cousin

familyguytacosDear Ashley,

I don’t really know you very well. I met you for the first time when my family and I travelled to Rogers, Arkansas to see you marry my nephew. I knew my nephew at some point. I saw him grow up here in Los Angeles until my brother and his wife thought the streets of Woodland Hills too gang-infested and uprooted their entire family to the enclaves of my sister-in-law’s home state.

Shortly after, sometime in the 1990s, my mother and I travelled to Arkansas on an Amtrak train for two days (don’t ask – I still haven’t forgiven my mother for refusing to fly) to visit and see our family’s new dwellings.

You weren’t in the picture yet – your husband was still a teenager. Despite the torturous train ride, we relished the opportunity to spend time with my brother and his family. We were even excited to see a new part of the country. [Mas…]

primos“Wow, it’s so cool you can speak Spanish,” people tell me after they hear me on the phone with my mom.

I say thanks and try to shrug it off, but I worry that letting them think that gives a mistaken impression.

I mean, yes. I can speak Spanish.

My parents taught me Spanish when I was growing up in California because it was the only language they had to give.

Like a lot of children of immigrants, I grew up in a Mexican immigrant bubble – my tias and tios spoke only Spanish. My baby primos spoke Spanish with me when we watched Plaza Sesamo and ate conchitas. [Mas…]

schoolgirl(PNS reporting from EL MONTE) The pressure was too much for Marisol Cruz, a fourth grader at Fernando Valenzuela Elementary, who collapsed on the playground Friday afternoon.

Friends said Marisol was a total stressball since her mother told her to memorize all of her cousins’ names before her upcoming primera comunión fiesta.

“I have like 80 cousins!” the Penn Mar Avenue resident told PNS after she had calmed down and accepted a bag of Takis as an incentive to talk.

“It’s not my fault Mama and Papa have like 20 brothers and sisters each! I just can’t remember them all. Call me ‘Mari’ by the way.”

Mari listed the names: [Mas…]


Stand-up comedian Luke Torres loves his family and his gente. Does his family seem like yours?