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All of nature commences to whisper its secrets to me in my ear through it gushing, powerful, unexplainable sounds. Sounds that were once unclear to my soul now become the meaningful language of my nature and my culture that make me who I am.
As a Mexican young lady, naturally, Spanish is my first language. By the time I was four years old, I had quickly learned English through watching PBS shows constantly. Education came easy for me, partly because my parents taught me to read and write music notes and from a young age of parenthood, they would always have me read books or at least try to read them. As I grew into my academics and childhood I felt as if I were in ice mainly because my English wasn’t perfect, and at the same time, I was losing my Spanish because I wasn’t involving in it daily anymore as much at home as before.
I vividly remember being made fun one day in the third grade class as I read and said “Masachutets” instead of pronouncing it “Massachusetts” and a girl who sat in the back of the class stood up and said, “ That’s not how you say it” laughing with the rest of the class all because of my “Mexican” accent. Kids would laugh at me and point out my mistakes constantly because I could not speak Spanish or English “correctly.”. I obviously did not want the teasing to continue, so I made the decision to lose my accent and had the mentality that people would be more accepting of me if I was to do that. I soon became the girl in my third grade class who stood up to make fun of my accent, I started to avoid my culture and tried to fit in into the American culture. It was to the point where I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be Mexican. But that all changed on my 14th birthday. My mother and I were in the kitchen making my favorite food enchiladas for dinner. As I was sitting the table and calling the rest of family to come to the table my mom told me to meet her in the room after dinner because she was going to tell something very important. As soon as I finished cleaning my plate I walked into my parents’ room, there my mom was holding a piece of paper in her hands. She proceed by tell me “Erandi ven siéntate conmigo, te tengo que decirte algo muy important. ” (Erandi come sit next to me, I have to tell you something very important). As I sat down my mother showed me my birth certificate and she pointed out my place of birth and I clearly saw that I said Guadalajara, Jalisco. From that day on my mentality has changed and I hope that no one ever feels ashamed of where they come from. I am blessed to be finishing my senior year in high school, but it is now my turn to take what I have learned about my mistake and show the Mexican and Latino community that they too can overcome adversity.
Today, I help out in an adult school for those individuals who don’t know English by teaching them the basics of English. I want to redeem myself for all of the years I didn’t spend encouraging myself and those around me to pursue their dreams. Because I am fluent in Spanish, and not afraid to show it I can easily communicate with my ESL students at the adult school in Los Angeles and help them. But most importantly, I can be their model to follow and show them that if they work hard, they too can become successful individuals but they shall never forget their origins and they should proudly say Viva Mexico!
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