Guest Post: Hispanic Heritage Month: A Band of Boricuas

Li is a lawyer by day and an actress, writer and blogger by night. She
is a Puertorriqueña who embraces her roots and seeks to inspire others on her journey. Please visit her at her lovely blog Her Deep Thoughts.

When I think of Hispanic Heritage month, the one thing I think of the most is my immediate family. A bunch of Puerto Ricans living in Brooklyn, New York.

As a little girl, if there was a special occasion or a holiday to celebrate we would clamor to Mamita’s (my grandmothers) house to have dinner together. All thirty five of us grandkids would run around, avoiding threats of the chancleta (slipper) from Papito (my grandfather), who had very good aim.

We would be in our best clothes, listening to the record player, sitting on the plastic-covered couch watching the adults dancing to salsa like they were performers on a stage. Of course, my female cousins and I would peel ourselves off the couch and fling each other around in mock-salsa, knocking into each other and the adults in the tiny living room. My handful of male cousins would break-dance in the foyer, making music of their own.

The men (my dad or tios [uncles]) who weren’t dancing with their wives (my mom or tias [aunts]) would be in the dining area, drinking beer and cracking jokes. We have always been a large family of women, so the few men always huddled together whenever they could, making sure the kids stayed in the sala (living room).

The women would be bustling about making sure everyone had a plate of arroz con gandules, pasteles, tostones, potato salad, and ensalada de pulpo.  They would crack jokes about who was the better cook that evening and compare recipes.

Every holiday it was the same cast of characters – and always a family united. These cousins, my aunts and uncles, my parents and sister constituted my immediate family.  All of them.

Now that we – these thirty five – have grown older, our lives have led us in different directions. We no longer gather in that house. No parties. No dancing. No unity.

Everyone grows up and moves on to start their own traditions. People pass away. We only see each other on facebook…and at funerals.

Being together is the one thing I miss the most about this band of Boricuas. The love and the laughter that filled the house was so thick, that you would leave mamita’s house buzzing with the energy, begging to sleep over each other’s houses, crying when our parents said no, talking for days about being with the family and reliving that night while watching home movies. Then we would do it all over again on the next special occasion or holiday.

This is what I think about when I consider what Hispanic Heritage month means to me. Being with my family.

Those are the days I miss the most.

Li of


  1. Hey Chica! Thanks for inviting me to post on your blog!!

    Li recently posted..Puerto Rican Nuyorican Who Cares

  2. Thank you for sharing. I love the post.
    Divina recently posted..Attack of The Movie 3D Video Game Review

  3. My Godmother’s house is where my family would gather for holidays, and when she passed holidays were never the same, I can truly relate!

    Great guest post Li!

    ˙·٠•●♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥●•●•
    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly recently posted..Todays Words of Inspiration – Who is going to rescue YOU

  4. Li’s story sounds so familiar! hahah must be a Puerto Rican thing. Great post Li!!


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