I am Vanesa Rodriguez and I am proud to be a part of the Hispanic community. I was born in Greenville, S.C., and am a junior at Furman University. My mother and father were both born in Mexico and I am privileged that they have taught me to appreciate the Hispanic/Latinx culture.
Being Hispanic has allowed me to form different relationships in the Greenville community through the power of language. I am grateful that my parents have always encouraged me to further my understanding of the Spanish language and to challenge myself to be a liaison for those who cannot or do not speak English well. The ability to serve as a translator for someone who may need help having their voice heard during day to day activities truly warms my heart.
I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to speak on the behalf of those who struggle with English because they are often ignored by authorities who do not want to listen to accents. I want to make clear that an accent does not make anyone less intelligent or less human, this is an issue that many in the Hispanic/LatinX community experience.
I am not afraid to speak Spanish in public at the store or say and teach Spanish phrases to my friends at Furman. I believe that this my small way of keeping and reminding others of my culture while living in Greenville. The Hispanic/Latinx community in Greenville is prevalent and adds such a rich diversity to Greenville. Being the daughter of two Mexican immigrants, I am vastly aware of the issues in our immigration system and empathetic to those who seek a better life. It is my dream that everyone be empathetic and understanding of those in these situations.