LatinaLista — Throughout history, the immigration experience has always been a bittersweet experience. People in search of a better quality of life leave behind friends, family and in many cases, children, wives and husbands. Yet, in every case, immigrants have come to the United States to create their own opportunities to achieve that quality of life that everyone instinctually knows is their right.
Before long, the memory of arriving in the United States for the first time is nothing more than that — a memory. It becomes a piece of proud family history that is relived among the generations at family reunions, around the dinner table at holiday gatherings and whenever the topic of immigrants “invading” the country is parroted by ignorant politicians and racist loud-mouths.
This June debuts National Immigrant Heritage Month. It is the first-ever celebration of the rich value immigrants bring to the United States. In this first observance, a whole slew of activities have been created for people to easily and proudly share their immigrant experience — regardless of how far back those stories go.
People are encouraged to share their story by taking a photo of:
An object, recipe, heirloom or tradition.
A letter or document that tells the story of how or why your family came to the US
A family photo that represents your heritage.
A photo dating back to your family’s first generation in the US.
All month long, various Latinos will be sharing their family’s story of immigration. Among the first is Dominican American actress Dania Ramirez. Ramirez stars in the Eva Longoria-produced Lifetime show “Devious Maids.” In this candid look at her parents’ struggle to achieve their American Dream, Ramirez shares some deeply personal feelings, beginning with the fact that she was only six months old when her parents left her behind in the Dominican Republic to go to New York City and didn’t reunite with her until she was 10 years old.