I’ve been a first generation Cuban-American my entire life & never knew there was a National Hispanic Heritage Month. In fact, I couldn’t find a Hispanic in my circle of friends who knew about it. I don’t need a month to be proud of where we came from. Pride in our strong, weather any storm people, is deep in our roots, but when fellow Cuban (and meteorologist) Ashley Ruiz from BR Proud reached out about her Hispanic Heritage Month Special, I was honored to participate.
The most hilarious part is when I asked her...so what month is it? And she replied... September 15th - October 15th🤣 I mean we can’t even be on time for our own month. 🤣 Cuban time is a real thing people! 🤣🤣
As proud as I am about the strong, resilient people I came from, there are so many similarities in the people of Louisiana and why my parents felt so at home when they moved here. My Mom often shares the story of how she felt when she & my Dad came here to decide if he would accept his job offer at Dow Chemical. Their honeymoon consisted of traveling to the different cities where he had job offers to decide which to take.
Mom said when they arrived in Louisiana, it was the first time since fleeing Cuba that she felt truly at home. The people of Louisiana are so much like Cubans. Family are your friends; your friends are considered family and strangers become friends in an instant. They know how to celebrate life and they turn even the hardest times into a party. They are warm, strong & resilient people who can weather any storm. They have each other’s back & the food is sooooo good.
So… though I am fiercely Cuban I am also fiercely a Louisianian & even more fiercely American. I will never take for granted the sacrifices my parents made for the freedoms we have today & the warmth & joyfulness of the people of Baton Rouge who welcomed our parents in their mighty Cajun way & made them feel like they were home.
Catch the replay of Ashley’s National Hispanic Heritage Month Special on BRProud below and make sure to join the Jewel of Havana VIP list to be up to date on the next Havana Happy Hour Virtual Arts Market and all the fun insider goodies you get for being in the club!
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!