things that matter

Students Get Huge Success Thanks to will.i.am

Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty & CYNTHIA ERENAS / LA WEEKLY

Cynthia Erenas was a young girl making bread in Tijuana not too long ago. She emigrated to Boyle Heights to go to school, but wasn’t interested in going to college. Then she discovered STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] classes.

Now Erenas is awaiting acceptance letters from MIT and Georgia Tech and giving TED talks. This is all thanks to her work with robotics: she helped organize the first robotics team ever in Boyle Heights and won the FIRST [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] Robotic Competition. P.S. — she was one of 10 winners from 32,000 participants AND the only one in California.

Erenas didn’t do it alone. Musician will.i.am’s i.am.angel Foundation helped fund after school programs like Erena’s robotic competition.

“Students are the future of this neighborhood,” will.i.am said in an interview with L.A. Weekly. “And their future opportunities to have careers, versus simply jobs, depend on them having 21st-century skills like math, science, engineering and writing code.”

Erenas agrees: “When it comes to engineering and science, out here [on the Eastside] we’re always told what we can’t do. But once you help build an environment where robotics and technology and all of it can be fostered, it just becomes natural for students.”

Read more about how will.i.am and his i.am.angel Foundation are changing education in Boyle Heights here

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Songs We Heard at Every Baptism, Quince, Wedding, Sometimes Even Funerals

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Songs We Heard at Every Baptism, Quince, Wedding, Sometimes Even Funerals

Credit: @apocosi_ / Instagram

Most of these made us cringe, but we danced to them anyway.

El Gato Volador

Credit: ElizabethBDN / YouTube

Gato volador? Let’s admit we were all confused and had no idea what this song was about, but don’t lie, some of us actually tried to test if our cat knew how to fly.

La Vaca Mu

Credit: Tropicumbiagrupera / YouTube

White people have Old McDonald’s Had a Farm, we have this ?.

Mayonesa – Chocolate

Credit: Martin Illichenco / YouTube

This is the weirdest food song to ever dance to. We remember thinking, “oh, so this is how mayonaise is made.” Who needs Food Network?

El Venao

Credit: Los Cantantes / YouTube

We didn’t know what the song was about or any lyric other than “el venao” and we only looked forward to doing the hand motion to it. Also, this is probably the most uplifting song about cheating.

El Caballo Dorado

Credit: Mattyass Barrios / YouTube

We have no idea how an American country song would be such a hit in Latino culture. But it’s pretty funny watching your tío trying to dance to this after a few tequilitas.

READ: Only a Mexican Stomach Can Survive These Snacks

El Baile del Sapito

Credit: Gabriel Caldeira / YouTube

They played this at the end of every kid’s party, but it was always the moms who were the only ones on the dance floor. Plus, any song that tells you how to do the dance is always a wedding classic.

El Bail del Beeper

Credit: Danisensation96 / YouTube

It was so repetitive, but SO good. We ran when we heard this song.

El Baile del Perrito

Credit: viejoteca tropical bailable / YouTube

Some of us thought it was a cute song until we grew up and realized it might’ve been a song about a sexual position, yet mom would always push us to the dance floor like “ve baila, no seas ranchera.”

Sopa de Caracól

Credit: La Sonora Dinamita – FanClub / YouTube

This is kind of like the Latino anthem. Even though we grew up here, we learned this dance in elementary – and thank goodness, because we danced this at every party we went to.

READ: If You’re Latina, You Have These 14 Types of Primas

Chocolate

Credit: musicabest1 / YouTube

This was the perfect song for young women: cute men, a good cumbia and chocolate. ¡A bailar!

Don’t forget to remind your friends of your childhood parties by clicking the share button below. 

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