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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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Video showcases struggles of cultural identity for young Latinos

Oscar+Cetina+takes+questions+during+the+Latino+in+America+event+Thursday+evening+in+the+Hughes-Trigg+Varsity.
Adriana Ovalle/The Daily Campus
Oscar Cetina takes questions during the Latino in America event Thursday evening in the Hughes-Trigg Varsity.

Oscar Cetina takes questions during the Latino in America event Thursday evening in the Hughes-Trigg Varsity. (Adriana Ovalle/The Daily Campus)

The SMU community got a glimpse of the challenges faced by young Latinos torn between holding onto their parent’s culture and embracing the American lifestyle through the screening of the video “Latino in America” at the Hughes-Trigg Commons Thursday.

Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Beta organization in celebration of the Latino Heritage Month, the video traced the experiences of seven families struggling to offer their children a shot at the American dream through education, while at the same time aiming to uphold the Latino heritage, resulting in generational cultural conflict. The video detailed how some of the teenagers got pregnant at an early age thus missing the educational opportunities available to them or suffering from depression either as a result of conflict with their parents or discrimination from the very society they strived to belong to

“If you are not white, you are not just right. If you are Puerto Rican or Dominican, you are Mexican, it does not matter,”Carlos Ramos, one of the people featured in the video, said .

After the screening, panelists from different organizations around Dallas/Fort Worth responded to questions fielded by Juan Garcia, president of Sigma Lambda Chi chapter at SMU. He asked the panelists if they experienced any conflicts between themselves and their families.

Judith Guzman, a Dallas attorney involved with promoting educational initiatives to Latino children, said she experienced conflict in her family when she dated people outside of her Latino heritage. However, this changed overtime.

Panelist Laura Benavides addressed coming to a college like SMU, somewhere she felt comfortable.

“It is not the best filling to not see many Hispanics on campus. But I got an opportunity to embrace Hispanic culture more,” Benavides said. ” There are many ways I can connect back to my heritage.”

Another panelist, Tomas Rivera, who works at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and who has participated in previous educational Hispanic programs at SMU, said the event gave the students a great opportunity to learn their culture.

“The students got an opportunity to learn how their culture will affect what they will do, from listening to us who are in the trenches,” Rivera said.

Cesar Rincon, a sophomore at SMU, found the video informative, going beyond the typical portrayal of Latinos in the workplace. It showed their experiences in ordinary life.

“I can relate to the some of the students’ experience of culture shock,” Rincon said. ” I also experienced a culture shock when I joined SMU, but I have gotten over it.”  

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