Humans of Kings

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“We grew up drinking goat’s milk so when we came here and started drinking cow’s milk it made us really sick.The things that we were eating, and the allergens were different here, so we had a lot of really weird medical things that were happening. We were in and out of the hospitals just doing different tests and stuff, because you don’t really go to the doctor in Guatemala unless you’re dying. Probably the hardest thing was that no one here spoke Spanish and we grew up bilingual, so we spoke Spanish and English in our house. People would tell me that because of my last name, which is Chavez, that I wasn’t speaking English correctly and that I didn’t know what I was talking about. They put me in special help classes. They made me have English tutors, and reading help even though my comprehension was fine. That really pushed me to not show my cultural hispanic side so I stopped speaking Spanish, wearing indigenous clothing or indigenous jewelry and anything like that. There was a big American push. Everyone expected me to speak with perfect English and my accent faded after a long time. In Guatemala people are very respectful and very sweet and humble people. To come to a place that was so pushy was very interesting in the cultural sense. There’s definitely a difference in how people viewed hispanics then as to now. I think there’s still a lot of animosity with people going in and out of the country, and people not necessarily knowing citizenship rights and things like that. People would assume I wasn’t an American citizen. I’ve grown up to understand that no matter what people say and no matter what people do I’m still hispanic and I still have those traits in me and I’m still a part of that culture. When I was growing up it was a big identity crisis of people pushing me to be this certain person that I just didn’t know I was supposed to be. There was a big push to be American.”

Crissy Chavez

Senior

By Lauren Steele

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