Back In Time At A Cultural Jewel

Back In Time At A Cultural Jewel

Qué Pasa, USA?, is a pinnacle of happiness, humor, and enjoyment for Cuban-American families everywhere, but mainly in Miami, FL. Featuring a close representation of the life and culture of the Cuban-American population throughout Miami, the show was brilliantly created and provided an appreciated turn in direction on television.

What was once the start of an interesting and humorous journey of the Peña family, remains a treasure for Miamians today although the show has been off of the air since 1980, it is still a fan favorite.

The First of the Things That Mattered

As the first bilingual sitcom to hit the screens of families across the nation and to be produced by PBS, the show brought fans together in a way that only true connections can. In a way, this well-loved and well-known show was like an extension of your own family. It offered comfort, warmth, and genuine laughs. It also brought audiences closer to what it was like to cherish and hold Cuban heritage and values in your heart while struggling to overcome identity crises and the worry of losing oneself. Qué Pasa, USA? while portrayed as a comedy, still offers a raw sense of what a look back in time was like.

As we follow the Peña family through the ups and downs that living in a society mainly made up of Anglo Americans comes with, we learn something from each character, we form bonds with them and we learn the real meaning of tradition along the way.

Connecting With the Characters

With the natural frustration that language barriers can bring and the comedy that can arise while breaking down those barriers of both language and culture, the characters in this sitcom connect with us in more ways than one during the 4 seasons the show aired. Not too many viewers can say they haven’t connected with a Qué Pasa, USA? character just like the actors themselves are sure to have felt an attachment to their role. There are just some shows that are worthy of being binged or watched more than once in one sitting and Qué Pasa, USA? was exactly that.

Let’s take a trip down the binge-worthy memory lane and meet not just the characters of the show we love but the people that beautifully portrayed them.

Meeting Connie Ramirez as Violeta

Ms. Ramirez, or as we know and love her, Violeta was Carmen’s sassy and outspoken friend. Connie actually auditioned for the role of Sharon first so, you might be wondering how she was cast for the role of Violeta and we have to say that it’s by great judgment that she ended up with the part that she did. The crew wanted to see another version of her and how that could be transferred into another character and with that, Violeta’s personality came to life.


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A Look Into Connie’s Own Story

Connie Ramirez, today, is 67 years old and in her life as herself and not her character, Connie has one younger sister who served as a great source of support during her Qué Pasa, USA? journey. She lived in Havana, Cuba with her sister and her parents until she was 14 and her family immigrated to Los Angeles, California where she also attended high school.

You may be wondering, where did Connie find her passion for acting and portraying positive messages on stage? Well, due to her mother’s line of work as an endocrinologist, her family decided to move to the Miami area where she began to flourish at the start of her acting career. While Connie attended the University of Miami, it was the Miami Dade Community College where Connie first found out about casting calls for Qué Pasa, USA?

While Miami marked the start of her journey with the show, it wasn’t with a light heart or an easy task that Violeta became the sassy character that we started to know her as once the show aired. During live filming, she knew that viewers were paying for tickets to see the cast, and with that, she knew that she had to do well, and that’s what drove her into a successful role and time on the show, on and off the air.

Today, she offers specialty services in voice work and although 42 years have passed, she is still remembered for her excellent and true-resemblance acting that she gifted so many with as she helped to steer the direction of the cultural favorite we are delighted by time and again, Qué Pasa, USA?.

Remembering Some of the Best Times Through Television

Qué Pasa, USA? follows three generations of the Peña family throughout their lives in Miami’s Little Havana. While following closely through hard times, great times, and confusing times, this comical cultural masterpiece is like a capsule of a time that was disrupting the cultural norm and inspiring while educating others on the trials and tribulations that Cuban-Americans had to navigate, solve, and adapt to.

As we learn new ways to celebrate and cherish personal values and Cuban heritage, we will always have one familiar place to turn to when we want to laugh, smile, and witness the true meaning of family, cultural strength, and the journey of finding new things for the better.