Growing up Mexican American Questions| Part 1

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?

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A Letter to my Grandma

Hello everyone, it has been a difficult five months for my family. I  was super close with my grandma due to a bond with plants, food, and the outdoors. At the moment, I have a sense of emptiness in my heart and I been taking a day at a time.  My grandma ‘Balla’ was diagnosed with Terminal Gallbladder cancer on December 12, 2017, and passed away on March 12, 2018. I miss my grandma so much! 😦 😦

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Dear Balla,

On December 12, 2017, at 7:35pm, I took you to the emergency room with my uncle and mom. I went because I really care for you grandma and was there to help translated everything in Spanish. You were not feeling well, and you continue to get sicker. Your stomach was bloated, and you were vomiting a lot. I was scared, but I knew I had to be strong for you, my mom and uncle. I remember that you were getting mad at the nurses because they were poking you in your arm to get blood and other tests.  I was able to look at my uncle and mom’s eyes and see that they were scared for you.

The doctor finally came into the room and told us that the labs came back normal, but something was not right at all. He ordered a CAT scan test. When I saw you, you looked scared, but we were there to hold your hand. As they wheeled you to the Radiology department, I have become more anxious waiting for you to come out. When you came out, the nurses told us that you did really well.

We waited and waited until the doctor came back to let us know the results of the CAT scan.  We (Mom, Uncle and me) all began to tell you that everything is going to be alright and that the doctors were going to get you better. You believe us. Then we all heard a knock on the door.  It was the doctor and the nurse who was taking care of my grandma during the visit.

The doctor came in, his aura was different. He told us that he found something in your gallbladder that was causing you nausea, a bloated stomach, and fatigue.  At that moment, we all knew something was really wrong with you, grandma.

He told us that he found a 2cm tumor on your gallbladder and how it was in your lymph nodes already and that he believed it was cancer but did not want to confirm it until we went to an oncologist. When the doctor mentioned that, my heart shattered into many pieces. I felt that my mom and uncle wanted to cry because their eyes were tearing up, but they had to be strong for my you, grandma.  At that moment, you kept asking in Spanish, what is going on? What do I have? But somehow you were able to stay calm, looking at the ceiling and then into your hands. While the doctor and the nurse stayed with us for  25 mins explaining to us what is going on and answering our questions and concerns. The doctor and the nurse were kind to you. When the doctor discharged you, he prescribed you anti-nausea and pain medications.  As we walked out the emergency room, I remember how the three nurses gave you a tight hug, and you told them, God Bless them all and thank you very much for taking care of her. The nurses held your hand for a long time. When we reached the exit door, you turned back towards the nurses, and you wave at them one last time.

At that moment grandma, we all knew it was going to be a tough road‘ ahead of us.  

We love you, Balla. Te Queremos y te extranamos mucho ❤

Corundas- A dish from the past.

Made some delicious corundas 😀 Plus I’m lucky that my talented mother has taught me how to make this wonderful indigenous dish.

What are Corundas? Green Leaves of the corn plant are used to wrap the corn masa tamale, and then it’s shaped into a triangle. Corundas can have cheese, veggies, chili, or just pure masa. Personally, I added more chili on top because I love spicy food ❤ haha!

Fun Fact- Corundas was the main dish for the Purepecha Prince and have been passed down from generation to generation in Michoacan.<3 

Lately, I have been wanting to learn how to cook tradition food from my Mexican culture. Thanks to my mom, she has been very patient with me and taking her time to help me out. It is a special time for me because I’m spending more time with my mom. I enjoy her company even more.

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#michoacán #méxico #comida #tradición #Purepecha #indígena #corundas

Open.

People who are close minded take things in the worst way possible. People who are open minded consider all perspectives, form opinions, but do not judge the indivdual

Right now the world is changing around us. Some people refuse to embrace change. We should not be afraid. As of the world has changed before, and we’ll see it change again. We should all united and love.