identity

What Do You Have In Common With These Famous Leos?

kelis / Instagram

We all know who the Leos in our lives are because they are the pesados that make it impossible to ignore them. Leos like to be the center of attention, and the ones that aren’t extroverts have very painful, self-involved angst. You know I’m right.

Pues, it’s no sorpresa that so many of the celebrities who we love to love are creative, passionate, regal Leos.

1. Demi Lovato

CREDIT: @ddlovato / Instagram

Our one true love Demi Lovato is as Leo as they get. She doesn’t just act like a Queen: she isReina. She even stays open and humble with her struggle with drug addiction. Lovato was born August 20th, 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2. Gina Rodriguez

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Born on July 30, 1984, Rodriguez is the Boricua spiritual gangster we all love to watch on “Jane the Virgin.” She was born and raised dancing and competing in salsa, so she really knows how to liven up a party. You go, Gina.

3. Jennifer Lopez

CREDIT: @kayla_jlover / Instagram

If you need convincing that all your kids need to strategically be Leos, know that they can share a sign with J.Lo. Born on July 24, 1969 in The Bronx, she is the New Yorican all of our New Yorican mamas aspires to be.

4. Rico Rodriguez

CREDIT: @starringrico / Instagram

Rodriguez is not a baby anymore. Born on July 31, 1998 in Bryan, Texas, we’ve watched Rico grow up playing Manny Delgado on “Modern Family” alongside Sofia Vergara The adorable scene stealer is a classic Leo.

5. Francia Raísa

CREDIT: @franciaraisa / Instagram

Born July 26, 1988 in Los Angeles, Raisa is best known for her role on “Bring It On: All Or Nothing,” but she’s also been slaying in “Dear White People” and “Grown-ish.” Oh, and like a true loyal Leo, Raisa donated her kidney to her best friend, Selena Gomez.

6. Jackie Cruz

CREDIT: @jackiecruz / Instagram

The Dominican princess, Jackie Cruz, is best known as Flaca from “Orange is the New Black,” and girl grew up between Los Angeles and Santiago, Dominican Republic. Thankfully, Cruz was born a Leo filled with the self-confidence to make it during times where she was homeless. Look at her now: La Reina of the jungle.

7. Bruna Marquezine

CREDIT: @brumarquezine / Instagram

Marquezine is a phenomenally successful Brazilian model, born in Rio de Janeiro on August 4, 1995. She’s also made a play at telenovelas, and is very obviously a goddess.

8. Demián Bichir

CREDIT: @demianbichiroficial / Instagram

Leos are known for their big presence. Mexican-American actor Bichir is best known for playing Fidel Castro in “Che.” He made it big in telenovelas and eventually made his way into Hollywood.

9. Bianca Santos

CREDIT: @biancaalexasantos / Instagram

We recognize Santos as Lexi Rivera from “The Fosters,” which if you haven’t binged yet and love yourself of female-led queer dramas, watch it. Santos is half Brazilian and half Cuban and full television rock star.

10. Christian Chavez

CREDIT: @christianchavezreal / Instagram

Christian Chavez is best known for his role on “Rebelde,” but he’s also a trailblazer for the LGBTQ community. The story of the Leo is a Lion in a cave, who nests in a cave to find comfort during hard times, but eventually walking out withsd dignity. While Chavez was legally married to his husband, he denied rumors of his homosexuality but eventually came out in a big way.

11. Carlos Vives

CREDIT: carlosvives / Instagram

Carlos Vives has been rocking the radio for our mamis for decades. Besides Jesus, he is probably the only man with long hair your mother ever loved. You can celebrate this man on August 7 every year.

12. Juan Pablo Di Pace

CREDIT: @juanpablodipace / Instagram

He is Fernando on “Fuller House” and he’s also a Leo that worships the sun that rules him. Born on July 25, 1979, Argentinian actor is known for his roles in “Survival Island” and “Mamma Mia!”

13. Jose Fernandez

CREDIT: @jose_lito13 / Instagram

This dreamy player for FC Barcelona is the epitome of Leos. He is always taking initiative and has become an important member of the soccer club.

14. Rodrigo Santoro

CREDIT: @rodrigosantoro / Instagram

Born on August 22, 1975, Santoro is a cusper. He’s starred in so many films, we can’t keep track but he was most recently made famous by his role as Hector Escaton in HBO’s “Westworld.”

15. Carlos PenaVega

CREDIT: @therealcarlospena / Instagram

Born on August 15 in Columbia, Missouri, PenaVega is Venezuelan and Dominican and a Nickelodeon actor married to actress Alexa Vega. They now share a YouTube channel where they can share all the glory called LexLovesLos.

16. Meagan Good

CREDIT: @meagangood / Instagram

You may have blocked puertoriqueña Meagan Good from your mind after watching her star in “Saw V,” but then you remembered how bae and talented she is in movies like “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and “The Obama Effect.”

17. Hulk Hogan

CREDIT: @hulkhogan / Instagram

Born Terry Gene Bollea on August 11, 1953, to a French, Italian and Panamanian family. He really brought the mania in Panamania to a the wrestling ring.

18. Alejandro González Iñárritu

CREDIT: @directors_visions / Instagram

Mexican film director and producer has brought more than one Leo to larger than life. He directed “The Revenant,” “Babel,” and “Birdman.”

19. Kelis

CREDIT: kelis / Instagram

You definitely remember Kelis from her hit single “Milkshake” and all the boys it brought to the yard. It is one of the most iconic songs from our youths even though we didn’t really know what they were talking about. Not only is she a singer, Kelis is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and that’s something to be proud of.

20. Pepe Aguilar

CREDIT: pepeaguilar_oficial / Instagram

No list of Leos is complete without the one and only Pepe Aguilar. The ranchera star was born on August 7, 1968, just seven years after Vives.

10 Folk Religions You Didn't Know Existed In Latin America And The Caribbean

Identity

10 Folk Religions You Didn’t Know Existed In Latin America And The Caribbean

marialionzavzla / Instagram

As we all know Latin American countries skew pretty religious. In fact, more than 80 percent of people in Latin America have a religious affiliation, which usually is to the Roman Catholic church. However, there is a small percentage of people, particularly in Brazil and Cuba, that practice folk religions. Some of the religions have been denounced by larger religions as demonic. Here are ten folk religions that have grown in popularity throughout Latin America.

1. La Santa Muerte

Credit: La Santa Muerte. Digital Image. El Diario de Chihuahua. October 27, 2017.

La Santa Muerte (The Holy Death) has one of the fastest growing followings in Latin America. It has 10 to 12 million followers worldwide. Indigenous communities have worshipped La Santa Muerte since the 18th century. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the saint went mainstream in Mexico City and Catemaco, Veracruz.

In order for La Santa Muerte to give you what you want, she will take something away from you.

Credit: Rezos. Digital Image. Vice. November 1, 2016.

La Santa Muerte is considered to be an angel by many. People devoted to her present offerings in return for her protection and help. Many say the purpose of La Santa Muerte is not to wrong people but to help them thrive. Most Catholics/Christians consider her to be a narco-satanic figure, the Vatican has even condemned those who worship her.

2. Santería

Credit: Altar Santero. Digital Image. Vice. April 12, 2014.

Santería is one of the many Afro-Caribbean religions in Latin America that were brought to America by enslaved Nigerian people during the slave trade. It is considered to be a mix between Catholicism and Yoruba. Santería is a divinatory religion that provides people with the means to possess an understanding of reality in the present and to predict future events.

They focus on rituals and practices instead of prayers.

Credit: Ritual Santero. Digital Image. Steemit. August 7, 2016.

Unlike the cult of La Santa Muerte that believes in a Catholic God, santeros (those who practice Santería) believe in Olodumare as the God who created the universe. Santeros claim that Santería is the use of white magic and not black, contrary to popular belief. They communicate with Orishas, the equivalent of Saints, through rituals and offerings (such as animal sacrifice) to get their protection.

3. Niño Fidencio

Credit: Ritual Fidencista. Digital Image. Factor . June 24, 2017.

El Niño Fidencio is probably the most famous Mexican healer. He was known to use shards of broken glass bottles to take out the evil that was hurting his patients. He stayed in rural areas where there was almost no drinking water available. He allegedly cured people with mud from puddles nearby and this practice has become part of the modern rituals.

People traveled from around the world to visit Fidencio for healings.

Credit: El Niño Fidencio. Digital Image. Mexico Unexplained. April 17, 2017.

It’s been mentioned that 10,000 Cubans tried to cross the ocean to see him. Fidencio was also visited by a Mexican President and even the King of Spain. At the end of his life, he moved to Espinazo, a lonely train station in Northern Mexico, which eventually became populated by 15,000 people seeking his help.

4. Haitian Vodou

Credit: Vodou Altar. Digital Image. EuroNews. November 2, 2017.

Haiti is mostly Catholic but Vodou is considered to be the National Religion. Around 7 million Haitians practice it in some way. Voodooists consider this cult as an extension of Catholicism but many think this practice is sorcery and worship of the devil. Those who practice this faith say Vodou is a domestic cult that serves the family spirits and worships God. They also mention that in Vodou there is no devil, just angry spirits.

Families give offerings to family spirits for protection and thanks.

Credit: Vodou Ritual. Digital Image. The Daily Mail. March 28, 2016.

Family spirits, called Loua, protect the children and, in return, families must honor them with rituals and offerings. Louas only have power over their own family. They can appear in dreams and trances during Vodou rituals. When Louas appear they usually come to warn their families of illness and misfortune. Vodou is a faith that honors the dead above all, so it’s no surprise that they’re constantly celebrating their dead by decorating their tombs and performing rituals.

5. Maria Lionza

Credit: Walking on Fire. Digital Image. Sputnik. March 28, 2016.

Maria Lionza was a Venezuelan indigenous princess believed to manifest herself in the form of a blue butterfly after her death. Her cult dates back to the 15th Century before the Spanish conquest. And as most folk religions in Latin America, the cult to Maria Lionza is a mix of Catholic, Indigenous and African beliefs, including Santería and Vodou. The practice of this faith was legalized during Hugo Chavez’s presidency.

Her presence and power in Venezuela has touched half of the population through various rituals.

Credit:  River Rituals. Digital Image. Feature Shot. July 11, 2016.

People usually go to her to ask for good health, love, and success. Some of the best-known marialioncero (people who practice the faith) rituals walk on burning coal, dance on broken glass and include animal sacrifice. Such rituals have 3 major purposes: healing, divination, and possession.

6. Candomblé

Credit:  Pilgrimage. Digital Image. Sul21. May 21, 2014.

Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religion practiced by almost 2 million people, predominately in Brazil. It was brought to Brazil during the 16th Century by enslaved people from Africa. Practitioners honor Orixás, which spirits assigned to each person. They control people’s destiny and protect them. A Candomblé mass can include music, animal sacrifice and spirit possession.

Candomblé, like so many other religions, was a way for African slaves to continue practicing their own faith while disguising it in Catholicism.

Credit:  Candomblé Rituals. Digital Image. Hakai. March 29, 2016.

They worship many gods and don’t recognize the existence of heaven or hell. They’ve incorporated Catholic symbols and images, such as the cross but allow women to be priestesses and fully accept homosexuality. Candomblé is considered as the most tolerant and accepting religion by many people who practice or are aware of it.

7. Jesús Malverde

 

Credit:  Malverde. Digital Image. Proceso. May 3, 2017.

He’s called the Mexican Robin Hood. The legend says that back in the 1800s, Malverde was a most-wanted bandit with a large bounty on his head. After being wounded by a hunter and escaping from captivity, he died of gangrene. Before dying, he told one of his fellow bandits to turn him into the sheriff’s office to collect the ransom and use that money to help the poor.

His legend has led to him becoming a major figure for the narco scene.

Credit: Malverde Procession. Digital Image. El Comercio. May 4, 2018.

He’s the Patron Saint for drug dealers. There are 3 chapels honoring Malverde, one in Cali, Colombia, another in Culiacán, Mexico and the 3rd one in Los Angeles. People know this route as “La Ruta de la Coca“ (The Cocaine Road). On the anniversary of his death, people take out his statue out of the chapel and place it on the hood of a brand new car and take it for a spin around town. They hang gold necklaces around his neck and pour whiskey over his head.

8. Rastafarianism

Credit: Rastafari. Digital Image. FNND. July 30, 2015.

Rastafarianism is the newest religion on the list. It was founded in Jamaica back in the 1920s-1930s and today has around 1 million followers. Rastafari is based on Judaism and Christianity and many of their practices are based on the Jewish Law. The religion’s international recognition grew exponentially thanks to the music of Bob Marley.

Rastafarianism is not only a religious movement, it’s also political.

Credit: Rasta. Digital Image. The Gleaner. August 21, 2012.

Its purpose is to provide a voice to the poor Black people in Jamaica and become a resistance against oppression. Practitioners believe that they are God’s chosen people according to their re-interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. They believe the Messiah is Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia whose actual name is Ras Tafari Makonnen.

9. La Difunta Correa

Credit: Rasta. Digital Image. The Gleaner. August 21, 2012.

María Antonia Deolinda Correa, better known as La Difunta Correa, is a symbol of a popular cult in Argentina. The legend says that back in the mid-1800s Maria decided to leave home with her child in search of her husband that left for the war. While she was following the troop’s footsteps in the mud she got lost and decided to rest under a tree uphill. With no water left in her canteen she died of dehydration. A few days later some peasants found her baby still alive as she kept breastfeeding him after death.

Her legend has grown to include several temples throughout Argentina.

Credit: Rasta. Digital Image. The Gleaner. August 21, 2012.

The first chapel was created over her tomb by a farmer who found 500 cows he lost after praying to her. Now, there are many chapels all over Argentina and people pray for her help. As an offering, they bring bottles of water so she’s never thirsty again.

10. Palo Mayombe

Credit: Rayamiento. Digital Image. yagbeonilu. October 3, 2015.

Palo Mayombe is a religion that originated in Cameroon. Some call it the dark side of Santería and one of the most powerful forms of black magic in the world. However, people devoted to the faith say it has nothing to do with black magic. In fact, they say Palo Mayombe is completely based in the magic forces found in nature, like those of herbs, stones, soil, sticks, water, even the sun and the moon.

The religion is very secretive and the teachings are guarded and only told to those becoming spiritual leaders.

Credit: Ngangas. Digital Image. yagbeonilu. October 3, 2015.

To be a member of the faith people need to go through an initiation ritual called “Rayamiento.” To be able to do it you first need the approval of a “Nganga,” which is a herbalist or spiritual healer. Little is known about this religion as all the information is under protection by the priests and only passed down from generation to generation.


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