Things That Matter

Apparently There Are Three Feet Long Avocados Called Long Necks And Like Please Take All My Money

Avocados, much like the feminine form, come in all different shapes and sizes. Most people’s perception of produce is limited to what we see in the supermarket, but avocados are just as diverse as Latinidad. This week, people on the internet are losing their minds over a little known, slender, meter-long avocado known as the “long neck.” Just to be clear, 1 meter is about 3.3 feet. Now that’s more bang for your buck and lord knows we need it with these babies. 

Avocados have become the luxury fruit of millennials coping with the existential dread of President Trumpito, climate change, stagnated wages, and expensive healthcare. Sure an entire Avocado is $1.99 and an entire loaf of bread is $4.99, but the world is ending so who cares if I spend $15.00 on avocado toast? Guacamole is extra? Everything is extra, my guy! It’s 2019 if I want to fill my tub with hundreds of avocados and bathe in their robust omega fatty acids while the world implodes, don’t judge me. We may never pay off our student loans, but at least we have avocados. 

These long neck avocados are popping.

When Miami Fruit shared a photograph of a massive, long neck avocado on Facebook, users were stunned by its unusual appearance. However, the Facebook page assured their following that the avocados were locally popping. 

“The avocados are popping off right now,” they wrote. “South Florida farmers grow dozens of unique varieties not common in any other part of the mainland USA.” 

She’s organic and GMO-free, baby! 

Long neck avocados, also known as Pura Vida avocados, are grown in Miami but they aren’t typically sold commercially. South Florida is home to about 50 different kinds of avocados. (but I find it problematic that not one is shaped like an exact replica of Celia Cruz). Farmers grow long necks organically and without any genetic modifications. That means mother nature made these puppies grow over three feet, not science. 

The hearty gourd is originally from Nicaragua and their seeds are coveted all over the world. 

According to Miami Fruit, folks “even travel the world looking for seeds to bring back to the states to try to grow. This variety, in particular, originated in Nicaragua and is now grown small scale here in South Florida by fruit enthusiasts.”

Yes, you can buy these even if you don’t live in Miami. 

For a cool $47.00 – $197.00 you can buy an entire box of these avocados. If you’re cringing at the price, the boxes range from 3 to 45 pounds. Hey, it’s a bargain if you ask me, that’s the cost of half a slice of avocado toast here in New York City. 

Yes, supermarkets have a diversity issue!

While there are literally hundreds of different kinds of avocados, Hass avocados are overrepresented in supermarkets. According to the USDA, they make up roughly 95 percent of the market.

Let’s keep it 100 for a second.

Avocados are delicious as hell, and as Latinx people, they’re often a staple in our cultures. The United States relies heavily on avocados imported from Mexico. Nearly 80 percent of the avocados we eat come from south of the border. According to Reuters, in April, within a week of the Trump administration’s threat to shut down the Mexican border, as an immigration and asylum deterrent, avocado prices surged 50 percent. Moreover, the cruelty of the immigration policy itself hurts Latinx farmers and laborers domestically. Nearly half of all farmworkers in the United States are undocumented according to the Department of Labor. Farmers are now grappling with labor shortages due to this country’s legacy of racist immigration policies. With threats of ICE raids targeting anyone who looks Latinx, I wouldn’t show up for work either. 

Each time you eat an avocado, it is likely that a Mexican or Latinx person worked on the farm it came from. All of the things we take for granted were willed into existence by someone somewhere. Too often that person is exploited, oppressed, underpaid, and brown. So yeah, let’s talk about how dope avocados are, but let’s not forget about the people who made them that way. 

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Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

Culture

Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

In one many are calling a miracle, some Mexico City residents say that an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe has appeared in their neighborhood, in the middle of a pothole.

Many are so convinced that they’ve turned the site into a holy shrine and visitors from around the city are flocking to the area to pay their respects and offer prayers. But not everyone is convinced with many on Twitter responding with their own supposed visions of the virgin in everything from tacos and heads of lettuce to clouds and tortillas.

Could it be? Did la virgen appear in a Mexico City pothole?

Despite stay-at-home orders, faithful Catholics have been flocking to a pothole in the Mexico City suburb of Nezahualcóyotl. Why? They’re convinced that la Virgen de Guadalupe has made an appearance in a pothole, thanks to an image which residents say bears a miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

According to neighbors, the image appeared on December 9 soon after the pothole was filled for the second time in a row.

Locals told the newspaper El Universal that the pothole had been left unrepaired for two years, but then workers showed up to repair it last week. When traffic caused the hole to reopen, a worker came by a second time to fix the hole. That evening, neighbors say, the image of the virgin appeared on the fresh concrete.

Residents in the area have already turned the new holy site into a shrine.

Local resident Beatriz Noriega Ramírez was one of a group of neighbors who taped off the site and surrounded it with candles and flowers in tribute.

“News is already circulating about the appearance of the virgin and people have begun to arrive to say prayers,” she said. “Even sick people have been asking from their cars to be healed.”

Neighbors of the new virgin told reporters that they felt blessed to have Mexico’s most beloved holy figure make an appearance in their neighborhood.

“In these such difficult pandemic times, it’s a message that the virgin is with us,” said a visibly emotional resident.

And the discovery comes just as Catholics celebrated the virgin’s holy day.

The image appeared on December 9, a holy day for Mexican Catholics for it is the day the virgin is said to have first appeared in Mexico, in 1531, to an indigenous man known as Juan Diego.

Catholics just marked the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day on Saturday. Her basilica, in a zone of the city known as Villa Guadalupe, usually attracts 8–10 million visitors in the days leading up to December 12. However, this year police-manned barricades kept all but locals from accessing the streets near the basilica on Friday and Saturday. All church activities on both days at the basilica were canceled to discourage large crowds.

However, many Twitter users reacted with skepticism.

Honestly, we’re just waiting for our tías and abuelas to start sending this around with a blessing attached. It is only a matter of time before we see this photo all over our newsfeeds because of the very family members mentioned above.

And let’s be honest. This isn’t the first time people have claimed to have had a religious figure appear in strange places.

In 1977, a Latina mother in New Mexico became the first person to spot Jesus Christ on a tortilla. As Angelica Rubio recalled for The Eater, the discovery of the tortilla convinced her mother to set up a dedicated shrine to the tortilla to make sure people could come to see the miracle. The tortillas, made by Rubio’s mother every morning, held a surprise one morning as she saw a burn mark in one tortilla that looked just like the Lord Jesus Christ.

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A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Things That Matter

A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Trump’s vanity project – that so many of his supporters hail as his greatest accomplishment – has hit another major setback. His planned border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has consisted of a mix of government-built and privately-built segments, and now one of the highest-profile segments is at literal risk of falling over into a river. How’s that for karma?

The segment in Texas, which its developer called the ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls, was poorly built along a massive flood plain and now erosion has left it in shambles, mere months after construction.

The “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done.

Trump supporters funded a private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, helping the builder secure $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Now the “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done, experts say.

This ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls is different from those that came before it, in that it could allegedly be built directly on the banks of the Rio Grande – a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

But engineering experts and hydrologists told ProPublica that despite the company’s claims, the wall was built too close to the Rio Grande and is in serious danger of collapse, as photos show “a series of gashes and gullies” along the base of the structure that have severely weakened the structure’s foundation.

According to reports, the foundation for the wall’s steel poles reach only 2.5 feet into the ground, less than one-third as deep as government usually requires. The shallow foundation combined with the rugged riverbank terrain is reportedly a recipe for disaster.

“When the river rises, it will likely attack those areas where the foundation is exposed, further weakening support of the fence and potentially causing portions … to fall into the Rio Grande,” Alex Mayer told ProPublica.

The geography of the Rio Grande has long been a roadblock to wall construction in the region.

Credit: Bend Bend National Park / USFS

A border wall has long existed in one form or another along much of Texas’s southern border. But it’s often existed miles away from the actual border with Mexico, thanks to the region’s diverse and difficult terrain. The Rio Grande Valley’s unique geography includes a wide floodplain that has forced the government to construct barriers inland, on top of a levee system. That has left swaths of farmland, cemeteries and even homes in a kind of no man’s land south of the fence.

Jude Benavides, a hydrologist, told ProPublica, that “People don’t appreciate the power of the Rio Grande when it does indeed wake up. It changes the landscape.”

The contractor has used the segment in Texas to secure billions of dollars worth of contracts to build additional wall in Arizona.

Just this May, the company, Fisher Sand & Gravel (FSG), a won a record-high $1.3 billion government contract to built a portion of Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They won the approval even though the government’s own Army Corps of Engineers spoke out against FSG’s prototype for lack of “quality” and “sophistication.”

But like so many other Trump projects, the president inserted himself directly into the bidding process – helping FSG gain the contracts. No surprise: FSG’s director, Tommy Fisher, has been a frequent guest on Fox News and has played into Trump’s latest frustrations regarding his wall project, promising he would be able to build it faster and cheaper than any other contractor on the project.

The segment in Texas was built using private donations from some of Trump’s biggest supporters.

Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

As Trump faced opposition against his border wall vanity project in Congress, several non-profit groups sprung up in support of his border wall plan. That’s exactly how Fisher’s private fence projects got off the ground.

Both the New Mexico and South Texas projects were built with financial and political help from We Build The Wall, an influential conservative nonprofit – Trump supporter and political strategist Steven Bannon is a board member. In touting its project, the group claimed to have raised more than $25 million and agreements with landowners along 250 miles of riverfront property across Texas.

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