Isabella Gomez Sarmiento

"El Madrileño" — the man from Madrid.

That's the easiest way to describe Antón Álvarez Alfaro, who performs as C. Tangana.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Through Latin music, we are able to see the true range of the Latinx identity — the range of music that this genre encompasses spans multiple languages, cultures, and experiences in a way that no other musical category does. And the singles and albums that came out this year seem to reflect that diversity more than ever.

At 85-years-old, the Nobel-Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's most significant writers.

The Peruvian, who rose to international prominence in the 1960s, has a new book out called Harsh Times. And, like most of his work, it examines the dangers of power and corruption in Latin America.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is having a moment — again.

Twenty-six years after her murder, the Tejano pop star's face still adorns T-shirts and hoodies. She's the subject of a new Netflix series and a podcast.

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LULU NAVARRO-GARCIA, HOST:

You were hoping it would be an isolated incident.

Your cat catches a cicada on the balcony, brings it inside, chows down and promptly throws up on the hardwood floor.

But over the course of just a few days, it happens again. And again.

So you revoke his outside privileges and call the vet.

As summer inches closer, more people are getting vaccinated and cities are starting to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

After such a tumultuous year, what are some activities you're looking forward to resuming or taking up for the first time? Whether you're going back to see your favorite hairstylist for a fresh cut, or gathering with close friends for your first indoor meal, NPR's Weekend Edition wants to hear from you — and maybe even join you (virtually!).

Masuma Ahuja can vividly recall what she wore on her first day of school in the United States: black jeans and a gray and orange T-shirt.

It was the early 2000s and her family had just moved from India to Pittsburgh. She remembers a boy at her middle school asking her, on that very first day, about what she was wearing.

"He was like, 'Oh, I didn't realize that you wore [Western] clothes in India," she says. "He thought India was very much a place where there were snake charmers and elephants on the street."

The music of Aaron Frazer feels a bit like stepping into a time machine: It's got touches of Curtis Mayfield and Carole King, but it's also very much of this moment.

When lockdown went into effect earlier this year, many people turned to TikTok to pass the time.

Like, a lot of people: the short-video platform has now hit over 2.6 billion downloads globally and was the most downloaded app of 2020, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie.

The pandemic is part of the reason for surging TikTok popularity.

Growing a mustache. Teaching a girl to dance. Lying in bed on a rainy morning.

These are the everyday daydreams of Wachito Rico, the titular character at the heart of Boy Pablo's new album.

And they're not far off from the real life of Nico Muñoz, the 21-year-old Chilean-Norwegian musician behind Boy Pablo.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

If you're wondering when it will be safe to date again — or how to do it — you're not alone.

Via social media and email, NPR readers have sent in questions about dating and relationships in the age of COVID-19. Some of the queries:

Last fall, we spoke to Cameroonian filmmaker Rosine Mbakam about the U.S. premiere of her documentaries The Two Faces of A Bamileke Woman and Chez Jolie Coiffure. Now, we catch up to hear how the pandemic has upended — and reinvented — her new projects.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. And we ask readers to send in their queries. Some of the questions we get are a little ... unusual. They may not be the most critical health questions. Yet they are definitely interesting. So this week, here is a sampling of both frequently and infrequently asked questions.

On June 8, a small group of Democratic lawmakers donned Ghanaian kente cloth before kneeling on the floor of the U.S. Capitol for nearly nine minutes. The gesture was meant to show solidarity for George Floyd as they unveiled their proposed police reform legislation. But photographs of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrapped in the colorful woven strips, gifted to them by members of the Black Congressional Caucus, quickly sparked controversy online.

In April, Johanna Cruz terminated her pregnancy with drugs obtained through a telemedicine consultation.

Abortion is legal in Colombia. And Cruz, a street performer from Chile who was backpacking through the Colombian state of Antioquia, did not feel she was in a position to raise a child. She didn't have a steady income or stable housing. And with stay-at-home orders in place to control the spread of coronavirus, she found herself facing homelessness in the town of San Rafael and unable to travel to Medellin, the nearest city with an abortion clinic.

Around the world, people have held vigils, organized protests and painted murals this week to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across America.

These events are also taking place in countries struggling with their own crises — conflict, poverty, the pandemic. America's loud call for justice after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many more black Americans has resonated.

This is part of a series looking at pressing coronavirus questions of the week. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

What risks are there in attending a protest rally?

Modelers say it's difficult to assess how the protests will influence COVID-19 infections. But it's clear that a key ingredient for transmission is present at many of these rallies: close contact.

I need to take a trip that would be either a few hours flying or multiple days driving. Which is safer?

As lockdown orders are relaxed to some capacity in countries around the world, travel is starting to see an uptick for the first time since mid-March. But when it comes to taking a longer trip, is it better to travel by car or by plane?

What advice is there for the army of new contact tracers out to find anyone who has been near a newly diagnosed coronavirus patient?

For nearly three years, Mark Green led the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in delivering foreign aid to countries in need during times of crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic.

When Cardi B went live on Instagram last month to tell her fans they should be taking COVID-19 seriously, a Brooklyn DJ laid her speech over a beat and turned it into an iTunes success.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, young people have been heavily criticized for not taking social distancing seriously.

On a typical sunny spring afternoon, the outdoor seating of Atlanta's Krog Street Market would usually be packed. But it's not a typical week.

As more and more people practice social distancing and stay inside in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the tables at Krog are completely deserted.

Most restaurant booths have large signs indicating they're either closed or only serving food to-go. But there's still people coming in and out, carrying Postmates and GrubHub bags.

It's Friday afternoon, and 12 people are gathered in a pole dancing class in Washington, D.C. They start warming up in front of a wall of mirrors, music at full blast. At first, it looks like any fitness class with the first 15 or so minutes consisting mainly of ground stretching on yoga mats.

Then they climb up on the poles. Some people twirl around, others fully invert, lifting their legs over their heads.

What can't Bad Bunny do?

Challenging traditional gender norms and aesthetics in the male-dominated world of urbano? Check. Revealing, via the heartfelt closing track of his new album, that he might be retiring at the end of this year? Check.

A year ago, my first real relationship came to an end. On what would have been my first Valentine's Day alone in years, I decided to stop moping and take myself to the newly opened Hattie B's Hot Chicken, a Nashville chain whose business had spread to Georgia. For support, I asked an old friend to come along.

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