Hojuelas Salvadoreñas

hojuelas salvadoreñas

Hojuelas (pronounced oh-hway-las) are a sweet, fried treat eaten in El Salvador on November 2nd for Día de los Difuntos. You can often see women cooking them and selling them on the street.

Salvadoran hojuelas are the same thing as Mexican buñuelos, but what some Latin American countries call buñuelos, El Salvador also calls nuégados. Sufficiently mixed up? Me too.

Anyway, while I was researching and trying to sort all that out, I found a couple relevant dichos to share.

“Miel sobre hojuelas” is a dicho which is similar in meaning to the English saying “icing on the cake” and “No todo es miel sobre hojuelas” is similar in meaning to the English saying “It’s not all fun and games.” I searched online newspapers and found the dichos were both used in Mexican newspapers, but I don’t think the dichos are used in El Salvador, or at least Carlos said he isn’t familiar with them.

Anyway, if you’re an hermano lejano*, or just otherwise not anywhere you can buy hojuelas, below is a recipe to make your own!

[*”Hermano lejano” is an endearing term meaning “faraway brother” which is used by Salvadorans in El Salvador to refer to Salvadorans who live abroad.]

Hojuelas Salvadoreñas

2 1/2 cups pre-sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% milk

oil for cooking
miel de panela (recipe here), or sugar for sprinkling
extra flour for rolling out the dough

1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, and salt.

2. Add the flour little by little, alternating with the milk, until the dough forms. The dough should not be sticky – if it is, add a little more flour.

3. Turn the dough onto a flat, floured surface, and divide into 16 balls.

Tip: I originally separated the dough into 8 balls, but soon realized that once rolled out these hojuelas (while traditionally sold on the street this large), would be too big to properly fry in my frying pan. So please, in the next step when you roll them out, make sure you’re not making them too big to fit in the frying pan you plan to use.

4. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball until very thin. (Ideally the dough should be rolled out thinner than a flour tortilla. It’s okay if it’s not perfectly circular, and it’s okay if the dough tears a little. They don’t have to be perfect!)

Tip: Keep your rolled out hojuelas from sticking to each other by separating them with parchment paper.

5. Over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. The oil should be at least a 1/4 inch deep. (Deeper is better, but I personally hate wasting so much cooking oil.)

6. Carefully fry the hojuelas one-by-one until nicely browned on each side, flipping with tongs as necessary.

7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil. If sprinkling with sugar instead of serving with miel, sprinkle them while still hot.

8. Serve drizzled with miel de panela, or sprinkled with sugar.

Celebrating Día de Muertos Without Appropriating

Image source: David Seibold

Image source: David Seibold

First, to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s clearly define what is Día de muertos and what is cultural appropriation?

What is Día de muertos?

Día de muertos, also known as Día de los muertos or Day of the Dead, is a sacred celebration of Pre-Hispanic origin, to honor loved ones who have passed. The celebration, which used to start around the beginning of August and last an entire month, now takes place from midnight on October 31st to November 2nd; most often associated with Mexico, it is celebrated in many Latin American countries such as Guatemala, and Bolivia, and by people around the world with ancestry traced to those countries. Each country has unique ways of celebrating; in El Salvador where the celebration is known as Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased), families go to the cemetery to pray, sing, lay flowers, and pay to have gravestones of departed family members repainted; at the cemetery you can buy foods such as tamales and hojuelas con miel. Ecuador also refers to the celebration as Día de los Difuntos.

But it is the traditions of Mexico which are most well-known in the United States, and which have gained popularity among Latinxs of all backgrounds, and non-Latinxs as well. Sugar skulls, and catrinas can be found on everything from party napkins to pajamas this time of year, and setting up ofrendas (altars) or baking pan de muerto are fast becoming beloved traditions among people who maybe 10 years ago, hadn’t even heard of Día de muertos. And, why not? Día de muertos is so pretty, so colorful, and the idea of celebrating our deceased loved ones rather than forever mourning them in a more Puritanically traditional way is appealing, (and psychologically, much healthier.)

However, this is where we run into the problem of cultural appropriation.

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation is the “borrowing” of one culture by another culture, particularly when elements of a minority culture are used by a majority culture. Often times it is done unintentionally and/or without intended malice, but even when done with appreciation or admiration, it can be exploitative, offensive and/or feel oppressive to the minority culture who feel something is being stolen from them. Cultural appropriation is especially offensive when something sacred is taken out of context and redefined by a majority culture. (An example of this relevant to this post: When a non-Latinx person dresses as La Catrina for Halloween.)

While many Latinxs may not find it offensive when non-Latinxs folks embrace these traditions, there are some Latinxs who do. So, what steps can you take to ensure you’re respecting Día de muertos as the sacred celebration that it is?

5 Steps to Celebrating Día de Muertos Respectfully

#1. You may choose not to celebrate it, but instead observe the celebration. There are festivals, museum exhibits, documentaries, and other ways you can enjoy the holiday without actually adopting it.

#2. You can educate yourself. If you choose to celebrate by setting up an altar, for example, do the proper research into the history and significance of the ofrenda and the traditional items that are placed on it.

#3. Question your intentions. Are you painting your face as a sugar skull because it’ll look super cool and get you plenty of likes on Instagram? Then strongly reconsider your actions. These traditions are not “just for fun” or to bring yourself attention on social media — they are sacred. Respect that. If you’re the Donald Trump type who would eat a taco and declare you “love Mexicans” while supporting the deportation of the people who made it for you – don’t even think about it. It should go without saying, cherry picking a culture while not respecting the people it originated from is completely unacceptable.

#4. Shop responsibly. Avoid purchasing Día de muertos themed merchandise which is not made by Latinxs or Latin American artisans. These beliefs and traditions originated with indigenous people, and indigenous communities in Latin America are disproportionately affected by poverty. In Guatemala 86.6% of indigenous people are poor, and in Mexico 80.6% are poor. [source] The least you can do is not buy those cute Day of the Dead paper plates at Target which were Made in China. Instead, seek out fair trade products which give back to the people who deserve it.

#5. Understand that even if you have thoroughly educated yourself on the celebration and feel a special connection to it, you may still come under scrutiny. Should someone confront you on why they think you have no right to celebrate Día de muertos, consider their words and feelings. There’s a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, and not everyone agrees where that line is. Try to do better.

Learn more:

GoMexico.About.com – Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead – Wikipedia

The Book of Life

5 Día De Los Muertos Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask – Huffington Post

What is Cultural Appropriation and Why Is It Wrong? – RaceRelations.About.com

Cultural Appropriation – Wikipedia

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cultural Appropriation – The Atlantic

Fiesta ensalada de pollo salvadoreña para sándwiches

Sandwich de pollo salvadoreno

Divulgación: Latinaish.com se ha asociado con McCormick para llevarse recetas utilizando productos McCormick. Como siempre, todas las opiniones son mías.

Puede sorprender a algunos saber que la ensalada de pollo es popular en muchos países del mundo, a pesar de sus ingredientes varían de lo que nosotros en los Estados Unidos consideramos comunes. Unas variaciones que conozco:

Goi Ga de Vietnam cuenta con repollo, salsa de pescado, chiles picantes, y hierbabuena.
Dak-Nangchae de Corea se come en verano e incorpora un montón de verduras coloridas.
• En México mucha gente comen ensalada de pollo con galletas saladas.
Coronación ensalada de pollo de Inglaterra cuenta con curry en polvo y chutney de mango, y se hizo por primera vez en 1953 para el almuerzo de la coronación de la reina Isabel II.
• Hablando de reinas, «palta a la reina» en Perú y Chile es una ensalada de pollo servida encima de la mitad de un aguacate.
Salpicão de Frango de Brasil incluye manzana, zanahoria, pasas y aceitunas.
• Y luego está «Olivie ensalada» que se cree que es el origen de las ensaladas de pollo y ensaladas rusas. También conocida como Olivier ensalada o ensalada Olivier, hoy en día por lo general es una combinación de pollo, papas, huevo, chícharos y mayonesa con infinitas variaciones, pero cuando fue inventada en la década de 1860 por un chef llamado Lucien Olivier en Rusia, estaba hecha con ingredientes más finos, como el urogallo, alcaparras, caviar y pato ahumado en un aderezo que era un secreto muy bien guardado. Las versiones modernas de esta ensalada son muy populares en toda Europa del Este, así como en Irán, Israel, Pakistán, Mongolia, y más allá.

Con todos estos diferentes tipos de ensalada de pollo en todo el mundo no me debería haber sorprendido cuando Carlos me dijo que la ensalada de pollo es también muy popular en El Salvador, específicamente en las fiestas de cumpleaños infantiles.

Salvadoran Birthday Party Chicken Sandwich

Carlos recuerda asistir muchas fiestas de cumpleaños en su barrio cuando era un niño pequeño y con ganas de recibir un sándwich de ensalada de pollo envuelto en una servilleta de papel blanco, en el momento que entraba por la puerta. Cuando Carlos compartió este recuerdo conmigo, decidí tratar de recrear los sándwiches de su infancia. Con sus sugerencias, esta es la receta que he desarrollado y él dice que sabe a la perfección!

El uso de pechugas de pollo de calidad, cocinadas a fuego lento con verduras frescas garantiza que la carne salga jugosa y sabrosa. Desmenuzado y mezclado con McCormick Mayonesa con jugo de limón que añade sabor tradicional, especias, y algunos toques de salsa Worcestershire – esta ensalada de pollo sabe mejor fría y comida al día siguiente, pero será difícil esperar. Deliciosa en suaves rebanadas de pan blanco, puedes quitar las cortezas, si quieres. Pero no importa cómo decidas comerla, esta ensalada de pollo al estilo salvadoreño es bastante exquisita para servir en fiestas de cumpleaños, pero es bastante fácil que no tienes que esperar una ocasión especial; puedes hacerla cualquier día y disfrutar con tu familia.

salv-chicken-salad-pot

salv-chicken-mayo-close-up

Cumpleaños Ensalada de Pollo

Fiesta ensalada de pollo salvadoreña para sándwiches

Ingredientes:

3 pechugas grandes de pollo, sin piel, sin hueso
1 cebolla mediana, cortado en cuartos
1 chile verde mediano, sin semillas y cortado en trozos grandes
1 tomate Roma, cortado en cuartos
1 cucharada de ajo picado
1 cucharadita de sal
1 cucharadita de McCormick pimienta negra molida

2 tazas de McCormick Mayonesa con jugo de limón
1 cucharadita de mostaza amarilla
¼ cucharadita de McCormick pimienta negra molida
½ cucharadita de McCormick ajo en polvo
½ cucharadita de McCormick cebolla en polvo
½ cucharadita de salsa Worcestershire

Método:

1. Añadir los primeros siete ingredientes en una olla grande a fuego medio-alto con agua suficiente para cubrir. Poner a hervir y luego reducir el fuego a fuego lento. Cubrir la olla ligeramente con la tapa. Ajustar el fuego si es necesario para mantenerlo a fuego lento hasta que el pollo esté bien cocido.

Consejo: Evite hervir o cocinar el pollo demasiado tiempo ya que esto hará que la carne esté muy seca. Cocer a fuego lento mantiene la carne húmeda. Tienes poco tiempo? Utilice pechugas de pollo delgadas o «chicken tenders» – se cocinan más rápido!

2. Retirar el pollo y poner en un plato para enfriar. Una vez frío, desmenuzar con la mano en trozos pequeños y colóquelos en un recipiente grande.

3. Mezclar la mayonesa, la mostaza, la pimienta, el ajo en polvo, cebolla en polvo, y la salsa Worcestershire hasta que estén bien combinados en un recipiente mediano.

4. En el recipiente grande mezclar la mezcla de mayonesa poco a poco con el pollo hasta que consigas la cremosidad deseada. En mi opinión es mejor usar aproximadamente 1/3 taza de la mezcla de mayonesa por cada 1 taza de pollo desmenuzado.

5. Enfriar en el refrigerador al menos una hora o durante la noche para permitir que los sabores se combinan. Servir la ensalada de pollo entre rebanadas de pan blanco.

Opcional: Agregar rebanadas de pepino, una hoja de lechuga romana, o cualquier ingrediente que te gusta en el sándwich. Algunas personas también les gusta cortar las cortezas del pan y envolver cada sándwich en una servilleta para servir en las fiestas.

Rinde aproximadamente 6 tazas de ensalada de pollo.

¿Quiere más recetas así? Visita www.McCormick.com/espanol!

Want this recipe in English? Click here.

Salvadoran Chicken Salad Birthday Party Sandwiches

Sandwich de pollo salvadoreno

Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with McCormick to bring you recipes using McCormick products. As always, all opinions are my own.

It may surprise some to know that chicken salad is popular in many countries throughout the world, although its ingredients vary from what those of us in the United States consider the norm. A few variations I know of:

Goi Ga from Vietnam features cabbage, fish sauce, spicy chilies, and mint.
Dak-Nangchae from Korea is eaten in the summer and incorporates plenty of colorful vegetables.
Ensalada de Pollo from Mexico is often eaten on Saltine crackers.
Coronation chicken salad from England features curry powder and mango chutney, and was first made in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation lunch.
Peruvian and Chilean “palta a la reina” is chicken salad served atop an avocado half.
Salpicão de Frango from Brazil includes apple, carrot, raisins, and olives.
• And then there’s Salad Olivie, which is believed to be the origin of chicken salads and Russian salads. Also known as Salad Olivier or Olivier Salad, these days it’s usually a combination of chicken, potato, egg, green peas, and mayonnaise with endless variations, but when it was invented in the 1860’s by a restaurant chef named Lucien Olivier in Russia, it was made with fancier ingredients such as grouse, capers, caviar, and smoked duck in a dressing which was a closely guarded secret. Modern versions of this salad are popular throughout Eastern Europe, as well as in Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Mongolia, and beyond.

With all these different types of chicken salad from around the world I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Carlos first told me that chicken salad is also popular in El Salvador, specifically at children’s birthday parties.

Salvadoran Birthday Party Chicken Sandwich

Carlos remembers attending many birthday parties in his neighborhood as a little boy and looking forward to being handed a chicken salad sandwich wrapped in a white paper napkin when he walked through the door. When he shared this memory with me, I decided to try to recreate the birthday party sandwiches of his childhood. With his input, this is the recipe I developed and he says it tastes just right!

Using quality chicken breasts which are slow-simmered with fresh vegetables ensures the meat is moist and flavorful. Shredded and mixed with McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice which adds traditional sabor, spices, and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce – this chicken salad tastes even better chilled and eaten the next day, but it’ll be difficult to wait. Spoon it onto slices of soft, white bread and cut off the crusts if you like. However you eat it, this Salvadoran-style chicken salad is yummy enough to serve at birthday parties, but easy enough that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whip up a batch for your family.

salv-chicken-salad-pot

salv-chicken-mayo-close-up

Cumpleaños Ensalada de Pollo

(Want this recipe en español? Click here.)

Salvadoran Chicken Salad Birthday Party Sandwiches

Ingredients:

3 large chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut in large pieces
1 Roma tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon McCormick black pepper

2 cups McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime Juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon McCormick black pepper
½ teaspoon McCormick garlic powder
½ teaspoon McCormick onion powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Method:

1. Add first seven ingredients to a large pot over medium high heat with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it’s at a slow simmer. Cover loosely. Adjust heat lower if needed to keep it at a simmer until chicken is cooked through.

Tip: Avoid boiling or over-cooking the chicken as this will result in the meat being dry. Simmering keeps the meat moister. Short on time? Use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts – they cook faster!

2. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Once cool, shred by hand into small bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl.

3. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined in a medium-sized bowl.

4. In the large bowl mix the mayonnaise mixture a little at a time into shredded chicken until desired creaminess is achieved. I found it tastes best to use about 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture for every 1 cup shredded chicken.

5. Chill for at least one hour or overnight to allow flavors to combine. Serve chicken salad between slices of white bread.

Optional: Add slices of cucumber, a leaf of romaine lettuce, or whatever toppings you like to the sandwich. Some people also like to cut off the crusts and wrap each sandwich in a napkin when serving at parties.

Yields approximately 6 cups chicken salad.

For more recipes like this, visit www.McCormick.com/Espanol!

Whistle Speakers of the Chinantec Language

whistle-language

While it’s only anecdotal, I can say in my own experience I’ve noticed the Latin Americans I know use whistling a lot more than any other group. There are whistles to get people’s attention, whistles of appreciation, and whistles the equivalent of cursing someone out, just to name a few. And Carlos, for example, is able to whistle through his lips, through his teeth, or with his first two fingers in his mouth to produce different pitches and tones.

Over the years I’ve recognized the usefulness of these whistles to get each other’s attention in crowds where shouting might be too harsh. Sometimes when we grocery shop and Carlos goes off to get an item, I’ll have moved on to another aisle before he gets back. I can see him from a distance looking around for me, but he doesn’t see me – so I whistle, and just like that, he’s able to locate me. It’s interesting to note that just like one’s voice is unique, so too is their whistle. Carlos has whistled in a crowd and instantly I knew it was him because of the tone, just as if he had called my name.

So, when I learned that there are actual whistled languages, I was fascinated, but not surprised. Whistle languages can be found around the world, and many exist or existed in Latin America. In the foggy, mountainous terrain of San Pedro Sochiapam in Oaxaca, Mexico, the male speakers of Chinantec speak a whistled version of the language.

The sad thing about this language, like many indigenous languages, is that it’s in danger of dying. While women understand it, and some children speak a little of it, most of the people of the town don’t use the language like the older generation did. Reasons for declining use of whistled Chinantec range from the fact that children learn Spanish in school and they don’t work in the fields, to advancements in technology such as walkie talkies, megaphones, and telephones. According to Dr. Mark Sicoli, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, the whistled language “may be gone from this community within ten years.”

Watch this interesting and beautiful episode of “In the Americas with David Yetman” called “Chiflidos en la neblina” [Whistles in the mist] to learn more about the whistle speakers of the Chinantec language in Oaxaca, Mexico.

And here’s another, shorter video on the same town which ends on a happier note, as it seems some of the younger generation have taken it upon themselves to not only learn the language and use it, but are planning to teach it to others.

Related Links

Other episodes of In The Americas with David Yetman are just as great. The website is here, which includes video highlights of each season.

Hat tip: OpenCulture.com

Learn more about other whistled languages on Wikipedia

In a Remote Mexican Town People Can Communicate by Whistling on Fusion.net

Ancestry DNA: Part 4

carlos-2016

In Part 1 and Part 2, I took you through the process and results of my own DNA test with Ancestry.com – Now it’s Carlos’s turn! Check out Part 3 for Carlos’s thoughts before taking the test. Part 4 (this final post) is Carlos’s results!

Carlos’s results are in! His took much longer to arrive, (40 days compared to the 22 days I waited.) Maybe the Ancestry DNA test has become more popular since I did mine. At first I thought maybe it was taking so long because we did it around Saint Patrick’s Day and you tend to see a lot of their commercials encouraging people to see if they have Irish ancestry around that time of year, but that can’t be it, because I also did mine around Saint Patrick’s Day last year. While we were waiting for the results, Carlos joked that it was taking so long because they discovered he’s el eslabón perdido (“the missing link”) and they were busy gathering researchers from around the world, which was a very Carlos-ish joke to make.

Anyway, I won’t keep you in more suspense than is necessary. Let’s get to the results!

When I asked Carlos if he had any predictions, he had answered, “Maybe that I’m mostly indigenous” – And it turns out he was correct! Carlos is 57% Native American. It’s just a shame that Ancestry DNA can’t go into more detail than that.

native

We can assume this is most likely Central American tribes descended from the Mayan and/or Aztec, but we really have no way of knowing for sure.

Carlos also got 27% Europe. Unsurprisingly the majority of that (16%) is from the Iberian Peninsula.

iberian-peninsula

What about the rest of that 27% though? That’s where we start getting some interesting results.

4% Italy/Greece
3% Great Britain
2% European Jewish
2% Ireland

This means Carlos and I have some ancestry in common! (It also means I can no longer pinch him on Saint Patrick’s Day for not being Irish.)

italy-greece

great-britain

European-Jewish

Ireland

We’ve got 16% left, any guesses before we go on?

Well, here’s some more surprises. Carlos is 12% African.

The breakdown is:

North Africa 5%
Senegal 2%
Mali 2%
Ivory Coast/Ghana 2%
Africa Southeastern Bantu 1%

And here are the maps with more detailed information on those:

africa-north

senegal

mali

ivory-coast-ghana

africa-bantu

Now we have just 4% left, and that is broken down as:

Caucausus 3%
Middle East < 1%

caucasus

middle-east

That’s it! Here’s a picture of the full breakdown (including expanded trace regions) and the world map showing all his ancestral areas:

carlos-regions-expanded

carlos-dna-map

A few last questions with Carlos:

Tracy: Which result surprised you the most?
Carlos: Jewish and Irish.

Tracy: Has this changed anything for you? How you see yourself? How you see the world?
Carlos: I don’t know yet. I’m still kind of processing it.

Tracy: Was there anything you were disappointed not to see?
Carlos: Well, I’m not disappointed, but I’m surprised that I’m not East Asian at all. I was kind of expecting I would be because of the way my [paternal] grandmother looked. I also wish the technology was advanced enough to give me more detail about the Native American result.

Tracy: What is your advice to other people considering doing the Ancestry DNA test?
Carlos: I recommend it, they should do it.

Ancestry DNA: Part 3

Image source: Flickr user charamelody

Image source: Flickr user charamelody

In Part 1 and Part 2, I took you through the process and results of my own DNA test with Ancestry.com – Now it’s Carlos’s turn!

Around this time last year I asked Carlos if I could order the DNA test for my birthday present. Ever since then Carlos has been wanting to do his own DNA test, but has always balked at spending the money on it. I decided that since my birthday is coming up again, this year my present will be Carlos’s test. You may wonder how something for Carlos is a birthday gift for me, but I’m just as curious about his results as he is, and I can think of few things I want that would be this much fun. So we ordered the test today. Below is my interview with Carlos to see how he’s feeling and his thoughts on the topic. Because I already covered the “how to” of the DNA test in Part 1 when I did mine, we’ll skip discussing the technical aspect of Carlos’s test. Part 4 will be posted when we receive his results!

Tracy: How are you feeling about the DNA test? Nervous? Anxious? Excited?

Carlos: I’m not really nervous, more curious than anything else.

Tracy: What do you think you’ll find out? Any predictions?

Carlos: No, I’m not sure. No idea. Maybe that I’m mostly indigenous?

Tracy: Why do you say that? Did anyone in your family speak an indigenous language or anything?

Carlos: I don’t know, because of my skin color, I guess. No one in my family spoke Náhuat that I know of, I don’t know if older generations spoke it.

Tracy: What do you already know, or think you know, about your roots? What family stories, recipes, or traditions did you have growing up that offer clues to your ancestry?

Carlos: I don’t have any clues. My family didn’t pass down traditions the way people do here [in the United States]… I mean, my family’s traditions were like everyone’s traditions – just Salvadoran traditions, Salvadoran culture.

Tracy: Were both sides of your family Catholic?

Carlos: Yes, as far as I know.

Tracy: Who are the oldest relatives you remember, and what do you remember about them?

Carlos: My mom says some of her father’s side of the family was light-skinned, but for my dad I don’t really know anything. My dad looked more Japanese than anything, and his mother looked Asian too.

Tracy: Your mother’s side of the family, as far back as you know, was from Chalatenango and your father’s side was from Ilobasco, right?

Carlos: Right, as far as I know. I don’t know any family history farther than that.

Tracy: Wait, you told me a story once about one of your family members in Europe, didn’t you? Who was that? Was she born in Europe?

Carlos: Oh, that was one of my [maternal] grandfather’s grandmother’s sisters…I think. She was born in El Salvador but she learned French and went to be a nanny in France. During World War II they had to flee and the family got separated. She took the child up to the mountains and kept him safe. When the family was reunited they were so thankful that they took care of her the rest of her life.

Tracy: She stayed in France and died there?

Carlos: No, she came back to El Salvador but they sent her money the rest of her life… Something like that. I’m never sure about these stories.

Tracy: Anyway, you said she was born in El Salvador, so that wouldn’t make you French.

Carlos: No.

Tracy: What if you get a really unexpected result? Do you think you’ll want to explore that culture and your roots a bit more?

Carlos: Yes, definitely.

Tracy: When I got my results I shared them with my sisters so they would know more about their heritage, but you don’t have any full-blooded brothers or sisters; all your siblings are half-siblings. Do you think you’ll share your results with any of them even though they won’t know what parts of your ancestry results are also theirs?

Carlos: No, it’s more for me to know, and for our boys to know the other half of their heritage.