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“Se hacen limpias. Se cura de empacho.” These sentences mean cleansings and curing indigestion. When you go south of the border into Mexico, you’ll see these signs everywhere, but what is the meaning behind them? Well, they’re related to common myths or mitos. Let’s look at several of these mitos. I can tell you that Mexicans believe in these myths because they knew someone to whom something bad had happened because of something they had done. In other words, the power of suggestion.
√ If you go outside after eating too much, you can suffer from facial paralysis. This one is interesting. It’s more likely that someone began to show symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Eating, then going outside were just coincidences.
√ Going outside into sudden cold makes you go blind. This one reminds me of what my significant other tells me: “Don’t go outside into the cold after taking a shower because you’ll get sick.” Again, this is only a mito. Neither one of them is true – my son pushes his luck all the time going out into a cold night after taking a shower.
√ If you cut a baby’s fingernails before they reach their first birthday, they will have imperfect eyesight. What? If they don’t get their nails trimmed regularly, they’re more likely to put their eyes out with those long nails!
√ If an expectant mama goes out when it’s a full moon, then the moon will eat her baby’s face. The baby will be born with a cleft palate. Wow, this is the first time I’ve heard of this one! That means that a lot of pregnant mamas have to stay inside during the full moon. Nah.
√ Don’t sweep dirt out of your house. You’ll sweep out good luck with the dirt. Heaven knows I need good fortune, but I hate dirty floors! I’ll take my chances.
√ Eat chocolate if a scorpion stings you. Delicious remedia, but I think I’d rather go see the doctor for painkillers.
√ Ironing clothes, then washing your hands after means you’ll get arthritis. Hmmm. I can’t see the connection.
√ If a baby is admired, but not touched, they can be affected by el mal de ojo. (The evil eye.) This mito says the baby gets sick with fever and cries inconsolably. A raw egg has to be passed over the baby, then disposed of in a glass of water to “expose the evil.” To me, babies are just too cute not to hold and love.
√ La mal sal. Here, putting the saltshaker into someone’s hand means your bad luck is passed onto someone else. Instead, the salt has to be put on the table before someone else picks it up. This breaks the spell. Ehhh, I don’t know, but then...
√ Hold onto your purse or you’re giving your money away. Huh, and here I thought I was just holding onto my purse so dirt and germs wouldn’t get onto it.
√ Ringing or buzzing hear means someone is talking about you. Yep, I’ve heard this one. *Sticks fingers in ears• When it’s the right ear, this is for good talk. If it’s the left ear, someone’s saying bad things about you. If your left ear is buzzing, bite your tongue. Maybe the person talking about you will bite their own tongue. Yeah, I was a kid when I heard about this. Maybe people are saying good and bad things about me all the time, because I have tinnitus!
I don’t know if you’ve heard about these mitos or not. I’ve heard of a few. They’re interesting, that’s for sure!
-By Barbara Alvarez
Ayyy, you and your kids are coughing, sniffling and sneezing. It seems one of your young ones is getting a fever. What do you do? Do you take all of the niños to the doctor’s office – risking making everyone there sick? Or do you use the old remedias your abuelita told you about before you had your first baby? Let’s take a look, because some of these are pretty good!
Ah, si “vaporu” is one of the best remedias in your medicine cabinet. This little blue bottle of mentholatum rub can be found in most, if not all, Latino medicine cabinets. When someone in your family is sick with a cold, rubbing some of this on their chest and right under their nose is sure to help break up the mocos. Just one word of caution: Be careful if a very young baby has a cold or the flu. The mentholatum could burn her tender skin.
Heat a whole lemon on the placa. Carefully turn the lemon so as many areas cook, until the skin begins to turn dark-brown. When it’s cooked all the way around, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a cup. Remove the seeds and add a spoonful of honey. Add a little warm water and mix it with a spoon. While it’s still warm, give it to the sick niño.
The adult version directs you to add a shot glass of alcohol, such as whiskey, tequila or rum. The sick person should drink this down fast. For both, the honey calms the cough and the lemon adds vitamin C. The warmth of both drinks, plus the alcohol heat up the sick person, making them sweat the cold out. (I like both of these.)
Las yerbas work wonderfully when someone in your family has a cold or the flu. Take a spoonful of honey and mix some cayenne pepper into that. Add boiling water to the honey-pepper mixture and have the sick person drink it as a tea. The cayenne pepper helps to relieve nasal stuffiness and sinus problems.
Caldo de Pollo
Chicken soup – caldo de pollo, especially when homemade with mami’s love, can help anyone who’s got a cold or the flu, to feel better. Cook the chicken and put in your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Some families add corn on the cob and cilantro. Spanish rice can be served on the side.
Agua de Florida
This is a cologne. South American Latino mamis sprinkle a few drops over the sick person’s head when they are feverish from a cold or the flu. The cologne tends to cool the person down, making them feel refreshed and just a little bit better.
You won’t be cooking and feeding the eggs to the sick person. Instead, pass the egg, still in its shell, over the sick person’s body. Say a prayer of healing for him. Once you finish passing the egg over her body, crack the egg into a glass or bowl of water. Let abuelita read it to look for el ojo or susto. This is the “evil eye” that made your family member sick. You can watch the egg/water mixture to see if it curdles. If so, your family member is cured. You can also dispose of the egg at a certain time. (Hmmm. This one is interesting. I’ve heard of it, though.)
Save this one for sick family members older than 21. Give him a small drink of pisco, tequila or rum and tell him to sip it. The burning of the alcohol soothes his irritated throat and makes him hot. He’ll sleep pretty good, too. (This one works. I know.)
Garlic has antibiotic properties. When it’s eaten raw or added to caldo (soup), it can help to cure colds and sinus infections. Some abuelitas add some garlic to nearly everything to protect frio al estomago (cold stomach).
So, there you have the remedias. I can say that I’ve tried several of these and they do work to help me or my grown sons feel better. I’ll be making myself a toddy later on tonight.
When it comes to retirement, Hispanics face significant challenges as compared to the non-Hispanic population. A new study shows Hispanics tend to be less prepared for retirement than other populations in the U.S. Here are some of the factors that result in
-Hispanics tend to have less access to workplace based retirement plans than other populations. And even when they do have access, they are less likely to contribute.
-15% of Hispanics as compared to 6% of the general population say they feel compelled to help support elderly family members.
-31% of Hispanics place an importance on funding education for children and/or grandchildren (as compared to 18% of the general population) This makes sense when you compare it to these stats from another study that 65% of Hispanics as compared to 50% non-Hispanic population and 48% of African-Americans think getting an college education has meaning for the American Dream.
Another statistic stood out to me when reading this study which was 53% of Hispanic Americans say saving for retirement is an important financial priority as compared to 62% of general population respondents. This is concerning. Follow on questions for this study would be asking Hispanic respondents what they are planning to do for retirement.
Some of my hypotheses include they may be planning to continue working past retirement age, or they may as noted above, count on financial support from family.
As Hispanics are expected to hit majority population in states such as California by March of this year, and ranks are expected to only continue swelling across the U.S. in forthcoming years. We need to be aware of and continue to focus on the retirement and health needs of the aging Hispanic and Latino population, and work on tools to support the population.
Thousands are expected to arrive to Olympia for Latino Legislative Day on Monday, February 10, 2014. It is a free public event held on Capitol Campus, the strongest political platform to address issues affecting Latino Communities in the State of Washington. Event will begin at 8:00a.m in the Office Building 2 (DSHS building). Various forums will be held in different locations throughout the day. Participants will be addressed by Governor Jay Inslee, State Representative Luis Moscoso, Senator John McCoy and other dignitaries. Participants will engage in policy sessions, speak to Legislators regarding issues that will impact Latino communities: Labor, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Education, Health care, Farm Worker rights, Immigration, Public Safety Concerns - Human Trafficking, Gun Control.
LATINO LEGISLATIVE DAY 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Office Building 2 (DSHS Building)
14th Ave Southeast
Olympia WA 98501
*About Latino Civic Alliance formed in 2005 is a statewide non partisan organization that promotes civic engagement and advocacy in Local, County and State affairs in Washington State. LCA hosts an annual event held in Olympia, Washington named "Latino Legislative Day". Latino Legislative Day is a day for Latinos to come to the state capital to discuss with State Representatives about the issues affecting Latinos in the State of Washington. It is an opportunity to demystify the government access, and to promote the idea that the government is for the people and by the people. All Washingtonians should feel that they can discuss the issues that affect them in their daily lives with those that are so duly elected to represent their interests either in local, state or a national political arena.
Please visit & register LCA website http://www.latinocivicalliance.org/. Please forward all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org