Things That Matter

Here’s Why You Should Be Familiar With Mafalda, One Of The Best Latino Cartoons Of All Time

The little girl with the headband and short dress is turning 54-years-old this week and we’re celebrating Mafalda with an early birthday party. If you haven’t heard about this Argentine comic strip character, here’s a refresher on why she has been so important for the last several decades. You’ll recognize her but it’s important to learn who she is.

Mafalda was created by Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado in 1964.

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Espejos…

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Known by his pen name, Quino, the Argentine cartoonist launched the comic strip on September 29, 1964. Mafalda was an homage to an Argentine character from “Dar la cara” and she is six-years-old at the time she is featured in his cartoon stories.

Mafalda is one tough little cookie.

Mafalda’s dress might make her look sweet, but she has a tough demeanor, with some serious attitude problems. Although she is greatly concerned about world peace and humanity, Mafalda hates soup, so you won’t catch her going ???? over a caldo de pollo.

Meet some of her friends.

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¡Feliz día del amigo!

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Along with Mafalda, some of the other colorful characters readers met in the comic strip included Manolito, the son of a Spanish shopkeeper in town who has an entrepreneurial spirit]. Felipe is the oldest member of this group of friends, and dislikes school, instead playing pretend and reading comic books. Other friends that make appearances in the comic strip include Susanita, Guille, Libertad and Muriel.

Mafalda has been featured all over pop culture.

The Argentine little girl could be found in books as well, which spanned in publishing years from 1966-1974. In 1991, a special commemorative book was published, called “10 Años con Mafalda” (Ten years with Mafalda.) The books were published in English, Chinese and Spanish.

Mafalda’s influence has withstood the test of time and spans the globe.

Mafalda’s legacy lives on in many ways. You can find her on protest signs, doll figurines, sitting on a park bench as a statue and she was even named one of the top 10 most influential women in Argentina. Not bad for a 10-year-old at the time the cartoon strip stopped publication in the ’70s! Mafalda questioned the world by talking about capitalism, the Vietnam War, the meaning of life and showed support of what seemed like a controversial band at the time—The Beatles! Mafalda l-o-v-e-d the Beatles.

An examiner of humanity, Mafalda truly showed great things (and great communicators) come in pint-sized packages.


READ: Mickey Mouse’s Mexican Birthday Leads To All Out War

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Argentine Rapper Ecko to Star in HBO Max Series ‘Días de Gallos’

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Argentine Rapper Ecko to Star in HBO Max Series ‘Días de Gallos’

Rising Argentine rapper Ecko will make his acting debut in the upcoming HBO Max series Días de Gallos. He shared the good news this week about the project that hits close to home.

Días de Gallos will focus on rappers who come up through freestyle battles.

“This series is a snapshot of the world I come from, the world of freestyle,” Ecko said in a statement. “I am very comfortable telling this story. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with a great cast and production team.”

Like Ecko mentioned, Días de Gallos will be a scripted series showcasing the world of freestyle rap battles. He’s currently shooting the show in Bueno Aires, Argentina, with other confirmed castmates Ángela Torres and Tomás Wicz. Días de Gallos will premiere on HBO Max in June.

Ecko is one of Argentina’s leading trap rappers.

With a Latin trap movement happening within Argentina, Ecko has emerged as one of the country’s leading rap artists. He broke through in 2017 thanks to his hit “Dorado,” which has over 51 million views on YouTube. Ecko later followed that up with “Rebota,” the club banger he shares with other Argentine rappers like KHEA, Seven Kayne, and Iacho.

The 21-year-old artist has been building off that momentum, especially in 2020. Last November, Ecko released his EP Young Golden. For the EP’s lead single, he teamed up with Cazzu, Argentina’s top female trap artist, for the sensual collaboration “Cama Vacia.”

On Young Golden, Ecko collaborated with more of Latin music’s biggest hip-hop acts. He worked with Puerto Rican rapper Brytiago and Dominican singer Amenazzy for “QDLQQ” and Boricua trap pioneer Eladio Carrión in “Baila.”

Read: Trapera Cazzu Pretty Much Confirmed She Had A Relationship With Bad Bunny In A Super Awkward Interview

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Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Things That Matter

Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Argentina has long been a progressive bastion in Latin America. It was one of the first countries in the region to allow same-sex marriage and also has anti-discrimination laws in many cities. It’s also been a beacon of hope for the transgender community, with the government long allowing individuals to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex.

However, transgender workers still face immense discrimination and that has left a reported 95% of the community without formal employment. To help try and address this issue, the nation’s leaders have instituted a program to ensure that at least 1% of the workforce is made up of trans workers. It’s an ambitious task but the government is already making progress.

Argentina launched a program to ensure better transgender representation in the workforce.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree in September establishing a 1 percent employment quota for transgender people in the public sector. The law went into effect on January 1 and its aim is to bring more trans workers into the formal economy.

According to Argentina’s LGBTQ community, 95 percent of transgender people do not have formal employment, with many forced to work in the sex industry where they face violence.

“If all the institutions implemented the trans quota, it would change a lot for many of my colleagues. It would change the quality of their lives and they would not die at 34, or 40, which is their life expectancy today,” Angeles Rojas, who recently landed a job at a national bank, told NBC News.

There are no official figures on the size of the transgender community in Argentina, since it was not included in the last 2010 census. But LGBTQ organizations estimate there are 12,000 to 13,000 transgender adults in Argentina, which has a population topping 44 million.

Few countries in the world are stepping up to help trans workers quite like Argentina.

Argentina has long prided itself on its progressive policies. The nation was one of the first in the Americas to recognize same-sex unions and several cities have anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.

In 2012, Argentina adopted an unprecedented gender identity law allowing transgender people to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex. The law also guarantees free access to sex-reassignment surgeries and hormonal treatments without prior legal or medical consent.

Worldwide, only neighboring Uruguay has a comparable quota law promoting the labor inclusion of transgender people. And a law such as this one has the potential to greatly impact the lives of transgendered Argentinians.

Despite the program, transgender people still face enormous challenges in Argentina.

A recent report by the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People published in December said “the vast majority of trans women in the region have sex work as their sole economic and subsistence livelihood.”

It goes on to say: In Latin America and the Caribbean transgender people have their right to work violated along with all their human rights, and this takes place “in a context of extreme violence.”

Despite legal protections, Argentina’s trans community remains at risk. Many of the country’s trans citizens live in the Gondolín, a building in the Buenos Aires’ Palermo neighborhood, for protection and strength in numbers.

There have been advances in Argentina. This year, Diana Zurco became the first transgender presenter of Argentine television news, Mara Gómez was authorized by the Argentine Football Association to play in the professional women’s league and soprano María Castillo de Lima was the first transgender artist to go on stage at Teatro Colón.

However, the gap between the equality established by law and the real one remains large, warned Ese Montenegro, a male transgender activist hired as an adviser to the Chamber of Deputies’ women’s and diversity commission.

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