What It Means To Be Latina

There are many different identities that I have to label who I am, and one of those different identities that means a lot to me is how I identify as a Latina. Growing up being a Latina has always been important to me because I absolutely love my culture.

One of the awesome things about being Latina is that I am blessed with being bilingual. I enjoy being able to communicate with more than one group of people, and I especially enjoy being able to read memes in Spanish and in English. I also really appreciate that I can translate one language to the other whenever it is needed. Being bilingual has also allowed me to help my family in many different ways by translating, and I cannot appreciate it enough. 

Our culture has some really good music as well. Bachata, Reggaeton, Salsa, Merengue, Banda, Zapateado, Nortenas. All of these different genres are always a mood. And let me tell you about our iconic artists/groups like Mana, Juan Gabriel, Marco Antonio Solis, Hombres G, Cafe Tacvba, Marc Anthony, J Lo, the list can go on. If you have not listened to any of these and would like a playlist, feel free to let me know and I will send you my Spotify playlists. 

Now, if you are reading this and you don’t think Latin food is the best food ever, let me tell you why it is. We have spicy food, sweet food, food to eat when you are sick (or hungover), and we have antojitos (food that is specifically intended for cravings). These foods always hit the spot and they cannot be compared. But there is a catch. To really appreciate and enjoy Mexican food, you must get Latin food from an authentic Latinx person. Don’t go to restaurants or shops that are whitewashed, you MUST go to an authentic place. 

Another thing I appreciate so much about our culture is the importance of family. To Latinos, family means everything. No matter what happens, no matter where we are, family will always come first. This is important for us to know, because we then know that no matter what, we are always going to have our family supporting us along the way. 

So far it all sounds pretty great being Latinx, but there are some downfalls. 

Being Latina means dealing with discrimination and racism. 

Being Latina means being judged by your skin color. 

Being Latina means people yelling at you to go back to your country, or people telling you to speak English because after all, we are in America. 

Being Latina means people looking at you and asking, “Do you speak English?”

Being Latina means people assuming you won’t go far because of your background.

But being Latina means being strong and successful. It means taking these downfalls and making the best out of them. It means surpassing people’s expectations of you and proving the people wrong who thought you would never be anything. It means working hard for your family and reaching your goals, because we are here to break the stereotype. We are here for our family and their hard work. We are here to show que sí se puede, y que nunca vamos a dejar que alguien nos diga que no podemos. 

                                                       Photo Courtesy of The Latina Power Instagram