By Ana Sally Gonzalez Barragan (Kappa Psi, Western Oregon University)
What drew you to Alpha Chi Omega?
What really drew me is knowing that they wanted someone like me. I knew they would accept me for who I was. The wonderful ladies of the Kappa Psi chapter carried such strong and amazing personalities. The first person I met was our chapter president. Regardless of how busy she was, she always made time for me if I had any questions and really showed me how important I was and how Alpha Chi Omega was for me.
How has Alpha Chi Omega played a part in your collegiate experience?
It has brought me a sense of belonging. When I still struggle to find my own place, I know my sisters will always be there for me.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to be a bilingual high school history teacher, and I hope also an ethnic studies teacher.
What are you proudest about in regards to your heritage?
I am proud of my history. There is so much rich history in Mexico, not only of the country but also of each distinct group of people. The majority of Mexicans have an indigenous background, and there is also an abundance of stories all over the world of people coming from Mexico, ranging from China to Africa.
What do you wish people knew about your heritage?
I wish more people were aware about the indigenous groups coming from Mexico. My family comes from the Mixteco people, which is one of the many indigenous groups still present in Mexico. Along with that, Spanish is not the only language spoken; there are 68 national languages and hundreds more different dialects. There is an abundance of traditions, foods and languages to learn from. One holiday that is coming is Día de los Muertos, which is Day of the Dead. This is a three-day holiday that is very close to my heart because I truly believe that during those days my loved ones that have passed can come back to visit me and know how much I love them from the ofrenda (offering) that I have set up for them.
How have you made your heritage part of your Alpha Chi experience?
I have not yet experienced being in Alpha Chi while Día de los Muertos festivities are going on, but I plan to invite sisters this year to help me eat all of the food I make for that day and come learn a little bit about my history.
What does being a real, strong woman mean to you?
Being a real, strong woman means that I can do anything I set my mind to and my sisters will be with me every way through it. I am not alone, but I know that I am strong and can overcome any hurdle that comes through my path.