Alejandra Estrada is a level one nursing student at Western New Mexico University. Estrada is from Long Beach, California, and was raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Estrada was raised in a single parent household, where Estrada’s mom was the only figure of authority, therefore Estrada connects deeply with her mom’s Hispanic background. Estrada, is a member of the Newman Club here at WNMU.
Q: What is something you love about your Hispanic background?
A: I love the food, there is nothing better than a bowl of green pozole. My mom makes a lot of traditional dishes that were passed down from her mom. In every family get-together revolves around food and anytime I travel to Mexico we are always planning the family dinner.
Q: What Hispanic traditions are celebrated in your family? Which one is your favorite?
A: My favorite tradition celebrated in my family is quinceaneras. I come from a family that is overthrown by women. Celebrating the young woman in my life is always a memory I will cherish. It’s a time where we get together as a family, celebrate the coming of age, and enjoy everyone’s company.
Q: How has your experience been not being fluent in Spanish? What challenges have you faced?
A: I think sometimes we stereotype Hispanics and believe they all should be Spanish speaking. We place labels on how people should “behave or act.” I know growing up it was hard because some of my family members would lecture me and tell me the importance it is being a fluent Spanish speaker and I would be perceived as being, “less Hispanic”, but this is how I was raised and my Spanish is very broken. As cliché as this may sound, I recall the movie Selena and how she was not a fluent Spanish speaker, but she still identified as Hispanic and became a role model in the Hispanic community. We are all different and it’s okay.
Q: What is your opinion of Hispanic Women rising into upper positions/titles within society?
A: Coming from a single parent household with my mom as the provider of our home, and her mom being a single parent as well. I come from a family of strong independent women. Seeing women of color rising into upper positions and titles is awesome! As a daughter of an immigrant I look up to these women who are in higher positions, and they show me how important it is to keep striving to be better for not only myself and family but for my community and other young girls like me.
WNMU is an institution designated to serve hispanics. This article was the end of a series of articles to spotlight outstanding hispanic students during Hispanic Heritage Month.