Family, Inspiration, Latino culture, Strong Women, Wisdom, Writing

Top 5 Posts of 2015 – An Authentic Cultural Experience

Top 5 #blog posts of 2015, blog posts
Happy New Year 2015


Are you excited for what’s ahead in 2016? I am.

The year 2015 had its up’s and downs. I think of the ‘downs’ as learning opportunities and the ‘up’s’ as blessings.

WordPress and Grammarly sent me year-end reports which reminded me of my writing during the past year. Their graphic reports were very cool with stats and all that, but I’m not going to post the whole thing.

Let’s just say my blog posts surpassed my 2014 stats in views and followers, a plus in my book.

Surprisingly, all of the most read posts had to do with aspects of my identity: Mexican culture, food, drink, home remedies, and the term “Chingona.” Interesting.

WordPress said,

If your blog was a concert at Sydney Opera House it would take 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see…representing 106 countries...with most referring traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed…

The referring traffic was a big surprise and means I need to keep up with my 20 Pinterest boards.

As for Grammarly, which corrects your grammar, I still hold the title of Comma Queen meaning I put commas everywhere but the right places far too often.

Now on to the “Top 5 Posts”:

  1. Five Important Ingredients for Tamales : The making of pre-Christmas tamales is a tradition where our family gets together to work towards a common goal, namely to make dozens of tamales for a communal feast. By the time New Year’s Day rolls around we are ‘tamaled’ out. Red tamales are filled with roasted pork simmered in red chile sauce and the ‘green’ ones are filled with jack cheese, strips of California green chile, and homemade salsa.
Christmas food, tamales, red chile tamales, green chile tamales, Mexican tamales
Red and Green Tamales.

2. The Importance of Cultural Traditions: the title says it all. If we lose our culture we lose part of ourselves.

3. How to Be a Chingona in Ten Easy Steps: The steps are according to the wisdom of Sandra Cisneros, one of my favorite writers. We can all aspire to be chingonas. I love this image of Sandra Cisneros profile as an Adelita, a soldier in the Mexican Revolution. An Adelita is symbolic of the woman warrior.

quote on being a Chingona by Sandra CIsneros, woman, inspirational quote, women quote
Chingona- Sandra Cisneros quote.

4. Champurrado-Mexican Comfort Drink: this is a drink I make every Christmas since my mother ‘retired,’ from making a similar drink ten years ago. When she stopped making the drink, due to her limited eyesight, I was bestowed with carrying on a tradition. I make a vegan version for my sons and their friends.

5. Latino Home Remedies for a Cold: Back in the day, the standard issue for Mexican households was Vicks VaporRub, 7 Up, honey, Manzanilla (Chamomile) tea for cramps, Yerba Buena (Mint) tea for stomach aches, and caldo de pollo (homemade chicken soup) for flu or colds.

So there you have it, the top five posts in 2015.

I hope 2016 is a blessing to all of you and yours. Peace, love, and joy.


Cinco de Mayo, Latino Family Traditions

Why Cinco de Mayo is more than Coronas

Ad “Corona De Mayo,” creative commons.

This year my daughter asked me, twice in two days, if we were celebrating “Cinco de Mayo.” I’m a little perplexed, as she is not very ‘up’ on the Mexicanada or Chicano culture-her one college class in Chicano Studies does count for a few points, though.

So I ask, Why, mija, is there somewhere you want to go, or to do, to celebrate? 
“Yeah, let’s go to El Rey’s and have some tacos and beer! 
Que-que? (She’s twenty-two so beer is on the brain). Mija, Cinco de Mayo is so much more than beer, tacos, and big sombreros. Maybe it’s the 1/4 Anglo in her that prompted the tacos and beer celebration or I could blame her youthfulness.

Do you know the significance of Cinco de Mayo? I ask.
“Uh, Mexican Independence Day?” She must have missed the section on the historic battle between the French and Mexican military forces in her Chicano Studies class.

Uh, no, it celebrates the Battle of Puebla, I say and proceed to give the following description:

The Battle of Puebla was important for two reasons. First, 4000 Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army of 8,000 men. Second, it was a successful resistance effort. The French defeat denied Napolean III the opportunity to resupply the Confederate rebels for another year during the Civil War allowing the Union to build up their forces.

“Uh….” she starts to say, but I’m on a roll…

…Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity to celebrate our culture and our experiences as Americans of Mexican descent. This isn’t celebrated in much of Mexico, except in the city of Puebla; it’s more of a US thing. We come from a people who fought for justice, although outnumbered and inexperienced, like modern-day David and Goliath. It’s the classic underdog story.  

The battle became an example of the country’s resistance. And for Mexicans in California, it became a cause for celebration. The holiday didn’t begin to pick back up until the 1960s when Chicano activists revived it as a way to the Civil Rights movement.

After another few minutes, I end with “and that’s why it’s important, it’s a symbol of pride and hope. And those food and beverage companies have commercialized this day into Cinco Coronas day and Viva Bud day so I’m not about to contribute to their alcohol sales. I’m about to spew forth some more until I see the slight roll of her eyes upward. 

“A simple no was all you had to say, mom, just a simple no”.  


Que Viva Cinco de Mayo!