He is Cuban-American and I am Guatemalan-American.
My mother was raised in the US most of her life. My father lived in Guatelmala until he married my mother.
My hubs parents both came over during Castro’s take over in the 60’s. They have lived most of their lives here in the US.
We love our heritage.
We love the music, the food, everything.
There is nothing better than a huge family party. And let me tell you, we have huge families and we like to party. When Friends come to our family gatherings they are shocked. We have enough food to feed a small country. And everyone in the room is related in some way, shape or form.
We want our kids to have the same experiences we had. To have that sense of family esteem and bond.
My husband and I want our children to share in the love of our culture. So we do the following to be sure that our kid is surrounded with as much Latino influence as possible (Which, let me tell you, isn’t easy because though we love our culture, we are inundated with Americana).
1. We forgo the veggie tales CD and put on Buena Vista Social Club, Mambo Kings, Celia Cruz or Gloria Estefan.
3. We Salsa and meringue in our kitchen.
2. I try to cook spanish meals…Lomito (roasted pork tenderloin), ropa vieja (Shredded beef), bistec empanizado (spanish chicken fried steak), arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) and lots of platanos or plantains.
3. Everyonce in a while we venture over to our local fiesta or other spanish market and buy ingredients from our “home” land. Stuff you can’t find at your local grocery store like Horchata (spanish rice milk), Malta (a cuban malt beverage) and mexican pastries.
4. We give our child cafe con leche, that is coffee with milk. He LOVES it. He has this every other morning. People think we are crazy. We aren’t crazy, we are Hispanic. We drank cafe con leche in our bottles and we are just fine.
5. When available, he eats cake for breakfast….Now I don’t know if this is a Hispanic thing or my husbands thing. His family, being Cuban, loves sweets and sugar (Cuba-sugarcane, you get the picture) and he did this growing up and so my son gets the joy of this as well.I don’t protest, because we barely ever have cake in the house. And in my husbands head cake has eggs and wheat, a great breakfast.
6. My son still drinks from his bottle. He is two. My husband doesn’t care how long he has it, don’t even ask how old he was when he “gave it up.” I’m a little bit more squeamish about it…but truth be told, we aren’t in a rush to take it away. I know some of you take away the bottle as soon as the baby turns one…yeah, Hispanics don’t do that. Call it denial, but the longer he has a bottle, the longer he is a baby.
So those are some of things that we think will continue the love of our heritage. At least, we hope so.