Hello my friends! I am so excited to be a part of the She Arises and She Arises Latina community! I thought I would start this out by introducing myself. As you may have read, I am a first-generation, Mexican-American. I have the best family in the world and consider them to be an enormous source of support in my life. I recently completed by Bachelor of Arts degree and will soon begin working on my Master’s degree. I never thought I would have the desire to continue being in school, because, real talk, school can be brutal. However, I have been really stirred to continue my education due to our recent social and political climates. I am a firm believer in that everyone is my friend, some just do not know it yet! Haha!
I often think that this has a lot to do with the influence of Mexican cultural I was raised in. A friend of mine shared the phrase, ni de aquí, ni de allá meaning not from here, not from there. When I read that sentence, I realized how true this sentiment is for me. I was born in the United States, but I have always been heavily influenced with the traditions of Mexico. Both of my parents immigrated from Mexico; my Mom from Guanajuato and my Dad from Guerrero. They later met in the United States and as the saying goes, the rest is history. I have one younger brother making me the oldest. Spanish was my first language and although both of my parents obtained their high school diploma/GED, English was still a foreign language growing up. I do not remember having difficulty learning English. In fact, my only recollection is going to kindergarten around five years old and viola! I knew English. I doubt it was that easy, but that is how I remember it! To be very honest, much of my life was sheltered. Both of my parents have always been hard working, my Dad has been with the same company for over 30 years. I always felt that we were blessed with everything we needed and sometimes what we wanted. I also did not understand the immigrant story that runs through my veins until much later. Because everything was “easier” for me than my parents, I did not fully realize the sacrifice of the immigrant narrative. When we do not go through something, it can be easy to neglect the sacrifice associated with a story.
Over the last years, I have made the proactive effort of seeking out the story of those who paved the road before me. My paternal grandmother is the matriarch pillar of my family. She is currently 80 years young, but you would never know that. She still goes to the gym every day. Her courage to cross para el otro lado (to the other side) is extremely admirable. She left the country where she was born, the only home she knew, in search of a better life for her and her living children. Having been no stranger to tragedy, she came to the United States despite the odds stacked against her. Recently, during one of our many conversations, she said to me, “Si yo no creería en el cíelo, pensaría que los Estados Unidos es la Gloría.” (If I didn’t believe in heaven, I would think the United States is the Glory.) Many immigrants have similar stories; they too are no strangers to tragedy, disillusionment, and even fear. The narratives surrounding immigration today are unacceptable. For this reason, it is important that we stand together. I have hope that this land that I love, the United States of America, can still be United, that we can still open our arms to the foreigner and the forgotten. My paternal grandmother, came to the United States with a dream in her pocket. A dream that was sown in American soil. Her tears and the sweat of her labor watered the seeds. Today, I am extremely humbled and privileged to reap the fruit of her labor. It is not something I take for granted. I am a proud daughter and great-granddaughter of immigrants and I firmly believe los sueños no tienen fronteras (dreams do not have borders).
Celeste Dimas is a proud first-generation, Mexican-American. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Boise State University. In her free time, Celeste enjoys reading, writing for her personal blog (celestedimas.com), drinking a good latte, and spending time with her loved ones. She is passionate about correct representation of minorities in all things media and strongly believes in women empowering women. Celeste lives by the conviction that there is a seat for everyone at the table and that together we rise.
Celeste currently resides in Idaho. You can follow her adventures on Instagram (@celestedimas).