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This Artist Gave Pokémon The Mayan Makeover You Didn’t Know They Needed

Indie artist Mona Robot (Mona Robles) is giving the Pokémon you grew up loving that Latino flair you didn’t know they were missing. But don’t worry. She isn’t giving them mariachi outfits or showing them eating tamales. She is applying some stunning Mayan aesthetics to these Japanese monsters to create art that is truly jaw-dropping.

It all started three years ago, according to Mexican artist Mona Robots, who had just started experimenting with Mayan aesthetics.

unnamed
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“It all started because the Pokémonathon was going on, it’s a creative project were artists reimagined Pokémon in their own style. By then I had started experimenting a bit with this aesthetic, so I decided to go for it,” Mona Robots told mitú. “I’m from Chiapas, where there are several Mayan ruins I’ve visited, this is a mythology and aesthetic I love and am familiar with, I think it’s really interesting and has a lot of potential to adapt to modern ideas. “

The artist credits the Pokémonathon project to helping her create some her first proper digital artworks: like this Bulbasaur evolution.

bulbasaurs
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I don’t intend to make Pokemayas exclusively or forever, but I’d love to set out to re-work some of my favs,” Mona Robot told mitú. “It would basically just be reworking the lines so they don’t look so dated, and perhaps include a few new ones I never got around to make.”

Not to mention her sick rendition of the Charmander evolution.

charmander
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I decided it would be neato to apply elements of the Maya aesthetic and cosmovision to Pokémon because there are so many creative works out there inspired in oriental mythologies, but you don’t see the same phenomenon happening with other cultures,” the artist told mitú.

The artist says she wasn’t a huge fan of the game when she was younger, but she knew enough to reimagine fan favorites like Squirtle.

squirtle-evo
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“Pokémon was a huge phenomenon while I was growing up,” Mona Robots recalled to mitú. “Everything Pokémon was popular and exciting and new.”

Of course she included the three legendary birds: Articuno [Ice]…

articuno
Courtesy of Mona Robots

…Zapdos [Electric]…

zapdos
Courtesy of Mona Robots

…and Moltres [Fire].

moltres
Courtesy of Mona Robots

“I love the concept of creatures with powers and skills based off the elements, and the idea that they evolve,” Mona Robots told mitú. “They are important because they’ve always been there, and it’s something familiar me and a ton of other people can connect with, even if we are not exactly the same age, that’s pretty dang cool.”

She has even given all the Eevee fans something to celebrate.

eeveeevo
Courtesy of Mona Robots

#Hallelujah

And yes, she even drew her favorite Pokémon, Nidoking.

nidoking
Courtesy of Mona Robots

If you want to support the artist, you can click here for her Patreon page.

H/T: Remezcla

READ: This Guy’s Pokemon Go Corrido Is Funny And Actually Pretty Sweet

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A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Culture

A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Jon G. Fuller / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It is important to be a responsible tourist. This means following rules, acting responsibly, and not violating sacred places. That is something one tourist learned the hard way when she climbed the Pyramid of Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá.

Here’s the video of a tourist running down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.

The Pyramid of Kukulkán is one of the most iconic examples of Pre-Hispanic architecture and culture in Mesoamerica. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors descended on the site.

Of course, #LadyKukulkan started to trend on Twitter.

You know that Twitter was ready to start calling out this woman for her actions. According to Yucatán Expat Life Magazine, the woman was there to honor her husband’s dying wish. The woman, identified as a tourist from Tijuana, wanted to spread her husband’s ashes on the top of the pyramid, which it seems that she did.

The video was a moment for Mexican Twitter.

Not only was she arrested by security when she descended, but the crowd was also clearly against her. Like, what was she even thinking? It isn’t like the pyramid is crawling with tourists all over it. She was the only person climbing the pyramid, which is federally owned and cared for.

The story is already sparking ideas for other people when they die.

“Me: (to my parents) Have you read about #ladykukulkan?
My Dad: Yes! (to my mom) When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the National Palace so they call you “Lady Palace,” sounds better, no?” wrote @hania_jh on Twitter.

READ: Mexico’s Version Of Burning Man Became A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event Thanks To U.S. Tourists

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These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

Things That Matter

These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

Despite a slight change in strategy in combatting the country’s endemic violence, Mexico continues to see a staggering degree of violence plaguing communities. Although the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, promised sweeping changes that would help pacify the country – violence has continues to spiral out of control, reaching record levels in 2020.

No where is this more evident than in the communities that have lost dozens or even hundreds of loved ones. Many of these communities have formed search brigades to help try and find their loved ones (or their remains) but they’re also getting creative with the ways in which they work to remember those they’ve lost.

A search brigade publishes a recipe book containing their loved ones’ favorite foods.

A group of women who came together to help locate the remains of their loved ones, have worked together on a new project to help remember their loved ones. Together, they have created Recipes to Remember, a book of favourite dishes of some of the missing. Each dish has the name of the person it was made for and the date they disappeared. It was the idea of Zahara Gómez Lucini, a Spanish-Argentine photographer who has documented the group since 2016.

The women are known as the Rasteadoras, and they’ve literally been digging to uncover graves of Mexico’s missing. Now, they’re finding ways to help remember those who have gone missing. The book is a way to strengthen the community and as one of the mothers told The Financial Times, “the book is a tool for building ties.”

“This recipe book is very important because it’s an exercise in collective memory and that’s very necessary,” says Enrique Olvera, the chef and restaurateur behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York and a sponsor of the book. “It enables the Rastreadoras to connect with the memory of their loved ones through food and brings us, the readers, closer … It weaves empathy,” he told the Financial Times.

Many of these women came to know each other as they searched for their missing loved ones.

The women – who are mostly housewives in their 40s and 50s – literally scour the nearby grasslands, deserts, and jungles with shovels in hands hoping to make a discovery.

Their “treasures” are among the more than 82,000 people recorded as having disappeared and not been located in Mexico since 2006, when the government declared a war on drug cartels, unleashing terrible, seemingly unstoppable violence. Notwithstanding Covid-19, 2020 may prove to have been the deadliest year on record. As of November there had been 31,871 murders, compared with a record 34,648 in 2019.

Their stories of loss are heartbreaking.

One of the mothers, Jessica Higuera Torres, speaks of her son Jesús Javier López Higuera, who disappeared in 2018, in the present tense. For the book, she prepared a soup with pork rind because “he loves it — when I was cooking, I felt as though he was by my side.”

On the other hand, Esther Preciado no longer cooks chile ribs, her recipe for her daughter’s father, Vladimir Castro Flores, who has been missing since 2013. “That one’s just for the memories now,” she says.

“You get addicted to searching,” she adds. The 120 or so Rastreadoras have found 68 people, but only about a quarter of those are their missing loved ones. She acknowledges many victims may have got into trouble because they sold or used drugs; others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mexico’s missing person problem continues to plague the country.

Since taking office in 2018, the government of President López Obrador has stepped up efforts to locate missing people and identify bodies. It says the number of reported disappearances for 2020 was trending down. But the government acknowledged in November that in 2019, a record 8,804 people had been reported missing and not been found.

According to official data, Mexico has counted 4,092 clandestine graves and exhumed 6,900 bodies since 2006. Sinaloa is notorious as the home of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, once Mexico’s most powerful drug baron, now locked up in a maximum-security jail in the U.S. The city of Los Mochis, where the Rastreadoras are based, is currently in the grip of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, known as El Chapo Isidro.

The Rastreadoras acknowledge that they’re on their own, turning to the authorities for help is not an option. As shown in the mass disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014, which rocked the country, municipal police have a terrible reputation for being infiltrated by cartels. “They won’t help us — they’re the same ones who are involved,” scoffs Reyna Rodríguez Peñuelas, whose son, Eduardo González Rodríguez, disappeared in 2016.

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