Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

Opening a World of Opportunities for Our Daughter by Raising her Multilingual

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I don’t remember we ever discussed raising a multilingual child. It seems to me that it was always the obvious thing to do. I am a bilingual Dominican; I speak Spanish and English. My husband is a bilingual Dane; he speaks Danish and English. We live in Punta Cana, a tourist enclave in the Dominican Republic. We have been together for nearly two decades, and choosing a common language at the beginning of our relationship was very easy: I had no patience for myRead More ...

Why My Daughter’s Doctors Must Speak Spanish

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The U.S. does not have an official language. English certainly plays a vital role and I would be lying if I thought it wasn’t a necessary part of an individuals’ linguistic repertoire in order to succeed in this country. That being said, children at an early age pick up on the high status English carries in their everyday interactions. My nena, for example, already pegs anyone outside her home as “English-speaking.” I have very few friends and family that, inRead More ...

Confessions of a Gringa Latina

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You know those butterflies we tend to get when we’re about to do something big? Whether it’s giving a speech, stepping into an important meeting, jumping out of a plane or participating in a race, I am constantly looking for opportunities that provoke this simultaneous feeling of nervousness and excitement. While I admit that I am far from a good singer, and still have much to improve on in terms of speaking in front of a crowd, the favorite butterfliesRead More ...

Hispanic Heritage Month: On Raising Two Little Latino Americans

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My husband claims I’m obsessed with being Latina, (and maybe he’s right), but I just can’t fathom the idea of not teaching my kids about their roots because that’s part of their identity. As the Peruvian mother of two first-generation Latino Americans, I take every opportunity I get to teach them to be proud of their Latino culture. In essence, we celebrate our Hispanic heritage every day through the food we eat, the language we speak, the music we listenRead More ...

Reflections On Citizenship

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My brother lords it over me when we are growing up: I was born in Costa Rica and therefore can never become President of the United States, but he can.  He was born in California, and in our minds, when we are 8 or 9, being President is a realistic goal. And it is an enviable one at that. The U.S. holds a mystique for us — we love the music, the surfer slang, the brand-name clothing, the fun treatsRead More ...

A New Mom Learns All About Latino Traditions and Superstitions

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Never, ever did I plan to have children, but even more far-fetched in my envisioned future was to confront pregnancy in a foreign country. Nonetheless, I fell in love and life surprised me with an extended stay along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in my husband’s hometown. Included during this “stay” I experienced a blissful courtship, marriage, becoming a legal Mexican resident (phew, that’s finally out of the way!), and then… a positive pregnancy stick. Wait, what? After the immediateRead More ...

20 Expert Tips on Raising Kids to be World Citizens

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The world has definitely become smaller the more connected we are. It’s much easier for anyone these days to be globally minded and connect with someone in the other side of the world and to learn about different cultures without leaving your home. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that individual societies are also more open and diverse racially, culturally and ethnically. Some days when you turn on the news it actually feels like whole groups are becoming much more closedRead More ...

My Blinders Are Off: What Trayvon Taught Me About Parenting

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I have this way of dealing with things that are really really scary – I close my eyes. I’ve always been that way. Whether it be hearing my parents argue, trying to fit into a crowd (physically or culturally) or raising kids to be Latino enough, shutting my eyes makes everything right. Ignorance can truly be bliss. That’s exactly what I did after Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a vigilante. I closed my eyes and kept raising my SpanglishRead More ...

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