This assignment of self-reflection has become a gateway to what I have known, as well as what I would like to further explore. Numerous interviews with close and distant family members have given me a lens to understand my lineage, and it has given me fresh perspectives about the future. Over generations and time periods, my family’s history has taken turns through wars, economic strife and sacrifice.
My parents were the source of the bulk of my information that developed. My mother, Maria, who was born in San Diego, California had a deep understanding of our lineage and provided me with invaluable information toward my heritage. My father was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since both of my parents are close in age and cultural backgrounds, I have noticed many similarities in their upbringings and traditions. These commonalities have contributed to the values, beliefs, and traditions that are ingrained in our progressive practices, and have remained omnipresent for each generation moving forward.
My family members migrated to make a life for themselves, just as many others have sought the American dream. Their footprints mark a trail of sacrifice. On my mother’s side of the family my grandmother migrated to the United States from an area called, Colonia Libertad, which is a district in Mexico near Tijuana. My grandfather was born in the United States, but was raised most of his young life with family in Tecate, Mexico. My grandfather served our country’s military in the Korean War and received a Purple Heart during his term in service. He later went to college and became an auto technician, while my grandmother later earned her American Citizenship and was a loving stay-at-home mom for four children and eventually seven grandchildren.
On my father’s side, my grandmother was born in a small town called, Long Mott, Texas and my grandfather was born in Monterey, Mexico but raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. My grandfather on this side had also fought and received a Purple Heart for being wounded in battle during the Korean War. Post service, he became a welder for iron shipyards and eventually for the San Diego Gas and Electric Company for more than 30 years. My grandmother, as all my grandparents did, grew up during The Great Depression era of America. With an 8th grade education, my grandmother grew up picking cotton, berries and other fruit before working at a laundromat with relatives for a bit. However, once she married my grandfather, she became an amazing full time stay at home mom for her six kids, five grandchildren, and eventually five great-grandchildren.
I was very excited to learn about both my great-grandparents and even my great-great-grandparents on from mother’s family. My great-grandparents on my mother’s side had both been from Sinaloa, Mexico. My great-grandmother had been an entrepreneur running a restaurant, while my great-grandfather had worked for the railroad company in Mexico.
My great-great grandparents on my mother’s side also lived in Sinaloa, Mexico. I learned only that they were in the service industry and that my great-great grandfather had been executed during the time of the Mexican Revolution, forcing my great-great grandmother flee the city to seek refuge.
On my father’s side, my great-grandmother was from Matamoros, Mexico and my great grandfather was from Monterey, Mexico. At the age of 17, he migrated to Texas and eventually became the owner of a general supplies Store.
The concepts of values, ethics, and beliefs come to my mind when I think of the generations of family past and present. There is a lot to admire and reflect on, from the hard work and dedication that my parents and grandparents demonstrated, to the value of an education and the dedication and determination needed to pursue those types of ambitions. I admire my ancestors for striving to be independent, yet staying united with those closest to you. I admire my ancestors for being kind, honest, and generous to others, and also for encouraging faith in any capacity and being supportive toward others and accountable for those you care about, including yourself. This process of exploring my family has allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation for not only where I have come from, but for the future and what that will hold for generations to come.
The insight throughout working on this assignment has helped me realize that in many facets of being a journalist I can look forward to covering news in a diverse community. By not only being bilingual, but just having a very open mind on customs and traditions that not only involve my own culture, but of those around me and around the world for that matter. The approach needed to go into a community outside of your own are precautionary in regard toward having and demonstrating the proper respect and understanding of a foreign culture and community in the process. If any lesson were to be learned or taught within the news media, it is the example that you have to be willing to adjust, comply and keep an open mind when experiencing and encountering such diversity.