What does being Latina mean to me?

Being Latina means being bilingual since before I can remember. It means being part of two different worlds within my same world. It means being able to go to two different countries (Colombia and Dominican Republic) and learning about my heritage, culture, and seeing how my parents grew up. Then, coming home to America to share my newly discovered background with my friends and peers, both at home and school.

This is how I celebrate my culture.

I celebrate my culture everyday by coming home and helping my mom cook some of my favorite dishes from Colombia (arepas), which are made out of corn flour, the Dominican Republic (sancocho), which is a very hearty soup with different types of meats and vegetables, and helping her on our weekly family dinner gatherings. From a young age, I have learned to dance various Latin rhythms and was part of a Latin dance group in the city of Boston. We performed dances such as Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue, and many others from different Latin countries at all of the festivals celebrated during the summer in Massachusetts. My car rides are filled with Spanish music. Every 4 years when the world cup rolls around we are dressed from head to toe in Colombia’s colors– yellow, blue, and red. Encanto became our favorite movie. Going to my abuelitas house is the best because we can enjoy our favorite show together “La Casa de los Famosos”. Celebrating my culture feels like breathing; I can’t do one without the other.