Name and title:
Maria Alcala – NWiR Chair for Southern California Council
SRS-JB Wholesale – Azusa California
What do I embrace and love most about my culture?
I embrace my Hispanic culture by learning about how every town in Mexico has its own story. How it began, who named it. And what traditional dance, songs, and food sets them apart from each other.
What do I want others to know about my Heritage?
I mostly want others to know about my Heritage, is the example of those that came before me. The hard work of my people, as they have set the path for those of us that follow regardless of the hardship and challenges of the language barriers and the culture shock of being in a different country. And the challenges only made our culture stronger and hard working citizens.
Have I faced challenges in my life because of my ethnicity?
Absolutely! I was brought to this great Country at the age of 10. Not knowing how to speak the language and when I tried, my accent was so bad that I was made fun of. I swore I would get rid of it so that other kids in school would not make fun of me anymore.
I succeeded, and now I am a proud Citizen of the United States of America, where I can love and appreciate both languages and both beautiful Countries.
The one person who has been a great inspiration to me?
Anthony Quinn!! He was a Mexican American Actor, Writer and Director. He grew up in Los Angeles and also went to the same Junior High School as I did. He was born in Chihuahua Mexico as Manuel Antonio Quinn Oaxaca. Back in his early days of acting, Anthony Quinn faced many career challenges, there was so much segregation but he pushed his way to the top and became one of the most loved and admired Hispanic actors.
My favorite way to Celebrate my Heritage:
I love to wear my beautiful hand embroidered traditional dresses, blouses, and also hand weaved sandals. I also love to celebrate with traditional music. I love the different carnivals where I get to eat all the delicious food.