Laredo is definitely a melting pot of cultures. Within our city we can find many families, businesses, and entities from all over the world. Of course, being right on the border, we take great pride in both our American and Hispanic heritage. For this reason, events like the Sister Cities Festival are so important to the community and offer us a little taste of what we’re missing from our brothers and sisters from across.

Sister Cities is a celebration of Mexican culture as it brings together over 200 exhibitors and vendors representing across 60 cities from all over Mexico, all under one roof. From Tex-Mex, to authentic Mexican and Latin, there are literally hundreds of selections in terms of vendors all housed in the grand indoor mercado.

Join us in exploring through countless pieces including jewelry, clothes, toys, home decor, and even unique foods and ingredients, all authentic and made in Mexico. Sister Cities is a tour across the rich tapestry that is Mexican culture, bursting in color, personality, and crafted with dedication and love. However, it isn’t just Mexico this event brings together but also people from all over the world. It is an international expo that celebrates union and trust in one another as neighbors.

While Laredo is known as the “Gateway to Mexico,” its strategic location as the nation’s largest inland port makes it the “Gateway to the World.” Established under seven flags, Laredo now embraces a global culture with the influx of new nationalities, each with their own unique flavor. By creating this network not only with Mexico but with the world, we can learn from other cultures and share a bit of what makes each of us unique. It is a great privilege that Laredo lies at the center of this communion, and it is definitely quite the experience to just indulge in what the rest of the world has to offer. Whether you want a traditional new outfit or accessory, or whether you want to try some of that authentic Mexican cuisine, come on over to Sister Cities and show your support. The event is an entire weekend, spanning three days, July 13-15, at the Laredo Energy Arena. Admission is free. 

by Oscar Castillo

Photos By Misael Hernández, Model: Gaby Cadena, Makeup Artist: Guillermo Castilleja

Every day hides a special surprise for those willing to search for it.  With July tends to come time off from school or work. Though a lot of us prefer to use that time off for simple relaxation and dissociation, many others like to make the most of their free time. For this we have decided to include a celebration or two that occur each day in July. Some of these may range from National holidays to well-known celebrations to some that are just outright strange and unique.

We start, of course, with July 1, which is actually known as Canada Day in the land of the maple leaf, which is celebrated with local treats such as Poutine, Baklava, and “Beaver Tails” which are not what they sound like. For the lovers of the supernatural, July 2 is seen as World UFO Day, which is a great excuse to take a camping trip with telescopes in hand in wait of an amazing encounter. On the third,  it is National “Stay Out of the Sun Day” where we are reminded to always stay safe and protected while outside. The sun is good and all, but too much can be harmful. Be sure and wear lots of sunscreen and stay hydrated on these scorching hot days.

Celebrations in July range from National holidays to well-known celebrations to some that are just outright strange and unique, like Piña Colada Day; the 19th is National Hot Dog Day. July 16th is National Ice Cream Day.

On the fourth of July, nothing of interest really happens, of course, other than the biggest party across the entire United States. Get those grills firing and prepare for the fireworks show. The following day is National Bikini Day, so get out your favorite two-piece and hit the beach. The 6th  is both International Kissing Day and National Fried Chicken day, which is certainly a strange combo but why not do both and smooch on some good old fashioned chicken at your local joint? The 7th is National Strawberry Sundae Day, the 8th is National Video Game Day, and the 9th is National Sugar Cookie Day, so those days are perfect for getting your buddies together (or online), and duking it out in some co-op games, all the while snacking on some sweets. With how hot the days are, that honestly sounds like heaven.

The 10th is National Pina Colada Day, the 11th is National Slurpee Day, and the 12th is National “Eat Your Jello” Day, so feel free to treat yourself. You deserve it! Hot weather and cool treats go together like peanut butter and jelly. The 13th is National French Fry Day, The 14th is National Mac and Cheese Day as well as Bastille Day in France, and the 15th is National “Give Something Away” Day. Following the trend of yummy food, the 16th is both National Corn Fritter Day and National Ice Cream Day, the 17th is National Emoji Day (really?), and the 18th brings the International Nelson Mandela Day as well as the World Listening Day, which are adequately paired.

July is vacation time. It is summertime fun time. It is sun burn, sand in your pants, AC at full power, sleeping in, “why is the sun so evil” time. Just the mention of the word “July” evokes images of fun and relaxation (for most) and sunny outdoor activities. Summer is on full blast, and the heat is the highest ever. However, don’t let that stop you from making the most out of your summer vacation.”

We are all about our food, as evident, and the 19th is both National Daiquiri Day and National Hot Dog Day; something for both the kids and grown-ups. The 20th is National Lollipop Day as well as Moon Day, so why not visit the local planetarium? The 21st is National Junk Food Day (July sure likes to make us fat), and the following is National Hammock Day, which we will need after the junk food. However, the 22nd is also Parents’Day (yes, both of them) so be sure and celebrate your folks. The 23rd is National Gorgeous Grandma Day, so tell your Granny just how beautiful she still is. Following that is National Cousins Day, and the 24th is National Tequila Day, so why not do both and take your favorite party-crazed cousin out for some drinks? The 25th is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, and the 26th is National Aunt and Uncle Day, so take this day to explain to your aunt and uncle all the partying you and your cousins did two nights prior. It’s also National Chili Dog Day so maybe offer a couple as a peace offering.

The 27th is National Scotch Day, The 28th is World Hepatitis Awareness Day, and the 29th brings both National Chicken Wing Day as well as National Lasagna Day, a yummy duo. The 30th is the International Day of Friendship as well as Cheesecake Day and Dance Day, so that just sounds like a good time overall. Finally, the 31st is National Mutt Day. There are many good dogs and cats at the shelter waiting for their forever home, and purebred or not, a pets’ love knows no limits.

In summary, there is lots of food to enjoy this July as in general it is National Ice Cream Month. Just like the cold treats keep us nice and cool in the summer and balance us out, it is important to always practice safety and moderation when going out of town. Always wear proper sun protection, and have a healthy time. After all, come August, it’s back to the grind for all of us. Have fun but remember to be prudent and smart. Happy summer!

 

Season 2

by Lauren Melendez

 

Dear White People is Netflix’s newest and, perhaps, most poignant dramedy. The show focuses on racism at a fictitious Ivy League university. It is centered around main character and student activist, Samantha White, who struggles with both her cultural identity and the racism she faces at her predominantly white school. Based on the 2014 film of the same name, the show sheds some light on topics that has long since needed to be discussed: the racial tensions that people have ignored for far too long.

 

This is a show that demands to be heard.

Samantha is vocal about her beliefs on her campus radio show “Dear White People.” Tensions rise when a “blackface” party is thrown on campus, meaning the issue can no longer be swept under the rug.

Dear White People is unique in that there is no easily-identifiable human being. It acknowledges that this is a gray area; that there are levels associated with an issue of this gravity. This forces viewers to examine themselves and reflect upon their own actions.

www.vulture.com best described the show, saying it takes into account all of the social and political forces that shape who we are…the unbalanced relationship between those who have power and those who don’t — and, just as important, those who have power but don’t realize or acknowledge it, and tap that power for good or evil ends without realizing they’re doing it.”

It is a story of struggle, of love, of tension, and of bravery. Samantha had the ambition and the courage to stand up for a group of people whose voices had been silenced. She advocated for change; for acceptance.

Season 2 of this articulate blend of social commentary and humor is scheduled to premiere on Friday, May 4, 2018. If you are looking for a show that can simultaneously entertain you and inform you, a show that combines drama and humor, then Dear White People is for you!

The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

By Lauren Melendez

 

On May 11, 2018, Netflix will expand its true crime content with a show like no other. Based on a true story, Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist will investigate the infamous “pizza bomber heist” of Philadelphia in 2003. This docuseries will tell the story of a pizza delivery man who attempts to rob a bank. However, his plan goes awry and culminates in a horrific public murder that captures the country’s attention. After a series ruinous events, Marjorie Diehl Armstrong, a middle-aged woman struggling with mental illness, is arrested for the crime. However, 15 years have passed and layers of the crime continue to be unearthed, probing that there’s more to this conspiracy that we thought.

Luis Miguel in concert

by Oscar Castillo

 

Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri was born in April 19, 1970 in Puerto Rico and raised in Mexico. Often nicknamed “El Sol de Mexico,” he is from Spanish and Italian descent. His father was Luis Gallego Sanchez, a Spanish singer, and his mother was Marcela Basteri, an Italian actress. When Luis Miguel was young, his father encouraged him to study Elvis Presley and mimic his style, an endeavor that paid off.

In 1981, at the age of 11, Luis Miguel released his first album, “Un Sol,” and two years later, he started touring Latin American countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina. In 1990, he made a successful transition from a child singer to an adult showman with the album “20 Años” and an ensuing string of sold-out shows first in Mexico, then throughout Latin America and elsewhere in the world.

The album “20 Años” sold 600,000 copies in its first week of release and resulted in two of the tracks hitting number one on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks in 1990. Luis Miguel’s career has spanned more than twenty-five years and has become one of, if not the most iconic singer of Latin America.

His wide vocal range of music from pop to bolero, mariachi and romantic ballads, has made him one of the most popular Latin American artists ever and has been praised by critics and other artists all over. Although extremely private about his personal life, he is somehow always making news and his popularity has spanned across entire generations. There is not a Latino alive who does not know who Luismi is. Currently on tour with his latest album, “Mexico Por Siempre!,” Luismi will arrive at the Laredo Energy Arena on May 29. Get your tickets now for this legendary event.