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An Immersion Adventure in Mexico | The Nitty Gritty of Normal Life

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Editor’s note: This is Part 5 in a continuing series by Amy Conroy. To read the other parts, go here. What is ‘normal’? ~ the question of my life ~ To be honest, life in Mexico is really not so different than life in the U.S.  The details vary and one might say there is more ‘flavor’, but the basics are the same: Jack has soccer practice, Calvin does art class, Cecilia is starting gymnastics.  I grocery shop, we goRead More ...

Summer Trip to Costa Rica: The Best Way to Experience Culture & Family

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I’m sitting here writing this post from my mother’s home in Costa Rica, on what is our third annual summer trip here. Our plan is to keep coming for one month every year, and I’ve been curious to see what changes I might see year to year as my children get older. Yet, as I reread the post I wrote this time last year I had to laugh because everything I wrote then applies this year, too — I almostRead More ...

What the First National Spanish Spelling Bee Means to Latinos

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I was thrilled when Ana posted a link to a story about the first national Spanish spelling bee on our Facebook fan page this past weekend. I eagerly read the BBC story and then went searching for more because, by that time, the bee had already taken place and I wanted to find out who had won. It was a seventh grade girl, Evelyn Juárez, from Santa Fe, N.M. I wasn’t surprised since that state has been holding spelling bees sinceRead More ...

In Honor of Hermanas

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The biggest surprise of having hermanas is how much they truly adore each other. When I was pregnant, I cannot tell you how many people lamented the fact of “another girl.” Over and over people asked, “oh, how does your husband feel about that?” As if it was some sort of tragedy! As if he was some jerk who would be saddened by the prospect of another girl. It never occurred to either of us to be anything but overjoyedRead More ...

Raising a Bicultural Child When Your Family’s Not on Your Side

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Once we were married, my husband and I had put the worst behind us. Our families ended up showing for the wedding, despite our being interracial and interfaith, and that was a triumph on its own. Not long afterward, we were due for our daughter, Lilyana. We waited anxiously to find out what she would act and look like and how her beautiful little voice would sound. But, the news of our coming hijita brought new challenges in dealing withRead More ...

Who Is A Native Speaker And Does It Matter?

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Recently a question in the Ask an Expert column really grabbed my attention since the writer wanted to know if she should speak a language to her child that was not her mother tongue.  The main concern being that her daughter would not be getting much native input in this second language. This article really made me stop and think because I have been speaking to my sons exclusively in Spanish since the day they were born, and I amRead More ...

An Immersion Adventure in Mexico | Fun, Festivals & Fiestas

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  Editor’s note: This is Part 4 in a continuing series by Amy Conroy. To read the other parts, go here. I have never lived in such a celebratory environment in my life – the ‘fiesta culture’ here never stops! There are citywide parades and festivals all the time, fiestas and social gatherings for every reason, and childrens’ birthday parties that joyfully extend well past bedtimes. Fireworks are an everyday all-the-time occurrence, which is not easy to imagine until youRead More ...

The Real Power of Playgroups

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It was a lovely sight. A dozen children, most of them preschoolers, all speaking Spanish — and some English – in the backyard of my house. I hadn’t hosted a meetup for my bilingual playgroup in a long, long time. And I’m so happy I finally did. We’re about to celebrate our three year anniversary as a group and I can honestly say that the friendships both my children and I have made because of it are priceless. I wasRead More ...

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