Reporter Explores His Mexican Heritage

As a person of Mexican descent I have taken interest in my culture and its rich history. My name itself has a lot to do with Mexican culture—I was named after a famous Mexican wrestler or luchador. 

El Santo is a beloved icon of Mexico. He is often referred to as El Enmascarado de Plata or “The Man in the Silver Mask.” He donned a silver mask that is unforgettable to the Mexican people. He was a técnico (hero) in and out of the ring, which is funny because he started as a rudo or villain. He is such a prominent part of Mexican culture he even has his own museum in Tulancingo, Mexico. He has also had multiple comics and novels written about him. One reason for him being so popular not only in Mexico but worldwide is that besides being a luchador, he was a huge movie star in the 1960’s and 1970’s.   

I like to draw and look at calaveras de azucar or sugar skulls, which are colorful and beautifully decorated skulls usually constructed of sugar. They have an iconic place in Mexican culture, specifically on Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. 

I also like the music, whether it’s traditional mariachi or some Mexican punk rock. I really like sombreros (large decorated brimmed hats) as well. I own one and I love wearing it, but it is kind of heavy. I even like the ancient Aztec clothing because I am part Aztec and I’m a fanatic about tribal things. I like jeans a lot, too. A lot of jeans are made in Mexico—they are a staple of Mexican fashion. 

Another part of Mexican culture is the folklore. It can be funny or scary, but it almost always has a good moral. There are dichos or proverbs, too. I have a whole book of Mexican proverbs—most of them I find agreeable, some I don’t. One is: “Para tonto no se estudia.” That translates to “One needn’t study to become a fool.” There’s also “Hay que aprender a perder antes de saber jugar,” or “One must learn how to lose before learning how to play.” 

A major part of Mexican culture that I like is the food. I’m a vegan so I have to customize a little. Since beans and rice are a basic staple of most meals, it’s pretty easy to eat great traditional Mexican food and still be vegan. Some of my favorite foods to veganize are chimichangas, burritos, tacos and  tostadas, to name a few. 

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