On top of all of my other blessings: having a healthy and loving family, being healthy myself, educational opportunities, a rewarding and satisfying job and career, I am also blessed to be a Latina.
Now the reason why I believe being Latina is such a blessing is simply because it’s made me the person I am today. I know being of a certain race or ethnicity shouldn’t change core values and morals, but is it okay for me to say that being Latina has influenced me.
For starters, I’m that immigrant’s daughter that had to translate everything and I mean everything for my parents, that for some reason never learned English. Yes I remember vividly having to translate at the water company that my parents weren’t going to pay this week’s bill because of some hidden charge.
It was embarrassing then, but now I see that that simple task made me a leader, a negotiator, a communicator, it made me aware, it gave me confidence. I wouldn’t have received those traits have I not been Latino.
I celebrate being Latina everyday I get to spend time with my family.
This weekend, my community held a Latina Outreach Conference. Because while I’m blessed to be Latina, I’m also blessed to be a woman. It’s literally the best combination.
During this conference I got to spend time with my mom and together we celebrated being who we are. We also celebrated education, beauty, and Latina warriors who have lost their lives due to cancer.
While I sat there and listened to topics about health and immigration it dawned on me that being Latina only made a difference because it was an identity, everyone in that room was holding onto; it’s what makes being in the United States so important. Although sometimes difficult (trust me to fit into both sectors equally is a MAJOR challenge) holding onto who we are despite where we are living is accepting where we come from.
All those women in the room had a past lives they had to leave behind for one reason or another. They were probably wives, nurses, teachers, business leaders and now they maybe cooks, cleaning ladies, and factory workers. But, one thing is for certain. They will always be Latina.
I’m proud to day I am Latina because it’s my identity.