Ever since I won the Latinos in Social Media Award for “best activist blogger” — thank you, thank you, thank you for your votes! — I have received some requests for interviews.
The first question I was asked off the bat was who inspired me to be an activist. Without hesitation I named two people: my parents. It’s true. Being the daughter of a Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrant, I didn’t grow up hearing stories about U.S. activists and heros. Instead, everything I learned about how to treat others, I learned from them.
There were two stories that I shared with Green for All that didn’t make it into the piece. The first is that I grew up in a two-bedroom house in North Miami with five other family members. Despite never remembering a time in my life when my parents could pay all of their bills, they insisted that we kids take a plate of food to an elderly woman living alone across the street. One, if not more of us, would keep her company while she ate to then take the plate back to my mother. Miss Lucy once asked my mother if she could pay for the food, but my mother refused any compensation.
The other story I shared was of my dad and us kids walking out and about in Miami. Every time homeless people came up to him, my father would open up his wallet and give them a bill, even if it was his last bill. Us kids oftentimes rolled our eyes because we didn’t believe the story the men told, or they appeared drunk. I admit, I don’t always give to homeless people — sometimes i do though — but I give generously to homeless shelters, non-profit organizations and other charities. Whenever I mail off a check that I think was too large, I immediately think if it were my parents they would have given more. Then I let it go.
My parents are the most generous people I know. They are true activists and unsung heroes in their day-to-day lives. For that, I want to recognize them. Their names are Diego and Elisanta Batista.
Okay, now it is your turn. Who has most inspired you?