Culture

You’ll Be Filled With Christmas Joy After You See These Incredible Nacimientos

Growing up Latino means that putting up a nacimiento is just as essential a part of Christmas, as putting up a tree. And if there’s one cliche that has proven to be true, time and again, it’s that Latino moms tend to be extra AF in everything they do, and the representation of Jesus’ birthday is no small matter. 

Nacimientos tend to be over the top, dramatic and a little chaotic. 

Credit: Pinterest

The representation of Jesus’s birth, known as nacimiento in Mexico, pesebre in Colombia and other South American countries, or Belen in Spain, is a centuries-old tradition in the Catholic world. All you really need to tell the story are three basic figures: Virgin Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. But why limit yourself?  Nativity Scenes are usually elaborate, over the top extravaganzas that families work tirelessly on for the holiday season. So we made a roundup of the most OTT, wild nacimientos. 

The nacimiento with more than 5000 figurines.

This is the largest nacimiento in Tula de Allende. Set up by Mari Espindola, this massive nativity scene has more than 5000 figurines. If this isn’t over the top then we don’t know what is. Though, tbh, who doesn’t want to get a few photos in front of it for the ‘Gram?

How about a millennial nativity scene, anyone?

This scene reimagined the birth of Jesus in the digital age. We couldn’t help LOLing at the three ‘reyes magos’ aboard their Segways, carrying Amazon Prime gifts. “Virgin Mary” putting on her best duckface, holding her Starbucks cup, while “Joseph” snaps a selfie. Ugh #goals.

This is the definition of over-the-top.

You. Guys. This is an over the top nacimiento if ever we’ve seen one. It’s so over-the-top that we couldn’t even locate Jesus and family amid Notre Dame, a Ferris Wheel, a lit-up lake and two carrousels. Love the dedication though. 

This modernist nacimiento went for it with actual water.

So this nacimiento is a true work of art. Check out that play of proportions, the warm lighting, the columns —and the running real, water in the fountain! 10/10

This nacimiento is literally lit.

I wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for paying that electricity bill. But granted, the lights add a whimsical touch to this nacimiento. 

The backyard nacimiento of our dreams.

This family was not about to let that whole yard go to waste so they made a huge nativity scene to keep the space occupied. Complete with a hand-painted, star-studded sky, little cardboard houses, a river with actual water in it and hanging angels —yeah that’s right, they’re hanging, flying if you will. 

The animal lovers’ nacimiento you didn’t know you needed.

We’re not sure, but would be willing to bet that the person who set up this nacimiento is vegan, or at least a big animal lover. Don’t ask us why, but this Belen seems to be a little mixed up with another biblical story, ‘Noah’s Ark’ and examples from all the world’s animals gathered around the pesebre to greet little baby Jesus. 

The good boi nacimiento to melt your heart.

We simply couldn’t scroll past this iconic nacimiento and not include it in this list. So many good bois and they’re all playing their parts so well. I mean, just look at that baby Jesus, look at him. Our ice-cold hearts just melted. 

Nacimiento or Stranger Things?

The lights, the figurines, the fake water, the kitsch. We’re obsessed with this nacimiento. One thing’s clear after scrolling through these pictures; this family takes the nacimiento very seriously, and we commend them for it. 

This family turned a whole room into a nacimiento.

View this post on Instagram

#navidad #nacimientonavideño #diciembre

A post shared by Elias Guevara (@elias_guevarar) on

A. Whole. Room. Not just a little space under the tree, or a table. Nope. This family took things seriously and vacated an entire room to make space for the representation of baby Jesus’ birth. They have a special place in heaven already.

Who doesn’t love a miniature city? 

More than a nacimiento, this is all of Bethlehem in miniature form. Complete with lighting, greenery, animals, and dozens of inhabitants. Obsessed.

Lastly, check out this architectonic nacimiento.

This wild and beautiful nacimiento was donated by an architect to a church in Antioquia, Colombia. The nativity scene has 1,800 figurines that represent different Colombian traditions.

READ: Mexican Government Makes It Illegal To Buy And Sell The Moss Families Use To Create Their Nacimientos

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Stranger Gifted 4-Year-Old Twins a Puppy After Finding Their Christmas Wishlist 650 Miles Away

Entertainment

This Stranger Gifted 4-Year-Old Twins a Puppy After Finding Their Christmas Wishlist 650 Miles Away

Screenshot via YouTube

It may be springtime, but the following story proves that the Christmas spirit can last all year round. Recently, Good Morning America reported a story that proves that good Samaritans do exist. And in fact, they’re hiding in plain sight.

In December, 4-year-old twins Luna and Gianella Gonzalez released two red balloons in the air with their Christmas wishlist to Santa attached to them.

via Leticia Flores-Gonzalez/Facebook

According to their mom Leticia Gonzalez, the little ceremony was meant to be something “different” for the girls–“a memory they could keep after a rough 2020.”

Their mom didn’t think anything would come out of the balloons. Like a message in a bottle, she assumed that the girls’ wishlist wouldn’t reach anyone else’s eyes. “It was a windy day and I just thought it was going to get lost, caught up in a tree.”

It was to her surprise, then, when Louisiana man Alvin Bamburg contacted her via Facebook after finding a wishlist over 600 miles away in Grand Cane, Louisiana.

Bamburg had been deer hunting when he came across Luna’s discarded balloon and wishlist. The list asked Santa for candy, a Spider-Man ball, a “Frozen” doll, My Little Pony, and a puppy. Touched, he posted a photo of the note to Santa to his Facebook page.

“Found this in the woods in Grand Cane, LA,” Bamburg wrote. “Would love to know when it was launched. Looks like it traveled over 600 miles. Feel free to share.”

Bamburg’s family and friends did their duty and shared the post liberally. Soon, Bamburg was able to get in touch with the Gonzalez family.

via Alvin Bamburg/Facebook

He updated his post: “We have heard from the mom and are going to work with her to figure out the best way to grant her daughters’ wishes. Stay tuned…”

After talking with Leticia Gonzalez, and with the help of some generous donations from friends and family, Bamburg shipped a belated Christmas package to Liberal, Kansas.

Naturally, Bamburg didn’t ship the puppy from the wishlist in the package. But, that’s where the magic of the story comes in.

With Leticia Gonzalez’s blessing, Bamburg and his wife planned a trip to Kansas to meet the family for the first time and deliver a brand new puppy to the girls. Good Morning America filmed the entire meet-up.

Bamburg, Luna and Gianella all played with the puppy on the front lawn of their house. Leticia Gonzalez told GMA that Bamburg is now part of their family. “We are very blessed,” she said through tears. “Thank you. Thank you for making my girls so happy.”

Bamburg, himself, was almost as happy as the twin girls were, if not happier. “If you can make one person smile — trust me not only will it help them, it will make you feel so much better,” he said.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com