Culture

You’re About To Want All Boricua Elizabeth Barreto’s Illustrations Tattooed On Your Body

Elizabeth Barreto isn’t a household name, but she’s on her way to becoming a muralist icon in Puerto Rican culture. While she’s been painting the streets of San Juan with her expansive work, she’s also going smaller scale, and venturing into body art.

Regardless of what she’s doing, her goal as an artist is to touch on the realidad of Puerto Rican society in the midst of a revived feminist revolution, and collapse after Hurricane Maria.

Here’s Barreto’s story in a nutshell.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Barreto was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Until she accepted an artists’ residency at Cafe Con Leche, in Pittsburgh. It was her first time living outside of Puerto Rico. Before that, she received a BFA in visual arts at Puerto Rico’s most prestigious academy of arts.

Her niche is muralism.

Her art is intended to inspire Puerto Ricans. 🇵🇷

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Let’s kick ass! Against fear, silence, tyranny, oppression, inequality, gender and racial discrimination, sex abuse, the colonization of our bodies and minds. Against growing up in shaming and humiliation. We will not get tired of claiming what is rightfully ours every year, everyday. United we are powerful and we know it, the future knows it. And just because nobody has the right to tell me how to act like a PUERTO RICAN WOMAN! Saludos a todas las mujeres que amo, mis cómplices de vida, las que hacen de mí un mejor ser humano. Sí, somos brujas, el Caribe nos hizo así. ✨🌴🔮”

Almost all of her characters have line drawing tattoos on them, and cultural symbols everywhere.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Barreto moved to Mexico City in February and the cultural immersion has been explosive for her work. Eso es the Gemini sisters, with vivid desert and island imagery. Me pregunta if this is not a Puerto Rican and Mexican sister arm in arm? Que piensas?

But Barreto has respect for the dead, and speaks out in solidarity against injustice.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “#sayhername Her name was Claudia Patricia Gómez González. She was a 20 year old maya mam indigenous woman who was fatally shot in the head by the hands of a veteran Border Patrol officer. She was no threat to anyone. She was only armed with the strong-willed and courageous spirit to move far away in hope to secure a job to pay for her education and family support. But instead she found herself denied the right to live. You will not be forgotten, rest in power Claudia.”

Barreto is a self-professed mafu crew lifer, and gets active to legalize recreational marijuana.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Recently I shared an enlightening experience with my mother, smoking weed of course. I can finally rest in peace.✨💚 ”

My lesson with mi mami was that when she’s “enlightened”, she thinks she’s walking on a tightrope and will throw herself on strangers begging them salvarle. So dramatic.

Barreto has recently started making art out of alcohol.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

It’s cultural, ok.

Caption: “Noche en Tenochtitlán 🌙 🌵 …if you are wondering what I’m drinking it’s #fernetbranca , the italian elixir that soothes my fat belly 💩.”

Támbien, Barreto is queer and proud of it.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Um, yes I was majorly obsessed with Sailor Moon, and clearly I was in good company. Barreto identifies as bisexual and we’re so grateful she’s injecting Latino culture with a creative embrace of the LGBTQ community.

This cutie self portrait of her and her boo is everything.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Hoy es día de #pridemexico y lo celebraremos con mucho amor. Un abrazo solidario a toda la comunidad LGBTTTI en México y Puerto Rico 🌈😘.

Today is Pride Day in Mexico City. We will celebrate it with much love in solidarity with the LGBTQ communities in Mexico and Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 🇲🇽 .”

IRL boo is also her merch model… and we love it. 🌈

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Get it? It’s the queer cosmos. It’s very clever, and her merch is available for purchase. When I get to support una boricua and the LGBT community, I say, “Take my money.”

Barreto is toying with temporary tattoos, one client at a time.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

That’s what you call entrepreneurship, kids. She found something she was good at and found a way to make money off of it. Not only is she making money off of it, she is find ways to spread her art on our bodies. That’s great marketing.

Mira esa “Bloody Mary” 🤯:

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

In case you’re a very fortunate non-recovering Catholic, I’ll fill you in. There are over a dozen claims around the world that a statue of the Virgin Mary was seen weeping tears of blood, to represent the blood of her slain son, Jesus.

It’s basically the reverent version of an otherwise happy, uplifting morning cocktail.

And you can get it on a T-shirt, mail it to your mami, and tell her you’re still a good Catholic.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Maybe don’t claim drinking booze makes you religious. Perhaps this is just a cute shirt to buy your mom and see if she realizes that she is wearing a bloody Mary on her shirt.

Barreto’s gift is to humanize the issues plaguing Puerto Rico, like it’s economic crisis.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Nina Alejandra Droz was arrested by the Puerto Rico Police Department for attempting to block a lie of riot cops by simply sitting in front of them. The U.S. District Attorney for Puerto Rico actually tried to paint her as a terrorist…for marching on May Day for an end to the economic crisis in her home country. In the end, Droz was sentence to 37 months in jail and 3 years probation for being an activist.

#FREENINA

There’s no question that Barreto is an unapologetic feminist.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Teach yo’ girls how to love themselves, how to be bold, fearless, mindful, empathetic, solidary, outspoken, honest, creative, caribbean proud…latina proud. Teach them how to fight like a girl..”

Barreto has even gracefully visualized the most ethereal poems of her ancestors.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Post Umbra (1923)

🌑Vendrá un día el arcángel de la muerte
a dormirme en un abrazo largo y frío;
pero tendré, lo único que es mío:
mi lira de marfil, cuando despierte.
Despertaré en la eternidad más fuerte,
cual una flor al beso del rocío;
en una estrella cruzaré al vacío,
Y miraré como el Señor convierte
los nobles ideales en fulgores…
Veré cómo, fundiendo sus amores,
las bellas Islas triunfarán hermanas.
Y con la misma fe que ahora me inspira,
¡Una vez más resonará mi lira cantando las grandezas antillanas!”

16. But she is available to commission paintings of your pets and tattoo drawings.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

You know who to go to, now. Chihuahuas never looked so fierce. It is also a great way to remember your loved ones when the pass.

Oh, and Princess Nokia casually regrammed this portrait of her.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Boricuas apoyando boricuas. I love it. I’m also here for this hashtag #ilovemylittletittiesandfatbelly. Talk about empowering people through art.

And, it seems she’s in with Necromancy Cosmetics.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Necromancy is a Puerto Rican owned cosmetic company that has the most severely badass shades in matte you can find. This is a portrait of Taller Brinca Verja, a renown graphic artist affiliated with Necromancy.

Barreto is also here for the food.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram
This Virgencita de la Alcapurria was painted as a mural on the wall of a pastelería. This piece of work was meant as a show of gratitude to the Dominicans who helped rebuild Santurce, Puerto Rico. She watched over them as they eat alcapurrías.

If you didn’t already know, Barreto is here for immigration reform.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

If you want to buy any of her work, shoot her a DM at @cookingood on Instagram. We don’t know what the shipping costs are but her t-shirts are no more than $20, and if you have una perrito who could use a toughened up portrait, she’s your wapa.


READ: Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

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Bad Bunny And Marc Anthony Will Rebuild Baseball Parks In Puerto Rico Destroyed By Hurricane María

Entertainment

Bad Bunny And Marc Anthony Will Rebuild Baseball Parks In Puerto Rico Destroyed By Hurricane María

badbunnypr / marcanthony / Instagram

While it’s been two years since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the recovery efforts aren’t finishing anytime soon. Many people on the island are still trying to put their lives back together, which includes rebuilding homes, churches, and schools. What many might not know is the recovery efforts have also included revitalizing baseball fields on the island where Puerto Ricans once played. 

Among the destruction that both Hurricanes Irma and Maria left in 2017 is more than 300 small league baseball parks that were found inoperative. As a result, many community ball programs were essentially eliminated and youths on the island were essentially left in the dark without fields to play the sport.

Leading the revitalization efforts are Puerto Rico’s own two native sons: Bad Bunny and Marc Anthony. The duo, along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a U.S. community development non-profit, has teamed up for a new program called Play Ball Again. The purpose of the initiative will be to help rebuild some of those damaged baseball fields and facilitate local programming for 17,500 youth. It is expected that in total, about 300 facilities will be impacted by this initiative. 

The duo hopes the contributions play a huge role in bringing not only baseball back to the island but a place where people can escape from their worries. 

Credit: @laguerradelbsn / Twitter

The initiative is special to both of them not only because they’re helping youth but they hoping these recovery efforts go a long way in bringing back a sense of community. Maestro Cares Foundation, which Anthony owns, is putting money towards the program with a goal of restoring “normalcy” in Puerto Rico.

“Sports and recreation activities help restore a sense of normalcy, in the wake of disasters,” Anthony, who is among the program’s earliest supporters, said in a press release.” Baseball isn’t just a game in this context. It helps young people do better in school and improves family life and health in difficult circumstances.”

Maestro Cares, along with the Good Bunny Foundation and UNICEF USA, will all be putting forth $300,000 of what LISC expects to be more than $1.6 million in baseball field renovations. Joining the efforts is Chicago Cubs second baseman Javi Baez with his Cubs Charities, which will donate an additional $100,000 in support. This also includes the Kohler Company, which made a donation to fund bathroom fixtures for onsite facilities.

“Two years after these devastating storms, the need to rebuild the island remains strong,” Báez, whose family is from the Bayamón area, said in a press release. “Cubs Charities understood the need and has stepped up to the plate to help restore baseball fields and give kids throughout Puerto Rico the opportunity to play the game. This rebuild will make a big difference for the community, and I am proud to continue my efforts to restore the island.”

The recovery efforts in Puerto Rico have been long and tiresome but the fuel behind the revitalization has always been the people. 

 Credit: UNICEF / MAESTRO CARES

While time may have passed, many on the island of Puerto Rico are still trying to get back on their feet. For Bad Bunny, he knows firsthand the power that activities like baseball have on youth. Growing up, baseball was part of his life and much of his time was spent at many of the ballparks that were destroyed in 2017. 

“Growing up on the island I spent a lot of time in some of these parks that are now destroyed,” says Bad Bunny, whose Good Bunny Foundation is part of the initiative. “In parks similar to these, a lot of great athletes like Roberto Clemente, Yadier Molina, Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez, and Ivan Rodriguez grew up. Our commitment is to rebuild these parks so that we can help new athletes grow. This is the first step for the rebirth of sports within the island.”

The rebirth of Puerto Rico is taking time but in that process, there is a sense that an even stronger community will come out of this disaster. While simple things like baseball may not seem significant, it’s a part of the fabric of Puerto Rico and displays the love that is shared playing on a field. This rebirth has already started as construction on the baseball field is underway and most field renovations are set for completion by the 2020 season.

READ: The Death of Four-Year-Old Noah Cuatro Has Rocked the Los Angeles Community As They Come to Grips With the Failure of Child Protective Services

Snapchat And El Pollo Loco Is Using Augmented Reality To Let People Revisit Lost Murals In Los Angeles

Culture

Snapchat And El Pollo Loco Is Using Augmented Reality To Let People Revisit Lost Murals In Los Angeles

El Pollo Loco

For National Hispanic Heritage Month, El Pollo Loco is paying tribute to lost Latino heritage in Los Angeles by restoring a series of murals across the city. Through the power of Snapchat and augmented reality, the California-based food chain is teaming up with Warren Brand, a curator and board member of Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, to have users go to five blank walls in Los Angeles where iconic murals used to be. There, you can open the Snapchat app, tap on the background to prompt the World Lenses feature and point your phone at the wall. Users will then see a mural that was once located there come to life on their phone screen. The various five mural locations can be found by visiting the website Lostmuralsla.com.  

“We wanted to pay tribute to our Hispanic heritage and Los Angeles roots by preserving the lost Latino artwork and culture for a new generation to experience,” says Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer at El Pollo Loco. “For us, this is more than just a moment in time, this is part of our continued commitment to serve the communities that molded and influenced our company.

The campaign is more than just a showcase of cool technology but a way to educate and spread awareness on an issue many might not be aware of. 

Credit: El Pollo Loco

Los Angeles has a deep and profound history when it comes to murals. During the late 1960s and ’70s, Latino artists took to walls to express views on political and social issues, including student uprisings and civil rights struggles. This coincided with the Chicano Pride movement during that period that flourished in East LA and the San Fernando Valley. 

With all this explosion of creativity happening, LA would be referred to as the “mural capital of the world,”  with an estimated 2,500 murals up on city walls during the height of this movement. Then, they started disappearing. According to El Pollo Loco, “Around 60 percent of murals in Los Angeles have vanished due to whitewashing, censorship, carelessness, or a lack of resources for preservation.” 

This was reason enough for the company to bring awareness to this and celebrate the legacy of these murals. Murals are also a part of the history of El Pollo Loco as the food-chain had it’s start in LA and has a mural of it’s own at it’s first store. 

“Los Angeles, one of the greatest mural capitals of the world, has seen an estimated 60 percent of murals vanish experts say,” Acoca said. “Because Los Angeles has been our hometown since 1980 and is the city that inspired the soul of our brand, we want to honor it and our mutual Hispanic heritage.”

In this spirit, El Pollo Loco will also be restoring some murals of their own, including one at its original location.  

Credit: El Pollo Loco

While the campaign will run through October 15, El Pollo Loco will be making some permanent fixtures on LA city walls. To ensure that this restoration of murals survives, the company will be donating its own storefronts as canvases to new murals.

“El Pollo Loco is paying homage to its heritage and the art that was once on Los Angeles’ walls by donating storefronts as the canvases to new murals. The first mural will be painted on El Pollo Loco’s original restaurant location on Alvarado Street, which since opening in 1980 has featured an indoor mural depicting life in Sinaloa, Mexico, the childhood home of the company’s founder,” Acoca said. 

For LA-based muralists Juan Hector Ponce and Hector “Hex” Rios, this campaign is personal to them as some of their work was once erased due to whitewashing. They both were contacted by El Pollo Loco to be a part of the project and help recreate some of their past work. Ponce and his son will be recreating a storefront as part of the campaign that will be a permanent fixture. He says that he is confident that a new generation will take a lot from this campaign and be able to lead a new era of murals in the city. 

“The new generations, with use of technology and the internet, are stronger than previous generations. And those of us older painters still left are proud to see them create,” Ponce said. “While it saddens me that at times people don’t appreciate the beauty of our walls, it serves as a reminder of how important it is that we as a community continue painting more of them.

You can find the digital murals at the following locations:

“Nuestra Gente es Linda y Poderosa” – 2841 Boulder Street, Los Angeles

“Hex BBOY” – 417 East 15th Street, Los Angeles

“SK8 Still Lives” – 7753 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

“Migration” – 1262 South Lake Street, Los Angeles

“Zapata” – 2000 W 6th Street, Los Angeles

READ: Historic Chicano Murals Were Whitewashed All Over Los Angeles But A New Movement Is Bringing Them Back