Every month or so we’re joined by Emmanuel “Babelito” Ortega and Justin “Favy Fav” Favela – they are the “Latinos Who Lunch.”  

Ortega and Favela are friends who decided to start the podcast two years ago and explore everything from food -- hence the name -- to the Mexican-American experience in Las Vegas.

“It has surprisingly been a lot of work. I feel like I didn’t expect it to take over my life like it has but I feel like I’ve learned so much. I feel like Babelito and I are constantly just trying to make the podcast easier for us to do since we do produce it, edit it, put it out, do all the social media marketing all on our own. It actually takes a lot more time than people would think,” Favela said.

Ortega is teaching art history now at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

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“I think have four students that knew who I was when they took the class, which was surprising for me and a little embarrassing at the beginning. I just told them not to lose respect for the professor because I am the professor before Babelito,” he said.

At first, he tried to keep his work as an academic separate from the podcast but now his teaching and the podcast are bleeding into each other.

“One of the things I noticed is that slowly we have reception from academia, especially when it comes to getting booked for events, for live podcasts or lectures. So, I’m slowly starting to integrate it into my practice," he said.

The opposite has been true for Favela.

“For me, it is interesting because most of these art gigs that I get across the country people listen to the podcast and expect me to be that person and obviously for mental health reasons and just setting healthy boundaries, I’m a professional when it comes to my art and doing installations and working with administrators at museums and galleries. Obviously, I’m not Favy Fav in person,” he said.

He said that people often expect him to "perform Favy Fav," when they first meet him. What they don't understand is he is speaking to his close friend Ortega in a very open and candid way on the podcast.



Justin Favela: Ofrenda

Nov. 2 – Jan. 6, 2019

Breckenridge Creative Arts

Breckenbridge, CO

Favela is the artist-in-residence at Breckenridge Creative Arts and he is creating a large ofrenda or alter for its Day of the Dead celebration. Favela said he never celebrated the holiday but since it is now in vogue he is booked for the next two years to create installations for it.

“I feel like it is my responsibility to really do the research on the Day of the Dead and represent it in a very respectful way,” he said.

The work in Colorado will focus on Aretha Franklin and transgender people who have died in the past year.

Gypsy Rose Pinata by Justin Favela

Oct. 9, – March 31, 2019

Sahara West Library

“Originally, I made this work for the Peterson Automotive Museum. My really good friend Denise Sandoval curated this show called 'The High Art of Riding Low' and I did a life-sized replica of the Gypsy Rose, which is one of the most iconic low-riders in U.S. history,” he said. 

Justin Favela: Recuerdame

Oct. 17, -Sept. 8, 2019

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

New York City



Emmanuel Ortega, Justin Favela; Latinos Who Lunch

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