Embracing our culture and the richness of our roots!
So in honor of Heritage Month being celebrated around the world and Hispanic Heritage Month being celebrated in the United States of America I decided to write up my next blog about embracing our roots. I got the idea from an amazing photographer by the name of Rafael Cruz Jr who recently reached out to me about a beach photo shoot idea he had with the Puero Rican flag. Being a proud Latina who loves the beach and everything Puerto Rican how could I resist? It was the perfect combination for magic to be manifested in beautiful photos, see for yourself!
As children of God I believe we all stem from the same love our father gifted us with upon creation. We are One Race – the Human Race like leaves from the same tree with many roots. I see us all as brothers as sisters, children of a King who are fortunate enough to be blessed with this gift called life. I see my brothers and sisters as a beautiful mixture of many flavors, shapes, colors, sizes all with amazing backgrounds, all receiving life from the same tree. I believe that we are a diverse people with so many rich cultures and backgrounds that we need to embrace, love and celebrate in life on a daily basis. My goal today with this blog and these amazing photos is to inspire you to do just that. I want you to wholly and complete embrace and love exactly who you already are in this moment and everything that comprises you – your skin color, your language, your culture, your traditions, your history and everything that makes you the very special and unique individual that you are.
Whether we realize it or not our past is such a huge part of who we are and how we think. Our ancestors have paved the way for our arrival and opened doors we didn’t even realize were closed to past generations. We carry with us their incredible strength, the sweat from their struggles, the tears from their disappointments and the hope from their victories. It is their powerful warrior blood that runs through our veins and their inspiration fuels the passion in our journey. Our habits, traditions and fundamental values and beliefs are founded on our family history. Our ancestors live on through us and our dreams become their dreams, our success becomes their success and we should strive to greatness everyday so that our greatness can also be theirs.
This is why we should embrace our roots, hold fast to our traditions, master the language from the motherland as well as we do the one from our current land and pass onto future generations the greatness that we inherited from those who came before us. This is why we should embrace and love our brothers and sisters from all walks of life with acceptance, tolerance and in unity. This is why we should promote diversity, inclusion and love for all of humanity.
Being Puerto Rican means a lot to me because it means having such an rich and beautiful heritage filled with the colorful history of the Tianos Indians. Growing up in a Spanish speaking home with a Puerto Rican father who was born in Cagua, Puerto Rico was an amazing experience filled with so many beautiful memories. He would always play his Latin music because he was a DJ and we would record ourselves singing and dancing. We never needed a real excuse to party because life in and of itself was a celebration. If you’re Puerto Rican or Latino you might be able to relate to the following: Before you could walk or talk you were given a red bracelet to protect yourself against “Mal de Ojo” or Evil Eye. Whenever you were sick, your mother or father gave you Vicks Vaporub because Vicks cured everything. You got excited when you found a tin of cookies only to open it up and realize that there weren’t any cookies inside but only coins, it was hilarious. I remember taking 20 minutes to find butter because every butter container in the fridge had food instead of actual butter. Weekends were for cleaning and everyone had to clean to the sound of salsa and merengue and the smell of Fabuloso, or it wasn’t really clean.
Knowing my identity is a powerful feeling that has strengthened my self esteem and given me a great sense of who I am. We can’t love what we are if we don’t know who we are and where we come from. We need to take pride in our history and culture and all the sacrifices our ancestors made for us. Take a look at this gorgeous breathtaking Puerto Rican flag. Each part of this flag has its own meaning. The three red stripes represent the blood from the brave warriors. The two white stripes represent the victory and peace that they would have after gaining independence. The white star represents the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and last but not least, the blue represents the sky and blue coastal waters of the Caribbean.
I personally wouldn’t want to be anything else even if it were possible for me to choose a culture. I love being a powerful Latina Queen and I take so much pride in who I am and have so much passion for all things not only Puerto Rican but Latina overall. That’s a kind of loyalty that can’t be topped – Que orgullo! My goal is to pave the way for future latinas dreaming of rising high in the Fashion industry or in any other industry. I want to inspire my young Queens to raise their head up high, love themselves deeply, embrace faith and know that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.
I am more that what some think I should be because greatness runs through my veins. One look into my eyes and you are mesmerized by my strength, my dedication and my strive to survive. I’m a proud lover and achiever letting no one stray me from my ambition and my goals. I’m more sensitive then the opposite sex, but I fight my own battles and have won many, therefore I am a true Goddess Warrior with deep, colorful and strong Latina roots. I am living proof that Latinas can totally slay the industry with drive and determination. Latinos aren’t just here for the ride; we are a driving force that are here to make a difference in the world and leave our mark deeply engraved in the journey of future generations to come. I am a Latina Warrior – hear me roar!
Educational Moment – So I did a little research on this subject of Hispanic Heritage and here’s what I found.
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. The United States Census uses the ethnonym Hispanic or Latino to refer to “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week to recognize the rich culture and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. Hispanic and Latin American culture places a strong value on family.
Hispanics and Latin Americans tend to have large, close-knit families. It is not uncommon for three generations to live in the same household or nearby each other. Grandparents typically play an important role in their grandchildren’s upbringing. Hispanic and Latino are often used interchangeably though they actually mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latino refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America.
With much love and appreciation to my fellow Boricua Rafael Cruz Jr. for his amazing photography skills. I am truly in awe of these photos. Mil gracias!
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