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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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

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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

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


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Change Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner With These Latin American Substitutes

Culture

Change Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner With These Latin American Substitutes

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Thanksgiving is almost here and the pandemic is changing things for the holiday season. One of the biggest changes is that it is not advised to gather in person for the celebration. This might seem like a bad thing but it does give you the chance to mix things up before a Zoomed Thanksgiving feast. Here are some Latin Americans substitutions you can make to your Thanksgiving table as a test run for next year.

Turkey is great but give some lechon a try.

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Lechon is a Cuban pork dish made for big celebrations. Thanksgiving is a big celebration the revolves around food. Lechon is already the meat of choice at a Cuban Thanksgiving and is usually the star of the plate. You can spend hours dealing with a turkey for the tenth year in a row or you can be a little more excited and make this delicious Cuban meal.

Tostones (patacones) are the perfect replacement for potatoes.

Tostones, also called patacones, are made using green plantains. They are tough and starchy so they make a great savory side dish. make sure you double fry these bad boys. Once when they are chopped and a second time after smashing them to their iconic flat shape. If you let the plantain ripen, you can use it to make maduros instead, which are sweet.

Or, take those plantains and make mofongo.

Mofongo uses the same green plantains except they are fried once then mashed. It goes great with pork so this is a perfect little dish to pair with the lechon if you really want to go for it. The Puerto Rican dish is something that will forever change your mind about what you’d like to see at Thanksgiving.

Causa rellena is a Peruvian take on the classic mashed potatoes.

If you want to stick to the potatoes you are used to buying, Peruvian causa rellena will given them a Latin American spin. The dish does not take long to make and requires minimal cooking. The most you have to really cook is boiling the potatoes so you can mash them but the way the dish ends it by popping it in the fridge. Just layer the cooked ingredients and set it in the fridge overnight to save on Thanksgiving Day cooking time.

Corn is always a hit, especially as esquites.

Esquites is one corn dish everyone needs to try at least once. It is a neater version of elote because it is all the same ingredients but in an easier to eat way. Better yet, you can make a big batch or opt for personal servings to make it all cleaner and easier for everyone involved.

Guava con queso pastelitos are the dessert everyone is really asking for.

This little Cuban pastry is probably one of the best desserts ever created. This is not up for debate. It is just a simple fact of Latin American desserts. Honestly, when you taste the sweet and tangy flavor of the guava wrapped in the flaky, buttery pastry, your life will change. Drop the pumpkin for one year and give this Cuban dessert a try.

READ: Take A Tasting Tour Of Latin America This Thanksgiving With This Curated Menu

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Four Mexican Children Have Been Nominated For The Children’s Peace Prize And Here’s Why They Each Deserve To Win

Things That Matter

Four Mexican Children Have Been Nominated For The Children’s Peace Prize And Here’s Why They Each Deserve To Win

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Mexico is celebrating four compassionate children who have each been nominated for a prestigious international award, for their dedication to solving issues within their own communities.

Three kids from Oaxaca and one from Sinaloa have been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Award – which is award to children from around the world who have made an effort to promote the rights of children and improve the situation of vulnerable minors.

Each of Mexico’s four nominees have done so much for their communities – and the world at large – that it’s going to be a close contest to decide who is the ultimate winner.

Four kids from Mexico are in the running for a prestigious international peace award.

Among 138 children from 42 countries, four Mexican kids have been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Award, which is awarded to minors who have made an effort to promote the rights of children and improve the situation of vulnerable minors.

The award comes with a €100,000 (about $117,000 USD) prize which can be used to invest in the solutions they’ve been championing. In fact, one of last year’s winners was climate change activist Greta Thunberg and peace advocate Divina Maloum from Cameroon.

On this occasion, Mexico’s nominees are counting on the win and include three nominees from Oaxaca and one from the state of Sinaloa.

Each of the children nominated have done incredible work to help solve issues in their communities.

In order to be nominated for the award and to be considered for the top prize, children must demonstrate their commitment to making a “special effort to promote children’s rights and better the situation of vulnerable children,” according to the Children’s Peace Prize website.

It goes without saying that each of Mexico’s four nominees have already checked off each of those requirements, with each of them making major advancements in issues that affect their communities, their country, and children from around the world.

In fact, the issues this group of children have been taking on range from combatting bullying and domestic violence, to increasing access to education, protecting young women and girls from endemic violence, and combatting the global Covid-19 pandemic.

One nominee from Oaxaca founded her own foundation to help advance the issues she cares about.

In an interview with Milenio, Georgina Martínez, 17, said that the award represents a great opportunity.

“This year we are among the 142 nominees from 42 different countries and I believe that without a doubt there is a commitment from all of us as Mexican children and young people to win it to continue fighting for our dreams,” she said.

Martínez, who won the national youth award in 2017, has been working for the rights of children and young people for 10 years through various campaigns, such as “Boys and Girls to the Rescue”, which focused on helping vulnerable minors combat bullying and domestic violence. She also supported the Nutrikids campaign that fed minors in precarious situations, worked to build classrooms in impoverished communities, and has also been a speaker at various conferences.

“My activism began when I was 9 years old, when I participated in the ninth parliament of the girls and boys of Mexico, where I was a children’s legislator. We spent a week at the Chamber of Deputies to work in favor of children’s rights. There I realized that my voice could be heard and that I could be the voice of many children who perhaps did not have access to many of their rights such as education and health,” she told Milenio.

Young Georgina Martínez is in her last year of high school, and she has in mind to continue working in the present and the future to continue being a person and agent of change.

Martínez’s brother is also in the running for his work against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jorge Martínez, the 13-year-old brother of Georgina, considers it a great honor to represent Oaxaca in the contest.

“I was nominated for my masks project, which consists of using 3D printing to print universal headbands and make acrylic masks, which I donate to hospitals,” he told Milenio.

“I started by making 100 masks, which I financed with my savings, and donated them to the children’s hospital to help hospitalized children so that they wouldn’t be infected with Covid-19. The project went viral allowing me to grow the project and it soon gained international attention,” he added.

Many of his neighbors and friends consider him to be an actual genius but he’s far too modest to take on that title. He said that “the truth is, all this technology is something that I like a lot and it’s fun to be able to work in fields that you enjoy.”

Martínez also shared his plans for the future, telling Milenio that he’d love to move to China to be able to work in robotics and engineering.

Oaxaca also has a third nominee in the global contest.

Oaxaca’s third nominee for the prize is a young ballet dancer, activist, and storyteller – Aleida Ruiz Sosa – who is a defender of women’s rights. She’s currently studying online as she finishes high school and plans to pursue a law degree, in addition to advancing her dance career.

She’s been a longstanding voice for women.

“Since I was very young I have worked hard to help my community. I have a collection of stories called “Rainbow”, that speaks out about violence against women. In fact, I worked with the Attorney General of Oaxaca, and the main thing is that all the proceeds from the sale of these stories will go to the young victims of femicide,” she told Milenio.

Also nominated is 16-year-old Enrique Ángel Figueroa Salazar of Mazatlán, who is passionate about children’s rights and wishes to change local, federal and global societies so that children can live a life free of violence.

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