Today, I find my mind wandering off to the 4th of July celebrations at my parents’ house. We paid homage to “American” culture with frijoles rancheros and flour tortillas (in place of our Yucatecan black beans and corn tortillas). My dad would simmer fajitas on the grill while we worked on guac and pico inside and the cumbias would keep everyone in sync. As my sisters and I got older and embraced more and more of the world beyond the mini-Yucatan within the walls of our house, these holidays stayed identical – fajitas, flour tortillas, and cumbias. It’s how we could tell home apart from the rest of our shifting Chicano world.
Our grill looks a little different than my parents’ with vegetables taking center stage and our world may look a little different than my parents’, but the cumbias will always be playing in my heart.