I must have been about 7 years old at the time this picture was taken. I remember my mom brushing my hair and picking out my clothes. I was always up for a photo shoot. Smile!
When I look in the mirror today, I see who I am, what I have become and who I still want to be.
My parents met in middle school. They eventually married and just had me. Happily ever after is not what happened. They divorced by the time I was about 6 or 7.
A testament to the love they had for me and the eventual mutual respect they had for each other in parenting me is the smile you see on my face.
My parents were both born in Texas. I am 2nd generation Mexican American on my Father’s side and 3rd on my Mother’s. I naturally picked up the Spanish language, Gracias a Dios! My parents never really taught it to me but it was the language spoken on both sides of my Familia. It was how I could communicate with my Abuelita. It was la musica my Grandfather sang.
My Mom and her parents Cristina and Domingo Garcia.
My Cultura was playing all around me and I was never the wiser!
The soundtrack of my youth is Mariachis, Musica Chicana and my Abuelo (Apa) playing his guitar as he sang Spanish songs.
Pets were chickens, ducks and my horse Big Red. My dad bought me one because he said I asked for one, lol. The chicken’s and duck’s were gifted to me every Easter (by me Dad) and I am forever grateful that my grandfather (Apa) had plenty of land to care for my pets.
Me and my horse Big Red.
My Sweet Sixteen.
La comida was so traditional that my expectations are high. I was raised on homemade tortillas, and frijoles from the jarro. Nopalitos, carne asada, chorizo, sopas, arroz con pollo were food for my soul. The salsa was always made from the cilantro, tomate, cebolla y chili piquin picked straight from my Abuelita’s backyard. Amor was comida and it showed.
Medicine was El curandero (the medicine man) for any ailment that the “Sangre de Chango” otherwise known as monkey blood (not really monkey blood) couldn’t cure. Aloe Vera was the plant kept in the front yard for burns and scrapes. If you still weren’t cured no worries because you probably had “ojo” (the evil eye) and having your Abuela rub an egg over your body as she prayed in Spanish somehow did the trick! The egg is then cracked and placed into a glass of water with a broken stick to make a cross on top of the egg. After a certain period of time the egg starts to separate and the more it does the worse the “ojo”. I only wish my Abuelas were around to cure me without having to head to the local pharmacy.
The Amor is what cured us all.
Mis Abuelas Cristina y Manuela.
My parents loved me unconditionally and gave me the best of themselves. We were rich in culture and that was my happy. We weren’t rich but I always had what I needed and the most important thing for me was that they were always present in my life and I knew I was loved. It showed in their actions as it does to this day.
I am a lucky girl! I looked in the mirror as a child with no clue of who I was other than happy.
I look at myself in the mirror now (still happy) and see the past, the present and the future. My past was an abundance of Cultura, Tradiciones y Amor. The present is the family I have raised and the future is full of promise.
I grew up!
I am a daughter who became a woman, who became a Mom, who became a grandmother!
A dance recital with my granddaughter.
My family is my backbone and the love and traditions I was raised on is what I hope my girls have had a taste of. I still can’t cook a tortilla but I know what restaurant makes a good one. I don’t usually play Spanish music on the radio but they know the sounds of a good Mariachi. I do make a mean Fidello, family approved!
I have lived a lifetime and my dreams have now taken me Outside and into Nature. I became an ambassador for Latino Outdoors a year ago. An organization engaging, empowering and inspiring communities to share and identify Cultura and the outdoors.
Me and my Paleta.
I can’t be anyone other than me and I carry this in my heart. I am a proud Latina born and raised!
National Hispanic Heritage Month is honored September 15th to October 15th. It is a month to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation.
This post is a part of the #TXLatinoBlog Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop. Visit the bloggers listed below as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month together/juntos! Follow the hashtag #TXLatinoBlog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too.
Que Means What – Being Latina Enough – Wednesday, 9/14
MexiMoments – Importance of Learning the Language as a Child – Thursday, 9/15
The Social Butterfly Gal – Mentoring Young Latinas – Friday, 9/16
Juan of Words – Mexican-American Culture – Monday, 9/19
Sweet Life– Food Recipes – Tuesday, 9/20
The Optimistic Heathen – Sharing Our Heritage with the Kids – Wednesday, 9/21
Modern Tejana – How to Live Your Latinidad in Mixed-Race Families – Thursday, 9/22
The Esposa Experience – Navigating the Pressures of Traditional Esposa Expectations – Friday, 9/23
The Nueva Latina – Mexican Independence Day in Guadalajara – Saturday, 9/24
FitFunAnd.com – Self-Reflection and Latino Outdoors – Sunday, 9/25
VodkaGirlATX – Latin-Inspired Cocktails – Monday, 9/26
Momma of Dos – How Mexican I grew up! – Tuesday, 9/27
Family Love in My City – Immigration – Wednesday, 9/28
Creative Meli – Basic and Healthy Latin Cooking – Thursday, 9/29
Mejorando Mi Hogar – Being Latino or Hispanic – Friday, 9/30
Power to Prevail – Body Shame in Latino Culture – Monday, 10/3
Teatrolatinegro – Latin@ Theatre Show in Houston – Tuesday, 10/4
Candypo – Being a Latino Military Spouse – Wednesday, 10/5
Coppelia Marie – Am I a Bad Latina Mom? – Thursday, 10/6
The Restaurant Fanatic – Cocina Latina – Friday, 10/7
Haute in Texas – Mothering Latinas When You’re Not a Latina – Monday, 10/10