I am from

JASBETH MEDRANO | University of Bristol | Arts, Activism and Social Justice Summer School | St Pauls, Bristol | Dallas, TX

I am from garage sales,

From Fabuloso and Zote.

I am from bright, colorful “funditas”

That never show up on Apple Maps.

Those that you only know

Through word of mouth

I’m from telenovelas

And hopeless romantics who suffer from

Speaking in ALL the love languages.

I am from cowboy boots and bell-bottom jeans

But not in a “Yee-Haw” kind of way

Rather in an “Arre” kind of way

I’m from celebrating any and all parties

Bautizos, Primeras Comuniones, Confirmaciones Quinceañeras y Cumpleaños

Because it doesn’t matter what we celebrate,

What matters is being together

Happy, in one space

But I am also from sacrifice

I am from 14 hour shifts

From the bruises and scars my parents carry,

Proof of their efforts to give my sister and I

“A better life”.

I am from transformative justice

Before even knowing what it was,

From understanding at a young age

That I could never call the cops.

From people only seeing my family

For their labor.

But never their humanity

The smell of my clothes

The music I listen to

How I dress

What I eat

My beliefs

My attitudes and perspectives

All a reflection of

Where I am from.


This “I am from” poem was written about the things I am currently missing most. From cleaning products to my family, I feel as though the things I miss most from America are probably the things that describe where “I am from the most”. Although silly, I grew up in a household where every Saturday, my family and I would clean our home. This has since manifested into me continuing my weekly routine of deep cleaning my space. To this day, I still use the exact same products and methods my mom would use (even if it accidentally creates mustard gas).

As for telenovelas, seeing complex plots and grand love gestures has truly impacted the way I see my relationships. Most telenovelas I grew up watching emphasized the importance of putting out the energy and attitudes you wanted to receive from the world.

Additionally, hispanics have a reputation for being loud and knowing how to party. I completely agree with the statement, though I would truly encourage people to learn from us. Sometimes, we don’t even need a specific reason to celebrate. Rather, just enjoying the time we spend together in one place can be so powerful. However, I also wanted to acknowledge the hardships that have made me who I am and what I hope to become. My experiences have helped me discover how family-oriented I am, so much that it is one of the main reasons I have chosen my career path. Currently, it has also fueled my involvement with many organizations. Overall, this poem encapsulates who I am.

Bridging Histories butterfly