Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 4: External Influences

I didn’t have a complete picture of my racial identity until I became a Christian, I was twenty-one years old. I don’t remember anyone taking me by the hand and mentoring me until the age of twenty-three, when I met my pastor Ismael Vargas. He modelled for me how he takes his Puerto-Rican American culture and roots it in Christ. I once shared with him I didn’t feel adequate because I’m Hispanic and a woman. His response blew my mind. He said, “Yes, you are Hispanic and a woman, but you are a Hispanic woman of God. You belong to God and any door is closed or opened by God. […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 5: Light at the End of the Tunnel

The cultural values I currently hold from my Mexican ethnicity include family closeness and responsibility, attending church regularly, attending all family functions, cooking, food, and celebration, as well as dressing up, and lastly being a hard and persevering worker. On the other hand, the values that I carry from my American culture include being punctual to events, as mentioned above freedom of expression, education, and growing as an individual. My basic human nature is to be loving, kind, a fighter, having a child-like spirit, and holding up healthy boundaries; these in conjunction with service, community, and faith I can attribute to the intersectionality of both cultures. I have had conversations […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 3: My Racial Identity Formation

My process in racial identity development was not fully clear as I grew up, there might have been some aspects that were unknown, such as, I was not consciously aware of my Spaniard heritage. I blended the Mexican and Spaniard cultures into one. I grew up loving flamenco and it is still a favorite dance and music genre, but I used to think it was just Mexican. I however, was very aware that I was different since the age of five years old because my mom’s boyfriend would make distinctions between us and others (This is the way in which most of us learn that we have a racial/ethnic identity. […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 1

My ethnic and cultural background comes from my Mexican, Spanish, and American cultures. My Mexican and Spanish ethnicities gave me the ability to call myself Aztec/European princess since I am a descendant of both the Aztecs and those who conquered them, the Spaniards; both my Mexican and Spanish cultures gave me the gift of my romantic Spanish language. Its somewhat odd to me that I often find myself checking the “white” box when the “Hispanic” option is not present; odd because I do not consider myself white, nor do I look white. Yet, I often hear the expressions “white Hispanic” or “non-Hispanic whites” and both have a completely different connotation. I […]

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