culture

20 Facts About Miami To Motivate Your Move To The 305

@floridaexplored / Instagram

Miami is basically the Latin American capital of the U.S., from the Spanglish street signs to the food. It’s named after it’s founder, Miami’s history is as complex as it’s residents today. Here are 20 little-known facts about Miami (except this first one because duh)

1. The heart of Miami is 70% Latino.

Greater Miami is mostly white, but the city proper is 70 percent Latinos of any race with only 11 percent non-Hispanic white people calling the city home. If you’re from Miami, you remember the day you left and realized that you stick out like a sore thumb in the rest of the world.

2. 1 in 3 Miamians are Cuban.

CREDIT: @pic_art_photo / Instagram

More than 250,000 Cubans live in Miami, most of whom came after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and then again in 1980 when he let people leave the island.

3. It has brought you stars like Camila Cabello.

Credit: Instagram @camila_cabello

A true princesa Cubana, all our favorite Camilas, including Camila Cabello and Camila Mendes identify as Miamian. If I was back in high school, I’d be wondering which Camila in my class is next.

4. And croquetas on croquetas.

CREDIT: @rostisseriacan_pics1 / Instagram

You truly haven’t experienced Miami until you’ve tried the croquetas. Need to know what you’re missing out on? Here are a couple dozen croqueta recipes to choose from.

5. The city of Miami gets its name from the native tribe Mayaimi, which lived around Lake Okeechobee.

Credit: Mayaimi. Digital Image. Miami Girls. March 1, 2016.

The Miami River, named after the Mayaimis, flows from Lake Okeechobee into Miami proper. The conquistadores sold this tribe for slaves, many of whom wound up back in Cuba, but their population has been decimated.

6. Miami is the only major U.S. city founded by a woman.

Credit: Julia. Digital Image. Miami Girls. March 1, 2016.

Meet La Madre de Miami. Local businesswoman, Julia Tuttle, convinced oil mogul Henry Flagler to build a hotel and extend his railroad to the area in 1896.

7. It’s literally just a sandbar.

CREDIT: @miami / Instagram

Which means that the city had to transport soil to make for steadier ground and why you see so many sand trucks heading to the beaches. Crossing my fingers that the sand doesn’t run out, as rumored.

8. Miami is the only city surrounded by two national parks.

CREDIT: @miami / Instagram

Can you tell it’s hella man-made? On either side, Miami is surrounded by tiny islands or a giant swamp, and for a party city, they each make for a pretty sweet vacation getaway.

9. Meet Key Biscayne…

CREDIT: @keybiscayne / Instagram

Ever heard of the Keys? Ok, well this isn’t part of them, but think of it as a tiny island off the coast of Miami. It’s a little more untouched but still has all the beachside margaritas you could dream of. If you’re from Miami, you probably feel hella guilty for ever going to Miami Seaquarium and are just waiting for that place to shut down already. #FreeLolita

10. …and the Everglades.

CREDIT: @nanceess / Instagram

Meanwhile, to Miami’s west is the giant swamp known as The Everglades. There is literally no other ecosystem like it in the entire world, and it’s actually far more casual than this guy makes it out to be to run into an alligator. They show up in your pools more often.

11. It’s so sunny there, it’s where the first sunscreen was ever invented.

Credit: Copperton. Digital Image. Ebay.

A pharmacist who had just come home from WWII needed Miami staples (coconut oil and cocoa butter) to perfect his formula in 1944. He eventually called it Coppertone.

12. The average temperature is 75 degrees.

Credit: Instagram @alpacaglobo

Which is why we Miamians have such a sunny disposition. 😉 It also explains why it’s a top destination for the rest of the country while the snowpocalypse happens everywhere else.

13. 22,000 New Yorkers move to Florida every year.

CREDIT: “2014-06-09-puertoricandayparade.jpg” Digital Image. Huffington Post. 18 April 2018

It is the story of many of our families’ history. New-Yoricans are my lifeline but Miami is in my blood. Miami is also a destination spot for many Caribbean Latinos because of how similar the climate is, how close it is to their home countries and how diverse and welcoming Miami already is.

14. There’s a lot of old people.

CREDIT: Merm8d Weinstein / Pinterest

One day, I will too have leathery loggerhead turtle skin and a matching swimsuit with my partner, but we’ll be dabbing in this pic. #iconic

15. It’s home to the iconic Cuban sandwich.

Credit: Instagram @shipandanchorpub

IDGAF what Tampa says, mayo and salami have no place in a cubano americano. And we press our tortas like Dios intended.

16. You can buy anything from the inner igloo of your A/C car.

CREDIT: “Bayardo Martínez, a street vendor in Hialeah, Fla., bristles under what he sees as onerous restrictions that require him to keep on the move.” Digital Image. Wall Street Journal. 18 April 2018

Need a bouquet of roses? Just a single massive sunflower? Mamoncillos, churros, mangos, sugarcane, orchids, you name it. Someone’s selling and we, in Miami, support entrepreneurs.

17. Statistically, every single child in Miami has been to Santa’s Enchanted Forest.

Credit: Instagram @_cosita_linda_

Ok, we can’t corroborate that, but if you’re snowbirding, you have to visit this magical Santa-themed amusement park. I don’t care how old you are.

18. The Vizcaya Museum welcomes 170k visitors every year.

CREDIT: @dasha_ryz / Instagram

Including every Miami student at least 3 times in their lifetimes. It has a ridiculous orchid collection and Spanish artwork that is very old. Next phase in life: watch all your friends get engaged and married here.

19. Actual pirates preferred Miami beaches to hide their treasure.

CREDIT: @urimagnus / Instagram

I’m not even kidding. Some pirates like Gasparilla, Blackbeard and Lafitte buried treasure that has been uncovered off the coast. This is why scuba diving is so popular here–it’s the modern day treasure hunt.

20. It’s metaphysically impossible to talk about Miami without talking about daddy Pitbull.

CREDIT: @pitbull / Instagram

He reps the 305 in almost every song, and if you’re from Miami, you know someone who knows someone who is best friends with him. ‘Nuff said.

Caption: “Start the week with passion #MondayMotivation”

17 Latin American Dishes That Are (Almost) Too Pretty To eat

Culture

17 Latin American Dishes That Are (Almost) Too Pretty To eat

@mariscoscorona \ Instagram

Latin American food is one of the richest in the world. It is the product of processes of colonization and cultural mishmash: indigenous ingredients and techniques, European complexity, African spice. Latin American food has it all and people the world over visit the region to taste both top restaurants and street staples that have survived for generations.

Here are a few of our many favorites, 17 dishes that preserve the colorful soul of the continent and the deceptive simplicity of highly complex creations. Buen provecho.

1. Not all tacos are created equal

Credit: Instagram. @trent_lindo

Oh, the wonderful taco, the epitome of Mexican food. The taco is a miracle of history: the corn from Meso American cultures, the fillings from animals brought by the Spanish and all tied together by the influence of Middle Eastern cuisine, which uses grilled meets and pita breads as staples. Tacos are miraculous and surprisingly healthy. Sometimes chefs get their fancy on and create authentic rainbows of gorgeous smells and flavors like this lobster and black bean variation. Very Baja! Yummo!

2. Some ceviches are prettier than others

Credit: Instagram. @naokoterada_happytravels

Ceviche is to Peruvian food what tacos are for Mexican cuisine. The Peruvian restaurant Astrid and Gaston, which often appears in the lists of top restaurants of the world, has achieved visual and culinary perfection with these little bowls of joy and beauty. Just look at the colors basically piercing our eyes and our souls.

3. Enrique Olvera, the superstar Mexican chef, is a Michaelangelo of the kitchen

Credit: Instagram. @promisetowrite

Enrique Olvera has taken Mexican food to the next level in his restaurants, particularly Pujol, which is often ranked among the best 15 in the world. Just look at these works of art. The darker mole in the middle of the last row has been simmering for years. Yes, literally for years! It is such a treat.

4. Ice cream macarons from a legendary Peruvian restaurant? Foodgasm alert!

Credit: Instagram. @devora

Astrid and Gaston again! But how could we not include these ice cream macarons, a very unique take on a classic from French patisserie? They have very Peruvian flavors, with local fruits being the core of the palette. Oh my, just by looking at them we start salivating.

5. Fried piranha skins are always pretty in a baroque kind of way

Credit: Instagram. @laurenfensterstock

Virgilio Martinez is the new superstar of Peruvian food. He travels his country in search of new and exciting ingredients, and his degustation menu is a trip through the geography of the South American country. He loves to surprise and confront, and what better way to do this than presenting the patron with a deconstructed piranha. It is beautiful just like bloody baroque art is: art is sometimes violent and decadent in its depth.

6. Quinoa never looked so chingonamente hermosa 

Credit: Instagram. @thru.iphone

Among the ingredients that Virgilio has made his own is quinoa, the ancient grain that has fed indigenous Peruvians for centuries and that is now a staple of hipster food, even though its mass consumption means that many poor Peruvians can’t afford it now. Here it is presented in a dignified, natural, deliciously primal state.

7. When the plate is a canvas and ingredients a work of art

Credit: Instagram. @hungrysu

And really, we can’t think of a more exciting foodie destination in Latin America than Central. Just look at this plate, the colors, the perfect harmony and exciting combination of textures. If it is as pleasing to the taste as it is to the sight, we are all in.

8. No mordida on our cakes, please

Credit: Instagram. @unforgedible_Art

We couldn’t help but to include this cute and deceptively simple llama cake. It is a work of art that respects tradition, evades cultural appropriation and is just testament of a baking virtuoso. No mordida here, please…. you might be poked by that cactus!

9. A classic sculpture of culinary genius: mango with chilito 

Credit: Instagram. @marylinmelissa

Not all gorgeous food needs to be fancy or high end. A staple of Mexican street food that has migrated to the Southern United States is luscious and it basically makes our culinary desire salivate. A simple fruit like mango is cut in intricate flower-like shapes and crowned by that proof of the existence of beauty: Tajin.

10. What? Mexican sushi? You bet, compa!

Credit: Instagram. @sushiittooficial

Mexicans have made sushi their own for the past two decades. Mexican sushi is unlike any other: it combines Japanese tradition with very local ingredients such as chili and chipotle mayo. Mango and chamoy are also often combined with meats, rice, and seafood. And Mexican sushi chefs sure make sure that it all looks pleasing to the eye and feels soothing to the hungry stomachs and souls of comensales.

11. Brazilians have elevated BBQing to a fine art

Credit: Instagram. @pitmasterbrasil

If you are a carnivore and you have not tasted a traditional Brazilian churrasco, then you are in for a treat. Brazilians sure know how to enjoy life, and getting together over a BBQ is a way of enjoying each other’s company. Brazilian grilled meats are crispy, salty and sooooo pleasing to the eye. Just look at these beauties, perfectly sliced and cooked to absolute perfection.

12. Alfajores are a bite del cielo 

Credit: Instagram. @guolis

This Argentinian crumbly pastry filled with dulce de leche are gorgeous in a homey, cozy kind of way. Just by looking at them our hearts melt, become gooey like the dulce de leche that stretches as we sigh in pleasure. Try them for yourself if you don’t believe us.

13. Look at this dulce tradicional mexicano, though

Credit: Instagram. @eraserpens

One of the most overlooked treasures of Mexican cuisine are dulces tradicionales. Take these gummy fruit treats, for example, perfectly laid out in a spiral of sweet delight.

14. Seriously! We are nuts over these palanquetas! 

Credit: Instagram. @fafalulu2

Nuts are a staple of Mexican candies. Peanuts, pepitas, and grains like amaranth are all stuck together with honey or piloncillo (cane sugar). These are so popular that you can even buy them from vendors in Mexico City traffic! Put them together, however, and they form an uncanny tapestry of symmetry that you could hang in a museum!

15. We don’t know if we should eat these or hang them on a wall and just admire them

Credit: Instagram. @fafalulu2

OMG! Look at these paletas! No kid can resist to them: they just hypnotize you with their twisty patterns and shiny colors. They speak of the joys of childhood and the talent of dulceros artesanales that are a true treasure of humanity. Everyday creativity on full display.

16. Nopales: the gorgeous green that takes us back to the beginning of time

Credit: Instagram. @sweetmolcajete

Sometimes the prettiest foods are pure ingredients. Take nopales, for example, a type of cactus that has been consumed for centuries. The vibrant greens and their infinite hues seem like an oil paint from Tamayo or Orozco, master painters who translated the palettes of nature onto their canvases.

17. And of course, nothing surpasses the brutal beauty of a trompo de pastor being caressed by fire

Credit: Instagram. @flavorsofjoy

But let’s be honest. Few foods despiertan tantas pasiones like tacos al pastor. They are a full-fledged attack on the senses: visually it is an incandescent carnal treat, its smell elicits dreams and memories, its taste has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy. Doesn’t get any better than this.

People Are Furious That The Peruvian Government Is Risking Machu Picchu By Building An Airport Near The Site

Things That Matter

People Are Furious That The Peruvian Government Is Risking Machu Picchu By Building An Airport Near The Site

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There’s a reason why historical grounds are considered sacred. Ancient areas in the world are part of our history. They are a glimpse of what life was like thousands of years before. For avid travelers that seek to visit these historical areas, they understand the value and privilege of what it’s like to be there. As such, we try to protect it for future generations to come. That’s what makes what is happening near Machu Picchu so frustrating for the international community.

Peru is constructing the Chinchero International Airport near the Andes mountains, which is packed with Incan relics.

The government broke ground on the ancient grounds earlier this year. According to KUNC, the airport will be built in the “mouth of the Sacred Valley” and will be a multi-billion-dollar project.

The airport is expected to transport more than 7 million people a year, but some are wondering how the traffic and pollution will affect these parts that are valuable to history.

“The airport planned to be built in Chinchero, Cusco, endangers the conservation of one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the world,” a petition on Change.org states. “An airport in the surroundings of the Sacred Valley will affect the integrity of a complex Inca landscape and will cause irreparable damage due to noise, traffic, and uncontrolled urbanization.”

Peruvian officials claim there are no Incan artifacts located in the construction area.

The main problem is Machu Picchu is already getting more tourists than it should. The Guardian reports that “more than 1.5 million visitors in 2017, almost double the limit recommended by UNESCO, putting a huge strain on the fragile ruins and local ecology.”

We recently saw the devastating effects from Mt. Everest, which shows what happens when people go to a tourist area thinking anyone can handle it. More people are dying as they climb Mt. Everest and they’re also leaving massive amounts of trash behind.

If the government wants to make travel easier to Machu Picchu why couldn’t they think of a better alternative instead of damaging their main money-making tourist spot?

The government reiterates that the reason it has taken so long to get this airport approved is that they have conducted several studies to make sure the area is not hurt by the construction.

“It is a project of many years, for which all the studies have been carried out, it will solve the problem that now exists with the Velasco Astete Airport and projects an important growth of the tourist activity of Cusco, ” Guillermo Cortés, Vice Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of the Ministry of Culture, told a Spanish news outlet in Peru. He added, “that the Chinchero Airport is also a project that is developed in an area for which all the precautions and precautions have been taken so as not to affect the heritage.”

Click here for more information on what is happening and how you can get involved.

READ: Peru’s Former President Alan Garcia Commits Suicide As Police Attempt Arrest In Corruption Charges

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