Sofia Niño De Rivera is a stand-up comedian whose name may not sound familiar. But the 35-year-old Mexican comedian has her own Netflix special, and has even appeared on U.S. late night television. You can see her in the video above clip from “Conan” when Conan O’Brien visited Mexico back in March.
Now, Rivera is turning the microphone on criminals to teach them comedy. Behind bars in Santa Martha Acatitla penitentiary, female inmates experience all the pitfalls of prison: fear, depression, aggression, and restlessness. As a way to help prisoners with their mental health, Rivera set up 10 stand-up comedy workshops. Inmates perform on stage and use laughter to heal. “Stand-up is a really cathartic psychological tool. It has helped me a lot in my life,” Rivera said in an interview with BBC. “Women in prison don’t have a lot of tools to help them handle emotional issues, I think stand-up is something that can help them.”
Women only make up 5% of the prison population in Mexico City, which means they usually get fewer services and care. They get fewer visits from family members, many of whom abandon their incarcerated relatives, according to BBC. Rivera works with the Reinserta Foundation, a non-profit started by her cousin Saskia Niño de Rivera, to help advocate for imprisoned women. Officials at the prison say that the workshops have helped ease tension and are even planning on expanding the program, possibly to men’s prisons as well.
Check out the trailer for Rivera’s Netflix special below.
Last week, Mexican officials launched the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program by beginning to vaccinate those 65 and over. But, just like in countries around the world, the roll out hasn’t exactly been ideal. Many residents in the nation’s capital have reported waiting in line for hours for their vaccine, with some even being forced to camp out overnight to make sure they receive their shot.
Despite the long waits, many seniors are turning the headache into something fun by having impromptu dance offs and even yoga classes.
Seniors lined up to get vaccinated turned the wait into a fun dance off to pass the time.
As Mexico begins vaccinating the general public – after months of giving vaccines to public health workers – seniors, who are first in line, are facing immense lines at vaccination sites across the country.
To help pass the time, many of those waiting in line have tried to make the wait more bearable by dancing to tunes such as disco classic “I Will Survive.”
Healthcare workers outside a vaccination center in a Mexico City suburb got the festivities started by encouraging those waiting for a Sputnik V shot to cut a rug in the street as music played over a sound system. One of the workers even belted out a few songs over karaoke backing tracks to entertain the seniors, some of whom had begun lining up on Wednesday night.
Many seniors lined up didn’t mind the wait since they were grateful for the vaccine.
Despite the hours long wait – with some even camping out overnight to ensure their access to the vaccine – many of those waiting were simply grateful for the shots.
With tears in his eyes, 67-year-old Juan Mario Cárdenas told Reforma that he has lost friends to Covid-19 and that getting vaccinated was a matter of life and death for him. He is one of almost 200,000 people in the Mexico City boroughs of Iztacalco, Xochimilco and Tláhuac who are expected to receive a first shot of the Sputnik V vaccine by the end of next week.
The country is rolling out its vaccination program using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Inoculation with the Russian vaccine began in the capital – the country’s coronavirus epicenter – on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the first AstraZeneca shots were given to people aged 60 and over in several of the city’s most affected suburbs.
About 1.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico as of Wednesday night, mainly to health workers and seniors. The government expects to receive more than 100 million doses from several companies by the end of May.
“Being able to function with minimal levels of sleep. I know I used to do that, it feels so much better to get a full night of rest though.”- iimuffinsaur
“This is my mom. I’m a very heavy sleeper. I don’t function without at least 8 – 9 hours a night. She often makes snarky comments about how she was awake at 3:30 am and working while I slept until 5. God forbid I stay in bed until 6 on a Sunday! Then I’m no better than a bum!”- Smart-Connection6154
“When I was in middle school I had stayed up all night like with friends or something and thought the feeling the next day was pretty cool and funny. did it in high school a few times here and there especially in the summer and again I was so cool. Stayed up all night a few times throughout college, either partying, hang out with friends, or studying. I would still function the next day so obviously it was no big deal just sometimes be sleep deprived. I knew what sleep deprivation felt like, I knew what exhaustion felt like. It wasn’t that bad.
Fast forward to early 30s and I’m a new mom. On more than one occasion I can recall sitting on the bathroom floor with my knees drawn up to my chest, sobbing, I can hear my daughter crying in her crib middle of the afternoon, I can feel my organs wanting to shut down and my whole body desperately trying to turn off. Mentally I was absolutely terrified that I was never again going to get to sleep. That’s no exaggeration. I was terrified out of my mind. I really did truly believed that I was dying. It had been months of nights where I was woken up every 45 minutes, only to be up for at least an hour. I was truly considering myself lucky if I got 3 hours of very broken sleep. Even before my daughter came, the third trimester I was up four or five times a night because I have an overactive bladder that was made worse by pregnancy.
When my second came along, I would have anxiety attacks about the impending sleep deprivation that I knew was going to be coming. My kids are older now, they sleep through the night no problem, if they have to get up and go to the bathroom they go themselves and if they do wake me up it’s maybe once a month. And yet I still start to panic if I can’t fall asleep at night or if I wake up during the night and can’t go back to sleep in a timely fashion. I’m so afraid of ever experiencing that level of sleep deprivation again.
“And boasting that you work 60 hours a week and never take any holidays or sick leave.”- _harro_
“If you work super duper hard and dedicate your entire life to your career you become rich! Everybody knows that! All the rich company owners told us that’s how it’s done so it must be true. They are rich after all.”- DarthTheRaider
“My job says if u call out more than 3 times you get an occurrence (basically a mark for disciplinary action). This also applies to being late. There are also a number of ways at work to get a mark as well. 4 occurrences is a warning, 5 is written warning, and 6 is termination. Meaning if you’re just having a very bad year and need to call out more than normal, you’re out of a job. I literally come into work sick because I’m terrified I’ll have some kind of windfall and need to call out in a no choice situation.
These also affect your ability to get promoted which I am trying to do. And even then it’s no guarantee. I’ve called out once in the last 12 months because I’m trying to get a new job that I’m easily qualified for but competing against fatigue worshippers who haven’t called out in years. There were a couple of times I was literally puking in the bathroom I was so sick but didn’t want to call out or go home (going home early is an occurrence).
You may say find a new job, but there are no jobs right now that pay this well. Don’t get me wrong, the pay is great for where I live and I actually like (eh maybe more tolerate easily?) the job. It’s just their culture I can’t stand.”- MasterPip
“I’m in academia and remember in grad school being so intimidated by postdocs who kept insisting they had so much to do they worked all weekends, couldn’t take vacations, stressed all the time, etc. And this was in Europe so not a crazy work obsession like in the USA!
Made me feel so nervous that I wasn’t cut out for it because I was only doing regular hours, and now that I’m a postdoc myself I can now say those people were just insane. Maybe if you’re in a field where you need to be in the lab for research to happen it’s different, but in mine I’d say you either have terrible working habits or say yes to a ton of stuff you shouldn’t if you’re working 60+ hours every week.”- Andromeda321
“the whole idea of being a ”hustler” and never staying off the grind is extremelly toxic. everyone keeps promoting that you should always work and be productive but that just won’t work. everyone needs a balance in their lives and putting your 95% of effort into working will just drain every bit of inspiration or fun from you.”- taeslid
“I belonged to an internet group with a member who did this ALL THE TIME. No matter the topic of discussion, from working out to watching the Oscars on TV, she would always be inform the rest of us that she had no time for such things because of her job.
She worked as a communications specialist at a small town hospital.”- haloarh
“I think the most jarring part of this paradigm is that the people humble-bragging about how hard they worked and how successful they are never take the time to address the value of:
simple good luck (good health, good circumstances, right place right time)
The message is always “look at how good I’ve got it, and all because I worked so hard [implicitly harder than you because I have this and you do not therefore you must not be doing the hard work that I do]”. Obviously there is a value to working smarter not harder and capitalising on opportunities but it overlooks the basic principle that so much must have gone right for them that is beyond their control for which they now take credit.
The waiting point is a big one for me as well. People who espouse this “hard work, constant graft” attitude fail to acknowledge that sometimes in life there is a value derived from the passage of time. Sure some people get lucky and make millions at a young age or become grotesquely famous due to some twist of public interest but for most people there is a real life value in the experience gained through living your life and just turning up. You don’t need to constantly thrash yourself into moving 100mph, you don’t need to beat yourself down for taking some time to catch your breath and actually enjoy life. Sometimes you just have to keep turning the wheel for a bit, maybe it’s a few years in a job that is really good for your career or a few years just putting money in the piggybank so you can buy your first house.
We live in a world that has commercialised success stories, the narrative that you can go from “nothing” to “something” in a relatively short time using the power of your supreme genius and superhuman work ethic is saleable, on social media (celebs on instagram), in magazines, on TV etc etc. Obviously some people do hit a booster and go very fast very quickly but for just about 99.9% of us that’s a fallacy. Sometimes all you need to do is keep working at a healthy, sustained pace and focus on enjoying your time on this planet because there are no bonus points for working yourself into a state of misery.”- aightshiplords
“Severe codependent “romance”. Twilight is a good example of an extreme case of this.
Also, manipulative, possessive, and controlling behavior in a romantic partner.”- tygs42
“Yeah, what the fuck was that “break into her room at night and watch her sleep” crap?
bUt ItS TwOo LoVE!
Bullshit! it’s stalking and it’s creepy. Him being over a hundred years old doesn’t make it any better either.”- Ruadhan2300
“Also Fifty Shades. You don’t want a Mr Grey, Karen. Women who get a Mr Grey end up in the morgue or in the women’s refuge after fleeing for their lives.”- house_autumn
“Damaged bad boys do not take breakups very well in fiction. See: Anakin Skywalker, Edward Cullen, Christian Grey, etc.”- SamaritanPrime
“Kind of along these lines, when a guy is an asshole to everyone except his girlfriend, it doesn’t mean that she’s special to him. It means he knows how to not be an asshole just enough to convince someone that he isn’t an asshole.”- SmartAlec105
“I remember my mother trying that. It backfired spectacularly when she realized I was enjoying the peace and quiet, so she just beat the shit out of me again.”- PotentialRegister8
“Ah, that was my mom…refusing to speak to me for days sometimes and I usually didn’t know why. At the time it was so stressful and I would spend that time crying and walking on eggshells trying not to upset her further. Now I’m like, uh this was going on from the time I can remember, which was 4 years old and she was an adult…who does that?!”- ummugh
“A couple I went to school with used to proudly compare their relationship to Joker and Harley Quinn.
I blame the Suicide Squad movie. It didn’t show off the absolute tragedy of Harley’s relationship with Joker and I’d say it glamourised it more than anything.”- loneOstrich
“The book/movie that really stands out for me is the 50 Shades series. He’s only sexy/romantic because he’s rich. If he were poor and got rid of her car without asking, tossed all of her clothes, tracked her phone, covered her in bruises/hickeys because he didn’t like how she behaves… He was a total shitbag…. Yet so many women thought that their relationship was amazing.”- DelicateIslandFlower
“I was raised by a single father and started to realize that when I didn’t obey out of fear or had my own arguments and opinions he kind of respected me and listened to me more. That caused me to have a very natural behaviour around men regarding my opinions.
I state them, I disagree and I am not afraid to be unlikable because of it. In the end it’s just an opinion and healthy discussions should endure this.
Also, people tend to listen to you if you are respectful, waiting for your turn to talk and state your opinion well spoken and calm, there’s no need to get hysterical or emotional because someone else disagrees with you. I feel oftentimes this might be a problem in discussions and in order to avoid that, women (no generalisation just because the question is aimed at women) often agree because they fear personal conflict.”- tingletangletits