Culture

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

The game of lotería is a staple in a lot of Latino households. It brings families together, or tears them apart, depending on who you play with, but it always leads to a great time shared with those you love. However, one Latino thought that the popular game needed a bit of an update to make it more relatable. So, with some inspiration and an artistic eye, Mike Alfaro took it upon himself to create new, “millennial” lotería cards. Sadly, these cards are not for sale but they are great to look at. Alfaro spoke with mitú about his inspiration for creating the cards.

This is Mike Alfaro, the brains behind the Instagram page @millennialloteria.

Amy celebrated bring your husband to work day today.

A post shared by mike alfaro (@heyguata) on

Alfaro, who is originally from Guatemala, was back home visiting and researching for a project when he found his old lotería cards. He remembered them from his childhood but tells mitú that he was shocked at how outdated they were, so he took the opportunity to create a parody version of the timeless game.

The Guatemalan artist and writer has taken the classic style of the cards and paired it with things millennials can relate to, like “La Protest.”

“It became this parody of taking these illustrations that are already iconic and sort of slightly changing them a little bit to create some humorous contrast within this modern world and the world that lotería lives in, which is still stuck in the past,” Alfaro says about his inspiration for more relatable lotería cards. “[The older cards] aren’t as interesting to us as a phone or an app, which is something that’s more common to ours lives.”

As part of the millennial glo up, certain cards took on new meaning, such as La Dama, which became La Feminist.

Alfaro, who works in advertising, says that he spends a lot of time in his work judging and looking at creative projects or conceptualizing ideas. He says that skill definitely came in handy with this project.

When he first came to the U.S. for college, he was shocked how little people knew about Latin America and wants the cards to challenge the stereotypes he heard from classmates.

“Cell phones, for instance, are so prevalent in Latin America because now you don’t need to run the power lines down to village; now you literally just beam information there. It’s this modernization that people don’t really understand,” Alfaro says. “When I came to college, people would ask me, ‘How did you find the university, did you have internet back home?’ like they didn’t think that I had Internet, a cell phone, nor watched cable television. When I look at these lotería cards it feels like it’s so old-timey and I wanted to show that Hispanics’ lives are modernized, just as much as American life.”

“At the same time I want to poke fun at these stereotypes that people have about millennials,” Alfaro says.

One stereotype Alfaro is trying to dismantle with his art is the concept that millennials aren’t in touch with the issues.

“We live in a time where we really have to use our voices and talk. It might be parody art, but that also means that it’s art and it has to have a message,” Alfaro says. “I think there are so many things that politicians and Trump are saying about Hispanic people and it’s so offensive. This was my way of jabbing back and having a bit of a message to it without being too nasty.”

He’s also bucking the stereotype that being gay in the Latino community is not okay.

Alfaro says he believes that the millennial generation of American Latinos are a lot more accepting than our grandparents. Even though some brands are still not sure if it is beneficial, marketing-wise, to add LGBTQ pride themes for Latino audiences, Alfaro says that it should be promoted as something that is okay and normal because there is nothing wrong with being gay.

Alfaro has received a lot of attention for his millennial lotería art, it even became real product that is available for purchase.

“I am excited that people really want it,” Alfaro says. “I’m actually not marketing a lotería game because I would be competing against the actual lotería. So, in reality, I would have to work with them and if they see there is a market for this. Right now I’d be infringing on their rights if I tried to sell a game that was very similar to theirs, even though its a parody.”

And while Alfaro is letting everyone know that it is just parody art and not anything serious, who knows what might happen in the future.

Even if these never become a real thing one thing is for sure, the cards are funny and relatable af.

READ: La Sirena Just Met Her Match With This Queer Chicanx’s El Sireno Lotería Card

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Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

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Mexican Army Wants To Pay Off Murder Victim’s Family With One Million Pesos In Cash

The family of a man who was shot in the back and killed by a Mexican soldier is demanding better support from the Mexican military after officials offer them one million pesos, or about $49,000 USD.

Officials say that the Guatemalan man was in retreat from a military checkpoint near the southern border, when they admit that a soldier wrongfully shot at the man killing him.

Military officials are offering $1 million pesos to family of the Guatemalan man the army murdered.

The Mexican Army is offering 1 million pesos (about $49,000 USD) in compensation to the family of a Guatemalan man who was shot and killed by a Mexican soldier along a stretch of Mexico’s southern border.

The man, Elvin Mazariegos, 30, was killed by the army in the state of Chiapas by a soldier who opened fire on a car in which he was traveling with two other people.

According to Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the soldier shot at the vehicle as it tried to escape in reverse from a military checkpoint. He said the decision to shoot was an “erroneous reaction” because the military personnel hadn’t come under attack. The solider who shot Elvin Mazariegos was turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office.

The family is asking for more support since Mazariegos was the family’s sole income earner.

Olga Mazariegos told the newspaper Reforma that the Mexican army had offered a single 1-million-peso payment to her brother’s family. But the family is also demanding monthly maintenance payments for Mazariego’s daughters, aged 9 and 5, and 2-year-old son, she said. She said their father was the sole income earner in his family.

“What we want is monthly maintenance, but they say that they’ll only give [a single payment of] approximately half a million quetzales,” Mazariegos said. At today’s exchange rate, 1 million pesos is in fact 377,300 quetzales.

The slain man’s sister said the army’s proposed payment will be insufficient for the man’s widow to maintain her family. “She’s left alone with her three children; what happened to my brother is not fair,” she said, adding that it was insulting for the army to say that his life was worth 1 million pesos.

Mazariegos murder comes as police brutality gains greater attention across Mexico.

Credit: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Residents near the border (including Guatemalans) have demanded justice. About 300 angry residents detained 15 other soldiers also deployed near the border. Nine soldiers were released about three hours after they were detained, while the others were set free in the early hours of Tuesday morning after Mexican officials reached a deal with the civilians to provide them with “economic reparation” for the killing. The army chief didn’t reveal how much money was paid to the angry residents.

The killing of Mazariegos came just two days after the death of a Salvadoran woman who was violently pinned to the ground while she was being arrested by municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

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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

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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