Hispanic Heritage Month Community Partner Spotlight: Brenda Mancilla

Safe Harbor Voice  |  October 12, 2020
Hispanic Heritage Month Community Partner Spotlight: Brenda Mancilla

Ni de aquí ni de allá, Mexican-American.

One of my favorite memories as a little girl visiting Mexico is of my grandfather taking me to the doctor when I was sick. Like every child I always hated going to the doctor, but somehow he always managed to make it special by taking me to The Licuado and Torta place afterwards. It was one of my favorite things. I can still taste the telera and ham, and smell the freshness of the licuado de papaya I use to drink. It was a great reward after being at the doctor's office! I have found that a way to stay connected to my culture while living in the upstate is to discover places that remind me of that torta place. I enjoy finding places that serve authentic Mexican food and transport me back to that place where those memories were formed. Even though our food is amazing, being Hispanic is more than just the delicious food we have. We’re formed by the vibrant music that makes your hips move. It's about the romantic language that allows you to declare “te quiero” y “te amo”. We are made up of people who are kind, strong, and courageous. We are marked by resilience and determination to overcome barriers in order to create a better future. Being Hispanic is colorful, vibrant, rich, pure and so much more! As a Mexican-American I'll leave you with this: 

I'm Mexican.

No, I'm not spicy. Or fiesty. Or exotic.

I'm just not bland. 

Because my culture is too rich. 

Because my hips give in to the beats of a drum. 

And my tongue rolls with a passion.

Because I come from vibrant colors

And full skirts.

And intricate patterns in my gene pool.

Warrior and conqueror. 

Because I have te quiero y te amo.

While you've gotta stick to I love you.

Because I come from women with rifles and food that excites you. And the very hands that harvest this land, 

hold the very hearts that harvested me.



I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



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