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This Latin Life: Street Vendors, Chilean Miners, and Gonorrhea


Welcome to “This Latin Life,” a recurring feature in which we bring you the news from south of the border in quick, funny nugget form. Mmm, nuggets…

In Chicago, Latino street vendors are currently facing fines and restrictions from city inspectors. Coming to the vendors aid are people who definitely appreciate deliciously fatty, cheap food: college students. I’m not one to make judgements, but health inspectors from Chicago, which has roughly a 25 percent Latino population, should back off. The benefit of street vendors is beneficial for two reasons:

1. Street food is a great way to preserve and proliferate authentic culture while giving people a chance to make money providing a needed service. Some of the foods served include:  Tamales, chicharrones, pupusas (thick Salvadoran tortillas), and sliced fruit. What’s Taco Bell got? Volcano Tacos, Cinnamon Twists and Limeade Sparklers? Go f–k your self, Taco Bell.

Not actually a Chicago street vendor.

2. Speaking of diarrhea, sure there are some issues with health code violations. But anyone who has eaten street meat knows that’s part of the fun. It’s a game of eating great food and “Russian Poolette.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown a plate full of cart food into my stomach and said, “well, I’m going to regret that in the morning.” Sure it can be a pain, but that rush to the bathroom lets me know I’m alive.

Guess what Snow White, 14 of the 33 Chilean miners who spent three months underground last year have found their princess. The First Lady, Cecilia Morel, made it rain this week when she announced some of the miners would receive a monthly pension of 250,000 Chilean pesos ($540 U.S or 3240 Dave and Buster Power Card credits). Some speculate the announcement could be a PR move by billionaire President Piñera, as it comes a week after citizens protested the growing economic inequality the country is currently experiencing. Whether or not that’s true, it sure is nice to see the little guy almost break even, especially after experiencing months of unemployment and psychological trauma. Don’t spend it all in one place, guys.

While Piñera has established himself as the frumpy Chilean president, Argentinian economy minister Amado Boudou has set himself up to become the “rock’n’roll” vice-president this October. “Rock helps me communicate directly with the people because rock doesn’t lie, and people are fed up with lying politicians,” Boudou told reporters. No word on whether or not he followed this statement with snorting a fat rail off an old Rush album cover. While some have questioned Boudou’s experience, most agree it’ll just be nice to see someone who understands the value of mincing around in high-step fashion to the delight of middle-aged women.

Speaking of sexual harassment, you can’t blame Derek Jeter for this one. A commission recently affirmed that in the 1940s, the United States traveled to South America to “experiment sexually,” which resulted in giving gonorrhea and syphilis to unknowing Guatemalans. The commission read the report to a White House panel, who are no strangers to sex scandals (see video above). The reason for the 1940s experiments was to test the effectiveness of penicillin, which is the drug that made The Jersey Shore possible.

Images via Maggie’s Austin and The Guardian

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