By Maria Valenzuela, Senior Program Director
Día de las Madres is celebrated in Mexico and other Latin countries every year on May 10th. Next to Christmas day, May 10th is the second most celebrated holiday by Latinos. Growing up with Mexican roots, May 10th was a day most of us prepared for well in advance. As kids, we saved all of our change and allowance.
This was the day my mother pulled out her best dress, which year after year shrunk a bit too much while in the closest waiting for this special occasion. Perhaps this was a justifiable excuse to buy herself a new dress at Kmart or new shoes at Payless. There was nothing quite like May 10th mornings. My mother would walk out of her room after hours behind the closed door looking beautiful, and so proud. Today, all attention was on her, and I believe this extra effort boosted her self-esteem to help her feel happy and pretty.
In our “cultura” mothers were, and still are, the glue to the family.
Working for Esperança with predominately Latino women from the communities I grew up in, I make it a mission to celebrate them the way my mother taught me growing up. This is their special day.
Each year on Mother’s Day, Esperança supports mothers from the Title I schools we serve, providing a morning of food, flowers, games, and pampering. A morning of no stress, no worries. The ladies always walk in so proud to be celebrated. There is a glow on their faces, everyone in the room can see the excitement and love they share for one each other.
Some I know very intimately, and others shy away. But everyone has a similar story. I understand their struggles and doubts as a parent. But on May 10th we leave all of that behind and we have a fiesta! We celebrate with food we are accustomed to eating – the one day we don’t worry about food labels and portions – because what matters most is celebrating the challenges we have overcome as mothers! We have games, music, pictures, raffles, love, and laughter.
As long as I am at Esperança we will continue to celebrate all of our mamacitas!