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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Living in Pacoima

By Judy  |   From : Pacoima, CA, USA  |   School : Social Justice Humanitas Academy

                       

        Ever since I was young I was always taught to embrace who I was and my culture and that’s what I did until I knew what people truly thought about other cultures.  “Shhh lie” were my thoughts for the past 4 years I’ve never been able to tell people where i am from because there first thought is “Savage,Theft, uncivilized, loud”. I remember  the first time being asked where are your family from I told them they are from El Salvador they were like”ew I hate salvadoran there nasty” and I stood in shock and realized the only way I couldn’t  be humiliated was if I lie and say my family is mexican so that’s exactly what I did. Little did I know what I said in the past would came back to haunt me. I recall bring out with my friends and having this normal conversation when I get this tap on my shoulder it was my mom and I remember asking what she was doing there and she was like I am here to pick you up so we can get started on the tamales and I said oh ok then my friends say “omg I love mexican tamales” my mom was in confusion and laughs and says no salvadoran tamales and they’re like why you making those types of tamales and my mom says because I am salvadorian. I remember staying still and quiet while my mom asked me why I didn’t say I was a salvadoran and my friends faces like in betrayal or something. As long as I could remember I was the only full salvanden because when I meet someone who was a salvi they would be like ew I know right that we got a why I Am happy that I am part mexican. Each meeting  I had with someone who was salvadoran they are ashamed and disgusted of who they were so each encounter I had made me fear telling people where my family culture was. When I was in 8th grade I was very close with my teacher Ms. Reyes who taught me never to be ashamed of my culture and where I was from because they didn’t know how creative my people can be. I am not embarrassed to tell people where I am from and I stand up to people who say that their culture is embarrassing. I am proud to be called a Salvadoran.

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