Entertainment

These Graduation Posts With Latinas And Their Dads Are The Sweetest Thing On The Internet Right Now

College graduation is as much an individual effort as it is a collective one. Particularly in Latino families, the endless study sessions, the stress over fees and the joys of success are a communally experienced path. Added to that, many Latino families see university education as a way of establishing roots in the United States, contributing to the economy and sharing a piece of the American Dream, which is still alive despite recent shake-ups of who we are as a nation.

We are proud of all Latino graduates, but particularly of women who have worn the graduation regalia. Society at large but traditional Latino communities in particular sometimes still hold archaic ideas of what las mujeres should and shouldn’t do. Believe us, raising a family is a vocation but so is having a professional career. Latino women are so chingonas that they can often do both. But as they say, la educación comienza en casa, and father figures can be especially crucial for young Latinas. From many, it is their papitos who make them feel safe and empowered, and who shape their early ideas about gender roles.

We have found a selection of photos that show proud Latina graduates with their dads. These moments are full of heightened emotions: pride and nostalgia, a sense of achievement for all involved, un rayito de esperanza para el futuro. Try not to cry too much! Some of these photos capture a unique hija-papá moment, and others feature the whole family…. posoye!

This first dad/daughter dance after graduation

Credit: Instagram. @sugarxndspice

This very smiley and proud Latina graduate finds strength in her cultural roots. She is wearing a Mexican stole and has us hypnotized with her Selena-like red lipstick. That smile says it all. But it is the caballero del bigote who told her that la fortaleza is found in your culture. This family has made it en el otro lado by remaining true to themselves.

This dad that migrated so his mijita could walk on the podium

Credit: Instagram. @mizmono

Quiere llorar, quiere llorar! This dad is holding back his tears of joy and mucho pinche orgullo as his daughter holds him, The mom just couldn’t hold her tears back and we don’t blame her: immigrant parents see graduations as a culmination of a multitude of efforts, de malas rachas and a process of cultural adaptation that is never easy, nunca de los nuncas. We are sure that this couple looked each other in the eye at the end of the day and whispered: “Todo valio la pena… it was all worth it”.

La familia es un equipo! GO TEAM!

Credit: Instagram. @suspirosss_

This young lady is grateful, and that is a quality that we hope she keeps all throughout her life. Rather than seeing a sus viejos as an obstacle for being herself and tracing her own path, she sees them as the gravitational force that grounds her to the ground. These three are very lucky to have each other. And just look at the big smile on daddy’s face: we are sure he will show photos of the graduation to todos sus compadres. There is always an excuse to take out your phone and presumir a su princesita.

We just can’t get over this daddy’s pure expression of joy 

Credit: Instagram. @tapia.stephanie

Stephanie Tapia has one cool dad. Un panzoncito encantador, as an abue would say. Just look at that big mouth, open in delight, crowned by the cute bigotito that many Mexican-American dads have.

But there is a story of struggle behind that big smile… read this and we will hand you un clinex

Credit: Instagram. @tapia.stephanie

Yes, Stephanie’s dad knew that she would have to walk the extra mile as a woman and as a daughter of migrants. He might have been estricto when Stephanie was growing up, but it was all for a good reason. In the end, his toughness made her the woman she is now. Good on them!

La princesita forever

Credit: Instagram. @smileforsandy

We know that parents will always see us as their bebecitos chiquitos. This dad is so cute: leaning over to kiss his daughters head, just as he did not so long ago when she was still in the crib. Ay, la vida pasa acelerada. We hope this family framed such a gorgeous moment and that it is hanging over the mantelpiece.

Stephanie Vega has one amazing papi

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

At first sight, this is a normal, everyday photo of a young Latina graduate with her dad and brother. But if you read the caption…

A single dad who has given it all for his mijitos

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

It must not be easy at all being a single dad, and even more so if you belong to a minority. Stephanie now holds a Masters degree in Education and we are sure she will work hard so new generations of Latinas achieve what she has accomplished. Arriba y padelante!

This young Nicaraguan who no se anda con rodeos

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

With the ovaries where they should be… what an amazing feminist iteration of con los huevos bien puestos (we are sure you get it!). She dedicated her degree to her parents and we are certain that papito cried.

This young lady who went all out in her effort to say thanks.

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

Me puse las pilas translates into something like “I know I slacked a bit, but I rectified my path when I needed to”. This dad’s closed eyes speak volumes: he is living a dream, and her daughter’s academic accomplishment is a parental logro for himself.

This graduate and her dad returning to the fields he worked endless hours in

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

This San Diego native and her farmer dad give us a moment that really needs no description. Se vale llorar.

La lucha sigue! But let’s celebrate for now

Credit: Instagram. @latinxs_with_a_degree

Ruby Ponce and her dad share a unique ritual: he places the cap on his mijitas head and looks proudly at her. We can see years of hard work on his thin hands, and sleepless nights in las entradas sobre su cabeza. Vale la pena. 

Por un mundo sin fronteras… for a borderless world

Credit: Instagram. @jennifer_rodriguez21

This is a story that is echoed in many migrant families. Parents arrive with nothing, crossing the border on precarious conditions so future generations don’t have to suffer as much hardship as them. Migrant parents are about the most generous people there can be: they often know that their lives will be defined by struggle and long hours, but they also know that efforts can lead to amazing family accomplishments. Graduation is just the first step.

And finally, this young Latina that knows that formal education can only teach you so much… lo mejor se aprende en casa

Credit: Instagram. @adventureswithmayra

Mayra knows that you can’t learn everything in the classroom and that dad can teach invaluable lessons such as saving your money for things that are worth it! Also, we love the SI SE PUDO message that this amazing migrant dad is wearing on her daughter’s stole. Que padre tan padre.

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

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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