Things That Matter

These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

Netflix recently announced a few weeks ago that its coming-of-age comedy ‘On My Block’ would be renewed for a second season. As fans anticipate what’s to come for the show’s star-crossed lovers of Ruby Martinez and Olivia, and the rest of the gang, we’re looking back on the poignant moments that celebrated Latino culture in the show’s first season. Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the ‘Goonies’-esque show!

1. The struggle (and joys) of living under a multigenerational roof.

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Ruby Martinez is thrilled to get his own room after sharing it for years with his twin siblings—until his abuela’s room has a plumbing mishap and leaves him with a new roommate.

While living with your abuela might not seem like the coolest idea at first, Ruby shows you can eventually be thankful for having a go-to sage to advise you during life’s ups and downs. She might even get along better with your friends than you do. Appreciate the time you have with your abuela, Ruby.

2. The light-up nativity set.

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For many Latinos who grew up Catholic, you just weren’t ready for Jose Feliciano to wish you a ‘Feliz Navidad’ until the light-up camel and baby Jesus were proudly displayed by your parents on the front lawn. In order to have a conversation with his mom, Ruby needs to put away the baby, St. Joseph, lamb and camel while she’s cleaning the house.

3. Getting your quince dress fitted is a family affair.

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To be ready for their big day, many teenage girls took their ruffled dresses to seamstresses around the neighborhood to cinch the waist and hem the edge. Ruby’s abuela likes to be efficient and has Ruby do the modeling for her.

4. Taking care of abuela’s religious objects is very important.

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Ruby’s grandma was all of our Abuelas when she had to find the baby Jesus statue that was blessed by the bishop. Jamal tries to be technical by telling her it’s toddler Jesus, not baby Jesus, since the statue can stand.

And there is no convincing her otherwise.

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But abeula was not having it. Lesson learned.

5. Nicknames in the family are a must.

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Nacho, Chuy, Coyo, Monse…a nickname in a large Latino family is a rite of passage and Ruby has been holding his nickname down for years—until Olivia comes to stay with his family and he immediately wants to be referred to as ‘Ruben.’ Abuela doesn’t let him live it down though and chuckles while asking, “Since when?”

Nothing gets past abuela! ? ? 

6. Gathering around the table to make tamales is the family tradition.

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Growing up Latino, one of the most treasured memories for familias was gathering around the kitchen to make tamales. Monse and Cesar share a sweet moment (and look) while helping Ruby’s abuela mix the masa for some bomb tamales.

7. Lighting saint candles during a blackout because you have so many.

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Se fue la luuuzzz. It’s always a good idea to have candles around your house in case the electricity goes out, and you can be sure your abuela has *plenty* of saint candles at her disposal if that’s what she’s into. Ruby’s family is on top of it and game night is still possible thanks to these holy candles.

8. Quince. Waltz. Practice.

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What was harder than narrowing down your quince court? Actually getting the moves down. Between your primo stepping on your toes and getting your chambelan de honor to make it to practice on time, it’s all about coordination on and off the dance floor. Ruby enlists some help from Jessica when it comes to getting Olivia’s waltz to the ? level.

9. Going overboard for a quince party is so easy to do.

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Since Ruby is crushing hard on Olivia, he tries to cheer her up for her quinceañera by ordering a giant banner of the state of Texas with drawings of cowboy boots and Frito pies on the side.

Typically one goes hard on a quince to win someone’s love.

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Olivia teases him that not *everyone* wears cowboy boots in the Lone Star state, but she gives him a hug after seeing all the effort he put into making her big night come true, despite not having her parents (who were deported) attend the party.

10. The shining quince moment everyone wishes they had.

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After months of waltzing in the garage or patio and hearing the same song over and over again, it all came down to showing off your steps in front of your friends and family. The look on Olivia’s face says it all—a quince dance is all about who is sharing in the moment with you.

It bring joy to everyone’s face because it’s adorable.

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Ruby is head over heels while dancing with her as her chambelan as Monse and Cesar are all smiles to see their friends so happy (side note: check out that waltz positioning.) Ruby was a great coach after all.

11. Abuela will always get too invested in her little telenovelas.

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One of the LOL-worthy moments of the series was when Abuela lit a candle in front of Monse, asking God to help Sylvia who had been poisoned by her husband. When Monse reacts in shock, Ruby rolls his eyes to tell her Sylvia is just a character from Abuela’s telenovela.


READ: Fans And Cast Members Are So Excited That ‘One Day At A Time’ Was Finally Picked Up For A Third Season

What was your favorite moment of the series? Let us know in the comments!

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Chingona 105-Year-Old Abuela Says She Survived Spanish Flu, 3 Husbands, And COVID-19 By Eating Gin-Soaked Raisins

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Chingona 105-Year-Old Abuela Says She Survived Spanish Flu, 3 Husbands, And COVID-19 By Eating Gin-Soaked Raisins

For Lucia DeClerck, nine gin-soaked raisins have kept doctors and pandemics away. The grandmother of 11 great-great-grandchildren celebrated her 105th birthday on January 25 in Mystic Meadows Rehab and Nursing Center in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

That same day she was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Staff members at her nursing center say DeClerck was pretty much asymptomatic and was in the facility’s COVID-19 unit for 14 days.

Now a COVID-19 survivor, DeClerck is the oldest person at her nursing home, according to The New York Times, and has survived two pandemics. DeClerck was born in 1916 in Hawaii to parents who came from Guatemala and Spain. She was two years old and living in Hawaii when the Spanish flu broke out. Since that time, she has survived two world wars, survived three husbands, and one out of her three sons. 

“She’s just been open with everything in life and I think that has really helped her because she hasn’t hesitated to do whatever she’s wanted to do,” DeClerck’s son, Henry Laws III, told CBS Philly in an interview.

Speaking about her secret to longevity, DeClerck says it takes equal parts belief and diet.

“Pray, pray, pray. And don’t eat junk food,” she told the New York Times before going on to explain that the nine gin-soaked golden raisins she eats every morning might have helped in her survival.

According to DeClerck she has eaten the special recipe every morning for most of her life.

“Fill a jar,” she explained giving NYT her recipe. “Nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.” The New York Times describes her diet as being a part of a ritual that her children and grandchildren chalk up to being just one in the entirety of “endearing lifelong habits, like drinking aloe juice straight from the container and brushing her teeth with baking soda. (That worked, too: She did not have a cavity until she was 99, relatives said.)”

“She is just the epitome of perseverance,” DeClerck’s 53-year-old granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil explained. “Her mind is so sharp. She will remember things when I was a kid that I don’t even remember.”

Ms. DeClerck, tested positive for the virus on her 105th birthday, just one day after she had gotten her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“At first, she said she was scared. She did not like being isolated, and she missed the daily chatter from the parade of caregivers at Mystic Meadows Rehabilitation and Nursing, a 120-bed facility in Little Egg Harbor,” reports the New York Times. “Within two weeks she was back in her room, holding her rosary beads and wearing her trademark sunglasses and knit hat.”

According to O’Neil, DeClerck has a new nickname amongst her two surviving sons, five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren: “The 105-year-old badass who kicked Covid.”

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Brooklyn Abuela Murdered By Serial Killer Who Targeted Elderly People Who Lived in His Housing Project

Things That Matter

Brooklyn Abuela Murdered By Serial Killer Who Targeted Elderly People Who Lived in His Housing Project

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The families of three Brooklyn elderly women who were slain by their neighbor are struggling to come to grips with what happened.

In early January, 78-year old Juanita Caballero was found dead in her public housing unit, strangled to death with the cord of a telephone.

To the residents of the Carter G. Woodson senior housing project, Caballero’s death didn’t seem like a coincidence. It was the third suspicious death that had occured in the complex since 2015.

In 2015, an 82-year-old woman named Myrtle McKinney was found dead in her apartment. At first, authorities assumed that she died of natural causes. It was only when her autopsy report turned up a stab wound in her neck that they suspected foul play.

83-year-old Jacolia James body was found in her apartment in 2019 by her grandson. It was immediately evident that James did not die of natural causes. Authorities revealed that she had “injuries to her face and neck which were highly suspicious”. It was later determined that the elderly woman was strangled and stomped to death.

Through a combination of forensic evidence and witness accounts, police identified 66-year-old Kevin Gavin as the person responsible for the three murders.

Gavin was a fellow resident of the Carter G. Woodson housing project. He was known around the complex as someone who you could depend on to do you a favor.

“I am confident the defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women, was allowed into their homes, and did unspeakable acts of violence against them,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez during a press conference.

In other words, Kevin Gavin e gained the trust of these elderly women by acting the part of the friendly neighbor–helping them out around their homes and running errands for them. But in the end, he murdered them in cold blood.

At the moment, police believe that disputes over money was the motive for his killings.

Whatever the motive, the families of these three women are distraught.

“All who knew my mother would know she didn’t deserve to have her life ended in such a horrific way,” said Juanita Caballero’s son, Peter, on a GoFundMe page he created to help with the funeral costs.

Peter Caballero also expressed frustration at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for not taking action to prevent further deaths sooner.

After the death of Jacolia James in 2019, the NYCHA installed four security cameras in the building’s lobby last year. But plans for an extra 65 security cameras throughout the building were nixed due to budget constraints.

According to the Cabellero’s family attorney, Gavin’s criminal record should have also prevented him from being a resident of the community in the first place.

“You’re not allowed to live in an NYCHA building with a criminal record,” said the Caballero’s lawyer to the New York Post. “He should never have been in the building, irrespective of the clear lack of security.”

“NYCHA failed our families. They failed the McKinney family. They failed the James family. They failed my mother. They had time to do something,” said Juanita’s other son, Steven Caballero to NY1. “I don’t know what it’s going to take for them to put these cameras in the building.”

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