Archive for the ‘Cultura’ Category

I was invited by Author Maritere Rodriguez Bellas to contribute to her recently launched site on parenting and education where I’ll be publishing some of my content in the college age / millennials section. I invite all of you to check out her site and I will also cross promote my posts here for all of you.

Here’s my first of many posts on there and I hope you all enjoy the read!

Nowadays with different types of technologies and with social media taking the lead in the way we communicate with others I still prefer talking to my parents over the phone at least once a day. Believe it or not I love hearing their voices because it shortens the distance and the time we go without seeing each other. I guess I am corny! Lol

Yes, I am part of the millennial generation that has often been categorized as being narcissists, needy, self-centered and entitled, but I have always strived to not let those negative stereotypes define my character. I have also heard from different people that we have become the generation that doesn’t look back, moves-on in life and forgets about our intermediate family. They are very wrong and I know that doesn’t apply to me!

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I don’t see anything wrong with moving-on in life and seeking a better future for myself. As a matter of fact my parents always motivated me into doing bigger and better things than they were ever able to accomplish. But one thing I know for sure is that I have never forgotten them or left them behind like some people have told me they have done with their own parents. As a matter of fact I am very connected to my parents.

As an adult I don’t run everything by my parents anymore, but I do like to share with them my lifestyle, whereabouts, goals and struggles. I love hearing their “consejos” (tips) on how to manage around a variety of different situations. They always have the best advice. Wouldn’t you say?

I grew up in a small 1-bedroom apartment where we made 7 people fit – 2 adults and 5 children so staying connected and always in close communication was the norm. As I grew older my parents always made sure that they knew what my siblings and I were up to and kept us aligned to our goals.

At 17 years old I moved out of my parent’s home and never returned to live there, but I always visit them. I live six hours away by car, and there’s not one day that I go without talking to them over the phone. I feel guilt and shame when I do not call them. It’s an oddly interesting feeling and very much a cultural one.

When there are so many other avenues of communication and technologies why do I choose to talk to my parents daily the old-fashioned way via a phone call? The answer is simple. I think my parents deserve some quality time and undivided attention so that we can catch-up and let each other know how we’re doing.

Yes, I see many of my friends send a short and, sometimes cold text message to their folks, email or even use social media to reach out to their parents once in a while or when they need their parents for something.  But, I can’t relate to that way of communicating with my parents.

I understand we live very busy lives, but honestly we can’t drop everything we’re doing and make a simple and short phone call to the two individuals that brought us into this world?  Sorry, I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I am just stating a fact.

Humbly, I know of people who don’t communicate with their parents and have forgotten about them completely. Some of those people are not part of the millennial generation and often times are not Latino. Though I respect everyone’s decision of how often they communicate with their parents, I wouldn’t forgive myself if I went days without hearing from them. Plus even over the phone I would get scolded for not calling them. Yes, still at a distance and as an adult my parents try to discipline me. I wonder if it’s a Latino thing. Lol

I strongly believe that out of respect and because I honor them both so much there is daily communication. Typically, my conversation with my mother is in Spanish and with my father I tend to speak English because I love hearing his thick accent and he enjoys practicing his second-language skills.

I enjoy my Spanish conversation with my mother because I get to polish up on my Spanish and have fluidity in all my phrases and words. Plus, there are some words that don’t translate well into English and speaking Spanish makes me feel as I am right next to her. Listening to Spanish from my mom is warm and comforting. On the other hand, I enjoy talking English with my father because I get to teach him new words that are not part of his vocabulary and he gets to sharpen his second-language skills.

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My parents taught me many lessons in life and without a doubt one of the most important ones was staying united and always looking out for the “familia” because at the end of the day they are all you have in this journey. I can’t picture myself not knowing about them for a day and I am thankful I still have them around for some great talks and laughs.

I don’t think we’ll ever simply communicate via a Facebook or text message. I just wouldn’t feel appropriate.

As a Latino millennial, I understand that there’s a lot of different family dynamics and situations that exist in one’s family that can result in a lack of communication, and even an estranged relationship, but for me since I have my parents alive and healthy I cannot grasp the idea of not talking to them daily.

How often do you talk or spend time with your parents?

Saludos mileniales,

Gustavo

P.s. Don’t forget to visit Mari’s site and follow her on all her social media.

Sabias que los Haas Avocados poseen buenas grasas que ayudan absorber nutrientes de otras comidas. Estos aguacates no tienen colesterol y estan llenos de vitaminas y minerales. Esta pizza combinacion, simple de hacer en casa y al estilo mexicano es perfecta como un aperitivo para tus invitados en la cena de Accion de Gracias o cualquier otro momento.  

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Saborea Uno Hoy para la oportunidad de ganar 1 de 16 premios, incluyendo FitBits®, sets de cuchillos franceses y tabla para cortar de Laguiole® y sets de delantal y bolsa para compras de Saborea Uno Hoy.

Sigue (at)SaboreaUnoHoy en Instagram, toma una foto que muestre cómo tú o tu familia disfrutan la temporada de fiestas comiendo aguacate y compártela en Instagram etiquetando @SaboreaUnoHoy y usando los hashtags #SaboreaUnoHoy y #sweepstakes para participar.

Adicionalmente, 80 seguidores serán seleccionados al azar como ganadores de un cortador de aguacate.

¡Casi 100 premios!

Para ver la receta y como preparar esta saludable pizza de trigo visita este link de una publicacion similar aqui en mi blog. 

Mexico joined the eighth annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE as culinary destination of the year. As a Mexican that’s exciting! The festival took place from October 15 – 18, 2015 and it was recently recognized as the #3 food and restaurant industry event in the U.S. by BizBash for the third year in a row. Designated as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, Mexican cuisine has been making an indelible mark on the world as countless chefs and gourmands continue to redefine the meaning and expression of Mexican cooking. YUMMY!

Chefs Margarita Carrillo & Arnie Marcella presented a dish inspited by their trip to Guadalajara at the Mexican Pavillion inside the NYCFWW

Mexico’s gastronomy has never been more exciting than it is today, making it a great fit for its culinary destination of the year distinction at the festival. Thought-provoking chefs, boundary-pushing artisans and innovative creators are changing the landscape and contributing to an unparalleled gastronomic movement in a country where food is central to its culture. Its lively markets and street food, rich flavors with thousands of years of history, combined with modern and innovative cooking techniques are taking the country’s cuisine to new heights.

Chef Elena Reygadas

The tastes, smells and textures of Mexico’s modern gastronomy will came to life during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival to not only delight the palate, but also inspire a journey through all of Mexico. From winemaking regions of Baja California to the coffee fields of the south, to cheese production in the north to the mole of Oaxaca and the mouthwatering cochinita pibil of Yucatan, there’s something to discover in every corner.

Mexico’s presence at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival highlighted the country’s visionary gastronomic movement, which includes a focus on fresh ingredients. The festival offered the opportunity for collaboration between top Mexican and American chefs to create and interpret dishes, exploring bold new culinary territory.

Dish by Chef Enrique Olvera

The most representative flavors of Mexican gastronomy were featured at three key events at the Festival with the participation of celebrated chefs.

1. Mexican Pavilion. Mexico hosted a special pavilion at the Festival’s signature Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite featuring Samsung® Culinary Demonstrations presented by MasterCard at Pier 94. Mexican and American chefs teamed up at the pavilion to offer a collaborative interpretation of Mexican flavors.

Duck Tortas inspired by Chef Jehangir Mehta's visit to Puebla, Mexico

2. Mexico’s Dinner with Enrique Olvera and Jordi Roca. Enrique Olvera, whose restaurant Pujol in Mexico City is ranked No. 16 in the world, welcomed renowned pastry Chef Jordi Roca to his New York City restaurant, Cosme, for this special dinner. Roca is the youngest of three brothers who oversee seminal Catalan restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, ranked No. 1 in the world, in Girona, Spain.

3. Tacos & Tequila was presented by Mexico hosted by Aarón Sánchez. Host of hit Food Network shows Chopped and Taco Trip, Aarón Sánchez was joined by top chefs presenting creative taco interpretations at Urbo, a culinary multi-plex located in the heart of Manhattan.

One of the dishes by Chef Enrique Olvera

During September and October, Mexico will also host special tours for top chefs across the most important cities in the country. Tours will highlight Mexico’s flourishing gastronomic scene and foster collaborative relationships between participating American and Mexican chefs.

Text Credit: H+M Communications and EsteeEatz

Saludos amigos de AVivirLA en esta ocasión y en mi intento de traerles información de restaurantes que deberían visitar en Los Ángeles aquí les traigo uno de ellos.

¿A ustedes les gustan los mariscos? A mí me encantan.

De hecho en el estado de Sinaloa son muy populares y aunque yo sea originario de Zacatecas también nos gustan. Ahorita los mariscos y el sushi son mis comidas favoritas y cuando escuche de un lugar que ha fusionado este platillo quede sorprendido y feliz.

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Sushi Guamuchilito

Asi es existe un restaurante mexicano que ha fusionado la comida mexicana con la japonesa. El restaurante Sinaloense que ha hecho esta creación se llama “Sushinaloa”. Tienen tres locaciones y el que yo visite recientemente con amigos está en la ciudad de Lynwood, California.

El ambiente es súper casual, es como si fuera un pequeño puesto de tacos donde existe un área pequeña para sentarte al aire libre con música. No es nada “fancy” o donde llevaría a una chava para nuestra primer “date” pero el sushi esta delicioso. Los chefs fueron súper amables y es definitivamente un lugar al cual regresaría.

En mi primer visita ordene el Guamuchilito y Chile Jaiba que por lo cierto ambos estaban deliciosos. Lo mejor de todos es que las porciones son grandes y con un “roll” quedaras muy satisfecho.

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Sushi Guamuchilito

Estén pendientes de mis aventuras en Los Ángeles y de los lugares a los cuales estaré visitando para demostrarte los restaurantes que este #foodie te estará recomendando.

Te invito a que tú también te enrolles en el sabor de “Sushinaloa” y los visites.

Están localizados en:

10350 Long Beach Blvd

Lynwood, CA

Maximiliano,

¿Campeón cómo le hacemos para ponerle pausa al tiempo? Creo que el tiempo se nos está pasando demasiado rápido y ya casi vas a caminar. ¡No! Aún recuerdo como si fuera ayer cuando estabas en el hermoso vientre de tu mami, mi hermana. ¿Deberás que somos unos seres humanos locos verdad? En ese entonces queríamos que el tiempo se pasara volando para tenerte con nosotros y ahora quisiéramos ponerle un alto a los momentos más felices que vivimos contigo.

Te he visto crecer como lo tenía planeado, lo dije antes quise ser un Tío muy apegado a ti porque eres especial para mí. Desde que naciste te cargue en mis brazos. Tus primeros llantos sin consuelo los escuche. Tus primeras miradas las tengo plasmadas en mi memoria. Tus primeros bocados de comida que tu mami con mucho amor te ha preparado los olí. Los gestos de “fuchi” que haces cuando alguna comida no te gusta, como el aguacate, me hace reír. Tus primeras sentadas sin echarte para un lado o para atrás me emocionan. Tus primeras gateadas me animan. Todo lo recuerdo muy bien y no quiero que todo esté pasando tan rápido. Y ahora ya no gateas si no casi quieres volar.

Recuerdo los días que empezabas a gatear y no te animabas. Era como cuando uno quiere y no quiere meterse a la alberca porque esta fría. Como que querías pero luego no tenías la coordinación de avanzar con un pie y después con el otro. No sé qué paso pero te lanzaste y lo lograste como una semana después y hasta con ruidos. Recuerdo esta vez que te grabe era una noche que había ido a visitarte, ya era tarde como las 11:30 p.m. y no te habías dormido y querías seguir jugando.

Y como olvidar tus carcajadas cuando estas contento. Eso no pasa cuando tienes hambre o sueño. Dejaras de ser mi sobrino. Yo soy igual si no me tomo mi siesta, estoy cansado o tengo hambre no puedo estar feliz. Pero mira aquí las carcajadas cuando tu mami te hacia reir con sus sonidos.

Fue después de que regresaste de tu viaje a Chicago que me enseñaste que sabias aplaudir cuando decíamos “Bravo”. Por lo cierto has sido un “traveling baby” creo que tus papas te llevan a un nuevo lugar cada fin de semana. Conocerás medio mundo así. Lol

¡Bravo!

Uno de mis viajes favoritos contigo ha sido ir a Paso Robles y San Luis Obispo. En ese viaje tu mami estaba ocupada y tu madrina, Alexa y yo te cuidamos. Después regresamos a ese mismo lugar para una boda y tu traje estaba perfecto para la ocasión. Parecías un “newspaper boy”. Mira la foto:

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Tantas memorias, tantos #unphewtimes que ya hemos tenido tan agradables como cuando te lleve a una de tus clases de natación. Te digo algo, ese día mi admiración por ti creció mucho porque fuiste el único bebe que no lloro. Había otros niños algunos meses más grandes que tú y no dejaban de llorar, sin embargo tú te regocijabas en el agua. Tus papas te inscribieron en clases de natación desde que te tenías como 5 meses así que no me sorprenderá si te conviertes en un gran surfista algún día.

Ha habido varias ocasiones ya donde nos hemos metido a la alberca y te encanta el agua. Si por ti fuera allí te quedarías todo el día. A mí también me encanta el agua, entonces creo que en eso nos parecemos bastante. Y no puedo olvidar que aun a veces me dicen que si eres mi hijo porque te pareces tanto a mí. Si lo guapo lo sacaste a mí. Jajaj Lol

Y ya veo que desde ahora empiezas a definir tu personalidad, es súper interesante. Solo pido que mientras te defines como ser humano siempre seas una persona que haga el bien, que no le falte el respeto a nadie y que escojas el camino mejor adecuado para ti. No cambies para satisfacer a nadie y que camines siempre con la frente en alto aun cuando estés en momentos de obscuridad.

Le has cambiado por completo la vida a tu mami y ella  a ti. He visto que estas súper apegado a ella y cuando no la ves lloras. Tienes mamitis. Lol Pero ambos están sacándole todo el provecho a estas etapas y me alegra que tu mami se pueda tomar este tiempo para dedicártelo solamente a ti.

No sé si con mucha practica pero ya a tus 8 meses puedes subir las escaleras de tu casa. Y lo haces con mucha agilidad. Me gustó mucho recibir el video que me envió tu mami el otro día de ti logrando esta actividad porque demuestra lo saludable que eres. Aunque te caíste pero no paso a mayores te volviste a levantar en un segundo y así quiero que cuando andes por la vida te levantes y sigas tu camino. De eso se trata la vida. Te caerás muchas veces estoy seguro, todos los hacemos, pero siempre te levantaras y el sabor de victoria siempre es dulce.

Y que emoción ya estamos a solo dos semanas de tu bautismo donde te estaremos presentando a Dios y la comunidad Católica. Y de una vez te sacaremos el chamuco que llevas dentro. Lol Te celebraremos en familia y que afortunado eres porque no solo tienes una pareja de padrinos si no dos parejas – yo y Carmen y también tu Tío Uriel Jr. y Tía Gloria. Así que tendrás muchos regalos y ayuda para el colegio cuando seas grande.

Ya compramos tu traje que te pondrás para el día de tu bautismo y espero que te sientas orgulloso cuando veas fotos de grande y sepas que en tu día del bautismo de pusimos un traje súper típico y muy Mexicano. ¡Si Señor! En otra ocasión subiré fotos.

Y naciste cuando los “selfies” son tan populares. Un día te deje mi teléfono para que jugaras y te tomaste muchos selfies. Mira para que lo recuerdes:

Seguirán pasando los meses y años donde nos enseñaras nuevas cosas que vas aprendiendo pero no diré que estoy ansioso por llevarte a la escuela y verte jugar tus primeros juegos en el deporte que tu decidas jugar porque me estaré haciendo un mal y no permitiré vivir el momento contigo. Todo llegara cuando tiene que llegar.

Me alegra mucho ver cómo te desarrollas y ver que eres un bebe sano. Gracias Dios por darte sabiduría y salud.

Continuare escribiéndote cartas abiertas más seguido pero el tiempo no me deja a veces. Algún día entenderás que el tiempo es lo más valioso que tenemos como personas y me gusta tomarme el tiempo en mis días largos para escribirte.

Con Cariño,

Tío Tavo

Fue un grato regalo haber recibido el nuevo libro de la reconocida Chef Lorena García, bueno se lo mandaron a mi novia Carmen de Latino Fit Club pero lo que es de ella es mío. Jajá Y lo mío es mío! Jajá Lol. No se crean estoy bromeando y ella lo sabe pero si estaremos compartiendo este gran regalo y cocinando juntos. Manos a la obra muy pronto y estaremos compartiendo nuestras creaciones con ustedes, claro gracias a la guía de Lorena y sus recetas.

Se acercan las fiestas de fin de año y este será el libro perfecto para apantallar con nuestra comida que llevemos a las reuniones con familiares y amigos.

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Ella es una de los chefs favoritos de los Estados Unidos quien ofrece a todos los entusiastas y fanáticos de los tacos una nueva y saludable manera de preparar esta deliciosa comida típica de América Latina!  Nuevos Tacos Clásicos disponible a nivel nacional.

Nacida en Venezuela, García es conocida como un personaje de la televisión debido a sus múltiples participaciones en series como “The Biggest Loser”, donde fue jefe de cocina, como juez e inversionista en el show de NBC “America’s Next Great Restaurant “, y además concursante en “Top Chef Masters”, juez de “Top Chef” y ” Guy’s Grocery Games “, así como de “Top Chef Estrellas”, Sazón con Lorena García, Lorena En Su Salsa, y en El Mejor de los Peores. Lorena además es propietaria de restaurantes, creo el famoso menú Cantina para Taco Bell en el 2012 y recientemente lanza la colección de artículos de cocina, que llevan su propio nombre, Lorena Bella Kitchen Collection, una línea de utensilios de cocina que vende a través de HSN, además de ser autor del libro Nuevos Clásicos Latinos.

En Nuevos Tacos Clásicos, Lorena García explora y reinventa no sólo el taco tradicional, pero también otras delicias de Latinoamérica como lo son las arepas, tamales, las tostadas y los nachos; creando fusiones únicas Latinas así como no Latinas. García de-construye el tradicional taco y se centra en el único tema que es fundamental para este tipo de alimentos de las calles de México, Venezuela, Ecuador, Puerto Rico y Cuba: el concepto de la comida en un vehículo. Con este tema en mente, García construye el taco como base, y muestra a cualquier persona como poder crear esos tacos paso a paso.

“Tan simple como puedan parecer un taco, una arepa o un tamal, contienen más que un conjunto de ingredientes. Transmiten los grandes intangibles que distinguen nuestras historias, las notas de sabor de una ciudad en particular, los métodos de cocción de una región, para no mencionar los recuerdos compartidos de una familia… Los platos cuentan historias. Y a veces, esas historias hacen eco de los ritmos de un lugar o de una cultura en particular, en tanto que otras veces hacen eco de una mezcla de ritmos”, tomado de la introducción de Nuevos Tacos Clásicos de Lorena García.

A partir de la base, que es el maíz que se hace en un taco, una arepa, un sope, una empanada, o incluso un tamal ella luego se traslada a la gran variedad de rellenos y adiciones sin dejar atrás deliciosas recetas de acompañamientos perfectos. Con más de 100 recetas que incluye salsas, rellenos a base de proteína o vegetales, tortillas para tacos así como envueltos de maíz, hacen de este libro la perfecta variedad de platos tipos Latinos.

Dentro de este libro también encontraras coloridas fotos y fáciles pasó a paso de aquellas recetas que te sirven para tu día a día o para cuando tengas invitados en casa. Dependiendo de lo que la persona desea, la ocasión o los ingredientes disponibles, García le enseña al lector como dominar los elementos básicos del taco, y les muestra que existen infinitas posibilidades de mix-and-match o combinaciones con todos los alimentos. Si te apetece un plato tradicional de América Latina (como El clásico taco de concha dura o los Nachos de Carne Mechada) o un platillo tradicional (como la hamburguesa de arepa con patatas de aguacate o famoso pescado y patatas fritas / Fish & Chips), siempre hay algo nuevo que disfrutar en Nuevos Tacos Clásicos.

Puedes conseguir Nuevos Tacos Clásicos en todas tus librerías del país y también a través de:
http://www.penguin.com/book/nuevos-tacos-clasicos-de-lorena-garcia-by-lorena-garcia/9780451476920

Puedes seguir a Lorena García: 
www.cheflorenagarcia.com
Twitter: @lorenagarcia
www.facebook.com/LorenaGarciaOnline
Instagram: @cheflorena

Credito de Foto y Texto: The Dream Team Agency

As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 in the United States which is where I live, and it’s a time when people recognize the contributions of Hispanics and Latino Americans to the U.S. and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture I have done some deep reflection on my mixed-family status and confusing upbringing.

I enjoy learning about Latinos who have made significant contributions to the U.S. and I won’t start with the list of my favorites because we all have our own, but in the end we can all agree that there’s just not enough of them out there. And if there is I believe there’s not someone that we can relate to or has a similar story to ours.

As I sit here typing the following lengthy lines I ask myself some serious questions: Looking back at my life, is it okay that I celebrate my Latino heritage, which I am so proud of, but in a society that doesn’t fully accept me along with 11 million other immigrants? Or should these undocumented immigrants that sometimes feel torn between two worlds not celebrate? Yes, I understand I may be thinking overly out of the box or being extremely irrational, but it’s a sentiment that has been with me for the last several days.

Plus it’s a feeling that I cannot avoid to talk about when immigration has been at the forefront of national headlines almost daily, or at least it has been since Mr. Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the U.S.

Let me give you some background on my life. I was born in a “pueblo” called Jerez de Garcia Salinas in Zacatecas, Mexico. My parents are from a small “rancho” called “Los Reales” from that same state, which by the way I’ve heard is beautiful. My parents got married in “Los Reales”and came to the U.S. with their 5 children (including me – the youngest) in 1992. I went to school in California. I graduated from private schools for my Bachelors and Masters degrees here as well and have yet to return to Mexico. Yes, exactly 23 years that I haven’t gone back from when I arrived in September 16, 1992.

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4 years old in Zacetecas, MX.

To a certain extent I’ve had certain advantages, but hold on not really if I have worked my butt off, or some people would dare to tell me that I’ve had it easy. Easy in what way?

In high school I always pushed myself to be out of my comfort zone and to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses that none of my Latino peers would take, I was involved in activities and organizations with people that didn’t have the same upbringing as myself. Though, I looked like them because people always assume that I am Anglo or “white” by my light-skin and hidden Spanish accent, sometimes.

I was enrolled in AP courses because I wanted more for myself and dreamed of attending a 4-year university, but it was a struggle because I was learning material and history where Latinos were not a part of. There were never Latinos being brought up in textbooks or in discussions. My participation in the classroom was minimal because I was always intimidated by those who were more intelligent and I felt like my comments or feedback didn’t provide substance to a discussion because I couldn’t relate. Being the only Latino in a setting has always been a common denominator in many different situations in my life—still today.

I went off to a 4-year university and that same common denominator played out there as well. I attended college and it was there where my feelings of not belonging came into play even stronger because the amount of Latinos was low. We were the minority. I was there on a full-ride scholarship for which I will always feel blessed and appreciative, but I would question if I really deserved that as a Latino who many times in high school felt discouraged because of his background.

There’s always been this side of me that has continued to feel out place, unwelcome and many times simply confused as to how society puts so many restraints on having us reach our full potential and not to mention the negative stereotypes they categorize immigrants under. Yes, I know I preach motivation on my social media, but you know sometimes, like now, you dig deeper into your thoughts and you begin to realize that you’ve been trapped between two confusing worlds.

The two worlds make me question if I am American already since I have lived 23 years (wow, a lifetime) in this country without ever returning to my home country or if am I Mexican because I was born there, it’s in my blood and that’s where my family is from?

But, I can’t be American if I don’t possess proper legal documents to say that I’ve been accepted into this country. What constitutes being an American? A legal document that makes you entitled, which I don’t have or simply living and breathing a life in this country and partaking in all traditions, holidays, celebrations and lifestyle here?

Or, am I only Mexican, but I’ve lived in the states pretty much all my life? I won’t ask anymore questions.

I recognize that at times I have been blessed beyond my imagination and I’ve been placed in situations where I’ve had people support me fully and such was the case when I studied a Masters in another private institution, but again there I questioned my complete racial identity because I was the only Latino in some of my lecture rooms and at times there was no place where I felt safe. Yes, I had allies and supporters which I am still grateful for, but that sentiment of being torn between two worlds still existed.

Now I work in the auto industry in yet another setting where the majority of people don’t have the same background as mine. Sometimes I can’t relate nor feel comfortable with my co-workers when I participate in international meetings with associate’s overseas or in the office, find it difficult to learn lingo and abbreviations that I had never heard before, partake in projects that are completely new to me and simply not have someone that understands my background is terrifying at times.

I’ve embraced change and I know it’s good, but I feel I wasn’t well equipped for some of my life experiences, but I guess the saying, “you live and learn” applies here.

I know I have done a lot, but I am my worst enemy because I expect so much of myself, such as always wanting to give 150% and that’s such a bad quality to have if it is not managed rationally.

It’s such an odd feeling that thankfully now I have begun to learn how to manage, but at first when I started working in a completely new setting at my current role I would ask myself, “Why am I here? No one understands where I come from? Am I worth being here when I do not have the same background as so many people here?” But, I have learned to adapt and accept that I was chosen for my diversity that I bring to the table and should be more appreciative of the company that has welcomed me.

Though through all this it still leaves me hanging and having me ask the same question from above about it being okay to celebrate my Latino heritage if I’ve never visited Mexico and all I know about it is what I have learned from my family, friends and information I research on the internet. It could just be me, but I just find it interesting how I could be so proud of something if I have never been immersed in it. Don’t misinterpret my lines, I love my heritage and background, but why must I still feel so lost between the two worlds? Will I ever come to fully understand my position?

Maybe I am over-analyzing my whole situation, but I know there must be a reason why I have come up with this analytical post and maybe one person can relate.

Yes, I love my traditional Mexican food, listening to “banda” and “corridos” music, drinking tequila, going to “charreadas and rodeos,” celebrating Mexican holidays such as “Rosca de Reyes” and “Dia de los Muertos” and speaking Spanish, but I am also a full participant of celebrating 4th of July, watching the Super Bowl, celebrating Thanksgiving, speaking English, eating American food, listening to country music and the life that I have built in a country that has given me so much.

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27 years old in California, U.S.

I don’t see myself moving back to Mexico, although it’s crossed my mind many times, but for what, what kind of future can I expect there? Don’t get me wrong I want to visit on a vacation and fully immerse myself into its gastronomy, history, colorful “pueblos”, beautiful topography, music and everything it has to offer, that is one of my dreams.

I promise to stop giving myself such a hard time for being an — undocumented immigrant like many of you. What for? We belong here – in the land of immigrants that has shaped this country for the best.

Furthermore, I deny the fact that I have betrayed my home country because it was not a decision that I took. It was a decision that was taken by my parents and family.

I will stop questioning if I should celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month because I should for all of those that have contributed so much to this great society. I will work on myself and when the time comes, one day, when I have fully immersed into both worlds that will no longer be broken I will be celebrating some of the bigger contributions that I was able to give back to this country that has given me boundless opportunities.

I will start by fully embracing going into meetings with VP’s, Executives and Corporate Managers where it’s very corporate-like and we’re all dressed-up in suits to shifting to another world that is also mine of stepping into my Mexican home with mom’s specialty and delicious Mexican dishes, where the main language that is spoken there is Spanish, in the background you can hear “telenovelas” playing and where it always feels like there’s 100 people speaking when there’s only 5 of us. Lol

I continue to stay hopeful for a positive change in American society where we are no longer marginalized and are given the opportunity to reach our full potential. One day I will be able to say that I am fully American when I receive the necessary documents that will back me up legally and fully Mexican when I can go back to my roots. For now I will fully embrace and accept this opportunity that has me lost between two worlds because this feeling, I know, is temporary.

And to you reading this blog never allow anyone bring you down. Stay proud of your unique story, your heritage and your culture because no one can take that away from you. You are who you make yourself to be and no one can ever change that. I have always felt proud of my background, I’ve had questions and doubts –yes, but have never buried my pride.

Maybe my story will help a person going through a similar situation and I want you to know that things do get better. But sometimes you must go through the worst to get to that positive point, but it happens. And when you do you’ll learn to value everything 10 times more and the experiences that have shaped you.

I will erase the concept “ni de aqui, ni de alla” from my head and will remind myself that I belong in both worlds even if they seem confusing and torn at the moment!

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Dime Media and Coca-Cola. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

A person’s name is very important because it defines their personality, but a last name, I think, holds so much more significance and value because it carries an origin, heritage and will forever leave a legacy behind for our younger family members.

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#AVivirLA which embodies living and celebrating life aligned very well with Coca-Cola’s initiative of embracing Latino pride in their family name and culture. It’s neat that Coca-Cola saw the value their products bring to important moments in Hispanic families’ lives and that it wants to continue making new memories with us. This is why Coca-Cola is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, to unite families through their last name and empower them to share the story of why their family name makes them unique and #OrgullosoDeSer as they share their #[InsertLastName].

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At my doorstep!

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Worth the wait!

My last name “Gutierrez” is a well-known and popular one that dates back to centuries ago in Spain and although I don’t recall being told that I have Spanish ancestry I am sure I do. My last name comes from my paternal grandfather. I’ve always been told that I could pass for being from Spain and must have some European blood in me and people are probably correct, but I haven’t confirmed this.

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My family [Gutierrez]!

My last name gives me a lot of pride and ever since I can remember I recall pronouncing my name with thick Spanish accent. I dislike making it sound Anglo because it loses its value and heritage. I am a believer of being proud of where you come from and it all starts with your last name. I love being Mexican-American. Love it!

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Very nice! #ShareACoke

My grandfather and father came to the states in the mid 1960’s to work in the agricultural fields of California. My grandfather and father were season workers and would spend 6 months in the states and 6 months in Mexico with the family. I am originally from a small ranch in Zacatecas called “Los Reales”, but was born in a nearby town called Jerez de Garcia Salinas about one hour away from my parent’s ranch.

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My Father: Uriel Gutierrez Sr.

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Loving my personalized bottles!

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Showing off my #Gutierrez Coca Cola swag!

I was born in Mexico and in 1992 as a very young child I came to the states for the first time with my parents and 4 siblings. My father has always been a great source of inspiration for me because of his hard work and ethics, self-less soul, humbleness and desire to give his family a very comfortable lifestyle within his reach. I admire my father very much and it’s rewarding to know that I can share that with him nowadays!

Coca-Cola has always been a strong component in our “fiestas” (gatherings) such as weddings, baptisms, birthdays and it only makes sense that they are making Latinos feel prouder than ever about their heritage by celebrating one of our biggest sources of pride – our last names.

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A special anecdote that I share with my siblings while we lived in Zacatecas was visiting the nearby “tiendita de abarrotes” (convenient store) and buying “coquitas” (small bottles of Coca-Cola) and some “birote” (French bread). We would sit outside the store and pour the Coca-Cola inside the bread and drink it from there. Then we would eat the soggy bread with Coca-Cola flavor. It was delicious!

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California weather, palm trees and an Ice Cold Coca Cola!

To start off this campaign, Coca-Cola created a unique short film that embraces the feelings of pride that come from our last names. Families in the film share their individual stories and history, and display their pride by applying a temporary tattoo of their last name using the Coca-Cola Heritage Tattoo can. I enjoyed the tribute to all Latinos because it definitely transported me back to Los Reales, Zacatecas and evoked a nostalgic feeling for my ranch, humble home and family members left behind in Mexico. This video made take a few minutes off my busy schedule and remind me of where I come from so that I have a better vision of where I want to go in life. Thank you Coca-Cola.

Although the tattoo cans are not available for purchase because they were only created for promotional purposes for the video, families can visit www.coke.com/OrgulloseDeSer to purchase a “Share a Coke” contour bottle personalized with your last name to share that pride with the world. It’s obvious we’re Hispanics and we bring so much flavor and richness to any area that we’re a part of, wouldn’t you all agree?

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Coca Cola in the pool!

While going through the online experience of searching for my own personalized bottle I realized my last name is very unique and would not be available in stores so that made me feel extra special and I had to create a virtual bottle that would then get delivered to my home. Visit the “Share a Coke” site to create your personalized contour bottle.

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I loved receiving my personalized “Share a Coke” bottle that I am having second thoughts about opening it because I want to save it for the longest time possible as a keepsake and quick reminder of my prideful culture, origin, identity and family journey. It will sit on the kitchen island so that I see it every day and especially on those rough days when life throws curveballs to know how far my family and I have come.

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Coca Cola celebrates #HispanicHeritageMonth and my Personalized Coke looks great on top of The Latino List book on my coffee table!

Please share your unique story with the hashtag #OrgulloseDeSer on social media!

What is your last name and the story behind it? I would love to hear more about you and your heritage. Please share in the comments below…

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La Chef Claudia Sandoval es una verdadera representante de la lucha de las mujeres Latinas en EE.UU. y un gran ejemplo de que las madres solteras pueden hacer todo por sus hijos. AVivirLA tuvo la oportunidad de platicar con la aspirante al ambicioso set de cocina internacional en la sexta temporada de MasterChef. Ella posiblemente será la ganadora de esta sexta temporada cuando la final sea en tres semanas y allí mismo ha resaltado las recetas de nuestra cultura a nivel internacional.

Además si llegara a ser ganadora se convertiría en la primera representante latina en ganar la competencia. Sería una gran sorpresa verla ganar esta temporada de MasterChef ya que coincidiría con el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, y honestamente es una de las seis más fuertes participantes gracias a que mantiene sus raíces y tradiciones vivas. Siempre lo he dicho que cuando nos sentimos orgullosos de dónde venimos, eso nos ayuda a llegar más lejos.

unnamed Platicamos de todo un poco en español y termínanos hablando ingles durante nuestra entrevista y durante toda la plática Claudia no dejo de demostrar lo emocionada que se encuentra.

¿Cómo te sientes de será una de las finalistas de MasterChef y la única latina?

Claudia: Cuando audicione les dije que yo quería ser la primera latina que ganara MasterChef porque nunca ha llegado una latina tan lejos. Me siento tan emocionada que se me eriza la piel de tan solo pensarlo. Que orgullo poder representar nuestra cultura. Nuestra deliciosa comida. Es bonito recibir mensajes todos los días desde niños, niñas, mamas, papas solteros, y de todo el mundo. Me mandan mensajes por todas las redes sociales diciéndome de que los inspiro a regresar a la cocina, sea por mi forma de ser, o sea por la comida.

How are you making sure you keep your Hispanic/Latino culture alive on MasterChef?

Claudia: By bringing up so many of those flavors that I grew up with. Sometimes I may be using techniques that are a little more French or a little more European – however I make sure that I never leave that Hispanic flavor. I bring that fire-y, vivacious Latina flavor in and I am always laughing and having a great time because I think that is so representative of our culture. Were such happy people. We’re such a vibrant part of the community and I am happy to bring that across in the competition as well.

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What has been your favorite experience on MasterChef?

Claudia: Being able to win the mystery box episode were exceptionally big for me. It was definitely very exciting for me. Not only was I the first one in this whole season to win a mystery box, but I was able to spend time with the actual champions from the previous seasons and to be able to pick their brains as to what has led them to their success and to be able to spend time with them was invaluable for me.

I know you are from Mazatlán. So, what is your favorite mariscos dish?

Claudia: We’re actually from a little ranch called Barron, which is by the airport. And one of my favorite dishes is Aguachile.

It was fun to talk about “mariscos” on the day of our interview because we both ended up having seafood that evening in our own homes.

Where does your passion for the culinary arts come from?

Claudia: I don’t think it’s something that I’ve discovered recently. I think that I’ve always had a passion for food. I grew up around food. My mom and my grandmother would always cook. I personally believe that my passion comes from my family.

If you were to win as a finalist of MasterChef how would it make you feel?

Claudia: Are you trying to make me cry right now? Lol. That’s an amazing question because I think that this competition has the potentiality of changing me and my daughter’s life. So much so that I think about it often and I always think about the fact that if this was to happen for me and my daughter we would be able to move out of our one-bedroom apartment. We would no longer need to share a bed. She would have her own bedroom and bed. I have struggled so much in life. I left my marriage with absolutely nothing, but what I could fit in a couple of bags and everything that is in my apartment was given to me or sold to me at a very low cost. If I were to win it would be amazing and a blessing.

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Is there one ingredient that you do not like to cook with?

Claudia: You know what I am not a fan of higado (liver). All that very iron-rich bloodish stuff. For some reason higado I don’t know. I can’t. Lol

Le deseo a Claudia la mejor de las suertes y le recordé que Dios tiene un plan para todos y que si estaba en el plan de Dios ganaría. Me comento que ella siempre lo dejaba todo en sus manos antes de subir al escenario. ¡Vamos con todo!

No te pierdas MasterChef que se transmite todos los miércoles en el canal FOX en horario 8/7 centro.

Puedes seguir a la Chef Claudia Sandoval en sus redes sociales:

https://twitter.com/Claud_Oval

https://instagram.com/claud_oval

https://www.facebook.com/chefclaudiascocina

Immigrants come from all over the world to the US, and they are a hugely important part of the US economy. The types of jobs immigrants take varies from place to place.

The American Community Survey is run annually by the Census Bureau and asks about many aspects of American life. We took a look at the interaction between two questions from the survey: a question asking where respondents were born and a question about which occupation the respondent had.

We worked with individual-level responses from 2013, assembled and processed by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program. We found the most commonly held occupation among people who responded that they were born in a country other than the US:

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Text and photo courtesy of Business Insider.

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