American comedian and overall funny man Will Farrel is promoting his new movie role playing Mexican Armando Alvarez, a role in which he only speaks Spanish!

The comedy, Cade de mi Padre, melds a Western action movie and a overly dramatic Spanish telenovela. It joins Farrel with popular Mexican actors Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as well as the movie love interest, Miami’s Génesis Rodríguez, all speaking Spanish (and features English subtitles).

Ferrell’s Armando Alvarez, who’s been running the ranch of his father for many years, but in recent times they have encountered financial problems. When his younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up promising the benefits of his business ability, things start looking up for Armando. But then there’s an unfortunate love triangle between the two brothers and Raul’s fiancee Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), and it turns out that Raul has some rather dodgy business contacts, not least of whom is Gael Garcia Bernal’s terrifying gangster Onza.

The movie is another example on how Latino culture is becoming mainstream, even if it’s an over dramatic, ridiculous telenovela characterization of itself. Watch the movie trailer below, in what I believe is a song performed by Ferrell himself. The trailer promises the film will be filled with “passion, adventure, intrigue, betrayal, sex, danger, romance, guns, cigarettes, special effects and slaps” and a whole bunch of  ridiculousness. The movie is set for release on March 16.


Today, millions of Mexicans and Latin Americans honor the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint.

Every year during this season, over 8 million people make their way to the Basilica of Saint Mary of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Today, December 12th, marks the day in 1531 when the indigenous Juan Diego saw the Virgin of Guadalupe in a night-blue cloak studded with stars on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City.

La Virgen de Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious image commonly called  the “Queen of Mexico” and “Empress of the Americas.” She is a prominent part of Mexican culture and an integral part of the Mexican identity.

The Vatican celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The catholic celebration was televised live on Telemundo and on various stations throughout the U.S. and viewed by many of the nation’s Hispanics. During the Mass, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed he will travel to Cuba and Mexico next year.

Over 40% of the world’s Catholics reside in Latin America. This will be Pope Benedict’s first trip to Mexico, which is the second only to Brazil as the world’s top Catholic nation.

To learn more about this important day read, THE AMERICANO: Hispanics remember Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas:

“The Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated every year on December 12th with a variety of rites ranging from the serenade with Mariachis the night before –which is televised nation-wide in Mexico– to the midnight ceremonies by concheros, who call upon nine spirit guides with pagan dances and Catholic chants all through the night, before dancing all day in front of the Basilica.

Hers is one of the main religious shrines in the world, second in visitors only to the Vatican. Pilgrims from all over Mexico and abroad converge on Tepeyac Hill, seeking healing and favors, keeping vows, or simply paying homage to their beloved Little Mother, Queen of Mexico, Patroness of the Americas. It is also a Feast Day in the United States.

The opening of the New World brought with it both fortune-seekers and religious preachers desiring to convert the native populations to the Christian faith. One of the converts was a poor Aztec Indian named Juan Diego….

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This was my first Thanksgiving outside of Miami and away from my very loud and lively Latin family. But, that didn’t stop me from bringing a little Miami to my California Thanksgiving. My mother came to visit for the long holiday weekend, and as usual, brought enough Latin spice and pizzazz that I could recreate South Beach in my living room.

The exciting (and nerve wrecking) part of this Thanksgiving, was that I had to make all the food (with a little help from mom). It was quite adventure. One that I documented, at least for its comedic factor. Here are some photos from the international gastronomical odyssey.

As I wrote in Part One, this Thanksgiving meal featured standard American favorites and  with homage to our Cuban-Mexican-Spanish-Italian-Irish heritages.

The making if the Italian meat stuffing, a tradition in my boyfriends family, was in itself an adventure. The hand-held meat grinder I bought to grind up all the meat didn’t work. It literally dissembled in my hands. So, I used some technology, my electronic food processor. This made grinding the ham, salami, pepperoni, eggs, cheese and crackers a breeze.

After tweaking the recipe and cooking for several hours I made a crispy authentic Italian stuffing. Pictures were sent to his family in Boston and met with approval. I was proud of my culinary achievement.


Next up, the pavo…. bring on the guajalote.

I started working on the turkey on Wednesday night placing it in a very Cuban marinade which I bought at the local Mexican grocery store. See Part One. This was my first turkey and with help from mom, it came out great!!


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. Its a great American holiday honoring our nation’s history and the diversity of its people, via food!!!

This will be my first Thanksgiving in which I have to make the whole meal, including the Turkey!! I hope I can wake up my inner Chef Peppin!

Our Thanksgiving menu honors the diversity of all of our guest: A Cuban vegetarian, an Italian-Irish New Englander and a Cuban-Mexican on a diet. The menu:

  • Turkey (Cuban Style)
  • Italian Meat Stuffing
  • Biscuits
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Baked Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Green Beans
  • Black Beans & Rice (Congri)
  • Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

Here goes my first attempt to make a turkey/ Pavo/ guajalote. Recipe below


My brother said it was the most Cuban looking turkey he has ever seen. Saying all it needed was a Guayberra for the turkey!

Thank’s to for the recipe for Congri stuffed Turkey:

Babalu Blog reminds us that today Operation Pedro Pan turns 50 years old. The program helped bring Cuban children to America who were fleeing the Cuban communist revolution. Read  Silvio Canto’ s post on the 50th birthday of the Pedro Pan Exodus:

“Pedro Pan” is 50: The story of how 14,000 Cuban children were sent to the US!

Time flies and we celebrate another anniversary of the Cuban-American experience. The picture above shows parents saying goodbye to their children and putting them in a plane headed to Miami.

Read more HERE

If you aren’t familiar with the Pedro Pan, I strongly urge you to take a moment and read Silvo’s post. Operation Pedro Pan is a defining moment in Cuban-American history and American-Cuban relations.

The covert operation by brave Cubans and the Catholic church aimed to ensure children could live in a free country. I remember walking with Mongo Grau around the grounds of the Chapel of the Virgin of Charity (Virgen de la Caridad) as he recalled his involvement in Pedro Pan. The stories helped me better understand life in the early days of the Cuban revolution.

Happy Veterans Day! Today, we honor the millions of military veterans who have served this great nation in times of war and in times of peace. We humbly thank these brave men and women who have protected our freedoms and thank all the military families for their sacrifices. Nearly 22 million veterans currently live in the United States. Their service will be forever remembered.

Many Latinos have served in the military providing an extraordinary service to our nation. Hispanics have participated in every major military conflict, from the American Revolution to the present-day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor has been presented to 43 Hispanics. Rafael Peralta, Ramon Rodriguez, Isaac Camacho, Guy Gabaldon, and Marcelino Serna have all been nominated to receive Medals of Honor.

Hispanic veterans have served a major role in American culture and within the Latino community, individuals like Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers of America and a Navy veteran; Desi Arnez, actor and television pioneer who served in the Army; and Ben Fernandez, the first Hispanic to run for President and Army veteran, have all left a unique mark on our society.

Currently, there are over 1 million Latinos who have served in the Armed Forces. I am positive that within this crop of brave of individuals there will be many national leaders and transformative figures, maybe even a future President.

As a nation, we need to do more to help recently returned veterans who are facing especially difficult ongoing challenges. Many post 9/11 veterans, not only  have to deal with the nation’s high unemployment and a shaky economy, they are returning home with physical and mental challenges. According to a new report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, “one in eight post-9/11 veterans are living in poverty and the youngest of them have it the worst.. Among those ages 18 to 24, a whopping 21.3 percent live in poverty.” (read more.)

Groups like Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) have been created to help returning military officers adjust to civilian life.

“With the mission to honor and empower wounded warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.”

They are involved in a variety of projects assisting both veterans and active members of the military. If you can, please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project today.

To learn more about Latinos in the military, please read: