Culture

A Taco Festival In Portland Is Upsetting Latinos With Their Offensive Ads

This weekend thousands of Portlanders are expected to attend the inaugural installation of a two-day ticketed event dubbed the Portland Taco Festival. For $12-65 dollars, attendees gain entry for the chance to pay for tacos starting at two bucks each with the option of adding passes to the tequila expo. The event doesn’t stop there though.

Organizers decided to take the event a step further by boasting a Chihuahua beauty pageant and the promise of margaritas so good they’ll “remove your sombreros.” And, if that wasn’t enough, those keen on proving just how spicy they are can partake in a hot pepper eating challenge!

CREDIT: Portland Taco Festival

Portland’s messy relationship with food and race spans long before this weekend.

It’s a history so messy, in fact, that an amazing podcast called The Racist Sandwich attempts to unpack it all. When a restaurant called Saffron Colonial opened up in a historically Black Portland neighborhood in 2016, they immediately received backlash for including menu items that glorified colonization and changed their name to British Overseas Restaurant Corporation.

More recently, a burrito pop-up called Kooks decided to shut down after the owners bragged about peeking into windows to steal the tortilla recipes of women in Mexico and they were called out for cultural appropriation.

The Portland Taco Festival ads plastered with hipsters posing behind hard shell taco cutouts and white boys donning Lucha Libre masks are just another example of the Pacific Northwest’s tone-deaf, casual racism.

CREDIT: Portland Taco Festival

As Portland continues to receive due critique for the racism that pierces its liberal façade, it makes perfect sense that a taco festival in this city would opt to cater to the preferences of white folks and forgo respect for the culture which the taco originates from.

Emblazoned in the center of the festival’s logo appears a fiery Chihuahua surrounded with design elements that conjure images of the Aztec calendar to effectively ensure attendees are unable to forget the painfully uncomfortable canine contest.

From the mock Spanish of the Skippyjon Jones children’s book series to the ultra-thirsty Papi in Beverly Hills Chihuahua, this isn’t the first time that Chihuahuas have been co-opted to perpetuate Mexican stereotypes. But since it’s 2017, you’d think the organizers would take notes from the Taco Bell ad campaign that eventually led to a boycott at significant drop of sales and avoid any tiny dog references.

CREDIT: Portland Taco Festival

In an even more confusing mishmash of copy, the festival writes on their Facebook event page, “Far from the standard street fair, we will bring a new creative twist to what a city celebration can be. The modern street taco is really the embodiment of Portland’s melting pot culture. Mexican influences such as Green Chili mixed with metropolitan ideals create the diverse flavor unique to our great city.”

Even if the notion of a melting pot hadn’t been retired for its promotion of assimilation, it’s hard to understand how a Mexican street taco could possibly represent Portland, a city that is 76% white and that continues to push out its people of color—only nine percent of which are Latinx.

While the festival’s bro-y ad campaign and insistence on perpetuating dusty ass Mexican stereotypes was what first caught my attention, further investigation revealed that the festival is actually a “massive fundraiser for an amazing nonprofit program in association with the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, Archetypos Center for Spiritual Healing.” With a mailing address in the state of Colorado, hefty doses of Portland pride are being doled out by festival organizers who appear to live out of state.

On their website, Archetypos is designated as a church organization but they state, “Our mission is to bring people together by looking past the false barriers that separate society such as religion, politics, economics and racial issues. We wish to find common ground on which to build a foundation for the ENLIGHTENED HUMAN CONDITION free from dogmatic exclusion.”

For an organization so apt to write off “racial issues” as false barriers, they sure are quick to reinforce boilerplate representations of Mexican culture in the events they throw. While I reached out to Portland Taco Festival for further information on the organizers, they’ve yet to respond.

On the Portland Taco Festival Facebook page, they continue to hide behind anonymity by avoiding the many commenters requesting clarification on whether or not any Latinx people assisted in organizing.  Judging from the nonresponse and rebuttals from attendees that urge people to focus on “TACOS” and “NOT RACE,” I think we have our answer.

Instead of heading to a festival that promotes sombrero-wearing chihuahuas and features the works of Gringa Loca Art, consider paying a visit to these six tasty Latinx-owned eateries in Portland that don’t require an entrance fee instead.


Emilly Prado is a writer based out of Portland, Oregon, focused on amplifying the voices of marginalized communities in music, art, and activism. You can see more of her published work at www.emillyprado.com

READ: A Community In Oregon Showed A Taco Truck Owner That They Don’t Just Love Her Food

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Mountain Dew Margaritas Are Apparently A Thing At Red Lobster Now?

Culture

Mountain Dew Margaritas Are Apparently A Thing At Red Lobster Now?

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

We’ve seen all kinds of takes on the timeless classic that is a Margarita. From frozen Margaritas to ones with cranberry juice and dashes of blue curaçao and twists of basil and ginger beer we’ve literally seen it all. Or so we thought.

Recently, Red Lobster announced that they’re doing a Mountain Dew-take on the beloved and salty tequila cocktail.

Red Lobster’s DEW-Garita promises to set you aglow.

The drink is the first official Mountain Dew cocktail and of course, it is bright lime green. While the cocktail’s recipe is being kept strictly under wraps, like everything at Red Lobster’s, it’s supposed to pair “perfectly” with Red Lobster’s iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

“Red Lobster is thrilled to work with PepsiCo, not only because it has a great portfolio of brands, but specifically because of the food and beverage innovation possibilities,” Nelson Griffin,the Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Red Lobster said in a statement about the drink.

Red Lobster’s DEW-Garita is due to debut at Red Lobster locations nationwide in September and by the end of 2020.

The Margarita is an iconic Mexican drink related to a drink called Rhe Daisy.

The classic Tequila sour cocktail is one of the most beloved cocktails in the world. According to Wine Enthusiast “One story claims that the drink was created in 1938, as Mexican restaurant owner Carlos (Danny) Herrera mixed it for gorgeous Ziegfeld showgirl Marjorie King. Supposedly, Tequila was the only alcohol that King would abide, so Herrera added lime juice and salt.”

To make your own classic Margarita check out this recipe below

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt
  • Lime wedge
  • 2 ounces white Tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Directions

Shake out coarse salt on a plate. Wet the rim of a glass by using the lime wedge. Press the rim of the glass in the plate of salt to coat. Add ice to the glass.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the rest of the ingredients. Shake well, and pour into the prepared glass over ice.

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El Pollo Loco Announces First Round Of Latina Business Owners To Win $10K Grants

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El Pollo Loco Announces First Round Of Latina Business Owners To Win $10K Grants

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Update: October 14, 2020

El Pollo Local Grants was created to help Latina-owned small businesses and the Latinas who started them. As part of the program, El Pollo Loco awarded $100,000 in grant money directly to ten Latina entrepreneurs who needed support during this pandemic. El Pollo Loco has also set up a GoFundMe to use the momentum and community support to save more Latina-owned businesses. Here are some of the Latina-owned business that El Pollo Loco helped with their grant program.

Thirteen lucky Latina food jefas in Los Angeles won grants from El Pollo Loco.

El Pollo Loco, in partnership with #WeAllGrow Latina, is putting their money back into their community. With Covid-19 devastating small business owners, Latinas in particular, the fast-food chain wanted to help those struggling. In response to the ongoing pandemic, El Pollo Loco created the #FundLatinaFoodJefas campaign to give $10,000 and mentorship to Latina food jefas in the Los Angeles area.

“When El Pollo Loco approached us about working together to support the local Latina business community, we were all in,” Ana Flores, founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina, said in a statement when the fund was announced. “We know that Latinas are driving economic gains that create generational wealth for the broader community, but that the circumstances of COVID-19 have posed a significant threat to our progress. This program will provide the exposure, mentorship, and the cash that women in our community, specifically those in the food industry, need to adapt their businesses to this new reality.”

Thirteen Latina food jefas won the grants. The restaurants and jefas were nominated by customers, friends, and family who wanted to see them thrive. The winners of the grants are Amara Kitchen & Catering, The Salvi Vega, Alchemy Organica, Cafe Santo, La Llorona Bakes, Todo Verde, Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen, Milpa Grille, Salsaology, Twisted for Sugar, Yucas, East Los Sweets, and Alta Baja Market.

Congratulations to all of the Latina food jefas who won the grants to keep their businesses going. El Pollo Loco wants to keep the love going. If you want to help, you can donate to their GoFundMe here.

Original: Covid-19 has devastated millions of Americans with job loss. Unemployment skyrocketed as the federal government failed to create and execute a plan to combat the pandemic. El Pollo Loco is stepping up and giving our community a chance to keep business doors open and community members employed.

El Pollo Loco is giving Latina business owners in the greater Los Angeles area a lifeline in these uncertain times.

The Latino community is the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and business owners in the U.S. According to a Stanford University study, Latino business owners grew 34 percent while every other demographic grew 1 percent over the last ten years.

However, Covid has changed things. Latina-owned business are some of the hardest hit and the sudden loss is impacting our community. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinas experienced a -21 percent change in small business ownership and jobs since the Covid downturn.

El Pollo Loco is offering $100,000 in grants to different Latina-owned businesses because of the pandemic.

The fast-food chain has started a GoFundMe to keep the donations going. El Pollo Loco has already pledged $100,000 to help Latina small businesses and the GoFundMe promises to keep the donations flowing. For every $10,000 raised in the GoFundMe, El Pollo Loco will donate it to a Latina small business. The GoFundMe has raised over $100,000 at the time of this post.

#WeAllGrow Latina partnered with El Pollo Loco to give Latina business owners this lifeline.

#WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco are asking the Latino community to help find Latina small businesses that deserve the grants. Instead of making the decision themselves, #WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco want you to nominate your favorite Latina small business for the grant.

“This year has been unlike any other, leaving Latina-owned businesses disproportionately impacted,” Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco, said in a statement. “Given the critical role brands are expected to play during the pandemic and on the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, we felt compelled to find a way to support the people and city we call home.”

In order to nominate a business, here is what you have to do.

Credit: weallgrowlatina.com/fundlatinafoodjefas

Using social media, nominate your favorite LA-based Latina small business and tag @elpolloloco and @weallgrowlatina while using #grantcontest and #FundLatinaFoodJefas. You can nominate the business up to five times.

People are already nominating their favorite food places in LA.

You have until Sept. 15 to nominate your favorite Latina small business. You can help them win $10,000 and mentorship from El Pollo Loco to help Latina business owners in LA keep their doors open. You can learn more here.

READ: California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

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