Mi Verano Dominicano
By: Isaura Sanchez
*turn on your Dominican accent*
My name is Isaura Sanchez (E-SAU-RRA). Pronunciation of my name has become so important to me because for many years I adjusted to societal norms and gave myself a nickname that was easier and said with less disappointments, Isa. I am a proud Afro-Latina thanks to my Dominican parents. I grew up in Queens in a town where there weren’t many other Dominicans. On the weekends we would go visit my father’s family. They
lived on opposite ends of the city, Washington Heights and the other half in Long Island. I just purchased my first home in Long Island and I try to stay attached as much as I can to my culture, so I live in a Dominican town where I have the suburban living and can still smell the fried cheese with the tipico blaring in the background.
I thank my parents for consistently keeping our culture alive through norms and traditions, while also embedding the language into my education. They always encouraged me to be the best I can be and supported any dream I wanted to pursue. I completed two Masters in
Education, have been in the field of Special Education for 11 years, when one day my mom turns to me and says, “Tu tienes que ser una maestra bilingüe.” And she was right. La dedicación de mis padres me ha ayudado no solamente ser maestra si no ser una maestra bilingüe. I am now a licensed Bilingual Special Education Teacher.
I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. Me acuerdo de muchos momentos de mi infancia que me ayudaron a ser una escritora bilingüe. I have what I call a bin of journals filled with my childhood thoughts and writings. Today I am proud that I identify as a Bilingual poet who uses translanguaging as a tool to connect to her readers. Tengo muchas memorias bellas del desarrollo de mi Bilingüismo. Espero pasar esas tradiciones con mis escrituras y poemas.
Follow Isaura on Twitter @Isaura_Writes.