Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic

Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Peruvian artist Andrea Ferrero, who at the time of the quarantine imposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic had to start making cakes and brownies to sell to survive economically. AFP

Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic

Before the pandemic, Herlanlly Rodriguez worked as a manicurist. Today she is part of Mexico’s new generation of social media stars and millennial influencers whose lives were transformed by confinement.

When the 23-year-old found herself out of work because of the economic slump triggered by the coronavirus, she began posting satirical videos on TikTok taking aim at machismo.

“In the beginning I just wanted a distraction,” said Rodriguez, who is known as Herly on digital platforms, where she has 1.2 million followers on TikTok alone.

Suddenly thousands of people started interacting with her thanks to her performance as “Tomas, the incredulous” poking fun at men to highlight issues including homophobia and gender violence in Mexico.

“It’s rare to see women imitating men on social networks,” said the pink-haired former psychology student, adding that her aim is not to offend anyone but to show “behaviour that harms society”.

She has been nominated for this year’s MTV Millennial Awards honouring the best of Latin music and the digital world of the millennial generation.

The economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 has dealt a particularly heavy blow to Mexican women, who held 1.5 million of the 2.1 million jobs that have been lost, according to official figures.

“It was a sad time for me because there was no work. People really lifted me up,” Rodriguez said.

Blooming on Twitter

Armando Maravilla had 200 followers on Twitter before the pandemic, but after a thread about house plants, he gained more than 97,000 in one year, including politicians and the actor Gael Garcia Bernal.

The Mexican landscape architect shares his knowledge to help people develop green fingers as a form of therapy against the emotional impact of the crisis.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mexican architect Armando Maravilla poses for a portrait during an interview at his home in Mexico City. AFP

“I felt that someone needed to talk about having green spaces at home. We had been locked up for two months and we needed a refuge,” the 30-year-old said.

He acquired his first plants as a university student – some succulents – but they died, Maravilla said.

“My grandmother scolded me! Now it’s curious that people ask me for advice, and the one who asks me the most how I’m doing is my grandmother,” he said.

Boredom baking

Andrea Ferrero and her partner David Ayala turned to baking to stave off boredom and bankruptcy during quarantine.

They now have almost 38,000 followers on Instagram, where they offer cakes with vintage decorations.

After the pandemic left them jobless and broke, they tried to ease the anxiety of isolation by cooking.

“We began to share it with friends. People began to see it and they asked us to sell it to them,” said Ayala, a 38-year-old Colombian art curator.

They started the business with just a small toaster oven in their apartment, Ferrero said.

“It was barely big enough for two cookies,” the 30-year-old Peruvian sculptor said with a laugh as she decorated a cake.

Now business is so good that they have eleven co-workers who prepare 500 weekly orders of cakes, cookies and tarts.

The couple recently moved into a kitchen-studio and plan to open their own store.


  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration