I was raised in Tijuana Mexico until I was 10, I started 5th grade here in the US without knowing the language and was 100% bilingual in Spanish and English by the 7th grade.
I eventually became my parents’ first kid (out of 6) to graduate High School with Honors and go straight to college.
I was raised by my mom and stepdad (who I consider my dad). My dad came to the U.S at the age of 18 also not knowing English and without finishing high school. He has always had multiple jobs at once (washing dishes, yard work, fields etc.). He now owns a small trucking company and also works as a driver for Penske delivering parts to BMW dealers. One thing I learned from my dad is that being Latino in this country means you work a lot and you work hard, I’ve always admired his discipline and determination to give us the best.
My mom is a lawyer in Mexico, mostly focuses on family law. My mom is a very educated woman, but my grandpa did not want her to go to school because it went against all the norms, she was supposed to stay home, marry, and have kids. Thanks to having a mom that values education, I never lost my native language, and I can read, write, and speak proper Spanish.
One of my favorite things to do with my family is go back to my dad’s hometown Cotija, Michoacan. Growing up Latino meant spending holidays in el rancho with all the cousins, aunts, uncles and of course my grandma.
Coming back to the US, we always bring all the goodies we cannot find here (real Cotija cheese, traditional bread, candies, mezcal)
My family celebrates dia de los Muertos, we put up a big altar to remember our loved ones. It’s something my siblings and I do every year with my mom, and something we enjoy passing on to my niece and nephew.
One thing I enjoy about being Mexican living near the border is the ability to go back to Mexico whenever I want. I get tacos, watch a soccer game, get groceries, but most importantly, going back is a constant reminder of where I came from and everything I’ve accomplished.