food & drink

Starbucks Released A Coquito Frappuccino For The Holidays And Some People Are Very Mad About It

@LatinoBoxSports / Twitter

Starbucks loves to make season drinks because, well, they sell. The pumpkin spice latte has transcended the regular life of a coffee beverage and has become a cultural phenomenon that won’t end. The unicorn frappuccino is another example of Starbucks using their reach and money to create timely and quickly forgotten drinks to follow trends. Now, there is a coquito frappuccino that has left the internet divided. Some people are excited to see their culture reach new heights while others can’t wait for it to be over.

This is typically how we are used to seeing coquito.

CREDIT: @lala / Twitter

Either your abuela and tías make it for the family or there is one specific brand that is always bought around this time of year. No matter how it is made or purchased it is always cradled lovingly in your abuela’s arms when you first get to her house for Christmas.

Now, Starbucks is getting in on the trend.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

We don’t know how long it will last but the drin is being made by name in the Starbucks’ in Puerto Rico. There are ways to order the drink on the mainland but you have to come prepared with a list of ingredients.

The only online proof of this beverage is in this sign.

CREDIT: @Darleen42499267 / Twitter

The photo has gone viral with people retweeting and sharing the image at lightning speed. Some people are super stoked to get a chance to let their culture shine. Others are over the capitalistic nature of Starbucks using their culture.

Gentrification has been a major issue raised by those bothered by this drink.

CREDIT: @call_me_lexxi / Twitter

The drink is similar to their eggnog frappuccino just with some coconut added to imitate the flavor of coquito.

There are people we are delighted that their proud Puerto Rican culture is being celebrated.

CREDIT: @candace_pedraza / Twitter

Starbucks has publicly acknowledged that they wanted to change their image since the pumpkin spice latte has been deemed super basic. This is a start in that campaign to be more than just basic drinks for basic people.

A few Puerto Ricans on Twitter quickly mocked those who were so upset about the drink.

CREDIT: @morrisseysucks / Twitter

It really isn’t offensive for someone to make foods inspired by different cultures. Fusion cuisines exist because people feel an appreciation to the foods and look to make them as delicious as they can.

A whole other sector is just straight up laughing at the idea.

CREDIT: @AverageGirlT / Twitter

It is pretty interesting that the coquito drink would be available in Puerto Rico where you can get real coquito anywhere. When will the drink come to New York for the Puerto Rican community living there?

Some of the Puerto Rican diasporas is even asking that Starbucks expand the flavor.

CREDIT: @jetwithjen / Twitter

Understandable. There is a huge Puerto Rican population in Orlando and those people would probably love the idea of a nice coquito frappuccino on the way to work.

Starbucks is still testing the Puerto Rican market.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

We have no idea how successful it is and we can’t seem to find any promotional material online. If it is successful, however, we need this on the mainland ASAP.

Let me tell you the ingredients for Starbucks coquito.

CREDIT: @MisterrPenguin / Twitter

It’s white mocha syrup and coconut syrup with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It’s not close to the real coquito but when you produce things in mass without the culture nuances, this is what it look like.

Many people are asking where the rum at?

CREDIT: @marielaregal / Twitter

The reason we all love coquito so much is because it kicks off the party. Obviously, Starbucks won’t be selling boozy coquito but the people can dream, right?

Some people are truly torn over the drink.

CREDIT: @WinkWinkWinki / Twitter

Tourists may have a coquito frappuccino to taste the famous drink instead of buying it from a local vendor. People might argue that it’s a money-making gimmick but some people might really appreciate the idea.

The vast majority of dissenters are asking if the cultural appropriation will benefit anyone besides Starbucks.

CREDIT: @beatzmarz / Twitter

Seems like it might be a good idea to tie this into the relief efforts in Puerto Rico since the island is still recovering and it is Christmas.

Starbucks did send some relief to Puerto Rico to help the farmers.

CREDIT: @ashleymwlopez / Twitter

Apparently, they donated 2 million coffee seeds to Puerto Rican farmers and helped sponsor the Somos benefit initiated by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. That’s truly wonderful, and it’s important to highlight when corporations give back to the communities that helped build them up.

They claim the seeds they gave were non-GMO.

CREDIT: @TainoAnomaly / Twitter

Starbucks donated 2 million seeds to coffee farmers throughout the island to help restart the coffee growing industry on the island. They have also partnered with World Coffee Research to enhance the quality of coffee beans produced in Puerto Rico.

Starbucks is responding to people on Twitter letting them know that they are heard and that Starbucks is committed to helping the island.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

Only time will tell if the drink is something that will stay around or just a flash in the pan.

Some critics are not appeased with Starbucks donating money and coffee beans to devastated farmers.

CREDIT: @TainoAnomaly / Twitter

With so much happening on the island, the drink is becoming a way for people to further voice their anger with how Puerto Rico has been treated since Hurricane Maria.

Some have raised concerns over “Our Puerto Rican Flavors” being the tagline.

CREDIT: @MarcusShepard / Twitter

There hasn’t been any news yet as to whether or not Starbucks with donate any proceeds to Puerto Rico or nonprofits helping the island. The phrase is offending people for its cultural appropriation.

We all just have to wait and see if the drink will be good or bad for the Starbucks brand.

CREDIT: @Detresss / Twitter

Only time will tell.


READ: 17 Typical Christmas Foods Eaten In Latin America

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Puerto Rican Slang and Culture Through Bad Bunny Lyrics in Photos

Entertainment

Puerto Rican Slang and Culture Through Bad Bunny Lyrics in Photos

Bad Bunny | YouTube

Puerto Rican reggaetonero and trap artist El Conejo Malo has gone from bagging groceries in his home town of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico to a full-fledged award-winning artist in the span of just a couple years. While the 25-year-old has become an international success, he’s committed to his roots and it shows.

His album X100pre Nochebuena is the gift that keeps on giving to the world. For any Boricua that has his album on loop, you might keep picking up on new gems along the way.

Or, if you’re like me and grew up in the U.S., I guarantee you will be delighted to learn what El Conejo Malo was referencing.

Here’s just some of what you might have missed from Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio’s debut album.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

From santería to Puerto Rican world boxing champion Iván Calderón Marrero, his tracks might remind you of that one decade all your tías dressed in white or your machísmo tío’s poster shrine to Calderón.

We all know Bad Bunny se encanta los perreos.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

It’s the most reggaeton and Boricua slang of the whole album, sneaking its way into almost every canción. Perreo is what you might have called “grinding” in middle school.

In “Como Antes,” the Tazos are little collectible discs found in Frito-Lay chip bags.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

“Me puse a jugar Tazo” he sings, in reference to the toys. He also references the exact time Los Simpsons aired (a las cuatro).

Bad Bunny pays tribute to Daddy Yankee all album long.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

In “Cuando Perriabas,” Bad Bunny sings, “Y bum, pa’ atrá’, bum-bum, pa’ alante/Este party es sólo para la gente que aguante.” Remember Daddy Yankee’s 2004 “Donde Hubo Fuego” when he sings the same verses? This whole song is basically a tribute to all the parties that gave birth to the perreos.

In “200 MPH,” BB gives another nod to Daddy Yankee’s appearance in Talento de Barrio.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Remember that 2008 film about Daddy Yankee’s escape from a life of drug dealing through reggaeton? The characters in the film were Dinero and Wichy, which is who Bad Bunny is referring to in the letra “Dinero, dinero, me falta Wichy.”

Unless you a Bori, you wouldn’t know “bichote” is slang for drug dealer.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Another nod at Talento de Barrio, BB sings about his young-hearted dream to become a bichote, a king in the streets. He also calls out the Puerto Rican government for closing down schools, which give way to “puntas” (a.k.a. trap houses).

BB expands from reggaeton to honor Nuyorican pianists and salsa artists también.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Me siento Ray, pero Richie” refers to Puerto Rican pianist and composer Richie Ray who is known as “El Embajador del Piano.” “Rumba buena, timbalero” is about salsa band La Sonora Ponceña’s song “Timbalero,” a song many of us grew up dancing to while we cleaned the house.

In “Ni Bien Ni Mal,” BB pays tribute to Boricua trapero Miky Woodz.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

He sings, “como dice Miky, no te voy a mentir.” That means BB has spooken: if you haven’t heard Miky’s 2017 song “No Te Wa a Mentir,” get to it.

We even hear allusions to santería, a religion only practiced in Afro-Latino Caribbean islands.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Ando de blanco entero, flow santero” paints the picture of Boricuas, Cubanos y Dominicanos walking the streets in all white, in honor of the Yoruba-Catholic religion. Only Boris and our gente de islas know about the altars with bowls of holy water, statues of saints and candles hidden in their abuelita’s closets.

My all time favorite Bori slang is in “Caro.”

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Your Spanish teacher will tell you that “caro” means expensive, but in Puerto Rico, it can mean a beautiful girl who knows her worth and will never sleep with you or more simply, self-worth. In “Caro,” BB flexes this imagery to combat the haters of his gender fluidity.

During the angelic interlude, Ricky Martin’s vocals add even more depth to the song.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

¿Por qué no puedo ser así?
¿En qué te hago daño a ti?
¿En qué te hago daño a ti?
Yo solamente soy feliz

Every Bori remembers the decade of the chismosando dentro nuestros tías, all speculating on Ricky Martin’s sexuality. He was beautiful and everyone wanted to sleep with him, but he refused to comment on his identity until much later. This ballad touches on an inter-generational pandora’s box of emotions around Latino culture’s rigid expectation of sexuality and gender expression. BB knows his worth, and that “con dinero y sin dinero, mi flow es caro.”

“Otra Noche en Miami” is all about achieving the dreams BB had from his vantage point in PR.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Pa’l Khalifa Kush tengo la conexión. Pa’l avenue Miami Beach, e’ mi dirección” Everything is going his way, but the shine of his Rolex doesn’t shine brighter than a loved one’s smile. This is the list of the dreams he had in Puerto Rico realized before he comes to the realization that they meant nothing.

“Estamos Bien” was released as a tribute to Puerto Rican resilience post-Maria, sí.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

It’s about PR’s notorious potholes, courtesy of a lackadaisical government, and the determination and hard work of Boricuas regardless: “La Mercedes en P.R. cogiendo boquete, eh.” It’s also about BB’s own return to self. He gets the dream and becomes bored with the threesomes. It is also about the return to his island with his sanity restored.

“Solo de Mi” has quickly become the poster song for well-known cultural issues domestic violence in Latino homes.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Venezuelan actress Laura Chimaras seems to be invisibly beaten while singing about her self ownership. Eventually, the bruises clear and we head straight into a perreo where we hear references to Hector y Tito’s “Noches de Travesura” when BB sings “Hoy e’ noche ‘e travesura/hoy e’ pata’ abajo.”

“Baby me siento down” in “Si Estuviésemos Juntos” is love for his teenage emo heart for RKM & Ken-Y’s 2006 hit “Down.”

Bad Bunny / YouTube

The album goes from high beat perreos to raw emotionality instantaneously. We get to have “Quien Tú Eres?” and then listen to “Caro” right after. In BB’s breakup song of the album, he isn’t defaulting to the trend of move on already pop hits. He wishes he did things differently and acknowledges his part.

“La Romana” is an ode to the DR, no question.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

His collabs with Dominicano El Alfa prove that, but we still get a little spice of PR with “Ojalái, ojalái que esta noche tú sea’ mi mai, eh, hey“–an interlude in Voltio and Residente’s “Chulin Chulin Chunfly.”

“RLNDT” is about a lot of heavy mental health issues, but Boricuas hear an underlying societal message.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

In 1999, a 5-year-old Puerto Rican boy, Rolando (Rolandito “RLNDT”) Salas Jusino went missing. He was never found, no matter how much attention the entire island gave the story. In BB’s music video, we just see a still of a 5-year-old baby Bad Bunny.

Your favorite aggro workout song “Quien Tu Eres?” embodies the energy of Iván Calderón Marrero.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

BB is a self-professed fanatic of boxing. His music video for this song is just him punching this bag with a Puerto Rican flag behind him. Calderón was the Puerto Rican two-weight world boxing champ and untouchable hero for Puerto Rico.

Finally, “MÍA” both launches BB into the guy that got Canadian superstar Drake to sing in Spanish and still lift up Boricuas.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Yo soy tu Romeo, pero no Santo” makes perfect sense on it’s own–he might be a romantic but he wants to have his way with you. It also gives a subtle shout out to bachatero Romeo Santos. Nice one, BB.

All we can say is, gracias, BB, for this time capsule tribute to the ’90s and early 2000s and a 2018 classic.

Bad Bunny / YouTube

We’re still playing X100 PRE on repeat and earning our keep en La Neuva Religión. Mil gracias.

She’s Running: Meet Amanda Farias, The Bronx Puerto Rican-Dominican Vying For New York City Council

Fierce

She’s Running: Meet Amanda Farias, The Bronx Puerto Rican-Dominican Vying For New York City Council

Courtesy of Amanda Farias

In 2017, right before young women of color across the country gained mainstream attention for their historic political campaigns, Amanda Farias ran for New York City Council. She didn’t win, but she did come in behind Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr., a longtime politician with vast name recognition, and that alone was a feat for the then-28-year-old, her community and the Black and brown 20-somethings her race inspired.

Nearly two years later, the Puerto Rican-Dominican community leader has put her hat back in the ring, now vying to succeed the man who beat her not long ago in District 18, which covers the Bronx’s Castle Hill, Clason Point, Harding Park, Soundview and Parkchester.

“I always knew I was going to run again,” Farias, 29, told FIERCE.

The Soundview-raised, Parkchester-living Bronx candidate — who has spent years working to get more women to run for office as the Director of Special Projects for former New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, the New York State Coordinator for New American Leaders and the co-founder of Women of Color for Progress — was inspired to announce her run early after recent homophobic statements made by Díaz Sr., a socially conservative Democrat who has a long history of opposing same-sex marriage and abortion and recently said he would not be “ratting out” a man who committed sexual harassment.

“That was my way of showing up: announcing, despite the rumors, I would challenge this person, because he, who doesn’t represent our values, could no longer represent us,” she said.

We chatted with Farias about her campaign, what she learned from her first race, how she intends on putting the needs of her community first in office, why New York City needs more women in government and much more.

FIERCE: Why did you decide to run for New York City Council?

Amanda Farias: So it was for a lot of different reasons. I was actually working at the New York City Council for about four and a half years and, in the middle of that, I started doing constituent casework. I was learning how city agencies work and where city agencies lack communication to the communities or what actually is happening in communities and how that is translated to the voter. Then I started managing the women’s caucus. No female elective in the council moved up in that time. Together with my then-boss, former councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, we started to think how do we create a pipeline of women into the council and what does mentorship look like. When I first started, we had 18 women. Four and a half years later, we went down to 12. We were just trying to figure out the best way to get more women in the council. In that process, my boss realized I was in a district where a council member couldn’t run for another term. She tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to run. That was never in my plans. I never thought I would be asked to run for office or view myself as someone going to run for office. I was very happy making sure the work was getting done in the background. I said no a bunch of times. Then, I did a training with New American Leaders, and there was a room filled with women of color filled with the same self-doubt I had who were already doing the work and cared about their communities and had the values to best represent them. That’s when I decided to take the plunge and run to represent my district.

FIERCE: This was in 2016-2017. You’ve recently decided to run again, prompted by homophobic comments made by Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr.

Amanda Farias: Yes. So I ran in a five-way race and came in second. I was perceived as the biggest underdog, the one person no one had to pay mind to. Yet, I showed up in a big way. I knew I was going to run again, but there was no reason to really announce it so early. But seeing someone who is supposed to be our representative, not only supposed to represent my community and all of its members, but also someone who is supposed to be an elected official in New York City, a progressve city, a city that fights for marginalized communities, makes his comments about a group of people where we live even harder. I try to be the best ally I can be every day and I try to learn the best way to show up for LGBTQ+ communities, so to see someone who is supposed to be representing all people and ensuring our rights are protected be that disrespectful, that disconnected, especially in this political atmosphere, was horrifying to me. I couldn’t let this go without showing up again. That was my way of showing up: announcing, despite the rumors, I would challenge this person, because he, who doesn’t represent our values, could no longer represent us.

FIERCE: I know that among your priorities are job creation, infrastructure, housing, public safety and health and good government. Why are these issues particularly important in your district?

Amanda Farias: Overall, when I think of all those issues and how they connect with my community, the main theme is access. When talking about job creation, housing, good and transparent government, you’re directly talking about how voters and community members in my district do not have access to those things that make their lives better. We are in a transit desert. Our train is not ADA-compliant. These things negatively impact community members and their socioeconomic standing. Looking at an open, transparent and honest government, my district doesn’t have any democratic clubs. There is no process or organization right now, or in my entire life as far as I know, of folks trying to get community members to get out the vote and involved. There’s not groups giving them a better understanding of what it means to be a registered voter, a Democrat or even the levels of government in this convoluted system and who you can blame for your problem. If I have a pothole on my street, who do I blame for that? Transportation is a big deal for me, but so many people blame the city for the subway but really it’s under state control. But because we live in the five boroughs and the Metro is here, it’s easy to assume it’s a city responsibility. It’s about accessibility. People need to be knowledgeable on what’s impacting their daily life and how they can be an active participant in changing it.

FIERCE: In an interview with City & State you said, “my main goal is prioritizing the community and the community members and making sure they’re actually getting the resources they need, the money that they need, to be moved into the district and representation that reflects their views and ideologies and their values.” How do you intend on doing that on city council?

Amanda Farias: So there are a lot of ways a city council member can be impactful. Other than being an advocate in legislation and policies that have a lasting and direct impact in districts, you also have a budget that is super influential in bringing people and resources into the district. When I win city council, I want to see how much money is going outside the district and how to re-appropriate those funds for organizations showing up for the community. We need to ensure it’s reaching the people within our district lines. When I worked for former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, there were times we offered up pieces of our office during nights or weekends for residents who didn’t have space to work. I want to replicate that and show up for residents in that way.

FIERCE: You are a young, second-generation Caribbean Latina woman from Soundview. What do you think your identities can bring to city council that’s fresh and needed?

Amanda Farias: I was born and raised in my district, someone that still lives in the community and goes through the same community problems and issues. My family hasn’t waged out of the district. I’m still facing the same struggles every day that my community members are facing, and I think that’s what makes me one of the best people to represent the district. I was recently telling a story to someone about my family and how there are so many communities that don’t have people, representatives, that come from the same background and same neighborhoods and are still really close to that. I feel there’s a disconnect when you have incumbents, officials, even if they’re doing great work, that don’t understand the struggles of the people, that aren’t late to work every day because of the MTA. My mom is living in a one-bedroom apartment with my two brothers. My mom doesn’t have a living room. Most of my life, I didn’t have a living room, because we couldn’t afford it, we needed another bedroom. People are living doubled or tripled up, even more now with all the families that came from Puerto Rico. This is real shit people go through and it should be a priority. I hope to do that. I think that’s what makes me different.

I’m also someone who has taken the time to learn the system, to be civically engaged. I understand the democratic process. And I didn’t leave. I want to be here. I want to make my community better and get them the representation that they deserve. People need fighters and advocates. I tried to do that in multiple capacities and I hope to keep doing that.

FIERCE: Of course, you are more than your identities. After graduating from St. John’s University with a master’s degree in political science, you started your political career mobilizing Black and Latinx communities for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, spent five years working in the New York City Council, serving as director of special projects and managing the city council’s women’s caucus, ran for New York City Council in 2017 and have since been committed to getting more women in office through your work as the New York State coordinator for New American Leaders and even co-founding Women of Color for Progress. How do you think these experiences and the insight you’ve gained through them prepared you for this office?

Amanda Farias: I think it’s kept me really humble and has kept my values at the forefront on how I move through the work that I do. I feel like these roles I’ve taken on, the work I’ve done, has shown me communities of color are lacking true representation, real people who understand real issues and make those connections. By working for New American Leaders and founding an organization to uplift women of color, it’s empowered me to make sure I’m not only moving forward in this world but reaching behind me and bringing people with me.

FIERCE: On a more personal level, what would representing your people, the teachers that taught you in public school, the service workers that feed you, the elders that offer their daily bendiciones, the families that nurture you, mean to you?

Amanda Farias: I honestly would just be extremely grateful. It’s my way of giving back. The community has sacrificed for all of us, trying to ensure we are learning things we need to learn, getting opportunities, taking advantage of them when they are in front of us. This is my way of giving back, of showing my appreciation for everyone that works so hard to help me, my family, my single mom. The community really helped me move along through school and activities and keeping me off the street, making sure I had a roof over my head. Literally, it takes a village.

FIERCE: As we discussed, this is your second time running for city council. What lessons have you learned that you think better prepared you for this race?

Amanda Farias: I will say having an all-women team kicks ass. We showed all the way up in my first race, and I was really grateful to be willing and open enough to take risks with first-time people that were willing and open to give me everything they had. So going with your gut and building a good team are two. Also, I learned to not always play nice. I was concerned a lot before. I always thought, don’t say this, don’t say that. I don’t want to be made as an abrasive, aggressive person. I don’t want to be perceived this way. I was being very politically strategic. Looking back, there are times I wish I had been more aggressive and less worried about perception. It’s a different time now. It’s my second go around. We also had some great wins in 2018, but running between 2016 and 2017, it was a lonely place for a young woman of color. I had to think strategically and about what would work best for me and the team.

FIERCE: Much of your work has been, and continues to be, in getting more women elected to public office. What does New York City gain with more women in power?

Amanda Farias: Smarter policies, equity in legislation and in budgeting. But I think the sole fact of having a woman in a room, or woman of color in a room, who has experienced something completely different from the average ratio of men in that room, uplifts half the population of the city and the nation. Getting different perspectives from women on how to look at policy or how to create budget priorities is really important. We’ve had historic pieces of legislation, like having free tampons and pads in bathrooms, because of women. It’s not like women didn’t exist before this. Menstruation is a taboo topic, yet this resource is critical to low-income or young people. When we have women in office, we think holistically. We take holistic approaches to budget items and legislation.

FIERCE: Considering this work but also that this is your second time running for office, I think you can offer a lot to young Latinas who aspire to run. Do you have a message for Latinas with political dreams but perhaps see those as unfeasible?

Amanda Farias: I would say to keep fighting. Be the luchadora that we all are, that we know that our ancestors fought for and made us to be. I love the quote, “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” That’s what I try to live by every single day. But I think on a larger scale, we need to ask for help, advice and mentorship. These things are important to ensuring we are moving forward, personally and professionally. We need to make an ask of people in our lives who want to see us do well. There are a lot of people who believe in you, so make the ask.

Read: She’s Running: Denver City Council Candidate Candi CdeBaca Says Building A City Starts With Building Up Its People

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