Things That Matter

Latino Families Are Trailblazing A New Culture For Deaf Latinos And It’s Giving Us All The Feels

For some deaf Latinos, being a part of the deaf community can mean losing the Latino part of their identity.

In the United States, the deaf community signs using American Sign Language (ASL), which is based on American English. It’s rare for deaf schools to teach Spanish and rarer still to teach a Spanish-based sign system like Mexican Sign Language. So for deaf students from families like ours, the one place they are least understood is in their own home.

For one Latina mom, this just wasn’t acceptable.

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

After giving birth to three deaf children, Irma was convinced that she had done something wrong in life. Often in our culture, women are taught to believe that if a child is born differently it’s because she, the mom, is being punished for something she did wrong in the past. Irma knew this just wasn’t true.

Even though she saw her children as beautiful gifts, she struggled to cope with the difficulty of raising her three deaf sons: Felix, Hector, and Enrique.

Language plays a major role in defining communities. Therefore, language can be a bridge or a barrier among cultures, and it can also be a source of cultural identity.

For Irma, one of the greatest worries was not being able to visualize a future for her children. It was hard to see her own kids in these Deaf white role models whose lives were fundamentally very different.

So then Deaf Latinos Y Familias was born.[

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

Irma, who had been struggling to find Deaf Latino role models for her three boys, made it her mission to bring light not only into her boys’ lives, but for all deaf Latinos. In 2010, she founded the organization Deaf Latinos as a resource for people like her children and their families.

Irma’s three sons are all supportive of their mother’s newfound mission in life, saying they saw many parents struggling to connect with their children and that his mom wanted to bridge the connection between them regardless of how much they can hear.

Some parents struggle to communicate with their own children.

Another mother, Saira, came into Deaf Latinos after struggling to connect with her own deaf child, Jose. Saira refused to believe he’d forever be deaf and came to the U.S. from El Salvador hoping to find a ‘cure.’

Communication became super difficult and at times Saira would become so upset she’d sit outside of her home to cry. She felt alone and lost as if she was the only one with a deaf Latino child.

Discovering Deaf Latinos y Familias was a miracle in her eyes. Since joining the organization, she’s started learning new signs and new ways to communicate with Jose. But most importantly, she’s meeting other Latino families and realizing she’s not alone.

A family learns to grow together after challenging times.

Evelyn and Wilson have three children: Richie was born deaf, Darlin is disabled and requires therapy and wheelchair assistance, while Heaven was born prematurely at just six months old. Yet despite these struggles, they have persevered as a family and found new meaning in their lives.

After years of struggling to communicate, together they’ve started learning sign language with Deaf Latinos and feel closer as a family.

Fierce moms will do anything for their babies and these three fearless women show how powerful a family can be.

Saira, who is now pregnant with a girl, wonders if her little daughter will be born deaf. Her son Jose has asked the question which would she prefer and Saira responds: “It doesn’t matter, either way, she’ll learn to sign.”

While Irma, reflecting on her life and family, proudly proclaims that she wouldn’t change a thing about her life nor her journey. She’s grateful for her opportunities and vows to continue so long as she still has breath in her.

Now please excuse me while I go get a box of tissues to wipe away these happy tears.

READ: Your Mami Will Laugh And Cry Over These Super Relevant Mother’s Day Gifts

Daughter Shows What It’s Like To Live With A Mother That Is A Hoarder And Verbally Abusive

Things That Matter

Daughter Shows What It’s Like To Live With A Mother That Is A Hoarder And Verbally Abusive

Facebook

Dealing with aging parents is a struggle that is real and all too painful. Many children of parents who suffer from mental disorders, or can’t move around as quickly because of their age, have the challenging task of either caring for them at home or placing them into a convalescent home.

For Latinos, however, the struggle of aging parents has its unique challenges which are often related to cultures that demand children taking on the role of their parents’ caretakers in their later years.

Recently, one Latina learned that taking care of her mother is not what she expected.

A Mexican woman shared on Facebook the struggles of living with a mom that horde just about everything.

The woman posted her feelings on a Facebook group titled “Awful roommates: roommates from hell” and said that she arrived at her mom’s house only to find items all over the place. From bags to rotten food, the mom’s house was cluttered with junk.

The woman said that she had just been to her mom’s house to clean four days prior only to find it an utter mess.

According to the Daily Mail, the woman said, “Most of my money goes to rent and bills, and I’m saving the residual to move out hopefully soon.” It looks like the stress of taking care of her mom has become too much of a problem for her, and now she’s seeking to leave her mom and take care of herself.

It also seems as if the mom is mentally abusing her daughter as well.

The woman claims her mom became verbally volatile after she messed up one of her pans while she was cleaning.

“After all this, my mom came into the kitchen and threatened to release my pet bird outside because I scratched her pan when I was cleaning it so I can learn to take care of things better.”

The people in the group were on her side and expressed comments of concern and well wishes.

“This is exactly why I haven’t lived at home since I was 14,” one person wrote. “Moms like this are awful. We love them, but they’re toxic.”

The publication reports that a commenter said, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope it works out in your favor soon.”

“Mommy dearest! I hope you can cope, this sounds so very hard on you,” a commentator said.

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, but we can certainly say it won’t be easy.

21 Beauty Products Our Latina Moms Forced On Us In The ’90s

Culture

21 Beauty Products Our Latina Moms Forced On Us In The ’90s

Isn’t it so nice to have a couple decades between the range of embarrassing to horrifying things our Latina moms forced on us as kids? Whenever our white friends told us to just speak up for ourselves, that we’re old enough to “Just say ‘No’,” it was a terrifying thought.

Burn your blue eyeshadow, fishtail braided prom photos and just enjoy this blast from the past.

1. The Mole

CREDIT: Nicole Washington / YouTube


If you’re like my tia, you actually got one tattooed on your face, because ain’t nobody got time for that whole dot, right? Well, it was a birthmark that happened to run in the family because all the women in your house had the same one.

2. All the Philosophie Box Subscriptions

CREDIT: “Image.” Digital Image. Hey Do You. 16 May 2018.


Your mom’s shower was like a graveyard for Philosophie products. It smelled amazing, and she didn’t just use one bottle at a time, so you could choose from 20 different half empty bottles. These were the good old days.

3. But you always had to use the horse shampoo

CREDIT: “Mane ‘n Tail Original Shampoo – 32oz – image 1 of 1” Digital Image. Target. 16 May 2018.


The bottle was actually big enough for a horse, but they swear by it for human consumption. Who doesn’t want hair as shiny and manageable as a horse? #GrowingUpHispanic

4. You never got the brands all your non-Latino friends loved.

CREDIT: “Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Shampoo – 33.8 oz – 2 pk” Digital Image. Amazon. 16 May 2018.


If horses don’t use it, or it doesn’t come with a subscription, it can’t be trusted. Just like you could never sleepover someone else’s house unless your fam knew them for generations, same goes for hair products.

5. You never ran out of soap.

CREDIT: @_flo_123 / Twitter


She’ll have all 20 bottles of Philosophie shampoo and conditioner, but will wait as long as possible to replenish your stock.

6. Mayo is for your hair and nothing else.

CREDIT: THEEKARARAE / YouTube


Come home with lice? Your mami will lovingly make you a homemade mayo and egg hair mask to suffocate the lice. Don’t complain about your frizzy hair unless you want mayo up in it for the next hour.

7. No hair mask is complete without cellophane.

CREDIT: “Speed Up Hair Growth With This Natural Oil Treatment” Digital Image. The Hearty Soul. 16 May 2018.


Every month, they’d ask, “Quiere cellophane? Tu pelo es tan frizzy.” We don’t know what exactly they put in our hair, but we know it was cellophane wrapped for an hour to three after. This is what Saturdays are for.

8. Cocoa Butter was the Vick’s of dry skin, hair, nails, etc.

CREDIT: “Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E 3.5-ounce Lotion” Digital Image. Overstock. 16 May 2018.


Those brutal, awkward days of puberty when your inner thighs had stretch marks and you didn’t even notice until your mami gasped and whipped out the cocoa butter stick from her purse for an emergency application. None of us have body image issues at all.

9. Vaporú also helped with baggy eyes…

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Vicks. 16 May 2018.


Warts, toe fungus, pimples, etc. She also had a travel size in her purse, so you were perpetually aware of every blemish and dark spot on your face.

10. Crunchy, crimped hair.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.


“You can’t leave the house como así!” If you didn’t dry your hair, you better expect some greasy shit to be scrunched in and to see the final result after you already got to school. You also prayed the whole ride there and couldn’t wait to wash your hair at the end of the day.

11. She probably used this product to make the crunch happen.

CREDIT: “Three Flowers Brilliantine Pomade Solid 3.25oz Image 1 of 4.” Digital Image. Walmart. 15 May 2018.


This can also be used to slick by your hair into a very painfully tight bun or ponytail. My primas and I would “rebel” the only way Latinx kids could: trying to say no, being forced to do it anyway, and harboring a resentment that turns into articles like these. 🙂

12. But first, you’d have to wear this crown jewel.

CREDIT: PerfumeLA / Pinterest


Pull your hair back real tight and then scrunch the rest away. Thankfully, Sabrina the Teenage Witch wore this in one episode, so I felt like a bruja and not a loser.

13. They’d cut off your f*cking ponytails.

CREDIT: “Cutting your own hair” Digital Image. The Loop. 16 May 2018.


True story: My Titi tricked me into this and secretly had my friend videotape it. She just casually asked* me to put my hair in a ponytail, promptly cut it off and said, “Así, now you have layers!”

*Latino “ask” is to ask, persist, guilt and shame the child until they finally agree. I’m still mad about it.

14. Use Sprite or lemon juice to highlight your hair.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.


All the cool kids had caramel or blonde highlights in their hair, and your mom did, too, but Latino style. Just squeeze lemon juice in your hair and help her pull weeds out in the sun for awhile. If you want red, just add Kool-Aid after.

15. Brown lipstick was the only lipstick worth wearing.

CREDIT: “Brown Lipstick” Digital Image. The Fashion Spot. 16 May 2018.


Obviously, there was also lip liner and a shimmery, bronze tint at the center of the bottom lip. Obviously, you were also 14 years old and hated everything about it.

16. “Hair Tendrils”

CREDIT: “Hair Tendrils” Digital Image. The Fashion Spot. 16 May 2018.


You didn’t go to a hair salon until you moved out of the house because your mom was always the one to cut your hair. I remember feeling drunk with power at the first salon I went to because she actually did what I asked her to do.

17. Mami was always crafty with how she ironed…

CREDIT: @mari_moves / Twitter


Your skull burned every time, but “Why buy a CHI when you can iron more hair at once with this? Let me help you.” It was her way of staying involved with everything you did.

18. She also had you use butter for tanning oil.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. La Prensa. 16 May 2018.


Everyone had all these name brand tanning oils, but your mom sent you to the beach with packets of butter to rub on your body. “It was good enough for me growing up, so it’s good enough for you.”

19. Hoop Earrings Every Day.

CREDIT: Oh-desperado / Tumblr


I miss these days with my whole soul. If Selena rocked it, then the whole familia did, too. Including that extremely high pony.

20. Remember those fruity lip balms at the cash register?

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.

You could scratch the sticker to smell the flavor and your mom would get you the one she wanted and then never give it back to you.

21. And those Colombian jeans…

latina moms

CREDIT: Shakira / Youtube

You wanted to go to GAP, but instead went to the corner mart and got those low-rise, pocketless jeans with a massive bedazzled belt. There was no way around being “the girl with curves” at school. It was all a set up, and one day, we might do some of the same to our own kids. 😂

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