When I decided to start my blog, a little over a year ago, I immediately knew what the name of the blog was going to be “Latin Mama in the South”. Somehow, I ended up living in South Carolina, and it has been a struggle all alone. I am a person who adapts pretty quickly to different situations, but SC has been a tough cookie for me.
I moved to SC with my husband, when his job transferred from NC, it was a big promotion for him. The move happened in 2006, I stayed home for two months, and then I found a job at the SC Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. I was hired as an Investigator…it was a dream job for me. I stayed there for 5 years -that is another blog topic on its own.
We, both, had pretty good jobs, the kids were thriving, and life was going pretty good. The first struggle as a Latina living in the south happened at the DMV. I needed to get my SC driver’s license. When I arrived at the DMV, the first thing I was ask to bring was proof of residency, well we were just renting a house, and I did not have the rental agreement with me. I asked for a list of the things I needed to bring back to the DMV, in order to get the license. Mind you, I had a military ID (because I was a soldier) and my North Carolina driver’s license.
Well, the next day, I return to the DMV with my rental agreement, as a proof of residency. Needless to say, that the DMV worker was not satisfied with my marriage license, birth certificate, social security card, military id, rental agreement, NC driver’s license, etc. They wanted to see my “green card”. I, very politely, explained that I was a US citizen and that I did not need nor did I have a green card. Well, the worker, asked… “Since when are you a citizen?”…OMG!!!! I blasted out, “Since the day I was born”.
Well, to make a long story short…the Camden DMV did not want to issue a SC driver’s license to this Puerto Rican (I could have kill someone that day). I drove home, sobbing, and I explained to my husband what the issue was. He offered to go with me, and I said no; instead I called the state office and explained to one of the directors what the situation was. The lady was very apologetic; she asked me if I wanted to go to another DMV location to get the license. I said, no, I want to go to the same place I went to the first time. So, I drove back to the DMV, this time I did not even have to wait in line, I was treated like royalty.
Well, you see the damage was done. After being in many states in the United States, to settle in S.C was not an ideal situation for me. The racism and ignorance was beyond belief! That DMV incident only trigger many other incidents…so, when I started playing in the blogging world…the idea was to share my experiences as a Latin woman, mother and wife, living in the south. Once I began writing, I found myself feeling a lot of joy writing about our family adventures. I guess it’s better to write about the positive experiences and not the negative ones; even though the negative experiences I’ve had in SC are the ones that prompted the name for my blog.
I lost count of the many time I had to explain to South Carolinians that Puerto Ricans were US citizens, that the island is a territory of the United States. I still get funny looks when I walk into certain restaurants, I still get weird looks when I open my mouth and people hear my accent, it is unimaginable how some of the uneducated people in the south, still have that believe that all Hispanics are illegal aliens.
Not all is bad; I have met some of the most amazing people I could ever meet. I met some guys at my husband’s job, who have and forever will have a very special place in my heart. I work with some amazing ladies, who accept me for who I am, and when they have questions about where I come from, they ask, and they learn about my culture and my upbringing. I met some amazing teachers, who have been in charge of teaching my children. Not all is bad! Sadly, bad experiences sticks to one’s head more that the good ones. Let’s put it this way…I have had more good than bad experiences as a Latin mama living in the south.
So, tell me about how you came up with your blog name. 🙂by