Latinx Heritage Month is a time for celebrating family. For Josmeilyn, an AF North Brooklyn Prep Middle seventh- grader, that means celebrating family roots in the Dominican Republic. It is a culture she identifies with deeply.
Josmeilyn knows what it is to be a New Yorker. And she knows what it is to be Dominican, too. Most of her family still lives in the Dominican Republic and, especially during Latinx Heritage Month, they come together, share food, and enjoy each other’s company. One of her favorite things to do is to talk about life with her family members.
New York may be far away from the D.R., but the D.R. is never far away from Josmeilyn.
Every weekend, she and her parents call her family there to check-in before bed. In the morning, Josmeilyn and her family call again.
She loves to learn things about the Dominican Republic that she might not have known before, and she wants to share what she learns with others.
She wants people to know that the Dominican Republic is many things. It is an amazing place to be from. She loves to dance bachata at one particular parade there, one where Dominicans dress like dragons or wear traditional red, blue, and white dresses with floral hats. She remembers the festival, the food, the music, and the people.
And, where her family comes from, there are a lot of very hard times right now. There are not as many resources, and plenty of kids just like Josmeilyn and her classmates do not have a good school to go to.
For Josmeilyn, being Dominican means learning new things about culture. And Latinx Heritage Month means honoring and sharing that culture.
Josmeilyn knows that ultimately, culture is family. In her home, celebrating Latinx Heritage Month is all about celebrating family, too.