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Family Stories

Guadalupe’s Story

This story was written by Abriendo Puertas, a nonprofit organization that honors and supports parents as leaders of their families and their child’s first and most influential teacher. This story is featured in their annual comprehensive study of the economic and social issues impacting Latino families with children prenatal through five years old.


Guadalupe González is committed to bilingual education for both herself and her children. She is pictured here holding her son Jesús Jr. (left) and daughter Sofía (bottom middle), next to her husband Jesús, who holds his nephew, Dilan, alongside his eldest daughter Moncerrath (far right).


Guadalupe González beams with pride as she watches her daughter Sofía, age seven, effortlessly navigate between Spanish and English. "Sofía is my teacher. She is my seven-year-old daughter who speaks Spanish and English perfectly," she says.

For Guadalupe, a former elementary school teacher from Michoacán, Mexico, Sofía's bilingualism represents more than just learning languages. It symbolizes embracing dual identities and honoring family roots." It is important to me that my children are bilingual," Guadalupe says. "It’s important that they feel proud to live here in the U.S., to be from the U.S.—but that they keep the roots of their culture."

Role Modeling Bilingualism

Eight years ago, Guadalupe moved with her family to Boston, Massachusetts. A devoted wife and mother of two, she sees bilingualism as a conduit for her children to maintain a connection to Mexico. "Speaking Spanish helps them to maintain strong family and cultural bonds so that they don't lose their culture," she says.


Even her younger son, three-year-old Jesús, is picking up both languages. “Learning two languages helps my children be more successful in school, and it builds new friendships. It builds friendships for me, too.”

As a role model, Guadalupe is learning English herself. She takes English classes alongside other immigrant mothers at the Waltham Family School. The program provides English classes to parents while their children attend preschool.


She smiles widely, gesturing around the room, “I spend my morning hours studying here from nine a.m. to noon. My son is in preschool and I am studying my English. It is an excellent program.”


Pushing herself to learn English not only sets an example for her kids, but also helps her overcome daily barriers. "I have experienced the English language barrier many times. I need something, but I don't know how to express it because I don't speak the language," Guadalupe says.

"My daughter grew up in Mexico for two years. So she speaks Spanish very well. And when she got here, well, children are sponges and they absorb everything. So she learned English pretty quickly. That motivated me to go to school and learn.”

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