I'm Mestizo

"Where are you from?", asked my Cuban American friend when I was 10 years old. Well, I've been answering that question for the past 29 years, and for one-third of Latin Americans in the U.S., we are Mestizo. My story begins on my mother's side of the family, when my maternal great-grandfather Antonio Belli immigrated to Nicaragua from Italy. There he met Carlota Chamorro, my great grandmother, whom had indigenous Nicaraguan roots and thus my mixed ethnicity took form. It further advanced when my Cuban born father, Rolando Mendoza, met my Nicaraguan born mother, Carlota Solorzano. Back when I was 10 years old, articulating the deep roots of my mixed ethnicity, consisted of me just replying, "I'm Cuban" or I'm Nicaraguan". Well, I have an answer for that friend that asked me when I was 10 years old and for those that will ask me in the future. I'm Mestizo. 

Gabriel Mendoza 

Gabriel Mendoza