It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and Patch goes Pop is ready to celebrate. Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate the month in a pop kind of way.
The Latino List: Volume 2: This new HBO documentary takes a look at what it means to be Hispanic in a mainstream world. Featuring brief portraits of successful Latino celebrities, politicians and business and community leaders, the documentary is a follow-up to HBO’s Latino List, which aired last year. There are keen insights on growing up Latino in America, some laced with bitterness about discrimination.
But the documentary is heartwarming, touching and surprisingly funny. Some of the stories of overcoming struggles to achieve success are familiar, like those of UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta and National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia, who lamented that “people still question why you are here.”
Despite his success, comedian George Lopez still vividly remembers being so ashamed of his dark skin as a child that he put lemons on his skin to look lighter. Former boxer and current actor Jon Seda talks about struggling to find work in Hollywood, yet being told that he didn’t look Latino enough. “At least in boxing, I can see the punches,” he said.
But The Latino List: Volume 2 is largely inspirational and uplifting, providing a fascinating look at Latino celebrities and leaders you thought you knew. It should be shown in classrooms around the country as a vivid lesson to kids to never give up and pursue your dreams.
El Mariachi: You want another reason to feel older – this year marks the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking film that launched the career of director Robert Rodriguez and focused attention on a new wave of Latino filmmakers.
The story of a traveling mariachi mistaken for a criminal and on the run from gangsters was thrilling and visionary. It was no-frills, guerilla filmmaking that took your breath away.
The success of the original film led to highly successful sequels featuring Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, in their first major U.S. roles. But those films were a little too glitzy, a little too Hollywood. For pure filmmaking joy and bravura, go find yourself a copy of the original and watch it again.
Mexican Made Easy: Learn how to make some delicious Mexican food by watching an episode or two of Mexican Made Easy, the Food Network show that’s now in its fifth season, featuring chef Marcela Valladolid.
Now, I’ll be honest, Patch goes Pop is not exactly a whiz in the kitchen. The frozen food section is our best friend. But that’s why we even we can get something out of Mexican Made Easy, as Marcela shares simple recipes like citrus tacos and classic tortilla soup. (Mmmm, getting hungry. Must end column!)
And for extra points, Marcela is a local, living right here in San Diego County.
That’s it for now. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!