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by Marisol Amaya
Our Hispanic culture is not that much different from others, we have very strong ties amongst us, and the family is our nucleus; great grand parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, are all in unity.
In some cultures the older ones are left behind .. not in ours ! We have respect for them, and really value them as a source of knowledge and wisdom. In some families the eldest has the last word .. and it is not imposed, it is respected.
My mother lives with us, and that is a blessing because my children have this marvelous source of stability and years of experience, right here at home .. for the price of just loving kisses and hugs.
The foundation of our family love is basically religious, and we try to carry out the teaching of the church by instilling it in our children and helping each other.
In our country of origin there is no need for social benefits for older or disadvantaged people; all members of the family look after each other in every way, whether the need is economical, social or spiritual, we are committed to each other and we share the good and the bad times .. and we love doing it !
This last June, our entire family was invited to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. We went to a park, because there is no house big enough to hold us. Altogether, there were 45 members present from both my husband’s and my families. We had plenty of food, games and a great deal of fun; we even had a pinata !
People at the park were really impressed to find out that we all were relatives, as we shared, cared and gave love and attention to each other .. especially to grandparents ..
We cannot afford to have such parties more often, but we take every opportunity to teach our children the importance of love for each other . . . these are our precious ways of life, our own nature, our roots.
I am proud of my roots, and I wouldn’t wish to change this most valuable heritage .. in fact I hope I can pass enough of it on to my children and make them feel these ties and be proud of being just the way we are, and pass it on to my grandchildren as well.