Last October I flew to California for a blogging event. As the plane prepared to descend, the beautiful lights of the city shining in the night sky and the fact that I was landing at LAX reminded me the night when I arrived at the United States for the first time.
I remembered how anxious I felt to leave the plane and see America with my own eyes. When I finally stepped outside the plane, the first person that I met was an airline employee waiting outside the door for a traveler. She greeted me with a “Welcome to America” with a strong Asian accent and a big smile.
As I hauled my suitcases full of dreams and hopes in an empty airport, I thought it was interesting how most of the airport employees working the late shift looked Asian or Latino. I even wondered if I was in the right country! (wink, wink)
When I finally made it to customs, the officer who checked my documents and later stamped my Ecuadorian passport was a man with Asian features and a warm smile. It seems to me that my first 20 minutes in America I was surrounded by immigrants.
Related Post: What being An American Means To Me As An Immigrant
7 Quotes About Being An Immigrant By Famous Latinos
No matter the reason that brought you here or your previous socio-economic background, immigration changes everything. Life will be a mix of roller coasters and surprises. But as Oscar de la Renta once said: “your great strength is knowing who you are.”
This is why here at Hispanic Mama, we love talking about heritage and language. Because if we lose that important part of our identity, we would lose our strength as individuals and community. Read below 7 quotes about being an immigrant by famous Latinos.
Oscar de la Renta
Dominican-born American fashion designer: “My great strength is knowing who I am and where I come from -my island.”
Mexican-born American journalist and author: “Not many countries offer second chances. The US gave me that.”
Mexican-born American film actress and producer: “I have never denied my background or my culture. I have taught my child to embrace her Mexican heritage, to love my first language, Spanish, to learn about Mexican history, music, folk art, food, and even the Mexican candy I grew up with.”
Cuban-born American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman: “As an immigrant, I appreciate, far more than the average American, the liberties we have in this country.”
American actor, playwright, composer, rapper, and writer, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights: “I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood. We just knew the rule was you’re going to have to work twice as hard.”
The first Latina to hold the post of President at Cal State Fullerton, the country’s largest state university system: “It was instilled in us that the only inheritance a poor family can leave is a good education.”
American fashion designer: “That idea that so many immigrants have to give their kids a better chance, they’re the real success stories.”