Iset holding up a blackboard with her name

We’re proud to celebrate the Hispanic culture, heritage, and traditions all year long. This week we’re even more excited because we sat down with an AF family to learn more about what Hispanic heritage means to them! First up we have Iset, a first-grader at AF Bushwick Elementary. Later this week, we’ll talk to her mom Melissa and her dad Joshua—who both work at AF!

Tell us about yourself.
I’m in first grade. I like to go to the playground and play with my sister, mom, and my dad. I also have 20 dogs and one cat.

Woah—that’s a lot of animals! Do they all live with you?
No, they all live in the Dominican Republic. Some of my family lives there so they watch our pets.

Have you ever been to the Dominican Republic?
I went when I was a baby, but I don’t really remember it. When my papa went to the Dominican Republic, he sent me a photo of my dogs so I got to see them. My grandma also shows me photos and tells me a lot of stories about the DR. I’m going next year! I’m excited. If they have my favorite movie on the plane, I’m going to watch that, since we’ll have to fly at night. My favorite movie is “The Emoji Movie,” and I’ve seen it 100 times.

We’ll have to add that to our watch list! We also heard you have family in Puerto Rico. What are some of your favorite things about having family from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic?
I love the food like rice and beans, and tostones. I also like speaking English and Spanish at home and at school. Actually, I also speak a little bit of Chinese, French, and sign language.

Our readers can’t see it, but we’ll tell them that you just spelled your name in sign language! What do you think about speaking more than one language?
It’s important because I can speak Spanish to my family in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and they can understand me.

That’s definitely important. Do you have a favorite holiday that you celebrate with your family?
My favorite holiday is Christmas because we get presents. We also do Noche Buena on the day before Christmas, and we spend time with our whole family. My family is so big–there are too many people to count!

What are you going to do at school to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
We are having a big show, and my class is going to sing a song called “La Ranita” in Spanish and English.

So cool! Last question. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a vet because I like helping sick pets. My name when I grow up is going to be “Iset the Vet”.

Thank you for chatting with us, Iset! Look out for our next interview with Iset’s mom, Melissa.

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