Mi cumpleaños en otro País

En mi familia existe la tradición que en el día del cumpleaños se despierta al cumpleañero con mañanitas, abrazos, besos y por supuesto con regalos.

Este año me ponía nerviosa cada que pensaba que llegaría el 23 de octubre y lo pasaría en otro país lejos de mis papás, y hermanas…Pero llegó la fecha, tuve el día libre y decidí salir de Guadalajara y tomar el primer camión hacia Jocotepec sin saber como o con quien me pasaría este día tan especial.

Al llegar a casa de mis abuelitos tuve un gran recibimiento, con muchos abrazos, fuí sorprendida con unas mañanitas en vivo amenizadas por mi abuelito y uno de mis primos. Esta era la primera vez en 22 años que pasaba un cumpleaños fuera de los Estados Unidos, y la primera vez con una celebración en vivo con la guitarra de mi abuelito……que sonaba a serenata! Por la tarde la familia se reunió a comer en la casa de descanso de mis abuelos “la casa de Los Angeles” como la llamamos nosotros…por ser mi cumpleaños y en mi honor, todos se organizaron para preparar una rica carne asada (una de mis comidas favoritas), y otras cosas típicas de México, incluyendo tortillas hechas a mano! Juntos disfrutamos de la comida, el pastel, un partido de fútbol (CHIVAS) y un juego de baraja (viuda).

En fin, me pasé un cumpleaños genial…. Acompañada de mi familia, en uno de mis lugares favoritos “la casa de mis abuelitos en Jocotepec, Jalisco, México”. Desafortunadamente no pude compartir este día tan espacial con mi papá, mi mamá y mis dos hermanas queridas…pero aquí comparto un video y unas fotografías para que vean como nos la pasamos en la celebración de mis 23 años.

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Support.

Support. To maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family. To sustain. To bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for. To undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.

Straight definition of the word, Support. (from dictionary.com)

This word has such a significant meaning to my family and myself because it is the word, which has kept all of us going…. after our dreams. Since the beginning, my parents have always promised themselves (I say this because they’ve told us millions of times) “Anything is possible and whatever you girls wish to do in life, we will support you”. Even if it is becoming a doctor/therapist, to be on television, to play a sport professionally. The reason for why they preach on with, “anything is possible” is because my parents have accomplished the so-called “impossible”.

Today, my mother and one of the most inspiring females, has her first day of school…. She is a professor at the local Community College. A quick history on my mom and her background: At the age of 20, already a teacher in Jalisco, Mexico, my mother fell in love (with my father) she left her job and family and came to the United States. They had very little when they first arrived in the states so she had no other option but do the only thing she could at the time and she worked in the fields. This lady went from being a teacher to working in the fields. Well, that only lasted a few months. As ambitious as she has always been, she began taking English classes and soon enough she was back in the classroom (daycare center that is)…. long story short, a mother of three, a working woman and a student. In 2008, my mother received her Masters degree in Human DEVELOPMENT. She has been working for PVUSD in Migrant Head Start as a coordinator for I want to say 15, 16, 17 years? A few months after receiving her Masters degree my mom was offered a position as a professor at Cabrillo College. Anyone that knows my mom knows why she would be offered such a position. She is the most intelligent woman I know. She is confident. She speaks perfect in two languages. Her experience is off the charts. I always tell her, “MOM! You have to write a book…tell people about your story!” Anytime I talk about my mother to ANYONE, they are impressed. Who wouldn’t be? So anyway, I already have the title for her book, “from the fields to the classrooms”…original? Haha. Not really. And if she doesn’t want to share her story, I promise you, I will!

Anyway, back to the word, SUPPORT. Today, this word stood out to me because besides my mom starting, yet, another semester as a professor, she has done so because of my DAD (another amazing person who’ll I’ll share about in another blog)… because not only my dad but my sisters and I have always supported her.

Now, my little sister Paola. A 3.8 student who is an overachiever and dreams of playing professional soccer one day. I see that day! Today I am working on footage from her games which I’ve gathered and which sum her up as the MVP player she is.

And last but not least, my older sister, Brenda. A happily married woman who is going after her Masters in (I’m going to keep it short) THERAPY at Santa Clara University. She already works with children and with low-income families… and she is that person who is trying to make this a better world!

This entire blog came about after I finished my daily hour-long conversation with her on the phone… She is supportive. She is genuine and loving. Together, we came to the conclusion that it all begins with SUPPORT. All your hopes and dreams…and if someone believes in you and shares genuine support with you, it makes that hope and dream that much more realistic and possible like it already has been in my family.

Stuck in the middle/ Perdida en el medio

A coconut… Brown on the outside, white on the inside. I learned what a coconut was earlier this week from an article I found on “Being Latino”. It was the first time I ever heard the word “coconut” being used as a symbolism for Americanized Mexicans. In my town, if you’re brown on the outside and white on the inside you’re just stereotyped as “white washed”. I read this article along with another one my sister forwarded me…. The other article was titled, “Am I Latino enough?”.

[I’ve included both articles at the bottom of my blog]

The reason my sister forwarded that article to me was because I constantly found myself asking that same question, am I Latino enough? Am I a coconut?

I was born and raised in Watsonville, California but my parents were born and raised in Mexico. My first language was Spanish, all up until the age of 5 or 6 when I started learning a few English words. I was in bilingual classes all up until third grade when I was forced into an English only class. I danced ballet folklórico for ten years. Ever since I could remember, my family and I have made annual trips to visit family in Mexico. I have studied the language-Spanish since my freshmen year in High School. I have a B.A; degree in Spanish…My favorite music is Spanish- Banda and Bachata, bet you didn’t see that one coming!

Despite all the work my parents, family and I have made to hold on to our roots, to our traditions, culture and language, I was judged as “white washed”.

I come from a small town, Watsonville. The majority in this town is Mexican; Not Salvadorian, not Nicaraguan or anything else, it is Mexican. Most of the Mexicans in this town migrated here from similar locations in Mexico- Jalisco, Michoacán, or el DF.

Anyway, apparently there were people who were more Mexican than me that they felt they could judge me for being “white washed” or a coconut, rather than Mexican. It wasn’t until I left Watsonville and moved to San Francisco that for the first time in my life did I feel “Mexican enough”. What I’m trying to say is that, when I moved to San Francisco, I found myself amongst very few Mexicans. If there was a Latin race, it wasn’t Mexican but of Salvadorian, Nicaraguan, or Puerto Rican descent. For the first time, I felt proud to say I was Mexican not scared to be judged or have someone tell me I’m not.

This is all a very sensitive subject to me. I am a bilingual journalist who is trying to make it in a very competitive field. I am trying to not only make it as an English broadcaster but a Spanish one. You have no idea how many times I have heard that my Spanish isn’t good enough or that it is better than they thought. Confusing, right?!

At times, I do ask myself, am I Mexican enough? Am I too Mexican?… I have the desire to belong and I find myself stuck …stuck in the middle. I don’t belong to either side. Well that is because I am a Latina, a Mexican-American. I am a first generation who represents not one but TWO cultures. My goal as a journalist and broadcaster is to make sure I represent people who are just like me…because I KNOW I am NOT alone. I read Latina magazine very regularly because it is a magazine that has been able to do just that. Same thing goes with Mun2.

Instead of judging and trying to label people, we should learn their stories. Everyone has a story. No one should ever feel pressured to meet someone’s expectations as to who they are, where they belong and if they’re really Latino enough or not.

______________________

Un coco…Café por fuera y blanco por dentro. Aprendí sobre “el coco” hace unos días  en un articulo que me encontré en “Being Latino”. Era la primer vez que yo había oído del coco como un simbolismo. En mi pueblo si uno es café por fuera y blanco por dentro, por decir, se dice que uno es “White washed” (americanizado). Leí este articulo junto con otro que mi hermana me mandó. El titulo del otro artículo era, “¿Soy suficientemente Latino?”. [He agregado ambos artículos al final]

 La razón por la que mi hermana me mandó este articulo es porque ella sabe que yo constantemente me pregunto si soy suficientemente Latina. ¿O será que soy un coco?

 Nací y crecí en Watsonville California, pero mis padres nacieron y crecieron en México. Mi primer idioma fue el español y fué a la edad de 5 o 6 años cuando empecé a aprender unas cuantas palabras en ingles. Estuve en clases bilingües hasta que el sistema me forzó a clases de ingles solamente en el tercer grado.  Participé en un grupo de ballet folklórico por diez años. Desde que yo me acuerdo, mi familia y yo hemos ido a México cada año. Retomé a estudiar el idioma Español desde mi primer año en la preparatoria. Tengo un titulo en el idioma-Español… Mi música favorita es en español, Banda y Bachata; de seguro eso no lo esperaban!

 A pesar de todo el esfuerzo que hemos hecho mis padres, mi familia y yo para mantener nuestras raíces, nuestras tradiciones, cultura y lenguaje, aun así he sido juzgada como “americanizada”.

 Vengo de un pueblito pequeño, Watsonville, donde la mayoría de la gente es Mexicana, no Salvadoreña, ni Nicaragüense, la mayoría somos mexicanos originarios de lugares muy similares en México, de Jalisco, Michoacán o del Distrito Federal.

 Bueno, de seguro hay gente en el pueblo que se siente más mexicana que yo y creen que tienen el derecho de juzgarme como “americanizada” o como “coco” y no como Mexicana. No fue hasta que me fui a vivir a San Francisco que por primera vez me sentí que era lo suficientemente Mexicana. Lo que estoy tratando de decir es que en San Francisco no hay muchos Mexicanos, hay latinos pero la mayoría, diría que son Salvadoreños, Nicaragüenses o Puerto Riqueños. Por primer vez me sentí orgullosa de decir que era mexicana sin temer de ser juzgada por los demás o que alguien me contradijera.

 Como pueden darse cuenta, este es un tema muy sensible para mi. Soy una periodista bilingüe que lucha en un mercado muy competitivo. Estoy luchando para lograr el éxito tanto como periodista en el idioma ingles, como en el español. No se imaginan cuantas veces se me ha dicho que mi español no es lo suficiente bueno pero que es mejor de lo que ellos esperaban. ¿Qué enredo verdad?

 A veces me pregunto si seré lo suficientemente Mexicana, o si soy demasiado Mexicana…Tengo la esperanza de pertenecer pero me encuentro perdida…perdida en medio. No pertenezco a ninguna de las dos culturas y eso es porque soy Latina, soy Mexicana-Americana. Soy primera generación y pertenezco no a una, sino a dos culturas. Mi meta como periodista es representar a las personas que son como yo… porque yo se que no soy la única que se siente así. Frecuentemente leo la revista “Latina” porque siento que es una revista que me representa, al igual que el canal de televisión, “Mun2”.

 En vez de juzgar a una persona, deberíamos aprender sobre su historia. Todos tenemos una historia. Ninguna persona debería sentirse presionada de tener que demostrar quién es, de donde viene y a donde pertenece.

Am I Latino Enough?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yvette-borja/post_2416_b_966016.html?ir=College&ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

Brown on the outside, White on the inside

http://beinglatino.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/brown-on-the-outside-white-on-the-inside/