Entertainment

This Woman Says La India Maria And Raul Velasco Are Her Parents, Gave Her Away Upon Her Birth

As far as cultural icons in Mexican television you can’t get much bigger than Raúl Velasco and La India María. The former was the host of the huge show Siempre en Domingo, which saw stars such as Luis Miguel, Emmanuel and Timbiriche first reach the upper echelons of Latin American pop culture. His power as a gate keeper, a sort of padrino for musicians and almost all Mexican showbiz personalities in the second half of the twentieth century is unparalleled. Think of Velasco a Don Francisco a la décima potencia. On the other hand, La India María was the film persona of María Elena Velasco-Fragoso, who through her character used comedy to talk about the struggles of indigenous women in Mexico City and paisanos in Los Estates. 

Both Raúl Velasco and La India María have passed away (him in 2006, her in 2015), but this story and the echo it has generated in Spanish-speaking media revels their lasting popularity in the collective Latino memory. But we gotta remember that public figures, particularly those aligned with the Mexican media monopoly Televisa, are helped in showing their best face to the audience. Even though this story is surprising, it isn’t a complete shock.

So the bombshell news was quite surprising: a woman called Mirna Velasco claims to be their daughter.

Credit: Twitter. @raulbrindis

Showbiz journalists on both sides of the border just drooled at the potential scandal. The 50-year-old woman, who lives in Los Angeles, revealed her claimed identity during the YouTube show Chisme No Like

Her story is quite heartbreaking and if true would make us look at her presumed biological parents in a new light.

Credit: Siempre en Domingo / Televisa

MIrna claims that she was given away as a child and that she is product of an affair between Raúl, who was married, and María Elena. The story goes that La India María gave her baby away to one of her domestic workers. Sounds like straight out of a telenovela but stories like these are plausible and more common than one would imagine. Mirna says that her adoptive parents were “not very nice people” and that she vowed to have a large family and be different from them. If Mirna’s story is true, her biological father would have been 36 and La India Maria 29. Mirna was born on the same year that Siempre en Domingo first aired: 1969. 

¿Les da un aire a ambos? She kinda does, hey?

Credit. Instagram. @mirna.velasco

Mirna has eight children. She told journalist Javier Ceriani that as a teenager she would wonder why she didn’t look like her mom, so her adoptive mother told her the truth. But the truth was revealed in a horrible way: her stepdad was accused of molesting Mirna’s younger sister, and it was all revealed during the court case, according to MSN News. She never looked for her biological parents because, she was told, they didn’t want her then and didn’t want any further contact. Just wow. This makes the fact that she built a career as an actress even more amazing.

So who is Mirna Velasco? Well, she is a pretty big deal actually, a self-made Latina queen.

Credit. Instagram. @mirna.velasco

She is an actress and working mom. She is pretty active on Instagram, where she announced her interview and the big reveal. She has said that she doesn’t need money and is only revealing the truth to set an example for her kids. 

She is an exemplary United States Latina working hard for her community.

Credit: YouTube. @ChismeNoLike

And she is very active in building bridges between Latino communities and the City of Los Angeles. She has even been recognized by city officials as an outstanding citizen who works to create connections. 

The Mexican Internet is heartbroken.

Credit: Twitter. @GuillermoRuiz

Raúl Velasco and La India María were the epitome of wholesome entertainment for millions of Spanish-speakers all throughout the Americas, so this story shatters the innocent public persona that was carefully tailored by both. We of course cannot confirm Mirna’s story (perhaps no one really can), but this case leaves a stain of doubt on their reputations. 

Let’s get one thing straight: we have no right to doubt her.

Credit: Twitter. @PeriodicoAMNoticias

No one can attest to the validity of Mirna’s story unless DNA tests are conducted. If she is lying or her adoptive family gave her inaccurate information then that’s on them. But we are better than the chisme culture that doubts everyone and believes we all have the right de opinar on other people’s lives, right? So let’s not come to conclusions. It takes a lot of courage to do what Mirna did. 

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

Entertainment

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

As the weather cools down and Halloween pops up on our calendars, there’s another holiday quickly approaching that deserves it’s own attention. Every October and November, people from Northern Mexico and around the world celebrate Día de los Muertos by building ofrendas to honor those who they have lost. Ofrendas are shrines set up with the photos of deceased loved ones along with personal items that they appreciated in life. Originating from the Aztecs, these shrines are meant to commemorate their dead loved ones and guide them home on the one day when their souls can journey from the spirit world to the world of the living. 

While ofrendas often honor deceased family members and friends, it’s not unusual to see alters also set up for famous people who have passed away. Fans build these shrines to celebrities in order to pay tribute to their legacy. These celebrity alters are usually as elaborate and amazing as the famous people they are meant to honor. 

Here are some of the remarkable celebrity ofrendas that prove that fame and the love of their fans are everlasting. 

1. Anything for Selenas.

Instagram / @sumnerboi

Selena is one of the most recognizable celebrities of the Latinidad so it makes sense that she’d have quite a few ofrendas built to remember her. San Antonio’s Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery is a Mexican restaurant that keeps this shrine of Selena up all year long to celebrate the Queen of Tejano. 

2. Dedicated to the icons of Mexico.

Instagram / @eltinterodemama

This colorful ofrenda is a reminder that these shrines can be for more than one person at a time. On this alter, Mexican pop culture is represented by superstar actress Maria Felix, comedian and TV star Chespirito (Roberto Gomez Bolanos) and artist Frida Kahlo. Offerings of fruit, food and alcohol adorn this ofrenda to tempt and delight the spirits of these deceased stars. 

3. A shrine fit for a food god.

Instagram / @hunger_street

Two years ago, the food world lost a huge star with the untimely death of Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity chef was known for traveling the world and learning about local customs and cuisine in such a respectful way that it endeared him to the communities that he visited. This earned him the spot of honor on this ofrenda. 

4. Frida’s ofrenda.

Instagram / @raul_krnx

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has only become more beloved in death. Her image is used in everything from jewelry and makeup to home goods and tee shirts. This shrine pays tribute to the legendary artista with pots of food, Mexican marigolds and skeletal attendants. 

5. An alter for Poet Paz.

Instagram / @lamovidapanama

Octavio Paz was a Nobel Prize-winning poet and one of the most influential voices in Mexican literature. His words have been a source of comfort and inspiration to millions of readers over the years. He was also a diplomat and fought against fascism in Mexico and abroad. All these accomplishments deserve to be remembered and Paz is honored in this papel picado-filled ofrenda. 

6. An offering to two legends.

Instagram / @melodysev

This past decade, we’ve lost some remarkable souls but none more beloved than music artists Prince and David Bowie. The Prince of Funk and Ziggy Stardust have millions of fans across the world and they are still remembered for being innovators and entertainers. This ofrenda in honor of the two was fittingly built at the Santa Barbara Bowl an amphitheater dedicated to great music.  

7. RIP Tony Stark.

Twitter / @mkhenderson428

Sometimes fictional characters touch us so much that they become real to us. So, when a character like this passes away, it’s only natural to honor them the way we would a real person. This Day of the Dead project was dedicated to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Gone but never forgotten. 

8. Dedicated to las mujeres.

Instagram / @ilaments

This ofrenda was built in tribute to powerful Latinas. Women like Celia Cruz, Jessica Torres, Margarita Neri, and Delores del Río are immortalized among other great women who will always have a special place in history and in the hearts of their fans.

9. An icon from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Instagram / @chableresort

Besides ofrendas, grave sites are also decorated as alters for Día de los Muertos. One of the biggest actors of Mexico’s Golden Age of cinema, Pedro Infante is buried in the Yucatan. For the Day of the Dead, his grave site was adorned with Mexican marigolds and candles to guide his spirit back to the world of the living. 

10. The King has entered the building.

Instagram / @beijingemily

One of the most legendary celebrities to have ever lived is Elvis Presley and the man has become a bigger icon in death. There are still claims of Elvis sightings all over the world. Maybe, those fans are just seeing Elvis’ spirit as he returns to visit the thousands of shrines that are dedicated to him for Día de Los Muertos and year-round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4TnFSXDWaM 

Rapper 21 Savage Knows The Trauma Of Growing Up Undocumented, Now He Has A Plan To Help Kids Like Him

Entertainment

Rapper 21 Savage Knows The Trauma Of Growing Up Undocumented, Now He Has A Plan To Help Kids Like Him

21Savage / Instagram

Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage wants a better future for undocumented children living in the United States illegally. His answer? To grant U.S. citizenship automatically to all children living without documentation. Savage himself grew up without documentation and experienced the chronic fear that undocumented children often carry into adulthood firsthand.

The artist was born in London, England, to Dominican and Haitian parents and moved to the U.S. when he was just 7 years old.

@21savage / Instagram

His visa expired in 2006, but his lawyer said it wasn’t his fault. He was just 14 years old when he suddenly experienced the loss of freedom that the visa had granted. “When you’re a child, you don’t know what’s going on,” the rapper told AP News. “Now, you grow up and got to figure it out. Can’t get a job. Can’t get a license. I’m one of the lucky ones who became successful. It’s a lot of people who can’t.”

A decision that was out of his control followed him into adulthood, landing him in an ICE detention facility for ten days.

@21savage / Instagram

In 2017, 21 Savage applied to have his visa renewed without resolution. Earlier this year, ICE pulled over the young artist’s vehicle, arrested him, and detained him for ten days in a Georgia facility. Then, a spokesperson for ICE attempted to defame his character, saying, “His whole public persona is false. He actually came to the U.S. from the U.K. as a teen and overstayed his visa.” That simply isn’t true. He was just 7 years old –a baby– when he arrived in the U.S.

Now, he says the visa process is so overwhelming that undocumented people avoid even applying because it “hangs over your head forever.”

Now Savage is using his platform to speak on his experience as an undocumented child.

@21savage / Instagram

“When you ain’t got no choice, you should be exempt,” 21 Savage told AP. “It’s not like I was 30, woke up and moved over here. I’ve been here since I was like 7 or 8, probably younger than that. I didn’t know anything about visas and all that. I just knew we were moving to a new place.”  

Savage believes that granting automatic citizenship will even the playing field for hope for a better life with every other documented child.

@21savage / Instagram

“They just lose hope,” Savage told AP. “I feel like kids who were brought here at young ages, they should automatically be like ‘Yeah, you good to stay here, work and go to college.’ It should be nipped in the bud before it gets to a point before you come of age.” There are an estimated 1.1 million undocumented minors currently living in the United States. As they become of age, they watch their peers obtain legal jobs under healthy working conditions, obtain a driver’s license and go to college. Education access is a huge roadblock for undocumented youth, with 40% of undocumented adults under 24 reporting that they did not complete high school. 

For all the fiscal conservatives out there, granting citizenship to undocumented youth would likely only improve the economy.

@unitedwedream / Twitter

According to University of Washington Professor of Sociology Roberto Gonzalez,  “Given the opportunity to receive additional education and move into better-paying jobs, undocumented students would pay more in taxes and have more money to spend and invest in the U.S. economy.” Access to education begins with citizenship. Undocumented youth are not eligible for merit scholarships, FAFSA or Pell grants are only available to U.S. citizens. One Colorado non-profit, Together Colorado, predicts that an increase of $2.2 billion in tax revenue would result from “full immigration reform” that would allow undocumented youth to be granted equal participation in creating their own ceiling.

The National Immigration Law Center is awarding 21 Savage for his immigration activism efforts.

@21savage / Instagram

Savage fell into the school to prison pipeline early on in life. His brother, born in the U.S., was killed in a shooting. In seventh grade, Savage was personally banned from every public school in his county for gun possession. He was sent to a youth detention center, and when he got out, he joined a gang affiliated with The Bloods. Still, he was able to make a career for himself in the music industry, and experience class mobility, unlike most other undocumented children. His immigration court date has been postponed indefinitely. That makes his story a win. 

“We got a fight that we need to continue in this country,” Savage said. “It ain’t over yet. Even after everything is cool with me, we still have to fight and help people who can’t fight for themselves.” Share if you agree.