Update: You can now find LATINO AMERICANS on DVD on Shop PBS.
This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Ford. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
It’s no secret that I’ve claimed to have a cultural identity crisis. This is one thing I don’t want to pass on to my children. I want them to know who they are and where they come from. While I try to share their heritage with them on a regular basis, I’m grateful for Hispanic Heritage Month because it’s an opportunity for the rest of the country to join in on our celebration. This year I am excited that we get to celebrate by watching LATINO AMERICANS with my family! The series will document the history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500 years. Narrated by Benjamin Bratt, LATINO AMERICANS is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration and of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects millions of people today.
I recently watched the screening of LATINO AMERICANS in San Antonio followed by a panel discussion with the producer Leticia Van de Putte, Texas State Senator, and John Valadez, Latino Americans Producer, Arturo Madrid, Local Scholar and Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express News. From that conversation, I was reminded that our schools may not be teaching Texas or U.S. history to include all the Latinos who contributed to this great country. As a homeschool mom, I’m grateful that I can include that in our sons’ education early on.
Living in San Antonio, there are many ways we can learn about Mexican-Americans in our city’s history. All we have to do is look around to see the strong Mexican influence. San Antonio has so much history and I’m excited to learn even more about it in LATINO AMERICANS. Now when we take our learning trips around town to visit historical sites, we have even more to talk about.
From early on, we have played Mexican mariachis and Tejano music around our boys. That may be one reason they love it so much. I believe music influences who you are in such a postive way. The boys will choose later who they want to listen to but for now, we are happy they get excited to hear “Mexican music.”
Food is another way in which we celebrate our culture. Honestly, we don’t go a day with out eating some kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. Whether it be rice and beans or tacos or enchiladas. Let’s be honest, I’m not in the kitchen all the time. I’m blessed to have a wonderful friend who hosts a monthly brunch. Her food is authentic Mexican regional food. We go as a family as often as we can. At the brunch we get to eat delicious food but also find a sense of community and culture. The boys are surrounded by this (and not to mention the Spanish that is heard). It’s important for me to have my boys familiar with a community of culture outside our home as well.
The Ford Motor Company is providing corporate funding for the LATINO AMERICAN series. Ford has been one of the longest standing partners of the Hispanic community, and is one of the most respected brands of Latinos of all walks of life because of their multi-faceted and on-going commitment. The three-part, six-hour series airs Tuesdays, September 17th, September 24th, and October 1st, 2013 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (EST) and will feature interviews with Puerto Rican star of West Side Story, Rita Moreno; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chavez, who also became the highest ranking woman in the Reagan White House; and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan.
Please join me and my family as we watch the second part of LATINO AMERICANS tonight on PBS (check your local listings for the channel in your area). I’ll be live tweeting on Twitter at @mendezgonzales using hashtag #LatinoAmericans #HHM2013 #LatinosPBS #LatinosFord w/ @FordEspanol @PBS & @LatinaMomBlogs. Join conversation!