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La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto

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La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto is an educational show that is shown to students taking intermediate level Spanish classes.[1]. The video, a sequel to La Catrina, was created by David Curland in 1997.[2] La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto starts out where the original La Catrina left off. Jamie, Carlos, Rogelio and more are back in an adventure when Don Silvestre tries to get revenge on Jamie.[3]

Summary Edit

The story of La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto begins with Jamie Gonzalez back in Los Angeles, about half a year after the original La Catrina. Jamie, worried about her boyfriend Carlos back in Querétaro, Mexico, who is not writing to her, assumes that a mysterious coyote artifact sent to her is from him. Along with her friend Rosie, Jamie goes on a foreign exchange program in Oaxaca and meets Carlos. To her dismay, Carlos denies sending the Coyote artifact.

Rosie, Jamie, and Carlos eventually find Benito Lopez, a local guide for the Oaxaca pyramids whose mother is head of the art institute. Señora Lopez works on deciphering the credibility of the Coyote, while Jamie, Carlos, Benito, and Rosie meet with Rogelio, a librarian assistant from Querétaro who knows about the secret possessions of Jamie's great grandmother, La Catrina.

Doña Josefa de Gonzalez, or La Catrina, was a very prominent figure during the Mexican Revolution. And unfortunately, in the fictional series of La Catrina, she is noted for stealing money from the rich for the poor, in a Robin Hood type of fashion. In the original La Catrina, the mystery behind her estate, La Jacaranda, was revealed. Now, in La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto, La Catrina's private getaway in Oaxaca, El Mesón de Jaguar, is believed to now be under the illegal art trafficking scene.

Episode 1: The Mysterious Beginning The last secret begins a year after Jamie returns from Queretaro to Los Angeles. There are many changes in the lives of all of the characters. In Mexico, the Navarros have problems with their restaurant, The Archangel. Rogelio Salazar doesn’t work at the Central Library of Queretaro anymore. Don Silvestre Aguilar is causing all of the problems that everyone is having. In the U.S., Jamie is now a student at UCLA. Her parents aren’t very happy with her because she is still in love with Carlos, her boyfriend from Mexico. Thus, Jamie doesn’t want to go out with other guys. Carlos hasn’t called Jamie or written her letters. Jamie has a friend, Rosie, that studies art. Jamie and Rosie are planning to meet at the Cinco de Mayo party. Jamie goes, but she doesn’t meet Rosie because Rosie finds out that she can't go at the last minute. The following day, Jamie receives a mysterious package from Mexico. There isn’t a letter or a message, but Jamie thinks that Carlos sent it. She opens the package and finds a figure of art inside. It is a vessel with a coyote on it. Mrs. Gonzalez, Jamie’s mom, thinks it is a copy. Jamie shows the figure to Rosie because Rosie is an art student. She isn’t sure if it is a replica or not. Thus, Rosie suggests they take the figure to her art professer, Professor Rangel of the Art History Department at USC. He specializes in pre-Columbian art. The professor tells them that it is a whistling vessel with a coyote from Oaxaca, Mexico, but he isn’t sure if it is authentic. It is worth a lot of money if it is authentic. The professor wants Rosie to study abroad during the summer. As Jamie returns home, she doesn’t realize that three men are watching her.

Episode 2: The Revenge of Don Silvestre Things are going poorly for Carlos in Queretaro. He can’t attend the university. In addition, he has to leave the Aztlan Operation, the ecological organization where he was working. Now, he has to work in his parents’ restaurant in order to help them. His parents have money problems, and they don’t have enough money to pay employees. Jamie, believing that Carlos has sent the package, decides to call Carlos by telephone to thank him. Mr. Navarro answers the phone and informs Jamie that Carlos wasn’t the person that sent the package. Later, when Carlos enters, his father gets mad at him. Carlos defends Jamie when his mother says that Jamie is at fault for the money problems. Carlos reminds them that Don Silvestre is the person that pressured the bank to cancel the loan—not Jamie. In a plaza, Don Silvestre gives a speech about the importance and necessity of preserving the cultural heritage of Mexico. After the speech, Don Silvestre and his men talk about the problems of the Navarro family. Carlos, wanting to talk with Don Silvestre, goes his office. When he realizes that Don Silvestre is not there, he steals a folder with La Catrina’s name on it. The folder contains a note and a newspaper about La Catrina. The message says, “We did what we were asked to do.” In the newspaper, there is an article about La Catrina with the title “The revolutionaries resist threats—they demand agrarian reform.” In Los Angeles, three police officers go to Jamie’s house and tell her that there is a mansion in Oaxaca that was the property of her great-grandmother. The mansion is named “The Mansion of the Jaguar.” The police believe that someone is using the place for an illegal business. They ask Jamie to clarify her connection with this place in Oaxaca. However, Jamie’s parents don’t want Jamie to go alone to Oaxaca. Jamie says that Rosie can accompany her there. Upon leaving Jamie’s house, one of the three police officers calls Miranda, the assistant of Don Silvestre, in order to inform her that Jamie is coming to Oaxaca.

Episode 3: The Mansion of the Jaguar In the third episode, we learn that Rogelio—with permission from Ms. Beltran, Jamie’s lawyer from the first series—tells Carlos that Jamie is coming to Oaxaca. Carlos, upon hearing that Jamie has problems, tells Rogelio that he is going to go to Oaxaca to help Jamie. Jamie and Rosie arrive at the international airport of Oaxaca. Don Silvestre’s assistants are watching them. After checking in at the hotel where they are going to stay, Jamie and Rosie go to the office of the Official Archives of Oaxaca to look for information about the mansion. The archivist, Mr. Maranon, informs them that La Catrina bought the mansion in 1910 for 900 pesos. After talking with Jamie and Rosie, the archivist calls Don Silvestre to inform him that Jamie is asking questions about the mansion. Now Don Silvestre knows for sure that Jamie is in Mexico again, and he says that she won’t escape him this time. When Don Silvestre says that he has to do something about Jamie, Miranda suggests that they can call the police to inform them that Jamie has a piece of pre-Colombian art in her hotel room. When Jamie and Rosie return to the hotel, they see they see the police arrest some foreigners for trying to sell pre-Columbian art. Rosie is nervous because she knows that Jamie has a figure of art in their hotel room. Don Silvestre, talking by video conference to a man in Spain, offers to sell a piece of very valuable art from Palenque. The international art buyer informs Don Silvestre that money isn’t a problem. Thus, Don Silvestre offers to transport the expensive piece to Spain.

Episode 4: A Visit to the Past In Oaxaca, the lawyer explains to Jamie that La Catrina is the proprietary of the Mansion of the Jaguar. However, it was a secret property, and it was never included in her will. Beltran also says that Rogelio is going to find more information about the place. Jamie receives a photograph of the mansion from Rogelio. Jamie and Rosie want to see Oaxaca’s most famous sites. The two girls buy some tickets for a tour of Mitla, Monte Alban, and Cuilapan. Benito Lopez is their tour guide, and his mother, Mrs. Gabriela Lopez, is the curator of the Rufino Tamayo Museum. During the tour, Jamie asks Benito about the mansion, and he responds that the place has a bad name. The girls learn many things about Mexican civilization from Benito. The Indians played a game like basketball where the losers lost their heads. According to Benito, it was more than a sport: it was a ceremonial ritual. It was called “The Game of Ball.” When they finished the tour, Benito invited Jamie and Rosie to a race sponsored by the Committee for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage. He will participate in this race through the streets of the city. Back in Queretaro, Paco Aguilar informs his father that he wants to go to Oaxaca to participate in the race. He also says that he wants to stay in the Mansion of the Jaguar while he’s there. Don Silvestre answers that he also has to go to Oaxaca and that Paco should stay in the hotel and not in the mansion because there are problems there. Don Silvestre goes to Oaxaca on business.

Episode 5: Meetings in Oaxaca Carlos and Jamie are finally together again! Carlos gives Jamie a bouquet of flowers. They talk about their problems. The restaurant is almost bankrupt because Don Silvestre has pressured the bank not to give any more money to the Navarros. In addition, Carlos explains to Jamie that he hasn’t taken classes at the university and that he doesn’t work for the Atzlan Operation anymore because he has to help his parents with the restaurant. Carlos shows Jamie that note and the newspaper article that he found in Don Silvestre’s office. Later, Jamie, Rosie, and Carlos go to see the race in which Benito is participating. Paco is also participating. He greets Jamie and notices that she is wearing her great-grandmother’s ring, the one that he gave her last year. Benito wins the race. Afterwards, he invites Jamie, Carlos, and Rosie to the museum to watch a video presentation his mother is giving about the art of Oaxaca. Jamie thanks Carlos for the coyote figure, but Carlos responds that he didn’t send her anything by mail. It is a mystery. Paco has a conversation with his father. He tells him that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the illegal business. He asks lots of questions about the mansion because he wants to know why the police are watching the place. Don Silvestre answers that selling pre-Colombian art is illegal, yet he still thinks that it’s a good idea. According to Don Silvestre, when a person pays for something, the person cares for it better. He also says that art is universal and nobody owns it. While this conversation is going on, Miranda calls the police to give them false information about Jamie and the coyote figure. A little later, when Jamie and Rosie return to their hotel room, the police arrest Jamie. They accuse her of illegal possession of pre-Colombian art. Jamie, nervous and frightened, tells Rosie to call Carlos and Beltran to let them know what has happen. She needs their help!

Episode 6: A Plan to Free Jamie Jamie is in the municipal prison because the police claim that she tried to sell the coyote figure. She tells Rosie and Carlos that she sleeps well but the prison food is terrible. Carlos and Rosie tell her that they are going to free her. They go to Ms. Beltran, the lawyer, in attempt to help Jamie. Beltran can’t bail her out because she is foreign. The charges against Jamie are very serious for three reasons. First, Jamie is the legal proprietary of the Mansion of the Jaguar. Second, the mansion is the center of illegal art trafficking. Finally, the figure found in Jamie’s room could be very valuable. The lawyer advises Rosie and Carlos to go to an American consulate since Jamie is a U.S. citizen. Beltran says that the situation is very serious but that she will talk with the police. She goes and talks with Commander Torreon. When she is talking with him, she gives him some advice. She advises him to watch and observe Don Silvestre, who lost a case against Jamie last summer. Contreras, the other policeman, is nervous when talking to Miranda because the police are observing Don Silvestre and he is helping them. He already doesn’t want to cooperate with Don Silvestre and Miranda because he’s scared. Miranda mentions that Don Silvestre won’t be happy if he finds this out. While all of this is going on, the police call Mrs. Lopez, the museum curator. They ask her if she can verify the authenticity of the coyote figure. Paco calls Carlos to offer his help in getting Jamie out of jail, but Carlos doesn’t want to listen to him. Carlos decides not to accept Paco’s offer.

Episode 7: An Unexpected Discovery Rogelio goes to the office of the archives. When the archivist leaves, Rogelio enters the office and searches for information about La Catrina. He finds a folder, and he reads what’s inside of it. He discovers that Don Silvestre is paying the taxes on the Mansion of the Jaguar. Carlos, Rosie, Benito, and Ms. Beltran go to the jail and tell Jamie that she can leave on one condition: she can’t leave Oaxaca. In order to celebrate Jamie’s freedom, the group goes to Benito’s house for a traditional meal. When Benito and his mother go to the kitchen to get something, Benito asks her if she has any information about the coyote figure. She answers that she will know everything in two or three days. Benito, Carlos, Rosie, and Jamie go to the Dances of the Guelaguetza, a celebration that occurs in July with many traditional dances from the seven regions of the state of Oaxaca. A singer and two guitarists come to the table where Carlos is sitting, and Carlos decides to serenade Jamie with a song titled “Her Little Eyes.” Carlos and Jamie go to the “lavaderos” of the convent of Saint Catalina. Jamie talks about the problems of long-distance relationships. She says that it might be best for him to return to help his parents in the restaurant. Carlos doesn’t want to return, and he says that he is going to stay to help Jamie. Later, Don Silvestre and his assistants play pool. Miranda says that Jamie got out of jail. One of Aguilar’s assistants says that there is a traitor that is very close to Don Silvestre. The coyote figure used to be at the Jacaranda farm, and when they moved to their new house in Queretaro, they took it with them. But who sent it to Jamie? The assistants inform Don Silvestre that a new tomb near Mt. Alban has been discovered. He wants to know if there are valuable pieces of art inside. Miranda tries to persuade him not to do anything, but he doesn’t want to hear any of this. He says that he wants nothing more to do with his assistants. While this argument is going on, Carlos, Rogelio, and Ms. Beltran talk with Jamie, telling her that they have a plan to prove her innocence. The lawyer says that Rogelio found information that says Don Silvestre pays taxes on the mansion. Rogelio and Jamie will try to help the police by giving them information about the tomb. Ms. Beltran informs Jamie that she will go to the police to give them copies of the documents that Rogelio found.

Episode 8: Nightmares for Don Silvestre Mrs. Lopez calls Torreon to tell him about the coyote figure that Jamie had. According to the study, the coyote is authentic, but it wasn’t robbed from the museum. She says that it is “mixteca,” but she doesn’t know where it came from. After this conversation, Torreon goes with Contraeras to interrogate Don Silvestre. Don Silvestre doesn’t answer his questions. He only says that they should interrogate Jamie because she is the one that had the figure. He threatens to call their boss, one of his close friends. That night, Don Silvestre dreams of La Catrina. She says that Don Silvestre is a thief, but he says that Jamie has already taken all of the properties of Queretaro. He isn’t going to let Jamie get the mansion! The following day, Benito, Rogelio, Jamie, Rosie, and Carlos go to Benito’s house find out about something that happened at the mansion. Benito tells them that a new tomb was discovered near Mt. Alban. The next day, the archaeologists will go to excavate the tomb. The group’s plan is to go in order to see who robs the objects for Don Silvestre. The new tomb will be a huge temptation. Benito goes to talk with a friend that lives near the mansion. He asks him if he has seen anything. This friend tells him that a man with a red handkerchief named Espinal frequently carries things to the mansion at night. Next, the group goes with Ms. Beltran to tell everything to Commander Torreon. Jamie asks him why Don Silvestre hasn’t been arrested, and Torreon responds that Don Silvestre isn’t a “Don Nobody.” Torreon advises the group to stop investigating. In other words, he tells them to let the police to their job. Don Silvestre, tired, tells Paco that he wants to travel to his house in Spain to rest a bit. He wants Paco to accompany him. Paco answers that he will go with him, but he adds that he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Jamie. Don Silvestre assures him that nothing bad is going to happen to her.

Episode 9: Danger Rosie and Benito go to the market to buy food. Later, Benito cooks for Rosie. When he is preparing everything, Benito talks with Rosie. He mentions that his father died a while ago. The two also talk about their relationship and how they will maintain it over a long distance. Paco calls Jamie because he wants to meet with her in the Zocalo. Jamie doesn’t want to go alone, so she invites Carlos to accompany her. They meet Paco, and he tells them that he was the one who sent the coyote figure to Jamie. He found out that it belonged to Jamie’s great-grandmother, and he thought that Jamie should have it. Paco also says that he didn’t know that the object was illegal, and he asks for forgiveness for the trouble he has caused Jamie. He tells them that he is going to Spain with his father. Later, the friends go the monument of Benito Juarez, the hero of Mexico. There, Carlos tells Jamie that he received a scholarship to continue his study of ecology at a university in Puerto Rico. He mentions that Jamie could apply for a scholarship to study Spanish there. This would let them be together. In addition, Carlos explains to Jamie that the bank finally offered his parents a loan. Later, Benito and the friends go to the new tomb. Carlos and Jamie remain in the car to observe from afar while Benito, Rosie, and Rogelio go closer to see who is stealing the artifacts for Don Silvestre. Some employees of Don Silvestre are robbing a tomb. The men realize that they are being watched, and they decide to catch the onlookers. Everyone escapes except Rogelio, who is taken to the mansion as a prisoner. Rosie and Benito say that here was a man with a red handkerchief there. Now they have to go to the police to tell them about what occurred so that they can help Rogelio.

Episode 10: The Final Secret The police go to the Mansion of the Jaguar where they capture and arrest Espinal and his helpers. They find a box that contains stolen objects from the new tomb. Later, the police interrogate Espinal, asking him if he knows who his boss is. Espinal responds that he’s never seen his boss and that he received money from another person. However, he did someone mention Don Silvestre’s name. Now, the police have reason to believe that Don Silvestre is involved in the illegal selling of the pre-Colombian art. Rogelio is being interrogated by Miranda. He refuses to tell her what he knows. Miranda gets angry and leaves the basement where Rogelio is being kept. Rogelio frees himself and begins to search for information in boxes full of archives. Rogelio finds a folder that contains a letter written by La Catrina in 1910 and a feather from her hat. He reads it and immediately thinks of Jamie. Paco, who doesn’t want to comply with his father, decides to tell Jamie that Rogelio was taken to the mansion. One of Don Silvestre’s assistants is watching Paco while he tells her this, and Don Silvestre confronts his son. Paco admits that he was the person that sent the coyote figure to Jamie, and he tells his father that he’s not going to Spain. The police now know where Rogelio is, so they arrive at the mansion and detain Don Silvestre’s assistants. They want to know if Don Silvestre is in the mansion. Rogelio informs the police that Don Silvestre has plans to travel to Spain that night. Later, Rogelio shows Jamie the information that he found in the basement of the mansion. Jamie asks if she can have a moment to read the letter from her great-grandmother. La Catrina, after dancing a waltz with her lawyer, Don Pedro Aguilar, decided to leave the house. Don Pedro, however, left before her and told a man that she was going to leave. This person shot her, and her feather fell to the floor.

Episode 11: The New Catrina Don Silvestre is at the airport, ready to go to Spain. Suddenly Jamie, Carlos, and the police get close to him. Jamie tells him that he has done a lot of damage to her, her family, and her friends, and he won’t escape this time. Don Silvestre says that she has no right to be in Mexico. She should be in her country instead. Jamie then tells him that she is also from Mexico and that she is just reclaiming what belongs to her family. She also says that she knows what really happened to La Catrina and that the Aguilar family got rich and powerful with her properties. Next, Contreras charges Don Silvestre with illegal trafficking of pre-Colombian art. The police put handcuffs on Don Silvestre, and he tells Paco to call his lawyer. In the street, Jamie explains the final secret to Carlos. Don Pedro, Don Silvestre’s grandfather, was the one who really betrayed her great-grandmother. He had political motives, and he was very greedy, so he didn’t include the mansion in the will so that it could remain in his own family’s hands. Later, Jamie, Carlos, Rosie, and Benito watch the news. The reporter says three things. First, the reporter says that Don Silvestre has been detained for illegal trafficking of pre-Colombian art. Second, Don Demetrio Alcocer and Rogelio Salazar have gotten their jobs back at the Central Library of Queretaro. Third, the bank has reestablished the credit at The Archangel. In all of these cases, Don Silvestre tried to get revenge on the people who helped Jamie win the case last summer. After listening to the advice of her parents and Mrs. Lopez, Jamie decides to convert the mansion into a center for the study of pre-Columbian and indigenous art, sponsored by the museum. Later, a nervous and restless Carlos asks Benito to do him a favor. The favor was to reunite everyone in the Zocalo because Carlos had a surprise for them. Benito jokes that Carlos seems like a groom waiting in front of a church. When everyone is in the Zocalo, Carlos takes Jamie’s hands and asks her if she wishes to study in Puerto Rico. They would be together there. A mime gives them flowers and a heart made of balloons. Next, the mime imitates marrying Jamie and Carlos. Carlos takes this opportunity to say that there are things better said without words. Then he puts a ring on Jamie’s finger, and she puts her great-grandmother’s ring on his finger. She says, “Yes, I will be your Catrina.” Carlos asks her to marry him, and she accepts. Now they are engaged. Finally, they kiss. And so they live happily every after!

Summary in Spanish

  1. "Spanish Education", Pearson Education, 2000.
  2. "Hispanidades Learning", David Curland.
  3. "La Catrina: El Ultimo Secreto", Prentice Hall Online, 2000.

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