Help I need to get in touch with my Latino roots

Jo - posted on 06/25/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My mother died when I was 3 and my grandmother wanted me to grow up "white" because I passed as white and it would just be so much easier on me. I would like to give my boys the background of the culture that I never got. Please help me to find ways to do this.

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EREN - posted on 09/14/2009

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I know a lot of people with that problem, I think now in days is not so much about where are you come from but who are you and what do you know, I am from Mexico my husband is American (Irish) and i amd teaching my boy Spanish Hee es teaching him English but i will teach him where i come from, Because with out this Mexican Lady he would not be here.... so If you want to find out about you ansesters go to the contry your Mom or grand ma was and see it for yourself..... unfurtunate I lot of hispanics fight agains their own race, I know I have being there, but the more you teach to your kids the more powerful they are in life....

Susana - posted on 09/13/2009

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These are all great ideas. What I have been doing is gradually changing the activities we do in language alone. Since my hubby does not speak spanish, we taught our daughter English only the first two years, and now she is three, is starting pre school, learning and absorbing so much. So what we started doing was start with the language, we watch Plaza sesamo, Dora, Diego, and any other cartoons that she is used to in English, but now we only see them in Spanish. She is so interested that we have now started purchasinf toys and games that have Spanish in them.
We have a great BINGO game in spanish and that game has given us a list of words we use every day. Its a Dora game too, which she loves.
She is now three and a half, is to the point that she understands comands, I use gestures to help with words she does not know, but she is also able to respond to easy every day events too.
ie. Hola, Buenos dias, ?Como estas? Bien gracias ?y usted?
We also used Baby Signs, so now I use those signs and say the words in Spanish so she understands what i am trying to ask her or tell her.

Hope some of these ideas help you.
But of course, it is always good to start learning yourself. If you don't already, learn the language, Take a course or do an in home program to get a better understanding. I took Spanish for native speakers in college, which i still refer to.
If anything, you can start with simple every day words (leche, agua, comida, bien, mal, ojos, naris, boca, pies, dedos, etc.) if you need help, post the spanish words on those objects and places you whant to start with.

Hope this helps. Good luck and just remember, to have fun with it, kids only have so much attention span. And if it gets frustrating for you, take a step back and take it easy.

[deleted account]

I think this a GREAT thing that you are trying to do!!! I'm Mexican and grew up with all the typical traditions. Then I married a white boy, don't get me wrong...I love my white boy ;-) but it's been very difficult to get acustumed to his traditions and mine, that somehow along the way I lost my Mexican traditions. Now my 9 yr od doesn't speak Spanish and knows nothing about our roots. She asked me today...out of the blue that she wants to have a quincenera instead of a sweet 16 party!!! I'm so proud of her! Definately do some research online, start with the country you are looking for and take it from there. good luck!

Vignette-Noelle - posted on 09/08/2009

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I can totally relate to this post! My mom is white and my father is Hispanic but I grew up with my mother. She always encouraged an interest in my Mexican/Basque heritage and would take me to Hispanic art exhibits and other cultural events all the time. It was a great way to grow up, being able to connect to a culture and feel a great sense of tradition even though my mother did not grow up in that culture. I am expecting my first child any day now. My husband is primarily Irish/French and we're both looking forward to raising our daughter to appreciate both of our cultures.

I think a good place to start, in your case, would be to first learn as much as you can about your heritage. Do you have any relatives to connect with and exchange information with regarding your ancestry?

Denise - posted on 09/06/2009

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first you should find out who you are, Puerto rican, Panamanian, mexican, etc... then you research everything you can about that particular nationality. Find out who her relatives were and get to know them, that will be the easiest way to get an insight on who you are.

Wendie - posted on 09/04/2009

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I know how you feel. I was raised by my mom who is white/Irish. My dad is from Mexico and was never around. I think it's good that your trying to get in touch with your roots. I'm doing the same for my kids. One thing you can do is try cooking some easy Latino foods. You can find all sorts of stuff on line. Also, you can learn some simple every day words and teach them to your kids. My Kids like that. It's like a fun little game.you try to see who can remember more of the words. Looking up some History from the places your family is from is good too. You can talk to you kids about it. That makes them feel a seance of pride and connection to that part of them. I hope this will help you.

Iysha - posted on 09/03/2009

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I'm not trying to be mean, but why would you want to teach your kids a culture you never grew up with? My mom and dad are both Hispanic, but only my mom knows Spanish and we never really did anything that is traditionally Mexican. The only thing that is of Hispanic culture with me is my last name. I would never have my daughter listen to Mariachi, which is traditionally Mexican, or anything else that i didn't grow up with for that matter. I feel that people should teach their children quality things from their families that they learned and enjoyed. Try finding traditions that you learned from your grandmother and Incorporate them into your children's lives. It may be more meaningful to you and them.

Michelle - posted on 07/30/2009

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Have you tried to get your children enrolled in a dual language program at school yet?

Sabrina - posted on 07/07/2009

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What is your Latina side? Mexican, Puerto Rican, Colombian? That is a important way to start. I would get a magazine subscription to Latina too.

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