I'm Proud to be Mexican-American

As I write this article, it’s the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. And on the eve of Mexican Independence Day, I can’t help but feel proud to call myself a Mexican-American woman that lives in Pilsen in Chicago.

My grandparents and great-grandparents came her to the United States from the beautiful land of Mexico and tried to give my parents the best life that they could - and my parents have lived to do the same for me. Leaving everything that you know behind is one thing, trying to do it on in a place that you’ve never seen before where no one speaks the same language as you is something completely different.

I think as I get older, I’m constantly becoming more and more aware of imagining what life must have been like for my grandparents and great-grandparents when they got here. I will always have respect for them and always admire the challenges that they overcome and be grateful that they decided to come here not only for their future generations but for themselves. 

We’re at a point in time where we are constantly being divided in the world because of the climate we’re in - politically and otherwise. We get judged by the color of our skin, the language that we speak, the side of town that we grow up in and much more in between. But on the horizon of a celebration I plan on doing just that. 

I am proud of the lineage that I come from. I acknowledge the struggle of the hardships that those before me have gone through to get to this point in history. I am aware of the struggles that people are going through right now and my heart hurts for them because some were trying to do is come to this country in search of a better life for them and their families. Not a day goes by that being a Mexican-American is not somehow incorporated into my everyday life: the music I listen to, the food I love to eat, the conversations that I have with my friends and family and so much more. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a period of time where we celebrate the contributions that Hispanics and Latinos have brought to the culture. They are one of the many different groups of people that make America the melting pot of culture that it is. Mexican Independence Day is the day when Mexicans commemorate being free from the Spanish and rejoicing in all the glory. These days for me are an extra reminder that more than ever I will embrace this part of me that I love. In a state of division and lines in the sand, let the significance of these moments be chances for you to celebrate with those who finds these events meaningful to them. Let’s embrace each other and celebrate these events together and not apart.

It’s a great day to be Hispanic. And it’s a great day to be a Mexican.