Enough is Enough

For this blog post I decided to change it up and not talk about something related to sports. I wanted to focus more on an issue that really bothers me and keeps me motivated to stay in school. One of the biggest problems we face as Latinos is going to college. Many of my friends from back decided that they didn’t want to go to college because it was too expensive and a waste of time. The monetary issue is something I will address later but for now I want to focus more on why don’t Latinos want to go to college. I have learned through many accounts and experiences that one of the biggest reasons why we don’t go to college is because of not having family support. I know for a fact that my father told me one time, ” Why do you even want to go to college. Its expensive and a waste of time. I only went to school till the 6th grade and look at me now. I’m doing fine.” Although it would have been really easy for me to just take in whatever my dad had told me and just started the workforce with him after I graduated from high school, I knew that I didn’t want to just blend in withe crowd and I wasn’t content with how I would have helped add to the stereotype of Latinos. I knew that college was the route that I wanted to take.

I explained to my dad the reasons why I wanted to come to such a big school and after much deliberation he finally gave in. My dad may be very strict but he always supports my decisions and always wants me to better myself. He once told me that the happiest day of his life is yet to come and that is when he sees me walk down that stage with my diploma in my hands. Money was never an issue for my dad because he knew that he would find some way to do it and get the money that I needed to get me through school. Unfortunately that is not the case for many Latino families. Money is probably the biggest reason that many Latinos don’t go to college. Since colllege is very expensive most Latinos have to work to pay their way through school. Since most Latino families are middle and lower class, some Latinos are forced to make a decision: either pay their way through college or help their parents pay for bills and food. Because our culture is very deeply rooted with family, most Latinos will not even take a second to think about it and decide to help their families. This is a very true reality and its something that the government and schools don’t really care about. The top 10% rule is what most Latinos take advantage of to get into schools such as The University of Texas at Austin and now that the schools cut it down to the top 8% it is very hard for many of us to get into schools.

So what happens to those Latinos that do get into college and try to get their education? More troubles and dilemmas follow them. Retention is also a big problem in the Latino community. Just because many get here doesn’t mean that everyone stays to finish. I read an interesting article in The Daily Texan at the beginning of the school year that said that The University of Texas at Austin had taken in the most Latino students it has ever taken in in history. At first this news hit me with a lot of joy and I thought things were going in the right direction but I quickly realized that The Daily Texan left out one big issues, retention. Latinos drop out of the university at a faster rate than any other community and the numbers don’t lie. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very happy that the Latino community is attending college in numbers but that leads to another issue. How many of this class will finish college? Things are only going to get harder with recent budget cuts and financial aid taking a big blow. Not to mention different grading policy that the university has implemented.

The Latino community is in for a big run and will be challenged in the next couple of years very hard. It is up to us to change this view of Latinos not having a voice. All of these changes that the government and schools are doing could have been prevented if we would have more voice in elected positions. It is up to this generation to begin changing the world. It is up  to us to be the model for many other generations that will also be facing other issues that will hopefully be completely different than the ones we are facing today. Enough is enough and I am tired of fighting for our cause and people not hearing us. But as Latinos we know about struggles and we know about sacrifices and I know we will be able to push through this as a big family.

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Little Pea, Big Hero

Super Chicharito at it Again

Just when everyone thought that Javier Hernandez couldn’t get any bigger in Europe a new story has been circuling the web that has gotten him more followers than ever. Reports say that Javier Hernandez walked into a store in England and was lost because of the language barrier and he couldn’t pronounce what he was looking for. A young lady that was working at the store at the time was very patient with him and decided to help him until he found exactly what he was looking for. “Chicharito” then began to make small talk and even offered her some money for being so helpful, something that is accustomed in Mexican culture. The young lady politely refused and out of some small talk let Hernandez know  that the she had a small child that was a huge fan of “Chicharito”. The lady, not knowing that she was speaking to her childs soccer hero, then parted ways with the superstar and began to work again.

It wasn’t until the lady got home that she realized who she had talked to earlier that day. She deeply apologized to her son after he exclaimed to her why she didn’t get him an autograph. The lady returned to her job the next day and found a package waiting for her in the front desk. When she opened it she found a Javier Hernandez Manchester United jersey and poster signed by the superstar. He left the top of the poster blank because he wanted for it to be personalized for the ladies son. She was so overwhelmed with joy that she went to the media to tell the great story of a great young man. With this story alone Javier Hernandez has sparked the likes of many more Manchester United and non-Manchester United fans. At this point it makes one wonder if these young man is even human.

After I read this story online, I couldn’t help but think of what great heart this young man has. It is really easy for someone to forget manners and let the stardom get to their heads after they are the talk of the world but this young man has shown time after time that he was raised right. Coming from very humble roots back in Mexico, Javier Hernandez has shown that he holds on to those and is a great example for many young aspiring soccer stars. Even though he isn’t perfect, the fact that people can’t seem to point any one single event that he has done that has been bad is definitely a good thing. Not many people would do the things that he has done and that is truly inspirational.

This story also made me reflect back on my Hispanic Marketing Proposal when I wrote about him. On that proposal I wrote that it was very important for him to have a good image with the public because a  lot of people expected him to fail. With these acts of kindness Javier Hernandez has shown no signs of weakness or stopping. He is determined to not only be the greatest soccer player but also a great person and role model. Once again, good job Mr. Javier Hernandez.

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More than a Rivalry

When we think about rivalry games some of the most famous are: Lakers vs. Celtics, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Texas vs. Oklahoma, Nadal vs. Federer and so on. But in America we fail to notice one very important rivalry game that is very popular in Mexico which is C.D. Guadalajara vs. Club America. These two teams share that they are the most successful and popular soccer teams in Mexico with America having 10 titles and Guadalajara having 11. This first soccer match between these two teams ended with a 1-0 win by Guadalajara but it wasn’t until the 7-2 blow out win by America in their second game that this rivalry began to take form. C.D. Guadalajara, or “Chivas”, was very dominant in the early years with 7 out of their 11 titles coming in the late 1950’s through mid 1960’s and was dubbed the most popular team in Mexico. While Chivas was living their glory days, America decided that they needed to hire someone that would keep them in first division and compete against the almighty C.D. Guadalajara. America hired Fernando Marcos and it was he that through hard work got them back to the top of the league.

Although not many teams were able to match the style and level of play that Chivas was playing in, America began to slowly inch closer and soon won their first title. Before the 1980’s the Mexican soccer league was clearly dominated by these two teams and therefore their fan groups grew significantly. With America’s glory age coming in the 1980’s when they won 5 titles in 5 years, many thought that no one would be able to stop these two powerhouse teams. It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that Mexican soccer began to be more equal and other teams began to appear on the map. Teams such as Cruz Azul, Pumas and Monterrey slowly began to recruit quality players to be able to compete with Chivas and America. Although now it is a league of many teams with these two not being as dominant, the fact of the matter is that these two teams are still the most followed and loved in Mexico.

 Growing up playing soccer I was told by my dad that I would only cheer for Chivas. My very first C.D. Guadalajara jersey was given to me at the age of 1 and my brother got his at 6 months. My family is very big on the rivalry because not everyone in my family agrees on what team to go for. Since there are others rooting for America, bets are very common when this match comes around in the schedule. My uncle once betted shaving his head if America lost and he ended up losing and having to pay the bet. Since the game is going to be this weekend I figured that it would be appropriate for me to highlight a game that was very important in my childhood growing up and that I have many memories from. Although I have kind of lost touch with what it is to be a huge Chivas fan, I still root for them and watch their games whenever I get the chance. The first match was played in 1943 and America currently holds the most wins with 74 to Chivas’ 69,  but this weekend in Omnilife Stadium in Guadalajara, Jalisco all of the statistics go out the door. All of Mexico will be paralyzed and the streets will be empty as this is the one game of the whole season that no one wants to miss. My dad summarized this rivalry and what it means to fans very well when he looked over to me when I was younger and said, ” I may only have gone to the 6th grade and didn’t finish school, but no amount of education would be able to convince me that America is better than Chivas. Arriba Las Chivas!”

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Miracle Story

On January 2010, the world of soccer was paralyzed when news got out of Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabanas getting shot in a bar restroom in Mexico City. Cabanas played for one of Mexico’s most popular clubs Club America at the time and some of the stories that were lurking around was that he was shot in the bar because of this. Cabanas had gone to the bar with his wife and brother in law and apparently got into an argument with some men that were there. When Cabanas got up to go to the restroom, he was followed by a man that waited for him to get inside and shot him in the head. There has even been some footage of the shooting that has been leaked to the public with some gruesome images.

Although this got national attention because of the shooting of a soccer star, more recent news has shown that the shooting could have been a set up. After analyzing several more video footage, officials have found that J.J. Balders, the shooter, entered the bar roughly about 2 minutes after Cabanas entered with his wife and brother in law. The footage clearly shows that Cabanas and his family were searched but Balderas and his companion were just waved in and weren’t checked at all. Once in the bar other videos show how a man was waiting outside the restroom hallway waiting for the oportune moment to strike. When one of the security guards goes to the restrooom to check out what the noise was, he is pushed out of the way by the shooter and one other man who make their way out of the bar and into their cars in less than a minute and a half. This story is linked closely to the type of violence that is going on in Mexico  with all of the gangs and drug cartels. Mexico has become very dangerous in recent months and what was once a great travel destination has been overshadowed by negativity.

After more than a year of this incident occurring Salvador Cabanas is now almost ready to return to the soccer field. A man that no one thought would be able to survive a shot in the head yet alone play soccer ever again, has proved everyone wrong. There was even talks that he would be ready to play for the Paraguay National soccer team during the world cup but doctors thought that it was way too soon for him to be in a full contact sports. Now doctors have said that Salvador Cabanas is at 70% and in about 3 months will be at 100% and be ready to be out on the field with the rest of his teammates. Some of his possible destinations is to return to the club that he played for prior to the shooting, Club America but other sources indicate that he will return to his home country of Paraguay and play for Libertad to get away from Mexico City.

The reason I chose this story is because it was very inspirational to me. I was always taught to never give up on something that you love and Cabanas has proved to me that it can be done. Cabanas overcame many obstacles that told him that he wouldn’t be able to play soccer anymore and now he is only three months away from doing so. Although I have never liked Club America because of their rivalry to my favorite soccer team C.D. Guadalajara, I have a new profound respect for this particular player. Its not easy to come out to the public and give an interview just two months after getting shot in the head at a bar and doing so in a very respectful and hopeful manner. Salvador Cabanas is a great example of not only a miracle story but one of perseverance and hope.

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A Joke Gone Wrong..

Richard Hammond & Top Gear vs. “Chicharito” & Mexico

Richard Hammond is an English broadcaster, journalist, and writer that is famous for his car program Top Gear. In this show, Hammond, the host, compares different cars to a country in a comedic approach. Although this show has been criticized a lot because of the harshness of some the comparisons and stereotypes brought up in the jokes, none has caught worldwide attention like Hammond’s comments on Mexico. In a show, Hammond referred to Mexicans as “lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight”. The biggest attack was when Hammond made the statement that said, ” Just imagine waking up and remembering that you’re Mexican.”

These comments caught the media by storm and gained worldwide attention including the Mexican ambassador in the UK and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. The Mexican ambassador believed that the “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating remarks only serve to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people.” Javier Hernandez on the other hand took a different approach to the controversy and simply made an advertisement for Powerade in which he is seen wearing the Manchester United uniform with the words saying “Si, imaginate despertar y recordar que eres Mexicano. Menos Prejuicios. Mas ejercicio.” This translates to English saying,””Yes, imagine waking up and remembering that you’re Mexican. Less prejudice. More exercise.” After the uproar and running of the ad, BBC (the parent company of the television show) offered an apology to the Mexican ambassador in the UK and to the rest of the country of Mexico.

When I first heard about this I was really mad because I couldn’t believe that someone would stereotype in a way that could upset millions of people. After further reading into it I am stuck between how I feel. Although I still believe that the remarks were uncalled for and unnecessary, I also understand that the show is built on humor and making people laugh. Richard Hammond knew what he was saying and I’m sure he knew it would offend people but he does it with everyone else the same way. The situation would have been different if he only talked down on Mexicans but Top Gear has been making fun and picking at different countries since the show started. Although I was offended by the statement at the beginning because of my Mexican roots, I can also see how Hammond didn’t really mean what he was saying and it was all part of the show.

I thought the advertisement for Powerade with the image of “Chicharito” wearing the Manchester United jersey is very powerful. The image says so much with little words. The fact that “Chicharito” , the believed savior of Mexican soccer, stood up for his country has caused for a lot more people to jump on the bandwagon.  What I found the most interesting is that they chose to have an image of Javier Hernandez wearing a Manchester United jersey instead of him wearing the Mexican National team jersey. Manchester United is not only the biggest club in England but also the world, and the fact that “Chicharito” is seen wearing the jersey and standing tall with his head up and stating ” Yes, imagine waking up and remembering you’re Mexican” sends out a powerful message to the people of Mexico and how to stand strong. I dont know if Javier Hernandez really feels offended by the comments made by Hammond or if its just another publicity stunt. But regardless, good job “Chicharito”! Keep being the face of the future of Mexico.

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World of Soccer

“Chicharito”– The Future of Mexico?

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been the newest revelation in Mexican soccer since the golden era of Hugo Sanchez. Never had a young man won over the hearts of the whole country of Mexico both young and old. Javier Hernandez had a rocky start to his soccer career in C.D. Guadalajara, one of the biggest and most demanding soccer clubs in Mexico. His career seemed to be going no where as he started only 3 games in his first 3 years as a professional. It wasn’t until 2009 that Javier Hernandez got his big break. In the Torneo Apertura 2009 he finished as the top goals scorer with 11 goals which included 8 goals in 5 games. This landed him a spot in the Mexican National Team that would represent the country in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa the summer of 2010. After his great performances with the team he was signed by the mighty soccer powerhouse, the Manchester United red devils. Here “Chicharito” has had his ups and downs and his irregularity in game play has lead some to believe if he really is the superstar that most claim him to be.

In my opinion, Javier Hernandez is still a very young player that has already accomplished more than others have or will ever reach. Criticism will always be a huge factor in soccer especially since it is the most popular played sport in the world. People need to understand that Manchester United is a soccer club full of 5-star soccer players such as Ryan Giggs, Nani, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and others. More importantly, since “Chicharito” plays the striker position he is forced to compete for playing time with 3 of the top strikers in the world: Wayne Rooney, Dimitri Berbatov, and Michael Owen.  Javier Hernandez will be slowly incorporated more and more into the playing style of Manchester United according to the head coach. He is already the fastest Mexican striker to reach 10 goals in a European league even with his limited playing time. “Chicharito” has become the biggest sensation in England and his jersey has become one of the top sellers next to Wayne Rooney for the team. I say give it time. Although “Chicharito” seems to be the man that all Mexican soccer fans have been waiting for to get them over that edge of just being an average national team to competing with the soccer giants like Brazil, Spain, and Argentina, he is still very young and has a lot to learn. “Chicharito” seems to be going towards the path of greatness and all we have left to do is just sit back and enjoy watching the “baby-face killer” do his work on the soccer field. In my opinion, “Chicharito” will go down as one of Mexico’s greatest soccer players in history. His story will be one to tell but until then “Que viva Mexico! Que viva Chicharito!”


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