My mother's side is from Peru and dad's side from Panama. I was born in Danbury, CT and was raised by my abuelos (Peruvian side) and Spanish was my first language at home. When I started school, I spoke very little English which led me to ESL from kindergarten through 6th grade. I struggled through elementary school because I dressed differently and didn't speak English well so it was hard for me to make and keep friends. We weren't poor nor rich but very grateful as a middle-class Hispanic family living in a Suburban town. I got picked on, bullied, and spit on because I was different and to my fellow childhood friends, annoying.
When I got to middle school I had already developed and hit puberty by 5th grade. So when I got to middle school, I was talked about by many of girls about me being fake. Yes, fake like fake boobs and figure. I remember one day in the cafeteria a group of Hispanic females started talking about me in spanish, I let them continue until I couldn't bare to listen to it anymore, I stood up for myself and came back at them in Spanish and let them know I spoke Spanish too. I was able to stop the rumors and defend myself for being looked at as a 'black girl' and not getting to know me enough to know I'm ' Afro-Latina ' like them.
Now I'm a Senior Youth counselor and am able to share my passion for equal rights and show love to different cultures who may be going through identity crisises themselves. I'm also a certified cosmetologist with the ability to do all types of hair and makeup for all skin tones. My advice for other beautiful Afro-Latina women is to know your beautiful culture and never be ashamed of it. To always be yourself and be bold to be different because people try so hard to be us but can't so they hate us with no reason behind it. Never hate, but always love even if they don't love us back. Thank you for this opportunity to express who I am as an Afro-Latina virtuous goddess!