I left out the part in which Tío Tin made me eat the testicles, referred to as criadillas, after smoking them in the evening bonfire. This is equivalent to the Texas Rocky Mountain oysters or cattle fries. I left it out because this was NOT a treat.

San Valentín, patron saint of epilepsy, beekeepers, courtly love, and Mexican summers

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

As I sit in the darkness of my home office conserving power on what will be one of the coldest and iciest evenings for a Valentine’s Day in Central Texas, I’m reflecting on its significance, or perhaps lack thereof, for me. Growing up on the border while mamá, a single parent, was working to give my sisters and me an opportunity for a better, easier future, Valentine’s Day didn’t have any history and seemed too costly. A luxury that mi familia could not afford, and for what? To exchange store-bought cards and candy with 30+ school children? …

How a racially built environment is completed by its community members to make it a home.

I have the privilege of being a part of the Leadership Austin 2021 Essential Class. This year the program curriculum is exploring complex regional issues with a diversity of perspectives brought by a talented pool of classmates. The 42nd Leadership Austin Essential Class is a force to be reckoned with. Each of us comes to the space with distinctive lived experiences, ready to step out of our comfort zones, and committed to hold each other accountable in order to grow and enhance our leadership within our communities.

In December the class ventured into los barrios, that is, the communities of…

Reflections on the 12th day of October

Columbus Day

The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States was October 12, 1792. A New York City political organization known as Tammany Hall commemorated the 300th anniversary of Cristóbal Colón’s arrival to the Américas in 1492, albeit by error.

In 1892, during the 400th anniversary, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed the first official Columbus Day holiday in the United States. This was an effort to de-escalate a rising tension within the New Orleans community after a mob of vigilantes, fired up by anti-immigrant sentiment, lynched eleven Italian immigrants in 1891. …

Abstinence & the Multicultural Experience

Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

In reminiscing about the impetus to my entrepreneurial ventures, I had an amusing memory of my time teaching at UT Austin. Imagine this…

… a young mother huffing and puffing through the hills of campus, lugging a briefcase and diaper bag, pushing a double stroller carrying twin babes, with her toddler son in hand, maneuvering through the crowd of students, attempting to get to her classroom building in time to tag her husband, hand off the kids, and make it seem as if she had it all put together, ready to present an inspiring lesson on language and culture, thinking that the only inspiration she mustered was…

How math becomes a girl’s head trauma in grade school

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

It’s been a while since my last childhood story. Truth be told, I have not been inspired by any childhood memory lately, until my sister’s phone call dragged me out of bed at two o’clock one afternoon. This was after a 12+ hour, hard-fought battle, migraine. It was kicking my a**.

You see, as some of you know, I battle migraines regularly. And while I’ve been diagnosed with hereditary migraines by a neurosurgeon, keep a migraine journal to avoid triggers, and take prescription meds, there are natural triggers that cannot be avoided. …

An Angel That Needed a Cig

Cottonwood Tree at Cooley Elementary School

Ever experience the feelings of frustration and defeat when others cannot, and do not, understand what you are trying to convey? The inability to communicate clearly and be truly understood has been and continues to be Teresita’s paramount anxiety since crossing the border. You know.., learning to play that popular and amusing game of charades, NOT!

As much as Huck Finn continues to be misunderstood, Teresita battled linguistics and communication so much a nemesis to this eight-year-old immigrant that now is a passion for an adult professional, incessantly attempting to learn from the discipline.

Second Grade, the Big Year

Photo by healthline.com

Much like Tom Sawyer, Teresita was not much into school studies at an early age. Since making the move to US public schools during the days of the English-Only Education movement, Teresita struggled with the language transition. Dreading school daily, she would beg her mamá to return a casa. “In México, we are accepted, loved even. Here…, not so much.”

Entering second grade should have been exciting anticipation. It is the year to deepen the skills of language and math, a year of emerging confidence and independent thought. …

Norman Rockwell Illustrations of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (1936–1940)

The Adventures of Teresita

These short childhood stories are memories from a defining stage in my life as I experience a border life. For the most part, they are lived memories with a little bit of creative seasoning. I came to accept and admire the creative eye and mind that was eight-year-old Teresita. She had a way of seeing the harsh world and creating a fun and embellished experience to mimic the characters of her few and cherished books. …

Teresa CarbajalRavet

Chief Culturist at Sententia Vera, LLC | Cultural Bilingual Communication | Mothering 5 Bicultural Souls

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