The one piece of advice that all Latinas need for success
Latinas, although we come from different countries, we are all united by similar attitudes, values, experiences and goals. The topic of immigration - leaving our countries and loved ones behind and having to adapt to a new culture - is something that we all share.
The conversations captured during a recent challenge that we hosted in the MamásLatinas community embodies what so many of us have felt during our period of transition as we adjust to our new world - desperation, isolation, discrimination, doubt, helplessness, no self-worth, alone. Check out the challenge here.
We have so many wise Latinas who have shared their experiences, regrets and lessons learned and I encourage you to read all of their relatable stories. Below check out the one most important piece of advice we all need.
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Don't isolate yourselves, integrate. This piece of advice is the hardest but perhaps the most crucial! When we first get here we seem to find a million reasons why we don't fit in and perhaps don't want to. "They are so different from me," "they don't like me," "they don't get me and I don't get them," "they are so dry," "they don't want to be my friend," "I don't like going to their parties," and so on. Rather than try to get out of your comfort zone and integrate yourself into your new world you become isolated. It's easier to seek friends and situations that mirror the world you came from--Latin friends and places, Spanish. But this will only prolong the process.
This also extends into education. If you didn't have the opportunity to pursue higher education then try to do it as soon as you can: a GED, take courses offered by your local high school, community college or at a technical institute that could go towards a degree in a specific trade. And if you think it's too late for you then focus on your kids. Make sure you give them no choice but to pursue higher education as their end goal. And this needs to start the day they start going to school and instilled even before in the way you speak to them.
This doesn't mean you shut out others like you, speaking Spanish, eating Latin food, watching a telenovela and news from your homeland. What we mean is start incorporating more of your new world the minute you get her-- especially the language! And remember that you can always turn to MamásLatinas for friendships, advice and support from Latinas como tú whenever you need it.
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