Culture

11 Central American Foods That Might Take Over Your Love For Tacos

Mexican tacos and tostilocos get so much glory when it comes to Latin food, but these dishes from the rest of LatAm pack an equally drool-worthy punch…

1. Baleadas

baleada

Looking for a breakfast version of this dish?

Credit: @cocobaleadasmiami / Instagram

Ask for a special baleada, which has scrambled eggs added into the mix.

2. Pupusas

3. Empanadas de Platano

4. Tostones con Queso

Antojos! #cravings #nicaragua #nicaraguanfood #tostonesconqueso #tostones

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5. Belizean Black Fruit Cake

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6. Guatemalan Tamales

Craving Guatemalan chicken tamales? Crave no more… #antiguabread #tamales #highlandpark #90042 #guatemalantamales #blackbeans #frijolesnegros

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7. Refresco de Ensalada

ENSALADA
Credit: LaCocinadeLupita / YouTube

Damn, El Salvador. Back at it again with the delicious cuisine! This drinkable fruit salad quenches your thirst after eating pupusas. The chopped apples, oranges, pineapples and mangos makes it kind of like a tropical vacation served in a glass.

8. Casado

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9. Pipa Fria

10. Fried Yojoa Fish

11. Sancocho

A Salvadorian Animator Is Making It Big In Hollywood, And We Can Only Say “Salu, Maje!”

Things That Matter

A Salvadorian Animator Is Making It Big In Hollywood, And We Can Only Say “Salu, Maje!”

CNN en Marcha

The wave of Latino talent in Hollywood has been widely publicized. Of course we know of the Three Amigos, the trio of Mexican filmmakers who have taken the industry by storm and basically dominated the Academy Awards. Or Salma Hayek and Jaime Camil, who have become mainstream celebrities through their talent and hard work. But there are other stories of indomitable resilience and talent that involve Latin American creativity behind the cameras. Hollywood is a vicious industry where just a few succeed (Los Angeles is full of individuals whose dreams have been crushed by the industrial entertainment complex), but every once in a while there are success stories that make our hearts sing and our Latino pride soar. Enter Edwin Aguilar, who is currently an assistant director for one of the longest running and most iconic shows in television history: The Simpsons. 

Edwin Aguilar is a true example of Latino talent in Hollywood, and how migrants can contribute greatly to American culture and business.

Credit: Agencia EFE

Edwin’s story is truly amazing. He was a Salvadorian child suffering from the consequences of the endless civil war that has enveloped the Central American nation, on and off for decades. As a child, he used to collect soda bottle caps with cartoon drawings. He would crush the caps and keep them. He would also retrace the cartoon characters he saw on the newspapers, iconic images like those of Felix the Cat, Donald Duck and “Periquita” . Among his favorite characters were also Chuck Jones’ The Looney Tunes. Years later, Chuck Jones would become his boss, as reported a few years ago by the Spanish-speaking newspaper La Opinion.

He escaped war as a child and picked up on his passion when he emigrated to the United States.

Credit: download. Digital image. La Opinion

Like many Salvadorian boys, Edwin was at risk of being recruited by paramilitary forces and be made to fight in the conflict. This of course could only end in trauma or death. So in 1982, when he was just 9-years-old he crossed the border and then grew up in East Los Angeles, first as an undocumented migrant. He told La Opinion that as a boy he would hide in the corn fields with his friends, and they would find deceased human bodies and severed hands. So the life he built for himself in the United States allowed him to exploit his full potential. He continues visiting El Salvador to be in touch with his origins, and he is interested in the social and political history of his home country, particularly on the struggles of the dispossesed 

Just look at him working on cute little Maggie.

Edwin, or “Chicle” (“Bubblegum”), as his friends call him, worked for Chuck Jones’ Warner Bros team, and also for Hannah Barbera. Then in 1989 he started tracing for The Simpsons, and he worked his way up until he became one of the leading assistant directors for the show. 

Street art was the trigger he needed to unleash the creative beast!

He recently told CNN that the turning point for finding his true vocation revealed itself when he would look at graffiti and feel like the letters were moving. Edwin’s life has been full of firsts: he was the first Latino to be part of Chuck Jones’ team and also the first to have such a prominent place in the production team that has kept The Simpsons alive and well for 27 years. 

He even created a Latino cartoon that gives us all the feelings.

With Jose Zelaya, he created the show The Garcias, a sort of Latino family animated sitcom that provides us with everyday situations to which we can relate. There is the grandpa who is forever fixing an old car, or the quinceanera dramas that many Latino families go through. He explains that with Coco’s huge success, the powers that be at Hollywood are open to producing Latino stories. Yes, of course they are looking at the dollar signs, but any progress when it comes to self-representation is to be celebrated, a que no?

As The Trump Administration Guts Temporary Protected Status For Most Groups Why Is It Being Extended For Salvadorans?

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As The Trump Administration Guts Temporary Protected Status For Most Groups Why Is It Being Extended For Salvadorans?

FamilySeparationAwareness / Instagram

One of the big headlines gracing our screens at the moment is the revelation that the US has agreed to extend TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans. This is music to a lot of people’s ears – from lawyers, to activists, and of course, to the very people this law is about: Salvadorans who have emigrated to the US. But what exactly does this mean, you ask? Well, read on to find out.

People have been saying that this is an extension of an extension.

Which is a pretty fair assessment, even if it’s only half-true. Originally, TPS was due to expire in January 2020 – a deadline that was creeping up frighteningly quickly, considering we’ve only two months of the year left. The reason why the program was set to expire this coming January in the first place? Because the Trump administration had originally decided to strip pretty much everyone of their TPS protections, and it was only after federal courts stepped in that TPS was extended to January 2020.

This original extension was the result of a decision to ensure that the US legal system had time to follow due process before TPS was completely scrapped.

However, for the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans affected by this new decision, they now have an extra year of TPS – until January 2021 – before they risk deportation. The government has been careful not to dub this extra time as an “extension,” though, clarifying that the period is intended to give Salvadorans in the US time to sort out their affairs before ending the TPS provisions.

This new date places Salvadorans on an ever-shrinking list of people protected by the TPS program.

Credit: familyseparationawareness/ Instagram

However, it wasn’t always this way. The reason why the TPS became a thing in the first place was because Congress created a standardized system for granting temporary protections to people fleeing political and/or environmental catastrophes in their home country. This coincides with the US’ ratification of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, or, The Big Important International Agreement Signed By A Bunch of Countries Saying They’ll Take In Asylum Seekers. It was decided in 1992 that Salvadorans fit the profile for TPS after things got pretty messed up in El Salvador, what with all-mighty earthquakes and general political chaos.

But the TPS program these days is getting smaller and smaller.

Credit: kiezdokumente / Instagram

Anyone originally harking from Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, or Yemen are set to see their TPS and/or DED, or Deferred Enforced Departure, expire between January and March 2020. Which, as we’ve already pointed out, is just around the corner. In fact, the only countries that have seen a reprieve, aside from El Salvador, are South Sudan and Venezuela. We’re sure we’re not the only ones thinking this: yikes.

This trouble with the TPS isn’t the first time Trump and his squad have attempted to root out and punish immigrants living in the US.

Credit: thetrumpphenomenon / Instagram

This has happened so many times before now, it’s almost hard to keep track of it all. We’ve seen Muslim bans, ICE raids, children separated from their parents, attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, overcrowded detention centers, and now this. It’s no wonder that the Trump administration has argued that natural disasters from years ago shouldn’t be used to substantiate petitions to stay in the US.

The thing is that these arguments ignore some pretty crucial reasons why these people should be allowed to stay in the US.

Credit: closethecampsdetroit / Instagram

Firstly, they’ve built a life in the US – whether it be careers, a home, family, or friends. Secondly, a lot of these places are still experiencing a lot of turmoil that would be plain traumatizing to return to. And thirdly, deporting an influx of people back to these places may actually create even more problems for those countries. They most likely won’t have the infrastructure, resources, or even economies to accept and support a huge amount of people. In fact, deportation on a mass scale may exacerbate the very issues that are driving people to cross the border into the US in the first place – and likely just continue a vicious cycle. 

Getting back to the original topic: while this non-extension gives a reprieve to those who clearly need it, moving the deadline just means that the end of the TPS program has become the problem for the America of the future to face. And though we don’t necessarily condone procrastination, there is something to be said about the fact that this new TPS expiry date falls after the 2020 Presidential elections. And who knows what the US President of 2021 will think of the TPS system?