Feb 27, 2023 - Things to Do

Explore Miami's creation story in new satirical book

You can judge this book by the cover. Cover art: Designed by Guzman Labs. Courtesy of Andrew Otazo

In the beginning, there was darkness until Pachango the Creator awakened from his divine pin pan pun and created Miami.

  • His celestial children – formed out of the smoke from his cigar – created the Everglades, the sky, the ocean (and croquetas). A great war among the siblings led them to create armies of hurricanes, sharks and mosquitoes.

Why it matters: Miamians like to think we’re the center of the universe, and now there’s a faux sacred text to prove it.

  • “The Miami Creation Myth,” written by Cuban-American author and environmentalist Andrew Otazo, weaves together history, satire and virtually every known Cuban curse word to tell the hilarious yet infuriating story of Miami’s origin.
  • The 165-page book, which Otazo describes as a “culturo-cosmic adventure,” is available now as a hardcover or ebook.

What they’re saying: Otazo – who is also behind a popular Instagram meme page – tells Axios he wants Miamians of all backgrounds to not only laugh at the book, but to see themselves represented.

  • The book is mostly written in Spanglish, but includes dialogue in Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Jamaican Patwah and Mikasuki.
  • “We know that our communities are extremely rich, and they are extremely unique and I want people to take pride in that,” Otazo said.

Quick take: Otazo’s love for Miami jumps off the page, from his faithful description of an intense game of dominos on Calle Ocho to his obscure references to Aventura (the band) and a gossipy Publix location.

  • But he also highlights the struggles felt by manual laborers and service workers at the hands of greedy bosses, along with the racism and discrimination that Black Miamians and Native Americans face.

Here are some of our favorite parts from the book:

  • Miami’s gentrification is depicted through the dynamic of giant white birds (construction cranes) demolishing people’s homes while real estate agents in helmets get hit in the head with stacks of cash thrown through their office windows.
  • The Moon and the Sun get it on in a very graphic sex scene that results in stars being splattered across the galaxy.
  • Pachango resides high atop Mount Tropical Park, the goddess of the skies is banished to the frigid Gringolandia that is Broward County and the god of chisme lives in a South Dade landfill known as Mount Trashmore.

What we’re watching: Otazo is celebrating the launch of the book this Saturday night at Villain Theater with a reading including some of the 25 actors who will appear in a forthcoming audio book.

  • Otazo said he plans to release two sequels to the book and hopes to turn his work into an animated series.

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