Baby Eric with his father (top right) and uncles. Circa 1989. Riverbank, CA.

One of the most interesting and overlooked aspects of Mexican immigration to the U.S. is that it is meant to be temporary. The prevailing narrative for a long time has been that Mexicans come to the United States in search of a better life. While that may be true in specific examples, history and research tell us that most immigrants from Mexico come to the U.S. to have a better life back in Mexico.

This may come as a surprise, especially since we think of immigrants as fleeing from dire economic conditions. And while the first people to leave Mexico…


There’s been quite a bit of controversy surrounding author Jeanine Cummins and her latest novel, American Dirt. The story is about a mother and son who fled Mexico after a violent run-in with a cartel.

The book garnered much pre-release hype, with author Don Winslow calling it “the Grapes of Wrath of our time” and Oprah adding it to her Book Club. But critics panned the work for being too bland and unimaginative.

In an article for The Guardian, Kenan Malik says, “its plot is as obvious as a narco gangster’s threat, the characteristics flat and the dialogue has all…


I ain’t askin’ “Why?” no more

Oh, no, I take it if it’s mine, I don’t stay inside the lines

It ain’t 2009 no more

Yeah, I know what’s behind that door…

-Mac Miller

If there was an era when all the disparate parts of my being interacted harmoniously, it would be the Summer of 2009, I was entering my senior year at San Diego State and was months away from a study abroad semester in Barcelona. But first, I was back home for a few months.

We were in the midst of a global recession. But college protected me…


… and about every peasant in Mongolia, every waiter in Madrid, and every car-service operator in San Francisco knows that real life happens to have second, third, fourth, nth steps. — Nassim Taleb

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear nowadays says if a decision isn’t a “hell yeah!” then you shouldn’t do it.

It’s a heuristic popular amongst the tech crowd and the self-employed. In 2009, start-up hero Derek Sivers wrote:

Every event you get invited to. Every request to start a new project. If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about it, say “no.”

Look, this…


Cinco de mayo will be here in a few days. So as LatAm’s favorite “gringo” and token Mexican-American, I thought I’d clear up some misconceptions about the date and provide pointers on how to both maximize your fun and tequila intake.

Cinco de mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexicans observe their independence from Spain on September 16th. May 5th on the other hand, commemorates the day a bunch of Mexican peasants defeated the trained forces of the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla.

The holiday is observed locally in the Mexican city of…Puebla, but it’s far from a…


Are economic barriers preventing the U.S. from developing more players like Christian Pulisic?

In 1928, the editor of the Argentine sports journal El Grafico, Borocoto, penned the perfect description of the Argentine footballing spirit. He described the “pibe”, the kid, as one with:

“… a dirty face, a mane of hair rebelling against the comb; with intelligent, roving, trickster and persuasive eyes and a sparkling gaze that seems to hint at a picaresque laugh that does not quite manage to form on his mouth, full of small teeth that might be worn down through eating yesterday’s bread. …


Last spring, a video of a black woman confronting a white man about his dreadlocks went viral. The video, recorded at San Francisco State, shows the woman physically accosting the man as she questions his hairstyle. Corey Goldstein, the man in the clip, pushes her away and replies “you’re saying that I can’t have a hairstyle because of your culture?” The woman tells Goldstein “because it’s my culture, do you know what locs mean?”

To date, the video has amassed over 4 million views and 20,000 comments on YouTube. Furthermore, it’s sparked a massive debate around cultural appropriation.

At its…


Rekindling old relationships between players and clubs can be difficult, but Fernando Torres has pulled it off

(Atletico Madrid)

In July of 2007, Atletico Madrid’s Fernando Torres bid adios to the only club he ever knew. After seven years on the first squad and after becoming the team’s youngest captain at the tender age of 19, he left the Spanish capital for Liverpool.

In his departing letter to Atletico supporters, Fernando wrote that in his heart he hoped that “…this goodbye is an I’ll see you later.”

Seven and half years after his heartfelt letter, the “I’ll see you later” finally came to fruition. …


This is what I imagine being mentored by Jay Z would be like.

How to get Jay to hear you out.


My co-worker…and co-friend Mark asked me to make him a Hip-Hop 101 list. Mark, besides being incredibly smart, went to art school. So he likes bands that probably don’t exist yet. Making this list could be difficult. On one hand, I’m ecstatic that Mark thinks I’m a cuddly, more personable version of Pandora. But on the other hand, what if I crack under pressure and can’t make him a good playlist? I’ll never be accepted by the art community!

Mark is my homie, so I took this request VERY seriously.

My first idea was to make him a Spotify playlist…

Eric M. Ruiz

How you say “broke” in Spanish? Me no hablo.

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