Every now and then I enjoy watching this video because it causes goosebumps up and down my spine. I was first introduced to it on February in Latinas Unidas (an organization I belong to at Texas State.) However, it wasn't until my recent encounter with this video that really got me wondering: are people in El Paso aware of the impact our ethnicity is causing throughout the United States? Think about it. More than 80% of El Paso population is of Latino heritage, people greet us with brown eyes and flaunt dark waves of hair around all the time. We don't care if there's other people that look different than us, we are surrounded in a comfort zone anyway.
I'm just saying all of this because when I moved over to San Marcos, Tx, I went under some serious culture shock. It all happened on my very first ride on the bus. It was early in the morning when I climbed the stairs to look for a seat, but instead I found myself standing and holding on to the rails surrounded by people with champagne colored hair, blue eyes, and snowy skin. There were a few chocolate skinned fellows and others with strawberry hair and freckles. I'd never felt so miniature in my entire life and I begged they were dismissing the "WHERE AM I?!"expression on my face. Not only was I lost in a visual world, but on my way to class I kept hearing people speak English in a different accent. Needless to say, I refused to participate in my class because it was in an auditorium where we had to speak into a microphone to ensure the 300-something students could dissect my newly discovered accent. Throughout my first semester at Texas State, the treat I ached for the most was to hear someone speak Spanish and to have someone with brown eyes and brown hair smile at me again.
I knew I was on a mission to make my family proud when I left home, but my second semester in school made me realize I am actually on a mission to represent a generation of LATINOS. Underrepresented and underestimated, we are slowly growing and affecting the U.S. more than many of us can imagine. I love the United States-- it is home. I love Mexico-- it is my roots. I love LATINOAMERICA-- it is my culture. My Spanish isn't proper, English isn't perfect, but I try my best to reflect the both languages that built me. Like the video says, "my duality is my reality," and wow my blood is made of so many ingredients.
In my new-found purpose in life, I can't help but feel like many other young people in El Paso are dormant when it comes to forming unity amongst each other despite our culture being pretty much identical. I often find myself reading offensive tweets and Facebook statuses criticizing each other about being Mexican, many of them enforcing stereotypes. I wish and hope that someday many of my colleagues from school will realize how lucky we are to live amongst our own people and that we are part of a bigger picture of the United States. What do you think about this?