Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day America (...From Mexico With Love)

What a beautiful morning!  I am feeling so lucky to be alive and to have the blessing of belonging to two countries.  I was born, raised and educated in Mexico where until today all of my family is still there.  I moved to the United States 4 months after I married my husband, Dan, in Mexico and my journey to become an American began. 
I decided that I would learn everything I could about my new country, starting with the language.  That was not easy - it did not matter that I took 3 years of English in college, when I came to this country I was tested to only a 2nd year level of functional English.  I knew a lot about the fight for American independence, the 13 colonies and the White House.  I still remember reading everything I could find about its government, history, etc. but I was in awe – there were no words to describe my amazement when I arrived here.  I had heard about ‘The Land of the Free’ and ‘The Land of Opportunities’ - but now it was all real!
26 years have passed now and I have been advocating, learning and making sure that I do this country proud.  Since my arrival I have always felt a responsibility to make sure that the people who came before me did not sacrifice their lives and efforts in vain.  I love this country very much and feel honored to represent it positively in any way possible.
 I know it is not perfect, but this country has made the dreams of thousands of people a reality.  We have the freedom to be ourselves, worship how we desire and travel any place we want - the list can go on and on.  However, this 4th of July remember that many brave and courageous soldiers have died defending this country for us to enjoy this freedom.  So when things are not going the way you want, don't nag, gossip, complain or get apathetic.  We all have the responsibility make a difference in this country and change it for the better.  Like I said before, you don't have to go far away to do it.  Start with your family by teaching them respect for this country.  Teach them family values and a good work ethic by your example.  Show them that you love them by actions - don't buy the all those expensive toys and technology devices… in the end they will not remember those material things.  They will remember the times you spent with them, working, playing, making memories and having quality time together.

The strength and the beauty of this country does not lay in Capitol Hill or anywhere else in Washington DC; or in state and local leaders who direct this country - but in the power and voices of the individuals that live in this country.  We, as a whole, have the responsibility to teach these values in our homes, schools and churches to the next generation of American children so they grow up knowing that they need to take an active part to make a difference.  We, as adults, need to be involved in community issues as active participants in our children's education and partners with our schools and communities to better our school systems.  

My new friend Lucero sell baskets to help her family.
Teach everyone about the needs of other countries and how children die every 20 minutes from diseases easily preventable by vaccines.  Teach compassion, empathy for others who are suffering from a lack of good nutrition and educational opportunities while appreciating their need to work to help sustain their families.  Most importantly: remember all children need a role model.   

I love our country and want to help do everything in my power to make it better!  God Bless America!  I am in Mexico this summer visiting the country where I was born, raised, studied and served when I lived here.  I love my heritage, my roots and I am and always proud to be a Mexican.  It was in Mexico where I became an advocate and learned that my voice had power and that it was my responsibility to make my community better.  In a sense I am very lucky because I can love 2 countries with the same passion and loyalty… but today I want to raise my hat to an amazing country, my country, The United States of America.  Happy Independence Day, America!  Happy Fourth of July!  I am very grateful and humbled to have this freedom and to live in this wonderful land where I can be the voice of many who cannot speak talk for themselves.