What I love about being Latina:I love all things Latin. The food is delectable; the culture is colorful and rich; the people are strong and beautiful; the language is romantic poetry and the countries are picturesque.
What I love about being Americana: The freedom! The freedom to express what you think, what you see, and what you hear with your own unique voice. As Maya Angelou said, there is no agony like hearing an untold story inside of you. In America, you have the opportunity to tell your story, or the stories of others, uncensored.
My biggest challenge in growing up Latina in America:Discovering that a whole group of people could be shunned for the color of their skin, their religion, their dress and/or their language. Being discriminated against for my nationality. Learning that “Puerto Rican” could mean something bad or low-class to people. So many were (and continue to be) convinced Puerto Ricans are garbage, like the worst portrayals of us on television: we all speak broken Spanish; we are having a slew of unfathered children; we’re on welfare or in gangs, and will eventually be in jail. I’d say overcoming that prejudice is a challenge!
My biggest support in growing up Latina in America: Books! They taught me to dream, to write, and to explore my own creativity.
Why I am beautiful:Because, “I add richness to this world, that only variety can bring (~Anais Nin)” and my modelo style – ha! (see picture above).