Quito-bound!

As we approach the day we are taking off to Quito, Ecuador the Spanish is rolling off my tongue like fire. I guess you can say traveling motivates me. In fact, I have been dreaming in Spanish, which NEVER happens unless I’m actually in a Spanish-speaking country and for some time.

We are going to Quito for a cousin’s wedding. It has been six years since the last time, and only time, I set foot in this colorful South American country. It will also be our first time traveling internationally as a family. I am excited, yet a little apprehensive because I know the experience will not compare to the last, nor the numerous trips I have taken abroad with my husband and with girlfriends for that matter. It is a new “epoca” in our life, in my life. From here on out I will carry a new identity as a traveler. One as a mother. There will be new worries, new interests, new adventures to say the least.

I have to remind myself that this is our first trip internationally. We will learn a lot I am sure, but at the same time it will serve as an experience that will only make us more savvy as parents who love to travel. It will only make our future trips easier…I hope. This is something I keep repeating.

To that end, I am requesting tips. Tips about how to make traveling internationally with a one year old easier. And to those of you who are traveling with your family this summer, Bon voyage!

Tiki Tiki Blog Article

I have been meaning to share about an awesome opportunity I got to participate in last week. If you haven’t already done so you must check out the Tiki, Tiki Blog created by Carrie Weir. She provides a space for individuals to share about their experiences with anything and everything there is about Latino culture! I love reading all the stories on varied topics.

Last week I was lucky enough to have one of my stories shared on the Tiki, Tiki. I wrote about how I let go of fear when attempting to have a natural, medicince and intervention-free birth. If you are interested in reading people’s stories about Latino culture, then head on over to the Tiki, Tiki.

I hope you like my story! It was a hard story to write. There are so many angles I could have written from and I chose one that I thought could best benefit any readers interested in learning about an intervention and med-free birth. Enjoy, just click on the link below!
http://tikitikiblog.com/natural-birth-letting-go-of-fear/#axzz1OQ5Ns0WO

How much does it "cost" to become multilingual?

Who gets to be trilingual? The situation always seems to present itself as such: one parent speaks one minority language and the other parent another minority language and they live somewhere, where the majority language is spoken.

What about those parents who are monolingual? What about parents who are both what they call heritage speakers of a minority language, like myself? What about parents who would LOVE for their children to speak more than one language, but can’t afford to send them to private foreign language schools? This is one of the very reason why I don’t play an instrument, for example. My parents did not have the financial means to send me to lessons, let alone rent or buy and instrument. I got to dance ballet, but only because the classes were by donation.

I feel fortunate that we have the option to send our daughter to a foreign language school. As much as I advocate for multilingualism I also have to acknowledge that there are individuals for whom this is not an option.

The city I live in, Austin,Texas, has finally implemented dual language education in our public schools. A selected few schools were chosen, but hopefully others will follow. This kind of education, where bilingualism is the goal, has been one our local community has advocated for several years. I guess you can say the larger community is starting to find value in multilingualism or that all it can sometimes take is a savvy, younger, open-minded superintendent to catch on to the idea of bilingualism as a goal. So, again, I pose the question, what about those cities where dual language education is not an option in the public schools? It was only a few years ago where this was the case in my progressive, university-town of a city. The only schools that existed were fairly expensive private ones.

There’s more to considering how much it costs to become bilingual or trilingual. As I have been researching private day cares for our baby I have learned that private-language schools cost a little more than your regular private schools. In fact, these private language day care schools are in such demand that I find myself weighing the “costs”, and not just in monetary terms, but in other ways, such as teachers that seem more like “ninieras” than actual teachers. When thinking about how much it costs to becoming multilingual I am referring to multiple sentidos. There’s the extra financial burden and then there’s the fact that the foreign languages schools are limited in scope, therefore limited in how particular parents can be when thinking about other factors such as teaching philosophy, cleaningness, distance from home, or student to teacher ratios.

No matter where we stand in our plight for multilingual education one thing remains the same: the importance of continuing to advocate for dual language education so that everyone has the option and not have to weigh out the costs.

*Originally published on Feb. 10, 2011 on the Spanglish Baby website.