Things That Matter

Hispanic Caucus Has Dedicated A Day Of The Dead Altar To The Migrants Who Died In Us Custody

The first official Day of the Dead altar on Capital Hill was installed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week to honor migrants who have died in U.S. or while attempting to enter the country. The ofrenda includes photos of 14 people, many of them children, who died on their journey to acquire United States citizenship. 

This isn’t the only ofrenda in the capital. According to MSN, Marilyn Zepeda, a legislative correspondent to Mexican-American and Arizona Democratic Representative Raul M. Grijalva has created an altar to honor political giants like Elijah E. Cummings lost this year, and Latinx American activists like Cesar Chavez. 

While the office of Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has an altar with green, blue, and pink colorful sugar skulls, fruit, and Mexican candy. 

The ofrendas come at a critical time where Latinxs are better represented in government, but face increasing rates of hate crimes and threats to their personhood due to increasingly hostile rhetoric and policies by the Trump Administration. Solidarity among Latinxs in congress is critical right now. 

CHC puts their ofrenda on display in the Lincoln Room on Capitol Hill. 

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus placed their display in the Lincoln Room, named after the president in 2018 by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives. Formerly utilized by Abraham Lincoln while he was a member of congress from 1847-1849, the symbolism of having an ofrenda in there is notable. 

“This tradition brings family and friends together to remember those who have died and typically includes an altar ornamented with gifts, food and toys,” CHC Chairman Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) told The Hill.  “We are proud that our altar stands in the U.S. Capitol this week so we can collectively uplift each of their stories and remember the brave folks who sought a better life in our country.”

For Representative Tony Cárdenas the tradition reminds him of his parents who came to the United States from Mexico. 

“To me, this is a perfect display of what our country should stand for, which is for people who are fleeing, literally, for their lives. People who are leaving the country that they love to come and start new in a country that inevitably if they live, they will come to love like my parents did,” said Cárdenas. “It’s perfect.” 

Latinx members of congress put ofrendas in their offices.

“It’s important, culturally and historically, spiritually, whatever your higher power is, I think it’s important because it’s a connection to people that have passed, a remembrance, and I think it’s good not to forget,” said Grijalva, who like Rep. Garcia, has had a Día de Muertos ofrenda in his office every year.

According to MSN, Grijalva has photos of Cesar Chavez, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died Oct. 17, and former House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr., who died October 27. 

However, for Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán, who learned about ofrendas through Disney’s Coco, says the altar is bittersweet because of what it says about our country. 

“I think it’s sad that we have to do this,” said Barragán of the ofrendas for dead migrants.  “We have to continue to honor them and their memory to remind ourselves of the fight that we have now and need to continue to forge ahead. But we shouldn’t have to do ofrendas for migrants that are dying on U.S. soil.”

Representative Peter Aguilar echoed the sentiment. Aguilar, who keeps photos of his deceased relatives including his grandmother, believes the altar is a great way for CHC, in particular, to acknowledge the issue with ICE. 

“You don’t want to ever see anybody up there but I think it’s an appropriate way for CHC to honor our culture and honor those individuals who made the sacrifice and the journey,” said Aguilar.

Members of Congress say the ofrendas could humanize migrants to others. 

After seeing a photo of Oscar and Valeria Ramirez, a Honduran father and his 2-year-old daughter who died on their dangerous journey across the border, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer expressed remorse. 

“My heart breaks for Oscar and Valeria and other families who have perished while seeking refuge in the U.S.,” he wrote on Twitter. 

 Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard believes the ofrendas will remind people that amidst all the politicizing at the end of the day migrants are human beings facing unthinkable obstacles. 

“There’s a lot of attention on the wall and all these other things, and my concern is that we’re losing the focus in terms of that we are talking about people who are escaping horrific conditions in their country, that they’re good people, they’re looking for a better — not just a better life, but just to protect their children,” said Roybal-Allard

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President Trump Declares Día de Muertos a ‘National Remembrance Day’ For Americans ‘Killed By Illegal Aliens’

Things That Matter

President Trump Declares Día de Muertos a ‘National Remembrance Day’ For Americans ‘Killed By Illegal Aliens’

Photo: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

On October 30th, President Donald Trump released a memo declaring November 1st a “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed By Illegal Aliens”.

Almost immediately, Latinos recognized that Trump’s “day of remembrance” directly coincided with another significant day of remembrance–Dia de Muertos.

The proclamation stated that the purpose of the rememberance day was to honor the lives of Americans who were “so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.” It continued: “As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and as American citizens, these precious lives are an irreplaceable piece of our national community.”

Trump concluded the statement by saying that we “recommit to ensuring that those responsible for these tragedies face justice, while taking every action to prevent these horrific acts from occurring in our Nation.”

Naturally, many Americans saw this as a direct slap in the face to Latinos who celebrate Dia de Muertos on the same day.

It is no secret that Trump has openly derided Mexican immigrants on multiple occasions, calling them “drug dealers”, “criminals”, “rapists”, and “bad hombres”.

Throughout his term, he has sought to limit all forms of immigration from the Southern border–even asylum seekers. His reasoning is that immigrants from Mexico are violent and dangerous, but statistics paint a different story. Studies have shown that crime rates are actually lower among immigrants than they are among native-born Americans.

This type of cultural insensitivity reminds is reminiscent of Trump’s Oklahoma campaign rally over the summer. As a refresher, Trump held the rally in Tulsa on June 11th–also known as Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery. The fact that the rally was held in Tulsa also added insult to injury. Tulsa is the infamous site of the Tulsa Race Massacre, where jealous white Americans slaughtered residents of Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street” en masse. Either Trump didn’t do his homework, or he was blatantly inflaming historical racial wounds. Either way, the decision was thoughtless.

Of course, many people on Twitter were shocked and appalled by Trump’s ‘National Remembrance Day’ proclamation.

This proclamation reeks of blatant race-baiting and overall disrespect for this deeply sentimental Latin American tradition.

This Latina doesn’t seem to be convinced that the date Trump chose for this “Remembrance Day” was coincidental.

The anti-Latino sentiment coming from Trump is undeniable this time.

This Twitter user couldn’t help but point out the hypocrisy of calling certain immigrants “illegal” when the OG illegal immigrants were white colonizers.

Where is the remembrance day for the millions of Indigenous people killed by European colonizers? Or the millions of Africans who were stolen from their ancestral homes and forced into slavery?

This Twitter user pointed out the statistical disparity between Americans killed by “illegal aliens” and those killed by COVID-19.

We wish Donald Trump would’ve used this same energy when it came to containing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus across the United States at the beginning of this year.

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This Cannabis Dispensary in Santa Ana Had a Dia De Los Muertos Event and Here’s Everything You Missed

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This Cannabis Dispensary in Santa Ana Had a Dia De Los Muertos Event and Here’s Everything You Missed

Dispensaries, especially unlicensed shops, are not known to be the friendliest of places. For first timers, it can be quite intimidating to go into one and be presented with a plethora of products, where do you even begin? As you stand there trying to figure out what everything means, the pressure grows as fast as the line behind you and the budtender gives you simple responses that don’t even answer your inquiries. You probably ended up leaving with more questions than you went in with and picked the best sounding products, but don’t really know what you got or what to do with it.

Tropicanna is here to change that narrative.

The dispensary, which is located in Santa Ana, serves and delivers to the greater Orange County area, including Anaheim, Irvine, and all the way to San Clemente. You can spot the shop from blocks away, the bright turquoise and pink building is easily discernible among the surrounding storefronts. The inspiration for the decor and color scheme is tied back to the original Tropicana Club in Havana Cuba, mixed with Miami vibes and culture for a modern and Instagrammable experience.

“At Tropicanna, we want people to have fun and feel at home,” co-owner JP told mitú. “When people walk into the shop, we want them to forget about all the other bad experiences they’ve had. We’re here to help, whether it be with medicinal or recreational cannabis, we want everyone to feel comfortable enough to ask all the questions they have and leave our store confident with their choices.” 

Having been to various dispensaries, I can confidently attest to the fact that their customer service team is unparalleled. Seriously. At no point in time did I feel rushed, and when I talked to the reps it was like I was talking with a friend. The shop is well stocked in all types of products, and the customer service reps were able to help me figure out which ones were right for me based on the experience I wanted to have. I even ended up leaving with a couple of products for my mom (she needs her chocolatitos to help her go to sleep).

Not only is Tropicanna changing the customer experience game, they are also inviting the community to get involved and participate in the various events they host, the most recent of which was for Dia De Los Muertos.

“We would be nothing without our community,” continued JP, “so we wanted to let them know that we appreciate them and are proud to be a part of it. That was where the inspiration for the event came in. At the end of the day, at Tropicanna we want to stand out in the experience we provide but also community presence.”

The main event setup was in the parking lot, but there was plenty to see inside the shop. As soon as you walked in you were able to sign up for a giveaway, which was complete with products from the vendors stationed outside. Cempasuchil flowers and calaveras were everywhere, most of the staff was in full calavera makeup, and there was even an altar!


If you purchased any products from the companies that were sponsoring the event, you got some free treats from the vendors outside. 👀

Food was provided by @chef_flip_fantabulas

Chef Rudy, the founder of @cannabiscateredevents, has figured out how to take delicious food and elevate it. He’s at Tropicanna every Tuesday with a weekly rotating menu. This time he made carne asada esquites that were so good, just thinking about them is making me hungry. The meal was not infused, but Chef Rudy encourages customers to season and infuse their food at home with products you can purchase inside Tropicanna! Check out his IG for more info.

Nomad Cocktail Co.

I needed something to wash down my esquites, so I went over to @nomadcocktailco and got a mocktail. Maddi, the business owner and former bartender, works with products from @kan_ade_ and Cannabis Quenchers to create specialty drinks that are as delicious and potent as they are pretty. My favorites were the piña drink with the chamoy rim and the blueberry pomegranate, complete with a cempasuchil flower 😋 Check out @nomadcocktailco and @kan_ade_ for more!

La Familia

By far one of my favorite brands, La Familia is Los Angeles based and Latino owned and operated, which is rare in the cannabis industry. I first discovered them when they launched their infused chocolates, which come in flavors like Mazapan, Fresas con Crema, and Cajeta, just to name a few. This time Tania Noyola, the brand ambassador, introduced me to some of their newer products such as their Chocolate Abuelita cookies and their Churro Rice Krispie (both super yum), and their aguas frescas, which come in flavors such as Horchata, Mango, Fresa, and even Limón con Pepino! Rumor has it they even have some chile covered gummies dropping in the next few months. @lafamiliachocolate is definitely a brand you’re going to want to keep tabs on.

Wonderbrett

Wonderbrett is another Los Angeles local vendor and they brought with them artist @eternallovetribe, well known for collaborating with BJ The Chicago Kid and bringing his design to life. The design is now the packaging for one of Wonderbrett’s most popular strains, “Black Orchid,” which is “perfect for relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, and pain.” It was really cool to watch @eternallovetribe’s art process as they created a custom piece for the event. Check out Wonderbrett’s website here.

Humboldt’s Finest Farms

What makes Humboldt’s Finest Farms different from all the other brands? For starters, they are a co-op of 3 farmers who are all about sustainability and giving back to the community. From the way they grow their plants to the biodegradable packaging, everything that Humboldt Farms does is with intention. Their goal is to produce the highest quality products in the most natural way. Click this link to check out their website.

Dreamt Products

Another minority owned business! Created by Latina scientist, Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, Dreamt Products began when the founder started suffering from insomnia. Dr. Vazquez Mitchell had been working with cannabis since she was 17 years old, and decided to take her experience and combine it with her education to find a natural solution to her problem. Today, Dreamt Products has tinctures and vapes designed to help you get the sleep you need. Click here to find out more!

If you still had room for dessert, Afters Ice Cream was there to satisfy your craving.

Naturally, I went with their mango sorbet and added tajin and chamoy. Not available infused, but still delicious 😉

If you missed the event, don’t fret! Tropicanna told mitú they’re planning on having at least one event every month. As far as what else we have to look forward to in November, they’re having major markdowns for Black Friday and will be having even more for delivery on Cyber Monday. Check out Tropicanna’s website for more info!

Tropicanna can be found at 1628 S. Grand Ave, Santa Ana CA 92705

Questions? Call (714)701-8186 for more information.

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