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3 Reasons Why I’m Proud To Be Latina

“I am always Latina. It’s a part of me, just like being a woman is, too.” – Gina Rodriguez

According to the Pew Research Center, there are 58.6 million Hispanics in the United States of America, making them the second-largest ethnic group in the US.

They are energetic, hard-working, and unique influencers who are worth learning about.

By: Stephanie Sandoval

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated across the nation from September 15 to October 15. Take advantage of this opportunity to visit exhibitions, attend parades, and eat delicious food! We can also take the time to honor Latino figures who stand out in entertainment, literature, science, and politics.

I feel that it’s important to respect your heritage. For this reason, here are my 3 reasons why I’m proud to be Latina:

  1. Inspiring Role Models

When I look at the women in my family, I feel proud to be Latina. They are my inspiration.

My mom is strong, smart, and brave. She exudes all the confidence I would like to have one day. As a kid in Ecuador, she had the dream to come to the United States.

She always had faith that her dream would one day come true. Even when naysayers told her otherwise, she did not doubt her destiny.

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To come to a country without knowing the language or having anyone to rely on is courageous. I don’t know if I could have done it. I’m thankful my mom was brave enough for all of us who came after her. Without her, my sister and I wouldn’t have been able to realize our dreams in America.

Speaking of my sister, she’s an impressive person whom I look up to. She has a great passion for life, she works harder than anybody I know, and she knows how to throw a good party! As a kid, I admired her ability to be free on the dance floor. I even learned to dance because I wanted to be more like her!

Thanks to my mom and my sister, I have learned the value of a strong work ethic, the importance of being true to myself, and to not forget to smile and have fun!

“My mother gave me one piece of advice that stuck with me. She said, ‘Don’t forget where you came from.’” – Eva Longoria

  1.  Family is Valued

To Latinos, family is essential. I am grateful for the sacrifices that my parents made for me to go to college. They always respected my time and space to work on my professional and academic development. Many times, I had to pass on family dinners or outings to study and they understood. For this reason, I cherish the free time that I have now and try to give back to my parents as much as possible.

One of the things that I enjoy is traveling. It’s important for me to share and experience new places and countries along my parents’ side.

When we were in Venice, Italy, my mom told me that ever since she was a teenager, it had always been her dream to ride the gondolas, but that she never imagined it would actually come true. It’s a wonderful feeling to have played a small part in realizing her dreams.

Check out Why Traveling Abroad Is Important and a Life-Changing Experience here.

  1. Fluency in Spanish

I feel privileged to know a second language. I can travel to more than 15 countries and not worry about a language barrier. I think that’s an incredible blessing!

I owe it to my parents, who have instilled in me the beauty of remaining connected to my cultural roots. Growing up Latina, I had the fortune to travel to Quito, Ecuador often. I celebrated my birthdays there and they remain as the most memorable celebrations I have had thus far! I danced until my ribs hurt!

Quito, Ecuador is definitely a second home to me. When I’m there, I feel part of a bigger family. I remember that as a kid, I would even get homesick when we returned to Los Angeles. I missed my cousins and their contagious laughter too much.

“The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever.” – Sonia Sotomayor

I think that the fact that I have a deep love and appreciation for Quito, Ecuador leads me to appreciate other cultures and ethnicities. I wouldn’t have this desire to travel or to learn a third language if I didn’t value my heritage.

I’d love to hear from you. Why are you proud to be Latina or of your own culture?

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