Mexican immigrant parents: From my shame to my pride

dignidadlaloWhen I first applied to UCLA, I wrote in my personal essay that I didn’t have any positive role models in my violent neighborhood.

Having grown up in East Los Angeles’ Ramona Gardens housing project, I wrote that most of the adults represented gang members, drug dealers, thieves, tecatos (heroin addicts), alcoholics, felons and high school dropouts (or push-outs). I also wrote about my disdain for housing authority officials and government workers for behaving like prison wardens and guards toward us: project residents who depended on government aid or welfare.

Moreover, I decried the police abuse that I had witnessed and experienced, like the time when a cop pointed a gun at me. My crime: being a 15-year-old making a rolling stop while learning how to drive.

Mas…Mexican immigrant parents: From my shame to my pride

Born in the USA: The secret downside of espeaking Spanglish

primos“Wow, it’s so cool you can speak Spanish,” people tell me after they hear me on the phone with my mom.

I say thanks and try to shrug it off, but I worry that letting them think that gives a mistaken impression.

I mean, yes. I can speak Spanish.

My parents taught me Spanish when I was growing up in California because it was the only language they had to give.

Like a lot of children of immigrants, I grew up in a Mexican immigrant bubble – my tias and tios spoke only Spanish. My baby primos spoke Spanish with me when we watched Plaza Sesamo and ate conchitas.

Mas…Born in the USA: The secret downside of espeaking Spanglish

Local girl crumbles under stress of learning cousins’ names

schoolgirl(PNS reporting from EL MONTE) The pressure was too much for Marisol Cruz, a fourth grader at Fernando Valenzuela Elementary, who collapsed on the playground Friday afternoon.

Friends said Marisol was a total stressball since her mother told her to memorize all of her cousins’ names before her upcoming primera comunión fiesta.

“I have like 80 cousins!” the Penn Mar Avenue resident told PNS after she had calmed down and accepted a bag of Takis as an incentive to talk.

“It’s not my fault Mama and Papa have like 20 brothers and sisters each! I just can’t remember them all. Call me ‘Mari’ by the way.”

Mari listed the names:

Mas…Local girl crumbles under stress of learning cousins’ names

Family disowns Chicana after discovering she’s vegetarian

veggiestudent(PNS reporting from LAREDO, TX) Alma Huerta returned to her South Texas home for the summer vacation a changed woman.

The 20-year-old history major, the first in her family to go to college, has begun to learn about post-modernism and existentialism in her freshman classes at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s also started to explore vegetarianism.

And that’s where the trouble began.

“It all started with carne asada on Memorial Day — like normal, like always!” Alma’s mother Elvia explained. The family tradition of a carne asada usually included not only the aforementioned meat, but corn, rice, beans, salsa and lots of Bud Lite.

Mas…Family disowns Chicana after discovering she’s vegetarian

Around Our Town: Ñews from your neighbors

WEDDING: Mr. and Mrs. Julio Santiago of Pocho Estates are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Suzanne to Samson Lei of Monterey Park, son of Mrs. Chin Louie of San Francisco and Mr. Stagger Lei of New Orleans.  After a honeymoon in Hawaii, the couple will be moving far away from both sets of parents to live their own damn  lives free of drama, race-baiting, and a legacy of never-ending bullshit from control freaks.

Mas…Around Our Town: Ñews from your neighbors