The Modern Mexican American Spirit

The Texas Story Project.

Chicano culture has become so mixed that many of the young Hispanics in Texas feel as if they do not belong to one side. On one hand, many feel they are “not Mexican enough” for the Mexicans and they don’t identify fully with another American culture because they are simply not a part of it.

Some fully accept their identity within this gray area like Alexcy Martinez. His parents made their way across the border from Mexico to Dallas, Texas to build a good life for their family. This work ethic shows through during some of his family’s hardest times.

Even when his father was involved in a terrible lumber accident that left him unable to provide for his family for an extended amount of time, his mother continued to sell houses in real estate and provided for their family almost completely on her own. She worked so hard that she was featured on the Spanish Network Univision three times for the incredible work she has done in her field and now owns a third of the office she currently works in.

Since she was working so hard, Mr. Martinez was never shown directly his Mexican roots but instead learned about his own culture in a very modern way that many do—through television and digital media. This is where he learned what it was to be him in many ways. He learned about basic cultures, foods, and even how to speak Spanish this way. Everything American was given to him the same way. He even learned how to speak English this way and grew up fluent in both Spanish and English. Through this process, these two cultures clashed and meshed, creating the modern Mexican American. Our growing diversity in Texas makes this gray area that Mr. Martinez identifies with very large and while never being accepted into any one specific community of Americans or Mexicans he also feels like he’s never been profiled or discriminated against because of his ethnic origin. Many have even not been able to tell he is from Hispanic origin because of the way he dresses, which can be described as very modern American. Having some experience outside of Texas at an out-of-state university, this is one of his favorite parts of Texas. There are others just like him with very similar situations being first-generation Mexican Americans who can relate to him on a level that people who only identify with Americans or people who only identify with Mexican can’t.

Many other cherished memories have been made here such as skipping class to go to the State Fair and enjoying rides, beautiful Texas weather, and indulging in the tasty Tex-Mex cuisine the fair had to offer.

Overall, Mr. Martinez enjoys living here in Texas because of the diverse culture that has the niche he feels at home in. Being a first-generation Mexican American in Texas doesn’t make Texas feel any less like home.

Gabrielle Martinez is a student at St. Mary’s University majoring in Political Science. She is working hard to achieve her dreams of going to law school and owning her own firm. She loves to help others and understand everyone’s life and values.

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