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Through Mexican Eyes This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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My life has always been enveloped by the sweetness of the Mexican culture. Even though we have not always lived in the country, my parents have kept our roots deeply present wherever we go. As a little girl I always felt belonging in the chilaquiles mom made and the chocolate abuelita, (hot chocolate), that warmed the cold days. I can feel it now in my grandmother’s ashen eyes as she fervidly talks about her younger days and in all the colorful festivities like chocolate sprinkles on the days of our calendar.

But Mexican culture, in all its beauty and glory, also has its limits. I live in a society where there is a single way of thinking everyone is expected to share. Having lived for a great part of their lives in foreign places, my parents have never really seemed to fit in. From the moment we arrived, my mom has talked to us about the world outside the enclosed piece of sky that is our society. Amid the whispers of the night, she painted the skies of distant places that opened in my brothers and I a new thrill and curiosity for the world. Because of this global view and receptivity my parents inspired in us, I can now see the flaws of my enclosed society. I see the obnoxious way in which religion has been indoctrinated among my peers; incontrovertible and limited. How none of them question what they’ve been taught to know and literally cover their ears when a contradictory idea is proposed. I am disturbed by the lack of confidence and ambition my peers let shine; how one’s dream is everyone’s dream. I feel dismayed at the fact that some of my friends simply degrade themselves saying that it doesn’t matter how much effort the put in school and in themselves, because they’ll end up being housewives anyway.

I want to be the cause for inspiration and ambition. I want to be the emblem of possible. I want to help my peers and others and make them realize that they can live beyond what they think themselves capable of. My world has brimmed with support and “you can do it”s. All my teachers have believed in me and have challenged my full potential. Along with my parents who have shed tears of pride and love behind my every step, they have unclothed my authenticity. I want to bring forth that conviction and self-worth in others.

I yearn to see the world and expand my small viewing glass of the world. So, taking chilaquiles and chocolate abuelita by the hand, I will explore the world outside and bring back a bigger piece of sky.

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