Everyone has stories and experiences that connect with one another. It does matter what our background is or where were born and raised. We want to let the world know about our stories and experience, so hopefully, we can all learn from each other. I tend to share my experiences and advice with everyone. The United States is a multicultural country, with different ethnicities and race. The beauty of the United States is that there is no official language and the amount of diversity is beautiful. In this 6 part series, I want to share my experiences as a Mexican American living in the US
What Ethnicity are you? I am Mexican American because my parents are from a small village in Mexico and I was born in the United States.
Which Generation are you? I am the first generation because my parents immigrated to the US and I was born here. When I hear the first generation, I always think about education. Like first-generation college student. I’m the first person in my family to obtain an associate degree and currently working on my bachelor’s degree. I hope to finish next year and pursue grad school.
What is the first experience where you felt that discrimination of being a minority different? This actually happened a couple of years ago. I went to the DMV to get my driver’s license. I was so excited because I was going to be the second person in my family to drive. As I was waiting in line to get the paperwork. I was thinking about all the road trips, that I will be taking during the summer. The line was getting shorter, and there was a teen who was getting her driver license also. When it was the girl’s turn, the clerk asked her about the paperwork she will be filling out and two proof of physical address. Then it was my turn, and the clerk tone changed. And asked me, what was my lawful status? I was taken back, and I told him that I am citizenship, he then told to show him the two proof of physical address and my permit id. I was very hurt because he did not ask the girl in front of me what was her lawful status and he automatically asked me because of my brown skin and Spanish accent.
What is your favorite thing about being Mexican American? My favorite thing being Mexican is that we have a strong bond between a lot of people.
Were you always proud of your heritage or was there a time you rejected it? I am proud of my roots because my parents moved to from their country to start a new life here in the United States. I enjoy listening to my family’s stories and how much they struggle over in Mexico. I do remember when I was in middle school( mostly an all-white school), I wanted to assimilate with my peers. I stopped speaking Spanish in front of my peers. Then there was a new student, and she was from Mexico. She only spoke Spanish. It was difficult for her to make friends due to the language barrier. I saw that she was eating alone, and I asked if I can join her and I began talking to her. During our conversation, we figured out that we have the same classes in the afternoon and we lost track of time, and we were late to class. Oops. Afterward, I began to feel comfortable about speaking in Spanish because people started to tell us that its cool that we know two languages. At that point, I have realized that I should never be ashamed because I spoke two languages.
What are some stereotypes that you struggle with? When I was growing up, I always knew that I have always wanted to be an environmental scientist of some sort. However, I did not see any Latina scientist that I could look up after. I struggle a lot during high school trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. Now that it’s 2018, I am starting to see a lot more Latina Scientists making breakthroughs. I have figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and I hope that I can one day be an inspiration to a young child.
Can you speak your language? Yes, I can speak Spanish, and I’m also Purépecha or Tarascans which are a group of indigenous people located in the northwestern region of Michoacán, Mexico. I am learning how to speak Purepecha, and my mother is teaching me how to cook indigenous Mexican food.
How has being Mexican American/your ethnicity affected your relationship with your parents? I have personally gotten closer with my parents because I have always seen them work hard so that we can live comfortably and get an education. My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was in 5th grade. I got traumatized because I thought I was going to lose my mom. Since she was diagnosed with colon cancer, I have gotten so close to her because I would always go to her doctor’s appointment to translate. My relationship with my parents is excellent because everyone tells me that we all act like we are best friends because I do a lot of pranks on my parents and make lots of jokes. I love my parents that I would do anything for them. How do you feel about your heritage now? Do you identify with it? I feel strongly about my culture.
What is your favorite thing about being Mexican American/your heritage? My favorite thing being Mexican is that strong family bond. There is so much family member on both sides, and I’m also close with my sisters. Another thing that I love about my culture is food. The smell of different spices and herbs. Mmmm. My favorite food is enchiladas and tamales.
Feel free to share your stories and experiences in the comments below
1. Which ethnicity are you?
2. Which generation are you?
3. What is the first experience where you felt that demarcation of being a minority/different?
4. Were you always proud of your heritage or was there a time you rejected it?
5. What are some stereotypes that you struggle with?
6. Can you speak your language?
7. How has being ____(Ethnicity)_______/your ethnicity affected your relationship with your parents?
8. What is your favorite thing about being Mexican American/your heritage?