Hi MFBS readers! I’m finishing up LATISM weekend here in New York City and am completely recharged and inspired. This weekend could not have come at a better time than during Hispanic Heritage month and today, there is a huge march scheduled on 48th and 3rd at 5:30pm for #All4Immigration reform.
A lot of you know that I am a proud Latina woman of Mexican descent. You know that I am dedicated to bilingual education and teaching our children about their ancestors’ history. Unfortunately, you don’t know that I don’t know my father’s painful migrant story. He has never wanted to discuss that part of his life with us in detail (unquestionably with great reason). I know my mother arrived to the United States comfortably on a plane, nevertheless, scared, as an unwilling teenager. Even though both my parents experienced a different arrival to this country, their immigration story is no different than the millions of stories people from all over the world go through every single day.
People leave their beloved countries for different reasons and the best that I can do is honor that legacy by teaching my sons everything I can about Mexico and its history, about the Spanish language and give them time with their five grandparents. I also want to add that millions of immigrants do contribute to this country; it has been the foundation of this country. My parents have worked hard all their life. As long as my dad was healthy, he took on two jobs, found different passions and eventually opened up his own business. Education was respected in our household, they became our first teachers and my father swore to my siblings and I that education was the key to a successful life in the United States. Because of their lack of education in Mexico, my parents taught us to never take it for granted.
My brother and I became educators and my sister is on her way. We all have found a way to give back to our community, adding (we hope!) some value to our social fabric. Personally, with my identity always in mind but not exclusively to serve only the Latino community, I will always stand here to help promote education in any form and help share other advocates’ similar passions.
Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t last for just a month in our lives and immigration stories do not get told in a week or weekend. Let’s promise to keep it alive in our homes every single day. Our parents, grandparents and recent immigrants deserve their stories to be heard. In what ways are you honoring your ancestors’ immigration story? Please share!
Photography credit: mikifoto by mallika malhotra