Love & Sacrifice: What it’s (Really) Like for Latino Families Living in the U.S.

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By: Dennis Sanchez
Founder, Marcar Visions Marketing
& Los Compadres, Modern Caballeros

Dennis with his parents in New Jersey.

Dennis, Peruvian living in NJ, with his parents

Many people ask me, “why do you put so much time and effort in the Latino community?” Others ask me, “What’s in it for you?” And my favorite, “Why do you spend so much time on something that’s not going to make you any money?”

The Latino Sacrifice

Today I decided to think deep and really analyze my reasons for concentrating on the Latino community and I found some new insight. I came across my first enlightenment when I thought back to my juvenile years. I remembered the sacrifice, love, passion and unity from my family. Every day was a fierce battle for survival and at the same time for success.

My parents had to leave a house that was custom built in Peru, only to come to a country where we would live in a rat infested basement and in which work was very scarce and labor intensive. Each day would be a struggle to search for additional financial income, while paying for private school tuition.

I can still hear my father’s voice, “Tu tienes que ser mucho mas que nosotros hijito”, “estudia y sal para adelante, que para eso trabajamos”, “No me importa sacarme la M***** con tal que tu y tu hermana salgan para adelante.”

All for a shot at the “American Dream” every day was filled with fear of loss, not even for the money, but for the failure to provide their children the best life possible. Three real estate properties, 3 cars, comfortable savings account and 2 college educated adult children later, all done with grade school education, is what my parents achieved.

It brings tears to my eyes to remember all that they went through and what my sister and I had to go through to reach the lifestyle that we currently live. I can confidently say that whoever said, “A bird in hand is better than two in the bush”, was not Latino.

Will the sacrifice be worth it?

Fear was another word that resonated continuously through the minds of my parents. Fear of failure, failure to provide the best for their family. The loudest word that sings fluently in my life is LOVE. It is love that motivated my parents to fear failure to provide for their family and their main answer was sacrifice.

Sacrifice was the main drive for my family and the more I talk with other Latino professionals my age, the more I discover that my family was not the only one that experienced this sort of life.

Traditional Latinos vs bi-cultural Latinos

It is the experience of the sacrificial life that harnesses resentment when their main sacrificial motivation, their hijos, are not “just working” and making money to live the life that they thought was not available to them. It is the sacrificial life that has the traditional Latinos misunderstand the value of vision and passion.

“Hijo, trabaja, estudia, se un doctor, abogado, ingeniero o un ejecutivo, y saca a tu familia para adelante”.

In their perspective, anything less was failure, but not only for their children, but for them not having their pride and joy accomplish what is viewed, in their mind, as success. It is what they dreamed and used as motivation when working those 2 or 3 shifts with 2-3 hours of sleep. This miscommunication harbors the misunderstanding between the bicultural Latinos and traditional Latinos.

“Hijo, empezar un negocio no es seguro y no se sabe si vas a hacer dinero. Mejor trabaja para esas companias grandes, porque hay mas seguridad”.

In addition, the bi cultural Latinos still have the core Latino values and beliefs, which are not understood by our Caucasian counterparts.

What does fear have to do with it?

One of the greatest fears in life is fear of the unknown. All of the hate between the racial classes stems from the lack of understanding.

Our traditional first generation Latinos struggle to understand the second and third generation, while the Caucasian community fails to know and understand the values and beliefs of the Latino Community, both traditional and bi cultural. It is fear that leads to insecurity, which ends in hopelessness. It is the sense of hopelessness, in anyone, that we should all fear.

Why I chose to empower Latinos?

I can answer that in one word, LOVE. I have love for my people because they are constantly showing and proving their love. We may not know what their meaning of love may be all the time, but they are constantly showing it according to their beliefs about it. I choose to work with who are near and dear to my heart, mi gente.

You liked this post? Then read Dennis’s blog post: “Why NOW is the Time to Forgive your Father (or Mom)”

DennisDennis Sanchez headshot Sanchez, “The Latino Sales Advisor,” is the founder of Marcar Visions Marketing, an agency in NYC/NJ that advises Latino small business owners on SALES and marketing solutions. He’s also the founder of “Los Compadres, Modern Caballelos,” a non-profit organization that promotes personal and leadership development among Latino males. If you wish to connect and engage with the Latinos in NYC & NJ, request a free consultation with Dennis HERE.

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7 thoughts on “Love & Sacrifice: What it’s (Really) Like for Latino Families Living in the U.S.

  1. I loved this article! As a 1st generation American & 1st generation high school and college graduate, I can relate 🙂

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