Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

What does being a Latina mean to you?:

She’s a woman of culture, family oriented, bold, she’s honest with love. She services the people she loves and gives of herself because she cares. She’s a hard worker and doesn’t complain because she knows who she’s doing it for. That’s a true Latina to me.

Share a struggle you have faced being a Latina.:

I have been stereotyped as being a sassy drama queen who seems to be out of control. Which to me not all Latinas are like that but as they’ve said, “Oh you’re Puerto Rican” with almost a “watch out” type reaction. I laugh it off but it gets annoying after a while.

Share something you love about being a Latina?: I love my culture. The music, the food and family

What do you identify as?: Puerto Rican

Where you born in the states? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc. (Share only what you are comfortable with): I was born in Chicago.

How have you been able to celebrate and honor your American nationality, while embracing your heritage and culture?:

Since Chicago is all I know and there’s so many Latinos here, I feel like we’re all benefiting from our forefathers of America in that we’re reaping what they’ve sown and that is freedom for all colors. So I feel a freedom to celebrate and embrace both the American and Puerto Rican culture.

Do you speak spanish?: Yes, somewhat fluent.

Have you experienced colorism, or not being fully accepted by your community? 

Because I can pass for Mediterranean/“white” my own people haven’t “recognized” me. When I was a sophomore in high school at a predominately Puerto Rican high school, I said something in Spanish in class and it was as if my classmates were shocked. They gasped and said, “You speak Spanish?!!!” I said, “Uuuuh yeah, I’m Puerto Rican.” They were like, “I thought you were white!”