In the Latin community, there are certain expectations for everyone. For example, it is expected that you get married and have children. It's expected that you go to church on Sundays.
It is also expected that you speak to one another in Spanish. This is an expectation I don't necessarily live up to.
My abuela took care of me when I was young and she always spoke to me in Spanish, so it was my first language. However, after being in school for a few years and speaking mostly English I had lost most of it.
Although I understand it well, speaking it is another story. When it comes to conjugating I struggle a lot. It is something I am insecure about and working on, but it always takes me aback when someone says something derogatory.
Over the past few years, I have noticed that I am not the only one who understands the language but has trouble speaking it. I have also seen people who don't usually speak Spanish get made fun of when practicing with someone who is fluent.
Not only is it rude to point these things out when the person is obviously trying their best, but it sets them a few steps back and makes it even more difficult for them to try again. If you're going to help someone learn, make sure you are pointing out their mistakes in a loving way rather than making a joke of it.
Along with having trouble with the language comes the stigma that not speaking Spanish makes you lesser than your other Latin peers.
Speaking Spanish is a big part of our culture, but not being able to doesn't mean that you are any less Latino.
We should all strive to make others feel welcome and included. After all, it is what Latinos do best.