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Maria Guadalupe Gomez
A man with a hotel uniform started walking towards me. I tried walking around him, but he blocked me in my tracks. He asked me in Spanish, “Where is your uniform? We received a complaint from a guest that you wouldn’t serve her?” I was confused and a little hurt. I wanted to yell and scream and throw something. I started crying and told the man, who I assumed was a manger, that I was a guest there and that i was from Texas. He stepped back and kind of gasped a little bit. He apologized and told me not to worry, it wouldn’t happen again. He offered me some food coupons.
Being dark in Mexico and in Mexican culture is often seems to be associated with being poor or bad.
While traveling outside of their communities, black Mexicans say they are stopped routinely by the police and accused of being illegal immigrants from Cuba or Central America. They often endure long stares and even touching of their hair by curious fellow Mexicans.
When I met Julian, who is from Colombia, he called me Mi Negra. I was upset at first, but he told me that in Colombia they use that as a term of endearment. I was confused because my whole life I thought being dark was something ugly. Julian embraced me and my skin color. He showed me that I could be beautiful regardless of the tone of my skin.
Going to college and graduating with my B.S. in Civil Engineering gave me the confidence I always needed to show all the Mexican kids I grew up with that I was always destined for more.
The color of my skin shouldn’t have effect on my ability to study and do well for myself.
I always think about the guy who told me that I looked like La India Maria and I wonder what kind of satisfaction he got out of that. If he told me that now, I would say, “Yeah I do! Mexicana for life!”
Looking back now, I wish I would have owned it. I wish I would have embraced my skin color. Mexico and Mexican culture portrays being dark to mean being ugly or being of “low class” and I wish that would change. For so many years I was so depressed and so uncomfortable with my skin that I went though times that I wished I would just die. For a society to make a person, a child, feel this way…is just not right.
I love me and I love my morena skin. I wouldn’t change it for the world now.
Stay in love,
Anali – The Nueva Latina
Anali Martinez of The Nueva Latina is a 20-Something Latina living in Austin, TX. She is from Del Rio, TX. Anali is a proud Mexican that loves to learn more about her heritage every day. Anali is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and earned a bachelor’s degree in
Civil Engineering. Her hobbies include blogging, live music, running, working out, Zumba, and hanging out with loved ones as much as she can.
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