Together, We Can Heal

Oct 15, 2022 | 
Equity | Hispanic Heritage Month

Boricuas are Resilient

“Throughout our history, Puerto Rican people (boricuas) have gone through a continuing series of extreme situations, making us resilient in the face of adversity – starting with Puerto Rico’s colonization by Spain and then by the United States, and recently, natural disasters and the ongoing pandemic.

We have a strong sense of pride in our resilience and we don’t always show it when we are struggling.

No matter the circumstance, we will always tell you that we are okay.

We will always tell you that we have what we need.

We will always tell you that we can handle a situation.

When we can’t count on outside support, we help each other survive these disasters – like we always have.

We continue to face struggles, but because of our pride we also say, ‘Yo soy boricua pa’ que tu lo sepas’ (I am Puerto Rican, just so you know) with a smile on our lips.”

— Carmen, Lines for Life Call Counselor

Together, We Can Heal

“Al vivo todo le falta y al muerto todo le sobra.” (The living need everything and the dead have too much.) – Herón Pérez Martínez

The sentiment in this Mexican proverb is a common way to look at life in the Hispanic community. Valuing experiences, love, and celebrating life – rather than focusing on the things we may lack – is protective to our mental health. My mother often says, “Cuando me muera no me puedo llevar nada, entonces para que me preocupo?” meaning “There’s nothing I can take when I die, so why worry?” She constantly reminds me to be thankful for life, even when things are grim.

There are many protective factors in the Hispanic/Latine community that we don’t even realize are helping our mental health. Being thankful, celebrating life, and sharing special moments with community are all preventative strategies to suicide. Dia de los Muertos provides a communal form of grieving, storytelling, and healing.

We thank all the staff that share their stories and culture, and those who work to make Hispanic Heritage Month special at Lines for Life and acknowledged across communities. We hope to continue to celebrate, honor, and uphold this colorful heritage year-round, encouraging emotional healing across communities of color.

— Yoli, Neighborhood Empowerment Manager

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