Regardless of which Latino you ask you will hear the orgullo, the proudness and joy in their voice as they answer "I am proud to be Latino because…"!
Soy sumamente orgullosa de ser una mujer Latina. I hold my head up high to say I am the creation of a Puerto Rican man, aka Papi & an Ecuadorian woman, Mami.
- Alexandra Velez
As you may already know, Latinos love to celebrate! We like to celebrate so much that we get a full month to observe our Hispanic Heritage. I’m sure you all have Latino friends and may have wondered, at some point, why are they so proud?
To start Diversity - The diversity within our beautiful people, and every country we represent is so different and beautiful yet so similar. Latinos embrace their natural belleza. We come in many different shades from fair skin to beautiful dark browns. We come in different shapes and sizes.
We are proud of our heritage. It begins with our family and our unconditional love for one another. It’s extended into our language, our history, in getting to know our family tree, the food we eat, music, traditions and small details that make us who we are. We are proud of traditions such as la "llegada de los reyes magos" or the holiday parrandas. It does not matter where you are from, because one of the beauties of these celebrations, is that we celebrate as one big family.
Our music is diverse and the best. Perhaps I'm a bit biased ;) We've got samba, salsa, merengue, mariachi, bachata, cumbia — and the list goes on. I have yet to meet a Latino who doesn’t enjoy a good party. Our parties almost seem as if they never stop because even our after parties have an after party. I should know!
We are proud of our unity – we want to see our neighbors succeed. Many Latinos may not be aware of all the resources available – but we are quick to offer any information we have at our reach. We want to see others succeed. We stand proud when someone from "nuestro pueblo" (our homeland) reaches their goals, and dreams. We are proud to yell "we share the same roots". We feel the struggle, even when it doesn’t affect us directly. We fight for justice, because regardless of our so called status – we are in this together.
I’m proud to celebrate our hard working padres, our amigos, and our neighbors. As they are some of the hardest working people I know.
We are proud of our big families. We are proud to be part of a family of comadres and compadres. We consider lifetime friends brothers and sisters. We open our doors and welcome you to our homes with “estás en tu casa”, and you will be greeted the same, regardless if we meet today, last week, or years ago.
We love to connect and make friends. We love affection! We will be first to greet you with a hug and a kiss. We love to stay connected with other Latinos and are open to share our stories proudly. Stories from our homeland to the last Quinceañera we attended.
FOOD… oh boy, do we love to eat! Our food, no matter which Latino you ask – they will tell you that their food is the best. We have such a wide variety of foods and seasonings—and it’s a flavorful surprise every time. And around the holidays its non stop cooking from pasteles, arroz con gandules, flan, pernil, arroz dulce, and of course creating the best concoction of coquito. Best of all we are blessed to eat these delicious cuisine’s from mom’s, tia’s or abuela’s house. I can’t forget to mention that many of the men in our families can also cook!
Our Language. SPANGLISH! Yes, Spanglish is our unofficial official language that we all speak and understand; whether you are fluent in Spanish or not. It's awesome, because who doesn't love having the ability to juggle multiple languages at once? I feel privileged to know a second language. I can travel to many countries and not worry about a language barrier. That’s an incredible blessing!
Feeling under the weather? We’ve got remedies for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Most of the remedies include a vigorous rub down with Vicks. If that doesn’t work, call Abuelita as she will have a few remedies of her own!
I also look up at those that have done the impossible to come to an unknown country with dreams of a better life. Dreams of having their children obtain an education, to sleep with a full belly and in a safe environment, to one day have a home they can call their own, to be the first to get a college education, or to be a better provider for the loved ones they had to leave behind. Many come to America without knowing the language and many times not having anyone to rely on. They struggle against barriers and the lack of knowledge, but they give their all, to learn, and work extremely hard. And are some of the most humble and respectful people you will ever meet.
In a nutshell, being a Latina means, I am diverse. I’m proud to share that label with people from other countries. I come from a long heritage of family values and cultural traditions. I’m proud of all the different skin shades in my family and my pronunciation when I speak. I understand, finally, that it is not something to be ashamed of, on the contrary, it is a reminder that I’m an intelligent bilingual woman, and that I’m able to communicate with people in more than one language. I love my culture of delicious food, beautiful & traditional dances, fun parties and soulful music. I’m proud of my fellow Latino people that have made a name for themselves and are successful. I love that we are hard workers, that we don’t give up easily, and the bond among our people. There are many more things that I love about my ethnicity left unsaid. I will continue spreading my love for my heritage and I hope I encouraged someone to do the same. Soy sumamente orgullosa de ser latina! #Boricua #Ecua
Originally Published 3/10/2019 Revised 12/16/2021