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Herencia hispana

As a Latina mom born in Colombia who married a Bulgarian, it was important to me that I raise my American born daughter to value her roots, traditions, and where she came from.  It was equally important that we honor and celebrate our American values as well.

When children are born nobody gives you a manual that tells you how to raise a child.  You have to learn by trial and error, but there are things that you can do early on to start instilling in your kid's a respect for cultures in general and their family's as well.  Here are some things that we have been doing since my daughter was very young to raise her to be proud of where she comes from...

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Since becoming a mom I knew I wanted to pass on my Hispanic Heritage and traditions to los bodoques.  Growing up Latina, Mamá would take me to el Mercado de Portales to buy all the stuff for the altar.  While some of the pieces could be re-used over the years, it was always fun to go on the hunt for new pieces, and of course pick some new papel picado, sugar and chocolate skulls  (that you can eat after), and the fresh zempasúchitl (marigold flowers).

I started putting up my own altar in the US when I was pregnant with my first one. It suddenly hit me, Día de Muertos was coming and if I did not celebrate it and make it a tradition, no one would...

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When I came to the US almost 12 years ago, I was first exposed to Hispanic Heritage Month.  Being from Mexic,  September is already a fiesta as we celebrate our Independence Day.

For us, it is very important to expose our children to the celebrations both in the US and Mexico, so I set to get some ideas on how to explain to them what Hispanic Heritage Month is and how Hispanics have contributed in shaping our country, and of course, storytime is one of the best ways to do so.

Here are some book suggestions for Hispanic Heritage Month...

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Hispanic Heritage Month is here and certainly not how we expected.  The days of attending parades, large patriotic fiestas, or festivals are gone...for now.  However, that shouldn't be an excuse to not expose children to the many different countries and cultures with rich history.

 

I know we're all overloaded with information, to dos, and frankly, who wants another item on their to do list?  Lucky for you, I found some great events and exhibitions that can help you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, right in the comfort of your home, virtually.

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Growing up Hispanic meant that, like Christmas, New Year's was not celebrated in a traditionally American way, especially when it came to traditions and rituals. As a Colombian born, growing up in a very Latino Miami, even New Year's traditions became a mosh of many Latin countries.  As a kid, I often just scratched my head or rolled my eyes at the funny and cooky things my parents did on New Year's.  Now as an adult, I must say, that I've kept many of the traditions, though some still have me scratching my head.
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I am Janny Perez.  I was born in Colombia and raised in Miami by two Colombian parents.  Growing up Hispanic in Miami during Christmas time meant listening to “Mi Burrito Sabanero,” on the radio, attendingMisa de Gallo, and having your neighbors gift your family everything fromturrón, arroz con leche, and coquito during the holiday season.  It meant Christmas Eve was usually very loud and jam packed with activity.  My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Bulgaria, in a very Americanized home, celebrating Christmas listening to 50’s Christmas classics on vinyl while having a quiet vegetarian dinner, yes vegetarian.  So now that we have a daughter, how can we celebrate a multicultural Christmas and make everyone happy? 
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As a Latina mom it’s important for me that my child grows up understanding our family’s Christmas traditions.  As Latinos, there are many traditions you can embrace and pass down.  It’s a way we can honor our history while embracing and creating new traditions of our own.  Every family has their own traditions, whether it’s hosting a tamalada, attending la Misa de Gallo, or making natilla and buñuelos, you can incorporate any of these holiday traditions, even with your youngest of kids.  Check out the list of Hispanic Christmas Traditions you can pass down...
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While it may be easier as adults to celebrate a deceased one's life, a child that experiences the loss of a loved one can be a very traumatic experience.  Helping our kids Honor and remember the dead or departed in a positive and creative way can help them better deal with their emotions and better understand why we as Latinos honor this tradition.  Here are 10 way we can Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with our kids.

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Halloween is almost here and if you're anything like me, I love being different than everyone else.  Scrambling for ideas?  Need last minute finds?  Here's a top ten list of some fun Hispanic and Latino costumes that will inspire your very own familia! 
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I never thought I would say this, but I've seriously become my mom, not a regular mom, but a Latina mom, and yes there's a big difference!  I remember growing up, rolling my eyes at the things my mom would do that were, well different than other moms.  I didn't think much of it back then but now looking back I completely get it.  I can now find humor and see my 3 year old daughter rolling her eyes at the things I do, but I hope that one day she too can look back and appreciate these different things. 
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Want to learn about Latino and Hispanic culture?  Want a fun family activity that can get a bilingual conversation started in your Latino home?  We have your guide to Latino & Hispanic museums across the U.S. to help your family celebrate your Latino or Hispanic culture and history throughout the year.  Get your kids excited and interested in Latinx culture in your state, when you are traveling, or on vacation.  How about making a fun road trip about it?  This is a handy list you'll want to bookmark!
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It's summertime, where flip flops meet beaches, sun and sand abound, and I can't help but reminisce of my summers growing up in Miami.  It's funny looking back and now that I have a daughter I want to pass down some of the things my parents did and we did as kids, ok maybe not giving my child beer.  Even though some of the things we did seemed like so much work, I can now see the values and lessons learned from them.
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I was born in Colombia, raised in Miami, Florida and both of my parents are Colombian as are my siblings.  My husband was born in Bulgaria, immigrated to the U.S when he was 18 years old and his family is also Bulgarian.  Our daughter, Victoria, was born in Manhattan, NY.  She is now 3 years old and we are doing our best to raise her to be in touch with her roots and heritage while also being a proud American.  We cannot assume that our kids will automatically absorb our cultures and languages, so what are things that we can do to help them?
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Growing up with a Latina mom means that you likely have a long list of sayings and things your mom used to say and do that maybe doesn't make sense unless you're Hispanic.  Some of us experienced the infamous chancla(slipper), or the vaporú (Vapor Rub) cure all, and maybe your heart tingles when your hear Sana Sana Colita de Rana(Heal Heal Little Tail of the Frog), I told you it may not make sense! 

So for Mother's Day I wanted to honor and pay an homage to our Latina moms by sharing stories from powerful Latinas that I admire.  See what they have to say...

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My little girl turned 3 on March 27.  We had been celebrating for what seemed like for a month.  Birthdays have always been very special events growing up Latina in Miami.  We adopted Colombian traditions, mixed with Cuban traditions (it was Miami), mixed with American traditions and created our own.  But it got me thinking, how do other Latin countries celebrate birthdays and what do we all have in common?
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I am Colombian, my husband is Bulgarian, and our 2 year old daughter is American.  You can call us your now typical American family. Like our family, there are many multicultural families that want to share their customs with their children, but how can we do it in a way that makes Everyone including abuela happy?
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The holidays are my favorite time of year.  It reminds me of the great times we had as kids (me below), the festive parties my parents used to throw, la musica de parranda and of course the food!  But what about those of us that may not have our families nearby or those whose parents have passed away?  How can we continue and pass down our holiday traditions with our children while creating new traditions?

 

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