Culture

21 Latino Celebrities Who Don’t Speak Spanish

There’s nothing worse than being in a crowd of family members and friends and realizing that you’re the only one whose Spanish is too rudimentary to keep up with the conversation. Whether you speak Spanish or not, Latino culture is about so much more than the languages that we speak- it’s about our shared heritage, and the way that we celebrate it together. In fact, there are tons of well-known Latino celebrities who don’t speak any Spanish at all. Some of them have even recorded albums or performed roles in Spanish! Let’s check some of them out below.

1. Eva Longoria

Instagram @evalongoria


Actress Eva Longoria recently posted on Instagram about rediscovering her roots in Asturias, Spain, as part of the PBS special Faces of America. However, even though her family traces its roots back to Spain for generations, the Latina hottie speaks only basic Spanish.

2. Selena

Twitter @SelenaLaLeyenda


Born Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the singer known only as Selena was responsible for the increased popularity of Tejano music in the United States. However, she was never fluent in Spanish- she just learned the lyrics of her songs.  

3. Selena Gomez

Twitter @selenagomez


Texan-born Selena Gomez, who is of Mexican descent, was actually named for pop singer Selena. She also does not speak Spanish- although she asked for a Rosetta Stone language course from Santa last Christmas. She’s most nervous about her accent, but has been able to pick up the vocabulary pretty well.

4. Demi Lovato

Twitter @ddlovato


Another young Texan-born Latina pop star is Demi Lovato, who was born Demetria Devonne Lovato. She’s won both an ALMA, and a Latin American Music Award, but does not speak Spanish.

5. Naya Rivera

Instagram @nayarivera


Original Glee star Naya Rivera has spoken openly about her lack of Spanish knowledge, and how she’s only able to speak a handful of phrases. She says she wants to learn so that she can speak Spanish to her children.

6. Carlos Pena, Jr.

Instagram @therealcarlospena


Born to a Spanish and Venezuelan dad and a Dominican mom, Carlos Pena Jr. (who now goes by Carlos Roberto PenaVega) was born in Missouri, and did not grow up speaking Spanish. With the help of wife Alexa Vega, he’s trying to learn.

7. Cameron Diaz

Instagram @camerondiaz


Descended from a long line of Cuban cigar rollers, Cameron Diaz doesn’t speak Spanish but has close ties to her heritage through her dad, Emilio Diaz.

8. Mark Consuelos

Instagram @instasuelos


Mark Consuelos, who regularly post adorable photos with wife Kelly Ripa, was actually born in Zaragoza, Spain, to an Italian mom and a Mexican dad, but moved to the States before he learned how to speak Spanish.

9. Christina Aguilera

Twitter @xtina


This talented, part-Ecuadorian songstress has a Spanish-language album (2000’s Mi Reflejo), but doesn’t fluently speak the language. She was recently featured as a guest on Alejandro Fernández’s song “Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti”.

10. Miguel

Instagram @miguel

Even though he released a full Spanish album earlier in 2018, Miguel has been singing in Spanish since 2015. He’s been practicing the language since 2012, but isn’t exactly fluent.

11. Bella Thorne

Instagram @bellathorne


Bella Thorne is a triple-threat- she can sing, act, and she’s an author. The part-Cuban model still understands Spanish (it’s what her parents spoke to her when she was little) but doesn’t use it much anymore.

READ: Here’s A Sassy List Of Bella Thorne’s Dating History

12. Jessica Alba

Instagram @jessicaalba


Born to Mexican-American and Dutch-French parents, Jessica Alba never learned Spanish because her grandfather made the decision to teach his children only English. She recently hired a private tutor, and has made an effort to watch Spanish-language TV and movies to improve her vocabulary.

13. Ryan Guzman

Instagram @ryanaguzman


Step Up star Ryan Guzman was born in Abilene, Texas, and recently announced he was expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Brazilian actress Chrysti Ane. Guzman’s dad is Mexican-American, but he doesn’t speak Spanish.

14. America Ferrera

Twitter @AmericaFerrera


Ugly Betty actress and activist America Ferrera proves that you can still be a positive Latina role model without speaking Spanish. Born in Los Angeles to Honduran parents, Ferrera actually went by her middle name, Georgine, until she started acting professionally.

15. James Roday

Twitter @JamesRoday


Psych actor James Roday, who was born James Rodriguez, grew up in Texas, and recently said in an interview that he would be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by brushing up on his Spanish.

16. Melissa De Sousa

Instagram @1melissadesousa


Panamanian-American actress Melissa De Sousa commented to Latina magazine that she feels terrible that she didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. As an adult, she’s taken lots of classes, and has practiced extensively to try and become fluent.

17. Emilio Estévez

Instagram @emilio.estevez


1980s Brat Pack member Emilio Estevez is the son of actor Martin Sheen, who was actually born Ramón Estévez, and is of Galician Spanish heritage through his father. Emilio never learned his grandfather’s native tongue, but remains close to his deeply religious family.

18. Charlie Sheen

Instagram @charliesheen


Emilio Estevez’s brother, Charlie Sheen, is the only one of the family of actors who took their dad’s stage last name as his own. Two and a Half Men actor Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estévez. Although he owns a bar in Mexico, Sheen doesn’t speak Spanish, but he has said that he thinks he would be able to learn it.

19. Evelyn Lozada

Instagram @evelynlozada


Basketball Wives’ Evelyn Lozada, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, was born in the Bronx, and has said that she has Puerto Rican ancestry. Although her favorite cuisine is Spanish food, and she loves to go to the club to dance salsa or merengue, she is not fluent in Spanish.

20. Stacey Dash

Instagram @staceydash


Actress Stacey Dash (who all millennials will remember from Clueless) is currently learning Spanish, in hopes that it will help her secure more acting roles- and so she can teach her children her mother’s tongue.

21. Lana Parrilla

Instagram @lparrilla


Another starlet that’s currently learning Spanish is Lana Parilla, who is half-Puerto Rican on her father’s side. She says that her Spanish improved when she moved to Spain a few years ago, and was able to use it every day, but since then it’s deteriorated. She makes a point to practice regularly with her friend, actor Esai Morales.

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Things That Matter

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Sandy Huffaker / Sandy Huffaker

Last summer, images of undocumented immigrant children went viral. These images didn’t show them crying, or being taken away from their parents. These children were pictured alone in court. The nameless children had no one by their side, no one to represent them, and had no clue what was going on, despite the fact that they were there trying to seek asylum. In some cases, these children wore headphones as a means to translate what the judge was saying. However, given that they were just children, the translation was almost useless. Reports are now servicing that immigration officials are using the language barrier as a means to keep them out of the U.S. 

An op-ed, written by a volunteer at the border, states that asylum-seeking immigrants cannot read or write in English or in their native tongue and immigration officials are taking advantage of that.

Emily Reed, a recent grad student from Barnard University, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that stated she witnessed this manipulation from immigration officials against illiterate undocumented people. Reed was at the border in Texas volunteering with classmates at the South Texas Family Residential Center volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project when she witnessed this manipulation. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection often conveniently exploit asylum seekers who cannot read. Along with an unfamiliarity with our deliberately complex immigration system, the illiteracy of Central American migrants, especially women, facilitates the deportation of parents and separation of families,” Reed wrote. She added, “By manipulating illiterate refugees who often unwittingly sign away their rights, the U.S. government is violating the basic tenets of the internationally recognized and protected right to seek asylum.” 

Reed added that her volunteer program with the legal center provided Spanish documents to the migrant families, but they couldn’t under that either.

“Simple translation is not enough,” she wrote. “The Dilley Pro Bono Project provides documents in Spanish, but even this paperwork was difficult for many migrant women to understand. Many women I helped to fill out paperwork struggled simply to write their children’s birth dates.”

The migrant families are being rushed within the court and legal process, which in turn, is causing deportation to happen a lot faster.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that the haste paperwork at the border made it possible for immigration officials to rush and deport undocumented immigrants. The ACLU stated this process should not be rushed because people need to take their time and understand what is going on and what it is that they’re signing. 

“This waiting period is crucial to ensure that parents have an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to fight their own removal cases, leave their children (who may have their own asylum claims) behind in the United States, or make some other decision,” the ACLU stated lasted year. “In short, families will be making life-altering decisions after months of traumatic separation — and the fact that the government is trying to shortchange them a matter of days to do so is galling.”

A New York Times report showed that 58,000 asylum seekers are currently stuck in Mexico under Trump’s policy because they’re awaiting asylum hearings.

The backlog for these asylum hearings is up to six to eight months, and when they’re ready for their hearing the majority of them won’t understand what needs to be done. This is why they need proper representation, and a patient legal system so they comprehend what is being asked of them and what the next steps are. 

What makes this matter even worse is that there’s not enough legal representation for each family unit, or individual, at the border. 

Last year, it was very apparent that there were not enough lawyers or legal help for undocumented immigrants at the border, and this year there’s even more undocumented people awaiting help and attempting to seek asylum. There people like Reed who want to help asylum seekers, but it’s not as easy as they might think. 

“People see the crisis happening, and they want to do something right now, which is great. But when we explain that this is a long-term fight, and we need your long-term commitment. That’s when people sort of back off.” Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Huffington Post last year. 

If, however, you are willing to put in the time, or you’re interested in learning more about how you can provide legal help, or assist legal teams at the border, please reach out to: the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (“ProBAR”); the Immigration Justice Project (“IJP”); the ACLU of Texas; and RAICES.

READ: Selena Gomez Announces New Netflix Series ‘Living Undocumented’

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Entertainment

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Qhubo TV / Facebook

On November 2018, Miriam Zelaya became a viral sensation after she criticized the food she was given while waiting for asylum in Mexico. Zelaya was nicknamed Lady Frijoles after making comments about the beans served to her, claiming that it was food for pigs. Embarrassed, she later apologized publicly to the Mexican public for the statements she made. 

The story of Lady Frijoles has taken an interesting turn. 

On March 2019, Zelaya was detained with her sister, Mirna Zelaya, for a violent altercation that occured between them and Alba Escobar, the woman they were living with. The fight took place after Escobar blamed Zelaya and Mirna for the loss of her job. The two sisters were accused of assaulting Escobar with a the butt of a knife and chair; they were detained that same night. 

After being held in jail for almost four months, Zelaya pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in court. As a result, she received four years of probation and was deported to her home country of Honduras. 

While Zelaya was in jail, her daughters were cared for by close friends and family. 

This week, Lady Frijoles was welcomed back in Honduras like a celebrity.

With only three days of being back in Honduras, Zelaya has been greeted by the media with style; she was even invited to appear on television. 

On the Honduran channel, Q’huboTV, Zelaya gives her version of the night she and her sister got arrested. According to most American media outlets, the dispute was only between the Zelaya sisters and Escobar. However, Zelaya tells a very different story that involves Escobar’s husband Mirna’s son. 

In her interview, Zelaya states that the reason the argument became physical was because Escobar pushed Mirna’s son. She affirms that neither she or her sister grabbed a chair to hurt Escobar, as most news publications have reported, saying that “I can lie to you all, but I will never lie to God.” Instead, it was Escobar who threw the chair at Mirna, which bounced back when Mirna lifted her arms to shield herself, causing Escobar to begin to bleed due to the impact. 

Zelaya refutes every word said about her on other sources, saying that there wasn’t a knife involved in the argument. Rather, Escobar gave the police the knife from her cabinet and claimed that she was assaulted with it. Miriam also clarifies that she was not as involved in the physical fight as the media claims she was. The only reason she got wrapped up in the situation was because Escobar was jealous of Miriam.

“I declared myself guilty more so for my daughters. I was scared that the state was going to take them away and I was going to lose them.”

After being able to meet with a judge to discuss her deportation, the judge let Zelaya know that she was able to fight for her stay in the country, if she could provide herself with a lawyer and the money to post bail. Zelaya responded that she did not have the money to cover the costs because of her lack of resources. The judge then offered to waive the cost of bail, but she must still find a lawyer to defend her. In the end, Miriam accepted her deportation because of her insufficient funds. 

During the programming, Q’huboTV opened up the line for calls directed to Lady Frijoles. Miriam received a lot of mixed reactions. For instance, one caller asked why Miriam would put the lives of her daughters at risk during the long journey from Honduras to the United States. Others tried to debunk all the statements Miriam had said about her case against Escobar. However, many welcomed Miriam back to Honduras and wished her good luck on her journey moving forward. 

On Q’huboTV, Miriam received plenty of support from the network.

For example, the opportunity to provide her daughter with glasses at no cost. Moreover, on live television the general manager of QhuboTV, Mario “Chano” Rivera, officially announced Miriam as a new host of show called “Las Doñas.”

To end the show, Miriam expressed how her fame helped her, but also impacted her negatively, “I never expected to have a job or help for my daughter.”

During a later episode, many viewers were upset about the fact that Miriam received a job offer with Q’huboTV due to her lack of experience and education in the field of media and communications. Both Alicia and Alejandra, Q’huboTV announcers, came to the defense of Miriam and stated that people should not be envious of Miriam or try to not tear her down. They invited Miriam because she is a star due to her fame. 

Either way, Miriam is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be part of the QhuboTV family.