The game of lotería is a staple in a lot of Latino households. It brings families together, or tears them apart, depending on who you play with, but it always leads to a great time shared with those you love. However, one Latino thought that the popular game needed a bit of an update to make it more relatable. So, with some inspiration and an artistic eye, Mike Alfaro took it upon himself to create new, “millennial” lotería cards. Sadly, these cards are not for sale but they are great to look at. Alfaro spoke with mitú about his inspiration for creating the cards.
This is Mike Alfaro, the brains behind the Instagram page @millennialloteria.
Alfaro, who is originally from Guatemala, was back home visiting and researching for a project when he found his old lotería cards. He remembered them from his childhood but tells mitú that he was shocked at how outdated they were, so he took the opportunity to create a parody version of the timeless game.
The Guatemalan artist and writer has taken the classic style of the cards and paired it with things millennials can relate to, like “El Brunch.”
“It became this parody of taking these illustrations that are already iconic and sort of slightly changing them a little bit to create some humorous contrast within this modern world and the world that lotería lives in, which is still stuck in the past,” Alfaro says about his inspiration for more relatable lotería cards. “[The older cards] aren’t as interesting to us as a phone or an app, which is something that’s more common to ours lives.”
As part of the millennial glo up, certain cards took on new meaning, such as La Dama, which became La Feminist.
Alfaro, who works in advertising, says that he spends a lot of time in his work judging and looking at creative projects or conceptualizing ideas. He says that skill definitely came in handy with this project.
When he first came to the U.S. for college, he was shocked how little people knew about Latin America and wants the cards to challenge the stereotypes he heard from classmates.
“Cell phones, for instance, are so prevalent in Latin America because now you don’t need to run the power lines down to village; now you literally just beam information there. It’s this modernization that people don’t really understand,” Alfaro says. “When I came to college, people would ask me, ‘How did you find the university, did you have internet back home?’ like they didn’t think that I had Internet, a cell phone, nor watched cable television. When I look at these lotería cards it feels like it’s so old-timey and I wanted to show that Hispanics’ lives are modernized, just as much as American life.”
“At the same time I want to poke fun at these stereotypes that people have about millennials,” Alfaro says.
One stereotype Alfaro is trying to dismantle with his art is the concept that millennials aren’t in touch with the issues.
“We live in a time where we really have to use our voices and talk. It might be parody art, but that also means that it’s art and it has to have a message,” Alfaro says. “I think there’re so many things that politicians and Trump are saying about Hispanic people and it’s so offensive. This was my way of jabbing back and having a bit of a message to it without being too nasty.”
He’s also bucking the stereotype that being gay in the Latino community is not okay.
Alfaro says he believes that the millennial generation of American Latinos are a lot more accepting than our grandparents. Even though some brands are still not sure if it is beneficial, marketing-wise, to add LGBTQ pride themes for Latino audiences, Alfaro says that it should be promoted as something that is okay and normal because there is nothing wrong with being gay.
Alfaro has received a lot of attention for his lotería art, with people even asking to make the card set a real product that is available for purchase.
“I am excited that people really want it,” Alfaro says. “I’m actually not marketing a lotería game because I would be competing against the actual lotería. So, in reality, I would have to work with them and if they see there is a market for this. Right now I’d be infringing on their rights if I tried to sell a game that was very similar to theirs, even though its a parody.”
And while Alfaro is letting everyone know that it is just parody art and not anything serious, who knows what might happen in the future.
Even if these never become a real thing one thing is for sure, the cards are funny and relatable af.