Culture

A Classic Mexican Card Game Is Getting A Makeover That’s All About Women Empowerment

For many Latinos, Lotería represents more than just a card game played at family parties and holiday gatherings. From it’s iconic card imagery – like la sirena y el borracho – to it’s impact on Latino representation, it has become a staple in the Latino household. It holds a special place in our hearts when it comes to bringing families and friends together. Yet for Ilse Valfré, an LA-based designer, the century-old game needed a face lift when it came to representing our experiences in 2018. That’s why Valfré has introduced her own version of Lotería with a female empowering take.

Ilse Valfré’s version of  Lotería cards feature female characters and objects with female pronouns.

CREDIT: Valfré

Valfré grew up in Mexico and one of her earliest memories there is winning a game of Lotería in kindergarten where the prize was a lollipop. It was small moments like this that stuck throughout her artistic career and paved the way for this release. The inspiration for the redesign came from a special place very dear to Valfré: her fans.

“They started asking for it as soon as I introduced the first Valfré Loteria artwork which was “La Sirena,” Valfré said. “I wanted to make sure to keep the original characteristics that we all know and love, while adding a little bit of me.”

The re-designed Lotería game had been a long time coming for Valfré who wanted to incorporate women-empowerment into Latino culture.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Valfré

Valfré is most known for her illustrated designs, which started off on her Tumblr blog and quickly gained a huge following. According to Valfré, her work represents a very “creative and wild-at-heart” look that doesn’t limit itself to one style. She has designed everything from dresses to greeting cards that represent woman-empowerment.

By updating the classic game, with her own designed female characters in place of the original designs, Valfré has given the beloved game a refreshed and millennial look. Cards like La Sirena are modeled after some of her previous work (cheeky, wide-eyed, hand-drawn doll characters) that many of her fans are accustomed to seeing.

This version of Lotería has a unique twist to it that feels new but still pays tribute to the original.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Valfré

Her version of Lotería features 56 cards while the original game comes with 54 cards. She added original cards like “el dry shampoo,” and “la space babe.” The reason for adding two extra cards came from her design team that couldn’t get rid of the two extra designs because they “loved them so much.”

 According to Valfré, re-designing work like this includes being able to mix humor into something everyone already loves.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Valfré

“A little nostalgia mixed with humor,” Valfré explains about her version of Lotería. “I wanted to make sure to keep the original characteristics that we all know and love, while adding a little bit of me. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, through trial and tribulations.”

Valfré says the response to the Lotería re-design has been “overwhelmingly positive” and appreciates the support she has gotten from fellow Latinos. She says creating work like this comes from a special place in her heart and hopes Latinos can appreciate her special take on this traditional card game.

“I was born and raised in Mexico and in our culture, color and humor are everywhere. This definitely came into play while building the brand and I enjoy incorporating that humor into my work,” Valfré said. “Using color throughout my artwork is just another way to share the vibrancy of my Latino culture, which I think is something that just comes naturally.”

You can purchase the Valfré Lotería game on her website, but only for a limited-edition release with 500 games available.


READ: A Millennial Guatemalan Artist Gave Lotería Cards The Millennial Treatment And They Are Hilarious

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This Coronavirus-Themed Lotería Is The Perfect Kind Of Humor I Needed Right Now And It’s Even Available To Buy

Culture

This Coronavirus-Themed Lotería Is The Perfect Kind Of Humor I Needed Right Now And It’s Even Available To Buy

PINCHE_RAF_ART / Instagram

Coronavirus. Covid-19. Pandemic. Social-distancing. This is all the news we hear these days and as important as it is to stay up to date on what’s happening with the virus and how to stay safe and healthy, forgive me if I don’t want a tiny break from all the seriousness.

So, you can imagine my delight when I was scrolling my Twitter feed and saw tweet after tweet about a Coronavirus-themed lotería. La lotería is a tradition soooo many of us grew up playing so it’s interesting to see it get a 2020 interpretation.

Could this be real? What could the cards for el mano or la botella look like in this Covid-19 reality we’re currently living in? I had to find out.

So I sat down with an artist who’s created his own Coronavirus-themed lotería set to find out more about his inspiration.

Credit: PINCHE_RAF_ART / Instagram

Artist Rafael Gonzales Jr. (on Instagram as @PINCHE_RAF_ART) has created a series of incredibly unique lotería cards that can really thank the current Coronavirus pandemic for their existence: from face masks and hand sanitizer to toilet paper roll, these cards are emblematic of the times we’re living in.

The modern take on the traditional game is called ‘Pandemia Lotería’ and each card (he’s made 31 so far) features a name and image inspired by our new normal of social-distancing, self-isolation, extreme hand-washing, and even the stimulus checks.

What message were you hoping to send about the Coronavirus and our current climate by creating these new cards?

“You know originally this was a very selfish endeavor. I needed a creative outlet for the new experiences we are all going through. It became a project that helped me to connect to others through humor and a childhood game.  Now, I think my message has become one of bringing a lightness to the heaviness of the pandemic. It is a serious global problem, but laughing at our shared experiences is what being human is all about.”

Have you created new interpretations of all 54 cards – or if not, do you plan to create all 54?

Credit: PINCHE_RAF_ART / Instagram

“I have about 31 cards completed and 2 additional specialty cards that won’t be in the game I am putting out soon. My plan for the project is to get as many cards in an art print as possible. I have been a little sidetracked creatively with some of the business side of launching an e-commerce [site] for the game. It has been a whirlwind, but people have responded really well to the cards and my goal from the onset of all this was to try and paint the situation in a light form. To sort of change the heaviness of the news cycle and remind people that better days are coming and those better days often include a game of lotería.”

Are there specific reasons you chose these images to illustrate these titles or what’s your thinking behind them?

Credit: PINCHE_RAF_ART / Instagram

“Visually la Chalupa seems so sincere and serene. I feel it is one of the more complex original illustrations of lotería, so I thought it would be a humorous twist to associate her with fake news and the dolphins in the canals of Venice that were virally shared. The quaran15 was a simple, self-deprecating joke that ran through my head after my wife started to bake more. From banana bread to cookies, I knew I was putting on weight and gonna be built like a barril after all this. I used to see my grandmother’s use Armour manteca all the time to make tortillas and so the coloring became a play on that.”

Are you taking any suggestions? I know people who would love to see Susana Distancia and Los Amuletos (thanks, AMLO!)

“I’ve received a ton of suggestions and I think it has been great. I think part of the reason the cards have been popular is because they are relatable. I sometimes sit with a suggestion and see if it is something I can put my own twist on, while also staying true to my own vision for the project. Some ideas I don’t think I can do justice to or put in the right context so that is why I haven’t taken them on.”

Will it be possible to purchase these loteria cards? Or if it’s already possible, can you point our readers in the right direction?

“The game itself will be printed in a few weeks. Preorders went on April 23 and people can reserve theirs here and other merch like t-shirts can be found on my online store.”

And Rafael isn’t the only one getting in on the game – even Mexico City has its own Coronavirus-themed lotería game.

Credit: @dondeir / Twitter

Like so many other cities around the world, Mexico City is still under a strict stay-at-home order to help flatten the curve. With so many people stuck at home, what’s better than playing a game of an old favorite but with a relevant twist? And as the game’s creators point out – while being reminded of the measures we should all be taking to combat this pandemic.

The Coronavirus Lotería is available as a download to use as a background, you can share it on social media, or you can even play remotely with friends.

And last December, Google commemorated the game with its very own Google Doodle.

Credit: Google

Last December, Google had an online version of the game that replaced some cards for modern talks. The El ApacheEl borrachoEl diablitoEl gorritoLa muerteEl negritoEl soldado, and El valiente cards were replaced with El ajolote (“the axolotl“), El buscador, La conchaEl eloteEl emojiEl gorroEl guacamole, and El xoloitzcuintle (or the Mexican hairless dog.)

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We Just Created The Latino Thirst List To Include Your Favorites And Here It Is

Entertainment

We Just Created The Latino Thirst List To Include Your Favorites And Here It Is

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Sit back and get ready to take a tour of some of the hottest Latino celebs to grace your screen — a lot of them picked by you in these comments, lovingly organized in list form by us. Thank you/you’re most very welcome.

Bruno Mars

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Bruno Mars, né Peter Gene Hernandez, stormed onto the music scene back in 2010 with the release of his “Doo-Wops & Hooligans album, which brought us hits like “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade.” Jump to 2014 and the release of “Uptown Funk,” and it was clear that this man had swag for days. Like, literally, so much swag just drips of him and his smooth moves that we don’t know how to handle it.

Jesús “Chino” Miranda

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If you’ve never heard of Jesús “Chino” Miranda, then you have been severely missing out. This walking statue of perfection is part of the wildly popular Venezuelan reggaeton duo Chino Y Nacho. Though he has gotten rid of his flowing locks of hair, this Venezolano will still make your heart melt when you catch a glimpse of his beautiful smile. ?

Ricky Martin

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All the way from Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin has been driving women and men crazy with his gyrating hips long before he had the U.S. dancing to “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Now a father to twins, he’s the perfect example of Latino men aging like fine wine. Every year gets better and better, and we will continue to be here for this man.

Tristan Wilds

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You might think that Tristan Wilds got his big break thanks to Adele’s music video for “Hello,” but this Dominican slice of heaven has been in the game long before that. Do you remember a little movie called “Red Tails” or the CW revival of “90210“? Either way, Wilds has proven to be a damn good actor with a smile that could light up all of Hollywood.

Rafael Amaya

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Don’t look at Rafael Amaya straight on unless you are ready to deal with his sultry eyes piercing through to your soul. This Mexican telenovela star has made quite the name of himself as a telenovela tour de force. From his uncredited appearances on “Ugly Betty” to playing Aurelio Casillas on “El Señor de los Cielos,” there is never a time when women and men don’t swoon over this 6’2″ drink of water. ????

Thiago Silva

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This Brazilian-born futbolista might look like just another boy next door, but don’t let that fool you. Thiago Silva is all over the place, literally, playing fútbol for the Brazilian national team, as well as Paris Saint-Germain. The best part about this sexy af athlete are those plump and pouty lips. Like, who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a Silva kiss?

Mauricio Ochmann

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Another Mexicano from the “El Señor de los Cielos” cast, Mauricio Ochmann has the kind of attitude and temperament suitable for a future hubby. Not to mention he was the total heart throb in “7 Mujeres 1 Homosexual Y Carlos.” Those puppy dog eyes are enough to make us weak in the knees and fall into his oh-so defined arms. Plus, who doesn’t love a good-looking straight man who is totally down for complete and total equality for the LGBTQ community? Answer: NO ONE.

Oscar Isaac

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Guatemalan-Cuban actor Oscar Isaac is just the right amount of no-f*cks-given rolled into a very handsome package. Not only has he proven his acting chops over and over again in movies like “Ex-Machina,” this dude has so many other talents. Remember when he showed the world the best way to eat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Sorry, I seemed to have lost the ability to breathe.

Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony, a prolific scorer in the NBA, is the 6’8″ puertorriqueño dreamboat the New York Knicks needed when he was traded over from the Denver Nuggets in 2011. But it isn’t his reliable shooting record we care about, no. We are here for this rugged good looks and those ever-so-sexy tattoos he has creeping up around his jersey.

Aarón Díaz

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This studmuffin all the way from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has always had a way of stopping people in their tracks and taking the breath right out of ’em. Even when Aarón Díaz is posing with his adorable daughter, dude knows how to put those hypnotizing eyes to work. We are all still trying to figure out why in the hell Kate del Castillo let this prime hunk of man out of her life.

Laz Alonso

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Laz Alonso, a first generation Cuban-American, has been heating up screens both big and small. Not only did this Cuban vision of beauty play Fenix in “Fast & Furious” (still waiting for him to handcuff me, if we’re being honest), but he’s also been in “Avatar” and, most recently, “The Mysteries of Laura.” ? *sets DVR for a show I’ve never heard of*

Édgar Ramírez

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by @patrickjamesmiller for @variety #tb #latergram

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What is it with these hunky Venezolanos all over the place?! You might recognize Édgar Ramírez from “Joy,” where he acted alongside Jennifer Lawrence. Does he have great acting skills? Sure. But can we take a minute and just admire the sexual appeal that comes from being a hairy and buff Latino. Seriously, there is nothing better than finding that perfect, cuddly teddy bear, even if you have to stand outside looking through his window. #NotPersonalExperienceOrAnything ?

Romeo Santos

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I miss U ❤️

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Every girl, guy, dog and cat just could NOT get enough of Aventura, especially the Dominican-Puerto Rican Romeo Santos. Not only can we not stop looking at his trademark dimple, we also just want one or two hours holding his muscle-bound arms. Just imagine how great it must feel to have him hold you like you were the only person in the world. ? Tell me that you love me / And you need me ? Please!

Alexis Sánchez

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If you’re not a football fan, get ready to start caring. Arsenal fans really lucked out when Alexis Sánchez started to grace their pitch in 2014. This Chilean dreamboat is everything you could ever want in a futbolista fantasy. How can you NOT watch an Arsenal game when you get to keep your eyes on those rippling shoulders and perfectly styled hair? Seriously. #TeamAlexis or GTFO.

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez

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Yes. Gingers exist in every race and ethnicity, and Mexican pro boxer Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez is one of them. The World Boxing Council middleweight champion has been killing the boxing game just like he is knocking us all out with his chiseled jaw and shredded abs. Tbh, it’s a little hard to watch him in the ring. Not because we don’t like his boxing style or kickass performance, but because we just don’t want to see that pretty face damaged.

Laith Ashley De La Cruz

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If you’ve never heard of Laith Ashley De La Cruz, well, now you’re welcome. De La Cruz is one of the hottest Latino Instagrammers, with more than 70,000 followers. This Dominican model first made his appearance in Barney’s “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign celebrating the beauty of trans models. De La Cruz was only one month into his transition when he was photographed by Bruce Weber. But, like, for real. Those lips are perfection!

Kid Cudi

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Kid Cudi is probably what all your dreams are made of. Not only does the man know how to get you and all your amigos dancing and vibing, he is also the most adorable musician on Instagram. The best part is this Mexican-American singer doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he isn’t so self-involved that he just fills his social media with selfie after selfie. Instead, this man sticks to giving the fans what they want… a good mix of sexy selfies and sexy performance photos. #Range

Michael Peña

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We all fell in love with Michael Peña when he played Cesar Chavez, and he sure knew how to scare the hell out of us in “The Vatican Tapes” as Father Lozano. Tbh, he was probably the main reason you went to see “The Martian.” Every time this Mexicano hits the big screen, we are all reminded that the “boy next door” look never looked so good. It’s a good thing we don’t live in his neighborhood or we would seriously never get anything done. *peers through blind*

Miguel

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MOXY

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Seriously. Can anyone, ANYONE, point out a moment in his career when Miguel didn’t ooze sex appeal? Didn’t think so. So, instead of trying to figure out if his sexuality and appeal have any restrictions, let’s just sit back and stare intently at this gorgeous smile and beautiful hair. Maybe if we stare heard enough he’ll eventually Adorn us with some of that loving. ?

Adam Rodriguez

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Adam Rodriguez is the professor we ALL wish we had while we were in school. Attendance would be high and consistent af if this Puerto Rican/Cuban papi was the one dropping all that knowledge. And that adorably cock-eyed smile just makes it all the better, amiright? Does anyone know if the “Jane the Virgin” sex bomb does private tutoring? I promise not to kiss his sweater. ?

Mario Lopez

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I'm ready for Opening Day! @MLB @Dodgers #LA #CapsOn

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Since his “Saved By The Bell” days Mario Lopez has cornered the market on sexy Latinos in mainstream media. And while he might always have a clean-shaven look, his swole arms and come-over-here smile are EVERYTHING. Ahem, did I mention I love the Dodgers? This picture had no sway on that opinion.

Pedro Pascal

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The whole world collectively cried when this Chilean heartthrob was (spoiler alert?) violently killed off on HBO’s hit show “Game of Thrones.” It’s like the creators of the show just wanted GoT to lose all of the sexiness he brought to the television screen. Thankfully, Netflix jumped on the opportunity to have this man up their sexy Latino content with his role in “Narcos.”

Prince Royce

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Hi @calvinklein

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Is there anyone left who hasn’t fallen head over heels for this Dominican singer? Seriously. Those lips and smile are enough to make any woman or man drop everything and hang on every last word he sings. Plus, it’s not easy to out-sexy Jennifer Lopez like Prince Royce did in the “Back It Up” music video. All you need to do is call and I will be there to stand right by you, boo!

Ezequiel Lavezzi

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🌅

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Hebei China Fortune is definitely fortunate (?) with the addition of this smoking Argentine vision of beauty. While he is drop-dead gorgeous in his soccer uniform, his fashion sense makes him the best dressed player to ever grace your computer screen. Like, what was Paris Saint-Germain even thinking by letting this guy go? Though, you can’t really blame him for going after the offer to make him the richest soccer player in the world.

Richard Cabral

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You no doubt know about this man from his Emmy-nominated role on “American Crime,” but this dude has a past that would make most people scared. The former gang member has really been able to turn his life around and, in turn, has become an inspiration to millions. It also doesn’t hurt that Richard Cabral is so damn fine! There is something about a skinny dude with long hair and tats that gets your attention.

Al Madrigal

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Made it.

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Al Madrigal gave all Latino Jon Stewart fans someone they could finally relate to. As the senior Latino correspondent, he was able to give his reporting that Mexican twist we didn’t even know we were missing. As his career has grown and we’ve watched him report story after story, we have slowly and surely fallen in love with this adorable goofball’s cute looks and sense of humor. #TeamAlMadrigal

 Javier “Chicharito” Hernández

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No sexy Latino list is complete without everyone’s favorite futbolista, Chicharito. This man has brought so many people over to the world of fútbol (this writer included). From his playful smile to the funny videos he’s been part of, there is nothing this guy can’t do. There’s just one question: When are we going to Germany to watch our favorite Mexicano fútbol star take on Europe?!

READ: Here Are 11 Sexy Latino Men with Their Kids to Give You All the Feels

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