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Why is Being An Immigrant My Superpower?

Whenever I say the word “tacos” people automatically turn to me and say, “Where are you from?” I guess the Mexican in me comes out whenever I’m talking about our food but who can blame me right!? Anyway, I always proudly reply, “Oh! I’m from Mexico”.

We always have that moment you know. When people see or hear something different about us and wonder where we’re from. They want to know our story. And in that moment we feel close to home. We remember why we came here.

There have been plenty of times when the word “immigrant” made me feel like a fish out of the water. But over time, I came to learn that it’s something way more significant than a legal status.

Let me tell you why I learned that being an immigrant is a superpower.

Our Roots Are Everything

Do you remember what it was like being a little kid? For me, it was being the oldest of five kids. I grew up playing Mom 2.0, a teacher to my siblings and knowing that I was their example to follow. I learned from a very early age that if I wanted to reach my dreams, I needed to go and get them myself.

Growing up in a Mexican household gave me all the tools that I needed to do so. I’m lucky to say that my parents are the reason why I am here today. They have always been a clear example of working hard and doing it while wearing your heart on your sleeve. They knew that I had big dreams. They never held me back and always pushed me forward.

We all need that someone right? Whether it’s your sister, your parents, or a friend. They become part of the reason why you want to leave on an adventure and chase your dreams.

Maria Navarro
Maria as a girl in Mexico to working in the US

For me, having a Mexican/Latino background has meant always remembering where I came from.

That’s why roots are everything. They shape the person we are today. They are the reason why we stay strong even on our toughest days.

Our Fuel Never Runs Out

What’s your fuel? What keeps you going? What makes you get out of bed to go to work every day? Your fuel could be money, your family, your dreams, your goals, you name it.

For an immigrant, it’s all that, plus being able to say, “I made it, the hard work has paid off.”

A call from your family, a memory, or a home-cooked meal can also be part of your fuel. A small but significant reminder of what makes us feel at home. That is enough to keep us going.

Learning a new language and being away from home is hard. There might be times when you just want to book the first flight back home. But we learn to carry our home in our hearts wherever we go and we get to share a little piece of it with everyone we meet.

Your fuel is part of your superpower. It’s that push we need to remind ourselves to keep going and not give up.

We Work Hard and with Heart

As an immigrant, I’ve learned that working hard gets you places. I’ve always thought that the world is far too big for it not to have exactly what you want. You just gotta keep looking.

The key is to keep showing up and not to underestimate yourself. Learn something from everyone you meet and always have a backup plan for when things don’t go your way.

But over the years, I’ve come to realize that hard work means nothing when you don’t go at it with your full heart. And what I mean is, doing things with love. It may sound silly, I know, but if you do the smallest tasks of your job with passion, people around you will notice. They will feel the enthusiasm, and your hard work will make even a bigger impact around you.

We learn to appreciate so much. We appreciate our country when we’re not there, and we see all the things that we might have taken for granted. We appreciate the country we’re in now and we have a new perspective on the world that we bring with us anywhere we go.

Our ability to carry home in our hearts when we are far away makes us even stronger. That’s why our heart becomes part of our superpower: because it’s filled with fuel that won’t run out.

There are countless stories about people coming to this country with a dollar in their pocket and a big dream. But there’s always something so powerful in them that makes them build not only a life, but a legacy to follow.

And if you ask me, that’s because being an immigrant was their superpower too.

Maria Navarro is a new contributor to hertelier. Born and raised in Mexico, Maria moved to the US with big dreams! Though only 26 she has a passion for hospitality and has worked in a variety of management positions for luxury hotels. Now Maria is pursuing her other love––writing about hospitality––and has launched her eponymous copywriting company, offering services in both English and Spanish. Feel free to get in touch with Maria for any writing projects!

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