things that matter

These Homeless Latino Want To Go Home, But They Need Your Help

Homelessness affects people from all walks of life. Enter Miracle Messages, a social startup that tries to use the power of social media to reconnect those who don’t have a place to live with a loved one. Among those they are trying to help are Latinos like Danny Vargas.

Credit: Miracle Messages/YouTube

Vargas is a Vietnam War veteran living in San Jose, Calif. He hasn’t spoken to his son, a doctor who lives in Tempe, Ariz., in more than 15 years.

The organization recruits volunteers to go out and ask people living on the street, like Manuel Cordero, Jr.,  if they’d like to send a message to a family member.

Credit: Miracle Messages/YouTube

Miracle Messages then uploads the video to its website, YouTube, and its social media feeds in hopes that it reaches its intended recipient. In the video below, for example, Miguel Alexander Escalante, is hoping that his mother, Miguelina Escalante, learns that her son is still alive.

Credit: Miracle Message/YouTube

The videos aren’t always successful. Lorenzo Castañeda, for example, is still trying to reach a family member.

Credit: Miracle Messages/YouTube

But when a miracle message reaches its intended recipient, sometimes that leads to that person finding a home. That’s what happened to Isaac Avila, who hadn’t seen his family in over 40 years.


It goes without saying that Miracle Messages is providing a wonderful service. After all, in the words of minister Kirk Franklin, as featured in Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam,” “You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again.” Unfortunately doing good comes at a cost, which is why the organization has launched a crowdfunding effort to expand their services. You can donate here.


READ: The Latest Genre To Take “Music City, USA” By Storm? Mariachi, Of Course!

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Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic

Things That Matter

Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic

sashamerci / flavioalberth / Instagram

The Dominican Republic has been dealing with some really horrible press lately. Hundreds of people are falling ill while visiting the island and 11 tourists from the U.S. have died since last May. A bulk of the deaths occurred in the last couple of months and people are getting concerned. However, some people are trying to make sure the entire country isn’t thrown away because of this news.

The Dominican Republic is facing some really hard press lately and it has people concerned.

Credit: @davidalangrier / Twitter

There are at least 11 Americans who have died while in the Dominican Republic or shortly after coming home from their vacations. Hundreds more have reported falling extremely ill while on vacation. The most notable examples of people falling ill are at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. According to reports, the culprit is the liquor in the minibars in the guest rooms.

The stories have people on edge about possible trips and outings to and in the Dominican Republic.

While everyone is showing legitimate concern or cracking jokes, Dominicans are getting pretty upset about the collective call to cancel the DR. Not only are they bothered that their home country is being treated with such disrespect.

Jokes aside, here are some reasons people want you to stop trying to cancel the Dominican Republic.

Sasha Merci is not here for you and your willingness to just write the whole country off. Her biggest concern about the movement to cancel trips to the DR is the lack of people looking to find solutions for what is happening in the country.

And she’s not alone.

Credit: jacobbergeractor / Instagram

For so many people, the deaths in the Dominican Republic, while horrible, should not keep people scared from traveling to the Caribbean island. According to officials on the island, the deaths in the DR are not abnormal when compared to years before, however, the reaction to the deaths is at a peak.

There are also DR defenders who claim those canceling the island have never even been.

Credit: wiillygaga / Instagram

There are plenty of people telling people to cancel their trips to the island. However, there are other people pushing for people to educate themselves so they can still go to the Dominican Republic, have a good time, and stay healthy.

Those who are already planning a trip to the Caribbean island are staying firm and telling everyone else to calm down.

Credit: ot.does / Instagram

It does seem like a severe reaction to a level of deaths that Dominican officials claim to be normal for this point in the year. People are joking that they just won’t touch the mini bar to guarantee their safety. However, the consumption of alcohol is one of the main factors linking the deaths together.

A couple of social media users are hoping the fear of traveling to the Dominican Republic will lower the cost of plane tickets.

Credit: @jtripnation / Instagram

Low key, who wouldn’t be down for a trip to the DR if the tickets are just $108? It seems like too good of a trip to miss out on. Cheap, international, and a quick trip since it is pretty close to the U.S. According to reports. 6.5 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic in 2016 and 2.2 million of them are from the United States.

Despite the number of people calling for understanding, some people are just ready to write-off the whole nation.

Credit: imkingricky / Instagram

People were quick to defend the island in the face of this comment. A lot of commenters pointed to all of the things happening in the U.S. and asked why there hasn’t been a call to cancel the U.S.

If you are canceling your trip to the Dominican Republic, there are people willing and ready to take your tickets.

Credit: ohhjani / Instagram

The deaths in the Dominican Republic are tragic. No one should be losing their lives while on vacation in a resort. However, while calling for a boycott of a country might feel good and necessary, it does not to address the problem. Fortunately, authorities are starting to investigate the deaths to try and prevent them moving forward.

READ: 11 U.S. Tourists Have Died In The Dominican Republic Of Illnesses Since Last May, What’s Going On In The Dominican Republic?

Here Are Just Some Sweet Photos Of Abuelas Supporting All Of The LGBTQ+ Grandbabies In The World To Make You Feel Feelings

Culture

Here Are Just Some Sweet Photos Of Abuelas Supporting All Of The LGBTQ+ Grandbabies In The World To Make You Feel Feelings

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and that means that cities all over the U.S. will be holding their own very colorful, very gay parades to show off their pride for who they are. And as much gratitude as we have for allies that show up for their queer brothers and sisters, it’s still an unfortunate reality that older generations have a bit of catching up to do when it comes to supporting gay rights. This fact is particularly glaring in Latinx communities where many families still view straight lifestyles as “right” lifestyles.

That’s why it’s especially refreshing to see pictures of seniors showing up for their younger gay family members. These abuelas and abuelos are going out of their way to prove to society that love is love. Punto. Considering that many of these seniors grew up in conservative, non-tolerant times, we consider it a brave act to support gay rights so publicly. So without further ado, we present to you 20 pictures of abuelitas supporting their grandkids during Gay Pride Month.

1. This abuelita needs to open an Etsy store for gay nietos everywhere

According to this tweet’s caption, this adorable grandmother made her granddaughter a sweater with a rainbow on it as a way to support her granddaughter when she came out. Excuse us while we grab our tissues.

2. This well-dressed abuela is out there being supportive

We stan a queen who rocks a pantsuit to Gay Pride.

3. This abuela has been an ally years before it went mainstream.

According to this caption, this 92-year-old abuelita has been marching for gay rights for 30 years! She’s definitely a hero.

4. This abuela is marching for a family member dear to her heart

As the sign says, this fierce abuelita is proud of her trans 6-year-old grandson. The world needs more allies with as much passion as she has.

5. We want to know where this abuela got her outfit from.

We have a feeling this abuelita has the same stylist as Lady Gaga–and we couldn’t love it more.

6. This abuela doesn’t only support gay rights, she’s also a part of the community

We love seeing older generations rep the rainbow flag with such freedom–especially because we know they didn’t always have the same luxury.

7. This grandmother is woke in more ways than one!

We LOVE how she’s wearing both rainbow tie-dye and a button that says “ask to be tested”. We love an abuela that supports gay pride and safe sex!

8. This abuela looks over-the-moon to be out among the gays

The hat. The flag. The outfit. We can’t! We might just die of cute-overload.

9. Although this abuela is straight, that doesn’t stop her from marching

It’s women like this that are prime examples of what an ally should do: use your voice and your privilege to make a difference in the status quo.

10. This abuela is showing the youngins how to DO it

We love this grandma’s enthusiasm! We’ve gotten to the point where we walk around the parade for 20 minutes, complain about the crowds and the heat and beg our friends to go home. We wish we were more like this abuela!

11. This grandma’s support means so much to her grandson

This grandson’s caption says it all. This is just further proof that having allies in your family can be a game-changer.

12. We can’t forget about Insta-Grandma Baddie Winkle who is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ cause

@baddiewinkle/Instagram

If you haven’t heard of Baddie Winkle, we’re happy to enlighten you. Baddie Winkled is a 96 years-young grandmother who has become Insta-famous for her young-at-heart lifestyle. She particularly favors rainbow-scale colors and is all about LGBTQ rights.

13. This grandmother knows how to make a catchy slogan:

“Grandmas for Gays” should definitely be on a T-shirt or two.

14. This abuela proves that you don’t have to go all-out to be an ally

@eloisa_melendez /Instagram

Sometimes, simply showing up as yourself (and a tiny little rainbow flag) is enough. There’s no “right” way to do Pride. Come as you are!

15. This abuela is dressed head-to-toe in rainbow garb for her granddaughter’s wedding

It’s one thing to show up to a gay wedding, but it’s another thing to SHOW UP FOR a gay wedding. This abuela wins all the things. We could all learn a thing or two from her.

16. This abuela has a few choice words for homophobes

Let’s be honest: we wouldn’t want to run into this abuela in an abandoned alleyway if you catch our drift.

17. Even this abuela’s puebla blouse is rainbow-colored!

We can’t get enough of how this abuela is fusing both her Latinx roots and her LGBTQ pride.

18. This grandma put her conservative beliefs aside to support her gay grandchild

She even wrote a touching anthem in support of the gay community. Check it out here (and try not to cry).

19. This abuela went so far as to IRON her granddaughter’s Bi Flag before the parade

This super adorable and also one of the most abuela-y things a grandmother could ever do. We mean, have you ever met an abuela that’s okay with your clothes being wrinkled?

20. And of course, the proudest abuelita of all time…

@celsohaddad/Twitter

Abuelita in One Day At a Time was like many grandmothers in the Latinx community: sometimes, stuck in the old ways that they grew up in, but when it comes down to it, they love their family no matter what. Plus, she’s hilarious

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