Posts Tagged ‘#latinos’

With Barack Obama winning a second term as President of the United States, there are many comments buzzing around the web and social media sites.  People want to share their opinions with the world and they seek approval from their friends.  During this time you can really learn a lot about your “friends”.

Growing up in a small town in West Texas and Playing Tennis, most of my friends were Non-Hispanic.  Although I never really felt out of place, I was always conscious about it.  Most of the Hispanic people I knew were 3rd and 4th Generation Mexican Americans and many had lost touch with their roots and culture.  Our environment really didn’t encourage us to be proud of our heritage,  instead it made some of us ashamed of being Latino.  There were jokes and rude comments about Mexicans all of the time.  When you’re young and growing up in that environment you think it’s normal.  Some people that never leave those small towns go their whole life thinking that it’s normal.

It wasn’t until I moved to Austin Texas and started working at a Fortune 50 Company that I started to meet Highly Educated Latinos from Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and countless other Latin American Countries.  People that came from wealthy families and people that came from nothing.  It was amazing to see these Prominent Latino Leaders within my company and within my community.  The environment I grew up in had you believe that this was impossible.  Most of the Immigrants that come to the US to work in these small towns are not highly educated.  They come here to give their families a better life.  Many of these Immigrants teach their children the values of hard work and they push them to go to School so that they don’t have to work as hard as them.

Many of my “friends” that I grew up with still have this mentality.  They feel like they are better than us because that’s how they grew up and that’s what they learned from their parents and grandparents.  I see comments that are hurtful and racist from people that i used to call friends.  I know it’s Ignorance but it does sting sometimes, especially when you don’t expect it.  All I can do is pray for these people and hope that they aren’t bitter for the rest of their lives.  I on the other hand am now even more Confident and Proud of being a Latino, I want to shout it from the Roof Tops!!! Say it with me, YO SOY LATINO!!!!

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Whether you want to buy, sell or trade something you can always make a deal at La Pulga!  La Pulga is simply a Flea Market but in Texas it feels like a little Mercado in Mexico!  Other than the great bargains, you can always find some great food! I remember eating some great Fruta con Limon y Chile, Churritos con salsa, Raspas and some awesome Coctel de Camaron!  It’s a place where you can buy an Agua Fresca, some produce, an outfit, a new pet and get your Windshield replaced at the same time?  It’s definitely a cultural thing and we love it!  If you’ve ever wondered how people can afford Louis Vuitton Bags, Gucci Sunglasses and Crocodile Shoes wonder no more, Pulga’s make it possible. Also if you’ve ever left a piece of furniture on the curb, chances are it was sold at La Pulga!  So if you ever want to get a little taste of Mexico, we’ll see you there!!

Growing up Bilingual in America you learn a lot of crazy words and phrases.  You hear both English and Spanish words butchered all of the time.  You need to know a bit of both to make sense of it all, and even then it’s tough.  Like when my cousin told me, “man, ando bien llanta”.  I was like, “what the heck is that?”  He said, “I’m tired”.  Or when my buddy Armando told me about this great sandwich place called Choloski.  I’d never heard of it, so when he told me where it was I realized he was talking about Schlotzky’s!  I also remember my parents taking us to a nice park with a little Creek where we would spend hours swimming.  The name of that place was “El Pee Pan”, or so I thought.  I always wondered why people called it that but just assumed that it was just because a bunch of kids probably pee’d there.  When I finally drove by there as an adult I saw a sign out front that read “The Pig Pen”, it finally clicked! This is a very small example of what we grow up hearing and as you can imagine it can be very entertaining!

Some of my other favorite words/phrases include Humenteer parties (Home Interior Parties), Feeling Sams (Ceiling Fans), Murmir(Dormir), Chootio (Shoot/Tiro)

Oh and my Chicano/Gringo Friends if it’s hot outside and you want to express how uncomfortable you are please don’t say, “estoy bien caliente”, just a piece of friendly advice.  That’s not what that means 🙂

I grew up in the West Texas Town of Abilene. There weren’t very many Latinos where I grew up so speaking Spanish wasn’t too hip. I remember that some of the kids would tease us because we spoke Spanish. Even some Latino kids that didn’t speak Spanish would make fun of us. They actually made us ashamed of knowing a second language. I remember that I didn’t want my mom to come to some school functions because I didn’t want people to know that she didn’t speak English well. It’s crazy that people who grew up in that Era decided to stop speaking Spanish altogether and now pass that down to their children because they’re afraid to be teased. We are in a New Era now, I’m sure there are kids that will always tease but more people are embracing a multilingual education.