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    Posted September 26, 2009 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Being Latino in America

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    I am also a Latino


    Hi. The man in the picture it's me, and the girl is my fiancee, we expect to marry next December, but let's speak about being a Latino instead of my wedding.


    My name is Joseph, actually was born in Mexico City but I was born being an American Citizen by birth, I am a son of an American ex-marine and a Mexican teacher. After my parents divorced I was raised by my mother in Mexico where I lived about 30 years (I am now 37 yo), I never knew nothing about my father until 2003 when I discovered that I have a half sister and a half brother.  A traditional American family, white and Christian (without being racist).


    As an adult, in spite of having studies, I found difficulties to work in Mexico, and there I was "surviving" with the miserable salary I was gaining. Plus having problems with my previous couple. Then my father advised me to start a new life in the US.


    In the beginning I didn't want to move to US, at that time I felt like an another immigrant going to US (as I was), but my father told me that in my case I was different because I was always an American. I failed to begin a life in Florida and Puerto Rico, as I could I returned to Mexico.


    Still, I didn't feel as an American, when I was in US by the first time I started to have identity and citizenship problems with myself. In Mexico the labor problems returned worse.


    Then I met a contact in a Mexican city, an American Latino, thanks to him I finally found a job in Missouri, where I am currently living, and the company  that hired me found me a place to live.


    When I arrived Kansas City by the very first time, $5 and a suitcase were my all life belongings. As you can imagine how hard was my previous life.


    Here, in Missouri, I built a life but was very hard for me.  I am not speaking about finantial or labor difficulties, but about my identity. I didn't know if I was part of the Latino race or the American circle, my social interaction was difficult with both groups, because the Latino called me a "gabacho" or "gringo" and by my appearance they didn't believe me I was from Mexico, and by the other side the Americans, by my accent and some of my habits, always thought in me as an Hispanic.


    So, I was in the limbo!!!! Certainly it was a sort of discrimination by both sides.


    Then I met my fiancee, she is from Missouri, but she learned the Spanish and speaks it with great fluency, also she helps me with the English. Switching jobs and she helped me with the integration to the social groups (I am still working on that).


    Finally I understood the sense of being an American, but still being a Latino. Being a Latino no necessarily is to follow Hispanic traditions as eat only Mexican food or watch Spanish TV, is more than that.


    As I am living in the US, I follow the common traditions and habits of this country, however, being a Latino means the true origin that I have, with the "born" culture (experience, language, remembrances), and I am proud of this.


    Yes, I am an American, but I am also a Latino because that is the origin I have proudly.

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