What I love about being Latina: Just this overall sense of pride that I have in my culture and its wonderful intricacies
What I love about being Americana:
The freedom to dream and have a way of achieving that dream. The freedom to believe and to act on my hopes.
My biggest challenge in growing up Latina in America:
My biggest challenge was dealing with the negativity of people afraid of the unknown. I always did well in most of my classes and I had to deal with a lot of people second guessing my intelligence. When I was accepted to a top university in the state, one person actually came up to me and said that my admission into that school was solely because I was “brown”. It was hard growing up trying to prove yourself to everyone else because they have a preconceived notion of Latinas.
My biggest support in growing up Latina in America:
My sorority. They’ve helped me re-discover my Latina side and provide me with a great support system outside of my family. I grew up in a place where there was hardly any Latino influences. I was in classes where I was the one of three minorities. I found it hard to relate to someone and the trips to Puerto Rico soon became less and less. With the distance I didn’t feel the urge to rediscover that side of me that wasn’t really welcomed. Coming to college and becoming a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha, helped me get further in touch with my roots and my pride. When I had my son, I was going into my third year at the university. I had to deal with a lot of negative feedback and they welcomed the idea of their ‘sobrino’, providing me with everything, diapers, clothes, crib, etc. They helped me fight my shame because I was afraid that people would see me as another minority pregnant at a young age. I was afraid that they would see that label and write me off another statistic. They showed me that I am a typical Latina- a strong and beautiful woman.
Why I am beautiful: I am beautiful because of the way that my son looks at me.