#mitúVOICE

9 Ways I Felt At Home In South Korea

During a recent trip to Seoul, South Korea, I was astonished by how much Koreans love Mexican culture. I must admit that I was a little bit nervous about going to Seoul. With more than 24 million people living there, Seoul is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Would I fit in, or would I have a big “tourist” stamp on my forehead? I didn’t speak the language and never learned to use chopsticks (don’t judge!). But when I heard that one of the most highly rated restaurants in the city was a taco place, I knew I would love it there.

For starters, if you Google “best place to eat in Seoul,” Vatos is high on the list.

Araceli Cruz

If the name didn’t give it away, it’s a Mexican restaurant. I had fish tacos and carne asada fries and they were so good – and I should know, I’m from Cali. Their classic margarita was also legit.

So how much do Koreans love Mexican food? Check it out — these eateries are everywhere!

Araceli Cruz

This is something like the El Pollo Loco of Seoul. You can’t go wrong with Mexican chicken.

And these taco joints are also sprinkled all throughout Seoul.

Araceli Cruz

I spotted them everywhere. It was hard to eat local Korean food when so many awesome Mexican restaurants were around!

They also have incredible street food. This is a quesadilla/empanada with an egg.

Araceli Cruz

Lettuce, pork, cheese, and cream. It’s insanely good.

I didn’t see any eloteros, but I found these packaged elotes.

Araceli Cruz

I found these treats at a convenient store. They’re perfectly packaged, too.

Churros are also a big thing in Seoul.

Araceli Cruz

They have a huge variety of sizes, different shapes and chocolate dips too!

Not only are Koreans into Mexican food, they also appreciate Mexican-American pop culture. If this Speedy Gonzalez doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what will.

Araceli Cruz

Koreans are famously known to be fashion trendsetters, and I saw this jacket a cute boutique in the Gangnam District. If you’re not familiar with this uber-cool area, perhaps this pop hit song will make you want to visit.

And I almost died when I caught “La Bamba” on TV.

Araceli Cruz

This was a great way to learn a few words in Korean.

They have really great open markets, known to us as swap meets or mercados.

Araceli Cruz

There are three major open markets in Seoul, which are Namdaemun market, Gwangjang market, and Garak Market. With tons of food, clothing, and products, these swap meets are a great way to get a real taste of local culture. Each one is very different but they all have one thing in common: you can get anything you could ever want at a very good price.

Thanks, Seoul, for making me feel at home. It’s like I never left L.A.

Araceli Cruz

Visiting Seoul made me realize that I shouldn’t be intimidated about experiencing new cultures because surprisingly enough, our commonalities are immense!


READ: 9 Stressful Moments Every Latino Experiences When Traveling With Their Family

Have you traveled lately? Share this story and let us know about your latest adventures abroad in the comment section below. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Mexican Beauty Queen Has Landed In Jail On Kidnapping Charges, Why Does This Keep Happening?

Culture

A Mexican Beauty Queen Has Landed In Jail On Kidnapping Charges, Why Does This Keep Happening?

The pageant world is popular in communities all over the planet. From Russia to the U.S. and across Latin America, beauty queens (and kings) strut their stuff on runways and display their many talents. But the pageant world is also known to suffer from a more sinister side that often lands itself in the headlines.

In Mexico, beauty pageants have long been connected to organized crime and international human trafficking rings. Now, one former beauty queen has landed herself in jail in connection to these terrible crimes.

A former Mexican beauty queen has been jailed in connection to a kidnapping ring.

A former Oaxaca beauty queen has been jailed without bail on suspicion of being part of a kidnapping ring operating in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca.

Laura Mojica Romero, 25, was Miss Oaxaca in 2018 and the 2020 International Queen of Coffee in Colombia, a beauty pageant at which she represented Mexico. She was arrested Thursday with seven other people in a raid conducted by a federal anti-kidnapping unit after two months of investigation.

A judge on Saturday ruled that Mojica and the seven others will remain in prison for the next two months while authorities continue to gather evidence. Members of the group each face up to 50 years in prison.

Romero had tried to position herself as unique among beauty queens in the country.

Laura Mojica Romero defined herself as “more than a pretty face” during a interview she did in 2019. The 25-year-old, who at that time had just won the Miss Oaxaca contest for the second time, said that the contest had taken an important turn because it highlighted aspects that went “beyond” the contestants’ own beauty.

She put herself out there as an example when remembering that she participated in the delivery of supplies (sweaters, blankets and coats) in remote Indigenous communities and announced that among her future projects included support for the musical education of children from impoverished communities, as well as the formation of women’s entrepreneurship cells; a strategy that she claimed was to combat gender violence.

“We cannot stand idly by, we have to eradicate violence against women, through campaigns and talks that make men aware of this problem,” said the also graduate in Business Administration from the Universidad Veracruzana (UV) to Newsweek Mexico.

Mexico is an international hub for human trafficking.

In its most recent report, the organization Alto al Secuestro warned that the states with the highest incidence of kidnappings are the State of Mexico, with seven; Veracruz, with 12; Oaxaca, with six; Guerrero, with five; and Tabasco, Sinaloa and Mexico City, with four respectively.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexican Singer Ramón Vega Rewrites Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ in Spanish

Latidomusic

Mexican Singer Ramón Vega Rewrites Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ in Spanish

Ramón Vega is taking a classic hit and reinventing it for a new generation. The Mexican singer-songwriter is making history with his debut single “Contigo Mami,” a Spanish take on Roy Orbison’s beloved song “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

Ramón Vega is the youngest Mexican artist to co-write on a Roy Orbison song.

At 15 years old, Vega is the youngest Mexican artist to share a co-write with the late Orbison, who died in December 1988. Orbison’s estate heard Vega’s “Contigo Mami” and signed off on his regional Mexican version of the song.

Orbison took “Oh, Pretty Woman” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964. After his death, the song grew in popularity when it was featured as the theme to the 1990 movie Pretty Woman, which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Not only is Vega reintroducing the classic to his Latino audience, but he’s also schooling his Gen-Z crowd on the Orbison opus.

“I’m so excited to finally put my first single out,” Vega said in a statement. “Alex and the team really got behind my vision and helped me reach this point. ‘Contigo Mami’ is everything I hoped my sound would be. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.”

Vega updates “Oh, Pretty Woman” with regional Mexican music influence.

Not only does Vega give “Oh, Pretty Woman” a Mexican touch, but there’s also a reggae music influence on “Contigo Mami.” He calls out for the woman of his eye in both Spanish and English, evoking Orbison’s timeless chorus. Vega sounds beyond his years with this familiar yet fresh serenade. In the music video, he’s vibing with a pink-haired girl on a motorcycle.

Vega comes from a family of regional Mexican music stars like his uncle, the late Sergio “El Shaka” Vega, and his older brother, Cornelio Vega Jr.  Eleven years ago Dominican-American pop star Prince Royce carved out a career for himself with his bachata take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Expect the same success for Vega with “Contigo Mami.”

READ: Get In The Valentine’s Day Mood With This Playlist Of Spanish-Language Love Songs

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com