Things That Matter

A Crowd Of People Prevented Tragedy From Happening When A Ride Began To Dangerously Tip Over

The word hero is so often associated with tights and special powers but we’re more interested in everyday heroes. Those people who come together in a moment of need or tragedy and find a way to make the situation better. We’re talking about the neighbors who help each other during hard times and the strangers who come to someone’s aid without expecting any thanks. 

Those are the heroes we like to hear about and we’ve found an amazing story of such heroes coming out of Mexico. 

When a ride at a fair in Mexico began to tilt and fall, it was saved by a group of fairgoers in one of the most incredible rescues we’ve ever seen. 

Twitter / @DetJessRamirez

A video sharing the daring rescue popped up on Reddit’s r/HumansBeingBros sub-thread on August 2nd. The video shows an event at a local fair in Durango, Mexico. In the video, we see the tall yellow, green and blue spire of an Eiffle Tower-inspired gondola ride as it begins to tilt. Among the chaos of the rescue, the video also shows us that the ride was active with passengers gliding towards the tilting tower. 

Almost right away, fairgoers surrounding the base spring into action — together, pushing the tower in the opposite direction it’s falling in order to right it. Once the fixture has been pushed enough towards its base, more good Samaritans grab at the bottom of the tower and use their weight to pull it down to its rightful place. In the end, everyone on the ride was safe and the helpful fair goers continued their fun with little fanfare. 

What’s most impressive about this rescue is that we don’t know the names of these saviors. The ground of fairgoers who helped rescue this ride hasn’t been named. They did a heroic deed just because it needed to be done. They probably saved lives with their actions but did not expect a “thank you” for doing so.

Reddit users were just as amazed as we are and had a lot to say about the rescue. 

Reddit / r/HumansBeingBros

As these comments point out, this was an amazing act of strength. It was only able to be accomplished by the collective power of the group. The added adrenaline that everyone was feeling no doubt helped a lot with this impressive rescue but this show of community is so important, especially in face of the recent attacks on Latinx folk.

Some people saw this video and swore off carnival and fair rides altogether. 

Reddit / r/HumansBeingBros

We totally get it. Watching this makes us what to skip the Ferris wheel next time the carnival is in town. However, as one comment by @PennythePup pointed out, traveling carnival rides are actually safer and more regulated than the kinds of rides you find at an amusement park. These traveling rides have to pass regular safety inspections while the amusement park ones do not. This kind of makes us rethink any future visits to California Adventure. 

One comment pointed out the irony of the French-themed ride in the Mexican town.

Reddit / r/HumansBeingBros

This comment reminded us that France and Mexico haven’t always had the most friendly relationship. The Battle of Puebla — when Mexican soldiers drove out the French occupation — was over 150 years ago. We doubt this was any kind of intentional revenge by the French, as this comment jokes, but it’s a funny coincidence nonetheless. 

Another comment pointed out that — had this happened in the United States — it would have been a much bigger deal. 

Reddit / r/HumansBeingBros

This daring rescue didn’t get nearly the kind of coverage it would have in the States. There isn’t much info about it now but, had it happened in the US, it probably would have been all over the news. Knowing how news travels in America, this observation is probably true. 

Mostly, the comments centered around how helpful and welcoming the people of Mexico are. 

Reddit / r/HumansBeingBros

The thread soon turned into a place to share other amazing experiences of Mexican people coming to the rescue. Whether it was a spontaneous invitation to a quinceañera or saving the day after a car accident, the Reddit thread filled up with experiences with and appreciations for everyday Mexican and Mexican-American citizens. 

While this rescue didn’t get a lot of press, we can’t ignore how amazing it was and give props to the nameless Durango heroes who saved the day.   

Watch the full rescue below!

The World’s First 3D Printed Neighborhood Is Being Built In Mexico For Families Who Earn $3 Per Day

Things That Matter

The World’s First 3D Printed Neighborhood Is Being Built In Mexico For Families Who Earn $3 Per Day

New Story Charity / Facebook

Silicon Valley has become the global epicenter for the development of new technologies, but for every great development when it comes to benefiting humanity, there are hundreds that just seem, no offense, just a bit silly and unnecessary. 3D printing has become the latest real revolution in the tech industry, as it allows objects that are originally designed digitally to become a real physical object.

Of course, people have mainly used 3D printing to make banal objects like toys and chocolate, but this technology has also been used for amazing purposes such as rebuilding old objects studied by archaeologists or printing body parts for disabled patients. So a new initiative in Mexico that caters for the most vulnerable. 

But what is 3D printing exactly? And how on Earth can you print a house?

The technology is not new. In fact, most of the basic knowledge around it was achieved in the 1980s, but it sort of faded away. The increased capacity of processors has triggered a 3D printing revolution. 3D printing is basically laying layer upon layer of any given material, which is generally some sort of plastic but has included substances such as chocolate (yes, really!) and in the case of 3D printed houses, cement.

The home-building process with giant printers becomes so much quicker and ultimately cheaper, as manual labor is kept to a minimum and materials are very basic. Another advantage is that errors are kept to a minimum so homes are safe particularly in regions that are prone to natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes. Materials can be carefully chosen and issues such as leaks become minimal due to the tightness of the construction. 

A community in Mexico will get these 3D printed houses and that is just awesome.

Millions of Mexicans live in extreme poverty, and some of them survive in makeshift homes made out of wood, plastic, tin and basically scraps. This puts them in an even more vulnerable position as floods, fires or any other disaster can basically leave them with nothing at any point. Developers in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco have built the first two of the 50 printed houses they are aiming to complete by the end of 2020.

Brett Hagler, CEO and co-founder of New Story, the nonprofit building the community, told CNN: “These families are the most vulnerable, and in the lowest income … and they’re living on about an average of $3 a day.”

And he continued: “They’re living in literally a pieced-together shack that during the rainy season, it will rain and it will flood their shack. Some of the women even said that the water will go up to their knees when it rains, sometimes for month.”

Rains not only bring financial ruin, but also lead to epidemics of life-threatening conditions such as cholera or dengue, which is spread by the mosquitoes that thrive in stagnated water. We also love how the design keeps some traditional elements of houses in the area. Well done, everyone.

This might be the future of affordable housing, and it has been made possible by cooperation between great minds and hearts on both sides of the border.

Credit: CNN / YouTube

When great minds and generous hearts get together good things happen. These houses are the result of binational cooperation between US companies and Mexican nonprofits (yes, people from these two countries can and have done great things together).

As CNN reports: “New Story is a nonprofit that helps families in need of shelter. It has built more than 2,700 homes in South America and Mexico since it was founded in 2014. This is the first homebuilding project it’s done with 3D printing. The nonprofit paired up with ICON, a construction technology company that developed the 3D-printing robotics being used on the project. ÉCHALE, a nonprofit in Mexico, is helping find local families to live in the homes.”

See? Great things really do happen when political differences are set aside and we find our common humanity. The lives of families in this new 3D printed neighborhood will really improve and instead of merely surviving they will get on living. 

Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

Culture

Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

Jorge Rivera-Pineda / Mexico Broadcasters

It is no secret that Mexican society is often affected by displays of homophobia. Even though there have been great advances such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in some states, the largely Catholic country is home of opinion leaders who are conservative and whose masculinity seems to be constantly threatened by anything that doesn’t spell out “straight.”

Added to this, Mexican political discourse is anchored in a solemn approach to institutions and the myths of the wars of Independence and Revolution, the two historical moments that have defined Mexican political life and foundational narratives for the past 200 years. So a recent painting hosted at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, perhaps the most iconic building dedicated to the arts in the Latin American country, made conservatives poner el grito en el cielo, as it dares to reimagine one of Mexico’s revolutionary leaders as a queer character.

For many, Zapata is akin to a deity and the image of heroic masculinity. The painting is, however, incendiary for exactly that reason, because it challenges notions of sex and gender in a day and age were some parts of Mexico are progressive while others remain under the dark clouds of discrimination and segregation of LGBTQ communities.

So this is the 2014 painting “The Revolution” by Fabian Chairez. 

The painting depicts a male figure who resembles the revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, a cornerstone of Mexico’s Revolutionary War. Zapata was beloved by indigenous populations and gente de campo who believed that other revolutionaries were forgetting the most marginalised sectors of society.

But there is a twist: here, Zapata is naked, wearing heels and being totally gender-non-conforming as he rides a voluptuous horse. Chairez told Reuters: “I use these elements like the sombrero and horse and create a proposal that shows other realities, other ways of representing masculinity.”

Definitely not your usual depiction of the times, but surely a piece that is confronting in the best possible way. The painting was chosen as part of an exhibition on the revolutionary hero, but things got nasty. 

Zapata’s grandchildren have spoken out against the painting in the most homophic way, and things got bloody.

Zapata’s family demanded that the painting be taken off the exhibition because it allegedly “tainted” the public image of their grandfather. Let’s take a minute here and think about this: it is actually the worst possible kind of homophobia, as it implies that being queer is wrong and that it would be a blemish on Zapata’s legacy.

There were protests inside Bellas Artes and university students defending the work and freedom of expression actually got into a fistfight with farmers who stormed Bellas Artes chanting homophobic slurs and threatening to burn the painting in a gross display of toxic masculinity and an Inquisitorial outlook on life and art.

As reported by CE Noticias Financieras, Federico Ovalle, leader of the Independent Central Of Agricultural and Peasant Workers, said: “The picture denigrates the personality and trajectory of the general and it seems to us that presenting this figure is grotesque, of contempt and contempt of the peasants of the country.”

Luis Vargas Santiago, curator of the exhibit ‘Emiliano Zapata after Zapata’, told Reuters: “Of course it’s fine if they don’t like the painting, they can criticize the exhibition, but to seek to censor freedom of expression, that’s different.” 

The painting can stay, but it is being censored anyway.

As reported by Agence France Presse, the authorities decided that the painting can stay, but with a caveat: “But the Mexican Revolutionary hero’s family will be allowed to place a text beside it stating their strong objections to the work, which shows Zapata draped suggestively over a white horse with a giant erection.”

And the image will also be sort of hidden from public view (which, to be honest, might only increase the influx of visitors to the exhibition).

As AFP continues: “Under the deal, brokered by the Mexican culture ministry, the painting by artist Fabian Chairez will also be removed from promotional materials for the exhibition, “Emiliano. Zapata After Zapata,” which opened last month at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.”

Even Mexican president AMLO, who has declared his admiration for the revolutionary hero, got involved, ordering his culture minister to get involved. 

So was Emiliano Zapata a queer revolutionary hero? Perhaps, but that is not the point!

For years, historians have tried to get a glimpse into the man who was Emiliano Zapata. Some claim that his overt displays of macho masculinity were perhaps a way to silence any rumors regarding his sexuality. But the point is that it does not matter, or it should not matter, for any other reason that historical accuracy. And it isn’t anyone’s business, is it?