By Jessica Castillo, Associate
Growing up in my family meant following a set of rituals, which included speaking in Spanish, breakfast with my parents and brother on Saturday mornings and listening to two extremely famous Spanish singers battle it out every Sunday.
I remember when I started looking at colleges, the first thing I told my parents was that I wanted to leave the state of Florida and “experience” different cultures and ideas. To me (and most Miamians), Miami is a bit of a bubble. All I knew was my Hispanic culture, which is very family-centric. I wanted to explore what it would be like to live without my family, find myself and thrive in a new environment.
So, I moved to Washington D.C. for my new life, ready to figure things out on my own. After living with my college roommate for a total of three weeks, she asked me why I spoke to my family so frequently. To me, this frequent communication was normal. It wasn’t until it was brought to my attention that I realized I was on the phone or video chatting with my family or friends multiple times a day. Speaking to my family and friends every day is something that is engrained in me and part of who I am.
Once I moved back home to Miami, it was like I never left. I jumped back into the routine, happily speaking in Spanish, having breakfast together with my parents and brother every Saturday morning and listening to two extremely famous Spanish singers battle it out every Sunday morning.
In the two years I left for college, I realized how important my Cuban culture is and how much of an impact it’s had on me as a person. As time passes, I am grateful to have experienced different cultures and ideas, but what I’m most grateful for is being part of a crazy Cuban family. A family that always supports me and answers all my calls, no matter the hour.
The years have passed, but my family rituals remain the same, albeit with some updates. To this day, I still have breakfast with my parents and brother on Saturday mornings, though I no longer live with them, and we’ve added a couple more people to our mix. I’ve traded in my Sunday morning singing battles for dog park play dates, and I’m in constant communication with family and friends, namely my mom whom I call each morning on my way to the Golin Miami office. Overall, my Cuban culture has made me who I am and I am incredibly grateful for my family and their support every step of the way.