Here Are Nine Things That Will Make A Latino Dad Cry Every Time


Like a lot of Latino dads, mine always kept a tough exterior. He was raised to be impenetrable, just as his father had been raised and so on. But that doesn’t mean he never shed a few tears.

There’s something about seeing your dad cry that simultaneously breaks your heart and freaks you out, and in some cases makes you laugh. Here are nine things that bring a tough dad to tears, without fail.

1. Mariachi music

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Un Hombre Llamado EL Diablo/Producciones Matouk

It’s over the second the strings start on “Amor Eterno,” also known as the most beautiful and heartbreaking song ever invented. It causes immediate weeping into a bottle of Pacífico.

2. Seeing his baby or grandbaby for the first time

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Dos Mujeres Un Camino/Canal de las Estrellas

Nothing like a tiny angelic baby made of his own blood to reduce a grown man to tears.

3. His fútbol team losing

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Yup. The second the goal-winning score went to the other team it was the 7 stages of grief. “Noooo! No puede ser!” inevitably leads to light sobbing ,and then “estos cabrones siempre te dejan decepcionados.”

4. His fútbol team winning

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Tears happen in agony and ecstasy. And seeing his beloved team win a major match always brings on the happy tears. It’s pretty cute.

5. A particularly heartfelt round of saying what you’re thankful for during Thanksgiving dinner

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The second the words “I’m thankful for my children and wife” come out of him, bye. Gone. Olvídalo. He loses it.

6. His daughter graduating or getting married

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This. Right. Here. Seeing your dad sob almost uncontrollably just because he’s so happy for you is the greatest, most freakiest thing ever. Everyone is gonna be crying.

7. Your Mom

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Whether he loves her or hates her, or even a little bit of both, the passion is there and he’ll cry angry tears, sad tears and/or happy tears when he gets started on her. Your mom has a lot of power of his tear ducts. And yeah, tequila is usually involved.

8. His mom

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It doesn’t matter how old he is. Latino dads are always and forever a mama’s boy, and your abuelita, whether she is alive or passed, will always set him crying. He may be remembering her, or perhaps he’s disappointed her in some way. Whatever the case, abuelita and your mom can make a dad cry real quick.

9. That being said: tequila

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Tequila brings out all the feelings. All of them. Any alcohol really. Alcohol gets all the dads weeping over something. That something can be any of the above, or something totally different. But the song “Tragos de Amargo Licor” was created for a reason, and that reason is because dads cry when they’re drunk.

Whatever the reason, seeing your dad cry is something you never forget. Latino dads catch the feels hard, and luckily you’re there to give him a hug when he needs it.

READ: 9 Ways My Dad Challenges Machismo Without Even Knowing It

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What I, A Cuban-American, Learned By Watching The Elián González Documentary On CNN


What I, A Cuban-American, Learned By Watching The Elián González Documentary On CNN

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I grew up in a Cuban immigrant household that was filled with people that were very much against the revolution and Castro. Over the years, I was told countless stories of the atrocities that were being committed on the Caribbean island and why my family left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I was born in 1989 in New Jersey, making me a first-generation Cuban-American. Before you ask, yes. My parents met in Miami and we eventually moved back, but not for long.

By 1999, my family moved back to Miami then up to a small, rural town in the Florida panhandle, just a 15-minute drive from the Alabama state line. That was also the same year that 5-year-old Elián González was found floating in an inner tube near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It wasn’t uncommon for my parents and grandparents to speak openly about the Cuban nationals that were being found in the water, but for a child this young to be found alone was something different. I could tell by how they addressed the matter.

Partly because of my age and partly because of our geographic separation from Miami, I was not aware of what was going on. I only knew one thing: we did not want Elián sent back to his father in Cuba. In fact, my family thought Juan González, Elián’s father, was a bad father for wishing for his child to be returned to Cuba. The argument was always backed up with emotion as his mother, Elizabeth Brotons, literally gave her life so her son could be free. This is something a lot of Cuban parents were willing to risk to save their children from a growing regime set on oppressing the Cuban people.

Fast forward to 2017. I am a 28-year-old journalist living in Los Angeles and working for the Latino media company mitú. Until moving to L.A., I wasn’t that in tune with the Latino community at large. I knew about Cuban culture but I was never fully immersed in it unless on vacation to see my family. My parents always tried to make sure that my brother and I learned Cuban culture as much as possible, but we were living in a region affectionately known as “the Redneck Riviera.” Sure, I spoke Spanish with mis abuelos and I would always curl up on the couch with my abuela to watch the evening novelas. However, Cuban culture started and stopped in my home. As soon as I left those doors, I was in white, cowboy country. Where I grew up was a 9-hour drive from Miami. We only made trips south to visit family for the holidays. Even now, I still thought about Elián and the case that took an emotional toll on my family, especially my grandparents.

CNN recently aired the documentary “Elián” and I admit that I was very interested to learn more about the boy whose image has been burned into my memory. I remember mourning with my family when the federal government raided his family’s home in Miami. How could they take this boy and send him back to Cuba? I have long held the belief that the U.S. was wrong in sending Elián back to Cuba. I still believe he should have been given a chance to stay in the U.S., but after watching the documentary, I cannot justify keeping him away from his father.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) memorandum in Elián’s case, Juan had every right to claim his child under the Constitution of Cuba Article 37. That passage of the Cuban constitution, according to the United Nations Information Centres, states that being born out of wedlock does not diminish or negate the rights of the child and the parent. “The state guarantees, through adequate legal mean, the determination and recognition of paternity,” reads the Cuban constitution. Elián was born out of wedlock in 1993 but his father still had final say.

INS further states that it is customary for them to assess relationships based on the law of the country of origin when it comes to immigration matters. This means that the U.S. government had to uphold Cuban law, using it to decide who had legal authority to make immigration decisions for Elián. By that law, his great-uncle, Lazaro González, did not have that right.

It was on Jan. 7, 1959, that the U.S. government officially recognized the Castro-led Cuban government. While we didn’t have diplomatic ties with the Cuban government, we still recognized them as a country and, in turn, we recognized their laws. From a purely legal standpoint, it seems that government officials had their hands tied in terms of what to do with the Cuban boy that was the center of an international case.

It is not new information to hear that Cuba had a strong hand in keeping their dissenters quiet. In fact, many of the stories I have heard from Cuban exiles are filled with heartbreaking examples of family members being disappeared or killed because they dissented. We may never know whether or not Juan wanted to bring Elián back or if he was a pawn for the Cuban government to shore up support for the government. Juan might have wanted Elián to be free in the U.S., but the Castro regime was against it. Or Juan could really have believed that Elián should have been sent back. We’ll never know the truth about that.

I know that this opinion is going to be met with some anger from the Cuban-American community. After all, I, like many Cuban-Americans, want a free and just Cuba. That is something we do not have. Sending a child back to that country seems like an atrocious decision, and, for many reasons, it is. Yet, that does not negate the law nor Juan’s rights to raise his child as he sees fit. As I write this, I am scared of what my own family will think about it. However, it is what I believe. I do not agree with how the situation was handled with federal agents raiding the home and pointing a gun at Elián as he hid in a closet. That was wrong on many levels.

I still think it was wrong to send Elián back to Cuba. Sending him back deprived him of a life of freedom and opportunity that the U.S. is supposed to offer all people. Yet, I can’t justify my feelings other than strictly emotional. Who are we to tell a parent, who by all accounts was a good father, that they had no rights to their child?

We are a nation that values the rights of individuals and of parents. Parents make the decisions for their children, from where they live and go to school, to what doctors they visit and what medical procedures they will perform. That’s what made Elián’s case so difficult. On one hand, his mother died trying to get him out of Cuba. On the other hand, his living father was asking for him to be returned to raise him as he saw fit. There’s no justifiable excuse for depriving a parent of their natural right to raise their child. It’s heartbreaking to say, but that’s what I believe.

You can watch the trailer for “Elián” below.

READ: Here’s How Some People Tried To Show The Reality Of Cubans During Cuban Independence Day

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