Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #12 and 13

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Days #12 and 13.

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Challenge day 12, theme: tu ciudad / your city

I was born and raised in Maryland, about 30 minutes from DC and we now live about 90 minutes from DC in an area that strikes a perfect balance between city and country as there is plenty of both. One of my very favorite things about parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, are the mountains. I never get tired of seeing them, especially on days like this when they’re green, and the sky is blue and full of perfect white clouds. They remind both me and Carlos of the montañas and volcanos of El Salvador.

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Challenge day 13, theme: #amor / #love

Like millions of other people out there, Catholic or otherwise, I’ve been really touched by Pope Francis’s message of love this past week as he has visited cities in the United States. I have to say, his sense of humor is pretty great too. Here is some of what he had to say on the topic of families yesterday: “Families have difficulties. Families, we quarrel, and sometimes plates can fly. And children bring headaches. I won’t speak about mother-in-laws…In the family, indeed, there are difficulties. But those difficulties are overcome with love. Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty [or] overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome any difficulty. Only love. Only love is able to overcome. Love is about celebration, love is joy, love is moving forward.”

#popefrancis #HispanicHeritageMonth #family #familia #papafrancisco

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #11

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #11: Inspiración / Inspiration

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This photo belongs to Denisse over at @the_orphaned_earring … People like her, ordinary people who do extraordinary things, are so inspiring because they manage to do so much with so little. The impact she has on the lives of orphaned children in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico, may seem like a drop in the bucket, but it means the world to those kids. If you feel inspired to help her, you can send:

*Kids vitamins
*Kids toothbrushes
*Toothpaste
*Medication to remove lice, and
*Donations to buy local grains

To:

The Orphaned Earring
P.O. Box 1565
Hawthorne, CA 90251

You can also donate your orphaned earrings to be made into bracelets or buy handmade bracelets from her online shop. All proceeds go to the cause.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #10

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #10: Aventura / Adventure

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As much as I love to travel the world, circumstances ($) have prevented me from doing that as much as I would like. I’ve found the only other way to quell my wanderlust is by making my own adventures close to home, even if it’s just a trip to the international market to try something new. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #9

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #9: Familia / Family

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Even though my side of the family is not of Latin American descent, they’ve come to love and expect the tamales I make each year for our Christmas get-together. I originally started the tradition for Carlos and the boys, but it makes all the work even more worth it knowing everyone is looking forward to eating them… I usually make Mexican-style #tamales instead of Salvadoran-style. My favorites are the rajas con queso, but I also make tamales de pollo with a spicy salsa roja. #HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #8

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #8: Pasión / Passion

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This unassuming, beat up, little #Spanish dictionary has been with me a long time. I haven’t used it in years thanks to the internet, but it came in handy as I explored my new language beyond the classroom, translated lyrics to songs by La Mafia, wrote love letters en #español, and attempted to understand my new husband. My first day in Spanish class, something was ignited in me, a passion for the language that I couldn’t explain. Unlike so many passing interests in my life, my love for Spanish and language in general, have only grown, and led to travel, friends, work opportunities, new ways of thinking, marriage, and so much more. Is it any wonder I’ve also become a passionate advocate of #bilingual education, and have attempted to raise my children bilingual? I believe it is one of the very greatest gifts we can give them.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #7

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #7: Tiempo / Time

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day 7, theme: #tiempo / time… The first thing that comes to mind, and the clearest indicator of time passing, is how fast our boys have grown up. I imagine this is one of those universal experiences shared across cultures and ironically, unchanged by time – that bittersweet feeling of seeing one’s children are growing up, or have grown up. The two baby boys who used to fill our days with equal measures of joy and chaos, are now very nearly young men, ready to go out into the world.

My mother and grandmother used to remind me to “enjoy them while they’re young, because they grow up quick.” It seemed like they must be joking on some days, but I remembered and tried to heed their advice as much as possible. Our oldest filled out his first college application yesterday. Gone are the days of first word, first smile, first steps; soon it will be first acceptance letter, first loan, first night away from home as he starts the next phase of his life.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #6

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #6: Colores / Colors

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day 6, theme: #colores / colors… This is a bag from El Salvador my friend Claudia gave me. The bright colors remind me of the #colorful hammocks that are woven there, too. #HispanicHeritageMonth