What it Means to be Latina in a Pandemic

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Maylene Diaz

Reporter Jaylene Garcia takes her staff photo on Zoom.

Jaylene Garcia, Staff Writer

Coming into 2020, I didn’t expect a pandemic to occur. 

As a proud Latina of Mexican culture being in a pandemic is stressful and it gives me anxiety to know that I don’t have the same opportunities that I had before. COVID-19 has changed my life and everyday it keeps changing. 

60 million Latinos live in the United States, that’s 18% of the population. 

In the United States, the number of Latinos pursuing higher education grew from 22% to 37% of Latino high school graduates. In the industry and occupational employment, 16.1% work and are employed Latinos. 

Junior, Andres Garcia, is a proud Latino who’s proud of his roots and his background. 

“For me, being a Latino is my family, religion, my roots, the unity between, and the actions I’m making means a lot and I accept it,” said Garcia.

Being a Latina or Latino is different for everyone and embracing the culture and background is expressed in many ways. 

Junior, Allison Elizalde is proud to be Latina and loves her culture.  

“I think being a Latina in 2020 is a very powerful thing. Especially with everything going on with racism. I feel empowered to express my ethnicity,” said Elizalde. 

When you’re proud about who you are and your ethnicity, you represent your culture and commemorate it with your family. 

Senior, Ernie Martinez celebrates original traditions with his family. 

“Other than Mexican dishes that show others we are unique, we also have traditions that we Mexicans do in parties and different holidays,” said Martinez. 

Elizalde expresses her own way of commemorating her community. 

“We honestly celebrate with our culture’s music and a lot of food,” said Elizalde. 

In the previous years, the Hispanic community has changed and in some aspects it has stayed the same. 

Junior, Andres Garcia feels differently. 

“The events and the way we do it has not changed but it changed because of this whole COVID-19. Everything we usually do was not able to be done and it was cancelled,” said Garcia. 

Elizalde, Martinez, and Garcia all show how they are proud of their culture and not ashamed of embracing it to others. In their own unique way, they show what it means to be a Latina/Latino in  2020. 

“Everyone should be proud of their culture and not ashamed to express it,” said Elizalde. 

With COVID or without, I will embrace my culture and that I’m a Latina and know that I shouldn’t feel ashamed of it but show it many ways that I can.