no love, no tacos: where and how the viral slogan started

given the historically imperious attitude of the u.s. toward mexico it’s a little amazing that nobody thought to say no love, no tacos before now. frankly,  it’s a response that was long overdue. and it originated in iowa! i’m filled with mexican and iowan pride. 😂

la carreta has been serving mexican food for 20 years in marshalltown, a small community about 50 miles northeast of des moines [the capital of iowa]. alfonso medina took over the family restaurant business a couple of years ago. his parents migrated from mexico more than three decades ago and he was born in iowa..[medina says he was] made in mexico, delivered in the u.s.

alfonso medina serving food at la carreta vocabulario en ingles

alfonso medina serving food to his customers in la carreta (sara jordan-heintz, marshalltown times republican)
has been serving is present perfect continuous. la carreta opened for business 20 years ago and is still open today. has and been are both auxiliary verbs. take over means assume control. the word migrate is very similar to migrar in spanish, but the “i” is pronounced differently–MY-great is the correct pronunciation. listen to the pronunciation of migrate here. born is an adjective. it needs to be used with the verb be, e.g. he born in iowa is a mistake. deliver is often translated to spanish as entregar, but its application to birth in english does NOT translate to spanish.
in august, alfonso put this sign at the entrance of la carreta’s parking lot
sign reads we believe black lives matter no human is illegal women's rights are human rights science is real water is life injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere
anger over this sign lit up alfonso medina’s social media  (cnn)

not long after, his social media feed lit up with criticism about the sign and he even received a few letters. but one such letter caught his attention. it was typed with no return address or signature. they addressed him by name and accused him of caving in to political correctness, but they also called him a leftist marxist… the letter also has a handwritten part expressing disappointment la carreta decided to display a sign that insults and disrespects christianity and america.

not long after means a little latereven emphasizes the fact that medina got letters in addition to social media response. such means of that type. cave in means do what is requested or expected. leftist means politically liberal. handwritten means part of the letter was written with a pen, not digitally printed like the rest of the letter. light up indicates a high level of activity or a metaphorical explosion. like in the lyrics of bts’ huge hit dynamite. u can hear (ima) light it up like dynamite several times.

as valdez explains, medina took things in stride (stayed calm). he posted the letter to instagram, and added: we’re sorry your burrito had to get political, but it was the only way y’all would listen.  get political is an example of get + adjective. get means become. y’all is an informal way to say you plural. 

but what really got people’s attention…

…was the four words at the end of [the post] that went viral: no love, no tacos. and the phrase took off, becoming the new slogan of the restaurant.

make sure to pronounce the v in viral with your front teeth and bottom lip. in spanish we pronounce b and v the same–DON’T DO IT in english though. also, pronounce “eye” for i, NOT like the spanish i latina. the a is a shwuh sound . listen to the correct pronunciation of viral here. take off means become popular. a slogan is a short, memorable, representative phrase.
no love no tacos sign vocabulario en ingles
the no love, no tacos billboard in marshalltown iowa (cnn)
medina explains himself like this…

i am someone who takes something negative and tries to turn it into something 10 times more positive. if they don’t want us, they should align their ideals and their comments with the food they eat.

should is used here as a recommendation. align means make consistent. turn into is change, convert. listen for it at :30 and three more times in this lyric from this popular shawn mendes hit…

pain, but i won’t let it turn into hate

after receiving support from some of his customers, medina…

did what any savvy businessman would do: he copyrighted the slogan and started selling t-shirts and other branded merchandise to help fund a scholarship for the local community college. and he paid for a large billboard displaying “no love, no tacos” near his restaurant that dwarfs the sign that originally caused the controversy.

savvy means smart, with good judgment. fund means give the money for. a scholarship is free money given to students to pay for their studies.  a billboard is a big sign used for advertising. the no love, no tacos billboard is near la carreta, NOT near to or near from, which are common mistakes. dwarf means the original sign is much smaller than the billboard.
a happy kid wearing glasses and a bowtie in front of a laptop vocabulario in inglés
a tech savvy kid
and medina has even gone a step further…

piggybacking on the popularity of the slogan, medina created a new website where he is advocating to make election day a national holiday. he is practicing what he is preaching. [he says]: my goal is to make the elections as just as possible. i am going to close on election day, and not only pay my employees, but i am going to go and volunteer at the polls.

piggybacking means attaching to. advocate means speak in favor of. practice what u preach is an idiom that advises people to do what they say they do, act consistently with their words. preach means give moral advice. as just as possible is the as adjective as structure used as a superlative–medina wants the highest possible level of fairness in the elections. the polls are where people vote.
a mom giving her daughter a piggyback ride vocabulario en inglés
piggyback rides are related to the idea of piggybacking (

the english practice extra for this post defines these words and phrases will, skill, stank heap of shit, get behind, rally around, dummy, amongst and let go of.

there is also this vocabulary that can be found elsewhere (in other places) on have got structure, actually,  would,  politician, political, phase out and xenophobia.

click CC for subtitles in english/spanish.

do u think the sign alfonso medina put outside of his restaurant was leftist? do u think no love, no tacos will negatively impact la carreta’s business? share your opinions under leave a reply




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