You can never really forget who you are and where you come from. When you stand in front of the mirror and see the traits passed on by your family, you are faced with the unquestionable reality of your heritage, who you are.
When I see my reflection in the mirror every day and proudly live in my Latino skin, I see a young woman who in theory was destined to be another number when I migrated to the U.S. at 17. But I beat the odds when I graduated from college and first in my family to have a college education. But I couldn’t have accomplished the little that I have without having the example of hard work, determination and persistence from my family.
My grandma, who became an orphan after her mom died giving birth to her younger sister, is a total revolucionaria. She was the first woman in her town to wear pants and saddle a horse, instead of riding with both legs to one side like women were supposed to. She was also the first to wear nail polish and lipstick in her pueblo. And why stop there? My grandma was the first to leave her town and buy merchandise en la capital and bring it back to sell to Quilali, Nicaragua. She is the first entrepreneur I met.
After she had conquered la capital, she set her horizons to the U.S. and with hard work, no English and filled with hope, she was able to accomplish her dreams of owning her own home in Nicaragua. Not bad for the orphan little girl who didn’t have a positive role model or grow up in a loving home.
September is the month my grandma was born but is also Hispanic Heritage month and as a family we unite to celebrate the woman who set the example for all of us. And there’s no other way to celebrate than with a Trio, food and family.
The road to the American Dream was paved by so many other Latinos that were here before me and planted the seeds of success so I can reap them today. The Orphaned Earring today applauds companies such as Ford that continue to support our culture and drive us to even greater heights.
Sponsored by Ford, Latino Americans is a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary airing on PBS this fall. The films will chronicle Latinos in the United States from the sixteenth century to present day. It is a story of people, politics, and culture, large in scale and deep in its reach. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.
Join us and watch the upcoming episodes (see below) and I hope you see your ancestors in you when you look in the mirror as I see my grandma in myself.
Tuesday, September 24th
- “War and Peace” (1942-1954), Latino Americans start to serve their new country but still face discrimination and fight for civil rights during the World War II years and the years to follow.
- “The New Latinos” (1946-1965), a large scaled immigration happens from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic, seeking economic opportunities.
Tuesday, October 1st
- “Pride and Prejudice” (1965-1980), tells the story of “Chicano Movement” in the late 1960’s. These activists pushed for better education opportunities for Latinos, and empowerment in the political process.
- “Peril and Promise” (1980-2000), takes viewers through the past 30 years. Enlightening the many Cubans, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Guatemalans fleeing civil wars in their own countries arriving in a new land, transforming the United States along the way. The debate of undocumented immigrants and branding them as felons, English only laws will be some of the topics brought up in this series. At the same time we have many Latinos influencing music, sports, media, politics and entertainment business.
Disclosure: This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Ford. However, all opinions expressed and stories are my own.