Culture

Make 2020 Your Year With These 5 Steps To Succeed At Your Resolutions

For us humans who like to count days and calendar years, a huge celebration is upon us. We’re leaving an entire decade behind us as we step into the 2020s–finally a decade that we can all phonetically reference without any awkwardness. More than that, the mark of a new year has always been a time to physically and metaphorically declutter from our lives what is no longer serving us. New Year’s resolutions are powerful ways to set intentions for ourselves and build self-trust by following through on them. We’re not invoking any of this privileged white folk ‘manifestation’ energy. We’re doing what our padres taught us to do: work for what we want, si Dios lo permite. As the exhaustion of a semester, work season, year and decade come to a close, we get the opportunity to rest and recharge and start all over again.

Here’s the thing. Once we get back to school, work and real life, that kinetic energy will start to slow down, and your resolution isn’t just going to manifest out of thin air. As a Capricorn, let me tell you how to be realistic when you decide what your resolution is going to be and how to follow through.

1. Be Selfish

CREDIT: MEME /MEME.XYZ

Ask yourself: how is this going to benefit me in the long-term? New Year’s energy is some serious joojoo that you won’t want to waste on what somebody else wants for you. It’s time to think big picture and get selfish. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What’s the first step to get you there? Resolutions take up space in your thought life and living life. Is this one worth it? Does it excite you? It’s far easier to follow through on a resolution when you really want it for yourself and isn’t just an effort to fit in or cave to societal pressure. 

2. Tell Your Mother

CREDIT: ONE DAY AT A TIME / NETFLIX

There’s nothing a Latina mom loves to do more than check up on you. Other sources will tell you to create accountability or “form a pact” with someone else. Not us. We know as well as anyone and their (Latina) mother that your mami will ask you about your resolution every time you talk. It’s a powerful weapon that you may want to seriously consider before deploying. Just how committed you are to this resolution? Because you can’t back out once you tell your mami. She just wants what’s best for you, mija.

3. Don’t Do a Fad Diet

Credit: herbalife / Instagram

Disordered eating may feel like a family heirloom, passed down from one mami to the next, but this is the generation when it stops and we start loving our curvy bodies. No matter how often your tía or abuelita flip flop between calling you gordita or flaquita, take resolve in yourself knowing that they’re both compliments. Studies prove that fad diets don’t work to maintain a healthy weight, but rather offers major fluctuations in weight.

Instead of adopting a mindset of scarcity and focus on reducing certain foods, consider adopting a mindset of moderation and balance. Choose to eat more healthy plant-based food, more aguacate instead of butter, or choose to work out just one more time a week than you already do. Exercising and eating well have their scientifically-backed benefits, like better physical health, sleep, and mental health. Focus on eating more good foods instead of feeling terrible when you eventually cave and have your abuela’s flan. Better yet, vow to eat more flan in 2020, mi gente!

4. Light a Vela to Saint Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes

CREDIT: @CBROCIOUS / TWITTER

Our moms may love to light candles to Saint Anthony to beg the stoic statue to find us novios or novias, not realizing that by doing so, they’re telling us they think we’re a lost cause, but it works, okay. In moments of doubt or despair, take up the worthy tradition of our most recent ancestors and light a candle to Saint Anthony. Whatever resolve you’ve lost, he’ll be able to help you find it.

5. Take a Mental Snapshot of the Moment You’re Working Toward

CREDIT: @JLO / INSTAGRAM

When we see people like Jennifer Lopez or Justice Sonia Sotomayor, it’s easy to want what they have, but hard to imagine them putting in the work to get there. Whether you decide to volunteer more to boost your self-esteem and find a community or decide to go back to school to get that bachelor’s or law or doctoral degree, there will be sacrifices. Prepare for it. Understand deep down that it won’t always be fun so that when you have to cancel social plans or drag yourself out the door when all you want to do is watch Netflix, you remember: I signed up for this. Picture yourself in the cap and gown or at the top of that peak, or just picture J.Lo. Either will do.

READ: Reddit Users Are Sharing Their Craziest New Year’s Eve Stories And I Can’t Believe Some Of Them Didn’t Make The News

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

Culture

From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

josie_delights / guatemala / Instagram

Updated on May 13, 2020, originally published on November 20, 2019.

Sure, it’s summertime but there’s nothing wrong with tapping into the holiday season for some good o’l comfort food. Especially these days. Latinos don’t settle for just one dessert option, we have plenty to choose from and you best believe a few tías will bring different ones. From pastel de tres leches to churros and all the drinks that go with them, there are some wonderful treats in store. Yes, more often than not, a good cafecito will pair up perfectly with your postre, but how about a Mexican ponche? Or a Guatemalan Atol? We rounded up our fave cold-weather desserts for the summer that every Latino should whip up for quarantine!

1. Alfajores

Credit: nosjuntapaula / Instagram

These soft, delicate and buttery cookies are held together by the addicting caramel sauce, an elixir of the gods; dulce de leche. This option goes perfectly with a good old cafecito and chisme. That sobremesa is sure to get lit with all that sugar pumping up the tías and abuelitas. 

2. Arroz con leche

Credit: aliceesmeralda / Instagram

A foolproof winter classic. Arroz con leche is the ultimate Latino comfort dessert any time of year tbh. Try it calientito with a good amount of cinnamon and raisins. Provecho!

3. Buñuelos —Colombianos and Mexicanos

Credit: nachoecia / Instagram

The Colombian iteration isn’t quite a sweet treat as it’s filled with cheese, but the addition of brown sugar, butter and tapioca make it a dessert in our book. As for the Mexican version, they’re usually made during the winter holidays. Mexican Buñuelos are made of fried dough, covered in cinnamon sugar and if you’re not about fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar, idk what to tell you, there’s something wrong going on.  

4. Chocoflan

Credit: dolchecakes / Instagram

Also known in Mexico as ‘Impossible Cake’, this delicious mass of goodness combines two great things into one god-sent hybrid. If you love flan, but would also like to have a slice of chocolate cake, Latina moms everywhere say; “¿Por qué no los dos?” The rich dense chocolate, topped with creamy vanilla flan, drizzled with a thick layer of cajeta is, quite literally, what dessert dreams are made of. 

5. Churros

Credit: blizzdesserts / Instagram

There’s something so satisfying when biting into a warm, doughy, crunchy and sugary churro. You can find these delicious treats all over Latin America, and they’re particularly yummy when paired with a cup of hot chocolate! Extra points if you stuff them with cajeta or chocolate. 

6. Flan

Credit: silvanacocinando / Instagram

Almost every Latin American household will have its own version of flan. From Puerto Rico to Costa Rica and everywhere in between, Latinos love flan. The creamy vanilla-flavored concoction is basically irresistible. 

7. Natilla Colombiana

Credit: josie_delights / Instagram

This Colombian custard dessert is very traditional during Christmas, but we like to think that it’s also good at any time of the year. Natilla is a rich, custard-like dessert traditionally served alongside the deep-fried cheese buñuelos we told you about earlier. You’ll definitely have to forget about la dieta if you want to have this option. 

8. Suspiro de Limeña

Credit: rodolfo1913 / Instagram

Its name literally translates to “Sigh of the lady from Lima.” This Peruvian dessert is definitely sigh-inducing. The creamy, caramel-like custard, topped with a Port flavored meringue is an extra sweet treat for this cold season. The dessert originated in the city of Lima, and it is said that it gained its name after a poet said it tasted soft and sweet, like the sigh of a woman.

9. Pastel de Tres leches 

Credit: tallerdenoemi / Instagrm

This quintessentially Latino cake is made with three types of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. This is definitely not for the lactose intolerant. The cake soaks up all these liquids, making it a super decadent treat. If you’ve never had this traditional Latino dessert, prepared to be delighted, and have the coffee pot a-ready. 

10. Ponche Navideño

Credit: mexicoinmykitchen / Instagram

Traditional Mexican fruit punch is a hot, delicious concoction. Made with more than ten fruits including apple, tamarind, jamaica, tejocotes, raisins. This punch is spiced with cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo. It’s basically Christmas in a cup.

11. Camotes en dulce 

Credit: aprilxcruz / Instagram

Mexican candied sweet potatoes are a must. Día de los Muertos, on Nov. 1, marks the beginning of Camote season. ‘Camotes Enmielados’ is made of sweet potatoes, simmered in a cinnamon and piloncillo syrup. This dish makes for the perfect fall treat. 

12. Guatemalan Atol

Credit: guatemala / Instagram

Made of ground corn, the flavors of this drink range from cinnamon to black beans to chocolate to cajeta. Guatemalan Atol, or Atole in Mexico, is a drink made differently in many countries of Latin America, but there’s one thing that remains the same everywhere, and that is that it’s a fall-winter staple you can’t miss out on.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Indigenous Group From Michoacán Is Getting Ready To Celebrate A Pre-Hispanic New Year: The ‘New Fire’

Culture

This Indigenous Group From Michoacán Is Getting Ready To Celebrate A Pre-Hispanic New Year: The ‘New Fire’

Purépechaoficial / Instagram

With all the Chinese New Year celebrations we saw this week, we wanted to highlight another Spring New Year party. Based on a very different calendar and with very different traditions; the Purépecha people of Mexico are also celebrating a New Year’s celebration soon. And their traditions hail from a distant past.

Each year, the Purépechas light a fire to celebrate the new year, according to the ancient mesoamerican calendar.

Every year, since 1983, the Purépechas of Michoacán celebrate the new year on the nights of the 1st and the 2nd of February. The lighting ceremony of the New Fire, goes back to the pre-Hispanic period.

The Purépechas are descendants of a pre-columbian empire.

Purépechas today, are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state of Michoacán in Mexico. Their calendar is similar to the Mesoamerican calendar —a system that emerged with the Olmecs, and was passed down to Mayans, Zapotecs and Aztecs.

The most widely known version of the calendar is the Aztec version.

The ‘piedra del sol’ is one of the most photographed pieces in the Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City. The use of this calendar was halted in 1521, when the Christian calendar and rituals were implemented by the Spanish.

Like its variants, the Purépecha calendar also consisted of 18 months.

Each month was made up by 20 days, for a total of 360 days in a year. To keep the calendar in alignments with the cycle of the sun, Purépechas would add 5 days periodically —and since they didn’t align with any month, those days were considered ominous.

In 1983, a group of Purépecha intellectuals and community activists reintroduced the use of the old calendar by celebrating its new year.

This date is marked by the night when the constellation of Orion reaches its highest point in the sky. In the past, this meant it was time to make offerings to Kurhíkuaeri, the god of the Sun and of fire. It usually happens on the night of February 1-2.

The Purépecha new year is now celebrated with what is called the New Fire ceremony.

The New Fire ceremony is a Mesoamerican ritual, but originally it was performed once every 52 years, corresponding to the cycle of Pleiades; it was also the day when the civil and ritual calendars coincided.

Today, the New Fire ceremony has been repurposed so that the celebration of the new year can move from town to town in the territory once defined by the Purépecha Empire.

The ritual is carried out in a different town each year. The new village receives the Old Fire from the community that guarded it during the previous year, and lights the New Fire that remains under its protection until it is delivered to the next guardian.

The first time this festivity took place after being reinstated, it was held in Tzintzuntzan.

Since then it has been taking place every year, being an important element for the strengthening and cohesion of the Purépecha people.

The purpose of the festivity, is to keep traditions alive and to rescue cultural elements of the past.

“Even though the New Fire ceremony is the most representative aspect of this indigenous people, it is one of reflection rather than religious or political in nature,” says Patricia Terán Escobar, a researcher at the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH). “Some of the objectives are to rescue the collective memory and all the cultural elements of the past, such as the ancient Purépecha tradition of verbally transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next.”

The Purépecha council, Consejo de Cargueros del Fuego Nuevo Purépecha, approved the request for this year’s host.

This year’s Fuego Nuevo celebration was disputed between the villages of Ario de Rosales, Zacapu, Comanja, Erongarícuaro and Capacuaro. The latter was the winner and will be the bearer of the new fire for 2020. The village of Capacuaro was chosen to honor its over 500 years of history.

Capacuaro is one of the most ancient Purépecha communities.

“It was a necessary stop for tradespeople and travelers who were making the journey between Paracho and Uruapan —a trek that took travelers through the mountains, across the ‘sierra P’urhépecha’, a road that Don Vasco de Quiroga, a famous evangelist, often trekked.

This year, the New Fire —aka. New Year ceremony— will take place on February 1 in Capácuaro, which will receive the Old Fire from Cuanajo. Capácuaro is located north of the city of Uruapan, near Paracho.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com