5 Hechos Sobre Nosotros

5hechos

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!

Ser perfectamente honesta, no sé qué escribir hoy para Spanish Friday, entonces, vamos a tratar algo nuevo. Voy a compartir 5 hechos sobre Carlos y yo que nunca compartí – pero si lo lees tú, tienes que dejarme 5 hechos sobre ti en los comentarios. ¿Trato hecho? ¡Vamos!

#1. Me quebré un hueso en el pie cuando era un adolescente. Carlos quebró un dedo en el trabajo hace muchos años. A veces nosotros dos tenemos un poco de dolor donde nos quebramos cuando llueve.

#2. Tamarindo es el sabor favorito de Carlos cuando compramos Jarritos. Para mi, el tamarindo es el sabor menos agradable.

#3. Quejas más comunes de Carlos sobre mí: que estoy en la computadora demasiado, que cambio la estación de radio demasiado, que tengo el perro demasiado consentido. Quejas más comunes de mi sobre Carlos: que se enoje muy fácil, que quiere todo perfecto, que sólo le gusta ver las películas de acción con un montón de explosiones.

#4. El personaje de una película o programa de televisión que Carlos dice es más como yo: “Kathleen Kelly” en You’ve Got Mail. El personaje de una película o programa de televisión que yo digo es más como Carlos: “Danny Castellano” en The Mindy Project. (Estamos hablando de personalidad, no
apariencia.)

#5. Cosas que me dan miedo: la mayoría de los insectos y personas en trajes (incluyendo los payasos.) Cosas que le dan miedo a Carlos: “Nada” dice, (¡pero no le creas!)

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what to write today for Spanish Friday so let’s try something new. I will share 5 facts about myself and Carlos that I never shared before – but if you read it, you have to leave me 5 facts about yourself in the comments. Deal? Let’s go!

#1. I broke a bone in my foot when I was a teenager. Carlos broke a finger at work many years ago. Sometimes we both have some pain where we were injured when it rains.

#2. Tamarind is Carlos’s favorite flavor when we buy Jarritos. To me, tamarind is the least palatable.

#3. Common complaints Carlos has about me: I’m on the computer too much, I change the radio station too much, I spoil the dog too much. Common complaints I have about Carlos: he loses his temper too easily, he wants everything to be perfect, he only likes action movies with a lot of explosions.

#4. The character in a movie or TV show that Carlos thinks is most like me: “Kathleen Kelly” in You’ve Got Mail. The character in a movie or TV show that I think is most like Carlos: “Danny Castellano” on The Mindy Project. (We’re talking about personality, not appearance.)

#5. Things that scare me: most insects and people in costumes, (including clowns.) Things that scare Carlos: He says “Nothing.” (But don’t believe him!)

¡Ya tengo mi álbum para la Copa Mundial!

panini-album-1

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!

¡Ya tenemos nuestro álbum oficial Panini para la Copa Mundial Brasil 2014! Si no sabes que es, es un álbum que uno puede llenar con calcomanías de los jugadores. Compramos el álbum por $2 y las paquetes de calcomanías $1 cada uno. Cada paquete contiene 7 calcomanías. A veces uno tiene dobles y puede intercambiar con otros para conseguir las que se necesita.

El álbum venía ya con unas calcomanías gratis, ¡y el mío venía con Chicharito!

chicharito-sticker

Me encanta el álbum por muchas razones, pero una de las razones es porque es multilingüe.

panini-album-2

El otro día Carlos llegaba a casa con diez paquetes. Usualmente toda la familia se divierte en poner las calcomanías en el álbum pero Carlos y yo tuvimos un desacuerdo sobre el mejor método de hacerlo.

panini-stickers

Yo dije que sería mejor si primero ordenamos las calcomanías por equipo, pero Carlos dijo mejor vamos página por página en el álbum, encontrando las calcomanías como necesitábamos. Terminamos haciendolo de la manera que Carlos quería y tuvimos que volver varias veces para las calcomanías olvidadas.

La próxima vez tratamos a mi manera!

¿Cuál es tu método para llenar tu álbum?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

We have our official Panini album for World Cup Brazil 2014! If you don’t know what that is, it’s an album that one can fill with stickers of the soccer players. We bought the album for $2 and the sticker packets for $1 each. Each packet contains 7 stickers. Sometimes one gets doubles and they can trade them with other people to get the stickers they need.

The album came with a few free stickers, and mine came with Chicharito!

I love the album for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons is because it’s multilingual.

The other day Carlos came home with ten packets. Usually the whole family has fun putting the stickers in the album but Carlos and I had a disagreement regarding the best method to do this.

I said it would be best if we first organized the stickers by team, but Carlos said it’s better if we go page-by-page in the album, finding the stickers we need along the way. We ended up doing it the way Carlos wanted, and we had to go back several times for stickers that had been overlooked.

Next time we do it my way!

What method do you use to fill your album?

Note: I am not an official sponsor or partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Any mention of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was editorial in nature and should not be interpreted as an endorsement on their part of myself, my opinions, or this website. I am just a soccer fan sharing with other soccer fans. All opinions are my own.

Mercado de Pulgas

jerseys-fleamarket

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!

El fin de semana pasado, Carlos y yo fuimos al mercado de pulgas, (también conocida como “el mercadillo” pero todos los salvadoreños y mexicanos que conozco aquí en los Estados Unidos le llaman “mercado de pulgas” o simplemente “las pulgas” porque en inglés se llama “flea market.”)

Lo que me gusta de este mercado de pulgas en particular es que hay gente latina vendiendo cosas que me encantan. Claro que saque unas fotos para enseñarles.

En la foto en la parte arriba de esta entrada pueden ver que venden camisetas de fútbol. Este día no tuvieron las camisetas que estabamos buscando, entonces fuimos a una tienda – pero comparto sobre la tienda en otra entrada. Ni modo, habian otras cosas sobre el fútbol que me gustaron.

balls-fleamarket

keychains

shoekeychain

Pero comprando me daba sed, entonces, fuimos al camión de comida por una horchata bien heladita.

foodtruck-fleamarket

duritos-fleamarket

Ver la comida rica me recordó que tenía que comprar la comida por la semana. No tienen todo lo que necesito en el mercadillo, pero tienen buenos precios en frutas y verduras.

limes-fleamarket

mangos-fleamarket

¿Tienes un mercadillo o “mercado de pulgas” cerca de ti? ¿Qué te gusta comprar en tu mercadillo?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

This past weekend, Carlos and I went to the “mercado de pulgas”, (also known as “el mercadillo” but all the Salvadorans and Mexicans I know here in the United States call it “mercado de pulgas” or simply “las pulgas” because in English it’s called “flea market.”)

The thing I like about this flea market in particular is that there are Latino vendors selling things I love. Of course I took some photos to show you.

In the photo at the top of this post you can see they sell soccer jerseys. That day they didn’t have the jerseys we were looking for, so we went to a store – but I’ll share about the store in another post. Anyway, there were other soccer things I liked.

Shopping made me thirsty, so we went to the food truck for a nice, cold horchata.

Seeing the delicious food reminded me that I needed to buy groceries for the week. They don’t have everything I need at the flea market, but they have good prices on fruits and vegetables.

Do you have a flea market near you? What do you like to buy there?

We Need Diverse Books!

Image created by:  Icey Design

Image created by: Icey Design

The past couple days, I have had the immense pleasure of helping organize #WeNeedDiverseBooks with some amazing people – (You may have seen me tweeting already from my @Latinaish account as well as my personal @TracyDeLopez account.) The campaign is described in detail below, but it is basically a call for more diversity in books – something many of us have been talking about for a long time. I remember when Latinas for Latino Lit launched with this same mission, and through that I had the opportunity to express my views on the topic, as well as host authors René Colato Laínez and Meg Medina here on my blog. So I am really excited to see so many people coming together, from la comunidad Latina and beyond – to hopefully bring about some real change in the publishing industry. I hope you’ll join us! – Tracy López

A Joint Message From The Organizers of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, And Details On How You Can Get Involved:

Recently, there’s been a groundswell of discontent over the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The issue is being picked up by news outlets like these two pieces in the NYT, CNN, EW, and many more. But while we individually care about diversity, there is still a disconnect. BEA’s Bookcon recently announced an all-white-male panel of “luminaries of children’s literature,” and when we pointed out the lack of diversity, nothing changed.

Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored. Here’s how:

May 1st at 1pm (EST) – There will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. [People are already using it, so join us!] We want people to use Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blogs, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.

You can also support #WeNeedDiverseBooks by taking a photo holding a sign that says:

“We need diverse books because ___________________________.” Fill in the blank with an important, poignant, funny, and/or personal reason why this campaign is important to you.

The photo can be of you or a friend or anyone who wants to support diversity in kids’ lit. It can be a photo of the sign without you if you would prefer not to be in a picture. Be as creative as you want! Pose the sign with your favorite stuffed animal or at your favorite library. Get a bunch of friends to hold a bunch of signs. However you want to do it, we want to share it! We will host all the photos at WeNeedDiverseBooks.Tumblr, so please submit your photos by May 1st to weneeddiversebooks@yahoo.com with the subject line “photo” or submit it right on our Tumblr page here and it will be posted throughout the first day.

At 1:00PM EST the Tumblr will start posting and it will be your job to reblog, tweet, Facebook, or share wherever you think will help get the word out.

The intent is that from 1pm EST to 3pm EST, there will be a non-stop hashtag party to spread the word. We hope that we’ll get enough people to participate to make the hashtag trend and grab the notice of more media outlets.

The Tumblr will continue to be active throughout the length of the campaign, and for however long we need to keep this discussion going, so we welcome everyone to keep emailing or sending in submissions even after May 1st.

May 2nd – The second part of our campaign will roll out with a Twitter chat scheduled for 2pm EST using the same hashtag. Please use #WeNeedDiverseBooks at 2pm on May 2nd and share your thoughts on the issues with diversity in literature and why diversity matters to you.

May 3rd – At 2pm EST, the third portion of our campaign will begin. There will be a Diversify Your Shelves initiative to encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and buy diverse books and take photos of them. Diversify Your Shelves is all about actively seeking out diverse literature in bookstores and libraries, and there will be some fantastic giveaways for people who participate in the campaign! (More details and giveaway entry HERE!)

We hope that you will take part in this in any way you can. We need to spread the word far and wide so that it will trend on Twitter. So that media outlets will pick it up as a news item. So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone. We hope you will help us by being a part of this movement.

Perro Portero

purin

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!

¿Necesita un momento de ternura? Este perro de raza beagle que se llama Purín y vive en Japón está listo por La Copa Mundial! Mira como defiende la portería.

Fuente: MAS.SV

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Need a moment of cuteness? This Beagle named Purín who lives in Japan is ready for the World Cup! Look how he defends the goal!

Source: MAS.SV

Pachamama

pachamama1
Image source: Dauro Veras

This morning when I remembered it was Earth Day, I started thinking about the concept of “Mother Earth” or “Madre Tierra” – and this in turn reminded me of a word I have always loved – Pachamama. Since it’s Earth Day, this is actually an excellent day to learn, “What or Who, exactly, is Pachamama?”

First, what does “Pachamama” mean, and where does the word come from? Pachamama is an Aymara and Quechua word commonly translated to “Mother Earth” but there isn’t really an exact equivalent in English or Spanish. While “mama” means mother, in Aymara and Quechua, the word “pacha” means far more than “earth” – the word also encompasses the cosmos, universe, time, and space. (On a personal note: I find it interesting that the word “pacha” in Salvadoran slang, which typically comes from Pipil/Nahuat, means “baby bottle” – So it’s another sort of mothering/nurturing word. I wonder if they’re related?)

Pachamama is a goddess of the Inca people and is adored in various areas of Latin America – primarily in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, but also in parts of Chile and Argentina.

pachamama2
Image source: ImagenesDeOcasion

Here are a few quotes about Pachamama that I found interesting:

“It is often difficult for an outsider to understand the devotion of the indigenous people for Pachamama…the principal deity of Andean religion. Pachamama is earth itself, sustainer of all life. In the words of one of the villagers, ‘Pachamama gives us life, she nourishes us throughout our existence on this earth and when we die, we go back to our Pachamama from where we will rise again.’ Pachamama is powerful. She sustains life for animals and plants alike, but she can also kill with devasting earthquakes and allow lightening to strike. Pachamama and the god of thunder and lightening are considered compadres.” – Inge Bolin, Rituals of Respect: The Secret Survival in the High Peruvian Andes

shaman
Description: “Q’eros shaman, called a Paqo, in his ultra-bright traditional poncho and chullo (hat) calling the Apu mountain spirits to bless a mesa, a cloth-wrapped package of special found and collected power objects (like rocks and crystals from places you’ve done ceremony) that a person on the shamanic path carries for ceremonies.” // Image source: McKay Savage

“It is very common for the Pachamama to receive the first serving of beer at social gatherings since believers pour a few drops on the ground before they take their first sip. This is a way to thank and feed the Pachamama.” – Caserita.com

car-pachamama Description: “Decorated Landcruiser – All decorated in honor of Pachamama over the Carnival period. People were doing this all over the Andean countries today.” // Image source: Andy Hares

“According to Mario Rabey and Rodolfo Merlino, Argentine anthropologists who studied the Andean culture from the 1970s to the 1990s, ‘The most important ritual is the challaco. Challaco is a deformation of the Quechua words ‘ch’allay’ and ‘ch’allakuy’, that refer to the action to insistently sprinkle. In the current language of the campesinos of the southern Central Andes, the word challar is used in the sense of ‘to feed and to give drink to the land’. The challaco covers a complex series of ritual steps that begin in the family dwellings the night before. They cook a special food, the tijtincha. The ceremony culminates at a pond or stream, where the people offer a series of tributes to Pachamama, including ‘food, beverage, leaves of coca and cigars.'” – Wikipedia/Pachamama

pachamama-dance Description: “La juventud es parte fundamental del espiritú que aquí se vive, en conjunto. Yo junto a mi novia nos contagiamos del ritmo y la energía de un pueblo que le agradece a su tierra por lo entregado, un verdadero carnaval, donde no hay personas arrastrandose por demostrar su fe, al contrario hay gente saltando y bailando felices de saber que son ellos los hijos del Inti.” // Image source: Pablo Embry

In this quote, the person seems to be referring to the tradition of some Latin American Catholics to crawl on their knees to show their devotion and to thank God and or the Virgin for answered prayer, when he says “…no hay personas arrastrandose por demostrar su fe, al contrario hay gente saltando y bailando felices…” [Translation: "...there are no people crawling to prove their faith, on the contrary, there are people jumping and dancing happily..."] This quote draws a contrast between the two faiths and the way in which they worship, yet there are some who mix their beliefs.

“When the Spanish invaded the Americas, they brought with them their Catholic religion, forcing it upon the indigenous people. But the people, devout to their own gods, resisted these advances…So the Spaniards had to adopt a different plan of attack. As Dr. Cajias says, ‘They then decided to mix Catholic beliefs and figures with native beliefs and figures.’ At the center of this syncretism are Pachamama and the Virgin Mary. Pachamama is an Aymara and Quechuan word loosely meaning ‘Mother Earth.’ The Andean people saw Pachamama as a mother who gave them food, water, and all of nature. She was considered a fertile mother because of the fertile land. And the Catholic figure most resembling a caring mother? The Virgin Mary.” – Source: Patrick Dowling, BolivianExpress

cruz-pachamama Description: “Ofrenda a Pachamama.” // Image source: Thiago Biá

Regardless of your religious beliefs, all of us living on the earth have a responsibility to care for it, and that’s what I take away from the belief in Pachamama. I find it difficult to live in harmony with nature in the modern world, balancing the wants and daily “needs” of American culture with a deeper and truer need to be in balance with everything outside my climate-controlled home which is filled with technology and other conveniences, but I try – and I want to try harder.

Happy Earth Day, Pachamama.

Libros for All Kids

meg-medina-books

Hola! This is a guest post by Cuban American author, Meg Medina, as part of the Latinas for Latino Lit 2nd annual Día Blog Hop, which we’re proudly participating in for the second year in a row. Check it out! (And then check out the other L4LL’s Día Blog Hop posts from other Latino/a children’s and YA authors.)

Libros for All Kids

A guest post by: Meg Medina

Something happened to me recently at the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference that gave me a glimmer of hope against the dismal  – and now familiar – news that we are still publishing too few kids’ books that feature Latino characters.  

I had been asked to talk about my young adult novel, YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS.  It earned the Pura Belpré medal and the CYBILS Fiction Award, among other nice distinctions, and it was one of the measly two percent of children’s books by or about Latinos that was published last year.

If you’re unfamiliar, my novel is set in Queens, New York, and is the story of 16 year-old Piedad Sanchez who finds herself in the cross-hairs of a school bully.

After my talk, a librarian named Erica came to find me. It’s always such an honor when someone tells you they connected with your story. But I was especially happy to hear from her. She grew up in suburban Wisconsin with all brothers. There were no Latinos to speak of in her world.

“I read your book and I thought, oh my God, that’s my story.”

I could have kissed her whole face.

She’s right, of course. It is her story. It’s her story exactly the way Charlotte’s Web once felt like my story as a kid, even though I’d never seen a live pig and I lived two-hundred miles from the nearest farm in New York.

It’s no secret that I write stories that feature Latino kids and their families – the whole glorious ajiaco that I grew up with and that shaped how I move through the world.

But I do not write stories only for Latino kids. I write books for all kids about the universal problems of growing up. You remember that horror, don’t you? The frustrations with your family? Being betrayed by peers? Falling in love with creeps? To me, it doesn’t matter if a girl is named Fern or Piedad. What really matters is that her story is told with honesty and compassion.

When I think of books and what we want reflected in them, I say that it’s wise to cast a wide net. All kids benefit from stories that not only affirm their own experience but that also that allow them a peek at those same experiences through a slightly different lens. The magic of such books is in that beautiful spot where the unique and the universal hold hands like good and faithful friends.

meg-medinaMeg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. The first American citizen in her family, Meg was raised in Queens, New York by her mother – and a clan of tios, primos, and abuelos who arrived from Cuba over the years. She was the fortunate victim of their storytelling, and credits them with her passion for tales.

Meg’s work examines how cultures intersect through the eyes of young people, and she brings to audiences stories that speak to both what is unique in Latino culture and to the qualities that are universal. Her favorite protagonists are strong girls.

Her books are: MILAGROS GIRL FROM AWAY; TIA ISA WANTS A CAR, for which she earned the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Award; THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND, a 2012 Bank Street Best Books; and YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS, which was the winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré Medal, which is presented annually by the American Library Association to a Latino writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

When she is not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth and/or literacy. She lives with her extended family in Richmond, Virginia.

Follow Meg’s blog at www.megmedina.com

Connect with Meg on Facebook and Twitter