November 8-14, 2019
Edition 80

Minnesota Latinx Insights

This Weekly Newsletter shares local and national trends and events of interest to the Latinx community and those who feel Latinx.

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This Week’s Highlights

Bolivia entered a sudden era of political uncertainty on Monday as President Evo Morales, pushed by the military and weeks of massive protests, resigned after nearly 14 years in power and seemingly every person constitutionally in line for the job quit as well. Crowds of jubilant foes of the socialist leader celebrated in the streets with honking horns and fireworks after Morales’s announcement Sunday, treating as a triumph of democracy the ouster of a man who pushed aside presidential term limits and claimed victory in a widely questioned October election. “We are celebrating that Bolivia is free,” said one demonstrator near the presidential palace.
Let’s take a look at Puerto Rico and its last days of legal cockfighting. Cockfighting will be outlawed in Puerto Rico and other United States territories in December, a long overdue ban in the eyes of animal welfare advocates who consider the practice cruel and outdated. Louisiana, the last state to allow cockfighting, prohibited it more than a decade ago, in 2008. But unlike state legislation, which was enacted by elected representatives, this ban was passed by Congress, where Puerto Rico’s 3.2 million people do not have a voting member. One Puerto Rican resident, Hiram Figueroa, is one that will miss rearing his roosters to fight, a Puerto Rican tradition from the time of the Spanish colonists that he learned as a teenager half a century ago and later taught his son.

Some exciting news this week? An 8-year-old girl from the Aloha Arithmetic school in Tamaulipas, solved all 70 math problems in just five minutes without the use of a calculator. Little Zury Reyes, the young Mexican, pulled off a feat that would be difficult for most adults, winning her the title at the World Math Championship. iFabulosa!

Book Review: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, A Powerful Story for Everyone in the Family

Book review by Luis Moreno
Sofia Valdez is only in second grade but at her young age she already knows how to change the world. She has a big and brave heart, not only to help others in her community but to drive change and build a better future for everyone. She enjoys doing errands for her neighbors while she spends time with her abuelo. When her Abuelo falls in a landfill and is injured, she knows action is needed. She comes up with an idea for a better use of that space: A park for everyone in the community! She goes to City Hall and talks to as many people as she can. She gets everyone to listen. From the New York Times best-selling creators of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist; this new heart-warming book, Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, is an inspirational story for all kids and adults alike of how we can activate people to bring about the changes we need to improve our spaces and the common goods in our communities. This is the kind of book that you will wish you had read as a young child. Highly recommended. This book was written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts. Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York. Also available translated into Spanish!

Buy the book here.

Culture Matters

‘L’ is for Latino. This week, we’re celebrating Sesame Street’s 50 years of positive Latino characters. This list includes Sonia Manzano, who played Maria for 44 years. A longtime fan favorite — a Washington Post reporter once dubbed her character “surely the most-loved person on TV” — her casting and subsequent visibility were groundbreaking. “We were able to show our [Latinx] cultures,” says Manzano, “and that we had hopes and dreams like everybody else.” ¡Fantástica!

Another way to celebrate Latinx culture? Here are 25 heroes of Latin rock you need to add to your playlist ASAP. Latin rock is defined as, “a music subgenre consisting of melting traditional sounds and elements of Latin American and Caribbean folk with rock music.” From Chicano forefathers Lalo Guerrero and Don Tosti to the artists of today, Latin rock has allowed us to take a popular and important musical genre and put a unique Latinx spin on it. ¡Increíble!

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Art & Entertainment

Nora Montañez, founder of the Alliance of Latinx Minnesota Artists, is among the actors participating in a new theater program at the Stevens Square church in Minneapolis. Called Theater 45°, the program gives members of marginalized groups, (including Latinx!), a space to tell their own stories in ways they see fit. Founders Seth Patterson and Ashawnti Ford said they hope the performances build understanding and drive people to action. “Once we hear somebody’s story, it’s now part of us. We can’t pretend we didn’t hear it,” Patterson said. “That idea of witnessing is deeply important.” Check out their upcoming performances here. 

Are you more of a bookworm? When we think of Chicana literature, there are a few names that come to mind – Cherrie Moraga, Ana Castillo and Sandra Cisneros to name a few. But there are so many more incredible Chicana writers, playwrights, poets and essayists to note. Here are 20 incredible Chicana writers whose names you should know.

About

We’re Queen B and Aya. Communications Specialists at NewPublica by day, and professional Segway-riders by night. Have articles you would like to share or general suggestions? Feel free to shoot us an email at info@newpublica.com. Or subscribe below to keep up with all the latest news.

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