On this episode of The Face of Latina Professionals, Rachel Diaz, CEO of Borinquen cakes, sits down and chats about all things being Latina, Puerto Rican cakes, and more.
Rachel grew up in Puerto Rico migrating to the United States when she was 19. As she says, “By the time I was 20, I realized there were no Puerto Rican cakes in Chicago.” Thus her journey of bringing a little slice (pun intended) of Puerto Rico to Chicago began.
She called her aunts in Puerto Rico who are professional bakers and they taught her the art of making authentic Puerto Rican cakes complete with brandy and almond icing.
Grisell goes on to talk about how this wasn’t specific to only heer experience. During that time in American history, most Latinos in this country stopped teaching their kids Spanish because they wanted to ‘Americanize’ as much as possible, or in Grisell’s words ‘whitewash’ to be more cool.
“A lot of my generation do not know how to speak Spanish or read it or write it or anything because that was erased growing up.”
She brings up an important discussion that surrounds all Latinos in the United States. On the one hand, in Grisell’s generation, it was seen as protection to make sure that kids learned English so they could better assimilate. However, now, speaking Spanish is revered and can often be a ‘badge of shame’ when people of Latino-descent don’t speak the language. Fortunately, for Grisell, her mother always spoke to her about the importance of learning their native tongue.
“She’d say, you get paid more. They want the best for you, I guess. You being young, you don't know. But now I'm happy.”
Tune in on this episode of The Face of Latina Professionals to hear more about Grisell’s story, what she’s up to these days, and get into the discussion between Grisell and our host around what it means to be Latino in today’s world.