Buenas noches mi gente! Muchas gracias for coming back for mas chisme, or for joining in for the first time! This will be your new chisme spot where you’ll find various topics being covered from that hot mess mom vida, raising bilingual chamacos, living that teacher life and even links to everything Latino that I find along the way! If you’re Canadian, bienvenidos!! So am I! Pero, I have Mexican culture and fuerza running through my veins, asi que things can get spicy! Jajaja. De todos modos, here we are! Gracias! Para hoy, we’re gonna get el chisme of my interview with Mamas Latinas Canada that I just did and that will be shared online next week!! No lo vas a querer perder, especially porque it was my first ever interview about my Blog y pues let’s just say, clearly I’m a rookie. Jajaja. Oh! Y tambien, let’s not forget – lo mas importante – are our esnacks! Hoy tengo cucumber con tajin y limon – yummmmiiiii, vamonos!
Para empezar, Mamas Latinas Canada is an organization that is based here in Toronto, Canada para las Mamas Latinas. It is ran off a one woman show, Miriam, y she works hella hard to maintain and grow this organization. Through facebook posts, seminars and conferences that she holds, she unites us Mamas Latinas. Esto es so importante porque this Madrehood can be quite a challenging and difficult journey for some of us. Y mas if you’re a newcomer to Canada, don’t speak the language, or just don’t even know where to begin with taking on this new role como mama. There is so much to learn and take in within 9months y esos meses fly by and you’re changing so fast along the way, it is easy to get lost or miss things as you go. Este grupo provides support, resources, friendship, suggestions and guidelines, y ademas, a safe and comfortable place for Mamas Latinas.
Cuando Miriam reached out to me via DM on Instagram, I was muy muy excited! No solamente porque it was an opportunity to share my Blog, pero porque what a wonderful way to connect with local mamas Latinas and be a part of such an amazing organization. La verdad, I was a bit nervous and unsure porque I’ve never done an interview before. Como que is she going to ask me? It’s going to be ALL in Spanish? Pero, I’m only half Mexican, do I even qualify? Do I tell her? Ay ay ayyyyyy!!!
I had already responded que si, and then those doubts sunk in. Asi que, I didn’t really have a choice, I had already committed. Jajaja wh0ops. Rookie move #1 supongo. Pero Miriam had asked me if I would like to do the interview in person and have it recorded or just write out my replies to her preguntas and have a written version. Don’t make mistake #1 again, think this through Mama Poderosa. Jajaja. La verdad is I do not enjoy talking in front of people, I’ve always disliked presentations and speeches – Pero aren’t you a maesta?? Si ya seeeee, I know I know, pero ser una maestra isn’t the same thing!! You give me a class with 20 chamacos and I’m good! Pero to speak in front of adultos o en video… como que no tanto. Jajaja.
I’ll come do the interview in person, I replied. QUE QUE?! Pero, I thought… YA SE!!! Part of this journey is to challenge myself. Part of this journey is to put myself in situations I normally wouldn’t para tener nuevas experiencias. Y a part of this journey is to become a better me. Asi que, this interview was going to help me get there. We agreed to meet for Lunes a las 10:30am. Lo bueno is that Miriam sent me a copy of the preguntas she was going to ask me. Al menos I could write it all out beforehand and study them.
La segunda pregunta was (translated en ingles) “How long have you been in Canada?” … uuuffff! Pues, siendo nacida here in Canada, I was contemplating telling her ahead of time. Digo, what if that changed things? What if my story wouldn’t be as “valuable” anymore? All the “Ni de aqui Ni de alla” experiencias started to flood my mind. Como, ugh, not again.
Se honesta, so I told her. Hasta le dije, I don’t know if that changes things now… y ella dijo, si. I was like major triste. Jajaja pero then she continued, I’ll have to change la pregunta and she gave me a new one: “How did you learn to speak and read and write in Spanish?” WHEWWWW! Okay okay, ahora we got this.
“While I was in Mexico,
I felt the chasm between culturas,
Mexicans see me as American,
Americans see me as Mexican,
Ni de aqui, ni de alla,
Stuck in a canyon of cultures
That raised me,
I accepted the warmth of my third cultura:
A blanket and bridge
For gente like me.” – Kim Guerra from her book Mariposa.
Obviamente para mi, I replace the word American with Canadian and the word Xicanx with Latinadiense. Latinadiense is just a term that I newly adopted for myself porque it represents me more accurately. Pero these words speak my soul. I’m siempre stuck between my worlds of cultura: Canadian and Mexicana. Which one am I? Los dos.
Lunes por la manana, I made sure I got up early to give myself enough time to get ready and make my way into la ciudad. Ahora para mi look. What am I going to wear? Should I go for a super Latina look? Ya sabes, super curly hair, my big gold hoops – a camisa with something Spanish on it… jajaja, pues, after my shower, I decided to just get ready. I left mi pelo suelto, didn’t do anything with it – todo natural – basic makeup like a work day, pero por supuesto my new lipstick from Vive Cosmetics! Jajaja have to represent! Y one of my fav dresses porque it makes me feel good and reminds me of Mireya’s first birthday when I first wore it. Bueno, lista!
Los nervios! Jajaja, the whole drive I kept repeating what I wanted to say over and over again. Asi I wouldn’t mess it up. Uuuufff. Pues llegando, Miriam was so welcoming and amable. We had a bit of small talk pero while her chamacos were busy, it was time to get this interview done. Vamonos!
Okay, I fumbled and lost my train of thought. Restart, Vamonos! Ay ay ayyyyyy, my nerves are getting the best of me, no podia terminar the description to my Blog Mama Poderosa!! Okay, maybe this was just a bad idea, who am I kidding, I’m not a spokesperson or someone to be interviewed, I’ll stick to my keyboard… No seas payasa, no te rindes cabrona – you came this far – I could literally hear mi mama’s voice in mi cabeza. Ay Dios, okay… vamonos! Third time is a charm!! I was doing it! Everything was flowing… pero jajaja como mamas, we should know better. One of Miriam’s chamacos had come into our area and was trying to get through the gate and it was getting pretty loud asi que we had to restart jajaja. Asi es la vida. Pero al menos I knew I could do it this time. Con ganas.
We finished the interview, with some added questions – which I weren’t really prepared for pero creo que I answered them as best as I could. We had some small talk before I left and Miriam me hizo sentir really valuable, interesting and very unique. She made me get that “this is why I do what I do” feeling. I don’t encounter ese sentimiento very often with my Blog, porque pues it’s still fairly new and small, entonces it’s hard to know if what I’m doing is really making a difference. Pero this taught me que si. Que aunque sometimes it feels like I’m not Ni de aqui, Ni de alla, mi voz matters y mis experiencias are like no other.
Y como Kim Guerra escribio in her Mariposa book:
“I am a privileged Latina.
This is hard for me to say.
My light skin, education, and citizenship.
Somehow, it makes me feel less Latina.
Then, I learned I could use
My privilege pa’ mi raza,
Mi voz pa’ mi raza,
Mi vida pa’ mi raza.
This is what being Latina is about.”
UUUFFFFFF – goosebumps cada vez that I read that. It is SO accurate as to how I have felt my ENTIRE vida, pero nunca could put it into words. I never wanted to say I was privileged, pero I was in a way. Those exact things made me seem privileged a los demas. Pero ahora, like Kim Guerra, puedo usar mi privilege, mi voz, mi vida to help others and myself. Arriba las Latinas!! Somos PODEROSAS!!
Gracias a Mamas Latinas en Canada, a Miriam, y a Kim Guerra for paving the way for other Latinas like myself.
OH! Y tambien, if you want to catch my rookie interview jajaja, it will be posted next week! Follow me on Instagram: @mama.poderosa and I will provide the link when it becomes available! I will also post my written interview in case you’d prefer to read it. It is slightly different than the recorded one, pero igual! Muchas gracias, chismosos!!
Pic: IG @emprendedorapelocha