Appreciate your roots

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 12, 2015

America is often referred to as a melting pot, welcoming people from many different countries, races and religions. Most residents of this country can tie his or her roots back to one or more countries.
While I was born and raised in America, my family is originally from Cuba and Spain. Growing up, my grandparents would recount stories about their life in Cuba, which led to my fascination with my family’s Hispanic roots. While I’ve never visited the island, I’m proud to consider myself Hispanic. Even though my grandparents haven’t lived in Cuba since the 1960s, they ensured my cousins and I were educated at an early age about their vibrant culture.
To this day, they cook popular Cuban dishes, expose me to world-renowned Cuban artists like Celia Cruz and make sure I don’t forget how to speak Spanish.
While I consider myself an American, I keep my Cuban roots close to my heart.
After all, if it wasn’t for my ancestors from Cuba and Spain, I wouldn’t be here and I surely wouldn’t be living in America.
It’s important to know about your family’s history in order to appreciate where you came from.
My grandparents and other relatives endured a lot of hardships in the past. My grandparents fled to the U.S. in the 1960s to escape communism in Cuba. They’ve gone through a lot to become U.S. citizens and achieve their version of the American dream.
It’s because of my family’s history that I appreciate the rights we have in this country even more.
This country is a special place that allows people, no matter their origin, to grow and become the people they want to be.
If you haven’t done so already, take the time and talk to an older relative to find out more about your ancestry.
Everyone living in America ultimately came from somewhere else and what ties us all together is the fact that we live in this great country where we are free to be who we are.

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