Hispanic Voices Series: XXXXXXX, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

It is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States and to celebrate our Latina sisters, we’ve interviewed a handful of participants for our Hispanic Voices Series to provide a platform to share while we learn a bit more about their background, family life and well… heritage.  

With each interview, we have added stories, recipes, and other resources that relate directly to that woman’s heritage that we hope you enjoy. If you would like to participate, we are accepting more interviewees through October 5th. Contact us at contact@belakharma.com if you would like to participate.

*Note, some of our interviewees have chosen to be kept anonymous.

Welcome, XXXXXXX from New York.

What is your heritage/background? 
Puerto Rican and Dominican

Do you speak your families native language?  

When did your family immigrate to the United States? 

Do you still have family in (insert country/ies)? 

The first generation that immigrated to the US in your family, are they still living? 
Yes, my dad.

Did that generation openly discuss their reasons for coming here or dreams, aspirations etc? 
They came to the US to work so they can provide financial support to the family back home.

Storytelling the fabric of many ethnic cultures.  Do you have stories that you have been told or tell that you cherish? 
Yes, my dad always tells us he came to the US to meet his soul mate. He met my mom at a club (she was celebrating my aunts birthday), he wound up marrying her although she had 12 children from her previous marriage. 

Do you have any family heirlooms, recipes etc that you pass down through your family?
Traditional recipes like rice and beans. 

What language was spoken in your home growing up?

Did you find it difficult growing up here with parents who were not from here?
No, most of my friends were also first generations. 

Growing up, did you participate in any coming of age rituals?
No, I wasn’t into all that but my sisters and cousins had quinceañeras.  

As a mother, can you give an example or two of ways you have taught your son to be proud of his heritage?
I always take him to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for family gatherings. I also made sure to play traditional music as well as cook traditional food. 

What is your take on the current administration and the outlook on immigration?
It’s too sad to discuss right now. 

Are there any organizations that you work with or donate money or time to that you would like to mention?
My son is part of a Latino fraternity – Lambda Alpha Upsilon, so we have been donating money to their fundraising efforts. 

Do you identify specifically to your heritage only or do you identify as part of a Hispanic community and culture overall? 
I am an Afro-Latina from PR & DR. 

What worries you about Hispanic culture?
I’m worried that the Hispanic culture will fade. 

What are you most proud of? 
My son

What makes you laugh/happy?           

First Hispanic woman that pops into your mind…

  • Author             Julia Alvarez
  • Legislator         Sonia Sotomayor
  • Singer              Celia Cruz
  • Musician          Esperanza Spalding
  • Athlete             Laurie Hernandez
  • Poet                 Sandra Cisneros
  • Actress             Zoe Saldana
  • Activist            Rosie Perez
  • Chef                 Lorena Garcia
  • Mother             Victoria Martinez
  • Sister                Vivian Garcia
  • Dancer             Jennifer Lopez
  • Comedienne    Sophia Vergara
  • Social Media Influencer Massy Arias

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