'Where Are You From?'
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

'Where Are You From?'

My parents are immigrants from El Salvador but I was born in the U.S. Being from one does not make me less than from the other.

8
'Where Are You From?'
Diversity News Magazine

Williams College’s treasured Mountain Day tradition consists of a random Friday in October in which the president decides it is too nice to go to classes. Instead, there is a day of activities and hikes. At the top of the mountain, students are awaited with apple cider, donuts, and acapella performances. We are encouraged to introduce ourselves to someone we don’t know.

When I made it up to the mountain, I saw President Adam Falk standing by himself, enjoying the view and the good Mountain Day vibe. I gathered the courage to introduce myself. The former chair of the board for the college hired him and taught at my high school, so I figured I had a solid conversation starter. He asked me about my classes and how I was enjoying my overall time at Williams. The conversation was going smoothly. Then he asked me where I was from and I said California. He said, “No, where are you from?”

I was struck and didn’t really know how to answer. Then I said, “Um… well my parents are from El Salvador”. He nodded and smiled, satisfied with getting the answer he wanted. “Do you visit family back there often?” he asked. I responded, “No. I have actually never been… But I have always wanted to go and learn more”. “Yeah, that would be great. I am sure you could do it in the future. And I can relate. My grandparents were immigrants”. I don’t remember how the conversation ended because I was still trying to process this.

What exactly does an American look like? What exactly do I look like? What made him assume that the place I was born, California, U.S.A., was not where I was from? I have never been to El Salvador, so I believe it would be an injustice to say I was from there. I am descended from there, but I am Salvadoran-American. America is a country of immigrants. This means that anything that does not fit your view of the standard American should not be considered abnormal or automatically determined “other” because of what you perceive. Pardon me, but I also do not think that you can relate to my experience with having immigrant parents. I have seen my mother broken down in tears because her entire body hurts from working two labor-intensive jobs cleaning hotel rooms and preparing food. I have seen my father unemployed and struggling to find a job because he is undocumented and no place will take him. I have lived my mother’s childhood stories through the taste of platanos con crema, casamiento, tamales, pupusas, pastelitos, yuca frita con chicharón, atol de elote, Kolashampan.

I have worked twice as hard as some of my peers to get to Williams. And I do not say that for praise or acceptance. I say that because it is a fact that I believe needs to be recognized at an institution that was not established for a student like me: low-income, first-gen, Latina.

Do not get me wrong. I take extreme pride in being a Latina and having parents who come from El Salvador. What bothers me is the fact that you already have something in mind about what an American looks like. What bothers me is the fact that by not looking like that ideal, you already categorize me as separate. What bothers me is that you assumed my place of origin and you assumed that I had the economic access to stay in touch with my mother’s country.

I am another student attempting to achieve in the world of higher education. I am first-generation. I am low-income. I am from East Menlo Park. I am from the Bay Area. I am from California, which is in the United States. But my parents are from El Salvador. And I take pride in that. I am Salvadoran-American.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

163047

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

58878

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

206217

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Last night on "The Bachelorette," Yosef (aka the guy who was accused of sliding into women's DMs before the show began filming) continued his streak of red flags by calling Clare "crazy."

To give you a little more context, this red flag happened after Clare got very upset with the guys on her group date for not making an effort to speak to her one-on-one when the opportunity arose and an awkward silence ensued. Because of this, she was clearly embarrassed and ended up having to ask them to ask her to go for a walk, which was... painful to watch (and probably to live out).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

123854

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

The Best Air Fryers To Gift THAT Person In Your Life Who Always Cooks For You

I use mine more than my oven, toaster, and microwave combined.

1780
NBC

It took me a long time to understand what the point of an air fryer really was. Couldn't I just bake something and get the same consistency?

My opinions took a total 180 when several years ago my mom made some delicious, homemade crispy fries. I was shocked when she told me she made them in her air fryer. Without a single drop of oil, they felt crispy and indulgent, unlike anything I have been able to achieve in an oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Deleted Social Media For A Week And My Mood Instantly Improved

I removed the digital pressures from my life and it made a huge difference.

944

From the time I downloaded Instagram until now, the world that is social media has drastically changed. I remember being 13 years old and posting several pictures a day — whenever, whatever I wanted to. Whether it was an unedited selfie or a screenshot of somebody's Notes App with the caption "Repost for good luck!" my social media journey started out as casual and exciting.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

18 Of The Best 'The Bachelorette' Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up Season 16, Episode 2

"Cast an older bachelorette they said, she'll be more mature they said."

1903

"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's premiere. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less

As a teenage girl, I can safely say that a pregnancy scare is horrifying. I'm not one to say that becoming a young parent is bad, but for many, it is not the ideal situation to be in. Going through a pregnancy scare leads to a lot of unwanted worries until that period comes, or a test reads "positive."

Keep Reading... Show less

Being an inexperienced tumbler, I have had my fair share of mental blocks. There have been weeks where I can't even do a back walkover properly — I tense up and freeze. I thought that saying that my mental block wasn't real would make it go away, but it didn't. The reason? I didn't believe it. I just said it and hoped for the best, all while knowing that I wasn't going to do whatever skill I was struggling with. It frustrated me and made me so insecure about the progress I was making even when I was told that I was doing well. All I saw were the mistakes and times I didn't try at all.

Keep Reading... Show less

Struggling to find the perfect Halloween costume? No worries, just think of all your exes. I know it is frightening, but that's what makes it the PERFECT Halloween costume.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Spooky Dating Drinking Game To Get Boo-zed Up With Your Pumpkin This Halloween

Beware: you'll be summoning the ghosts of exes past.

13020

Halloween 2020 is going to be pretty different, but that doesn't mean the ghost stories have to social distance themselves. In fact, after a year like this one, what's a few more horror stories to add to the mix? If you and your partner dare, this boo-zy drinking game will definitely add a little spook into your All Hallows' Eve plans. Think you're brave enough to share your scariest dating stories with your pumpkin this October 31? You've come to the right spot.

This is the Ultimate Spooky Dating Drinking Game. Here's how it works:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments