Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Traductor Generation

There is a generation of translators in this country that have more than translating in common. A couple of days ago I was invited to be part of a panel at DePaul University, where we discussed how we got to be where we are in our professional carreers. There was a teacher, an executive Director of a small theater company and I. After listening to their amazing stories and some heartbreaking chapters of their lives, there was something in common the panel shared with some people of the audience. I can just guess that also with thousands, if not millions of Latino children of immigrant parents, they shared: the translation duty. I knew about it, I am sure it is not new news of this re-discovery, but it is something we only hear from the point of view of the “struggle”, and since I am in the business of uplifting the emotions and experiences of people (marketing), I decided to take a stab at introducing The Traductor Generation. The Traductor Generation starts at an earlier age, many times as early as 5 years old and just continues to get perfected, as they get older. These translators are children of hardworking Latino parents, that many times come from rural areas and due to the lack of education in our own countries, they learn English through their translators: their kids. I don’t know how far this generation goes, but my hat goes off to them. They are translators, lawyers, pharmacists, and many times, even function as bankers, and they accomplish all this just shy of finishing 5th grade. The Traductor Generation is one that deserves our admiration. Their parents valued their contributions so much that even at times they get to be lent to their neighbors and family, to perform the duty of translating legal documents or just to take a call from a sales person. I didn’t have the privilege of being a translator, but I know many of them. Some of them are older now and many of them are still in primary school, HS and with some hope, they are completing college. They are kind and compassionate, because they had to express their parents requests and sometimes even frustrations. What these generation has also in common, is the fact that they got to stand up for their parents, I’ve heard stories where their parents told them to stop, but many times, these Translators, were the ones who spoke up for them. They don’t take shit and they know when an injustice is happening and are ready to jump in. I am sure there are great stories that these generation has. Some funny, some I am sure not at all funny. But what they do have in common is the experience in adulthood that not many kids at their age has to confront. To the Translators: Gracias por traducir.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Seriously considering changing our capabilities to see if we can change the weather patterns... raininginhouston

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Horchata Effect

The problem with General Market Agencies trying to develop a Hispanic practice or a department, is not in the general market people that they hire to support the Hispanic “dude” (or dudette) who will be the face and share insights, the problem they face is when they encounter the Horchata Effect at the moment of brainstorming.

It happened to me. This is how it goes:

“Hey Hispanic professional, who knows a lot about Hispanic Marketing, we have a client who wants to do Hispanic marketing and since our revenues are shrinking and our people are not reflecting the multicultural landscape that we live on, we would like you to join our team to “lead” our Hispanic Group”….

This is when the first moment of truth, should scare you to take the job…

“by the way you will be reporting to the white dude (dudette), who Habla Espanol… (kind of akward laugh inserted here), she went to school in Barcelona for a semester in Highschool and is dating one of the VP’s a Univision (of course we all know all the VP’s at Univision are anglos, but at least it gives our fictional leader at the GM agency street cred)”

So, at this point you finally think you’ll make change and unleash all your great culturally-attuned-not-based-on-stereotypes-awesome ideas… and boom!

Here is your team:

Planner, Creative & Account Persons, all gringitos (cool looking, but still not connected what-so-ever to the culture).

Your first brainstorm goes like this: (of course, assuming you all did the research and found a great insight to develop ideas)

“what about if we start with Agua de Horchata”….

“What is Jooorchada”?

After an hour and a half of explaining that you need to put rice in water, to then cinnamon, etc… and the entire process and history of the Horchata… you come to the conclusion that of course you need creatives that get the culture, that you need a planner that will not look into stereotypes, that the account person will actually let you have direct contact with the client and that you will not be able to do good work until you join a truly Hispanic Agency…

And that my friends… is the Horchata Effect….

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hoy como Mexico... celebro mi INDEPENDENCIA!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

El nuevo twitter del alcalde Bloomberg desde el punto latino... :o) el bloombito!/elbloombito
Que dia... y todavia no termina!