Culture

20 Things Mexican Families Do That You Didn’t Realize Were Odd Until You Moved Out

Every culture has its quirky traditions, but Mexican families are kind of extra when it comes to funny habits and superstitions.

Here are 20 perfect examples of things Mexican families do that other families uh…. don’t.

1. Heating up tortillas on the stove

Credit: Instagram. @sirdemic

No Mexican worth her salt heats up tortillas in the microwave.

But the first time you fired up the back burner to char a tortilla at someone else’s house, I bet they were surprised.

2. Bonus points if you flipped them with your fingers

Credit: Instagram. @marvin10g

Also, I don’t know what you used tongs for in your house, but in a Mexican kitchen, you better flip those babies with your fingers, and you better be fast.

3. Eating Menudo on Christmas morning

Credit: Instagram. @cilantrolimedtla

Ah yes, waking up on Christmas morning to a crackling fire, a fresh snowfall, and the smell of tripe and cow’s feet simmering on the stove. Mmmm.

4. Shoving people’s faces in their birthday cake

Credit: Instagram. @allinonephotography_

No one really seems to know how or why this tradition started, but there’s no escaping it in a Mexican family.

Someone’s going to trick you into “smelling” your cake, and you might as well just accept it.

5. Tamale assembly lines

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Making tamales isn’t just a multi-step process, it’s a crucial Mexican family bonding experience. Pull up a chair and get to work spreading the masa.

6. Cooking everything in lard or bacon grease

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Mexican Abuelitas don’t mess around with olive oil or cooking spray.

Everything tastes better fried in pure fat.

7. And still calling it “vegetarian”

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In my nana’s kitchen, vegetarian = no visible meat.

Those beans cooked in bacon fat? Si, vegetarian.

8. Bringing your own Lechera out to eat

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You can’t just assume that the restaurant is going to have it, and what are you going to do, eat your pancakes with syrup??

9. Wrapping hot dogs in tortillas

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The best snack you’re going to find. Of course, it’s not just hot dogs, you can wrap anything in a nice corn tortilla and call it lunch.

10. Putting limón and chile on everything

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And I mean everything.

I’ve seen Mexican ladies putting Tapatio on their ice cream.

11. Making the sign of the cross when someone sneezes.

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It’s not enough to say “bless you”. Mexican families go the extra step to make sure God notices.

Read: 20 Latino Brands That Are Clearly Superior To All Others

 12. Shouting “dale dale dale” at children hitting a piñata

Credit: Instagram. @eventosbigparty

The piñata has become a staple of lots of children’s birthday parties, but you know you’re at a Mexican family party when everyone is chanting “dale!” at the top of their lungs.

Read: These 20 Memes Will Have Latinas Saying ‘Same AF’

13. Putting something gold in your champagne

Credit: Instagram. @abalagur

I didn’t know this was a Mexican tradition until recently.

Apparently, a gold object in celebratory champs is supposed to bring good luck and fortune. Can’t hurt!

Read: These Are The Legendary Wrestlers From The Golden Age In Mexico

14. Drinking Abuelita and calling it “hot chocolate”

Credit: Instagram. @hotchocdaily

Remember the first time you had hot chocolate that wasn’t Abuelita and you couldn’t understand why it was so bland?

Read: Here Are 27 Gifts For Your Pan Dulce-Obsessed Self

15. Making “instant guacamole” by mashing Tapatio into half an avocado

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The laziest of guacamole recipes will always hold a special place in a Mexican girl’s heart.

Read: 24 Ways To Use Avocado That Aren’t Guacamole

16. Going swimming in your “chonies”

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For some reason, it wasn’t just swimming in your underpants if you called them “chonies”.

17. Calling any shoe that’s not a boot or a sneaker “chanclas”

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A chancla is supposed to be a very specific type of woven sandal, but in my house, everything from a flip-flop to an open-toe heel was a chancla.

18. Bonus point if you ever got hit with a chancla for being bad

Credit: Instagram. @tonydovalito

Or, just threatened with one. Callate!

19. Putting Vicks VapoRub on everything

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The first line of defense against everything from a stuffy nose to a stomach ache.

If Vicks can’t fix it, you’re in big trouble.

Read: 25 Vicks VapoRub Inspired Products For Bath Bomb Night

20. Boiling cinnamon to cancel out any bad smell

Credit: Instagram. @photo.komorebi

Who needs Febreze? That sweet cinnamon smell will bring you right back home 🙂


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A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

Culture

A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

When it comes to maintaining and seeing our Latinidad flourish, instilling a sense of pride, excitement, and curiosity in our younger generations is key. Particularly when it comes to the past. One Twitter user’s recent birthday celebrations for her son, emphasized just how much teaching the old to the new is vital.

Way back before Twitter user @whoissd’s son Silas Cash C turned 1 year old, living in Southern California crafted a car style called “lowrider” that expressed pride in their culture and presence in the states. While the brightly painted, lowriding automobiles that were outfitted with special hydraulics that made them bounce up and down saw a peak in the 1970s, they remain a big part of Chicano culture, particularly in Los Angeles.

@whoissd’s son Silas is proving that he’ll be part of a generation that will not let the culture die out recently when he celebrated his first full year with a theme that was little more unique and closer to his family’s hearts.

For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance.

Twitter / @whoissd

On July 27, SD shared pics of the big event with her Twitter followers. The post showed baby Silas Cash cruising in his own pint-sized orange lowrider. The party came complete with several lowriders and classic cars in attendance for party-goers to check out. Since posting the adorable pics on Twitter, the message has received more than 22.5k retweets and over 138k likes.

According to SD, Silas Cash developed a fascination with lowriders because of his dad. In an email to REMEZCLA, the mom explained the connection.

“[My son’s dad] started restoring two cars to continue a bond that he had shared with his own father throughout his childhood and it’s now something that the has been introduced to our son. The lowrider culture represents family, unity, and respect to us. It really is a beautiful thing.”

The one-year old’s mini lowrider had to be specially made in Japan just for his birthday party.

Twitter / @whoissd

Silas Cash’s mom explained the decision to have the tiny lowrider made for her kiddo.

“We originally thought about getting Silas his own lowrider because of the immediate attraction he has to his dad’s Impala. With enough searching, we were able to find someone who custom makes remote-controlled pedal cars, and we were sold… Silas and his dad have matching orange ’63 Impalas with the same candy paint hardtops to match.”

Twitter was quick to react to the simply adorable party and they couldn’t stop gushing over it.

Twitter / @cali_kalypso

As this tweet points out, this party is so authentically LA. Lowrider culture started in the streets of California in the mid-to-late 1940s and the post-war ’50s. Chicano youth would lower their car’s blocks, cut spring coils and alter auto frames in order to get the lowest and slowest ride possible. Back then, this was an act of rebellion against the Anglo authorities who suppressed Mexican-American culture.

This Snoop Dog meme says it all.

Twitter / @marissaa_cruzz

We’ve seen this meme make its rounds on the internet our fair share of times but this time it 100% applies. These pics of Baby Silas Cash and his mama are some of the cutest we’ve ever seen. The added bonus of the mini Impala makes this post almost too cute to handle.

A reminder that this little man is officially the coolest kid on the block.

Twitter / @devyn_the_lame

We can just see Baby Silas Cash pulling up to the playground in this custom low rider peddle cart and being the envy of all the other rugrats. There’s no doubt that he is the most chill kiddo at daycare.

*”Lowrider” plays in the distance*

Twitter / @JGar1105

We’re getting major “The George Lopez Show” flashbacks with all this lowrider talk. Don’t you think Silas Cash needs his own theme song? Obviously, there’s only one that is cool enough for the littlest lowrider.

Other tweets pointed out that it takes a fiercely cool mom to pull off this sort of party.

Twitter / @ismokemaryjuana

We’ve got to respect SD’s mom game. She really took her vision and went for it, resulting in a fun, unique and memorable party that her guests will never forget. Great job, mom; we hope Silas Cash grows up to realize how awesome his parents are.

 

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

Culture

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

paper_tacos / Instagram

Jesus Ruvalcaba was an artist looking for more creative freedom in his life. Even after getting a job as an art director at eBay and Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley, the then 36-year-old felt complacent. It was a stop at a grocery store when he went to buy his mother a birthday card that a light bulb flashed in his head. 

“I looked at all these cards but couldn’t find something that resonated with my Latino culture,” Ruvalcaba said. “I felt that an entire population group was being ignored.”

That night planted the seeds of what would eventually become Paper Tacos, a greeting card business focusing on Mexican culture and traditions. From get well soon messages that read “sana sana colita de rana” ((heal, heal little frog) to birthday cards that read “sapo verde,” Ruvalcaba had tapped into a demographic that wasn’t typically represented in the greeting card business. 

“I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like this,” he said. “This was more than just about a greeting card but seeing my culture being seen.” 

Ruvalcaba, the son of two Mexican immigrants, got most of his inspiration growing up in the Central Valley fields of California. He worked alongside his parents in the isolated artichoke fields where he learned to draw. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

Ruvalcaba knew he wanted to be an artist at a young age and says growing up he would usually be found carrying around a sketchbook full of drawings. He didn’t grow up with much as his parents were Mexican immigrants who worked tirelessly as fieldworkers in the central California valley in cities like Castroville and later in Salinas. 

“My parents didn’t really know a lick of English so my drawings did a lot of the talking for me,” he says. “We didn’t have much growing up but they would buy me art supplies and always encouraged me to keep drawing.”

Those drawings would pave the way for a career in animation as Ruvalcaba became the first in his family to graduate college obtained a degree in graphic design at California State University Monterey Bay and eventually his Master’s degree. Shortly after, he would find himself in Silicon Valley working for companies like eBay and Hewlett-Packard as an art director. 

Ruvalcaba knew he could still do more with his talents. After attending a Dia de los Muertos art event in 2016, he met another artist selling Spanish prints with Mexican slogans. He was then reminded of that night at the market when he couldn’t find a Spanish greeting card for his mom. 

“It hit me right there and then that if I could come up with greeting cards that have Mexican sayings like “sana sana colita de rana,” I could tap into a market that was never really acknowledged prior.” Ruvalcaba said. 

After receiving encouragement from his girlfriend, Ruvalcaba put his illustration skills and graphic design experience to work as he produced his first set of 15 cards for 300 dollars. In Fall 2017, Paper Tacos became a reality. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

About a year after the idea of Paper Tacos first came up, Ruvalcaba attended the same art festival from the year prior and sold his first greeting card for $5 apiece. The response to the cards was immediate and customers told Ruvalcaba about what it meant to see their culture on a product like this.

“It felt like my idea was validated in a way and seeing everyone respond so positively to Paper Tacos was just the cherry on top,” said Ruvalcaba. “From there it only got even bigger.”

In the following months of 2017, Paper Tacos made its launch and by the end of 2017, he had made $2,000 within just three months of launching his site. In 2018, he had made over $12,000 in sales and today has over 20K followers on Instagram alone. When he started the business, there were only 15 card designs which have now grown to over 100. He’s also branded outside of California and is currently selling his greeting cards at 25 stores throughout the country.

For Ruvalcaba, Paper Tacos hasn’t been just any business move or a little extra income revenue. It’s a tribute to his Mexican background and a reflection of his culture that he feels is being celebrated every time one of his cards is given. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

When asked about where his inspiration for his greeting cards come from, Ruvalcaba says his parents. Those long days working along with them in the artichoke fields and holidays where all they had was each other. 

“Every card is a reflection of me growing up in a Mexican household and other people have connected with that,” said Ruvalcaba. “When I brainstorm ideas I just look back to my childhood.”

That connection is something special he says. While Ruvalcaba still has a full-time job as a designer in Santa Clara, if things keep going the way they are, Paper Tacos will become his main focus. 

Through Instagram, Ruvalcaba has begun working with more freelancers to keep growing Paper Tacos and get more artists opportunities. His business plan is to expand to other Latino backgrounds to work and reach out to Salvadoran and Nicaraguan artists so that they too can see representation.  

“This business has shown me how powerful this product can be and every time someone tells me the impact that these cards have had on a family member or a friend, it sticks with me,” Ruvalcaba says. “It’s a special thing to know a simple greeting card can do this.”

READ: Patty Delgado Is Changing The World Of Latino Fashion With Her Own Store Hija De Tu Madre