When I arrived in the United States, I knew I had to learn the language to be able to survive. I’ve always thought that learning another language is something positive. It was difficult to comprehend that in this country the perception is something else entirely. The system promotes the idea of speaking only one language. It’s an error to think that to learn a language you have to forget the one you already know. When one learns it adds to us it does not take away from us.
It’s important for the person to feel proud of their roots. If we know our homeland’s history and culture, it’s easier to navigate and appreciate others. In that process we become bicultural. To appreciate one country you don’t have to devalue the other. Each culture has positive and negative aspects. In the process of acculturation, we should focus on learning the best that each one offers.
Being bilingual and bicultural gives us access to many enriching experiences. The role of parents in this process is very important. It’s our responsibility to foster the studying and reading up on our homeland. Our Latino inheritance goes far beyond alcapurrias and tacos. It’s one full of men and women who have fought for freedom and the rights of our people.
When we are proud of our origin and we adopt the country where we live as our own, nothing and no one can hold us back.