A friend put me up to this, and I’m not fully certain it will stick. Lord knows I’ve tried a bazillion times to blog, only to run into roadblocks – mostly in my head.
Not that they’re gone. If anything, they’re bigger today than ever. Hence the challenge. (I hate competitive people.)
No promises this time, just a mustard seed (if that) of faith that it could work.
Oh – the blog title. It’s from my grandma. She made up stuff all the time. The line “Poor Mexican Gone” comes from one of her best ones:
Loosely translated from the ugly Spanglish:
“When you get hit with a bullet, you don’t come back. When [the gun] goes off – Boom! – you’re dead.” (In this case, it seems to affect primarily Mexicans. Actually, it is more likely a narrative on how her husband – my grandfather – at age 9 lost his own dad.)
For me, I’d like it to mean that this poor Mexican has gone somewhere they’d never reached before – for the better. And maybe that the number of poor Mexicans (or any Latinos/as) everywhere will lessen.
OK, here we go.
If you’re familiar with online learning and MOOCs, you may have heard of Coursera. I recently decided that, since I’m not working full-time, I’d take a class offered there on Latin American culture.
In less than three hours, this little undertaking is already starting to unravel me like an onion being chopped in a fast food joint.
Mostly – like the onion – it just makes me want to cry.
A little backstory first:
So, I’ve started and stopped blogging too many times to count, mainly because I have been afraid to talk about what I really feel and think on certain issues.
My Twitter profile says I’m a “Marketing comms consultant w/passion for a better world. Nonconformist. Connector of dots. Content freak. Bride of MacGyver. Fetish for team tennis.”
But those are outer layers. A few things that lie beneath them – and that I hope to peel back in a way that’s useful – are these:
- I am Mexican-American – third-generation Hispanic, born in the Midwest, raised in South Texas, living in Colorado. Sometimes I feel I’m a third-culture kid – like I don’t quite belong here.
- I am a minister’s kid. Growing up, Spanish-speaking churches were my home. Puro church, we used to say. Nothing but church.
- My life and work experience include lots of cross-cultural work with immigrants and other internationals. My dad taught us early to be “Welcomers,” people who make others feel like they belong.
- My work has been largely in communications and marketing, with a significant portion of my career in nonprofit. I love to promote good works.
- Tennis is my outlet, and it makes me better at (almost) everything I do.
- I smile and laugh a lot (most of the time).
So, why the blog?
I write to learn and discover – to sort things out. If you want to hang around , welcome to my little lab, where:
- I’m looking for the intersection between the things I love and the things I’m good at. My “challenger friend” thinks I might find that here and create a unique voice in the process. We shall see.
- This is an outlet I have needed for a long time. Fortunately, I had a friend who knows me well enough to cut through the crap and uncover my interests (which, as it turns out, I wear right on my sleeve. Who knew?).
- I am hoping this can be a useful place for people who share similar struggles to share their ideas and solutions. Well – if I keep doing it.
Some of the topics I’d like to explore include:
- Given my Hispanic-ness and female-ness, the current socio-political climate tells me my views are all wrong. Does anyone else struggle with this? Does anyone really care enough to have real dialogue – or does one party always have to be right and the other a flaming idiot?
- Latinos care about the welfare of others. We want what’s best for everyone, often giving the proverbial shirts off our backs and then some. I’d like to explore how, even though Hispanics love to give and help, organizations who need to soon engage us (before it’s too late) don’t “get” us — so they don’t approach us. Why is that?
Those of us Latinos who have made it through the education gauntlet: we’ve got a lot of work to do. If we want our youth to grow up able to support their families, we need to show them the way – pronto. Which means it’s time to roll up our sleeves and make sure our kids get the support they need to finish their education – all the way through college. I’m looking for ways to make this happen, and I’d love to start a conversation here on how to do that as far as our passion will take us.
Footnote: While there is plenty of debate on the terms Latino/a and Hispanic, I’m not here to debate semantics. I’m here for solutions.