Question: My sister is very involved with League of United Latin American Citizens in her hometown in Illinois. She always tells me what's going on at her meetings, and it sounds very interesting and uplifting. She said LULAC is huge in Texas and that I should get involved.

Are you familiar with the chapters in North Texas? I recently began writing an occasional column for a newspaper, so I feel like I have rediscovered my Latina "voice." Is now the time to start using it?

Catherine: Confidence and identity develop over time. It sounds as if you have found a strong cultural identity in your Latina roots and are ready to be heard.

LULAC is a great place to start. A simple Google search will give you all the information you could want regarding meeting times and area chapters.

Check it out; it might be a great fit. If not, don't get discouraged. Joining organizations that line up with your passions can be rewarding, not only for yourself, but for the people you will impact.

"Adelante, mi amiga!" (Forward, my friend!)

Danny: Any time is a good time to find and use your voice. What matters most is whether or not you use it constructively. My first encounter with LULAC was back in my college days as an ambassador for my alma mater to its annual conference in San Antonio.

I, too, had found rejuvenation and a strong desire to have a voice, but as years passed, my ideas, values and goals as a Latino no longer matched up with any one group. My voice seemed to thrive from my own thought process and personal experiences. LULAC and I have both come a long way since then. It is, without a doubt, a political machine to be reckoned with at both the state and national levels.

You must decide both what you need to help motivate your Latina voice, and whether politics and/or agendas will help demonstrate who you are and what you stand for. Do the research on this and the several other Hispanic organizations before you decide which way to go. By following your heart and exercising your passion, your voice will come across — clearly and effectively.

Lily: This column has offered me the opportunity to meet all sorts of people, including a meet-and-greet where I got the chance to hear a LULAC speaker. I agree with Catherine and Danny that the best time to identify your voice is now. I heard mine back as an undergrad at the University of Houston. Gracias, Drs. Hernandez, Rodriguez y Salinas.

Because of their influence, I took a course that explored the post-traumatic stress syndrome in immigrants, and I haven't looked back since. Sometimes we have to listen to the voices of others to be able to relate to our own.


We want your questions! Consejos is a bicultural advice column that focuses on relationships, identity and workplace issues. Contact [email protected] or Consejos, The Dallas Morning News, P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, TX 75265.


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