I always tell people that I am the most gringa Latina you’ll ever meet. And by that I don’t mean that I’m having a sort of identity crisis or something. I’ve just simply taken a love for all things Latino all my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally white, of mixed European background (50% Italian, 25% Polish, 12.5% Irish and the rest a mix of Danish and German)…Pretty white! LOL
I also always tell people that this interest came out of a normal desire of getting As in my Spanish class in middle school. I remember to this day the moment when our teacher told us in class that we had to remember the articles for all the words (!!), you know, the masculine ‘el’ and feminine ‘la’ of every noun. Torture for a 13 year old. But gradually I got really good and started to use my Spanish outside of class.
I took an immersion trip when I was 17 to the Dominican Republic that I’ll never forget. I knew for the first time that the feeling of being in Latin America is just something different, something special.
In 2014, I spent three months in El Salvador working for a human rights nonprofit organization, an experience which reaffirmed my passion for studying International Relations.
It wasn’t until I returned from my year-long study abroad experience in Lima Peru that I realized the personal cultural change I had gone through.
Ask me what music I listened to… reggaeton, salsa, and bachata… only.
My favorite food? Pupusas con horchata y platano maduro.
Favorite artist? Jerry Rivera.
And the questions went on… and people looked at me strange for sure haha
I get asked all the time why I take such an interest in Spanish and Latino culture so much, and where it all came from – and I don’t know! I simply like the way that the words roll so beautifully off my tongue. And the way dancing is an absolutely necessary and normal part of every festive gathering. And the way we say hello and goodbye with kiss and treasure every moment.
Los Latinos exemplify of one of the most important and profound lessons of life: YOLO. But for real, they know how to live life to the fullest. They are happy people, some of the happiest in the world might I add (Venezuela!!). They are warm, caring, kind, and have taught me a lot about treasuring the precious moments of life. So when I joke that I am “an aspiring Latina,” that’s what I’m referring to. No, it’s not an identity crisis (lol). I know that I will always be una gringa con un acento. But I guess I put a little twist on it 😉
This blog is in a way an embodiment of me. It has duality. It has vision of both sides.
La Gringa Latina is NOT a travel blog. I won’t be sharing the top tourist attractions in Bogotá, creating itineraries for a Central American trek, writing reviews on the best hostels to stay at in Mexico, or telling you what to pack for Machu Picchu. Those things don’t matter to me nearly as much as the cultural experiences we get out of travel.
I created this blog with a few thoughts in mind:
- What can the Latino culture teach us all? (Lessons from Latin America)
- What makes us different across cultural lines and how can we better celebrate and share in these differences? (Buscando Cultura)
- What makes us the same? What connects us across cultural barriers? (Straddling Two Worlds)
What you WILL find here:
- Authentic life stories of inspiring Latinos I meet
- Culture tidbits with historical perspectives (THAT MEANS food, music, language, traditions, and everything in between!)
- Commentary on current events may they be political or otherwise
- Life lessons from the Latino culture
Culture should be celebrated and shared! Life is pretty meaningful when we can come to understand fully someone else’s viewpoint, listen to their stories, speak their language, even live by their rules, and adapt to their way of life like I have! We become richer by having these diverse experiences. We become stronger as a world working for peace.
Siempre adelante, adelante siempre,