You can learn Spanish, but you will never get our culture.

Speaking Spanish for us does not begin at 7:45 am and end at 2:57 pm. Speaking Spanish for us is NOT “a lesson.” It’s not a “time period.” It’s not a temporary thing. Spanish isn’t something that happens out of coincidence. I wouldn’t even say that it’s how we “naturally” communicate.

Spanish for us is a right. Spanish for us is reclaiming what was practically lost. Spanish for us is life. It heals our identity and colonized past. Spanish is something we live, breathe, and are constantly trying to revive. Spanish is a memory that I am always and forever trying to hold on to in positive ways. Spanish is how we survive and pass down our Latinx culture.

You can learn Spanish, but you will never get our culture. You see, our culture isn’t something you can teach. It has to be a part of your everyday, your past and present, and in your blood.

This is what it is like when you live your life in a dual language program that has been gentrified. It can be like a constant reminder that “the colonizer” is ever present. So, what do we do? We hold on tight and speak Spanish proudly and loudly despite the dominance of English. #bilingualVIDA

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