Category Archives: Culture

Our Kids, Our Responsibility

While meeting with RJUHSD a couple of weeks ago, something they said really surprised me and stuck with me. A large percentage of EL students are actually kids who were born in the United States or have lived here all their lives. They are not immigrants. They have lived all their lives here, speaking English. So how on earth is a life-long English-speaker considered an English Learner? … Continue Reading →

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Machismo and the Latino Father

Machismo is synonymous with Latino males. It’s the drive to work hard, care for our families and strive for a better future. Unfortunately, machismo also has a dark side that permeates our culture and subjugates many into lesser roles, diminished freedoms and a reduced sense of self-worth. During this Fathers’ Day, let’s celebrate Latino fathers everywhere, but also use it as an opportunity to reflect on the role machismo has in the family and how fathers are the key to embracing the good elements and discarding the detrimental aspects of this cultural trait. … Continue Reading →

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Approaching Every Day Like It’s Cinco de Mayo

We recently finished celebrating Cinco de Mayo throughout the country. Sadly, I’d venture to say that most people, including our Latino community in the United States, don’t really know what Cinco de Mayo is all about. Many mistakenly think it’s Mexican Independence Day. But looking past the misinformation and excuses to party, Cinco de Mayo celebrations still serve an important purpose in our communities. … Continue Reading →

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Creating a More Accessible Court

Recently, representatives from the Superior Court of California in Placer County visited our monthly Latino Leadership Council public meeting to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities they are facing in serving the Latino community. Their challenges, I imagine, are not unlike those faced by many other agencies up and down the state that are trying to figure out how to adapt their services to the State’s quickly evolving demographics. And while the County Superior Court has a lot of challenges ahead of them, we strongly commend them for reaching out to the community and seeking collaboration with the Latino Leadership Council and our partners in figuring out how to best address these needs. … Continue Reading →

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Helping Without Creating Dependency

Good intentions are often just not good enough. We try our best to help our community and the families we serve by providing free services and bending over backwards to be accommodating and do as much as we can to assist them. But at what point is our help simply creating dependency and contributing to the long-term problems our community faces? Are free services taken for granted and unappreciated simply because they are offered for free? If the people we are trying to help had to pay for the services in some way, whether monetarily or in a different way, would the services be more effective? I don’t have the answers, but I sure do think that it’s a discussion worth having and that a better way, though perhaps yet undiscovered, must exist. … Continue Reading →

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Helping Out Without Burning Out

As promotores, community workers, social workers and advocates we go the extra mile to help the families and individuals with whom we work. But is there such a thing as a mile too far? Often times we give and give at the risk at overtaxing our own physical, mental and spiritual health. At what point do your own needs take precedence over those of the people you’re helping? … Continue Reading →

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