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Hernandez 1

Jose Hernandez
English 115
Professor Lawson
2 October 2014
Final Draft of Project 1 Essay
Word Count: 1113
The Latino That I Am
In the lives of many people, something particular is what usually defines them. Whether
it be a sport or a specific type of music, these aspects hold a deep meaning for them. I however,
truly believe that a wide-ranging type of ethnic culture defines me. More specifically, I feel that
my Latino culture is what describes me and I proudly accept it. In the United States, that Latino
culture may have its negative or positive perceptions to different people. I view it as something
good, like an extra perk. Regarding my Latin culture, and my experiences with it, I feel that I
have the ability to see things in ways that many cant. Being part of the Latin culture defines how
I view sports, how my family operates, and how I view the rest of the world.
In my household, ftbol, or soccer, is one of the many things that essentially symbolizes
happiness. I do not know if Hispanics/Latinos always watching their favorite game of soccer is a
stereotype, but that stereotype does apply to my family. Every time our favorite team plays on
TV, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relatives come over to each others house to watch the
game. However, when its any other sport, such as basketball or American football, we wont
even bat an eye. I think that this is because most Latinos, especially ones that do not speak
English, do not even understand how those other games work. Soccer, or how the rest of the
world calls it football, is the most globally watched and understood sport. Also, considering

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that many Latinos dont originate from the U.S. but another country, back there in their own
country Soccer, is one of the only few attractions there for them. So having carried that passion
for soccer, my parents and other older relatives transferred that passion down to my generation.
Since we watch with family and friends, it brings us closer together and we are all overcome
with happiness. Soccer is our escape from everything else and the way we have a great time.
Another aspect of the Latino culture that defines me is seen through how my family
operates. I would not say just my family, but every Latino family out there. Growing up in a
Hispanic household is different than what most people would imagine. As a child, no one in my
family spoke English. My parents only associated themselves with whom they felt comfortable
with. Back then, when my parents were younger, they only talked with people who only spoke
Spanish and that was basically just family. As a result, we all grew up around only family and
ended up not meeting new people, except if they spoke Spanish. Since my parents are old
school, that also contributed to the fact that they werent really trusting of the white community.
My siblings and I were very sheltered from the outside world to the point where we never got to
really fully grasp what was happening around us. Our parents shelter you so much that even if
you are a mature teenager or 18, if you are Hispanic, you will be treated as if you were 10. It is
something that we all dislike very much but I believe that in a weird and unique way, this shows
that Latinos are very, very family orientated. Since we grew up only with family, we are
obviously more comfortable with them. In my opinion, other families arent so much. For
example, many Americans put their elders into retirement homes. Whereas in the Hispanic
culture we would never even think of putting our abuelitos, (grandparents), in one. They stay
with us until sadly, they leave us. Hispanics are extremely family orientated and that is exactly
how my family is.

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Lastly, being a young Latino male makes me see things that no one else could ever see. I
realize that we are categorized as a minority in the U.S. but why? I am fairly certain that in
most areas we are now the majority. So does this minority label mean we are inferior?
Regardless of why we are the minority, my Latino people do have to work hard to be successful
here in the U.S. and the way I grew up justifies just that. We are a relatively below average
family when it comes to financial status. Growing up not in the ghetto, but somewhere along
the lines of it, makes me see the struggle of every Latino and Hispanic out there. In my opinion,
the language is our biggest downfall. Not knowing English makes us miss out on many
wonderful opportunities. However, for those who do get somewhat of a grasp of the English
language, there are some who leave their native language. They forget how to speak it and then
are frowned upon by other Hispanics. But if we dont speak English we are frowned upon by the
Americans. As a result, we need to be twice as good when it comes to speaking a language so
that we satisfy everybody. Another hardship that I notice is that when immigrants migrate from
their home country to the U.S., they start from nothing. They come here for a better life and to do
that, they work. Immigrants, not just Latinos, are one of the hardest working group of people in
our country. When people say that immigrants are a disease to our country, they are instead
people who contribute the most to this country. I see that through our struggles and hardships,
the Latino people will continue to try and reach that dream of having a better life.
Overall being part of the Latino/Hispanic culture is what truly defines me. All of my
experiences and how I viewed and allowed them to affect me are what formed me into the young
man I am today. Our culture is what contributes to the development of our values and beliefs.
We all have those good and bad memories but its all up to us and how we view them. For my
culture it goes from the sport that we watch that brings us joy, the way our families are all

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connected to each other, to the way we are seen by others and the way we see them. Hispanics
and Latinos will always be proud of who they are, and I am very thankful that I was fortunate
enough to grow up in an enviroment where everything I came into contact with, formed me into
the Latino that I am today.