Culture

This Mother-Son Duo Preserved Mexican Culture And Saved Their Neighborhood With Authentic Food And Ingenuity

@kiko454/ Instagram

On a seemingly quiet street in Downtown Oakland, 8th street between Washington and Broadway, a mother-son team, Gloria and Alfonso Dominguez, have figured out how to preserve their Mexican culture through food, and how to save a neighborhood in crisis during the disastrous economic downturn in 2008.

Tamarindo Antojeria Mexicana is a lonchería in the heart of Downtown Oakland started by Alfonso Dominguez and his mother Gloria.

A family man, entrepreneur, architect, artist, music festival organizer, and chef, Alfonso is the definition of a renaissance man.

Minime

A post shared by Alfonso (@kiko454) on

As he puts it, after his parents were divorced and his mother gave her previous taqueria over to his dad, he couldn’t stand not seeing her with her own restaurant. Believing in her and putting his skills to work, he invested in his mom and together they opened Tamarindo.

Tamarindo, once just a small restaurant, opened up into a bigger space when the place next door shut down when the financial crisis began.

#aguasfrescas #tacos #LoncheriadeTamarindo Loncheria hours 11-3pm Mon.-Fri. Flour Gorditas is our special today.

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Serving up food from recipes that Gloria has collected from her travels all over Mexico and from partnering and working with other chefs, she’s been able to keep alive Mexican fare from ancient recipes to street food.

As an architect and artist, Alfonso brings a flair to his restaurants and bars.

Alfonso brings an aesthetic and understanding of structure, color, and design to everything he does. Sure you can have a taco in an amazing hole-in-the-wall, but why not have hole-in-the-wall level food, in a beautiful restaurant? Well, at Tamarindo, Alfonso made sure that you can.

The real secret of keeping the neighborhood awake and alive when everything was falling apart around them, was Alfonso’s resilience and Popuphood.

Credit: Eva Kolenko/ Vimeo

He helped found Popuphood, an agreement between the city, landlords and business owners to grant new businesses six months of rent-free space to open their doors and get foot traffic back up in the neighborhood. By doing so, Popuphood helped revitalize the whole area. It’s a pretty amazing story.

Outside of Popuphood, Alfonso is helping other entrepreneurs, by franchising his idea “El Taco Bike.”

@eltacobike is out ! @mesteezo

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He’s giving young taqueros the know-how, support, and a taqueria on wheels, for them to be their own boss and be successful.

Sure, most of us would cringe at the idea of having to work with our parents, but maybe, if you could resist that urge, you’d end up like Gloria and Alfonso.

Felicidades mama! Proud of you , oh and thanks for my life;)

A post shared by Alfonso (@kiko454) on

Alfonso posted his mom’s photo to Instagram and captioned it “Felicidades mama! Proud of you…”

Good food, good vibes, good people. What else can you ask for?


READ: Here Are Some Not-So-Subtle Ways Your Latina Mom Tries To Convince You To Not Move Out


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Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

Culture

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

This week, WW, the ridiculously rebranded name for weight loss company Weight Watchers, proved that despite its new designation, the global brand is offering more of the same problematic trash to the world — this time, directed at children in particular.

On Tuesday, WW launched Kurbo, a nutrition and weight loss app for kids between the ages of 8 and 17 years old.

Not surprisingly health experts are furious about the danger it could pose to the physical and mental health of our young people.

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“You NEED to Shut. This. Down,” Whitney Fisch, a social worker, school counselor and mom of three, wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “All bodies, especially growing + developing bodies, deserve respect + the ability to grow into whatever shape they’re meant to grow to be.”

The company describes the app, which is free, as a “scientifically-proven behavior change program designed to help kids and teens age 8-17 reach a healthier weight” that was acquired from Stanford University’s Pediatric Weight Control Program. It uses a traffic light system to instruct youth on foods that they should eat and those that they should avoid. Kids are urged to eat plenty of “green light” foods, including fruits and vegetables, to be “mindful” of their portions of “yellow light” foods, like lean protein, whole grains and dairy, and to lessen their intake of “red light” foods, such as sugary drinks and “treats.” The app also encourages users to track their daily physical activity and deep breathing.

With a paid, subscription-based plan, children can also receive through the app one-on-one sessions with coaches that are supposed to be experts in nutrition, exercise, and mental health. However, the Huffington Post reports that these coaches do not need to have any credentials in health or nutrition fields; though they do go through a minimum of six to eight hours of initial training.

Eating disorder treatment experts are concerned about the impact an app like Kurbo could have on a young person’s mental health, self-esteem and eating habits.

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“While the intention of the app is to promote health and wellness, there is the risk that it could do more harm than good,” Kathryn Argento, a registered dietician with The Renfrew Center, a national network of eating disorder treatment centers for women and girls, told the Huffington Post. “Targeting kids as young as 8 years old to focus on … their bodies can lead to an intense preoccupation with food, size, shape and weight.”

Aside from the damaging impact apps like this one can have on a children’s relationship with their bodies and food, public health organizations and pediatricians also doubt the efficacy of children’s weight loss programs altogether.

“The evidence suggests that these types of tools may be helpful adjuncts to weight management, but there are few studies in pediatrics to confirm that they lead to a ‘meaningful change in their weight trajectories,’” Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told the news outlet.

As part of WW’s rebranding, the company and app have chosen to start focusing on overall health and wellness in addition to weight loss.

According to Gary Foster, chief scientific officer at WW, Kurbo “isn’t a weight loss app.”

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“This is an app that teaches in a game-ified, fun, engaging way what are the basics of a healthy eating pattern,” he told the Huffington Post.

But parents still worry the app could be spreading an all-too-familiar message that they are unworthy as they are and must change their physical appearance to be accepted. While young people already receive these memos from a diet-obsessed mass media, parents fear that unrealistic beauty ideals are now being pushed on impressionable children in the name of health and wellness.

In response to these apprehensions, Foster said: “I think there could be some misperception that somehow we’re saying, ‘All kids should lose weight, you’re not OK as you are.’ What we’re saying to kids who are trying to achieve a healthier weight — kids and families — is that this is a reasonable, sensible way to do it.”

But despite this alleged kid-friendly wellness mission, Kurbo’s website sends another message.

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Its landing page shows young people’s “success stories,” and they’re celebrating weight loss, not how often they meditate or how many ounces of water they drink daily.

“There’s no way that these kids don’t realize that the app is supposed to help them lose weight,” Ginny Jones, an eating disorder recovery activist, said. “No matter how hard it tries to market itself as a wellness company, WW is about weight loss. Kids are way smarter than we think they are, and every ‘big kid’ who [has been] put on a weight loss program knew exactly what their parents were trying to do.”

Read: She Shared Stories Of Being Fat-Shamed At The Doctor And Fear Of Wearing A Two-Piece Then, Jessica Torres Accidentally Built One Of The Biggest Body Positive Communities

This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

Entertainment

This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

Takesabroso / Facebook

If you’ve ever visited Mexico, you know that copyright laws seem pretty lax. There are all kinds of Pokémon, Disney, and Cartoon Network inspired goods from piñatas to costumes in most mercados. The same can be said for tv ads. Takesabroso, a taquería in Veracruz, México, has jumped on the trend and created a stellar ad for their food using Thanos and his unknown twerking skills. Jorge Lajud produced a commercial for the taquería that artfully mashes up a scene of villain Thor from “Avengers: Endgame” and a montage of tacos and other Mexican food. Like any other art form, you have to see it to appreciate it.

The video has gone viral with over 5.5 million views thanks to it being posted on Twitter.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The commercial starts with a scene we’re all familiar with–the moment Thanos thinks he has all the Infinity Stones and offers a build-up to the moment he wipes out all of mankind. Spoiler: he doesn’t. Thanos says, “Yo soy inevitable,” snaps his fingers, and nothing happens.

Then, instead of the scene cutting to superhero Iron Man, we see Takesabroso owner, Luis Vazquez, dramatically saying, “Yo soy Takesabroso.”

Credit: Takesabroso / Facebook

He snaps his fingers and saves the day with a montage of Takesabroso’s menu items. In the bottom left-hand corner, supervillain Thanos seems to be happy with how terribly his plan failed and is twerking up against the lechón on screen. 

Yup. Thanos is twerking to cumbia.

Fans are here for it. As video rolls on burritos, tacos, and rotating meat, Thanos just keeps on dancing cumbia in the corner. “It’s the twerking thanos that really tied it all together,” commented one fan.

It’s official. Thanos is now Thaños and is clearly invited to every carne asada.

Credit: @troyareyes / Twitter

That little tilde on the “n” goes a very long way in making Thanos a true dancing Latino icon.

Some folks are worried that Takesabroso isn’t going to get away with using Marvel footage.

Credit: @Westside_LEE / Twitter

Personally, we think Thaños is far more appealing than his evil twin, Thanos. Mexicans have basically responded to this tweet with pure laughter. “Marvel lawyers trying to stop a Mexican restaurant from stealing intellectual property? Good luck,” tweets one fan.

This has prompted a whole other thread about different ways folks have seen Mexican restaurants “give precisely zero f***s.”

Credit: @urfriendktt / Twitter

One person seemingly well versed in copyright infringement tweeted their two cents, “Well it’s not illegal the clip used is not long enough to be considered plagiarism and its transformative enough to be fair use but Disney has sued for less and won lol.” 

Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the final installment of the “Avengers” franchise and is the highest-grossing film of all time. The timing of the video is smart given that Disney released “Avengers: Endgame” on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

The rest of Latin America has also chimed in to share ways their countries don’t care about copyright.

Credit: @racampos / Twitter

“My fave: Harry Potter y el Orden del Taco,” read one reply. Nope, we’re voting for “Harry Potter y el trompo de pastor” for the win. 

“In Mexico City, we have a place named “Tacos Goku” or also there’s “Tacos Megaman” the copyright is like a joke for them,” one Mexicano tweeted. Another said he ” remembered a tortilleria called “El Thor-tillero” on León, near the bus station (central camionera).”

This isn’t the first time Takesabroso has ventured into hilarious advertisements…

Credit: @jorgelajudm / Twitter 

Takesabroso’s video editor in resident, Jorge Lajud, recast the restaurant owner in a scene from Venom and then had his form be overlayed by a Ricardo Milos dancing. Note the floating images of tacos and burgers floating around him. It’s pretty clear Vazquez is also absolutely delighted by these commercials.

Takesabroso has welcomed the wide response from folks and even dedicated a Facebook post to its fans. “Takesabroso not only seeks to bring flavor to your life, but it also seeks to bring joy to your heart,” Vazquez posted. “This meme is viral, thanks to all.”

The woman responsible for gifting the video to Twitter, which took it viral, is using her platform to promote non-profit RAICES Texas.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The Refugee Aid Project, commonly known as RAICES, is the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. It’s staffed with 130 attorneys, legal assistants and support staff whose sole job is to offer legal representation to immigrants at risk from America’s current immigration policies. In 2017, they closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client.

You can donate to RAICES here.

Watch the full video below!

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

Posted by Takesabroso on Friday, August 2, 2019

READ: 20 Hilarious Taqueria Names That’ll Fill Your Tummy With Laughs!

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