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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After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

Things That Matter

After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

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For one Argentian man, there really ain’t no mountain high enough.

After the coronavirus pandemic halted international travel, Juan Manuel Ballestero set sail on a three-month-long high seas journey to his see his 90-year-old father, proving not even a novel virus could keep him from his dad.

Ballestero set out to see his father after his home country of Argentina canceled all international passenger flights in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Misión cumplida! La fe cruza oceanos

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According to The New York Times, Ballestero had been on the Portugal island of Porto Santo when Argentina canceled international passenger flights. Still determined to see his father, Ballestero decided to set out on an 85-day sailing voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. All on his own.

“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Juan Manuel said in an interview with The New York Times. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”

Ballestero is a veteran sailor and fisherman who has been a lover of water since he was 3 years old.

Still his family expressed that they were nervous about his decision to go his journey alone.

“The uncertainty of not knowing where he was for 50-some days was very rough, but we had no doubt this was going to turn out well,” his father, Carlos Alberto Ballestero said in an interview with The New York Times.

He also documented the trip all while on Instagram.

Though Ballestero made the trip home safe and sound, he did run into a few issues along the way.

Ballestero said that on April 12 authorities in Cape Verde barred him from docking his sailboat so that he could replenish his food supply and refuel his boat. At the time, Ballestero was eating only canned tuna, fruit, and rice. Because of Cape Verde’s denial, he was forced to continue forward with less fuel and rely on winds. What’s more, towards the end of his trip, Ballestero hit choppy waters and was forced to add an additional 10 days to his trip while in Vitória, Brazil.

Despite the complications, Ballestero said he never considered giving up. “I wasn’t afraid, but I did have a lot of uncertainty,” he explained. “It was very strange to sail in the middle of a pandemic with humanity teetering around me… There was no going back.”

Ballestero arrived on June 17 in Mar del Plata.

“Entering my port where my father had his sailboat, where he taught me so many things and where I learned how to sail and where all this originated, gave me the taste of a mission accomplished,” he shared before revealing that he had to take a test for COVID-19 before he could see his family. Fortunately, after 72 hours of waiting for his results, he found out that he was COVID-19-free and able to enter Argentina.

Despite his long trip, Ballestero said that he’s eager to hit the waters again soon.

“What I lived is a dream. But I have a strong desire to keep on sailing.”

Argentina’s Women’s Soccer League Could Have A Trans Player And We Can’t Celebrate Enough

Entertainment

Argentina’s Women’s Soccer League Could Have A Trans Player And We Can’t Celebrate Enough

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It is no secret that the glass ceiling is an ever-present reality for women in all sorts of environments: in industry, entertainment and of course in professional sports. Sports is a male-centric environment and when it comes to professional leagues, womens’ teams and sports figures are seen as secondary to their hombre counterparts. Now, it is a fact that women are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to salaries and sponsorships in sports, but there is a particular group within the female population that is particularly vulnerable: trans women. Even public figures such as Hillary Clinton and J.K Rowling, who have championed women’s issues, have made unfortunate comments that can be judged as transphobic. The world is still dominated by CIS discourses and trans rights have a long way to go. 

Trans women suffer discrimination and lack of opportunities and any move forward is a significant win. That is why news coming out of Argentina give us hope in a more equal and inclusive future. The country could soon have its first trans woman professional soccer player, subject to the approval by the league. 

Mara Gomez would become the first trans woman to play in Argentina’s female soccer league.

Mara is now 22-years-old and, if approved by the AFA, the reigning body in Argentinian soccer, she will play for for Villa San Carlos, a lower-tier team in Argentina’s top league. Even if her team has not been particularly successful on the field, they have certainly triumphed in terms of their progressive politics.

When she was 15 she was figuring out her gender and sexuality, she felt bullied and alone. Until she kicked a ball and everything changed. As she revealed in Politica y Gestion, she wasn’t particularly good when she started playing but the joy for the game and perseverance helped her cross the line: “I was really bad, but I realized that it was helping me. I could escape a lot of things and it calmed my mind. Fútbol was like therapy. I began to devote more time to it. At 18, everything changed when I began transitioning. I tried out in Toronto City and they accepted me, as I am. They opened their doors and saw me as just one more player. I ended up at a lot of other teams until I got to Malvinas, which was where I was last and we became two-time league champions.”

She fully acknowledges the physical differences she will have with other female players.

In an interview for Politica y Gestion she fully acknowledged and dealt the issue of her trans identity con la cabeza en alto: “There are lots of other players who are much stronger and faster than me and they didn’t use to be male. People talk in these terms simply because medical science split us up into male and female, but we have to consider the human capacity to adapt.” You go, girl! 

The league has to approve her contract, but things are looking up.

Villa San Carlos has officially requested an approval for Mara’s contract. As reported by CE Noticias Financieras, things are looking up for Mara and her team due to three factors that will surely influence the league’s decision: “First is the fact that the front has all the studies that prove that their testosterone levels are within the limits that set regulations to compete in the female branch of the discipline. They then rely on the implementation of the Gender Identity Law, a regulation with which Argentina pioneered the guarantee of rights and which, among other issues, establishes the obligation that trans persons be treated according to their identity self-perceived gender.

Finally, there is a case of a trans player who plays in the First B of Argentine women’s football”. If they deny Mara the right to play professionally they would certainly be involved in a PR nightmare! Fingers crossed!  However, the fact that Mara has to present a hormonal analysis in order to be approved is far from ideal.