Personal Essay #13

"Self Portrait" Illustrated by Jacqueline Davis Moranti

As many of you may already know about me is that I'm Latina. With so much going on in the world right now, it's nice to know that there is a month dedicated to the people of the Spanish- speaking kind. From September 15th to October 15th, hispanics in the USA rejoice and observe in celebration of what makes us proud to be a part of such a wonderful community and diverse culture. 

What exactly does it mean to me, to be a Latina, you ask? Growing up, it was always about the culture for me. My brother and I are both half Dominican and half Venezuelan or shall I say "Domini-zuelan?", two very different countries. Both rich with culture, history, art, passion and faith. Hispanics place a big emphasis on family, community and working hard, which I believe is a big part of what makes me who I am.  

In the United States of America, being a part of the Latino culture is also about understanding duality. As much as I am American, I am also very much Dominican and Venezuelan. Embracing the differences of both cultures is also a part of me. Not having to choose a side is what makes being Hispanic American a beautiful thing! I can go from eating a wonderful turkey meal on Thanksgiving day and then the day after eating turkey enchiladas with the leftovers. Dance to Deadmau5's latest chart topper to Marc Anthony's best hit song. Speaking English, speaking Spanish maybe even a bit of Spanglish! Dare to be different!
The Hispanic community continues to grow and overcome the hurdles that so many thought we never could. Si se puede, mi gente!

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Thanks for the sweet whispers! XO