Many people from our culture are afraid to come out and say “I am a Latino and I'm proud of it” because people from here have many stereotypes about Latinos. You want to know what does this fancy word “stereotypes” means? Stereotype is an idea or opinion about a group of people-- many stereotypes are racist, sexist, or homophobic. They make us afraid of who we are, they block our voice from talking about our ancestors because of the fear that others will laugh. Do not mind if you come from Mayans, Aztecs, Incas or if you are a mixture of other cultures, that's who you are. The stereotypes are sometimes the only things people know about our culture, a culture that means a lot for those who cares about it and respect it. I respect my heritage, my name, my history, and I care of how people see Latinos.
There are different ways to think and see the world, different opinions that people may have about us, los Latinos, who were born in Latin America, or Hispanics, those who speak Spanish. The struggles we had to go through ended up bringing us to this country, it doesn't matter where you came from, we have two things in common; the courage for survive and the desire to succeed. Have you ever been asked how big your family is? Or heard that all Latinos are Mexicans? Well, that’s what most people without knowledge ask. For example, I am Colombian and there are a lot of stories about Narcos and drugs. I remember one day there was a boy who assumed that I had drugs, just for being from Colombia. That’s part of a stereotype; people got this ideas from the media and the internet. There was a time my friend and I were walking and someone asked her if she speaks Mexican. It was a question asked in the wrong way and they are not the only ones, we have all done this before, asked a question in the wrong way. Latin America is a broad and composed of many different countries, like Puerto Rico, Argentina, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Cuba and many more. We all prefer people asking us all the time where are we from, than assuming that we are Mexican just because we speak Spanish. Even though Mexico is beautiful, we all come from different places. It is not our fault the little knowledge some people have about the diversity that exists in this world, however it is our job to make them know that we are not those who sell drugs, we are not those who came to steal jobs, we are not ambitious neither selfish. We came to survive because we need it and it is something that many people do not know how it feels.