Hispanic Heritage Month means being grateful about all the sacrifice that my parents made to make sure that I have a successful future. So, I am blessed to have a know how to educate my daughter about the Hispanic contributions. Also showing her that as a single Hispanic mother I became a professional after receiving a good education without forgetting my culture. During this time as a Hispanic tradition on New Year’s Day comes, we select a color. Everyone dresses with that color we also look for a meaning but we make sure that if you are not in the house that the party in being taking place you are dress the same. Before the night ends, we take a family photo so we will have a memory. I have to say that my mother’s “Eggnog” if my favorite, but in our Hispanic culture it is called “Coquito”
Hispanic Heritage Month to me is a time to reflect on what it means to be a first generation Mexican-American in the U.S. and the struggles that many Hispanic people go through. As a Hispanic manager, I know I am in the minority for the demographic of managers within the hospitality industry where we make up about 15%. Both of my parents came over to the United States over 50 years ago when they were both very young. Growing up I would listen to their stories of how hard life was back in Mexico and even here, in the U.S. growing up in an area where you only knew Spanish. You had to learn English as fast as possible and everything was very different to how life was back home in Mexico.
My father came from the state known as Michoacán, famous for its rich agriculture and many lakes from where it received its name from the native language of Nahuatl, which means “place of fisherman.” He grew up in a small town of Purépero, Michoacán that was named after the indigenous people who resided in the area known as the Purepécha, who had an empire that rivaled the Aztec Empire in the pre-colonial times. Later my father came to the U.S. with my grandma when he was 16 years old in 1978. My mother was born in La Estancia, Zacatecas, Mexico. Our family there owned a ranch where she would help with the daily chores as the oldest girl of the family. My mother came to the U.S. when she was 9 years old and met my father several years later in their late teens.
My parents instilled a very strong work ethic and strong sense of family values in me through their life lessons and stories of their childhood. I grew up in San Marcos, California in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where many of the families had been friends for a very long time. We would all get together for every occasion from Birthdays to Christmas and everything in between. During the month of September, we had a few uncles who had birthdays and it happened to be Mexican Independence Day on September 16thas well, so it would feel like the kick off to the Holiday season for us at that time. We knew that food like menudo, tamales, capirotada and bunuelos would not be far behind. I have many memories of huge family gatherings growing up at my maternal grandpa
Below is a recipe for pork tamales I have memories of making with my grandma, mom, aunts, and my cousins when we would get together as a family.
Being Hispanic really means a lot to me to celebrate our culture and how far we (as an ethnic group) have come. One of the most colorful and festival time we have is the Saint Francis Fair. The community gathers with music, games and colorful clothing. We choose a young lady that will be our queen for that year. We have a lot of traditional foods, and the families have a great time. One of my favorite dishes from my country is a very easy one to make: Enchiladas To make Enchiladas, you will need the following ingredients.