Tag: <span>Latinos</span>

Ep. 3 – Oscar Collazos, Comedian and Founder of Hilarious Colombian Americans

Oscar Collazos

Today’s guest is Oscar Collazos, an amazing comedian who lives in New York. I asked him to join us on the podcast today because I loved hearing about his journey into comedy and making it in New York.

Episode 3 Summary

As some of you know I moved to NYC about a year ago and its had its ups and downs. It was definitely not as smooth as I thought it would have been but I have persevered and continue to roll with the punches. During this time, Oscar and I have met up a few times and probably unbeknownst to him he gave me the boost of motivation here and there to get through some of the difficulties. This is why I wanted to share his story with my listeners and spread the hope and laughs to make it in a new environment.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

This podcast runs a little on the long end but it is packed with gems of valuable tips and advice for anyone; not just people interested in comedy. It shows how in life you may be put in uncomfortable or foreign situations but once you push through you only become stronger and wiser. Also there will be doubters along the way but use that as fuel to really challenge yourself to prove them wrong.

Lighting Round

We close up the podcast with the lighting round where Oscar answers two valuable questions:

  1. What are some tips for people who move to a new environment?
  2. What is Oscar’s mantra that he repeats to himself to stay motivated?

I hope you enjoy and I can type forever on how much I love this episode but I will let you listen first and please share with me in the comments (here or on social media) on what you think about the episode and your favorite takeaway. Lastly, please follow, subscribe, share and hopefully give five stars to the podcast to let Apple know we are cool….. Gracias

You can find Oscar and the Hilarious Colombian Americans at:

Colombia not Columbia
Please make sure you spell Colombia Correctly 🙂

Cinco de Mayo truths…

As many people throw back margaritas and fill up on taco’s today it’s surprising that many don’t really know the origins of “Cinco de Mayo” or in Mexico known as the Battle of Puebla Day. The origins of “Cinco de Mayo” come from a battle in 1862 when the French tried to invade Puebla, Mexico due to unpaid debts by the Mexican country. Some important names are associated with this time such as Benito Juarez, Napoleon III, and General Ignacio Zaragoza.

Who was Benito Juarez?

Benito Juarez statue in Bryant Park in NYC

Benito Juarez was the 26th President of Mexico between 1858 – 1872 and is a huge figure in Mexican culture. He is considered a symbol of Mexican Nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention for his roller coaster life in Mexican Politics. During his life he was exiled several times from power and even Mexico. He successfully led Mexico through war with France and allowed Mexico to continue its independence from foreign rule. He devoted his whole life to Mexican independence and growth as a nation that he is the only person honored to have his birthday as a public and patriotic holiday every year on March 21st. He was president during the Battle of Puebla.

Benito Juarez was such a national treasure for Mexico it made me wonder who were some great Latino(a) military leaders in US History.

Five Latino(a) US Military Heroes we should all know:

  1. Private France Silva who became the first of 13 Hispanic Marines to receive the Medal of Honor was of Mexican decent and born in California in 1876. The Medal of Honor is the US’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration. Private Silva received the medal for his combat and bravery in the Boxer Rebellion of China in 1901.
  2.  Pedro del Valle was a US Marine and the first Latino to reach the rank of Lieutenant General. He served during the years of 1915 – 1948 which included service in WWI, WWII, the Battle of Okinawa and many others. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico while it was still under colonial Spanish rule. After WWII, he was recommended for the position of Governor of Puerto Rico, which between 1898 – 1942 were appointed by the President of the United States. He eventually asked to be withdrawn from consideration leading to the appointment of Jesus Piñero who is the first civilian and native Puerto Rican appointed Governor of the island.
  3. Angela Salinas is an American retired General in the Marines. She is the first Hispanic woman to become a general in the Marines and the first woman to command a Marine Corps Recruit Depot. She now serves as the CEO of a branch of the Girl Scouts of America.
  4. The Borinqueneers aka 65th Infantry Regiment is a Puerto Rican regiment created shortly after Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States. It was nicknamed Borinqueneers after the Taino name for the island Borinquen. It has been active in all the major US wars since its creation in 1920.
  5. David Farragut – This was a big surprise for me and I wanted to include him as I have seen his name from time to time plastered on streets or schools. Farragut’s father was from Spain but died early in his life and he was adopted by a naval officer in Virginia. He fought for the US in many of their early wars and fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War.

Diverse group shows we have been here from the start!

I wanted to share a diverse group of Hispanic / Latino(a) Americans that served our country throughout the history of the United States to show we have always been present from the start. On this Cinco de Mayo symbolizing where Mexicans united to fight for their nation even though they were outnumbered proves we can fight the insurmountable. We need equal representation as we have fought for this country alongside the very diverse history of the people who call themselves Americans.

Review on Netflix Special: “Latin History for Morons”

John Leguizamo’s Netflix Special: “Latin History for Morons”

Unless you have been living under a rock or your wifi is out you have probably seen it advertised in your Netflix queue. John Leguizamo’s new Netflix special “Latin History for Morons” came on Netflix not too long ago and is right in line with the purpose of Platform Latino’s mission of promoting the Latin history the United States. Leguizamo mixes in his comedy expertise to simmer the top of how much American History involves Latinos. We have been here before America was America. Hell our Spanish ancestors were the ones who sent Columbus over to find the new world. Although he brought sickness and disease, which whipped out the majority of the native people we as Latinos share that as part of our history.

“If you don’t see yourself represented outside of yourself, you just feel invisible.”

John shares his struggles in explaining to his son Latino Heroes he could use for his school project. They aren’t readily available in normal history texts. Also as Latinos it’s hard to identify with the historical role models when we don’t share the same background, language or history. This is why I was glad to see and hear his examples and his passion to use his stardom to bring light on this void in American History. Most times, we focus on the negatives but at times, we need to really dig and find the truths and successes we have had and celebrate these milestones. You can tell he put in actual research into this show that he has been performing on Broadway this past year. He quotes many books, sources, and historical figures, which brings light into how much we have been involved in the history of the United States. Here is a great link to a source that outlines many of the books referenced. It definitely expanded my reading list.

How do you expect to have a Latin Hero for your son if you don’t have one for yourself?

This quote hit close to the heart because as I build PlatformLatino I haven’t identified a Latino(a) hero I look up to myself. To be honest I am using this as a portal to learn more about Latino(a) history in the United States and to also cast more of a positive light on our successes but I should also dig deep in finding out who is my Latin Hero.

“My Hero is Me!”

We are all heroes in our own way and we need to promote that and let others see what we are doing to better the community as a whole. It could be anything from helping the homeless, to editing your friends resume we can all do small acts of kindness to better the world. Make sure you are your own Hero first because you need to believe in yourself first to grow to your full potential.

 

All in all, it was a great special that mixed amazing much needed topics with a light comedic touch. I’d like to hear in the comments what you thought of the special and the takeaways you took from the show.

The First Latino

The First US Latino: A mix of African, Spanish, and the epicenter of Latinos in America

On a lazy rainy day, I was scrolling through Amazon Prime looking for some inspiration via a documentary. As I scrolled through a bunch of documentaries, I saw one about the history of New York. I figured since it was my two-month anniversary of moving to the Big Apple; let me learn a bit more about the greatest city on earth.

History of New York

As they introduced all of New York’s greatness they started with the original story of Henry Hudson sailing into this new world and his vision of this land being a sprawling harbor and center of commerce. We all know New York as being a melting pot; home to the financial markets, sprawls of people and where world leaders meet to discuss worldly issues at the United Nations.

After the Dutch landed in New York, at the time known as New Amsterdam, there is one footnote that has been debated and is much overlooked. A man named Juan Rodriguez, translated to Dutch Jon Rodrigues.

Who was Juan Rodriguez?

Juan Rodriguez was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic by a Spanish Father and an African Mother. Little is known, other than he was able to learn and speak many languages, which allowed him to be hired as a translator for explorers coming to the “New World”. One was a Dutch merchant ship making a voyage from the DR to Manhattan. He arrived in what is now New York in 1613 and soon after met and learned the Algonquin language of the Native Americans that lived in the New York Region. He eventually married into the community and after the Dutch ship left he established a small trading post.

He is known as being the first Latino to settle in Manhattan. Not only was he the first Latino but he was also the first of African heritage, first of European heritage and the first merchant.

Personal Commentary

This is interesting in these times with major issues in the news about immigration that one of the first settlers in New York was a mixed Latino. Its also ironic that as a nation built on immigration that we still have issues with racism and prejudices. Our European ancestors came to explore and settle here they hired and worked with a man who had a Spanish/Portuguese Father and an African Mother and thru historical documents described as a visibly dark man and had no issue with it. Shows we have lost touch with a lot of our true deep down American Values that made this country what it was and what it could be. A nation for the free to grow, prosper and lay a foundation for their families.

One other thing that comes to mind is the repeated story of people coming to this country from other parts of the world to make a life of their own. His story isn’t too far off from the beginnings of Alexander Hamilton who as a parent-less teenager came to New York to make a name for himself. It just shows that if you have the determination and the drive you can make it and live to your fullest potential. No matter what the situation, your families’ history or your upbringing there is no excuse that you cannot improve your life by staying focused and motivated in achieving your goals.  I wish we knew more about Juan Rodriguez and the personal less publicized stories of the early Latino or Spanish settlers that laid the foundation or should I say platform for Latinos today.