If you’re going to throw a cocktail party, then you might as well learn stuff while you’re at it. So it’s a good thing at that class is definitely in session, as Netflix streams John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons.
Using a classroom setting to make his point, Leguizamo wants us to understand that just because we don’t always get taught about the significant contribution of other cultures, doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.
And if his example is anything to go by, deep diving into what you don’t know can give you a better understanding of not only the people around you but you’re own place in the world.
Based on the Tony-nominated Broadway show, Leguizamo mixes outlandish humour with enough real history to make a good start on a textbook.
Taking on the role of a professor, he attempts to find a Latinx hero for his son to research for a middle school project. And through the history he uncovers, you get a glimpse of what it means to be Latino in America today.
He feels strongly that teaching Latin history is the first step toward conquering prejudice, and he dreams of using his research to create a history textbook. Although to our mind, a lot of the historical figures he encounters, be they war heroes, activists or victims of injustice, seem to have lived lives that are made for Hollywood.
From a mad recap of the Aztec empire to stories of unknown Latin patriots of the Revolutionary War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down the 3,000 years between the Mayans and Ricky Ricardo into 90 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark style.
So next time there is someone you don’t understand because their culture, beliefs or attitudes are different from yours, buy them a cocktail and listen to their story – you might learn something …
Using Latin History as a jumping off point, this cocktail party is all about exploring a little Latin culture.
Using elements that are relatively familiar, (movies, Pisco and a little Latin jazz) we hope to provide enough interest that you’ll explore more on your own.
So yes, start the night off with Latin History but then why not move onto some amazing Latin films. Our suggestion is that you start with a classic supernatural morality tale called Macario. Made in 1960, this film is beautifully shot and acted and commonly thought to be crowning achievement from the golden age of Mexican cinema. It was also the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
For something completely different, a film like Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too – 2001) takes you on a road trip you’ll never forget.
Making some cocktails with Pisco would seem the obvious choice. Now if you haven’t come across this South American spirit, it’s high time you tried it. Colourless or yellowish-to-amber in colour, it is a brandy -style spirit produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. And of course, a Pisco Sour would be the first drink to try.
And then we travel across to Columbia to experience a little Aguardiente (an aniseed-flavoured Liqueur which is typically drunk neat) but we’ll mix up with a little Ginger Beer for an Aguar Mule.
Now for a little Brazilian street food – Coxinhas and salsa make the perfect dish
And for those with a sweet tooth, Brigadeiros is a traditional Brazilian dessert
If you are unsure what you’ll talk about, then we have a few articles that can provide some fun facts for you and your guests.
Why John Leguizamo Is So Invested in Telling the Country About Latino History
Peru vs. Chile: South America’s Great Pisco War
Ancient DNA Reveals Yet More Complicated Histories In The Americas
First Wrecked Slave Ship Discovery Yields Brutal Details
23 Badass Latin American Women Who Made History