thanks in part to their smart bilingual marketing and strong social media presence), that they are going to be the NEXT BIG THING in the United States. (The music is catchy too!)

Chécalo!

Spanish-language song – Vecina

English version – Save Me Tonight

(Hat tip to WetPaint.com)