Glad, Proud, Love...To Be Latina & Latino

Our Amigos testify about our culture & community

Published on LatinoLA: September 23, 2002

Glad, Proud, Love...To Be Latina & Latino

Claudia J. Reyes writes:
"I am proud to be a Latina because like our ancestors, I'm a warrior. I truly love & admire my roots: I'm a mixture of Mayan & Spanish blood, my skin is brown and my blood is warm. No matter where we come from, in my case Guatemala, our culture is beautiful and with a tremendous past full of history & glory. No one can and will ever make me ashamed of who I am or where I come from because in my blood I carry the courage to stand proud and to love my people. Often, ignorant people discrimiate against us because our skin is too dark or because of our indigenous roots, but if they lived one day in our shoes and had a taste of our foods, dances, customs, language, traditions, & passion we have for life, I assure you, they wouldn't want to go back. ?Que viva la sangre Latina!"

Wendy James writes:
"I am fond of my Latino-ness because even though I'm really dark (black)...Latinos are acceptive of me being Paname?a. We are so diverse from dark to light, and we are ALL beautiful."

Armando Romo writes:
"The flavor of my food, the fuel of life. The music that touches emotions within me that no other sound can match. The madres with the their faith and commitment to family. The papa's with their strength and desire to pass on the tradition of our
culture. The fiesta's from pi?ata's for the ni?o's birthday to the wedding of young
people in love. The belief in the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe that God sent to our people The history from Pancho Villa to the Alamo our people will be free and
prosper. The brothers & sister that though it all are there forever within us, porque
'Son Sangre.' The women, their beauty is the underlining pride that makes me glad that I am a Latino All this and so much more gives my life 'Sabor.'

Anita Martinez writes:
"In my family, our Mexican cultural heritage was considered an important part of our family traditions to be practiced and passed down through generations. Both my parents were born and educated in Los Angeles but made it a point for my brother and I to be bilingual. As I grew up I was taught the many beautiful features of our Chicano/Mexicano culture. I think I'm rather lucky to be able to draw from such rich and historical cultural traditions. It's a culture filled with amazing music (like Son Jarocho), wonderful cuisine, so varied and complex, relationships based on the essentials of humanity: cooperation, communality and joy. I'm thankful to have these thousand year old traditions to inspire me. Imagine if my only inspiration were insipid Hollywood movies, the banal lives of celebrities, the musty history of royalty and conquerors and bland food created in taste-test laboratories? No thanks! I'm happy to be Latina!"

Josefina Aguilar writes:
"I understand the words to a lullabye over a century old;
The warmth of my abuelitos is not a vague memory;
My expression is bilingual and my history is ancient;
The blood in my veins links me to the world -- first to the third;
My mother is a warrior and my father is capable of tenderness;
Art finds a way to communicate its beauty in a language I didn't always understand;
El orgullo de mi pasado anima mi presente y me hace aun mas orgullosa de ser mujer, Latina, Chicana."

Yolanda Rosales writes:
"The richness of the culture would make anyone proud to be Latino, Latina...the diversity in ethnicity...the romance in the spoken word...the way we envelop tradition...how Mariachi music makes one breakout in song...how proud we are of our hard fought battles to empower our people...our veterans who have lived and died fighting for freedom for all. The humility and strengths in our people, both young and old. People such as yourselves delivering the message, the educated reaching out to teach our young to attain their goals....our athletes doing us proud...everyone that sets an example no matter how small the lesson, but is so representative of our people, that your heart swells when you see them or hear them, and I can truly say to whoever is around, see they are 'MY PEOPLE.'"

Pati Caballero writes:
"I'm glad I am a Latina because we Latinos do everything in a big way: When we fight, we fight loud. When we love, we love hard. When we cry, we cry hard."

Guadalupe Aguilar writes:
"I am not only glad, I am proud. I love that I can speak two languages fluently. I have a rich cultural history that connects me to my indigenous and Spanish roots. I love the color of my skin, eyes, hair. 'Yo soy de la sangre de mis padres.' I am Latina, I don't want to be anything else. And my children will be proud and love who they are and where they come from."

Daniel Gutierrez writes:
"I am happy to Latino because we are the future leaders of our country. I am excited to be Latino in America in a very exciting time in our history. 'Imagine' what stories we can tell our grand children!!!"

Sandy Cisneros writes:
"I'm extremely grateful, for being Latina. I consider myself very lucky because I come from a Costa Rican mother and a Mexican father. I find myself lucky in saying that the pride that my family has in being Latino was passed on to me. The beauty of my people, the strength of my ancestors and love that comes from a Latino family can never be compared to anything else. The respect I feel for the Abuelitas, Tias, Hermanas, Madrinas and last but not least, Madres, is enormous. Latina women are brave, fuertes, hermosas and full of pride, which makes me the woman that I am today. I am blessed for being Latina, I can't imagine being anything else."

Trinie Garcia-Valdez writes:
"I am proud to be a Latina because my cultura, my gente, and my history are a rich and colorful one. The traditions we maintain, the language we speak, the music we play, all contribute to our identity as a proud, warm and special people. It gives me much joy and orgullo to see that our two sons, Diego and Pablo, are well on their way to embracing their Latino heritage, our customs, and our beautiful Spanish language."

Yazmin Ortiz writes:
"I love being a Latina because it is soooooo hot and sexy. Because we have
soooo much culture, and folklore. Because we are indeeed the nicest people on earth. Because we act, dance, produce, direct, sing, kiss, reproduce and cook soooooooo good. I don't know, did I forget any other reasons?"

Andrea Ortega writes:
"I am proud to be a Latina because together we have so much in common. Whether you are from California, Central America, South America or Mexico, we can all relate to our Latino heritage. I love being connected to a group of people who are just like me. Who enjoy good music, good food, family and church. I often see people who long to relate to an ethnic culture or heritage. They are constantly searching for their roots. But I know mine and can simply look around Los Angeles to identify with it. I love being a Latina!"

Juan A. Gallegos writes:
"I'm glad to be a Latino because there is no other cultural experience more diverse than me as an 'hijo de las americas'!! As a Latino I am proud to have indiginous heritage and still be living on our ancestral lands. And no administration, bureacracy or institution will ever take that away.............I am a proud Mexican!"

Concepci?n M. Valadez writes:
"Why I'm glad I'm a Latina: I can access all the delicious, exciting, inspiring thoughts conveyed through Spanish, that only the insiders can: Who else would appreciate the cleverness behind a band naming itself Division Tlaquache, Rascuache, Dexentonados, etc.? I can appreciate the span of experiences of our people in this country --f rom the daring of the newly arrived indocumentados who came por la sierra, to the university Ph.Ds. 'Others', even our friends, can only study us and perhaps empathize, but we, Latinos/as can see heroes among the gardeners and the house-maids in our midst."

Nidia M Sanchez writes:
"I am glad to be a Latina because we carry warm blood in our veins, music in our souls and love in our hearts. I am proud of our heritage and proud to be called Latina."

Alma Flores writes:
"I am very proud to be a US Latina because I come from a very rich culture -- one that values family, a strong work ethic, and community. I am blessed with a wonderful education and look forward to maintaining my commitment to furthering the Latino community."

Gabriela Cortines writes:
"I am glad to be a Latina because I grew up listening to Jarocho music."

Mireya Saldana writes:
"I'm glad I'm a Latina because I'm proud of my roots and of where I come from. Latinos have style, rhythm and a passion for life. They like to celebrate with good music and good food, and they enjoy life to its fullest, even if all they have is frijoles and tortillas on the table. Latinos have an amazing language -- Spanish, the language of love and expression, the language of boleros and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Latinos have contributed so much to this country, from good food, to beautiful art, to an amazing culture, and that cannot be denied. I'm a proud Latina / Mexicana / Chicana who has touched and enhanced the life of others and of this country."

O writes:
"I am so glad and proud that I am a Latino whose culture is rich in history. Proud of my ancestry. Being a Latino means I face life struggles with force and they never will let me down. Being a Latino means I am a hard worker who earns a true living...and a life full of spice..."

Veronica Medina writes:
"I'm glad I'm a Latina because I can shake my booty with rhythm to those salsa moves AND make Mexican food!"

Felix Flores, Jr writes:
"I am glad I am Latino because I love sharing my birthday with two of my other cousins every year. Nothing makes me feel more Latino than when my mom volunteers my birthday party to be held with my other cousins. In the end, I am just upset that I get less presents. :)"

Dionne Espinoza writes:
"I am glad I'm a Latina -- and especially a Chicana/Apache -- porque I have an amazing history of struggle and resistance to oppression as reflected in the figures who I see as symbols of these struggles, such as Dolores Huerta, las Soldaderas, Do?a Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, and my mother Adriana Espinoza. I also have the legacy of amazing music, such as the Son Jarocho, with its hybrid, Afro-Caribbean and Mexican strands."

Mauri Holguin writes:
"I am proud to be a Latina because our culture is one that has evolved through the years with a pride that cannot to be compared with any other race. Born in East LA and parents from Mexico, I have grown to understand and see the struggles and the hard work that it has taken to be where I am now and what we as Latinos are able to pass down to our children."

E Martinez writes:
"I am glad to be a Latina because all Latins have a great sense of pride for their roots, families, culture, and history. I am proud of the many challenges, struggles and setbacks that we have overcome and will continue to overcome. I am glad and proud of my olive skin, curly hair and good curves that stem from my Latin roots. I am proud of my Latin heritage in the ways our families stick together, get together, cook together, laugh together, fight together (ha, ha) we have all had these type of situations (families partying together and getting a lil' crazy) but that is why I love
our Latin culture and that is why I am so proud to be in this Latin circle no matter what society puts in my way, I will overcome them because I am a strong Latina."

Fernando Arce writes:
"I'm glad because of our culture. Other cultures such as the gringo have sour or boring traditions. Our culture is hot and spicy and is so full of history. Our music is beautiful. Our people are beautiful. We come in all different colors. We all seem to have the rythum flowing through our blood. We are a passionate and devoted people. It doesn't matter where you were born or if you speak the language. Latino isn't only about speaking Spanish or being born in the mother country. Being Latino is a way life. It's flowing throught our veins. I love being Latino. I am proud of my ancestors and history. ?Que viva la raza Latina!"

Share your words on why you are proud, glad or love to be a Latino or Latina. Send to amigos@latinola.com

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