It's been a long road coming, but I'm so proud to share Becoming Mexican, a project that explores heritage and cultural identity. By seeking out people, food, products, places, and stories with a connection to Mexico, I hope to forge a relationship with the country of my paternal great-grandparents.
We start with an interview with Marcus Mejía, who grew up in rural Oregon and had great-grandparents who immigrated during the Mexican Revolution. A story similar to mine. Marcus turned to winemaking and created Bad Hombre Wines in response to the 2016 election.
Becoming Mexican also aims to provide a platform to counter the current political framing of immigrants and to showcase the incredible work of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and the creative force they add to the world. At a time when families are being separated and those who dare to hope are met with aggression, I want to showcase the daughters and sons of immigrants. Just look what we can become.
I hope this project sheds a few rays of light on the experience of second-, third-, fourth-generation immigrants and the sometimes complicated, sometimes vague relationship we can have with our roots. We live in the now, but the way we look and feel is often informed by a past that isn’t directly ours. I want to claim some of that past for myself and examine how having a stronger connection to that past will shape my future.
I've had the incredible opportunity to live on three continents and travel the world extensively, but I've never had the chance to get to know Mexico. It's time.