Insights: Perspectives Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 | Monica B. Cunill
Although I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Miami when I was four or five, I am the daughter of Cuban exiles and consider myself Cuban American.
Seeing the goodness in people gives me hope. When I witness acts of kindness and generosity towards others, particularly to those in need during these challenging times, it gives me hope for the future.
One of my favorite traditions is Noche Buena. It is celebrated on Christmas Eve with family and friends. We play music and games such as dominos or continental (a card game my maternal grandmother taught us). A lechon (pig roast) is made in the backyard in a Caja China. Family members bring side dishes and many times there is an adult table and a children’s table. I personally like the children’s table more than the adult table! We say prayers before dinner and some family members also go to Misa de Gallo (midnight mass). It is a time for family fun, sharing memories and plans for the future, and reflecting on all our blessings.
My favorite thing about my Cuban American heritage is that we are proud and passionate people, especially regarding our traditions and how and where our family came from. At the same time we feel grateful to live in a free country after those before us left a place of oppression and communism. They left everything behind to give their children (and children’s children) an opportunity for a better life.
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