I believe much of Latino culture is about pride. Pride for your country, your last name and your family. It seems like something we are all born with.
As an international student, I’ve always been extra proud when saying I live in “the motherland.” In fact, few things compare to the amount of love I have for my home country, Honduras.
One thing I am very proud of, however, is being LAC President. So much so, that it sits at the top of my email signature. But, how could it not? I am extremely proud of what it means and what it feels like to be Latino, and everyday I am proud that I get to share that feeling with many of the students at Southern Adventist University.
During my sophomore year at Southern, I was casted as one of the main characters in the musical “In the Heights” for LAC Night. My junior year I was club secretary, and this year I have the privilege of running this club along with an incredible group of people, so it is hard to put into words what this club means to me.
These past three years, I’ve loved meeting members and getting to know my fellow officers. They’ve all shown me aspects of Latin American culture I didn’t know existed. Some of them are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders; others are U.S. citizens. Some are only residents, and others have never even been to their “home country.” Yet, we all proudly share a beautiful culture.
LAC has broadened my perspective of the meaning of Latino and/or Hispanic, and it’s put into perspective the true beauty of diversity.
Being LAC President has given me a unique platform: a place where I get to share culture with my peers, but also a place where I get to inform and educate faculty and administration. It has allowed me to represent the Latino community on this campus and to advocate for it. Most importantly, though, being LAC President has allowed me to prove myself.
This position has proven that, yes, I am “the international student,” “the Hispanic” and “the Honduran,” but I am so much more than that. It’s proven that despite our backgrounds, places of origins and subcultures, every Hispanic is capable of more than others might think. I’ve learned that not all of us fit the Latin American stereotype; rather, we all break the mold. It’s our uniqueness that makes us Latinos, and that is the beauty of our identity — a culture worth celebrating and something to be proud of.