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What being Hispanic/Latino means to me

By Yaretzi Parga

Yaretzi Parga - 2nd Place

Being Latino or Hispanic does not only represent where you were born, but it can also represent many other things.

For some, having a Hispanic or Latino background may not have a significant meaning. Pero para mucha otra gente, el provenir de raíces latinas o hispanas representa quienes son como personas. El hablar español no necesariamente significa que eres hispano. El ser hispano requiere reconocer y celebrar la belleza de su cultura y de sus tradiciones, como el Día de los Muertos, el Día de los Tres Reyes Magos, cantar "Las mañanitas" en cumpleaños, entre muchas otras.

For me, as a person who was born and raised for the first eight years of their life in Mexico and whose first language was Spanish, being Hispanic means a lot. I have grown and learned a lot about Hispanic and Latino history. I have realized how valuable and powerful we, the Hispanic community, are. And there are multiple events in history that can demonstrate this, like the Chicano movement that Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta created. This movement made a dramatic difference in improving how Latinos were treated in the workforce.

Pero el impacto de personas latinas e hispanas no sólo se encuentra en la historia, sino también en el presente. Desde pequeña, yo he visto todos los sacrificios que mi mamá ha tenido que hacer para darnos una mejor vida, a mí y a mis hermanos. But I know that my mom is not the only parent that has done every possible thing to give their children a better life. Gracias a documentales, películas, y entrevistas, he podido ver miles de personas hispanas que sacrifican mucho para migrar a este país para una mejor vida, no solo para ellos, sino también para sus hijos. Y al mismo tiempo, esas personas hispanas que migraron para brindarles una mejor vida a su familia también han creado un mejor país.

In the United States, there are millions of Hispanic workers who go to work every single day of their lives, which directly benefits the country. And even though many face discrimination, such as racism or sexism, they still get up every morning. Overall, seeing how Hispanics and Latinos have made a significant impact, in both the past and the present, and me belonging to that community, has made me realize that el ser hispano representa valentia, fortaleza, y poder.

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