HGP proudly welcomes Giselle Rodriguez to our staff. She will be reporting on Caribbean and Latin issues. In this two part introduction essay, Giselle shares her experiences growing up Latina and Trini.
Giselle Rodriguez is a Psychology major at Hampton University from New York City. She enjoys writing and photography. Recently she studied in London for a semester to broaden her creativity. In the near future she seeks to work in the Fashion Industry.
When people think of the Caribbean they usually visualize the depths of the blue seawater, blossomed flowers and a perfect getaway. It all sounds so great but they don’t consider political or social issues. When people think Latin, they immediately think of Spanish speaking countries, their traditions and especially their culture. However it’s different when you’re a person who is half Latina and Caribbean.
Growing up, I was lucky to be exposed to two different worlds that many of my peers couldn’t understand. In a sense, I was more culturally diversified and competent.
For example, I was aware of the many global issues and influences (I will be featuring these issues in my future posts) that many other minorities like myself were facing. I enjoyed having a Latin background as well as a Caribbean one because I was able to experience various foods and sweet melodies.
Here and there, I would love to turn on my salsa, bachata and reggaeton, but I really loved my Soca (watch the videos below) and reggae tunes most. I was constantly swaying back in forth between two different worlds.
Trinidad and Cuba very much similar when we start discussing political, social and economical issues.
The Latin and Caribbean region currently continue to face major issues such as economic opportunity, inequality, and public insecurity. Till this day, certain locations within Latin America remain impoverished and result in serious cases of deprivation.
It bothers me to see such tragedies occur where my family lives. Aside from that, we sometimes get distracted and caught up in all these serious issues and forget what we all really love about the Caribbean and Latin rituals.
Let us remember the delicious food, hospitality, art, music but most significantly the mind stimulating history.
A few years ago for my birthday, my eyes opened when I traveled to Trinidad with my father. Upon arrival, I knew that I was in the midst of facing a life changing experience. My whole life, I grew up in the city, where my surroundings were typically modernized. Due to my upbringing this transition was a game changer.
To be continued…