We love reminiscing about our experiences of growing up Cuban in the US.
We were all inspired years ago when our friend Carlos Eire wrote his Pedro Pan memoirs. I think that Carlos’ work reminded all of us that there was a Cuban past to be discussed and stories to be shared.
Furthermore, we all have parents who made great sacrifices to come here and start anew. I can assure you that sharing these Cuban stories has made me appreciate my parents very much. I appreciate their sacrifices, or what they were willing to do so that their kids could grow up in freedom rather than the communist tyranny in Cuba.
Check out my chat with Jorge Ponce, a contributor to Babalu and good friend.
Jorge has posted often here about his Cuban American experience.
He recently posted “The trials and tribulations of becoming an American“:
“I soon learned that there was a more diverse world out there. I met Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Puerto Ricans, Argentineans, etc. We all shared our Hispanic heritage and our Spanish language. I was exposed to different dances, variations of idiomatic expressions, and fantastic food. To my great surprise, some of my Hispanic friends did not share my same anti-communist views. In fact, some thought that Fidel, El Che, and Ho Chi Minh were visionaries who had improved the standards of living of the proletariats in their countries. Some even wore Che T-Shirts as a fashion statement or as a sign of protest against the “American Empire.” I realized that it was time to expand my network of friends.”
In contrast to Jorge, I grew up in Wisconsin and there were no Cubans or Latin Americans in my circles.
My “trials and tribulations” were simple: “Ingles o no comes”!
I spent most of my early years in the US hearing about Cuba from my parents. We had no friends from Latin America in school or neighborhood. In fact, it was a “thrill” when my father, now working at a bank, would bring home a colleague from Chile or Colombia. It was rare but enjoyable.
Let me say it again: Share your Cuban stories with your kids. Tell them about your Cuban past. It will make you very proud of being Cuban American.
Please enjoy my chat with Jorge this weekend:
Listen in now at http://t.co/foS61KrmbW.