Latina's Editors Reveal What Makes Them Proud To Be Latino!

September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, and we're using it as an opportunity to celebrate all the things that make us proud to be a part of this amazing community. 

Scroll through and read Latina's staff sound off on the things that make them proud to be Latino:

1. Ebby Antigua, Creative Services Director

"One of the reasons I love being Latino is how our culture celebrates the holidays. To this day, I can still recall the extent my parents would go to preparing for my whole family to come over to our apartment on Christmas Eve. My Dad would go to the supermarket to buy the groceries to make dinner. We would have moro de gandules, pernil asado, and potato salad. My Dad would season the pernil, and it would be in the oven early, so the house smelled amazing from sunrise. I would help my mom make the moro de gandules — and my job was to the stir the rice every so often so it wouldn't be sticky. My favorite part of preparing for Noche Buena was helping my mom make arroz con dulce. The ingredients included shaved coconut, nutmeg, carnation milk, and cinnamon. Anytime I smell cinnamon, it takes me back to my childhood growing up in New York City."

Twitter: @EbbyAntigua


2. Samantha Leal, Deputy Online Editor

"For me, being proud to be Latino is being proud of who I am and where I come from. It's all encompassing: I love the importance we place on family, that we're all about working hard but also about letting loose. And, of course, the food is obviously the best."

Twitter: @SamanthaJoLeal

3. Amanda Flores, Beauty Director

"I love the duality. It means understanding and, most importantly, being a part of two cultures. I'm just as American as I am Dominican, and I'm glad I don't have to choose — embracing different parts of both cultures if what makes me who I am. This bicultural life will be super-evident at my wedding next month. We are having a bilingual mass, all types of the music at the reception, and, for dessert, mini blueberry pies with what else? Café Bustelo, of course!" 

Twitter: @AFloresBeauty

4. Verky Arcos Baldonado, Fashion Director

"I love that our sense of culture is so strong that, although I was born here, I feel so connected to my culture that I am about to continue to pass on traditions and values to my children!"

Twitter: @VerkyAB

5. Jesus Trivino, Entertainment Director

"Growing up with the name 'Jesus' — a name stereotypically associated with Latinos — was a bit of a drag. Attending Catholic school for 13 years came with its own set of challenges. I even had a priest refuse to call me by my name, and condemn my parents to hell for giving me the name.

Surprisingly, as I started my journalism career, my name became as asset. Since there weren't a lot of writers named Jesus, I became unique while interviewing rappers. Ghostface Killah called me a "Latin God" during one interview, and Jay-Z called me "JayZeus." It made me feel at ease, accepted, and proud of my Ecuadorian heritage.

Today, I proudly same my name, and I even add an accent when I write it… to increase the Latin factor."

Twitter: @JTrivinoAlarcon

6. Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

"Watching our community continually overcome all these hurdles so many thought we never could. We've been seen as the underdogs for such a long time, and now, we're successfully rising to the top. Si se puede, mi gente!" 

Twitter: @PriscilRodrig

7. Cristina Mari Arreola, Editorial Assistant

"A better question would be: "What doesn't make me proud to be Latina?" I love that being Latina influences every single aspect of my life. I love the emphasis on family, on culture, on community. I love my Latina name (even though no one can spell it!) I love that being Latina means listening to both Prince Royce and Justin Timberlake, speaking Spanglish right alongside English slang, and eating turkey on Thanksgiving… and turkey enchiladas the day after. I love that I'm a little bit Mexican, a little bit American, and 100% Latina. It makes me so, so proud to part of such an inspiring, eclectic, varied, and fascinating culture."

Twitter: @C_Arreola