Amoeblog

Colombian-Americans - Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 29, 2010 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Colombian kids

In the US, the word "Latino" is used often, regardless of accuracy, as shorthand for a region's dominant Latino population. In the southwest it usually means "Mexican," in the northeast it means "Puerto Rican" and in Florida, "Cuban." Indeed, those are the three largest populations of Latino-Americanos in the country, although it goes without saying that there are many less-recognized groups of Latinos. Each have their own distinct culture, history, and place in America. This entry is about Colombians, who at an estimated 730,510 currently living in the US, make up the seventh largest Latino population, and the largest population of South-American immigrants in the country.

Flag of Colombia

The country of Colombia is home to at least 85 indigenous nations, including the Muisca, Quimbaya, Tairona, Wayuu, Arhuacos, Kuna, Paez, Tucano, Guahibo, Cauca, Guajira and Guainia. The main population of European immigrants to Colombia were from Spain. Basques, Italians, Germans, the French, Swiss, Poles and Russians also migrated in large numbers. Smaller but significant numbers of European immigrants include Belgians, Lithuanians, Dutch, British, Portugese and Croatians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From 1825 til 1851 the Spaniards forcibly brought uncounted numbers of slaves from West Africa. Syrians and Lebanese arrived from the Levant. Today, 58% of Colombians self-identify as mestizo, 20% as white, 14% as mulatto, 4% as black, 3% as zambo, and 1% as Native.

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Guatemalan-Americans - Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 21, 2010 01:00pm | Post a Comment
Guatemalan school children
Guatemalans

In the US, the word "Latino" is used often, regardless of accuracy, as shorthand for a region's dominant Latino population. In the southwest it usually means "Mexican," in the northeast it means "Puerto Rican" and in Florida, "Cuban." Indeed, those are the three largest populations of Latino-Americanos in the country, although it goes without saying that there are many less-recognized groups of Latinos. Each have their own distinct culture, history, and place in America. This entry is about Guatemaltecas, who at around 900,000 estimated to be living in the US, make up the sixth largest Latino population.

Flag of Guatemala
The Guatemalan flag

The Guatemalan population is the most purely indigenous in the Americas. 65% of the population identify as Native. Of them, most come from various Mayan groups including K'iche (9%), Kaqchikel (8%), Mam (8%), Q'eqchi (6%) and smaller Mayan groups (9%).

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Ni?as Mal (Charm School) 2007 - Mexico

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 24, 2008 09:23pm | Post a Comment

 


Niñas Mal tells the story of a spoiled fresa named Adela whose single father is running for political office. As far as self-centered Adela is concerned, daddy never makes enough time for her, so she continually rebels... meaning she gets tattoos, body piercings and probably listens to punk. She's seen as a detriment to her father's political career so he sends her off to a prestigious boarding school which promises to turn her into a model daughter. Of course, Adela has other ideas; she butts heads with her suffering teacher and tries to disrupt the experience for everyone.

Niñas Mal is basically almost identical to any American tween movie except that there' s more teen sex and gratuitous nudity. Poor-little-rich-girl Adela is a completely superficial rebel-- extremely obnoxious and unconcerned with anyone but the conventionally hunky gardener at her school. Her classmates are broadly drawn stereotypes-- the bitch, the lesbian, the braniac and the ditz.  She thinks she's got it all figured out but... you know where it's going. 

Of course, Adela's pranks and obnoxiousness never amount to an actual rejection of her privileged status, they're merely bratty.  Her father remains her suffering safety net.  If you've seen teen novelas like Rebelde or Clase 406 where being punk is merely another brand of conformity that involves hair-dye, then you know what to expect from this film.  Fight for what you believe in, kids.  Parents just don't understand.  Basically the message of the film amounts to nothing more than empty slogans and false sympathy designed to appeal to a young, eager, self-important and undiscriminating audience. The film is a harmless nothingness redecorated to appeal to children who don't know any better or care. If you're not part of the PG-13 set, it's best to skip this one.

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