Written by Marie Rodriguez
It is not dubious to claim that someone’s culture significantly molds them into the individual they are today. As the child of immigrant parents from Mexico and El Salvador, I can testify to this. From eating foods that seemed very distinct to those of my classmates during my elementary, middle and high school years, to going to Latin American activities weekly with my parents to amass and congregate with others of our culture, I noticed that our methods of communicating and living were diverse from those of my non-Latin associates.
However, even though there is an obvious difference between Latin culture and other cultures, there is still a contrast between Adventist Latinos and non-Adventist Latinos—and the same is true for any other nationality and culture because God has called us to be different from those of this World. Nonetheless, I have observed that there are aspects of Latin culture that particularly compliment Adventism. One such element that emerges to me greatest is that Latinos value family unity and respect immensely. Just look at the Disney animation film “Coco” and you will agree with me that family is remarkable for us!
There is a love in Latin culture that tells us that there is nothing greater than the individuals in our lives that care for us, help us grow and wish to see our success. We are expected to show respect to these individuals because their love for us deserves it. This goes conjointly with Adventism and the Bible—that God is deserving of our respect and love because He is the one who loved us first!
I appreciate my culture immensely, and I love how it has influenced me to be the person that I am presently. There is nothing in the world that I would trade to be a different person than what God has made me. I will continue to love and respect my family and God, just as my parents, culture and Adventism have taught me.