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This is a story I didn’t want to tell. A story that stabs at the back of my heart, where I like to keep hurts hidden. But it’s not only my story. And so, for all the other women who don’t have a chance to tell this, I have to be the one.
When the bleeding started, my first thought was—go to the doctor.
Six weeks pregnant, I was still recovering from the upheaval of moving to Mexico to care for my sick mother, while juggling a nine-year-old daughter and work.
More Latinos than ever are leaving the Catholic Church for other religions and spiritual practices—whether it be Pentecostalism, Islam or no spiritual practice at all. What the way we worship says about us as a changing community.
You know that normal Latino family you see on TV commercials—a 30-something, dark-haired couple with a station wagon and two kids who look just like them? Turns out they’re about as real a reflection of today’s Latino marriages as Carmen Miranda’s fruit hat is of our fashion.
In truth, a quiet revolution is transforming the state of Latino unions. We’re marrying—or choosing not to marry—in completely different ways than our grandparents did.
At 2 a.m. on the night Antonia de la Luz* escaped to the United States, an unmarked van glided into her garage and cut the motor. She and her four daughters threw themselves on the floor of the van, arranged like puzzle pieces to fit among suitcases and seats. Gas fumes and fear brought nausea. But the airport was more than 100 kilometers away, and De la Luz could not afford for anything to go wrong. To ask for asylum, she needed to reach the States first. There were only two options now: Escape, or be killed by her husband.
To be counted or not to be counted? That’s the question facing millions of Latinos as the 2010 Census forms are mailed out starting this month. What we decide will move billions of dollars and could shift the balance of power in Congress. It’s no surprise then, that most of this year’s Census news is all about us—from a raging controversy over whether any Latinos should allow themselves to be counted, to a spicy telenovela ad campaign the Census Bureau hopes will convince us to participate.
It happens everywhere: Latinos arrive in a new American town, work and save like crazy, and within a few years, voilà! They’re opening businesses and buying homes. At a time when the rest of us are choking on major credit card debts, immigrants often save a fifth or more of their income and are 30 percent more likely than nonimmigrants to open a business.
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