I know I am Latino because…

By Social Justice Leadership Academy  |   From : East Los Angeles  |  

I am You
You are Me
We are Us
Us are We

I know I am Latino because…


I come from a land where my grandparents make Mole
and my parents grew crops on a ranch.
Our culture and our language is very diverse and
when I go visit, my home, I see black sand beaches.
Where my parents are from, there are waterfalls.
When I visit home, I see volcanoes.
In El Salvador, there are many people on buses
and they try to sell you things.
Its’ hot, humid and we too, have black sand beaches
and warm water.
Where I come from, Guatemala, they might steal your phone.

What makes me Latina?
I wake up to the sound of my dad’s voice saying “Levantate, Nena”.
I smell beans every morning cooking in the kitchen.
I wake up and smell fresh coffee and chorizo,
and my dad is yelling in Spanish.
He listens to “Los Bukis” and my mom makes aguachile.
My parents take us to El Mercadito
and we eat churros and fresas con crema
and listen to the mariachi.

How do I know I am Latino?
The language
The “fuzzy” animal blankets
Strict parents
Catholic School
I enjoy Mexican dishes
Everyone calls me Gringa
I see taco stands in my neighborhood

What makes me Latina?
How do I know?
Because no one knows how to pronounce my last name, Mainez.
My name is very long, and actually,
I have two names and two last names.
People say  Mayonnaise.
MY last name is Mainez-Loreto.
Loreto is a town in Baja.
I grew up in  household that speaks Spanish.
But at work, I am bilingual.
The way my family speaks is so Latina.
We say “voz” instead of “tu”.
I know I am Latina because all of my friends are Latino.
At school almost everyone is Latino
and we all relate…

because of the way we speak.
On the weekends in the morning, there is loud music
and my mom is cleaning  our home. My parents are hard working.
I hear “Despierta America” every morning
coming from my mom’s room.
I hear the noise of pots and pans in the kitchen.
I love my culture, the food, the parties the music,
we listen to Banda and Cumbia when we have parties.
I love my family they are good people, my tios and my tias
and my brother is a piece of shit, (he laughs).
I see and hear the Elotero man pass by, every afternoon on my street.
I hear goats and chickens in my neighbors back yard.
During soccer season, I wake up to the sound
of my mother screaming
because she’s so excited!

Latino people are sincere.
For Christmas, my mom makes tamales and pozole.
She makes tamales with “hoja de platano”.
My mom is a very strong woman, very Latina!
New Year is more special to us than Christmas.
Every Friday we go to the Lonchera, I smell the tacos,
and I hear the lady taking orders.
I taste the grease.


What do I like about being Latino?

It’s a good question.









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