Shaped By My Culture: A Hispanic Heritage Month Reflection

Sofia (left) with her chapter sister

By Sofia Castaneda (Theta Iota, Baylor University)

My cultural values have shaped me as a person because I have grown up visiting my family in Colombia and learning about the different ways of life. It has taught me to be grateful for everything I have and all of the opportunities I have been given. Spanish is always spoken in my home, and as much as I complained about it, it is the only reason I can speak fluently now. My immediate family are all from Bogota, Colombia, and I was born in Houston, Texas. Growing up in my suburb that wasn’t super diverse was confusing for me at first, but Houston as one of the biggest cities in America is very diverse, so my family was able to find a Latino community and also learn so much about other cultures.

I joined Alpha Chi because my sisters didn’t love and support me despite my flaws, but because of them. Freshman year is such a huge change for everyone, but for the class of ‘24, we had to experience freshman year from our dorm rooms. I wanted to go through recruitment because I wanted to serve something bigger than myself, with women that would push me to be my best self. My sisters all have such amazing values and qualities that I admired and really drew me to them. I’ve already learned so much from them, and I’m excited to pass that on to our incoming members in the spring.

Alpha Chi has really enriched my college experience and made Baylor home for me. My big has changed my life; she is one of the most incredible, Christ-centered people I’ve ever met, and when I didn’t know that many people in Alpha Chi at first, she really made Alpha Chi home for me. One of my closest friends in Alpha Chi is half-Colombian and half-Mexican, so it is meaningful to be able to relate to her about our heritage. Another one of my sisters is Mexican, and we try to speak Spanish with each other because we fear forgetting our Spanish in college now that we are not forced to speak it with our families.

I am so lucky to have this amazing group of women supporting me. Everyone should meet the Theta Iota chapter of Alpha Chi because they are some of the most outstanding women you will ever meet. I am excited for the future to help give back to Alpha Chi all that it has given to me.