Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Returned Home To Promote A Local Festival And Donate Laptops To Oaxacan Students, Reminding Us She Doesn’t Forget Where She’s From

With more and more people taking DNA tests, it’s no surprise that the Latinx community is celebrating their roots by honoring where they came from. What is also more surprising is that with these new indigenous discoveries, people are also giving back to the people and the land of their ancestors whether they are fourth and first generation.

One of those people is a very familiar face.

Yalitza Aparicio returned to her homeland of Oaxaca in a beautiful new campaign.

Instagram/@yalitzaapariciomtz

We have seen Aparicio working on various new advertisements, which some have raised eyebrows, but this one that celebrates her home and her people is one that we truly support.

The campaign is to promote Guelaguetza 2019, a festival in Oaxaca happening on July 22 and 29.

Instagram/@yalitzaapariciomtz

The festival celebrates all things Oaxacan. It’s also traditionally known as “Fiestas de Los Lunes del Cerro” and takes place on the last two Mondays of July.

The festival looks to be amazing!

Instagram/@guelaguetza2019

According to the website, the event is already selling out. Guelaguetza is basically an event that highlights the culture and tradition of the Oaxaca people. Click here for more information.

The only question is, will Yalizta be there?

Instagram/@guelaguetza2019

She may already be in Oaxaca. She wrote in a recent Instagram, “And how could I not to fall in love with this land that saw me being born, land of dreams, where in every corner, in every moment, you find colors that fill your soul.”

She’s such a poet!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxlFHSTFb_G/

While we continue to check her IMDB site to see if she’s starring in any new roles, the actress is still roaming the world. We know this because we stock her Instagram, and are constantly wanting to be transported to each and every place she goes.

Of course, it’s safe to assume that this one be the last time Yalitza will be showing love for Oaxaca.

The ‘Roma’ actress recently showed her support to her community last week when she visited her hometown of Colegio de Bachilleres de Oaxaca in Tlaxiaco to donate laptops to Mixteco students. 

According to Excelsior, Yalitza, who was previously a teacher before her role in Roma, donated nine laptops to the school’s students.

Yalitza Sparks A Conversation About The Derogatory Term ‘Prieta’

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Yalitza Sparks A Conversation About The Derogatory Term ‘Prieta’

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Prieta. It might translate literally to brown but the word holds quite a bit of weight in the Mexican community where it is viewed as a racist term for dark-skinned people.

Recently, Roma actress Yalitza Aparicio opened up about having the term used against her as a child and again as she’s obtained celebrity status.

This week, Aparicio spoke out about racism in Mexico in a post called “Recuerdos De Mi México” to her Twitter page and explained why she had reclaimed the word “prieta.”

In a post shared on Twitter, a user by the name of Rosario Estrad @rosario55920512 a poem reclaiming the term prieta read “They call me prieta and think it is an insult. Prieta, like the fertile soil under my bare feet. Prieta, like the night. Prieta, the bronze race.”

“That’s right, I’m brown, pretty brown and with my head held high,” Aparicio wrote in a retweet about the post. “I share this text for those who use this word offensively.

Prieta is a word with different connotations in different cultures and countries.

As Remezcla points out, in Mexico “prieta” is used as a derogatory for Brown or darker-skinned people. The term is most often used by lighter-skinned people and in Caribbean countries and Central America, the term is used in an alternate form “prieto” but still with derogatory undercurrents. Aparicio’s decision to reclaim the word has sparked conversations about whether it is okay for non-Black people (no matter how dark or light) to use or claim the term.

Last month, Aparicio penned a New York Times op-ed about the discrimination she’s been forced to endure in and outside of the Latin American community.

Writing about how her role in Roma gave her a platform that allowed her to speak about racism in the Latin community, Aparicio wrote “At that time, Mexico was experiencing political and social upheaval. National turmoil brought to the fore problems that still persist to this day, namely the normalization of classism, racism, and denigration, along with other forms of segregation and belittlement based on skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social class.”

Protests Erupt After Police Kill A Mexican-American Teenager In Mexico

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Protests Erupt After Police Kill A Mexican-American Teenager In Mexico

Manuel Ugarte / Getty Images

As much of the world comes to grip with systemic racism and the role that police play in our communities, people continue to die at the hands of police.

Mexico is no stranger to police brutality and authorities acting with impunity. From the unexplained death of Giovanni Lopez, the case of Mexico’s “Missing 43” to the recent killing of a 16-year-old Mexican-American teen who was visiting his grandparents in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico is reacting to cases of police brutality with protests and action.

A 16-year-old boy from the U.S. was shot dead by police while in Mexico.

A 16-year-old Mexican-American boy, Alexander Martínez Gómez, had spent many years of his short live living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, after a run in with police in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Alexander is dead and his family and friends are in mourning.

Details of the shooting remain unclear but, according to media reports, Alexander and a group of friends walked to a tiendita to buy sodas when he was shot at from a police car in an attack that also injured a friend.

In speaking to Reforma, a family member said: “They were in a gas station buying a soda. They started to shoot, and because these 15- and 16-year-old boys were scared, they ran. They didn’t give them the option to stop or take off their face masks. They simply started to shoot and they shot him in the head. Alexander died instantly because the police didn’t want to give him first aid.”

Local press reports said Alexander was staying with his grandparents in the town where he was shot. Relatives say he was born in North Carolina to Mexican parents.

The police have responded with a mix of regret and blame.

Credit: Manuel Ugarte / Getty Images

The city government expressed regret for the shooting on its Facebook page and said they had turned over evidence to the state investigators. However, they also tried to pass off the shooting as an accident, saying it was not carried out “in bad faith or to harm the community.”

Officials also tried to show their unwavering support for the police by using the hashtag: #TheHistoryOfThePoliceForcesSpeakForItself.

To many Mexicans, the statement was dejavú as it’s quite common for authorities in the country to blame the victims of violence for the crimes and brutality committed against them – especially by the police.

“They want to incriminate Alexander to justify the vileness of their actions,” tweeted Javier Valdivia, a native of Acatlán de Pérez Figueroa

Friends, family, and the community have come together to demand justice for Alexander.

Credit: Manuel Ugarte / Getty Images

Communities on both sides of the border demonstrated to demand justice for Alexander.

“We came in a caravan from town, with the support of all the people, who told us to keep going,” said Teodoro Martínez, the boy’s father. “We are not going to give them much time to get to the bottom of this.”

The father left North Carolina to attend his son’s funeral, but he has no visa and may not be able to return, he fears. 

In an especially emotional moment, his casket was taken to the local soccer field and placed in the penalty box area. One of his friends passed the ball, which bounced off the casket and into the goal so Martínez could score a final goal as onlookers shouted “justice.”

Alexander’s murder comes just days after police have been implicated in the murder of another man in Guadalajara.

Much like the growing movement for racial justice and inequality in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Mexico too is seeing massive protests against police brutality.

The murder of Alexander comes just weeks after police forcibly detained Giovanni Lopez for not wearing a mask on the Guadalajara Metro. He was found dead by his family the very next day.

Subsequent protests against police violence were themselves met by further police violence. About 80 people were seized by plainclothes police officers on their way to a demonstration in the city of Guadalajara, and held for hours. The victims said they were beaten, threatened with death and eventually dumped in isolated areas.

Evidence collected by human rights groups suggested that security forces in Mexico are routinely responsible for abuse, torture and extrajudicial killings.