Lauren’s maternal grandmother immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in the 1950s. When sharing her experience going to elementary school in the United States, her grandmother shared how her older siblings were put in public Anglo schools. However, the teachers did not know how to teach Spanish-speaking children, and they were often made to sit in the corner, coloring while other children learned. After this experience, my great-grandparents began sending all their children to private Catholic schools where they were given a better education.
When my mother attended school in the 1970s, teachers requested that her parents avoid speaking Spanish in the household so that she would stop speaking Spanish and adopt English instead. As a result, my mother’s Spanish stagnated, and my uncle never learned the language.
I've never been comfortable with the term "Latina" as I look White, didn't grow up participating in Mexican traditions or even speaking Spanish. I've since begun practicing and teaching myself Spanish in order to reclaim my heritage.