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Dancing Abuelitas Are The Youtube Sensation That Will Feed Your Soul

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means! It will soon be time for us to find ways to show the mother-figures in our lives how much we appreciate them. Some of our favorite mother figures are our abuelas–the older women in our lives who never fail to offer us kindness, wisdom, love, and of course, a hefty dose of silliness on occasion. We all know an abuela or two who prides herself in being the life of the party.

There’s something refreshing about seeing a family member from an older generation feeling free to let loose and show off her goofy side. It’s a great reminder that, although your body gets older, your sense of fun never truly ages. To celebrate Mother’s Day, and all the women that have taken such good care of us throughout our lives, we present to you 20 videos of abuelas getting their groove on. Enjoy!

1. This abuela could’ve been a flygirl in another life

This clip of the 96-year-old grandmother dancing perfectly to a choreographed dance along with her family members went viral recently. We have to admire this abuela for memorizing all of these steps and not missing a beat. We couldn’t even do that now!

2. This abuela is definitely living her best life

Honestly, this woman’s lifestyle is #goals. What we wouldn’t give to be chilling at home in the kitchen, dancing, and drinking a nice cold cerveza.

3. This abuela gives new meaning to the term “young at heart”

Let’s be real: this grandma’s moves puts most of us millennial to shame. We’ll admit that even we struggle with nailing “the floss”. Maybe she could give us lessons sometime?

4. This video is proof that the talent for dance is hereditary

A while back, Camila Cabello posted an adorable video of herself getting jiggy with her abuela on the dance floor. Watching the video never fails to melt our hearts.

5. This abuela’s twerking puts Cardi B. to shame.

We can practically read this abuela’s thoughts. She’s thinking: “Where has reggaeton been all my life?”.

6. This abuela took some dance lessons from the TV

This abuela just showed us all that it’s never too late to learn some new moves.

7. This abuela was kind enough to teach her grandson what real dancing looks like

Before there was twerking, or the floss, or event the carlton, there was the steady one-two-step movements of the classic waltz–and you can tell this abuela knows a thing or two about waltzing.

8. This abuela lit up the family home with her dance moves

This video is the perfect example of how, often, the best bonding moments in Latinx families are centered around music.

9. This heart-warming video of an abuela dancing with her grandson

We love seeing how gentle and considerate this young man is. We’re sure this dance made his abuela’s night. It proves that chivalry really isn’t dead!

10. This abuela got a little too excited

We get it. Sometimes you’re so excited to get in on the action that you don’t have time to look where you’re going. Then, before you know it, you’re on the floor. We’ve been there.

11. This well-dressed abuela is hot enough to be a super-cougar

The jewelry. The off-the-shoulder blouse. This woman deserves a residency in Vegas alongside JLo.

12. This abuela is just being a good sport about dancing on Snapchat

Even this abuela can’t resist the pull of a truly catchy Taylor Swift bop. We’re so glad her granddaughter was smart enough to document it on Snapchat so the rest of us could enjoy the cuteness overload!

13. This abuela’s sense of humor is contagious

We love how all her reservations seem to go right out the window when she’s dancing.

14. This abuela’s hips don’t lie

One general rule of life is: if you happen to get into a dance-off with your abuela, accept the fact that you will most definitely lose.

15. This abuela possibly loves Drake more than we do

Look at those leg movements! We have a feeling this might be the next big “Fortnite” dance trend.

16. This abuela is tearing up the dance floor

We could watch this abuela dance all day! Just look at the foot work.

17. This abuela’s moves are too good to be true

We can just imagine this abuela hitting the floor and mesmerizing her line of suitors with her dance moves back in the day. She has real talent!

18. This abuela doesn’t let sitting down stop her from busting a move

Even at her age, her joie de vivre is in full-swing. We love to see abuelas bonding with the younger generations of their families.

19. This abuela is spry enough to keep up with her energetic granddaughter

If we did as much spinning as this young girl, we’d be on the floor by now. Props to this abuelita for keeping up!

20. And of course, the #1 abuelita of all time…

You didn’t think we’d make a list of dancing abuelas without adding Abuelita from “One Day at a Time”, did you? We would never. Rita Moreno’s portrayal of the sassy matriarch to the Inclán family never fails to deliver us dance moves that keep us rolling on the floor all day. She’s definitely the queen of all dancing grandmas.

How ‘Guantanamera’ Sung By Celia Cruz Helped Me To Better Understand My Abuelo’s Exile From Cuba

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How ‘Guantanamera’ Sung By Celia Cruz Helped Me To Better Understand My Abuelo’s Exile From Cuba

credit: Cuban passport image belonging to writer's mother / Photograph provided by Alexandria Portée / Flower design by Canva.com

My mother was six when she fled to the United States from Cuba with my abuela and her two siblings. After reuniting with my abuelo who fought against Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs War, they moved to Chicago, where they built a life for themselves completely from scratch, still gripping tenderly onto the heritage and cultures that connected them to families and friends back at home. In their efforts to keep and sustain our family’s Cuban heritage, my abuelos and my mother taught me and my siblings to love and cherish the many different and beautiful contributions that their island country has given to the world: cuisine, cafecito, Bacardí, music, and José Marti.

Naturally, as any proud Cuban-American, I have benevolently held onto all of these as my own personal tokens from an island I have never visited or known. I’m quick to boast about each of them as if they were conjured up by my own mother’s hard work in the kitchen. Still, none have Cuba’s treasures have made me feel quite so intimately linked to my family’s first home like the beloved Cuban song “Guantanamera.”

Like my abuelos and my mother’s stories of Cuba, “Guantanamera” is a song that has grown and adapted through its journey. I have heard the story of my abuelos’ wedding day more than a hundred times; the tale of how my mother cried when kids at her school called my abuelo —a Bay of Pigs prisoner who singlehandedly saved hundreds of lives after being captured by Castro — a criminal; the account of my abuela wringing her hands as she debated enrolling her children in Operation Peter Pan and how she later boarded a cargo ship holding onto only her children and memories of her life to meet my abuelo in the United States. Each anecdote is the same but is always slightly altered in some way depending on the storyteller’s mood and time that I plead for their retelling. Some days they’re drawn out, told with prideful smiles, but often they’re said quickly with an ache to forget the portal of bittersweet memories my questions have sent them through. So similarly goes the many different versions of “Guantanamera.”

It is widely accepted that the original lyrics of the song, considered to be Cuba’s unofficial anthem, were romantic in nature, but over time, the song has been interpreted as a political ode. Brought from the rural regions of the island and to airwaves by Cuban radio host Joseíto Fernández in the 1920s, the song quickly caught on among fans. Fernández performed it regularly on his show and, in the tradition of most folk music, improvised and changed verses based on the week’s events. Some days he sang about politics, and other days he purred lyrics that harped about azucar and its rising costs. Still, the song’s opening lines and chorus, “Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera / Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera,” always remained the same.

Cuban composer Julián Orbón adapted the “official” lyrics to the song using verses from Cuban freedom fighter José Martí’s poetry collection “Versos Sencillos.” Orbón’s version, the one most commonly recorded by music artists, used Marti’s lines about a “sincere man” who was from “where the palm trees grow (Yo soy un hombre sincero/ De donde crece la palma).

This adaptation, combined with other lyrics from Martí’s poems that express compassion for Cuba’s poor, is ultimately what turned “Guantanamera” into the country’s most recognized patriotic anthem. In the U.S. and internationally, the song has been interpreted and adopted as a rally for peace (in 2004, for instance, the Swedish government flipped it into an offbeat rap song to promote recycling) and performed by a wide range of artists. In 1966, the Sandpipers did a version that became an international hit, and in the years that followed, singers like Jimmy Buffett, Pitbull and even the Fugees recorded their own editions. My personal favorite is the one sung by Cuban-born singer Celía Cruz on her album “Bravo” in 1967.

My Spanish has never quite allowed me to communicate with my abuelo in his native language fluently, but “Guantanamera” has let me do so.

Most conversations with my abuelo come with a melding of his so-so English and my mediocre Spanish. Together, we’re able to find a common ground that allows us to make each other laugh, exchange “te quiero mucho muchos” and grants me the ability to learn about the family and life he was forced to leave behind. In worse case scenarios, my abuela, a retired Spanish teacher, or my mother will intervene to translate. But when it comes to “Guantanamera,” abuelo and I have never needed assistance. Together, we’ve sung the song, our separately known variants, not always familiar with the lines each other sings but always well aware that in those moments they fill us with a deep love for each other and the versions of Cuba we both know.

Recently, during a visit with my abuelos, we sat together in their snug living room listening to Celía Cruz’s illustrious take of “Guantanamera” as her throaty voice sang over flute trills and drums. Old pictures of primos and tias looked down at us from the walls as we first listened carefully to the lyrics.

There’s no knowing what will prompt one of the Cubans in my family to break out into song. My most playful tía will chorus a line to tell stories; my brother does it at the dinner table even though he knows he’ll be told it’s rude, and my mother does it when she wants you to be in a better mood. Like them, my abuelos and I couldn’t help ourselves as Celía’s lively low-range voice started the chorus. Not against the charms of “Guantanamera.” Soon enough, abuela, abuelo and I were all singing the different Spanish versions of the song we hold dear.

Truthfully, if ever there was a moment that I thought I could burst from feeling so whole, it was sitting there in their living room, watching as the burden of my abuelo’s struggles of exile, always easy to decipher in his quietly distracted stares, seemed almost completely forgotten as he sang with pure delight.

“Guantanamera” is a song that has had a rhythmic presence in my life for as long as I can remember.

Like the smell of aftershave on my abuelo’s worn blue guayabera and the cheekiness of my abuela’s wily grin, I could make out that song anywhere, even despite the many versions it holds. Including the one I’ve heard my abuelo hum while brushing his teeth and the one my mother tries to keep in tune to while singing along to Cruz as she drives in the car. Like the different impressions of the song, Cuba is a country that has been strongly woven into our different narratives. Still, while my relationship and experience with Cuba will never tug on the strings of my heart with the same pang as it does on my abuelos or my mother, “Guantanamera” reminds me that the island is much more of a home than a foreign place that my family’s exile might try to make me believe.

This Video Of A Mexicana And Her Parents Reuniting After 23 Years Is A Reminder That Conservatives Have Immigration Wrong

Things That Matter

This Video Of A Mexicana And Her Parents Reuniting After 23 Years Is A Reminder That Conservatives Have Immigration Wrong

@aashleylozano / Instagram

So many immigrants are all too familiar with the feeling of homesickness. From the food, the language, the culture of one’s own country, it’s an incredibly difficult process to leave a familiar life in pursuit of a something new. But perhaps most difficult of all is saying hasta luego to loved ones—sometimes for years, or, in many cases, even decades.

For Twitter user @aashleylozano, watching her mother and grandparents reunite for the first time in 23 years was a heartwarming experience that inspired many people to share their own stories of reunion and reconnection.

@aashleylozano recorded her mama as she approached her parents, @aashleylozano’s abuelos in the Portland International Airport. The three of them embrace tearfully in a moment of sheer joy, savoring the fact that they could finally hug each other after 23 years apart.

According to @aashleylozano, her mother left Petatlan, Guerrero, Mexico, due to struggles with @aashleylozano’s father. In order to separate herself from the conflict, @aashleylozano’s mom moved the family to the U.S., eventually ending up in Oregon. And after spending two decades apart, @aashleylozano’s abuelos finally got their visas approved and were able to make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a visit.

The video garnered an enthusiastic response from other immigrants (and second-generation folks), eager to share their own experiences with being separated—and reunited—with family after too much time apart.

This Latina shared a video of her dad reuniting with her abuelo.

This Latina shared a video of her mom and her tías reuniting with their parents after 15 years apart.

This Latina expressed her gratitude for belonging to a family who is lucky enough to be together. She also acknowledged the sacrifices her parents made to provide her with a better life, which is enough to give anyone escalofríos.

Many people mentioned that they couldn’t imagine being so far away from their parents for such a long time, like this Twitter user, who lamented the fact that families ever need to separate, offering hope for a better future:

This Twitter user was also optimistic, wishing that all immigrant families could experience this family’s joy:

And this Twitter user encouraged others to put themselves in immigrants’ shoes, imagining how difficult it would be to form a whole new life, in a whole new country, with a totally different culture:

Many of the replies to @aashleylozano’s original video were from people who simply had a strong emotional response to her family’s reunion. Seemingly endless tears were shed from people overwhelmed with happiness for this family finally coming together, but a lot of folks were also saddened by the fact that they were apart for so long, as so many immigrant families are. But the majority of responses were deeply positive, with people celebrating the reunion and offering blessings and well wishes for their future.

Although many people shared their own beautiful stories of reunion, many also drew attention to the difficulties of being away from family. Several Twitter users cited the deaths of grandparents that occurred while their parents were establishing new lives in the US, describing many missed opportunities to spend time with loved ones because of immigration restrictions and challenging life circumstances.

This Twitter user expressed gratitude for the fact that her mother only had to go 4-5 years without seeing her parents (which is still a super long time!), but that her uncle wasn’t as lucky, as he was never able to return to Mexico to see his parents before they passed.

This Latina’s mother has also gone more than 25 years without seeing her mama, and she acknowledged her excitement to bring her mama and her abuela together again—especially since her mama didn’t get to see her dad before he passed away two years ago.

This Latina hasn’t seen her own mom for 5 years, and @aashleylozano’s video took her through a rollercoaster of emotions.

The internet can be an amazing tool for staying connected and for offering support to people who share our most challenging experiences. No matter what one’s experience with immigration might be, it’s almost always bittersweet, with moments of joy, moments of grief, and everything in between. And interactions like @aashleylozano’s family reunion remind us to cherish the time we have with our loved ones, and to remain optimistic about what the future might hold for us and the people we care about most.