Herederos del Monte (a guest post!)

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.

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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!)
Here goes…

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!

Drunk on Happiness

It was sometime last year, during the summer, that I stopped at a gas station downtown while out running errands, having found my tank on empty once again.

Suegra happened to be along for the ride, sitting next to me in the passenger seat. I pulled up to the pump and shut the car off. As I blindly rummaged in my bag to find my debit card, I watched a couple cross the parking lot, laughing so hard that they had to hold onto one another for support as they walked. I began to smile, feeling their infectious happiness, but Suegra clicked her tongue.

“Borrachos,” she muttered, shaking her head.
“Drunks?” I said, “Maybe they’re just happy?”
Suegra looked at me like I was stupid. I shrugged my shoulders and got out of the car.

The rest of the day, and even a year later, I still think about that moment because it so clearly demonstrates how one’s outlook on life can change any situation.

10 años

[Scroll down for English Translation]

Los vemos antes de que nos vean. Él es Latino, ella es una gringa – los dos son jóvenes, sin hijos, como nosotros hace más de diez años atrás. Parece que ellos están en un pleito, (de qué, ¿quién sabe?)- peleando sobre algo que no van a recordar en diez años, o aún mañana. El inglés chapurreado de él, y la voz bajita de ella, es como una de mis propias memorias. Ahora, nos ven, otra pareja igual que ellos, pero sonriendo, felices, tomados de la mano, con dos hijos creciendo a nuestro lado. Tal vez vean que una relación como la nuestra, puede funcionar, que todo va a estar bien. Que a pesar de los retos encontrados en un matrimonio como el nuestro, pueden vivir felices para siempre. Ellos caminan en la otra dirección.

Él toma la mano de ella.

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English Translation:

10 Years

We see them before they see us. He’s Latino, she’s a gringa – both young, no children, like us over ten years ago. They seem to be arguing, over who knows what – something they won’t remember ten years from now, or even tomorrow. His broken English and her hushed tones sound like a memory. They see us then, another Latino and gringa couple, smiling, happy, holding hands, with two half-grown children by our side. Maybe they see that it can work, that it will be okay. That despite the challenges encountered in a marriage like ours, you can live happily ever after. They walk off in the other direction.

He takes her hand.
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Interview with Eva Linares, female fútbol commentator

Over the weekend I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Eva Linares, the only female soccer commentator in El Salvador, (probably the only female soccer commentator in Latin America, possibly even the world.) Our interview was in Spanish, but I’ve translated my questions and her answers to English as well so no one is left out of the fun!

Durante el fin de semana tuve el placer y honor de entrevisar a Eva Linars, la única comentadora de fútbol en El Salvador, (probalemente la única comentadora de fútbol en América Latina, posiblemente la única en el mundo.) Nuestra entrevista fue en español, pero he traducido mis preguntas y sus repuestas a inglés para que nadie quede fuera de la diversión.

Interview with Eva Linars
Entrevista con Eva Linares

Latinaish.com: Mi primer pregunta es cómo fue que metiste en el mundo de fútbol? Cúando supiste que tú querías ser una comentadora?

Eva Linares: En el 2000 cuando tenía 18 años de edad ingrese a Radio Milenio 92.1 fm (emisora comunitaria que transmite en Santa Ana), comencé siendo presentadora de noticias y en el 2001 el Director de la radio, Julio César González (quien es periodista deportivo y narrador de fútbol de MILENIO y de CADENA MONUMENTAL 101.3 FM) fue quien planteo la opción de involucrarme en los deportes, en un principio era sólo reportera y Julio me propuso enseñarme a narrar, comenzamos las clases, hasta que hice mi primera narración en el 2001. Siempre me ha gustado hacer cosas diferentes, aprender y superarme, gracias a Dios que en mi camino han aparecido personas importantes que han compartido sus conocimientos.

Latinaish.com: My first question is, how is it that you got involved in the world of soccer? When did you realize that you wanted to be a commentator?

Eva Linares: In the year 2000, when I was 18 years old, I started at Radio Milenio 92.1 FM, (community radio station broadcasting from Santa Ana.) I started out as a news reporter and in 2001 the Director of the radio, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, (who is a sports journalist and football commentator from Milenio and Cadena Monumental 101.3 FM), was the one who brought up the option to involve me in sports. At first I was only a reporter but Julio proposed the idea of teaching me to commentate, I started the classes, until I did my first commentating in 2001. I’ve always liked doing different things, learning and overcoming. Thanks to God, important people always appeared in my path and those people share their knowledge with me.

Latinaish.com: ¿Qué ha sido lo más difícil y cómo lo has superado?

Eva Linares: Lo más difícil ha sido superar en mí temores, temores al qué dirán, ¿se me escuchará bien? – Tantas cuestionantes que surgen cuando emprendemos algo nuevo, esas incertidumbres las he ido superando preparando, haciendo mi trabajo con pasión y con la ayuda de amigos y amigas, de mi esposo, mi familia que siempre me empujan a seguir.

Latinaish.com: What has been the most difficult and how did you overcome?

Eva Linares: The hardest thing has been overcoming fears, fears that say, ‘can they hear me well?’ So many questions arise when we try something new, these insecurities have been overcome by preparing, doing my job with passion and with the help of friends, my husband, and my family always pushing me forward.

Latinaish.com: ¿Tienes algún memoria favorita de fútbol?

Eva Linares: En primer partido tenía muchos nervios, me preocupaba si podría gritar el gol, práctique mucho, llego el partido y los primeros 15 a 20 minutos de mi narración fue un desastre, me enrede, confundí nombres, totalmente UN DESASTRE, termino el partido y el marcador fue 0 x 0 , en el primer partido NO HUBO GOLES, así que mi tensión por cantarlos tuvo que aguantarse hasta el siguiente partido donde sí cante mi primer gol.

Latinaish.com: Do you have a favorite soccer memory?

Eva Linares: The first game I was so nervous – I worried if I could yell “goal!” – I had practiced a lot, and then the day of the game came. The first 15-20 minutes, my commentating was a disaster – I got tongue tied, I confused names, It was a complete DISASTER. I finished the game and the score was 0 to 0 – in that first game there were no goals, so my tension to yell that first “goal” had to wait until the next game, where I got to do it.

Latinaish.com: ¿Tienes un equipo o jugador favorito?

Eva Linares: “La Selecta” , Club Deportivo FAS y por solidaridad con mi esposo (Alexis Triviño), quien es chileno “La Roja” y “Colo Colo”.

Latinaish.com: Do you have a favorite team or player?

Eva Linares: La Selecta, Club Deportivo FAS [Salvadoran teams], and for solidarity with my husband, (Alexis Triviño, who is Chilean), “La Roja” and “Colo Colo”.

Latinaish.com: Si tú podría dar algunos consejos a las niñas de El Salvador, o en realidad, las niñas de todo el mundo, ¿cuáles serían? ¿Qué deben hacer si quieren ser o hacer algo que tradicionalmente las mujeres no lo hacen?

Eva Linares: Creer , creer amigas en ustedes mismas, somos maravillosas, tenemos tantos talentos y habilidades que tenemos la obligación de explotarlos al máximo, venzan sus propios temores, los pretextos sobran para no hacer las cosas pero son más las razones por las cuales debemos lanzarnos, ponganle mucho amor a sus sueños y piensen ahora en lo que desean y vivanlo como parte de la realidad. Bendiciones a tod@s!!!!!

Latinaish.com: If you could give some advice to the girls of El Salvador, or really, all the girls in the world, what would they be? What should they do if they want to be or do something that traditionally women do not do?

Eva Linares: Believe, believe friends that you are amazing – we have so many talents and abilities and we have the obligation to use them to the maximum. Defeat your own fears. There are too many excuses for not doing things but there are more reasons why we should go for it. Put a lot of love into your dreams and think now what you want then live it as part of reality. Blessings to all!!!

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Muchísimas gracias, Eva. Fue un placer y un honor. Espero que eres una inspiración a niñas y mujeres en todas partes. Ya has demostrado que nada es imposible. ¡Muy buena suerte!

Much thanks to you, Eva. It was a pleasure and an honor. I hope that you’re an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. You have already demonstrated that nothing is impossible. Wishing you lots of luck!

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(Images provided by Eva Linares. Interview and images not to be reprinted without permission. Thank you.)

(Imágenes proporcionadas por Eva Linares. La entrevista y las fotos no deben ser utilizados sin permiso. Gracias.)

Defectos

(For a really horrible but somewhat understandable translation of this blog entry to English, please click HERE.)

Hoy, algo diferente.

Estaba pensando que necesito practicar más mi español escrito, y cuál lugar mejor que mi blog? Entonces, cada viernes, voy a bloggear en español.

Hoy quiero hablar acerca de “defectos”. La palabra en español me da mucha risa porque más me recuerda la palabra en inglés “defects” que “flaws”. Una amiga mia una vez me dijo que la suegra de ella le gusta decirle, “Te quiero nuera, con todos tus defectos!” ¡Imagínate! El amor de la suegra, siempre algo complicado, ¿no?

La cosa es que, la palabra “defectos” se siente algo más pesado a oidos gringos. Maquinas y carros fregados de la fábrica tienen defectos – pero, es un poco chistoso en mi mente referir a un humano como “defectivo”, (ojalá no van hacer un “recall”!)

Cuando tenemos problemas con otra persona, no importa quien es, familia o desconocido – es tan fácil a ver los defectos de la otra persona – más difícil mirar en el espejo y buscar los defectos que tienes tú.

Por ejemplo, yo sé esas cosas de mi:

• Soy muy impulsiva. Si tengo una idea, siento en el momento que es la mejor idea en la historia del mundo, y siento que si no actuo para realizar determinada idea en una forma concreta, voy a perderla. (Y esto es verdad porque…)

• Soy olvidadiza, y también tengo un capacidad de atención igual a una niña de cinco años. Por eso, tengo siempre un montón de listas para recordarme de todo.

• Aplazo todo para último minuto, especialmente si la cosa que tengo que hacer es algo que no me interesa.

• Soy una persona de personalidad “Tipo B” – y para gente como mi esposo, Carlos, (quién es muy “Tipo A“), lo molesta a veces.

• Mi sentido del humor es algo sarcástico. (Cuando Carlos estaba aprendiendo a manejar mejor el inglés a veces mis chistes sarcásticos no eran agradecidos ni entendidos!)

• Tengo las tendencias de un adicta. Cuando amo algo, lo amo fuerte y con todo mi corazón – si es una persona (como Carlos!) qué suerte para él, pero si es una canción, por ejemplo, voy a escuchar a este canción una y otra vez por días o semanas – hasta que me aburro, (y si estás en el carro conmigo, vas a escucharlo también!)

Esos son unos de mis defectos, pero la verdad es que, tengo un montón más. Si sigo contandolos, voy a tener suficiente por llenar un libro… Pero, cuál es el punto?

El punto es que, todos tenemos nuestros defectos y cuando tenemos problemas con otra gente tenemos que estar justos. Claro que la otra persona tiene defectos que contribuyeron al problema, pero más puedes aprender si buscas tus propios defectos, a ver cómo contribuiste al problema, y cómo puedes evitar una situación semejante en el futuro.

“Él que busca un amigo sin defectos se queda sin amigos.”
– proverbio turco

Modern Day Pilgrims

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” – Jon Stewart

The history of Thanksgiving we’ve come to know growing up in American public schools is little more than a fairy tale. The true history is muddled in uncertainty, contradiction, controversy and outright lies.

While I’m certainly not a historian and therefore not qualified to delve into this with any voice of authority, I can say one thing for certain – If it weren’t for the kindness and generosity of the Native Americans to the new immigrants to this land, they would not have survived.

Many tribes reached out to these new people and taught them how to fertilize, grow, harvest and preserve crops. They showed them which foods were safe to eat, instructed them on methods of hunting and fishing, and gave them many gifts.

What did they receive in return? Lies. Broken promises. Treaties that could never be trusted. Being forced into small parcels of land. Loss of their freedom, culture, language, way of life… Death.

Even today the indigenous people who cared for this land, in a way we do not today, are suffering the consequences of past generations.

This isn’t a guilt trip for white people, or others who were born here in the United States. Is it your fault? Did you personally steal, rape and pillage? No. And I don’t think we can hold people accountable for the sins of their ancestors. We’re all individuals responsible for our own behavior. But there is a lesson to be learned.

What we can do, is to live in harmony with those around us and teach our children to do the same – To be thankful for what we have and to share with others, including new immigrants from all over the world that come here to the U.S. – To live the example of those tribes who reached out to a people from an entirely different culture, race and language – To be thankful for what we have, and when we have an abundance, give to those who are not as fortunate.

After all, today’s “undocumented immigrants” are just modern day Pilgrims.

Happy Thanksgiving.

“Great spirit, grant me vision
that I may not go wrong
and find myself in prison
of things I have not done

Teach me the secret
that I might see
fill my heart with compassion
to love my enemy.”

-Robby Romero/Prayer Song

(image source)

Related Posts:

Latinaish.com Thanksgiving post 2009

Panes con Pavos (recipe)

Latinos & Gringas Gorditas

White guy #1: You know who likes to go with Mexicans? Fat white girls! It’s always the fat ones who-
Carlos: Hey.
White guy #1: What?
Carlos: Do me a favor.
White guy #1: Yeah?
Carlos: Shut the fuck up. {walks away}
White guy #1: Damn, what the hell’s his problem?
White guy #2: You’re a dumbass. His wife is white.
{awkward silence}
White guy #1: But I wasn’t sayin’ nothin – I just meant it’s like… a stereotype.

A stereotype – and like any stereotype, it’s mostly hurtful bigotry, but with a little truth mixed in – (Sort of like Fruit Punch with 10% real juice.)

“Gringas Gorditas” (Fat white girls), do not disproportionately pair up with Latino men. I can say anecdotally that among the gringas I know who are with Latino men, it’s an even split 50/50 with half being flacas (thin) and the other half being gorditas (chubby or fat.)

I’m one of the gorditas, and I’ve come up against a lot of ignorant assumptions about my marriage. First of all, I did not “settle” for my husband because I couldn’t “get a white guy”. I dated boys/men from many different backgrounds (including Caucasian) before I met Carlos.

Second of all, my husband did not choose me just to get a Greencard, and nor am I a “status symbol” for him.

This stereotype about Latinos and gringas gorditas is doubly damaging because not only does it literally weigh my worth as a woman in pounds, it casts an ugly light on interracial marriage – as if our marriage is somehow less valid.

Here’s some breaking news: Interracial couples fall in love for all the complicated and simple reasons “same race” couples fall in love. In the end, it comes down to attraction – not just physical, (though biologically that can’t much be helped), but spiritual connection, emotional attachment, and shared experiences all play a role.

Now for the 10% juice: Culturally speaking, Latino men are typically more accepting, and even desiring, of a thicker figure on a woman, than are Anglo men. (Source: Study on Race/Ethnicity Body Type Preferences)

(Necessary Disclaimer: That, of course, is a generality that does not apply to all Latino men or all Anglo men. Individual results may vary.)

The real question in my mind is what is the fascination with this stereotype? Why all the scrutiny over my curves and his color? Yes, I’m a gringa gordita and yes, he is Latino – ¿Y qué? (So what?)

“It is not that love is blind. It is that love sees with a painter’s eye, finding the essence that renders all else background.” – Robert Brault