Lotería games with the family can get pretty intense. Before you know it, beans are flying everywhere and there’s yelling back and forth. But what if things got too intense? Like HORROR MOVIE intense? Karas Productions show you what it would be like if lotería characters to life – and they were out to get you. When a group of friends summon some dark forces, they learn that El Borracho, La Mano and El Sol are not interested in fun and games.
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Coronavirus. Covid-19. Pandemic. Social-distancing. This is all the news we hear these days and as important as it is to stay up to date on what’s happening with the virus and how to stay safe and healthy, forgive me if I don’t want a tiny break from all the seriousness.
So, you can imagine my delight when I was scrolling my Twitter feed and saw tweet after tweet about a Coronavirus-themed lotería. La lotería is a tradition soooo many of us grew up playing so it’s interesting to see it get a 2020 interpretation.
Could this be real? What could the cards for el mano or la botella look like in this Covid-19 reality we’re currently living in? I had to find out.
So I sat down with an artist who’s created his own Coronavirus-themed lotería set to find out more about his inspiration.
Artist Rafael Gonzales Jr. (on Instagram as @PINCHE_RAF_ART) has created a series of incredibly unique lotería cards that can really thank the current Coronavirus pandemic for their existence: from face masks and hand sanitizer to toilet paper roll, these cards are emblematic of the times we’re living in.
The modern take on the traditional game is called ‘Pandemia Lotería’ and each card (he’s made 31 so far) features a name and image inspired by our new normal of social-distancing, self-isolation, extreme hand-washing, and even the stimulus checks.
What message were you hoping to send about the Coronavirus and our current climate by creating these new cards?
“You know originally this was a very selfish endeavor. I needed a creative outlet for the new experiences we are all going through. It became a project that helped me to connect to others through humor and a childhood game. Now, I think my message has become one of bringing a lightness to the heaviness of the pandemic. It is a serious global problem, but laughing at our shared experiences is what being human is all about.”
Have you created new interpretations of all 54 cards – or if not, do you plan to create all 54?
“I have about 31 cards completed and 2 additional specialty cards that won’t be in the game I am putting out soon. My plan for the project is to get as many cards in an art print as possible. I have been a little sidetracked creatively with some of the business side of launching an e-commerce [site] for the game. It has been a whirlwind, but people have responded really well to the cards and my goal from the onset of all this was to try and paint the situation in a light form. To sort of change the heaviness of the news cycle and remind people that better days are coming and those better days often include a game of lotería.”
Are there specific reasons you chose these images to illustrate these titles or what’s your thinking behind them?
“Visually la Chalupa seems so sincere and serene. I feel it is one of the more complex original illustrations of lotería, so I thought it would be a humorous twist to associate her with fake news and the dolphins in the canals of Venice that were virally shared. The quaran15 was a simple, self-deprecating joke that ran through my head after my wife started to bake more. From banana bread to cookies, I knew I was putting on weight and gonna be built like a barril after all this. I used to see my grandmother’s use Armour manteca all the time to make tortillas and so the coloring became a play on that.”
Are you taking any suggestions? I know people who would love to see Susana Distancia and Los Amuletos (thanks, AMLO!)
“I’ve received a ton of suggestions and I think it has been great. I think part of the reason the cards have been popular is because they are relatable. I sometimes sit with a suggestion and see if it is something I can put my own twist on, while also staying true to my own vision for the project. Some ideas I don’t think I can do justice to or put in the right context so that is why I haven’t taken them on.”
Will it be possible to purchase these loteria cards? Or if it’s already possible, can you point our readers in the right direction?
“The game itself will be printed in a few weeks. Preorders went on April 23 and people can reserve theirs here and other merch like t-shirts can be found on my online store.”
And Rafael isn’t the only one getting in on the game – even Mexico City has its own Coronavirus-themed lotería game.
Like so many other cities around the world, Mexico City is still under a strict stay-at-home order to help flatten the curve. With so many people stuck at home, what’s better than playing a game of an old favorite but with a relevant twist? And as the game’s creators point out – while being reminded of the measures we should all be taking to combat this pandemic.
The Coronavirus Lotería is available as a download to use as a background, you can share it on social media, or you can even play remotely with friends.
And last December, Google commemorated the game with its very own Google Doodle.
Last December, Google had an online version of the game that replaced some cards for modern talks. The El Apache, El borracho, El diablito, El gorrito, La muerte, El negrito, El soldado, and El valiente cards were replaced with El ajolote (“the axolotl“), El buscador, La concha, El elote, El emoji, El gorro, El guacamole, and El xoloitzcuintle (or the Mexican hairless dog.)
Christmastime is the one time a year that we can truly let our crafty side show. You can decorate your house however you please and no one can say a negative thing about it because it’s the holidays. The only issue is picking out a theme or opting to go with whatever you see at Target. Either way is fine, but why not show off the love you have for your Latin culture?
This year instead of just doing the basic green and red ornament styles that everyone seems to go for, choose some of these lovely Latin-themed ornaments that will definitely get the attention of your family and friends. We’ve searched the interwebs for the best Latin styled ornaments that you can either purchase or make yourself. Enjoy!
A little Frida fun for the holidays.
You cannot go wrong with these festive Frida Kahlo dolls for $13 on Etsy. They’re so cute, and perfect to have as decoration all year round.
A disco Latin-themed Christmas tree.
For those that have more eclectic taste and want to set a sophisticated tone, while also paying homage to your Latin heritage, we highly suggest these shiny retro ornaments from DirectfromMexico for $75.
A cactus kind of Christmas.
If you have some time to spare, or would like to make a crafty side project with your friends and kids, these DIY cactuses are the cutest things to add to your tree. Need some help? Go to Mypoppet for instructions.
Nothing says Christmas more than a star. It represents so much and they’re so beautiful as well. These estrellas that can also double as piñatas are perfect for your tree. Get them at Crafttel.
Tamales to eat and to decorate.
While you and your family IS gathered around the table making tamales, be sure to save some of those smallish corn husks. As you can see from the picture above, they can make great ornaments as well, and you don’t need much material either.
Colorful yarn to spread around.
For a more intricate kind of DIY fun, these MexicanBeautyShop ornaments are simply delightful. And we should add again that they’re perfect wall decor even when it’s not the holidays.
Merry Christmas maracas.
The MexicanBeautyShop also sells these maracas that look great on Christmas trees. But if you want to access this look easier, just head out to any party store and purchase maracas and then tie them to a string to hang on your tree. Pretty easy.
The Loteria cards can go a long way.
We love Loteria more than anything else, so why not celebrate that during Christmas time? For this idea, just buy a Loteria game that you won’t mind cutting up. Laminate each card that you wish to have on your tree, and that’s it!
Dolls for days!
These Latin dolls, sold at Buganvillaimports, are perfectly festive for Christmas. You can also give them away as Christmas favors. People will love them.
A piñata for everyone!
You can get these mini piñatas at any bodega, party store, or Latin store. Buganvillaimports sells them too. If you put candy in them, you can hand these out to family and friends as well.
Ornaments with a twist of fun.
If you have Loteria cards to spare, gluing them to old ornaments works just as well. All you need is glue and glitter and you’re set.
Day of the Dead, Christmas-Style
Who says Day of the Dead can’t be celebrated at Christmas. Bring out your Dia de los Muertos decor and place it on your tree. So inventive and resourceful.
A real fiesta Christmas.
While these paper ornaments are a bit more detailed and complicated to make at home, you can purchase them on Etsy.
Mexi-Galore glam for the holidays.
We can certainly bet you have a lot of Latin trinkets at home. If you have super tiny stuff, you can plop them in your tree, just stuff them in there, and your tree will be instantly Latin-themed.
Tender and sweet, Latin Christmas tree.
These amazing colorful ornaments made of plush and yarn would make any humdrum tree a beautiful one.
Ranchera holiday-themed tree.
For Tex-Mex folks or lovers of Texas-style, we highly recommend these plush ornaments on Etsy.