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What Does it Mean to be Latina: A Personal Reflection

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

To be a Latina woman can encompass many different things. As a Mexican-American woman, my ethnicity plays a huge role in my identity. It has shaped me to be the person that I am today. 

My parents were born and raised in Mexico and immigrated to Brooklyn, NY where I was born. Although I wasn’t born or raised in Mexico, I have always been surrounded by my culture my entire life. I grew up going to Mexico in the summers, listening to Mexican artists like, Selena and Jenni Rivera and eating Mexican candy that was always a bit too spicy for me. 

As I got older, I started spending more time in the kitchen with my grandma. I watched her make traditional Mexican dishes like pozole, tamales, mole, chiles rellenos, etc. She was very patient and would explain every step to me. I miss her. I always think of her when my mom makes her signature rice. There is something so special about being taught how to make traditional dishes stemming from your culture. Knowing that the women before me were taught by their mothers and grandmothers makes me feel closer to my heritage and the women who came before me.

Moments like these have made me realize how privileged I am to be able to understand and speak Spanish. It’s something that I don’t take for granted. I’m able to understand and communicate with my family members and I’m lucky enough to have family who are always willing to educate me more about my culture through stories and conversations. I love hearing my relatives talk about what their lives were like back in Mexico and hearing stories that their parents have passed down to them. 

To me, these experiences are what make me Latina. 

Britney Castillo

St. John's '25

Hi everyone! My name is Britney Castillo and I am from Queens, NY. I am a communications major, and I am minoring in Public Relations. I love going to concerts, hanging out with friends, and reading!