I was born on August 18, 1985 in Miami,Fla. Although I became an American citizen by birth, I could feel my Cuban blood run through my veins from the moment I was released from my mother's womb. It was almost as if Celia Cruz could hear me screaming "Azucar".
As a child, my grandparents and parents instilled the Cuban culture and the Spanish language in my life. I learned how to eat "arroz con frijoles", dance to salsa music, and greet my family members and friends with a kiss on the cheek.
When I started kindergarten at the age of five, I only knew how to speak Spanish. At the moment, I hated my parents for not teaching me English, especially because although having been born in Cuba, they were both raised in the United States. Today, I thank my parents for that, for if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be a true bilingual.
As a child, I had no idea that being "Cuban" or "Hispanic" was an identity and a culture because in Miami, I was surrounded by people of my same background. However, coming to the University of Florida at the age of 18 quickly opened my eyes to the fact that I was Hispanic and that made me unique. It has been in the past three and half years of college that I have cherished my Cuban culture dearly and tried to promote my ethnicity by being a leader in the Cuban-American Student Association at the University of Florida.