Chuy's Chu on This: The Latin Community

By: Saleena Justine

February 6, 2019
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Chuy was born in Mexico and moved to the US when he was 4 years old— and it’s been home ever since! I was curious… Did he grow up in a traditional household? “A traditional household…I guess?! We spoke Spanish and weren’t allowed to speak English.” He later said he and his family “always had tortillas, rice, and beans—traditional as it gets”! 

Any special traditions? They did Posadas at Christmas time, which is a religious ceremony that is prominent in Mexico. Along with other Catholic traditions, they also did the baptisms and first communions. And as far as celebrations go— his sister had a quinceanera. For his own children, one daughter wants a quinceanera, whereas the other wants a car instead. To each their own! When asked if he had carried on any other traditions with his family, he said that growing up, both of his daughters did folkloric dancing (one still continues to do it).  

Why is it important for you to be that voice and advocate for the Latin community? “It’s important because some people try to assimilate too much and I think that we all—in some way or form— assimilate, but don’t lose who you are as you try to assimilate. You cant be something you’re really not, so there is no reason to hide it. If anything, accentuate it and bring light to it.” 

Have you ever experienced unfair discrimination because of your ethnic background? “I think we all have, in some way or another. But, I never used it as a crutch…if anything, it makes you work harder…” 

For those that have or are currently are facing those hardships, what would be your advice to them?  “Look within yourself. You always find the power within yourself, if you really look for it… at the end of the day, it’s who you are, it’s what defines you…be proud of it.”