Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

Inside: Bulletin boards, ofrends, and Day of the Dead decorations in Spanish Classrooms. 

 

Decorations for Día de Muertos are a welcome alternative to the chile peppers and sombreros we often see in Spanish classroom decor. Many teachers embrace the holiday as more deeply rooted in true Latino tradition than, say, Cinco de Mayo, and a good way to bring culture into their classrooms. 

As with any religious holidays, Day of the Dead has to be handled with care. Of course, since it falls in the same week as Halloween, some parents or students might mistake the decorations. I think it’s a good chance to explore culture and the increasing infusion between U.S. and Mexican culture, specifically. 

If you have students who have recently experience loss, you may need to tread carefully. Some teachers use the day as it was intended, and intentionally create a space for grieving students to reach out and remember their loved ones. 

The teacher below did just that, to remember a student in her own school community. “Altar de muertos dedicado a uno de los estudiantes que perdió la vida en un accidente el año pasado.” 

 

Credit: Alicia Chávez Bartlett

 

You know your own students and community best, but it’s sometimes helpful to see what others are doing. 

If YOU have pictures of Day of the Dead decorations, bulletin boards, or ofrenda you’d like featured, please send me an email or message and let me know!

 

Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

 

We’ll start off with bulletin boards and displays that teachers set up to share about the holiday. 

Credit: Diana García

Credit: Taina García 
Twitter: @tgarciaspanish

Credit: Itzel Cedillo

Credit: Tania Dee

 

Día de Muertos Ofrenda Projects

 

Many teachers assign making ofrenda as a project. Several Spanish teachers shared the gorgeous work their students created, and I love seeing their creativity. 

Credit: Allysen Clancy
Twitter: @LamphereSpanish, #wearelamphere

Credit: Anne Baker

Credit: Kimberly Perez
School: Cypress Park High School

 

Día de Muertos Celebrations

 

Credit: Claudia Di Crosta

Claudia shared these pictures of the celebration she’s organized at her school. She says, 

“We decorate the room with all different projects my students make, and we create a life size altar on the stage where the students and staff can display the pictures of their loved ones. Then we have a fiesta, our baking students bake/decorate skull shaped cookies and Día de los Muertos bread, our culinary students make us rice and pulled chicken and then we eat, dance, and share stories about our deceased loved ones. We have been featured in our local newspaper the past 3 years.”

Amazing way to put the spotlight on world language programs, right?

Spanish Slang Phrases from the Around the World

Spanish Slang Phrases from the Around the World

Inside: A collection Spanish slang phrases from different countries in the Spanish-speaking world. 

¿Así es, di? 
¡Hola, huambrilla!

I remember the thrill of dropping slang into my sentences, as a baby Spanish learner. Di is special to the Pervuian jungle, so it got fun reactions when I learned to use it properly, as an obvious extranjera living there.

Heck, twelve years later it’s still infinitely satisfying to include that perfect piece of Spanish slang, at just the right time.

Perhaps it’s that sense of, “This isn’t my native culture, but I belong. I have roots here too.” 

Slang can make you sound like a native you aren’t (as long as you know how and when to use it!) and some phrases express things your native language can’t. 

Street Spanish is interesting, because it varies so widely across the world. Some phrases won’t make sense to a native speaker from another country, or might be considered vulgar somewhere else, so you have to be careful. It’s important to pay attention to what works for each country. 

This post is the result of crowdsourcing! My readers from all over sent in slang from their respective regions. If you find a mistake or disagree, please let me know in the comments. I imagine this post will be organic for a while, as we correct and collect more. Please send me your favorite Spanish slang phrases and I’ll keep adding to the list. 

 

Spanish Slang

 

Mexico

 

¡Qué padre! – How cool!/ awesome

¡Qué chido! – very cool

chafa – cheap, lame poorly made

órale – to express surprise/ Really?

Híjole – Oh my goodness!

¿Qué onda? – What’s up?

¿Mande? – What?

cuate – guy

guey – man

compa – friend

suave – groovy (older form of cool)

Qué mala/buena onda – What bad/good luck

pasta – money

es la leche – cool

chavo – young man

Neta? – Really?

¡No manches! – No kidding!/ For real?

¡A la goma! – to express surprise/ Wow!

¡Qué fregón! – How cool!

chilango – person from Mexico City

foráneo – person from out of town

provinciano – person from elsewhere than Mexico City

lana – money

chanclas – sandals

coche – car

 

Spain

 

sujetavelas – third wheel (candle-holder)

sinpa – dash and dine

pelota – teacher’s pet

enchufado – well-connected, the favorite

Qué mal rollo – that sucks

¡Qué guay! – How cool!

tío – guy/dude

majo/a – very nice

a flor de piel – wear your heart on your sleeve (meaning varies)

pasta – money

¡Cómo mola! – How cool!

vale– okay

es la leche – cool

chaval/a – teenager

Qué chulo – How cool

flipar– to be shocked

picar– to bother someone

 

Ecuador

 

pana – friend

bielas – beer

mijin – friend (amigo inseparable)

guambra – guy/girl (chico/chica)

achachay – it’s so cold (qué frío)

ayayay – that hurts (qué dolor)

acolitar– help (ayudar/acompañar)

ñaño/a – brother/sister

 

Costa Rica

 

chunche – thing

chiva – cool

¡Qué cachete! – How cool!

mop – close friend (primo, changed to mopri, shortened)

vara – thing

voy jalando – to leave a place with a bad attitude/feeling

mae – dude

manillo – dude

chiguines – kids

tico/a– a Costa Rican

tuanis – cool

pura vida– hello/ goodbye/ cheers/everything is good or cool

estar chineado/a– when you want to be cuddle/ loved/ taken care of

 

Panama

 

vaina – thing (as in, when you don’t remember what it is)

¿Qué sopa? – What happened? (¿Qué sopa?, after pig latin… ¿Qué sopa mopri?)

panama

 

Colombia

 

nomba – abbreviation of hombre (used as in “nuh uh no way”)

¿Qué hubo? – What’s up?/ How’s it going?/ to shoo away dogs or reprimand kids

ira – now

 

 

Guatemala

 

güiros – niños

pisto – dinero

patojos – teenagers

 

 

Puerto Rico

 

charro/charrería – something/someone is lame

vacilón – a great party, having lots of fun

mano – dude

algarete – something crazy

bochinche – gossip

bregar – to work something out

cafre – someone with little education and attitude

chabón – someone that bothers you

changa – a person that wines and complains a lot

lambón – someone who is always pleasing others

 

 

Perú

 

causa – friend

pata
– friend

chévere
– cool

flaca
– girlfriend

humabrillo/a
– guy/girl

ñaño/a
– brother/sister

chelas
– beers

chamba – work

bacán – wonderful

calato– naked

cana – jail

chape – kiss

mosca – alert

pituco – wealthy

yunta – best friend

chibolo – niño

peru

 

Chile

 

bakán – cool

filo – over it (no importa)

pololo/a – boy/girlfriend

al tiro – right now

carrete – party (carretear – to party)

poh – filler words used for emphasis

Cachai? – You get it?

fome – boring

seco/a – awesome, a person who is good at doing something

guagua – baby

bebida – soda

chile

 

Dominican Republic

 

un chin – a little bit

vaina – stuff

guagua – bus

jevi – cool

Qué lo qué – What’s up

colmado – convenience store

bacano – cool/ someone good at something difficult

pana – buddy

jeepeta – SUV

chévere – cool

tato – everything is good/alright

ñapa – bonus/ when you buy something and they give you extra

esquimalito – popsicle

jevo/a – boy/girlfriend or girl/boy

concho – non-reulgated public transportation/ to express discomfort

tripear– to joke around/ to be pleasing (as in, “te tripea”)

quillao/quillá– being very mad

guapo/a– to be angry

 

 

Nicaragua

 

tuani – cool/awesome

chigüin/a: boy/girl

dale pues – do it then, go ahead

chaval/a – boy/girl

chele/chela -light-skinned person

chunche – thingamajig

Qué encave – How messed up

están jalando – they are dating

ni chicha ni limonada – to express confution

nicaragua

 

El Salvador

 

chivo/a – cool

va – ok/uh huh/got it/ah

cara de chumbe – turkey face

bicho, cipote(a) – child

chucho – dog

pisto – money

nicaragua

 

Venezuela

 

dale pues – go ahead and do it, let’s go, to express agreement

chévere – cool

chamo/a – boy/girl

chimbo – not good/bummer

coroto – thing (when you’re unsure of the name)

guácala – yucky, gross

bululú – a crowd

na’guará – to express admiration of something incredible or true

venezuela

 

Paraguay

 

colectiva – bus

dispensa – corner store

puerete – cool (Guarani origins)

chulina – cute (Guarani origins)

chamigo/a – close friend (mix of che and friend)

paraguay

 

Uruguay

 

ta – okay

chiquilín/a – boy or girl

guri – boy

plata – money

 

Argentina

 

che – meaning varies (hey, cool, guy)

pibe/piba – boy/girl

mina – girl

re – prefix that means “very”

tener fiaca – lazy

morfar – to eat

bondi – bus

¿Me estás cargando? – What the heck?

baja un cambio – call/ slow down

dale – ok/ hurry up

plata/mango/guita – money

 

 

Latin American Movies on Netflix: What to Watch

Latin American Movies on Netflix: What to Watch

 Inside: The best Latin American movies on Netflix

 

It can be overwhelming to sit down for a night of Netflix, especially when you’re trying to sift through lesser-known films. I’ve spent the last month marathon-ing my way through Spanish-language movies and shows, and this post focuses on titles related to Latin America. 

 

 

Latin American Movies on Netflix

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Argentina

There are quite a few titles available, so it’s probably easier to jump over to my post on the Best Argentinian Movies on Netflix

Mexico

There are lots of Mexican movies as well, so I’ve got a post on Mexican movies on Netflix coming your way as well. I will link to it as soon as it’s live!

 

Guatemala

 

Ixcanul

An indigenous Guatemalan family arranges a marriage for their 17-year-old daughter, Maria, to the foreman of the plantation. Maria, however, is in love with another worker and wants to escape with him. What follows is a clash of modern-day and traditional life: beautiful, sad, and compelling, both cinematographically and story-wise. The movie was filmed in Kaqchikel, which all of the actors natively speak. 

Info: Drama | Kaqchikel Audio, Spanish Subtitles | 2015

 

 

LIVING ON ONE DOLLAR

Four friends leave the U.S. and plan to live on $1 per day in Guatemala. Although this film can reinforce the storyline of interpreting poverty and Latin America only through the eyes of foreigners, it’s an interesting watch. 

Info: PG | English Audio | 53min

 

 

Chile

 

Sin filtro

Pía is surrounded by people who take her for granted and take advantage of the fact that she doesn’t speak up for herself. One day she can’t take it anymore, and sees an alternative Chinese doctor. He administers a dubious treatment that turns out to be extremely effective: now Pía can only say exactly what’s on here mind. 

(Heads up– there’s a somewhat explicit sexual scene near the end that I found a little disturbing. It’s meant to be uncomfortable, but just letting you know.)

Info: Comedy | Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Venezuela

 

To Be a Miss 

A look into the famous beauty pageant industry and process in Venezuela, through the eyes of three women. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Colombia

(Beyond movies, there are also some great shows set in Colombia. You may want to check out La niña, and Pablo Escobar: Patron del malo.) 

 

Entre nos

An indigenous Guatemalan family arranges a marriage for their 17-year-old daughter, Maria, to the foreman of the plantation. Maria, however, is in love with another worker and wants to escape with him. What follows is a clash of modern-day and traditional life: beautiful, sad, and compelling, both cinematographically and story-wise. The movie was filmed in Kaqchikel, which all of the actors natively speak. 

Info: Drama | Kaqchikel Audio, Spanish Subtitles | 2017

 

 

Carteristas (Pickpockets)

 

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Crime, Drama | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2018

 

 

Colombia magia salvaje (Colombia: Wild Magic)

 

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Crime, Drama | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2018

 

 

Cuba

 

Cuba and the Cameraman

A look into Cuban life and changes, over several decades, through the eyes of three different families. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

El Che

Mexican writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II retraces the life and journeys of Che Guevara. (It was difficult to find the trailer, so below is a section of the documentary itself.)

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2016

 

 

Peru

 

Peru, Tesoro Escondido (Peru, Hidden Treasure)

A group of teens in Bogotá are mentored in the art of stealing by an expert thief, in a gritty, coming-of-age sort of story. 

Info: Documentary | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

Asu Mare 2

Machin, who comes from humble origins, is now dating the girl of his dreams– who happens to be in a wealthy family. Machin

Info: Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

GHOSTS OF MACHU PICCHU

Discover the mysteries and marvels of Machu Pichu in this doucmentary from PBS. 

Info: PG | English Audio | 53min

 

 

 

Of course, there are many Latin American movies that aren’t available on Netflix. Here are some famous titles:

    

 

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Latin American Movies on Netflix

Ideas Para Día de la Madre in Spanish Class

Ideas Para Día de la Madre in Spanish Class

Inside: A collection of ideas para Día de la Madre. 

 

Mother’s day is a big deal around the world, and a huge deal in Latin America. Whether you’re a dad hoping for some ideas, or a Spanish teachers looking for activities to do in class, I’ve found lots of fun ideas to celebrate moms/mamis/abuelas this year. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Ideas Para Día de la Madre

dia de la madre

Books / Libros

 

Easy & Fun Ideas

 

 

  • Make cards! Make acrostic poems from the letters in “MAMA” or use one of the freebies below!

 

Día de la Madre Cards in Spanish

 

Tarjetitas para ‘El Día de la Madre” from Fun for Spanish Teachers

Gorgeous printable cards for Día de la Madre from Spanish Playground

List of Phrases for Mother’s Day in Spanish from Spanish Playground

Regalos para Día de la Madre

 

 

 

 Songs/Canciones and Videos

 

Mamá te quiero mucho – Mother’s Day Song in Spanish 

 

 

Mamá yo quiero

 

 

Mami

 

La canción del Día de la Madre – Song for Mother’s Day

 

 

¿Dónde está mamita linda?

 

 

El día de la madre – La Colmena Feliz

 

 

Día de la Madre en Juarez, Mexico

 

Ideas para Día de la Madre 

 

What other ideas do you love for celebrating Mother’s Day in Spanish? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spanish Romantic Movies on Netflix

Spanish Romantic Movies on Netflix

Inside: A list of Spanish romantic movies on Netflix. 

 

Spanish is one of the most romantic languages out there. So as I made my way through Spanish-language movies on Netflix, I obviously needed a list of romantic comedies and dramas!

 

Spanish Romantic Movies

 

Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

This list was NOT made with students in mind! I’ve included ratings and links on each titles to help you decide what to watch. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. CORAZÓN DE LEON (HEART OF A LION)

 

León finds a lost cell phone, and calls the owner, Ivana. When they chat, there’s an instant connection, so he asks her out. There’s just one detail she doesn’t know: he’s only 4.4 feet tall. The rest of the movie explores whether or not they can make it: is their mutual attraction enough to overcome shallow societal expectations?

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017 | NR  | Argentina

 

 

2. PERDIENDO EL NORTE (OFF COURSE)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up with humble jobs in a café. They navigate cultural differences, confront their new economic reality, and meet new people, all while hiding their actual circumstances from family back in Spain. Things get complicated when one of them falls for another Spanish girl living in the new city.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015  |   |  Spain

 

 

3. Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)

 

A luscious, sensual tale of food and passion in the tradition of magical realism this iconic work by Mexican author Laura Esquivel was adapted to screen by Esquivel herself. A young woman, Tita, falls in love with Pedro but isn’t allowed to marry him. He ends up married to her sister, and Tita directs all of her emotion into the food she prepares. 

Info: Drama Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 1992 | R | Mexico

 

 

4. Estar o No Estar (To Be or Not to Be)

 

Augusto, a single man in his 40’s, moves back to his hometown– a small Mexican town. He meets two women: a friendly neighbor, Ludivinia, and a local Russian waitress with whom he falls madly in love, Nástenska. 

Info:  Drama, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  | 2016  |  NR  Mexico

 

 

5. Órbita 9 (Orbiter 9)

 

A young woman has lived her entire life in a space pod, orbiting towards a distant planet and faces staying there, alone, for another 20 years. When an engineer visits to make a repair, she quickly falls for him and he can’t shake the their interaction either. When he makes the bold decision to go back, she begins to learn her life is not what she thought.

Info:  Romance, Sci-Fi  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016  |   |  Spain

 

 

6. NUESTROS AMANTES (OUR LOVERS)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016  |   |  Spain

 

 

7. SPANISH AFFAIR (OCHO APELLIDOS)

 
 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. The sequel (which I thought was better) is also on Netflix!

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014  |   |  Spain

 

 

 

8. Elvira, te daría mi vida pero lo estoy usando

 

Elvira’s husband leaves one night to buy something at the drug store, and doesn’t come back. Reeling from shock, confusion, and fear, she takes matters into her own hands and launches a search to find him and figure out what happened. This movie kept surprising me, right until the end. It’s not your classic rom-com at all, but a good watch. 

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017  |   |  Mexico

 

 

 
 

9. PALMERAS EN LA NIEVE (PALM TREES IN THE SNOW)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

(Trigger warning– there is a lot of violence, including a rape scene.)

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015  | NR  |  Spain

 
 

10. ¿Qué culpa tiene el niño? (Don’t Blame the Kid)

 

The plot here has been done before: a one-stand results in a pregnancy, this time between a successful professional and an irresponsible young man. 

Info: Comedy, Romance | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 1992 | R | Mexico

 
 
 
 

11. Spanish-language movies on Netflix

 

An epileptic man and a woman caring for her suicidal mother meet and begin an intense affair– the way many romances begin. As real life sets in, they have to decide if they will give each other a real chance to fall in love. 

Info: Drama, Romance | Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles | 2015 | NR | Mexico

 

 
 
 

What other Spanish romantic movies did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Inside: Spanglish movies and series on Netflix. 

 

In the U.S., languages other than English have a way of dying. By the second or third generation, Italians and Swedes had generally lost their native speech, but some speculate Spanish may prove to be the an exception

Spanglish could be seen as a slippery slope of mixed language, such that heritage speakers lose their Spanish. If that’s all kids hear, it’s certainly a possibility. But for my part, I love the influx of Spanglish into American media and pop culture. Spanglish is my life. A third pure English, a third pure Spanish, and a third Spanglish. 

So when Netflix start airing shows with Spanglish families like mine, I watch. I like seeing my world on screen and I think it says to my kids: Spanish is something to celebrate. Multilingualism is a great thing. 

And also… some of you are in Spanglish relationships. You may love Spanish-language shows, but perhaps your partner isn’t so excited about reading subtitles for the next month. Here’s your compromise!

 

Spanglish Movies and Shows

 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update! This is a mix of family-friendly series and not-so-family-friendly, so please be sure to click on the title and check ratings. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. Jane the Virgin 

 

Three generations of Latinas living under one roof star in this amazing Spanglish show. Jane’s world is forever turned upside down when she’s accidentally inseminated by her gynecologist. What ensues is a mostly light-hearted (but often poignant) story of how different generations, cultures, and genders come around Jane’s new life and baby. Anyone who has watched telenovelas will appreciate the purposely humorous and dramatic references throughout the show. 

 

 

2. Un Día a la vez (One Day at a Time) 

 

It’s hard not to love this show! Again, here we have three generations under one roof, this time a Cuban-American family, working out life, culture, and family together. This is truly a Spanglish show, with dialogue going back and forth between languages as different generations communicate. This is a family-friendly show (TV-PG) you might be able to watch with your older kids. 

(One thing I love is that several characters try to learn more Spanish, and are shown making an effort to keep up with their heritage or new language.)

 

 

3. Narcos

 

Completely switching genres, Narcos follows the pursuit of Pablo Escobar and other drug lords in Colombia. Unlike several previous shows, this one is told entirely from the American perspective. Gritty and suspenseful, Narcos is one of those series that pulls you in and is hard to turn off. 

 

 

4. Casa de Mi Padre

 

Ok, Casa de Mi Padre is technically all in Spanish, but since Will Ferrell isn’t a native speaker I’m claiming it as Spanglish material. Playing on every telenovela stereotype out there, this one will be funniest for those who are familiar with both U.S. and Latino culture and humor.

How to know if you’ll like it? Well, if you like both Will Ferrell and Gael García Bernal… this one’s for you. 

 

 

5. Entre Nos

 

Based on a true story, a Colombian mother travels New York with her two children, only to be abandoned by her husband once there. She must improvise and find a way to survive on her own, by collecting cans in the city trash.

 

 

6. Ladrones

 

When a wealthy woman steals land from a group of hard-working Texan families, they seek help from a legendary Robin Hood pair in Mexico to steal the title back. A funny, action-packed movie not meant to be taken too seriously. Watch when you’re in the mood to watch the good guys triumph and the bad guys get what they deserve. 

 

 

What other Spanglish series and movies can I add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spanglish shows on Netflix

 

 

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