Low Self Esteem – How Young Latinos View Themselves

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I read a fascinating article about a Latino club helping improve students self-esteem and their grades.

Bowling Green Junior High School Latino Club Helps Improve Grades, Self-Esteem

Listen to some of the quotes from the article by young Latino students on how they view themselves:

  • “One of the things that happens with Latino kids is they are marginalized,” Light said. “They are growing up in two different cultures. At home, you are expected to follow the traditional Latino culture and be respectful. Your parents depend on you to make the family come through; education is everything. That’s a lot of pressure on these kids.“
  • Then they come here — especially the girls — and see the American culture where the kids will talk back to a teacher. They see all kinds of things on TV about how the American culture is so much more liberal,” she said. “They want to fit in, but by the same token, they know they have to obey their parents. Which culture do they belong to? They’re on the margin.”
  • “I don’t want anybody to say I’m a Latina, so it’s expected. That is the most irritating thing I could ever hear,” she said. “These kids are second-generation like me. If I can, I want to ease their pain and not have them go through what I went through.”
  • “A lot of times when people look at México, they look at the bad stuff,” she said. “They don’t look at the pretty stuff like the beach, the culture, the dance and the food.”
  • “Kids will say, ‘You are in America, speak English,’” Lidia said. “I tell them I will speak the way I want. Spanish is our first language.”
  • “People think Mexicans are an additional burden and that we are here to take away jobs,” she said. “That is not what we are about.”
  • “We want people to know we are not lazy or drunk all the time and we don’t ride donkeys all over the place,”
  • “We want people to know that we are not what they say we are,” Castillo said. “We’re not dirty Mexicans.”

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Posted on September 18, 2010

About destinoeric

A white guy who believes Latinos will change the world, Destinoeric served with Destino from 2008-2013. You can read more of his posts here or on twitter.

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