Hispanic Heritage Month

This month I wanted to put some positive content out about Latinos, since its Hispanic Heritage Month! I think we all can get a really one-sided view on what its like to be a Latino in America so I gathered a few Latinos to get a different perspective.

from left to right: Natalie Valentin & Michelle Valentin (Colombian/Puerto Rican , Ruth Voigt (Venezuelan)

What makes you proud to be a Latina?

Tiffany: My value and appreciation for family, love, and hospitality. Count on a Latina to make you feel welcomed and comfortable! I like that my culture promotes community.

Michelle: The fact that my mom taught us a different language. It allowed me to be part of her culture and history and learn more about it. Speaking Spanish also allowed us to truly feel like we are a part of this greater family that lives in Colombia, I love communicating with my cousins in Spanish. They still see us as the “gringas” (white girls) , but the fact that we can communicate with them helps us understand each others differences.

Ruth: To have a rich culture that defines us, and a strong history that shapes us. I am proud to be different and unique.

What does “Mi Casa Es Su Casa” mean to you?

Tiffany: Anyone and Everyone is welcome to spend time with me and my husband at our house!

Michelle: My mom doesn’t really use this phrase, instead we say “a la orden” meaning that my house and hospitality is always here whenever you need it! Just holler!

Ruth: I take this phrase as my house is always open for you to find: rest, comfort, happiness, and just feel like you are truly home. We are always open and available.

[pictured above: Tiffany Tary (Peruvian/Guatemalan)

What are some of your greatest accomplishments?

Tiffany: My greatest accomplishment is knowing Jesus and accepting him into my life as my Savior and beacon of hope. My second greatest accomplishment is having a Masters degree in occupational therapy. You don’t see many Hispanic women with masters degrees, especially in my field.

Michelle: Being the first in my family to obtain a college degree.

Ruth: Having found God, my best friend as a husband, and now having the sweetest boy as my son. I also take pride in the wonderfully close relationship I have with my family.

What are some misconceptions of Latinos?

Tiffany: that we are all “border-hoppers,” lazy, criminals. WRONG. We are hard workers, family oriented, and will do what we need to provide for our families. Just because I’m brown doesn’t mean I’m illegal. Fact. Check.

Michelle: That we all eat rice and beans, listen and dance to salsa music and are loud.

Ruth: That we are all from the same country, that we are always late to everything, that we are uneducated, that we are loud, and that we all eat SPICY food!

What do you cherish most about growing up in a Latino home?

Tiffany: I cherish the physical affection, words of affirmation, and desire to make those in the family feel extra special! We are emotional and vocal creatures.

Michelle: Puerto Rican/Colombian FOOD, the beautiful Spanish language, Spanish music blasting on Sunday mornings, and humor in Spanish being so much funnier.

Ruth: I cherish the fact that family and God always comes first. In our family we were taught to shape our lives around family, not let our life shape our interactions or define how we prioritize them.