‘Not Mexican enough’ but also ‘not American enough.’ Is this your struggle? Can you relate? Let’s talk about it..

Arlene Sandoval: “I’ve never felt like I had anything to prove to anyone.”

CrystalRose Guerrero Martinez: “Gurl, try not knowing Spanish but learning Japanese and Korean while being Hispanic. My parents made so many jokes. But I can watch anime and K-dramas without subtitles.”

Frances Cisneros Jenks: “Oh how I was traumatized by the teasing at a young age.”

Cindy Va Nessa: “We are the ‘in-betweeners.’”

Nina Franklin: “This was my parents and their way of thinking. Now they regret not teaching us because it has only held us back as many companies seek bilingual individuals. My aunts and uncles had the right idea and all my cousins know Spanish leaving my sister and I feeling like outsiders.”

Esmie Ledesma: “I was taught to speak Spanish at home since I could talk. I learned English when I started kindergarten. I’m bilingual and proud of it!”

Tania O’Hara: “I’ve heard so many Hispanics speak with resentful tones about other Hispanics- how about we are all just people.”

Hector Espinoza: “I am proud that my parents taught us Spanish and put me and my siblings in strictly English classes instead of bilingual classes. This took care of us learning both languages! I finished college and have never had problems only when ignorant people would complain when I spoke Spanish! We, the USA, are the only country that looks down on people that speak other languages. I have had the pleasure of traveling to Europe and other parts of the world, it is very common to find people that speak 2 to 3 languages. Guess what, Spanish is one of the common languages used in Europe! Here in America it is easier to shame people for being smart enough to talk other languages! This is done because we are ignorant and believe everything should be done our way, while we are on longer under the old English colonialism control this country kept the same colonists attitude!!! Like it or not, a great part of our country belongs to Mexico and Spanish is the predominant language! Plus, we Americans do not have an official language!”

Manny Raneri: “We were purposely NOT taught to speak Italian. Assimilation is important.”

Jennifer Menchaca: “Stephanie Tamez remember that one time at BBW I got yelled at by a customer because it was my obligation to speak Spanish.”

Sara Marie: “This is me! But I don’t consider myself Mexican. I’m American. I’m a 4th generation American. My grandparents were bilingual. My dads first language was Spanish. They tried to get my dad to put me in ESL but he refused. I kinda wish he did. The looks I would(and still sometimes)get when people would start speaking to me in Spanish and then me telling them I didn’t. The stank eye was fierce. I don’t know how many times I’ve been called a coconut.”

Regina Parks: “I understand some Mexicans in my age group (50s) do not speak Spanish because it was a fireable offense to speak Spanish in the office and this was in the 1990s. So as a result their parents did not teach them and they in turn did not teach their kids. But there are more ways to be proud of being Mexican than speaking Spanish. My problem is when they turn their backs on their culture and claim to be white and shun other Mexicans. Mexicans don’t need to assimilate, they should need to be proud of having a beautiful culture with strong family ties.”

Miguel Gomez: “When I was in elementary school the teacher would sit us in the back if we didn’t speak English.I was born and raised here so my first language is English not Spanish but some people find that wrong, growing up not speaking English was hard.”

Johnny Martinez: “I was raised in English and I turned out ok. I have not come across a scenario where I absolutely had to speak Spanish in the US.”

Irene Soria: “All AMERICAN, I hated that they spanked you with a ruler on the hand because a spanish word danced out of my mouth. I swore I’d never learn Spanish. Had to take it in college but I prefer English. Yes indeed, ALL AMERICAN.”

Reywolf Villalobos: “Assimilation is what I don’t do. Moved from an HOA community back to my hood because they didn’t let me Mexicanize my home with plants and wall hangings.”

Bambi Espinoza: “I was born in Boise Idaho but was raised in El Paso Texas. I never learned proper Spanish and I also never learned proper English… I speak Spanglish.”

Donald L Trevathan Jr: “I know a ton of Hispanic folks that don’t speak or understand Spanish. It’s no big deal to them.”

Martha Ramirez Logan: “I cant speak Spanish. I got yelled at by a lady when I used to work at JCPenneys that I should be ashamed for being Hispanic and not knowing Spanish. My husband was white country boy and he knew more Spanish than me.”

Marie Peña: “I am Hispanic but I know both languages and so do my kids. It’s ridiculous not to know Spanish when it’s a wonderful opportunity in life. I worked with AT&T and if you go into departments where Spanish is required, you get paid nicely. I would not trade my Spanish for nothing. My parents were adamant that we know both languages and it pays off. It’s not hard; Some Chicanos don’t want people to know they know Spanish. I don’t know why but am proud to know both languages.”

Pat Mary: “It’s a thing, I’d love to see how these people would survive while visiting Mexico and family there. It’s a shame people hide from their roots, because they think they should only know english. It’s a shame people run from their culture by not teaching their kids how to speak their ancestors languages. But at the end of the day YOU ARE STILL Mexican-American. Nothing can take that away. NOT language, NOT culture, and NOT where you live.”

Maverick Gonzales: “Just learn the curse words and you’ll be fine.”

Rose Covington: “Stop trying to be “enough” for everyone. Be enough for yourself and the life you want. The rest aren’t going to pay your bills, so who cares what they think is ‘enough’.”

Omar Esquivel: “I hate it when I go to a Mexican restaurant and the server “only speaks Spanish”. I even try to speak Spanish, (texmex) and I get made fun of. Really?? At least I’m trying.”

Paul-Anthony Olgin: “Expectations change from country to country. When I lived in Spain to study abroad, Spanish people were similar to Americans. Proud to be unilingual. But in Portugal and Great Britain the more languages you can speak the more affluent you must be. So it really depends on your audience. Es la verdad.”

Mike Garcia: “Well let’s also remember that America is a CONTINENT not just the United States.Sooooo….we are all Americans.”

Yoly-Pablo Calona: “To my professional colleagues I’m too Mexican….To my close friends (Hispanic) I’m too white!”
I’m the best of both my worlds! Fluent in both Spanish & English and raising my kids the same way.”

Jackie Sanchez: “The other day I went to go renew my DL and the lady asked me if I spoke Spanish. I said no so she marked me as white. I don’t care though. It is what it is. I can’t even be mad. I am just glad I’m not the only one.”