This #HispanicHeritageMonth one of our #DaleSaborATuSalud partner is Estrella Serrato, podcast host of @cafecitoconestrellita, a Latinx podcast that guides first-gen scholars through the path of education. We are proud to highlight the work Estrella puts into her community and empowers young scholars as they navigate their path to education. Check out our interview with Estrella below. If you don’t already, give her a follow!
Q: What inspired you to start your community building podcast?
A: As a first-generation college graduate, hija de inmigrantes who has dreamt of earning a PhD after being inspired by her professors during her first semester of community college, younger me truly didn’t understand how many barriers I was overcoming in comparison to my other academic peers, who didn’t share the same experiences as me growing up. I thought all the cultural and academic challenges I was facing were all in my head, I thought I was the problem. However, that was far from the case. Academia is known to be a predominantly white male space, and once I internalized this realization, I knew I had to do something to help my people who felt lost like I did. With imposter syndrome, first-gen guilt, gender norms, academic probation, machismo, mental health challenges etc. coming my way I just knew I did not want to give up on myself, no matter how broken I felt. Once I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I started to dissect my traumas, which is why when I started my graduate school journey, I couldn’t help but to think about all the other first-gen Latinxs who deserve to be honored, validated, and reminded that they are paving the way. These students deserve to know that their stories, bilingualism, research, academic progress, and mental health etc. is important and it means something. Mi gente, my community, inspires me every single day not only to continue building my social media presence through podcast episodes and posts but also through love. I want mi gente, mis mijitas to know they are never alone.
Q: What are some of your most savored moments in celebrating Hispanic culture through your work and podcast?
A: Some of my most savored moments in celebrating Latinx/Hispanic culture though my academic work and podcast is literally showcasing my culture in every space I can every day. Whether it’s in the classroom, through my intentional posts, even with choosing the name of my podcast Cafecito con Estrellita, I could have trademarked it anything else, but representation is important to me. I actively use both English and Spanish in my everyday life, I only wish my young teenage self who once felt embarrassed of her name and who at one point stopped speaking Spanish to avoid getting bullied, could see that there was never a need to hide my roots to please others… It hurts me when I look back and think about that time in my life, but it reminds me of why I showcase my representation of the Latinx culture in this country, while validating the experiences of my first-gen community who are choosing to grow and learn as they continue to pave the way.
Q: Let’s talk tea! What’s your favorite tea? Tell us about your favorite tea inspired moment?
A: Cafecito is not the only drink I love, Chamomile tea from Tadin is my absolute go to for my bedtime routine. Usually after a long day of teaching, going to class, as well as creating content I had to learn how to rest intentionally, and choosing to end my day with un tecito while listening to my self-care playlist makes my heart happy. My absolute favorite tea memory would have to be when I was 6 and I went to visit mi abuela Cuca in Villa Mendoza, Michoacán. She was drinking her nightly cup of té de manzanilla, and I wanted to be just like her. I asked if I could drink a cup with her and that’s exactly what we did in her casita before I had to go to bed.
Check her website out: Here