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11 Ways To Get A Cuban To Love You Forever

Instagram / @sierrasuggs

Ok, let’s say you’re trying to woo a Cuban. First off: Congratulations. You have excellent taste. Second, while we’re not all the same, there are definitely a few things that unite all Cubans, especially when it comes to winning our hearts. We’re here to help you figure that out so, let’s get to it:

Pastelitos de guayaba.

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Credit:  Instagram / @miamando

There are few things in this world more beautiful than a pastelito de guayaba. And when it comes to romance, a really good pastelito — perfectly flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside — will beat out a box of chocolates every time.

A Cuban sandwich, properly made.

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Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / jeffreyw

The “properly made” part is key here. For some reason, people love to remix Cuban sandwiches in truly absurd and sometimes downright horrifying ways. (Just today I saw an image of a Cuban sandwich that contained lettuce and, reader, I nearly fainted.) Why mess with a classic? Leave off the chipotle mayo. Throw the braised, pork-kissed kale compote or whatever right into the trash. Just give us a perfectly-pressed combination of pork, ham, mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese on Cuban bread. That’s what love tastes like.

Chisme.

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Credit: MakeAGif

True, lots of different people love chisme, but for Cubans, it’s a WAY OF LIFE. Bring us the gift of good chisme and we are yours forever.

Really, really good coffee.

Pouring a Cafe Cubano at Versailles, Miami, FL
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / vxla

We’re not talking about the lukewarm, bean-kissed tears most people call coffee. We mean good, strong Cuban coffee. Caliente, amargo, espeso y fuerte. The kind you only need a teeny tiny little cup for, or else you’ll literally die.

Keeping the Scarface jokes to a minimum.

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Credit: Universal Pictures / NeoGAF

Look, we’re never going to stop people from quoting this movie. Tony Montana is probably the most famous fictional-Cuban-played-by-a-New-York-Italian-dude of all time. So let’s just space the quotes far apart. Maybe we can all agree not to shout “say hello to my little friend” during hookups? Is everyone cool with that?

The scent of violetas.

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Credit: Instagram / @sierrasuggs

Every (ok, most) Cuban children grew up smelling like they rolled around in a field of violets. For to many of us, that scent is one of nostalgia, harkening back to a simpler, better-smelling time before things like nervous sweat attacks and Axe body spray.

Not asking us when we’re going “back to” Cuba.

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Credit: NBC / Tumblr

Not only are there those among us who have never set foot in Cuba, but this is a fraught and sometimes pretty personal question in general. I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but now things are awkward between us. Nothing more pastelitos can’t take care of, but still.

Understanding what we mean when we talk with our hands.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

Shaking hands up and down can mean “ya se formó” or “I’m so excited” or “my little brother is gonna get in trouble for something I did! Yaaas.” It is important to use context clues to know which one applies. Communication is key!

…And our chins.

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Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

What can I say. We’re an expressive people, man.

A cookie tin that actually contains cookies.

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Credit: Instagram / @tenderblenderfd

Life is all about little surprises, those tiny moments that brighten our days and keep us going. You know, like opening a tin of cookies (the blue one, always) and finding that it ACTUALLY has cookies inside instead of sewing supplies. If you present us with cookies, you have a fan for life.

Croquetas.

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Credit: YouTube / Víctor Muñoz

OK, YES, A LOT OF THESE ARE FOOD-RELATED. But it’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach, especially after standing at a little ventanita to order freshly-made croquetas from a woman who calls you “mija/o” and “mi amor.” ?

Hope these tips help. Good luck out there, kiddos!

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Credit: NBC / Giphy

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Former Gang Members Talk About The Way To A Better Life

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Former Gang Members Talk About The Way To A Better Life

In their own words: Reaching for a better lifeFor the last 30 years, former gang-bangers and ex-convicts have sought a home base and support from Father Gregory Boyle and Homeboy Industries. This is what they found. http://lat.ms/1QdMhjX

Posted by Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Credit: Los Angeles Times / Facebook

“I Felt No One Had My Back”

For more than 30 years, Father Greg Boyle has helped former gang members in Los Angeles turn their lives around. The 61-year-old priest is the founder of Homeboy Industries, a job training program that has expanded to businesses that employ ex-gang members. Included under the umbrella are a bakery and restaurant.  They also provide services such as tattoo removal, anger management classes and mental health counseling. The Los Angeles Times interviewed former gang members who escaped gang life with the help of Homeboy Industries, asking them to reveal what helps them stay on the path of positivity.

READ: Could The U.S. Be Blamed For Gang Violence In El Salvador?

Did this video change the way you think about a gang member’s state of mind? Click on the share button below to discuss with your friends.

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