To be hispanic in the American South is complicated. Although often overlooked and misunderstood, the hispanic population is growing and making an impact on the southern culture. Moments features pivotal moments in the lives of hispanic students at the University of Mississippi.
Read about each person in the series below the video.
Ingrid Valbuena is a senior integrated marketing communications student from Venezuela. Ingrid’s family relocated to Miami after she started college in Mississippi. Having grown up in a woman-dominant family, Ingrid appreciates the impact each woman, her mother, aunts and grandmothers, has had on her life. She believes their energy and tenacity has caused her to be more unique — relaxed and easygoing.
Annie Mapp is a junior broadcast journalism student from Mississippi. Her mother is Colombian-American and her father is African-American. Although she identifies as black, she also takes extreme pride in her Colombian culture by speaking Spanish, traveling to Colombia and eating the food her mother cooks. People are often surprised when they find out Annie is bilingual, and she shares these moments in the series.
Jesus Escobedo is a freshman marketing major from Mexico. Jesus’ family moved to Mississippi when he was very young, and he calls both Mexico and Mississippi his home. Jesus identifies as LGBTQ+ but sometimes feels misunderstood by his family and peers. After graduation, Jesus plans to move to Washington D.C. to start his career.
Edwin Aguilar is currently pursuing a master’s of higher education and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. Originally from Chicago, Edwin takes pride in his Salvadoran roots and is appreciative of the sacrifices his parents made when they immigrated to the United States. Because of his mother and father, he is able to pursue a goal they never imagined possible for themselves — a higher education.
Enjoli Henderson is a sophomore broadcast journalism student of Mexican-American and African-American heritage. Originally from the coastal area of Mississippi, Enjoli is proud of her culture, but she often feels misplaced because she is not fluent in Spanish. As a second-generation Mexican-American, Enjoli’s mother was not taught Spanish by her parents; therefore, she was unable to teach Enjoli.
Gaby Altieri is a junior political science major from the Jackson-metropolitan area, Mississippi’s capital. Gaby comes from a family with strong Puerto Rican roots; although she takes pride in her heritage now, there was once a time when Gaby refused to speak Spanish and practice her culture outside of the confines of her home.