Being Latino in 2015

By Alex Marchante

Being Latino in 2015 is me being bilingual.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being thankful.

Being Latino in 2015 is me correcting people when they assume I’m Mexican (I’m Salvadoran).

Being Latino in 2015 is me asking my mom how it was like being Latina in 1983.

Being Latino in 2015 is me hearing what people say to me when they assume I only speak Spanish.

Being Latino in 2015 is me telling my Latino/a friend que estan tontos por no pensar que entiendo dos lenguajes.

Being Latino in 2015 is me telling people that even though I was born in the U.S., I can still have a human heart towards those trying to find a better living across the border and supporting their struggle.

Being Latino in 2015 is me explaining why Donald Trump isn’t a bad candidate because he’s anti-immigration, but why he’s a bad candidate for 98 other reasons.

Being Latino in 2015 is me supporting my country in soccer no matter if we win 5-0 or lose 5-0.

Being Latino in 2015 is me realizing that El Salvador will hardly ever win 5-0.

Being Latino in 2015 is me writing this and hearing Carlos Santana in one ear and James Hetfield in the other.

Being Latino in 2015 is me finally being of age to write this poem and not care about what people say about my ideas.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being thankful for the generations that brought me to this moment.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being able to talk to Caucasians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latin Americans and people of all colors and all walks of life and not see race as a qualification to talk to me.

Being Latino in 2015 is me knowing that what I just said sometimes is a requirement to people in 2015.

Being Latino in 2015 is me reflecting on life and still wanting to complete my dream of giving back to the community that shares my skin.

Being Latino in 2015 is me thanking every influence around me for helping me become an 18-year old Latino male that is in a university, has no kids, does no drugs and has never sipped alcohol.

Being Latino in 2015 is me not being a statistic.

Being Latino in 2015 is me thanking my mom for giving me the opportunity to walk on the sacred ground in which my ancestors walked on.

Being Latino in 2015 is me paving the way so that my descendants can say the same, just with a better ground.

Being Latino in 2015 is me telling my friends that you don’t have to be a part of a culture to enjoy it.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being open to every culture I encounter.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being a child of world.

Being Latino in 2015 is me knowing deep down that I have done enough to break expectations.

Being Latino in 2015 is me knowing my people still have work to be done.

Being Latino in 2015 is me looking forward to what being Latino in 2025, 2035 and 2045 look like.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my skin, loving the soft hands and the hard, calloused hands that helped form it.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my face, one of a kind and constructed by the faces that were home to sweat every day from Monday to Sunday.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my hair, feeling the follicles shoot up every time I have a chance to speak with pride of the people that gave me this hair.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my legs, for being passed down from a woman that ran from a country of war, and that walked with my hand locked in hers, leading me to peace.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my smile, for the times in which I choose to rest and watch El Chavo Del Ocho.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my voice, for sharing the tongue of people that I can speak for, and whose tongues I can learn from.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving my heart, for pumping this blue and white, the majesty of where my soul calls home.

Being Latino in 2015 is me loving myself, despite sometimes in which I don’t, because no matter who you are, or where you come from, no matter what language you speak, we all love, and that’s a universal language.

Being Latino in 2015 is me being thankful for this body, crafted from a race that has been broken, beaten, poisoned, pero nunca…nunca vencido.

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