It turns out that Teresa had some video of her face-to-face chat with him that she hadn’t uploaded and she agreed to share her thoughts on meeting Espinoza along with the video right here on Latinaish as a guest post!
So bienvenida y gracias Teresa!
Espinoza Paz, un hombre sencillamente “talentoso”
by Teresa Garza of Checa La Movie
Espinoza Paz, “El Cantante del Pueblo”, es de las artistas más sencillos que conozco. Roba el corazón con su sonrisa sincera y se expresa con naturalidad utilizando palabras francas y directas. “Me pasa de todo en la vida”, – dijo el popular cantante, ” pero son más las cosas lindas gracias a Dios”.
Durante el día de prensa de “Girl in Progress” tuvimos la oportunidad de conversar con él y ¡que plática tan amena!. Espinoza Paz nació el 29 de octubre de 1981 en La Angostura, Sinaloa. Emigró a los Estados Unidos y su llegada a este país fue decisiva en su camino al éxito.
Una serie de eventos inesperados, pero casi mágicos, fueron uniendo los puntos para trazar una ruta que cambio para bien la vida de Isidro Chávez, ahora conocido como Espinoza Paz.
Primero se convirtió en uno de los compositores más importantes de la música mexicana y posteriormente decidió interpretar sus propias canciones, logrando en poco tiempo convertirse en uno de los consentidos del público. Trabajando arduamente por consolidarse en su carrera se encontró por casualidad con la directora de cine Patricia Riggen, cuando ella estaba en el proceso de elegir al elenco de la película “Girl in Progress”.
“Hubo una fiesta de amigos …Patty y yo tenemos amigos en común y ahí la conocí”, dijo Paz, “mis amigos me dijeron le caíste muy bien y quiere que salgas en una película”.
Paz confiesa que inicialmente pensó que era una broma de sus amigos sobre todo que en ese momento de su carrera no era tan popular como en la actualidad. La cuestión es que aclarado el asunto Patricia Riggen y Espinoza Paz se reunieron para hablar sobre la posibilidad de tener una breve intervención en la cinta cantando. La química fue tal que Paz terminó no solamente por cantar en “Girl in Progress” sino por filmar escenas adicionales que la directora agregó para darle una mayor proyección. “Obviamente ella acomodo las cosas”, dijo Paz quien asegura que Patricia tuvo la visión de presagiar un futuro victorioso. “Creo en Dios.. Dios es el destino”.
En cuánto a dedicarse a la actuación, definitivamente no descarta la posibilidad. Pero siempre que estos proyectos no lo obliguen a abandonar su verdadera pasión que es la música y la composición.
De hecho existe la posibilidad de que la vida de Espinoza Paz pudiera llevarse a la pantalla grande. Ya se han reunido en varias ocasiones la directora Riggen y Espinoza Paz, así que no debiera sorprendernos que de repente lo veamos protagonizando una película, que de acuerdo a sus declaraciones podría estar basada en su propia vida.
Comparto con ustedes un video que tome el día de la entrevista, no lo había subido a Youtube porque les confieso que lo grabe en el Ipad y era la primera vez que lo utilizaba. Pero las imágenes en este caso, no son tan importantes como escuchar el mensaje de Paz que nos confesó cual es su fuente de inspiración, nos contó cuál es su película favorita y hasta nos dio un adelanto de su disco de Mariachi que esta por salir. Tienen que escucharlo cantar.
Did you enjoy this post? Check out the latest movies including behind-the-scenes and interviews with celebrities on Teresa Garza’s blog, Checa La Movie.
Today’s guest post comes to us from my fellow gringa and telenovelera, Amanda of Spanglish Aventuras.
When I became addicted to Telemundo’s Herederos del Monte and encouraged others to check it out – many of you did, and like Amanda, became totally enamoradas – not only with the hermanos del Monte, but with the quality of the production and storyline. It’s been excellent Spanish practice and I’ve picked up a few new catch phrases. (I love saying, “Por Dios Santooo!” and “Válgame” with the same intonation as José. I’ve also learned a dozen ways to tell someone to go away and leave me alone from Paula.)
Herederos, amongst some of the drama, (and yes, cheesiness) common in telenovelas, touched on some serious issues such as alcoholism, rape, mental illness, and spousal abuse.
Some may say telenovelas are mindless entertainment but as Amanda explains, telenovelas can be educational whether providing a fun way to learn a second language, or by teaching some serious real life lessons.
Let the Truth be Known … on Los Herederos del Monte
by Amanda of Spanglish Aventuras
I mentioned in a previous post that my kids and I are watching a novela, Los Herederos del Monte, as part of our “language learning” this year. As the soap opera is drawing to a close, I have been reflecting on some things, other than Spanish, that we can learn from their story. It all comes down to telling la verdad and not hiding it. That’s a good lesson for our lives too, right?
It seems to me that during Los Herederos del Monte, most of the characters have been hiding something from their friends or familia. Many times, by simply sharing the information they were trying to disguise, the character could have avoided much of the angst and agony they endured…but then we would not have had a novela to see, would we?!?
It does seem a good rule for life though, “telling the truth and making life easier”. I thought it would be fun to post about the characters and their truths (though oftentimes hidden at first) as a way to provide a summary for this intriguing “language learning tool” which has entertained so many these past few months.
(Warning….if you have not been keeping up with the storyline, details follow!)
Emilio: Although the father of the herederos was kidnapped and left for dead, he did not actually die. He later had plastic surgery on purpose, to not appear as he once did, and with the help of his trusted Modesto, Emilio returned to his familia y pueblo as “Pablo”.
Emilio also did not disclose until the end that he knew that Juan was his only biological son and that Paula was not his biological daughter.
It is difficult to keep up with how many amantes Emilio has had throughout his lifetime, but those were secrets too.
Juan: The eldest of the “adopted” sons refused to admit to the other characters at first and even to himself at times later that although at one time (in the beginning) he thought he loved Julieta, he later only stayed with her out of sense of obligation (because at one time she was carrying his child, which she later lost and then Julieta had a terminal medical condition). Juan really only loves Paula.
Julieta: The eldest daughter of Rosa and Miguel hides her true medical condition and tries numerous methods to make Paula (the supposed biological daughter of Emilio) leave “La Arboleda” and Juan’s sight. (Remember the scorpions, the shot to make the horse throw Paula, and those chickens let loose in the bedroom?) Julieta has been very sneaky and conniving and there appears to be more coming at the end from her too.
Jose: One of the adopted sons of Emilio finds out early in the show about Paula maybe not being a real “del Monte” AND that Pablo is really Emilio. Jose also later kidnaps Emilio, Adela, and Paula because he wants Emilio to change the paperwork to say Paula does not get any of the inheritance, to leave more for Jose himself!
Pedro: Another of the adopted sons of Emilio refused to admit for quite a while that he had a serious problem with alcohol. It is admirable of this character however that he goes after what he wants whether it be Julieta or Berta!
Gaspar: Yet another of Emilio’s adopted sons, who hides for a while that he was the one that left Emilio for dead after the accident (because Gaspar was angry with his father for not having been faithful to Gaspar’s mother). Gaspar has an “attraction” for Adela, whom he later blatantly persues meanwhile he abuses his sweet wife Lupe.
Lucas: The youngest adopted son of Emilio refuses to admit to himself that Nacho is a bad guy. He also has trouble accepting that he has a biological family that desires a relationship with him, including Amador.
Consuelo y Rosario: Julieta’s younger sisters, the daughters of Rosa and Miguel, do not want to admit that they were each raped by Nacho. Consuelo also does not want to admit to her husband Johnny that the baby she is now carrying could possibly be a result of the rape.
Sofia: Paula’s mother and an amante of Emilio, refuses to share with Paula in the beginning that there may be a possibility that she is not actually a “del Monte”. Sofia also hides her affair with Miguel for a while.
Lupe: At first, Guadalupe hides her relationship with her then-boyfriend Gaspar from her father, Eluterio. Next she hides details about her mom, (who abandoned her at an early age but later returns) from her father. Finally Lupe hides the abuse that she is receiving from her now-husband, Gaspar.
Sidenote….here’s hoping for resolution on the story with Lupe’s mom Ines, who disappeared from the pueblo again after reuniting with Lupe.
Beatriz: In the beginning she hides that she suspects that her son Simon’s actual father isJose del Monte and not her husband Efrain. Later she refuses to admit to even herself that Jose is abusive.
Miguel: This father of three daughters and husband of Rosa does not admit his affair with Sofia in the beginning. He also hides that he and Rosa later decide to hide medicine in their daughter Rosario’s food, at the request of her boyfriend Lucas, who got the pills from the evil Nacho.
If they could just tell the truth…..
Of course there are more characters who were important to the novela and also hid things from the other personajes. Who else would you add to the list? Which story is the most intriguing for you?
Who says language learning can just teach you a language? I say it can teach you life lessons in the process as well!
Here’s hoping for a happy resolution in the Gran Finale on Telemundo at 9pm, this Friday night!
(image source: Putumayo.com)
You hear Latin music and it makes you want to dance – but is it a Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, or something entirely different? The beat tempts you to the dance floor, but what do you do once you’re out there?
Today my friend and professional Latin dance instructor, Jennifer Gonzalez, guest posts and gives us the basics!
Lovin’ that Latin Dance!
by Jennifer Gonzalez
It is hard to believe that just 13-14 years ago I had no idea that merengue, salsa, bachata, or cha cha cha were dances. Ok, maybe in the ballroom world I had heard a bit about cha cha cha or salsa but definitely nothing else. The only type of Latin dance I had ever laid eyes on was whatever came out of Mexico or California. As much as I love the Mexican culture – the dance just didn’t do it for me.
Then one day, I met this man. He was (well, still is) Puerto Rican and he introduced me to ‘his’ music! I fell in love with the music instantly. For one of our dates, we went to go to see the movie, “Dance With Me” staring Chayanne and Vanessa Williams. In the movie, Chayanne takes Williams’ character to a club where they dance ‘real’ salsa (not the ballroom kind.) My eyes probably popped out of my head at that moment as I watched and saw what I thought looked like the most fun you could have out at a club.
I told my then-boyfriend, “I must learn how to dance salsa!” So for my birthday we went to a tiny little club that we had found in the City Paper. After only one lesson I was hooked. I had no problem with the rhythm or the steps and wanted more. What I didn’t know was that these lessons were going to open up a whole new world to me full of music, dance, and culture. Little by little I started to learn other dances, where they came from, and how they fit into the culture of Latin America.
What intrigues me is that many times people have a hard time distinguishing Latin music. A merengue will be playing and someone will ask, “Is that salsa?” No. They sound nothing alike. To me. How can you tell them apart? You learn about them!
Merengue is the easiest of the Latin dances to learn. It involves just two beats and two steps. 1-2, 1-2. The man and women mirror each other’s feet as they dance and start in closed-position. As they step, there is a slight bend to the knee which will move the hips. They key is to not move your shoulders to the side or to bounce – that will give you away as a gringo (or non- Hispanic person) immediately! The bend in the knee while dancing gives the hips the movement that everyone wants but works so hard to achieve. Because of the easy steps, the leader can move through series of turns without too many issues. The dance originated in the Dominican Republic in the 19th century and is considered the ‘national dance’. If you take a trip to the Dominican Republic and stay in a resort, you will most likely find merengue dance lessons each afternoon or evening (sometimes both). You can see the basic movement in the videos below:
One dance gaining in popularity right now is bachata. Everyone and their mother and brother want to learn Bachata – especially here in the Washington DC area. Again, this dance comes to us from the Dominican Republic. Many call bachata the ‘country music’ of Latin music. The lyrics are often full of heartache, pain, and love and as a result, the dance itself can portray all of these things. Traditional bachata dancing requires partners hold each other very close in the closed position. Their legs will straddle so as to not step on each other’s feet (with the woman’s right-leg often between the men’s legs while dancing). The dance involves 4 steps – 4 to the right, 4 to the left with the 4th step being a left-lift or hip pop (see the video). Although many dance very close together, it isn’t necessary. It can be beautiful danced with space between the man and the woman.
Salsa dancing is one of the most complex Latin dances. Not only are the steps harder to learn but there are variations within the dance itself which have caused controversy for years. Salsa music first originated in Cuba (as mambo) before being brought to the United States by Cuban musicians. The origins date back to Cuban Son. When the Cubans brought their salsa to the states it wasn’t yet considered ‘salsa’. Only after the United States shut the doors to Cuba and other artists took the music, added their own flavor (like Fania All Stars) was it given the name ‘salsa’. The style became immensely popular in Puerto Rico due to singers like Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Tito Puente, and others and slowly moved throughout the world. Today, you will find that styles of salsa vary from country to country. Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and more all have their own distinct style of moving.
What does salsa look like when danced? Excellent question! As people start to learn they may find themselves confused. The styles to pick from are: on1 (LA style), on2 (New York/Puerto Rican style), casino (Cuban style), or Colombian. They each have their own way of relating to the music but one thing stays the same: the clave. All salsa music is built upon the clave. If you dance up the clave or down the clave does not matter – just stay with the music. Salsa is danced in 6 beats: 1-2-3, 5-6-7 with on1 and on2 styles pausing for the 4 & the 8. However, Cuban and Colombian salsa most often use every beat of the music. Trying to decide which style to learn can be confusing but I suggest to just pick one, learn it well, and then move on to another.
Video 1 demonstration:
New York Style:
Beyond Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata
Beyond the dances mentioned above there are numerous other Latin dances available. The most popular is probably the cha cha cha. Most people are familiar with the cha cha cha from ballroom dancing or tv shows like Dancing With the Stars. Again, cha cha cha was born in Cuba. It progressed from the Danzón and received the name ‘cha cha cha’ from the sound the footwork would make on the floor. And although many people call it just the cha cha – the proper name is cha cha cha. The footwork is most similar to salsa but with a syncopated step on the 4 and 8. For a feel of the cha cha cha, I might recommend people break out their old Santana music and listen to “Oye Como Va.” This song was written by Tito Puente as a straight cha cha cha but Santana took it and created an incredible rock song. The cha cha cha is still there in the song. Although the cha cha cha can be danced to some popular music (as they show on tv) it is best danced to classic cha cha cha music for the proper feel.
Another popular dance is Afro-Cuban rumba. Again, ballroom took what they called rumba and created their own dance. When you say ‘rumba’ in Cuba or in Puerto Rico or other Latin American countries they will most often assume you are talking about the rhythm that originated in Cuba. Because rumba is so diverse and complex, I would suggest reading this article I wrote for Ritmo Bello which explains the types of rumba as well as gives examples.
Learning these dances not only gives people the opportunity to connect with a culture (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian, Dominican, etc.) it provides an outlet for exercise and socializing. Some of my greatest friends have come through dancing salsa. And for me, I know that I still have so much to learn. Watch the videos, pick up some music from Amazon or iTunes, and get in the groove!
Jennifer Gonzalez has been dancing salsa for the past 12 years and salsa rueda/casino for the past 10. She danced and taught with SAOCO DC for 4 years before having to focus her interests elsewhere due to kids, work, and life in general. She has also taught at the San Francisco Salsa Rueda Festival for two years and independently throughout Northern Virginia. Jennifer dances LA Style on1 and salsa casino but prefers salsa casino. She has trained with Aramis Pazos in Washington DC in AfroCuban dance. She works full-time as a web content manager and in search engine optimization/social media marketing. In addition, Jennifer authors Salsa Casino in DC – a blog dedicated to sharing events, classes, and more that are happening in the Washington DC Metro area as well as teaching people about the Cuban history of dance. Additionally, she is a regular contributor to PlanetTimba.com and The Examiner. When she is not dancing, thinking about dancing, or writing about dancing she spends time with her two children and husband.
If you’re looking for me, I’m over on TikiTikiBlog.com today, telling the story of our 1st Navidad as a married couple, and the unexpected gift Carlos bought for me.
Uno Propone Y Dios Dispone
One Proposes, God Decides
by Juan Alanis
Long, straight black hair. Pitch black. Falling around her head, perfectly. Caressing her face almost. Running along the curves of her neck. Placed neatly behind, straight down the middle of her back, in a simple ponytail. Her eyes, wide and young. No sign of wrinkles. Just hope. A smile on her face. The same one she wears now, every once in a while. Not nearly as often as she did back then. Crooked. But refined. Measured. But welcoming. Warm.
No makeup on. Just a much thinner face. Defined cheekbones. Glowing.
In most of these pictures she’s wearing plain colored shirts. Grays, blues, blacks, cream colors, even some reds. Pants, with bellbottoms. Dresses, with very thin matching belts wrapped around her waist. Always with child in arms. Straddled between her knees. Sitting on her lap.
Like looking at a complete stranger, my mother in her youth is unrecognizable. There’s strength in her eyes; confidence in the way she stands; attitude, carelessness and defiance in her soul. All this I can tell by looking at her old pictures. Boxes worth, piled in stacks, both here and in Mexico, like the love letters of yesteryear, to her from my father, bien guardadas, where they won’t be destroyed, but not to be displayed in frames for everyone else to see. They are her memories, only to be shared with those closest to her heart.
In one picture, we’re standing outside, my brothers and me barefoot, all wearing track shorts, Chuy without a shirt, my older sisters, one on each side of us, Tina holding an infant Irma, facing her towards the camera, lined up side by side, a pyramid of various heights, all around my mother, in the barren sandy ground, outside of our barb wired fence, a few hundred feet away from the white, chocolate brown trimmed house we all shared. In this one she looks more like herself. Less carefree. More troubled. Stressed about feeding a family of eight. Worried about her husband’s drinking. Nervous about the looming threat of those green and white trucks pulling into our driveway one day, knocking on our door and telling us it’s time to go back to El Sauz.
My mother today is still as feisty as ever: Yo tengo boca por eso hablo. El día que ya no tenga pues ya no hablaré, pero hasta entonces voy a decir lo que quiera. A mi nadie me va detener. A mi nadie me va callar. Only now she’s lived long enough, through enough, to know defiance is useless against life.
Still, at the crossroad of her life, in these earlier pictures, my mother was all courage. That’s why a lot of them are now stacked in boxes in my own house también.
Mi gran amigo, Joe Ray, is back with another entertaining guest post. (You may remember his first guest post here on Latinaish.com, “Spanglish…El bad boy de linguistics“.)
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
by Joe Ray
My mother was raised on a rancho in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. When you got sick, you had remedies that worked for everyone, you went to a sobadora or a curandera. And if things were really bad, you were taken into town.
This is old school. No pinche WebMD for research. If you wanted to know something, you asked your comadre about it. You were part of the Collective Comadre Network.
One common herbal remedio is yerba buena. Yerba buena’s great stuff, it’s used for everything from stomach ailments or flavoring mojitos. My mom also kept around a glass jar filled with rubbing alcohol that contained marijuana, which she would rub on her varicose veins. Aloe vera was always around as well.
Having asthma as a kid, my mom would rub Vicks (AKA vaporu, vivaporu, or el veex) all over my chest, usually along with other very nasty smelling herbs/weeds. Not yerba buena but my guess is that it was probably more along the lines of yerba mierda. After rubbing it on my chest, she’d make me put on a heating pad over my shirt and blanket. I can’t stand Vicks. I knew some kids ate the stuff. I like the smell of eucalyptus, which she would also boil leaves into a tea but I still find Vicks to be quite repulsive.
Growing up in Arizona, we were only 2 hours from the Mexican border, so we would go visit family, shop and so forth. I recall going to a yerberia for dried rattlesnake strips to eat daily in order to cure my asthma. Never having seen a snake cough, this made perfect sense to me. The meat tasted okay (like jerky), but didn’t really cure me.
Prior to that trip, Doña Yoya in San Luis once gave me a little black bunny. I think the rabbit was supposed to absorb the asthma and I’d be cured. She lived a couple of houses away from my aunt and was a curandera who had a bunch of animals. Anyway, that didn’t work. This rabbit was the first pet I ever had. The rabbit proved to be quite the trouble maker, and eventually we ate it
I also remember one family friend using bleach for everything from ant bites to other skin ailments. That always had a nasty smell to the rub. Every once in a while I smell bleach and think of that. But it still doesn’t repel me the way Vicks does.
I went online the other day and asked friends a little about what type of remedios they remember from their childhoods.
Here’s a small sampling of what I heard back:
Suzi: We all know what cures-VICKS and 7-UP!
Veronica: I thought all cures came from a lil shot of tequila
Tony: Lemon honey and tequila for coughs-Mexican Nyquil. Olive and castor oil after a hot bath in the winter.
Note- Tony also remembers his father using the pot in the alcohol for arthritis.
Celeste: Vaporu. That with some salpicot y una limpia con huevo and whatever weeds grew in the backyard. Santo remedio! Anything that was sting related had saliva in it: aver que te pongo ajo, con un poco de saliva.
Gennaro: Mi madre used to pull the skin on our back really hard to cure empacho, until today I don’t know wtf that was about.
Lonnie: Mentholatum smeared under the nose. My suegra would shove it up her nose. I think she used a couple of tablespoons.
Culturally, we have a lot of herbs, beliefs and rituals that we relate to. These range from lighting candles, to a limpia con huevo (go ask about that one), to rhymes. Think of that little kiddie healing rhyme:
colita de rana…”
Before the internet, before WebMD, there was the Collective Comadre Network, which will always be around. Many of us continue these healing traditions. They are part of who we are and where we come from. It’s all part of the Remediosphere®. What are some of the remedios you remember?
I would like to introduce you to mi gran amigo, the muy creativo and always fascinating, Joe Ray. You may have enjoyed some of his entertaining cuentitos in the Latinaish.com comments section, and now it’s my pleasure and honor to host this guest post he has written for us.
Spanglish…el bad boy de linguistics
by Joe Ray
Ask any bilingual professional (especially in marketing) what they think of using Spanglish and they’ll tell you there is no place for it in marketing, advertising, etc. They’ll get self righteous and well postured as they tell you this. Then as soon as they walk out, they’ll start using Spanglish, especially if a couple of beers are involved.
Why is that? Is it butchering the language? If done incorrectly, you just screwed up 2 languages. Especially if a message is being delivered via media channels to get a point across or sell something. Face it, bad use of Spanglish can make you come across as ignorant, illiterate, and like you’re part of the-low-tooth-per-head-ratio crowd.
However, on a personal interaction level, Spanglish can be great. Sort of like speaking your own Secret Global Citizen Code, like an Hombre Secreto on a mission of some sort. Or at the very least you’ll sound like you’re enjoying yourself. One time a non-Spanish speaking friend of mine, upon hearing two of us speaking Spanglish and going back and forth, asked me why we do that. Why? I never thought about it, but I guess it’s because we can. We can, therefore why not, right? It’s that Hombre Secreto Code thing, right?
I’ve always heard a lot of Spanglish. I was born in a Mexican border town and grew up in Arizona, so I’ve heard a lot of this linguistic fusion. I think it’s a natural for bilingual/bicultural gente.
Here’s a good example I’ve heard quite often around farm areas: “Okay, hay me esperas, then I’ll get mi troca y te recojo and then vamos a lonchar en la chuck wagon, okay?”
It’s a beautifully appreciated global code system when you hear it spoken really fast too. Very natural. Especially given the fact that Latinos use our hands to punctuate or tone down dialogue, even on the phone. Then when you factor in the end of the work day, some cervezas and some verbal madrazos, the lenguaje gets very colorful.
In case you’re not a fluent Spanish speaker, here’s a quick crash course in Spanglish and the art of the madrazo (cervezas not required):
- “Hey, bring me that little chingadera, please.”
- “If you kids don’t behave, I’m going to get my pinche chancla and then van a ver who’s in charge around here.”
- “Hey_________(insert MLB player name here)! Don’t be such a maricón…that was a good pitch!”
That last one can be a pretty good, or bad insult. Be prepared for accompanying laughter or a potentially violent reaction. Note: on all of the above, be sure to use hand and head gestures when incorporating them into everyday conversations.
There you go. You’re now ready to start using Spanglish, and on your way to becoming a Secret Global Citizen, complete with your own linguistic code.
What are some of your favorite phrases you hear or use?