Culture

Shop embed – Lil Libros Finally Adds Musician Ritchie Valens To The List Of Icons Highlighted In Bilingual Children’s Books

Lil’ Libros has been gifting Latino parents the gift of a single children’s book read in two languages to promote bilingualism in Latino niños around the world. The stories are all about Latino icons that have shaped and defined our culture throughout history, honoring stories like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Cuban music legend, Celia Cruz. With nearly 20 books in the collection so far, we thought Lil’ Libros couldn’t get any cuter or more relevant until it added the story of Ricardo “Ritchie” Valenzuela in “The Life of / La Vida de: Ritchie.”

The children’s book will cover all the highlights of Ritchie’s life.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

“Born May 13, 1941, Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist,” reads the book description. “His musical journey began at age 5 when his father encouraged him to take up guitar. In high school, he made his performing debut with the band The Silhouettes. At 17, Ritchie recorded his final record, which included classics like “Donna” and “La Bamba”. That record went on to sell over one million copies. To this day, Ritchie  Valens’ music lives on in the hearts of many!”

Ritchie followed his passions, and they became a gift to the music world.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

Ritchie is considered the father of the Chicano rock movement. He was the son of two Mexican immigrants, born in the Los Angeles valley as Richard Steven Valenzuela. Even though Ritchie was left-handed, he taught himself how to play the guitar, trumpet, and drums, and was so in love with music, he learned it all with a dominant right hand. He was always bringing his guitar to his high school to play for his friends. By the time he was 16 years old, he was invited to join The Silhouettes, and eventually became the lead singer. He only released two records during his lifetime, and is best known for “La Bamba.” He’s also known for being the first Latino to successfully cross over into the U.S. mainstream rock genre, inspiring Selena, Café Tacuba, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, and even Carlos Santana to fuse Latinidad with rock.

We *doubt* they’ll include that Ritchie dropped out of high school.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

He became a raging success with the release of his first and only three records and dropped out of school to keep up with his career. Ritchie actually didn’t know any Spanish, and his family only spoke English and Spanglish in their house. He learned to sing “La Bamba” in Spanish by learning the song phonetically. Just this year, The U.S. Library of Congress selected “La Bamba” to be preserved in the National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

Or Ritchie’s tragic death by a plane crash at just 17 years old.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

Ritchie had a fear of flying that he eventually overcome throughout his short-lived music career. His fear started during the second term of his junior year in high school. Two airplanes collided over the school’s playground on January 31, 1957, killing and injuring several of his friends. It all happened while Ritchie was at his abuelo’s funeral. His first flight was to Philadelphia to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show, where he performed “Come On, Let’s Go.” The following month, he was flying to Hawaii to perform with Buddy Holly and Paul Anka.

Ritchie won a coin toss that fateful February 2, 1959 winter day in Iowa that won him a spot on a small plane that would later crash and kill everyone on the plane. His band had been traveling by tour bus throughout the Midwest without adequate heating, causing them all to catch the flu and, in one case, even frostbite. They were desperate to get on a flight out, and only the guitarist, Tommy Allsup, and bassist Waylon Jennings were spared, simply because they lost their coin tosses. 

Ritchie took off at 12:55 am and crashed just minutes later.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

Still, nobody knows why the plane crashed. It killed everyone on impact. Ritchie suffered a blunt force trauma to the chest and unsurvivable head injuries, dying at just 17 years old. His death inspired Don McLean to write “American Pie,” forever remembering February 3 as “The Day the Music Died.” The music may have died by Ritchie’s legacy continues to live on, now in both Spanish and English at storytimes.

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

Entertainment

A Viral Tweet Claims Disney Took The Story Of ‘Coco’ From A Family In Mexico And There Is A Lot Of Debate

There is a viral tweet by an aspiring YouTuber in Wisconsin is making the rounds on social media claiming that Disney took the story of “Coco” from a family in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga, Michoacán, Mexico. While the woman pictured in the tweet and the character of Mama Coco is very similar, there is a lot of doubt about the tweet’s accuracy. It seems like the tweet is a good example of not believe everything you hear or see on social media as pure fact.

A viral tweet is claiming that Disney created characters based on the appearance of a family in Mexico and hasn’t compensated them.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The two are very similar in appearance, obviously. The viral success of the tweet proves that people are willing to believe that this happened. Many are even sharing their own photos showing that they met the woman in Mexico after traveling there due to the success of “Coco.”

Others claim to have met another woman in the same town who is the inspiration for Mama Elena.

Credit: @Elllllllieezz / Twitter

Creatives who worked on “Coco” did exhaustive research to make sure they got the movie right. It is crucial that corporations portray cultures and cultural events right in the 21st century. There is hypersensitivity and a strong expectation for companies to do their due diligence to guarantee that culturally relevant materials are done correctly. In that vein, Disney/Pixar did send people to Mexico to research and study up on the customs surrounding Día de los Muertos.

They did visit places in Mexico and there are moments in the film where you see recreations of structures they encountered on their trip. Disney has never denied visiting places in Mexico to do research and that parts of the film are inspired by things they have seen. However, according to responses to the tweet, there are a lot of people who think Disney did more than just get inspired by these places and the people.

The tweet caught the attention of co-director Lee Unkrich.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

The accusations have really caught fire on Twitter with little to no information backing claims. While the tweet claims the family was not compensated, Disney denies it was based on the family despite the striking similarities. There is also no evidence presented that the family nor people in the town that were interviewed signed contracts for compensation from Disney.

The daughter of animator Daniel Arriaga took to Twitter to combat the narrative she says is false.

Credit: @alyssaaestrella / Twitter

Twitter users responded to Alyssa claiming that it doesn’t matter and that the families should be compensated for the interviews and information obtained.

Another man shared a photo in 2017 showing that his grandmother was the woman they based Mama Elena on.

Credit: Brandon Guzman / Facebook

“For those of you who read my previous post about Coco…here is my abuela,” Brandon Guzman posted on Facebook two years ago. “It was her who they modeled the Abuela with the chancla in the movie after!! I’m a proud grandson!! #Pixar #Disney #Coco #LatinosInHollywood”

However, the person who originally posted the viral tweet is using the similarities in the movie and locations to push their point.

Credit: @coral_seashell / Twitter

There is no denying that some bits of Mexico made it into the movie. However, it can be argued that it was done to further the authenticity of the movie and the storyline for people wanting to see themselves represented.

There is no winning or losing this argument as people will believe what they want.

Despite people who worked on or related to those who worked on denying the story, the rumor of Disney causing harm to a community in Mexico.

Those standing up for Disney are calling attention to the dangers of believing everything you see on the internet.

Credit: @Scarletttt_x3 / Twitter

There have been multiple instances of people blindly believing things that are posted on social media. The lack of necessary fact-checking before posting has led to misinformation spreading unchecked on social media. It is up to the users to make sure that they do their own research and determine what is true or not. As for this story, it seems the internet will forever be torn over the validity of the claims made.

READ: These Fans Theories About What A ‘Coco’ Sequel Would Look Like Sees Miguel At 17 And Returning To The Land Of The Dead

CV TEST 2.26 – And The Guinness Record for World’s Largest Patacón Goes To

Culture

CV TEST 2.26 – And The Guinness Record for World’s Largest Patacón Goes To

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After a coordinated six-month effort, Panama’s Emberá de Ipetí indigenous community broke the Guinness World Record for the largest patacón in the world. How many plátanos does it take to make the worlds largest was that patacón, you ask? Weighing at 245 pounds and measuring over 11 feet in diameter, the World’s Largest Patacón required 1,200 plátanos and 330 gallons of frying oil. The long-anticipated event drew in a sold-out crowd of 700 celebrators who took part in Emberá traditions, dance, and plenty of comida.

“We no longer want to be this statistic of vulnerability,” Emberá de Ipetí’s community leader, Sara Omi, told CNN. “We are rich in knowledge and that’s what we’re demonstrating here today.”

As visitors arrived for “Patacón Day,” they were invited to participate in a hand-washing ritual.

Credit: ELPATACONPTY / Instagram

At the entrance of the events, guests could participate in this Emberá ritual that uses plants to cleanse “malas vibras,” or bad vibes. “The plants we use to wash our hands has a lot to do with our worldview,” Sara Omi said. “For example, if you arrive at your home and bring bad malas vibras, washing your hands will take away those malas vibras. You become more open for everything that comes.” Then, the guests could go ahead and dance and eat with everyone else.

Over 100 volunteers worked to make individual tostones that were spread across an enormous steel mold.

CREDIT: ELPATACONPTY / INSTAGRAM

It takes a lot of labor to peel, chop, fry, grind, knead and finally assemble 1,200 plátanos. Volunteers would fry individual plátanos in this enormous, 330-gallon vat of oil, and bring it to the steel mold for others to assemble. Then, the crowd gathered around to watch the tense moment that volunteers carefully carried 245 pounds of plátanos back to this vat of oil. Then, it was dropped into the oil for its final fry, and lifted out of the vat to become the world’s largest patacón. This wasn’t their first rodeo either. It took six months for the 134 Emberá de Ipetí indigenous volunteers to practice and perfect the enormous feat. 

According to Carlos Tapia, the official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records, there were three requirements to ensure the attempt would be a success. 

CREDIT: ELPATACONPTY / INSTAGRAM

The first was that the patacón remained an intact, single patacón. It could not break once it was removed from the oil. Secondly, there had to be several professionals present. A metrologist could certify that the final weight was at least 220 pounds to break the previous record. There also had to be a cultural expert present to ensure the patacón was true to its roots. A health and hygiene inspector was also present to ensure that the food was prepared in such a way that it didn’t violate any health codes. 

The final requirement to break the record was to make sure none of the food goes to waste.

CREDIT: ELPATACONPTY / INSTAGRAM

We love that, Guinness World Records. That means the pressure isn’t off once the patacón is flawlessly assembled and beats the previous weight record. Then, came the universal tradition: eat as much food as you possibly can, and then have seconds. With a sold-out crowd of folks there to witness history, it goes without saying that the Emberá de Ipetí pulled off the feat. Maybe it was because the record was broken on the auspicious October 14, or World Food Day. While folks were feasting, they could also support the women artisans selling their crafts, entirely inspired and created from the nature surrounding them.

The Patacón has become a symbol of unity and the greatness of indigenous peoples and of Panama.

CREDIT: ELPATACONPTY / INSTAGRAM

“I would like to tell everyone who is here, my perfect Patacón staff, those who have been part of a little piece of patacón and all the people who joined this dream, never forget that, together, we can achieve what we set out to do,” Patacón director, Sabrina Naimark, told the crowd. “We managed to unite as a country, make the Emberá de Ipetí Indigenous community visible, and achieve the Guinness World Record Holder Record so that the world knows how big Panama is and what we are able to do when we put soul, passion, and dedication to an idea. That idea became a reality, creating a true social impact in Panama and the world.”