Entertainment

Two Latinx Women Are Tackling Major Issues In Their Community One Podcast At A Time

tamarindopodcast / Instagram

When Brenda Gonzalez felt there was a lack of Latinx voices and Latinx-lead podcasts, she decided to raise her voice—literally.

What transpired came to be known as Tamarindo Podcast, with a tagline of “Latinx voices at the intersection of politics and pop culture.”

Gonzalez and her new co-host Melinna Bobadilla are bringing commentary on politics and culture that is as tart as the pod-like fruit itself.

New photos, who dis??!! 💖🔥Major troublemaking primas vibes!!! We recently climbed up on a rooftop in DTLA looking all chíc & chifladas for some new publicity shots in preparation for a special announcement….. Tamarindo Podcast is heading across the country to speak at @wellesleycollege in Massachusetts! These two Cali girls will be Boston bound next week to speak on a Podcasters of Color panel on May 1 presented by @wcmezcla as part of #Latinx month 2018! We’re so excited for this opportunity and are ready to collaborate with our community for future events! 📸: @matiasinmotion #TamarindoPodcast #TwoDopeReinas #supportbrownpodcasts #ladypodsquad #latinas #latina #mexicanas #chicanas #latinapodcast #Latinxs#podcasts #womeninpodcasting #DTLA #Photoshoot #Fashion #Threads #EducatedPeleoneras

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“This is a place for folks to enjoy themselves, be funny and upbeat. I want no part of a revolution that isn’t joyful,” Gonzalez said during a phone interview.

That sense of joy transcends as soon as a listener hits ‘play’ on episodes of the podcast, quickly picking up on the soul sister vibe Gonzalez and Bobadilla share.

The duo has picked the brains of guests including poet Yosimar Reyes, Linda Yvette Chávez and Marvin Lemus of Gente-fied.

NEW EPISODE ALERT! It’s Oscar Week and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite is still painfully accurate, so the Tamarindo team decided to sit down with a pair of visionary Latinx filmmakers who are breaking down barriers in Hollywood by putting Latinx stories and faces front and center. Marvin Lemus @elmarvinlemus & Linda Yvette Chávez @lindayvettechavez , the talented young creators behind the highly anticipated bilingual digital series #GENTEFIED (2017 #Sundance Film Festival Selection, executive produced by @americaferrera & MACRO Ventures), join Tamarindo Podcast to talk about their experiences as Latinxs in the industry, why representation & inclusion matter, challenging the status quo, and even their relationship to Instagram! The conversation was so rich that we couldn’t contain it to just one episode, so we decided to do a Tamarindo Podcast first- a two part episode! Part 1 focuses on their trajectories as filmmakers and Part two (dropping soon) will delve deeper into complex discussions around changing the status quo in Hollywood and making sure that #OscarsNotSoBrown becomes a thing of the past. #Latinos #Latinxs #LatinoFilm #LatinosInFilm #LatinoFilmmaker #LatinasInFilm #ChicanoFilm #Chicanx #Guatemalans #FemmeFilmmakers #FemaleFilmmakers #Diversity #OscarsStillSoWhite #Oscars2018 #Inclusion #RepresentationMatters #LatinoActors #LatinosInHollywood #LatinosOnScreen #Film #TV #SundanceFilmFestival

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While both women share a palpable on-air vibe, their co-host duties started surprisingly only nine months ago.

Back when she launched the podcast in 2016, Gonzalez had linked with Luis Octavio but the two amicably went on different paths when Octavio wished to pursue other passion projects.

Gonzalez’s next desire of the podcast being led by two strong Latinx women could now take shape.

Bobadilla came to the mic after Gonzalez initially reached out for an on-air interview. A couple of months later, when Gonzalez was on the lookout as to who could sit beside her in the host chair, she invited Bobadilla to guest co-host an episode and the two eventually synced up for a permanent partnership.

Bobadilla said her newbie status as a “podcast rookie helped [her] to enter it really authentically and laid-back.”

The duo’s backgrounds may be varied but they both mesh well to add commentary on history, cultural and societal norms, politics and more.

After previously being an undocumented student, Gonzalez went on to receive her M.A. in political science and taught at Cal State Fullerton. Bobadilla cut her chops acting and being a voice-over artist after receiving her M.A. in theater and education at New York University.  

After their podcast 2.0 started in October, the hosts started to receive more recognition, including a guest spot by Gonzalez on Crooked Media’s ‘Lovett or Leave It’ podcast when it aired live from Los Angeles last month.

“Bro.” #lovettorleaveit

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Gonzalez said she was “happy to be part of that conversation, to be able to give some diversity for ‘Lovett or Leave It’.”

Fans are starting to be avid followers and take notice. Gonzalez and Bobadilla can often be seen using the #educatedpeleoneras hashtag on their social media, dedicating one of the episodes to educated peleoneras such as Emma Gonzalez.

Listeners have been using the hashtag on everything from t-shirts to graduation caps.

These educated peleoneras have been teaching their audiences and starting dialogues about filmmaking while brown, the state of immigration in 2018 and helping to break society’s norms of beauty—the pair’s ‘Decolonize Your Beauty, Decolonize Your Diet’ podcast has been one of their most popular podcasts to date.

As for upcoming topics, tackling the representation of Latinx in media is on their list.

“Latinx inclusion doesn’t stop at surnames,” Bobadilla said. She added Afro-Latinx and indigenous people should be represented in front and behind the camera as well.

There is still much Gonzalez and Bobadilla want to explore for their podcast, saying they are “focused on the quality and integrity of each episode that comes out.” They name each episode once recording is wrapped up, choosing to see what that episode’s tone and vibe turned out to be.

When asked who their dream guests are, both cited Maria Hinojosa, Gina Rodriguez, Sonia Sotomayor, Beyonce—and a Selena hologram.

Happy #WCW to all the #EducatedPeleoneras out there striving to bring equity, justice and love to the world! Keep thriving in your authenticity, speaking truth to power, pushing the status quo and walking in your truth🙌🏽. We have a powerful collabo episode dropping very soon with the Queens of @waitholduppod hosted by @heyjessmolina & @yarel_ramos! Follow them ASAP & stay tuned for the drop! . XO Brenda (left) (@sweetpixnaranja) & Melinna (right) (@melinnabobadilla) . ✊🏽🧠✊🏾👑✊🏿💖 . . #TamarindoPodcast #SupportBrownPodcasts #LatinaPodcast #ladypodsquad #WomenPodcasters #Latinas #Latinxs #Chingonas #Latina #WomensHistoryMonth #Herstory #Mujeres #EducatedPeleonerxs #EducatedPeleonera #Podcasts #IntersectionalFeminism #RepresentationMatters

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If you want to check out past episodes and keep up-to-date with new episodes following their summer hiatus, listen to ‘Tamarindo Podcast’ here. You might hear one of their dream guests on an upcoming episode.


READ: This Podcast Captured The Emotional Moment When A Father Told His Daughter His Immigration Story

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Oprah Helps Bring The Focus On Latinx Podcasts In Her Magazine And We Are Totally Here For It

Things That Matter

Oprah Helps Bring The Focus On Latinx Podcasts In Her Magazine And We Are Totally Here For It

BitterBrownFemmes / Instagram

Oprah — yes, that Oprah — has released a list of the best Spanish and Latinx podcasts in Oprah Magazine. Latinx folk are gaining visibility in the mainstream. While it is certainly not at the pace we all would have hoped (we have been in the states for quite some time now), it is always great to celebrate our continued come up in the cultural zeitgeist. 

Oprah Winfrey is a black woman who propelled herself through adversity, using grit and tenacity, into the hearts and minds of Americans. She created a magazine, named it after herself, and puts herself on the cover of every issue. To grace the pages of Oprah Magazine is an honor exclusively reserved by Oprah, and can only be earned by a lucky few. 

So for those who want light-hearted or heartfelt adventures deeper into Latinidad, you might want to add a few of these podcasts onto your lists. 

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an episodic digital audio series that can be downloaded or streamed. I use Spotify to listen to my favorite podcasts but you can use iTunes or a podcast app like Stitcher. Basically, podcasts are episodic talk “radio” shows, except they’re not transmitted through radio waves. It’s kind of like how we still call Netflix series “TV shows,” when they don’t exist on television networks. Like streaming TV, podcasts are an old format on a new medium. 

Why do Latino podcasts matter?

Podcasts have become a growing and profitable industry in the last 15 years. Breakout podcasts like SerialPod Save America, and Welcome To Nightvale, have spawned television series and HBO documentaries. However, they have largely been operated by white people even when the subjects of the podcasts have not been. Podcasting is another path to greater Latinx visibility. The comedy duo Desus & Mero, who are Jamaican and Dominican Americans respectively, have risen to fame largely earned by their popular Bodega Boys podcast. The pair now have had late-night talk shows on VICE and Showtime. 

It goes without saying, where ever there are people talking about culture from the frivolous to the political, Latinx voices need to be there taking up space. When you’re left out of the conversation, there’s no way you can be heard. As a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Latinx representation in Hollywood discovered, over the past 12 years only 4.5% of 47,268 speaking or named roles in films were portrayed by Latinx actors. Moreover, in a time where we Latinxs are being politically targeted, our voices and stories matter even more. Representation can normalize the Latinx experience and further humanize us during a time of extreme, radical, dehumanizing language being weaponized against us. So, shout outs to Oprah! 

Scratch Your Political Itch with… 

In The Thick Of It

Hosted by the award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, In The Thick Of It doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about race, politics, and identity. If you’re itching to get a Latinx perspective on news and events Hinojasa and Varela have got you covered.

Listen here.  

Radio Ambulante

For those fluent in Spanish who want a deeper look at the Latin American experience, Radio Ambulante will fill that bottomless void in your life. The series focuses on untold stories and uses investigative journalism to uncover heartfelt and moving narratives about Latinidad. 

Listen here

Super Mámas

For moms with a sense of humor (doesn’t every mom have to have a sense of humor? Kids are weird.), Super Mámas is here to drop some major funnies. Hosted by sisters Paulina and Bricia Lopez, the talk show provides comedic commentary on motherhood. However, the show has still got a lot of heart and insight. Prepare to be hit in the feels with profound conversations about postpartum depression, Latinx parenthood, and being a working mom. 

Listen here

Brujaja Podcast

Listen to comedians Anna Valenzuela, Vanessa Gritton and Cindy Aravena as they hilariously discuss everything from growing up Latinx to stereotypes to cannabis to Selena. 

Listen here

Scratch Your LGBTQ+ Itch with… 

Locatora Radio

Diosa and Mala host a “radiophonic novela” that highlights the experiences and contributions of femmes and women of color. Discussions of gender, sexuality, consent, and technology abound on this popular podcast.

Listen here

Brown Bitter Femmes

Cassandra Alicia and Rubén Angel discuss women’s and LGBTQ+ issues to dismantle bigotry and oppression. Their motto is “dismantling shit while talking shit,” and that sounds like an excellent brunch to me. 

Listen here

These are just a few of many incredible Latinx podcasts. For more suggestions check out Irina Gonzalez’s list at Oprah Mag

This Mother-Son Duo Preserved Mexican Culture And Saved Their Neighborhood With Authentic Food And Ingenuity

Culture

This Mother-Son Duo Preserved Mexican Culture And Saved Their Neighborhood With Authentic Food And Ingenuity

@kiko454/ Instagram

On a seemingly quiet street in Downtown Oakland, 8th street between Washington and Broadway, a mother-son team, Gloria and Alfonso Dominguez, have figured out how to preserve their Mexican culture through food, and how to save a neighborhood in crisis during the disastrous economic downturn in 2008.

Tamarindo Antojeria Mexicana is a lonchería in the heart of Downtown Oakland started by Alfonso Dominguez and his mother Gloria.

A family man, entrepreneur, architect, artist, music festival organizer, and chef, Alfonso is the definition of a renaissance man.

Minime

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As he puts it, after his parents were divorced and his mother gave her previous taqueria over to his dad, he couldn’t stand not seeing her with her own restaurant. Believing in her and putting his skills to work, he invested in his mom and together they opened Tamarindo.

Tamarindo, once just a small restaurant, opened up into a bigger space when the place next door shut down when the financial crisis began.

#aguasfrescas #tacos #LoncheriadeTamarindo Loncheria hours 11-3pm Mon.-Fri. Flour Gorditas is our special today.

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Serving up food from recipes that Gloria has collected from her travels all over Mexico and from partnering and working with other chefs, she’s been able to keep alive Mexican fare from ancient recipes to street food.

As an architect and artist, Alfonso brings a flair to his restaurants and bars.

Alfonso brings an aesthetic and understanding of structure, color, and design to everything he does. Sure you can have a taco in an amazing hole-in-the-wall, but why not have hole-in-the-wall level food, in a beautiful restaurant? Well, at Tamarindo, Alfonso made sure that you can.

The real secret of keeping the neighborhood awake and alive when everything was falling apart around them, was Alfonso’s resilience and Popuphood.

Credit: Eva Kolenko/ Vimeo

He helped found Popuphood, an agreement between the city, landlords and business owners to grant new businesses six months of rent-free space to open their doors and get foot traffic back up in the neighborhood. By doing so, Popuphood helped revitalize the whole area. It’s a pretty amazing story.

Outside of Popuphood, Alfonso is helping other entrepreneurs, by franchising his idea “El Taco Bike.”

@eltacobike is out ! @mesteezo

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He’s giving young taqueros the know-how, support, and a taqueria on wheels, for them to be their own boss and be successful.

Sure, most of us would cringe at the idea of having to work with our parents, but maybe, if you could resist that urge, you’d end up like Gloria and Alfonso.

Felicidades mama! Proud of you , oh and thanks for my life;)

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Alfonso posted his mom’s photo to Instagram and captioned it “Felicidades mama! Proud of you…”

Good food, good vibes, good people. What else can you ask for?

READ: Here Are Some Not-So-Subtle Ways Your Latina Mom Tries To Convince You To Not Move Out

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