As a Latina who came to the United States when I was very young, I didn't know a lot about Mexico or my heritage growing up. My mom is and was as Mexican as you can get, speaking only Spanish to us and doing everything in the traditional ways of Mexico. But besides cooking, she never really taught us anything about our country or our roots. And as you know the schools taught us even less. So I grew up Mexican but knowing very little about where I came from. As I got older and I had my kids, I realized that I did not want the same for them. Having biracial children, Mexican/Guamanian/Asian, I needed to make sure that their Hispanic heritage would not get lost in the shuffle and that they would know just how special and important their Mexican culture is. We recently talked about Mexican Independence Day and why that is a real holiday versus Cinco de Mayo. We talk about Mexico and places we want to visit one day together and we talk a lot about food, and how Mexican food is truly the best. Of course.
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15) is a time for reflection and celebration of our Latino culture. It is a great time for being able to share with my children a lot of knowledge and for learning more. We can sit together as a family and watch my mom cook tamales or help her make her famous chiles rellenos and Menudo. Keeping the Spanish language in their daily lives is also very important and that is why all the kids are taking a Spanish class. Listening to Sammy sing the little songs she learns in Spanish class, really warms my heart and it makes her Papa so proud!
As my family continues to grow, it is up to me to make sure that they never lose sight of their culture and their Latino roots.
Ford Motor Company is providing us with the perfect opportunity to sit together as a family and learn more about the contributions that Latinos have made to the United States. LATINO AMERICANS is a three-part, six-hour series will document the history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped to shape North America over the last 500 years. It is a story of immigration and renovation, and the anguish and celebration that Hispanics have faced to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. LATINO AMERICANS will feature interviews with Puerto Rican star of West Side Story, Rita Moreno; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chavez, who also became the highest ranking woman in the Reagan White House; and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan.
The great people at Ford understand the impact that Latinos have made in our communities, and is one of the most respected brands among many Latinos because of their multi-faceted and on-going commitment. The Ford Motor Company proudly provided corporate funding for the LATINO AMERICANS series. I would like to thank The Ford Company for helping to bring us this super informative series.
LATINO AMERICANS will air on Tuesdays, September 17th, September 24th, and October 1st from 8:00 -10:00 p.m. (EST) on PBS.
I will be watching as Latino Americans airs tomorrow night and tweeting live, please join me in both and jump into the conversation using the hash tags #LatinosPBS and #LatinosFord. Learn more about Ford and their support of the Hispanic community by visiting Ford en Español on Facebook and Ford en Español on Twitter.