Bicultural Vida

Identifying Yourself When The World Says Otherwise

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We were in William Sonoma, admiring Le Creuset’s brand new color of cast iron cookware (a turquoise blue, the hue of Miami beach water), when a brown skinned woman wearing an apron embroidered with WS approached us. As her steps drew near, I dreamt of telling the woman, “Yes, we’ll take every piece you have in this whimsy turquoise, please. I’m Cuban and belong in Miami, just like this Dutch oven belongs in my kitchen. Thank you very much.” ButRead More ...

Our Family Study Abroad Experience in Peru

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I get a bit jealous when I read about other contributors’ travels to visit family in Spanish speaking countries. What a great way to not only connect with family, but also to reinforce the Spanish being taught at home in the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t have family abroad to visit, but I was convinced that my own children would greatly benefit from the experience of visiting another country and being immersed in Spanish. Back in high school I startedRead More ...

Blended Families and Bilingualism

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When I first started writing for SpanglishBaby, my son and I were going it alone. I was a single parent trying to keep up with speaking my non-native language to him full-time. It was challenging, but relatively predictable. Now, I have taken on a whole new set of challenges regarding parenting and bilingualism. I am in a relationship with a wonderful man who has two daughters, ages 9 and 11. The girls both know Spanish, but have quite different viewsRead More ...

Celebrating Birthdays Latino Style

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My firstborn is turning 5 tomorrow. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult this is for me to believe. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was trying to figure out if it was time to go to the hospital to give birth to her. A week from today she starts Kindergarten and they tell me that once they start school, time flies even faster. Is that even possible? Anyhow, we celebrated her birthday yesterday withRead More ...

Cultural Travel to Ecuador: Immersing Our Daughter in her Heritage

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This picture is a perfect reflection of how we are trying to raise our daughter with multiple cultures and multiple languages. One foot lies on the northern side of the equator representing her North American (Mexican-American) roots while the other foot lies on the southern side of the equator representing her South American (Ecuadorian) heritage. This may be a stretch, but I think it’s an appropriate one considering our meager attempt to add a third language, but her lack ofRead 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 ...

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 ...

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