DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Just inside the Hernandez family home, the smell of sazon goya, platanos, and adobo fills the air, and the sounds of salsa, merengue, y bachata moves the Hernandez family to share their culture with the community.
“The diversity is a little different in the United States versus Puerto Rico, which in Puerto Rico you still have your white Puerto Ricans, your black Puerto Ricans, albino, so I mean it’s still but it is a little different when you go from an island where everyone sees each other as equal to coming to the states, its definitely a little different and culture shock,” Felix Hernandez said.
After moving to the united states from Puerto Rico in the 80’s and 90’s they learned to adjust to the differences and share their traditions.
“We are very family-oriented, and I try to teach that to my kids to just try to carry on the tradition of being close because you just never know when you find yourself alone family will always be there,” said Felix’s wife, Linda Hernandez.
Food, music, and family fuels the Hernandez’s everyday.
“The music to us it keeps us going, it’s life to us, we cannot go a day without listening to some Spanish song, it’s just in us, it’s in our blood,” Linda said.
From the salsa rhythms of La India, to the ingredients of every meal, the Hernandez family relies heavily on food to share their culture with the community.
“We have a lot of white friends and they do love the Spanish food and I just love to share that and just share the tradition I find it very interesting and very fun,” Linda said.
“The pasteles, the plantains, showing them what everything is, the sweet plantains, maduros, I mean it’s a lot of the different foods that they enjoy that they are like what is this we’ve never had this,” Felix continued.
As much as the Hernandez family loves sharing their traditions and culture, they recognize being Hispanic doesn’t always come without challenges or prejudices, so they want to share this message with the Wiregrass.
“There is a Hispanic community here that is willing to help and be there and succeed as much as everybody else and be an example and share that example with others,” Linda said.