Share the Values

My Ancestors were immigrants so I can say I’m a child of immigrants. When they migrated from Mexico they were searching for a better life and America was the land of opportunity. This was before the Mexican revolution. After the revolution some of my family kept on coming to find jobs and live a more prosperous life. Some became business owners and passed on the family business to their sons and daughters. This is evident as to the many businesses run by Hispanic families now.
Today’s Immigrants are not the type the United States are allowing to enter the US. They are trying to evade the corruption, terrorist and gang warfare which has taken over their towns or villages. Most seek asylum. Others are trying to find freedom. Most of them come with age old traditions and beliefs from their country with no intentions of staying in the US. However, the lifestyle we lead is foreign to them. They seem to misunderstand the values we place on many things that we take for granted.
My endeavor here is to make a listing of yearlong calendar activities which we as citizens celebrate with the hope that somehow we can impart those values on our neighbors from the south.
Most Hispanics follow religious holidays and include some of their own however, the secular ones are hard to understand. Let’s take President’s Day. Washington and Lincoln’s birthday. That’s a big sales event and even now people ignore the true reason for this celebration. This is one celebration to honor their legacy as a founding father and a man who kept the United States together as a nation.
Hispanics are familiar with festivals and routinely enjoy them. San Antonio has a weeklong celebration of Fiesta. This is a celebration situated around the Texas Revolution and the siege of the Alamo which is mostly ignored by the populace except for the tourists who are aware of the historical aspect. We can discuss this at length because everybody has their own concept.
Juneteenth is celebrated by the African American populace to observe the day they were emancipated by President Lincoln. It is one day throughout the nation that all members of that race come together to remind themselves of their struggles for their civil rights. They are now joined by all Americans of every race.
The big one, July 4th, is the day we celebrate Independence Day. We light up firecrackers and have a big party downtown. The thirteen colonies voted for freedom in 1776 from the England which had a stronghold and a monopoly on products from the colonies. It was a long war which most of the signers of the declaration were imprisoned, house burned down, captured and tortured, fought and died in the war and bankrupted at the end of the war. We celebrate in memory of those men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
The first Monday in September is designated as Labor Day. We are still confused as to what we are supposed to do on this day. Should we work or not work. This is a celebration to honor those who labor throughout the year. There is no party but we have a three-day weekend to go camping, shopping or just lay low.
Graduation day from high school is a big moment for most Hispanics because that student might be the only one who finished high school due to unforeseen circumstances like a war, childbirth, illness or other reasons. Sometimes out of 400 seniors attending their last year, 200 graduate. At every graduation night, there are families who yell the loudest when their family member crosses the stage to get their diploma. It is a proud moment.
Election day in November we vote for the person we want to have as president, senator, representative or governor of the state. We have two major parties which mostly everybody is a member of each. Then we have the others. Independents, Socialist and write ins which upsets the vote. In order to understand the political process, we might have to take a class on political science otherwise, we have to stay informed who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. If you’re not aware of the candidate’s platform or their ability to serve, just go eenie, meeny, miney moe and push the button on moe when voting.
Now let’s go to the nitty gritty of this article and that is assimilation. There are a lot of older Hispanics who are not citizens. They have been here in the US for 30 to 50 years. We don’t know why. Maybe it’s a language or culture barrier. They have a green card and are able to travel back and forth to Mexico. Whatever the case, they weren’t able to assimilate thoroughly.
The new immigrants are most times uneducated, lack of support at all levels, and poor. When they do get permission to stay, they find a place to live and try to find employment. Their children must attend school by law but have problems learning the language. At elementary level they learn quick but in middle and high school for new students who have never had school it is very difficult and drop out especially if they never had any schooling which most villages lack.
There is no agency or organization to give them an orientation on life in the US so they don’t understand the concepts of the American way of life, the way we live. Our patriotism, our heroes whom we try to emulate. The core of our family structure, our sports programs and most of all, the resources available to those who need it the most. My theory is that those who are illegal don’t try to reach out or be involved in anything that might endanger them or bring them to the attention of the Immigration Services.
This is the case for assimilation for those who want to stay in this country and for those who want to share in the abundance and joy of living free and living the American way of life.

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