Sigo siendo Mexicana

I attended H. Frank Carey High School in Long island for a couple of months. I was the only Mexican in a school full of white people I felt no connection to. H Frank Carey was a blur. I did not feel like I belonged, and I had no common interests with the kids who attended the school. I felt like an outsider because there was no another Mexican or Hispanic in any of my classes. I refused to socialize because I didn’t feel like I connected with any of the white kids in my grade especially since they all assumed that because of my brown skin, I did not speak English. The Hispanics who did attend Carey had just arrived from their country, and spoke very little English- I took a liking to them. I began to hang out with the ESL kids because they were the only people I felt comfortable around during my brief time at Carey. Hanging around them made me have to communicate in Spanish- a language I swore I wouldn’t speak. My friends spoke to me in Spanish, and when I could, I would help them out with my Bilingual skills. I began to grow closer to my Mexican culture because I finally began to become proud of being a second generation Mexican- American. I was proud because I realized, while being friends with the group of people I met at Carey, that my culture was beautiful and it wasn’t a bad thing that I could speak and understand Spanish and English. It became a pride I took because I was able to help my friends out when they could not understand something.

I began to take pride in my last name because I realized it is who I am. I was always conflicted with my ethnicity because my father was always the one telling me that I couldn’t possibly be Mexican because I had an accent while speaking Spanish. My father constantly belittled me I would always hear “You’re not Mexican. You’re American. You were born here.”

I felt no connection to being “American” and this became an issue because I had my father telling me I wasn’t Mexican either. Thankfully I stepped foot into college and took my first Puerto Rican and Latino studies course where I realized that it was okay to not fully identify with being American, and how I was not the only one who felt que ni soy de aqui, ni soy de alla. With pride I now state that, my name is Jady Sánchez, and I am Mexican.