Culture

26 Signs You Grew Up Puerto Rican mom.

Whether you grew up in the home isla, Miami or Alaska, when you grow up Puerto Rican mom, we might as well be from the same family. TBH, we’re probably cousins.

Have a healthy fear of your mom’s moods? Puerto Rican. Can you dance merengue and eat it, too? Puerto Rican. I could go on.

1. Saying hi to your family at every holiday.

@GenericName76 / Twitter

Be prepared to be greeted with open arms, all the hugs and kisses on each cheek. You have 147 cousins, so the parties go on till the morning.

2. You don’t play dominoes.

@mjulio777pr / Twitter

You compete at longanas, and you expect your mom to cheat or make up a new rule halfway through. You also have a sneaking suspicion that your abuelita is an evil genius who could win every time but is an actual angel so she lets someone else win.

3. You had a janky Barney at your party.

@nicole.allyn_ / Instagram

And your parents swear you had a good time, but the home videos prove otherwise. The only thing I was caught saying on video was, “Barney sucio.”

4. You had this bracelet with your name on it.

@the_notorious_idv / Twitter

It’s how they kept track of all us screaming Latino kids on the playground. This is practical AF and the tradition will live on, IMO.

5. You had your ears pierced when you were 5 seconds old.

@thelacquerhouse / Twitter

I swear there is not a single photo of me without gold studs. Does Miami-Dade hospital have an infant ear piercer on call?

6. You also started drinking café con leche when you were an infant.

“Cuba cafe con leche with crackers” Digital Image. Best Cuba Guide. 29 May 2018.

And it was all about soaking the cracker for as long as you could without it falling to the bottom.

7. You know who el Cuco is but have no idea what they look like.

Untitled. Digital Image. Wikipedia. 30 May 2018.

Is she an alligator or a boogeyman? IDK, except for that she’s always watching to see if I’m behaving, and if I don’t, she’s going to eat me. Growing up Puerto Rican means growing up scared… like all the time.

8. Chancletas were child’s play.

@Qsportsm / Twitter

The most terrifying phrase, “Do you want the belt?” We all give our mom’s shit for it at Christmas but low key, I don’t own a belt.

9. Marc Anthony and J.Lo were also your parents.

“Image: File photo of Marc Anthony and wife Jennifer Lopez arriving at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit in New York” Digital Image. Today. 30 May 2018.

When they split up, it was a global life event for every Puerto Rican on the Earth. You remember your mom or tia crying and questioning their own marriages if the Puerto Rican Royalty couldn’t make it.

10. You know not to leave a single fork in the sink.

“Nadie me alman.” “If you loved me, you wouldn’t disrespect me like this.” “No, now I know how you really think of me.”

For real, we all started mothering our mothers when we were children. Including my own mom con su mama.

11. The Cuban Mop is universally accepted as the only way to clean a house.

@tinaaxox1 / Twitter

When I moved out and bought a steam mop, my mom flipped her shit. “Nothing works as well as the Cuban mop, Dani, c’mon.” Spoiler: she admitted that she likes the steam mop now. But she’ll never buy one when she has a perfectly good Cuban mop.

12. All your pots and pans were in the oven.

@miastasha / Twitter

And cutting boards, and strainers, and basically anything that could fit. It’s fine though because you pretty much fried all your food.

13. Like bacalítos y croquetas.

@franexla / Instagram

There is nada ni nadie as comforting as a lime-doused codfish fritter with jamón croquetas. Oh, and you know not to ever turn down a second helping of arroz con gandules or any other food or risk deeply offending your mother.

14. You don’t need an oven because you roasted the pig outside.

@latintouchproducts / Instagram

He’s going to have arroz con frijoles stuffed up his culo and you’re going to eat it, entiende?

15. You can’t remember not drinking coqui at the holidays.

@pietri_dish / Instagram

Your earliest memory is when you were 6 years old and the family watched you for your reaction and then exploded with, “ayyyy” when you pretended to like the taste of rum. Puerto Ricans don’t follow silly American laws.

16. You know not to even whisper “mofongo” unless it is immediately available.

@fulanathefoodie / Instagram

Or risk getting slapped upside the head for teasing your mother. Then, you’ll have to comfort them while they throw a tantrum for trying to make fools out of them.

17. Everything tastes like the Pickapeppa brown sauce.

Untitled. Digital Image. Pickapeppa. 29 May 2018.

It’s her not-so-secret sauce for arroz con habichuelas, pot roast, picadillo, todo y todo. At least, if you’re from Miami and your boricua mom married a Jamaican. ???? Either way, there was mango in your food.

18. One shelf of your fridge was dedicated to homemade sofrito.

@izzy_money85 / Instagram

Your mom made this in bulk because this was your actual base for all your food. I grew up in Miami, so the ajices dulces and culantro were easy to pick up but since moving, it’s still rico without it.

19. Vienna sausages were life.

@14mangualv / Twitter

If your mom could open a can and make it into a pot before me or my brothers could eat them straight from the can, it was a win. Weekend mornings were the best because you knew you were getting some sautéed sausages and leftover crispy rice for breakfast.

20. Another favorite breakfast food was arroz con huevo frito.

@foodyatheart1

As kids, this was the No. 1 ultimate comfort food. The yolk would run through all the white rice and then we felt fancy for having arroz amarillo. ????

21. We cannot forget the “Egg in the Hole” brekkie.

@fredsabbag / Instagram

A buttered crispy toast and egg all in one?! I honestly don’t know which one is more satisfying because they were equally as exciting as kids.

22. You probably had at least two of these in your house.

@miss__imperfectly_perfect / Instagram

Don’t call it a mortar and pestle, because it’s just not. It’s a pilón and the plantain-based food that must not be named is served in it. I’m upsetting myself just thinking about it.

23. These merengue cookies were everywhere.

@kevinqcarmona / Twitter

You had to buy a box of merengue every day for a family of five, but this giant tin of cookies felt bottomless, y gracias a Dios por eso. Oh, and nobody speaks Spanish or English. It’s Spanglish, mami.

24. You also had an emergency stock of banana peppers.

Untitled. Digital Image. Seasons. 29 May 2018.

Your pantry was ready for the next hurricane at all times. Twelve jars of vienna sausages and at least six jars of banana peppers. Isn’t the rule for emergencies to have a week’s supply? ????

25. You were shocked to find masa in tamales after growing up with pasteles puertoriqueño.

@katycorn87 / Instagram

Made from yucca, olives and, of course, sofrito, and wrapped in a boiled banana leaf, these have a totally different flavor than Mexican tamales. When you brought them to your white school and friends asked if you were Mexican, you were also afraid your face would freeze in an eye roll. It’s what your mamma taught you.

26. Your abuelita slayed at making flan.

@el_chalet_express / Instagram

Every time we went over, she had flan for us and even though we were stuffed from being forced to eat two full plates of picadillo, a jar of banana peppers, and arroz con habichuelas, we eagerly ate up the flan. When you’re Puerto Rican, there’s always room for dessert. ????????

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Rising Star Chesca Talks Career Beginnings, Being a Latina in the Music Industry, Performing at Jimmy Kimmel and More

Latidomusic

Rising Star Chesca Talks Career Beginnings, Being a Latina in the Music Industry, Performing at Jimmy Kimmel and More

Welcome to Spotlight, where we do a deep dive into the careers of artists, producers, songwriters, and more people making an impact in the Latin music industry.

Puerto Rican singer Chesca is the definition of a hustler. She started as the vocalist for her dad’s cover band in Puerto Rico and became her own manager booking shows in places like China and Greece. The world is hers for the taking and she is going for it.

Chesca is ready for global stardom and she’s taking it one step at a time.

During our interview here at Latido Music by mitú, Chesca opened up about how a tragic accident at 11 years old changed her life, how music literally saved her, and the sacrifices she’s had to make to be where she is today.

Watch the full interview below:

Chesca is aware that being a Latina in the music industry isn’t easy but feels compelled to share her story and everything she’s had to do to get here. She would pretend to be her own manager and publicist at the beginning of her career. Chesca would book herself shows around the world where she would get to perform her own original songs. One of her songs actually got picked up by the radio in China, which is a market not many Latin stars even imagine entering, especially not when they’re just starting their careers.

“With everything that I’ve been through, I have a voice, and I have a story to tell that can motivate so many young women, that’s what keeps me going,” Chesca says.

While she had some success performing in English, she felt that she needed to go back to her roots and start doing music in Spanish. The stars aligned, and Chesca was signed by Saban Music Group, and currently has some high-profile collaborations under her belt. She’s behind the viral hit like “Te Quiero Baby (I Love You Baby),” which blew up on TikTok and led her to perform at the Latin Billboards last year with Pitbull.

Chesca most recently performed at the 2021 Latin AMAs red carpet and received a nomination for Best New Latin Artist at the 2021 iHeart Radio Music Awards.

After our conversation with Chesca, it’s clear that she’s making the right moves at the right time to make a name for herself in the industry, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her career.

READ: Ivy Queen, Goyo, and Chesca to Headline Urban Divas United Concert in April

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Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Things That Matter

Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Photo via George W. Davis, Public Domain

Today, March 22nd marks Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud in Puerto Rico–the date that marks the emancipation of slaves in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, enslaved peoples were emancipated in 1873–a full decade after the U.S. officially abolished slavery. But unlike the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico celebrates today as an official holiday, where many businesses are closed.

The emancipation of Puerto Rican slaves was a very different process than the United States’. For one, the emancipation was gradual and over three years.

When the Spanish government abolished slavery in Puerto Rico 1873, enslaved men and women had to buy their freedom. The price was set by their “owners”. The way the emancipated slaves bought their freedom was through a process that was very similar to sharecropping in the post-war American south. Emancipated slaves farmed, sold goods, and worked in different trades to “buy” their freedom.

In the same Spanish edict that abolished slavery, slaves over the age of 60 were automatically freed. Enslaved children who were 5-years-old and under were also automatically freed.

Today, Black and mixed-race Puerto Ricans of Black descent make up a large part of Puerto Rico’s population.

The legacy of enslaved Black Puerto Ricans is a strong one. Unlike the United States, Puerto Rico doesn’t classify race in such black-and-white terms. Puerto Ricans are taught that everyone is a mixture of three groups of people: white Spanish colonizers, Black African slaves, and the indigenous Taíno population.

African influences on Puerto Rican culture is ubiquitous and is present in Puerto Rican music, cuisine, and even in the way that the island’s language evolved. And although experts estimate that up to 60% of Puerto Ricans have significant African ancestry, almost 76% of Puerto Ricans identified as white only in the latest census poll–a phenomenon that many sociologists have blamed on anti-blackness.

On Puerto Rico’s Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud, many people can’t help but notice that the island celebrates a day of freedom and independence when they are not really free themselves.

As the fight for Puerto Rican decolonization rages on, there is a bit of irony in the fact that Puerto Rico is one of the only American territories that officially celebrates the emancipation of slaves, when Puerto Rico is not emancipated from the United States. Yes, many Black Americans recognize Juneteenth (June 19th) as the official day to celebrate emancipation from slavery, but it is not an official government holiday.

Perhaps, Puerto Rico celebrates this historical day of freedom because they understand how important the freedom and independence is on a different level than mainland Americans do.

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