["Volví" by Aventura and Bad Bunny]

Maria & Natalia: Hi! Welcome to “Guatever.”

Maria: A year later!

Natalia: I'm Natalia Camino.

Maria: And I'm Maria Caamaño.

Natalia: And we're back.

Maria: Yes, after a year.

Natalia: This is going to be our re-introduction...

Maria: Rebranding!

Natalia: Rebrand! Rebrand! Season two.

Maria: Yes, we are back. So, life update. Um...

Natalia: We've changed a lot since the last release of an episode.

Maria: Yeah. And I mean, me and Nat went through COVID. We went through living together again, but this time it felt like prison?

Natalia: For context ... So last year, Maria and I were in a dorm together, but because of COVID that is where we slept…

Maria: We had breakfast. We had classes. We had lunch ... everything.

Natalia: We had dance class in there. Keep in mind, this is in the same confinement. And we saw a total of two other people that entire six month period.

Maria: I still don't know how, 1) we found things to talk about.

Natalia: We always found things to talk about. For six months.

Maria: I don't know how.

Natalia: Nothing was happening in our lives.

Maria: Literally nothing. Nothing. And also, I don't know how Nat and I just stayed friends. Truly a miracle because I don't think anyone could go through that and like, not drive each other crazy.

Natalia: This can be seen in the increased amount of divorce rates during the pandemic.

Maria: I-What?

Natalia: Did you not know that?

Maria: Yes!

Natalia: But we didn't get divorced.

Maria: Okay.

Natalia: We did not break up. But yes, Maria and I did not break up. We're still roommates. We’re still friends.

Maria: Yes, very much. So for kind of like the start, or kind of like our reintroduction, we wanted to do a special edition episode for Latinx Heritage Month.

Natalia: Yeah. In case you didn't know Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15th. And this date is significant because it's the independence of many countries in Latin America, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Then, on the 16th, Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence Day.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: And I made Maria watch El Grito with me.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: On the eve of the 16th.

Maria: But yeah, because we wanted to get into Latinx Heritage Month, me and Natalia were talking about this. And in the nature of how our podcast started, whenever she and I start talking about something continuously, we just decide to set the microphone on and start talking. So...

Natalia: This is an ongoing debate.

Maria: Yes, it has been going on since freshman year. We've had fights. We've threatened each other with physical fights over this. Do you remember that?

Natalia: Um, Maria brings this up when we meet other Latinos, and she's like, “I need to ask.”

Maria: Yeah.

Natalia: It's for scientific research.

Maria: So the big question today is: is it frijoles or habichuelas?

Natalia: Both translate to “beans” in English.

Maria: Oh, yeah.

Natalia: For our non-Spanish speakers out there.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: We're talking about the word for beans.

Maria: Yes. I feel like beans is like the ... I guess like if you were to say the “Latino food” that like all of the countries share. I feel like it has to be beans, right?

Natalia: It’s rice and beans.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: Both very good.

Maria: I love it. So much. So much. I miss it so much.

Natalia: You just need to learn how to cook it.

Maria: STOP!

Natalia: They sell beans here. And rice!

Maria: I know! But I'm terrible at cooking.

Natalia: I know. You're learning, though.

Maria: But essentially…

Natalia: Maria wanted to introduce this debate and have us debate it on air, per se. Is that the correct term?

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: Okay.

Maria: It's not because of that. It's because I don't think that there is anything more Latinx than Latinos fighting each other on which of the countries is right. Okay, so the countries that say habichuelas are Caribbean Spanish-speaking countries, such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and – where I'm from – which is the Dominican Republic. So yeah, so South America and Central America mostly refer to it as...

Natalia and Maria: frijoles.

Natalia: But yeah....

Maria: I’m outnumbered here, but I have a valid argument.

Natalia: Okay. No, I think you ... For context. In one of our few episodes from freshman year...

Maria: Natalia was ... This is a sad, tragic story. Natalia was about to leave for Spring Break to the DR with me. I think like…

Natalia: Literally a week!

Maria: Literally a week before COVID shut everything down. So, we were all  excited. Natalia had learned the lingo ... she was practicing her slang! And then…

Natalia: Because there's a lot of Dominican slang.

Maria: Yeah. And then like the week that COVID got [our plans] shut down she told me that she wasn't coming, which was obviously a great idea. But at the moment, we didn't know how long COVID was about to be…

Natalia: Yeah.

Maria: So, like, we both just started crying. It was very sad. But...

Natalia: I did end up going though!

Maria: Yes. Ever since then though, it was like we were planning for it, and then Nat came this summer and finally understood.

Natalia: Yes. But the way this fits into the habichuelas versus frijoles argument is that I was like ordering food and at one point, I was like, “Oh, yeah. And could I have some frijoles?” And the person just looked at me.

Maria: Silence.

Natalia: Silence. It's like the embodiment of the eye mouth eye emoji.

Maria: Yes.

Natalia: And then I was like, “Oh, perdon. Habichuelas.” [Translation: “Sorry. Beans.”]

Maria: Also for more context, me and Nat feel the need to debate things constantly because we were both MUN kids.

Natalia: I was Model UN President.

Maria: I was Vice President.

Natalia: Miss Harry Potter Club President also.

Maria: I was the president of the Harry Potter Club in middle school.

Natalia: What is it? You're the number one ranking person for Harry Potter trivia?

Maria: Yeah, I like reached the number one person in the Harry Potter category in the Dominican Republic on QuizUp. I don't know if you remember that app?

Natalia: Yes.

Maria: I don't know. I feel like – obviously, I am not the reigning champion right now. But I reached it! I was number one for like a solid amount of time.

Natalia: What do you mean a solid amount of time?

Maria: I don't know, for like a month maybe? I don't remember! But it's still one of my achievements. If I could put it on my resume, I would. Resume: Harry Potter President, eighth grade.

Natalia: And then under awards and, like, honors…

Maria: Number one!

Natalia: Out of...National champ!

Maria: No, but yeah. So, because Nat and I are MUN kids, we ended up talking about this, said “Let's set up a debate.” It's a quick one because obviously none of us are going to win.

Natalia: Would you like to start?

Maria: Yes. Yes, I do. I would like to start. My argument for habichuelas is that, first of all, I think it sounds prettier. Two...

Natalia: I disagree.

Maria: I- That's a you thing. That's a you opinion.

Natalia: Okay, well, considering it is the Spanish who invented Spanish. They call it frijoles. The correct word is frijoles.

Maria: I don't know! If you see us on campus, tell us your thoughts.

Natalia: We’ll keep track. We’ll keep track.

Maria: Yes. Okay, so Latin American slang just does not make any sense.

Natalia: No. Now for a more controversial take.

Maria: Everyone in Latin America, honestly, has a different word for straw.

Natalia: Yeah, like each country and even different regions within the country sometimes.

Maria: Yeah, it's like the most difficult one, I think.

Natalia: But no one knows the origins of any of them really.

Maria: Mine’s the weirdest one. We’re the ones that strayed the furthest away from everyone. You go first, because mine's the one that's the most controversial.

Natalia: So in Mexico, or at least the area I grew up in, it's called popote.

Maria: In DR, it's called calimete. Which, honestly, I will never understand where it came from. Because all of the Latin American countries have like sorbete, popote, pajita – things like that. But then like us it’s just calimete.

Natalia: None of them fully make sense.

Maria: I don't know why it sounds so right in my brain.

Natalia: No, popote sounds right.

Maria: Here's the thing. Popote sounds like poop to me.

Natalia: But it fits the item. It feels like the right word for a straw.

Maria: I will disagree. I will say that a lot of people call ... I think that sorbete is the one that – to my ears – I'm like, that's not the one I say, but that's the one that I'm like, “it makes sense.” Like sorbete because you sorber through it. [Translation: “because you sip through it.”]

Natalia: Oh, I guess that one does make a little more sense.

Maria: That one makes sense. But then like, um...

Natalia: But also! Unrelated – well, related –but straw in English also doesn't make sense. Like, is it supposed to look like a [straw]?

Maria: I don't know.

Natalia: Hmm.

Maria: That one’s also a weird one.

Natalia: Question all reality.

Maria: Not us going into etymology!

Natalia: Econ degree where? But yes, that is all.

Maria: Is it all?

Natalia: No, there are a lot more words we can get into.

Maria: Yes, but...

Natalia: Let us know in the comments what word you want us to debate next. But yes, this was our intro episode.

Maria: Clearly…

Natalia: We have lost it a little.

Maria: A little bit. But we will be getting back into our regularly-scheduled programming. We do have new episodes coming up soon. We just really wanted to do something for Latinx Heritage Month.

Natalia: More lighthearted.

Maria: Yes. And something that also, like, me and Nat always are talking about music, but not everyone listens to music that's Latin music. Not all Latinos listen to Latin music, so we wanted to do something that was just in general for the Latinx community here.

Natalia: Yeah. Be on the lookout for episodes. Or don't. But thank you for listening.

Maria: Yes! We do appreciate the people who listen to it.

Natalia: We do appreciate it.

Maria: So thank you so much for listening to this episode of Guatever!

Natalia: This has been Natalia Camino.

Maria: And Maria Caamaño. For NBN Audio.

[“Volví,” by Aventura and Bad Bunny]

[This episode was recorded during Latinx Heritage Month back in the month of October.]