Here in Des Moines, my family and I were very close, and we had to find new people to have a tight community with. We would always get together with other immigrant families and we would go to events. We kept some of our traditions from Mexico, but also started new traditions when we got here.
An example of what we did in Des Moines that was the same as in Mexico was our views on medicine. My mom
followed my grandma’s views of medicine. She always thought, “The cure to everything is whiter, just drink more water. If you drink more water you’ll be fine.” Another type of medicine that we use is if you are sick, you can grab an egg, pour alcohol in the egg, and then rub yourself over with that egg. This is supposed to cure all the bad stuff out of you.
Another tradition that we carried over to America is some of the shrines we have in the house. We have the virgin Mary in our house. We also have different shrines of different saints in our house that are very important to our family back in Puebla as well as my family here in Des Moines because our family identifies with these saints.
A really fun tradition that we follow is for birthdays. We get a birthday cake to celebrate, it’s a specific type of cake, and we sing the Happy Birthday Song. At the end, we sing, in Spanish, “Take a bite. Take a bite.” When the person goes to take a bite, you smash their face into the cake. It isn’t really sanitary, but it’s very rewarding when you’re able to smash some little kids face into the cake, like “Ooh, Happy Birthday. Take it,” because then you know that when it’s your birthday your face is going to be smashed into the cake as well!
“Take a bite. Take a bite.”
Those are just a few of the different traditions that my family participates in here in Des Moines that we brought from Puebla and use here in Des Moines.