About: Vanessa Bell

Vanessa is a Cuban American, bicultural Latina, building a legacy for her biracial children through memoir writing, explorations of identity and documentation of their food culture, travel and positive parenting. She believes in creating a purposed legacy, and is driven to help other parents do the same. Find out more about her mission at www.DeSuMama.com


Twitter: DeSuMama

Isolating the Bicultural Latino Because of Fluency Is Not The Answer

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In the days after the Democratic National Convention and the gregarious keynote delivered by Julián Castro, the clamor of whether his inept fluency should allow him the Latino title, I have to admit, made me angry. Here was a man — a brown man, a rising star, a politician that could change the face of our nation’s inner workings — and the Latino public didn’t want him because he isn’t bilingual? Ay! The idea of being 100% Hispanic by blood,Read More ...

How Where You Were Born & Raised Defines Your Latino Identity

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Do you ever wonder how your identity would be altered had you been born and raised in a different part of the country? The American Latino experience is vast indeed, but poignantly so when comparing the experiences of Latinos living on the polar coasts of our great nation. As a Cuban growing up in the beach suburbs of Los Angeles, many years before communities such as ours at SpanglishBaby existed, there was truly only one reality for the Latino experience:Read More ...

Will My Bicultural Daughter Be Latina Enough?

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As a Spanglish baby myself, exposing my 2 year old daughter to the measure of Spanish necessary to develop a respectable level of fluency has been daunting. As her primary caregiver, and sole Spanish speaker in our home, my own weakness in fluency is ever present. But as I continue to expose, communicate and deposit our second language into my mini Latina, an entirely new question has been posed: can she even be considered a Latina? My Alina is aRead More ...

Cooking With My Spanglish Baby

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 Being raised by generations of Spanish speaking women has established a solid foundation of kitchen know-how. And while I would not consider myself a fluent Spanish speaker, I can talk my way around a Latino cocina just fine. Spending much of my childhood centered on good food and loving family has ensured that I could always speak the language of la comida, la cocina y el amor de mi familia. Since embarking into her toddler years, my sweet two yearRead More ...

Raising A Spanglish Toddler

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Newly pregnant with our first child, there were so many hopes and dreams I aspired to give my daughter: a secure sense of self, confidence in her womanhood and the ability to define her cultural identity in whichever way she chooses. Being of mixed races and cultures, I wondered who would win in the battle of personal identity definition…Alina or society at large. With that in mind, before Alina was born, I decided she would be bilingual in order toRead More ...

The Promise I Made To Raise My Daughter Bilingual

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Raising bilingual children is what brings us together as a community here on SpanglishBaby. The world of language immersion is not win or lose; as parents, we simply strive to expose and enrich the lives of our children. And doing so in a mostly monolingual culture is no easy feat. It takes plenty of motivation, dedication and, sometimes, the willingness to accept a Spanglish result. However, what sets our individual stories apart are the experiences that unearth our motivation toRead More ...

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