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.

These Santería Stories From Miami Took Sad And Dark Turns For Everyone Involved

culture

These Santería Stories From Miami Took Sad And Dark Turns For Everyone Involved

wanderfullaws / Instagram

Miami is famous for its beaches with crystal clear water, partying nightlife—and an active Santería religious community. The religion has its origins in the Caribbean as a religion that was brought over by the enslaved Yoruba people.

Once in Cuba, enslaved people kept aspects of the religion and also mixed it in with some elements of Roman Catholicism. It is practiced throughout parts of Latin America and in the United States as well, specifically in the Cuban-influenced city of Miami.

Like any religion, there are some bad apples that ruin the meaning of the religion for some people. Here are some stories about how some folks in Miami took Santería to disturbing places.

1. Injured chicken found by Parks Department employee in South Beach.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bof0EpXlUWr/?hl=en&tagged=santeria

In 2013, a Parks Department employee was walking in South Miami Dade and found a chicken in an injured state. The Miami New Times got ahold of the email that was sent to the city’s parks department that details a family photo was pulled out of the live chicken as well as artifacts that were sewn onto the chicken. Someone or some family cut into a live chicken and stuffed artifacts inside and sewed him shut.

2. Dead chickens in the streets.

In a recent article from the Miami Herald, Miamians are seen as the second-most annoying neighbors in the country out of 24 cities. Miamians voted so themselves.

One of the main reasons Miamians have issue with their neighbors is because of the mess left behind from some Santería rituals. Miamians have reported seeing the bodies of dead chickens littering the streets and sidewalks after such rituals.

3. Looking to adopt a pet in Miami? Try rescuing a rooster.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Boxf2CigXJC/?hl=en&tagged=petrooster

Payo the rooster got a second chance at life with the help of a caring Miami family who persuaded a Santería priest to sacrifice another animal instead of him. However the neighbors aren’t feeling like they’re lucky and are starting to hate Payo.

His name with his neighbors? El terrorista (the terrorist) because he sticks his chest out to demand for food, attacks dogs, cats and even people, and also crows very loudly very early in the morning. Payo might be shipped off to a neighboring farm if his owner doesn’t get him to be a more considerate rooster.

4. Murder, Santería and fleeing to Argentina.

In one of the most Miami-esque stories, a jeweler named Hugo Quesada was determined to be a Santero. He claimed he asked for the help of a father and daughter duo of Santería followers, but when they refused, he strangled them and stuffed the father’s body in a shed.

He also pleaded guilty to the murder of the man’s wife as well. Quesada fled to Argentina until he was found by Argentine agents and extradited to Florida.

5. Slaughtered horses are “not uncommon” in the area.

In January of this year, a woman was walking around Northwest Miami-Dade and found the body parts of 20 slaughtered horses. The crazier part? Rachel Taylor of the Animal Recovery Mission said “It’s not uncommon in this area.”

Investigators are having a hard time figuring out who committed the heinous act and why. Taylor said the horses could have been slaughtered for horse meat or also for Santería rituals, which complicates the search for answers.


READ: 10 Folk Religions You Didn’t Know Existed In Latin America And The Caribbean

Are you a Miami native that has heard of some chilling Santeria rituals? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with your friends.

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