Search Results for piñata

Día de Los Muertos + Halloween Mashup

You don’t need to remind me – ya sé – Día de Los Muertos and Halloween are two different holidays, but they’re close together and share some similar elements, so even though I’ll be accused of confusing the gringos even more with this post, aquí está. Here are some of the most chévere things I’ve found on the internet that have to do with either Day of the Dead, or Halloween – and sometimes both at the same time.

(All photos are clickable to their original source, so if you see something you like and want to learn more, go on and click it!)

#1. An awesome Halloween light show choreographed to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.

#2. Calaverita Mexicana – A Tumblr blog dedicated to all things calaveras, (not for niños!)


The amazing art of Lulu of My Pink Turtle - This one is called "FRIDA & LAS FLORES DE LA MUERTE"

(Music discovered at: La CaSSaDaGa. This doesn’t really have anything to do with either celebration but the album artwork caught my eye and the music turned out to be good, so ¿por qué no?)


Día de los Muertos Barbie - (discovered at

#5. Mi amiga, MJ is incredibly creative and makes the most amazing things, including some Día de los Muertos inspired art. Check out her Facebook page: Rosa Mexicano.


Día de los Muertos Pit Bull Necklace - ($5 from every necklace sold will go to Pitbull rescue.)

#7. Some of my posts:
Craft – Paper Marigolds
Craft – $1 Store Calaveras
Our First and Last Ofrenda


#9. The ultimate mash-up! A Día de los Muertos Jack-o-lantern!

Flickr user: RJL20

#10. CRAFT: Crafty Chica – Día de Los Muertos Story Box.


Printable Sugar Skull box craft from

#12. Last year, Maura of The Other Side of the Tortilla curated an ofrenda project. Go check out everyone’s altars.


This has nothing to do with either celebration but my younger son's birthday is on Day of the Dead, so I'm making these mini-piñatas by

#14. Another artist friend, Maya Escobar, shares a unique Day of the Dead craft for individuales, along with a beautiful video on


Frida Kahlo with a sugar skull from


Flower skull T-shirt by Sobo on


Some Mexican food recipes from for your Día de los Muertos get together. This one is El Cholo's green corn tamale ( Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times )

#18. Support artists! Day of the Dead art on Etsy.


Día De Los Muertos scrapbook kit By Tangie of Studio Girls and SherrieJD of Scraporchard (avaialble on

#20. Top Latino/a Halloween costumes to avoid – From

#21. Mexico City’s World Record for number of people dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller:


Cookie designed by ShonaRaven at

#23. Día de los Muertos Spanish Vocabulary from


Viva Calaca animation project (Highly recommend you click through and watch the video in English or Spanish!)

#25. Smithsonian’s Latino Center Day of the Dead website, (including a virtual “build your own altar.”)

“The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love.”
- Octavio Paz

Note: Did I use one of your images? I have made sure to properly link and credit everyone, but if you aren’t happy with its inclusion here, please contact me to have it removed.

Banana Envy

Image source: keepon

I mentioned before that the Mexican guys Carlos works with often give him a hard time as the lone Salvadoran. It doesn’t help that most of them are somehow related – (brothers and cousins), and that most of them live together, so it’s natural for them to gang up on him.

His first week working there, they tested the waters with Carlos, to see how far they could go with their teasing.

“Ey, Don,” one of them said to him at lunch time as they sat across the table from each other. (“Don” is what they call him when they don’t call him “Pupusa.”)

“Tengo una lancha. Tal vez quieres montarla un día?” (“I have a boat. Maybe you’d like to ride it one day?”)

Carlos politely agreed, sure, he’d love to take a ride on his lancha some day.

All the Mexican guys started laughing. It took Carlos a minute to realize that “lancha” is slang for “penis” – or at least it is within their group.

This is the “art” of the Mexican “albur.”

“In Mexico, an albur is a pun or a double entendre in which one of the possible meanings usually carries sexual undertones.”
- Wikipedia.

Carlos has a sense of humor so usually he doesn’t let it get to him, even if it annoys him to be their permanent piñata. (I really hope his boss hires some Salvadorans for Carlos’s “team” though, so at least it will be an evenly matched fight.)

Many of the on-going jokes occur at lunch time and revolve around food. Whenever Carlos brings a less than impressive lunch, they tease him and say, “I guess Sancho is eating all the good food at your house” – (implying that I’m cheating on him and making all the good food for my lover, while leaving the scraps for Carlos.)

The bananas are apparently also always a source of amusement. (Not much has changed since middle school, I see.)

The bananas we buy, (which are perfectly normal-sized bananas from a perfectly normal grocery store), are much smaller than the gigantic bananas the Mexican guys bring in their lunch. Carlos texted me this photo at lunch time:

Carlos's banana on the left. A Mexican co-worker's banana on the right.

I will have to reassure Carlos that the size of his banana is totally normal, above average even, and that I like it just the way it is. Besides, things could always be much, much worse.

Image source: cthoyes

More posts about my husband’s co-workers:

El Lechero (The Milkman)
Mexicans vs. Salvadorans
Lunch Envy

Chévere Finds

Somehow I manage to find products with Latin sabor wherever I shop, even in places you wouldn’t expect it. I don’t buy everything I see, as tempting as that would be, but I’ve started snapping photos. Here are a few of the more chévere things I discovered.

Shirt $5 at Five Below.

Piñatas at K-Mart. (I’m chaparrita and the shelf was too high to check the price.)

RumChata. Rum and horchata = awesome. You can drink it on the rocks, in coffee, in mixed drinks – I even made french toast with it. Cost, around $23 at your local liquor store if you’re lucky. (Thanks to Victory for telling me about it!)

Mango Cilantro candles at Bath & Body Works. $9.50 for the small size. (Huelen ricas!)

I don’t know enough about Vicente Fox to know whether this is a chévere find or not, but his book is $1 at Dollar Tree.

Disclosure: None of these companies or brands paid me or asked me to mention them.

A Magical Trip To Mexico – (a story by my 9 year old)

I don’t know what makes me happier – the fact that my 9 year old is writing stories, or the fact that they contain a little Latin sabor.

At school they’ve been practicing for a writing assessment, and my son brought home some of his stories.

I may be biased, but I think he shows promise. I gave him a hug and told him I loved his stories.

“Writing must be in the blood!” I said proudly. Carlos smacked his forehead.
“I guess we’ll have to build an addition onto the house so he can live with us forever then,” he said.

Hee hee…

Anyway, here is his entire story transcribed. I corrected spelling and some punctuation but everything else is as he wrote it.

A Magical Trip To Mexico
by J. López (9 years old)

I was wanting to go to Mexico with my family. I snapped my fingers and I was there. I decided we should make a party. My family came along. We had a lot of snacks. The snacks were salsa, chips and much more. We even had a confetti machine.

The music was very good. Now it’s time to hit the piñata. The piñata was a donkey and was purple, green and red. Everyone hit the piñata – nothing came out. Now it was my turn. I hit the piñata – Whack! Whack! The donkey broke in half. All the sweets fell on the ground. There were red, blue, yellow, and green candy. I put so many in my pockets that I thought it might explode.

They had big hats. They were colorful. Some were black – I tried them on – way too big. I tried the colorful ones – too small. Then I saw a black and white hat that looked like a mariachi hat. I tried it on – just right. Then I went to the costume room. Next I looked for a suit that would match my hat. I saw a suit that was just right. I tried it – it was great.

When I came out of the dressing room I saw a mariachi band on the stage, so I went back to the costume room. I saw a chest full of instruments. I saw a blue guitar. It looked sapphire blue. I took it. I went back onto the stage and played with them. Then I tripped and I was back in my room. In my pocket I found a piece of confetti. I wondered if I really went to Mexico or if it was a dream.

The End

Bubu Lubu

When the piñata broke open, niños y adultos alike, scrambled to retrieve their favorites. (The adultos pretended they were just helping the niños but I saw them gleefully flee the scene, their hands and pockets full of dulces.) My husband kneeled down and plucked up a long candy bar in a shiny blue wrapper that fell at his feet.

Bubu Lubu…What’s this? Ice cream?” he said, handing it to me.

It was cold in my hand, and as I stood sweating outside in the tiny courtyard surrounded by twenty kids screaming in a mix of Spanish and English about what was fair and who stole what from whom, I decided a little ice cream would be real nice. I unwrapped the “Bubu Lubu”.

Biting into it, I realized this wasn’t ice cream at all, just candy that had been frozen. A chocolate flavored coating surrounded marshmallow and some sort of jelly – and while most Mexican candies, (besides my precious Dulce de Cacahuate), leave me feeling indifferent at best, Bubu Lubu became my new favorite candy/addiction with just one bite.

“Oh my God…you have to find more,” I said to my husband, licking my fingers. He scanned the ground but only the remnants of popped balloons and lollipop wrappers littered the grass.

Just at that moment, Tico walked by. (The guy is from Costa Rica, and usually the only non-Mexican to hang out with this particular group, so that is why they call him that.)  Tico had a bag of extra candy and he was handing them out to kids who hadn’t gotten enough.

“Pssst! Hey Tico!” I called to him, “No tienes más Bubu Lubu?”
Tico looked into his bag and dug around, “Solo hay uno,” he said handing it to me.

I wanted to eat it, but I forced myself to save it for home. I later stuck it in the freezer and managed to wait a whole 24 hours before giving into temptation.

My last bite…

I mourned for a little while, because I have not seen Bubu Lubu at our local Latino markets, but this morning when my husband went into work, he asked his co-worker where they bought them. The co-worker said he loves them too and that once a week, a man comes in a truck and he buys them from him. If we give him money, he can buy me some.

Por Dios! He has a Bubu Lubu dealer!… I told you, this stuff is addictive.

Latino vs. Anglo Birthday Party

Image source: sciondriver

Today we spent much of the day at a birthday party for a little girl in El Chiquito’s class. The party was at a roller skating rink. Roller skating is one thing I, (a child of the 80′s!),  am hands down better at than my kids. They had never been before today. In fact, they didn’t know what roller skating was when we received the party invitation. I had to explain that roller skates are like shoes with wheels.  They still seemed uncertain until I showed them a Youtube video of people skating. (Kids today! I pull up a Youtube video at least once a week to show my children something “antique”.)

Anyway, I skated at the party for a few songs and only fell once, (when I tripped over El Niño Grande who was on the ground more than on his feet.) At one point Señor López and I left the niños clinging to the wall while we skated around holding hands.

The niños had fun at the party. The only family member not in attendance was Suegra and she was not happy about it. She asked to come, (why she would want to come to a little gringa’s birthday party when she doesn’t know the child, doesn’t speak English, doesn’t roller skate, hates pizza and can’t stand excessively sweet American-style birthday cake, I really have no clue.) Mr. López gently dissuaded her from going and she got the message that she wasn’t welcome.

This got me thinking about the differences between Anglo and Latino parties though, so I thought I would make a list. Maybe it will be helpful to someone. If not, perhaps at least amusing.

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! Hijole!

#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 Tio Eduardo passes out on the couch while watching a fútbol game.


For those who aren’t bilingual English/Spanish and are wondering what something means, I will try to keep an alphabetical glossary here for some of the words or phrases I commonly use. Be aware that some of these words are slang and some are offensive. Some of these words are Mexicanisms (I’m particularly fond of Mexican Spanish), some are used primarily by Chicanos, some of it is border slang, some is Salvadoran Caliche … My Spanish is a sort of fusion of whatever strikes my fancy.

Alguien – Somebody/Someone
Ama de casa – homemaker
Amigos/Amigas – Friends/Female friends
Andalé! - Let’s go! Come on!
Ay – Oh
Besando – Kissing
Bicho/Bicha – young person (Salvadoran slang … Careful. It has other meanings in other countries.)
Bien – means “good/well” but when used in front of an adjective, it can mean “very”. Your Spanish 101 teacher would not approve of its usage this way because it’s not proper grammar, but this is how many native Spanish speakers use it. Your teacher will tell you to say something is “Muy caliente” to say it’s “Very hot”, but many native Spanish speakers might tell you something is “Bien caliente” which sounds like “Good hot” but actually means “Very hot”.
Blogueras – Bloggers
Blusa – Blouse
Botas Picudas – Pointy-toed boots
Bueno – Good/Well
Caballero – Gentleman
Cabezón – Big head
Cabrón(es) – Asshole(s)/F*cker(s)
Calientito/Calientita – A little hot (could refer to temperature or also used to say someone is attractive.)
Callense – Shut up/Be quiet
¡Carajo! – Damn/Hell/F*ck (depending on how used)
Casa – House
Casita(s) – Little house(s)
Celos – Jealousy
Celoso/a – Jealous
Cerveza – Beer
Chale – Hell no/No way
Chancla – Flip flop, Sandal, house slipper (plural, “chanclas”)
Chévere – Awesome
Chica(s) – Girl(s)
¡Chin! – Bummer
Chino/a – Chinese
Chismosos – Gossips
Chulo/Chula – Pretty/Beautiful/Nice looking
Cipote(s) – Kid(s)/Child(ren), (this word is used in El Salvador)
Claro que sí – yes, of course
Comal – a type of griddle used in Latin America for cooking tortillas, etc.
Como dije – Like I said
¿Cómo se dice? – How do you say?
Complicado – Complicated
Comprame Este – Buy me this
Confundida – Confused
Corazón – Heart
Curiosos – Curious
¡Corre! – Run!
Cucarachas – Cockroaches
Culo – Ass
De verdad – For real/It’s true/Seriously
Defectos – Flaws, Defects
El amor de mi vida – The love of my life
El niño grande – The big kid
El chiquito – The little one
El macho (or) Mi macho – “The man” or “My man”, playful term of endearment for male partner/husband
Encantada – Enchanted
Enfermito/Enfermita – A little sick
Espero que no – I hope not
Está jodido – This has various meanings, but for the most part it usually means “It’s screwed up” or “It’s fucked” – (Not to be used in polite company.)
Estoy – I am
Estoy bien tranquila – I’m very calm/relaxed/tranquil
Familia – Family
Foto(s) – Photo(s)
Fútbol – Soccer
Gordito/a – Little chubby boy/girl
Gracias a Dios – Thank God
Gringa/Gabacha – White girl/American
Guanaco/a – slang for Salvadoran/person from El Salvador
Guapo/a – Handsome
Güera – light skinned female
Güey – Mexican slang term with multiple meanings depending on context. Most commonly used the way English speakers use, “Dude”.
Grillo(s) – Cricket(s)
Hermano – Brother
¡Híjole! – Geez!
Imaginate – Imagine that
Ladrón/a – Thief/Robber
La migra – The Border Patrol/ICE agents/Immigration
La verdad – The truth
La Virgencita – The little virgin, (an affectionate nickname for the Virgin Mary)
Loca/Loco – Crazy
Locura – Craziness
Machos protectivos – Protective men/husbands
Malas Noticias – Bad news
Malcriados – Spoiled/rude/not brought up well
Mamá – Mama
Mariachito – Little Mariachi
Más o menos – More or less
Metiche – A nosy person
Mi/Mis – My
Mierda – Shit
Mira – Look
Mojito(s) – A lime/mint flavored drink.
Mueve la cadera – Move your hips
Mujer(es) – Woman/Women
Muy – Very
Nadie – Nobody/Anybody/No one
Nalgas – butt cheeks
Nene – Baby, Darling
Niños – Kids
No y no – No and no
No importa – It’s not important/It doesn’t matter
No manches – literal meaning is “Don’t stain” but is used to mean something like, “Are you serious?”, “Whatever” or “Don’t kid around with me”
No puedo ver – I can’t see
No se porque – I don’t know why
N’ombre – slang for “No hombre”, (No man), which is used in El Salvador to mean “No way”
Noticias – News
No tiene ni pies ni cabeza – The equivalent of the proverb, “I can’t make heads or tails of it.”
Novios – Boyfriend and girlfriend
Ojo – Eye
Órale – Hell yeah, right on, okay then, Woo-hoo (This word has a lot of uses)
Pajaro/Pajarito – Bird/Little bird
Pan Comido – literally means “Bread eaten”, but is the same as saying something is a “piece of cake” (easy to do), in English.
Padre – Father (used to refer to a paternal father, and also to a priest.)
Padrisimo – awesome/really cool
Padrinos – Godparents
Pasión – Passion
Pendejadas – Nonsense, stupid things
Pero – But
Perro/Perra – Dog, Female Dog (bitch)
Picante – Spicy
Piñata – A candy filled papier-mâché figure that kids hit with a stick while blind folded. The object of the game is to break it so the candy spills out.
Pinche(s) – Damned/Fucking
Piropos – Compliments/Lines/Flirtatious comments/Catcalls
Pisto – Money/Cash (used in Central America)
Pobre – Poor
Porque – Because
Por supuesto – Of course
Por Dios! – For God’s sake!
Precioso(s) – Precious/Cute
Puchica – This word is Salvadoran slang. It is a sanitized version of the word “puta” (whore), and is used as an exclamation, even by little children. Sort of like saying “Shoot!” or “Crap!”
Pues – Well/Then (As in, “Well, let me see…” or “Show it to me, then”)
Puro – Pure
Qué pecado! – What sin! … The word “Qué” can be used in front of so many other words for some really fun exclamations.
¡Qué horror! – What horror!
¡Qué adorable! – How adorable!
¿Quién sabe? – Who knows
Quitase de allí – Get out of there
Ratóncito Pérez – The Latin American version of the Tooth Fairy, but he’s a mouse.
Reina(s) Queen(s)
Salvatrucho/a – slang for Salvadoran/person from El Salvador
– Yes
Sin – Without
Señor/Señora (or) Sr./Sra. – Mr./Mrs.
sólo Dios sabe – only God knows
Sombrero – hat
sopa de pollo – chicken soup
Suegra – Mother-in-law
Tacones – High heels
Tambien – Also
Tata – Daddy
Techo – Roof
Telenovelas – Spanish language soap operas
Tia/Tio – Aunt/Uncle
Todo confundidos – Totally/all confused
Todo/Todos/Toda/Todas – Everything/All/Everybody
Tonta/o – Foolish
Traje bien fino – A very fine suit
Tranquila/o – Calm/Tranquil
Tú sabes lo que estoy diciendo – You know what I’m saying
Un poquito – A little bit
Venganza – Revenge
Vergüenza – Shame
Vayase – Go away
¿Verdad? – Right/Correct
Viejo/Vieja – Old
Y – and
Ya – Already/Enough


Quick guide to Spanish Pronunciation

My favorite free sites for learning languages:

My favorite online translator Google Translate (also has an awesome dictionary)

Survival Spanish for El Salvador – Mexican slang


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 557 other followers