PBS Series Latino Americans: Celebrating the Latinos Who Have Helped Shape America

This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Ford.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

My little man wearing a T-shirt with Quetzal, our national bird and with one of my favorite dichos: "De tal palo, tal astilla".
My little man wearing a T-shirt with Quetzal, our national bird and with one of my favorite dichos: “De tal palo, tal astilla”.


I am very excited about the new LATINO AMERICANS series airing in PBS and I encourage everyone to watch this eye opening documentary that tells the story of Latinos in America for the last 500 years.

In our home we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage by making sure that our family stays connected to our cultural roots and by keeping the Spanish language alive.  We do this all the time but during this month we are really focusing on reminding our kids that they are not only American but also Guatemalan and Latinos.  America is the country they live in and now call home, Guatemala is the country they where born in and where most of their extended family still lives and as Hispanic immigrants they have joined the Latino community made up of people coming to America from different lands and different countries but who all share the same pride for their Hispanic roots and traditions and sometimes the same language too.


girl in Guatemalan traditional costume
My girl wearing a Guatemalan traditional costume.


For me it’s very important that my children get to see that Latinos have been part of American history from it’s beginnings.  Although they are too young now to understand or sit through a two hour documentary we always look for ways to share with them how Latinos have been part of American history and how they continue making history with their accomplishments.


boy and girl reading book in spanish with dog
My little people reading a book in Spanish to our dog.


5 Ways We Teach Our Children About Their Latino Roots

At home we do many things to celebrate our Hispanic Heritage every day, here are some of them:

–       Read books in Spanish that are rich with cultural elements.  We have a few books from Guatemala including a books about traditions and a books about Mayan mythology.


books and toys from Guatemala
Our collection of books and toys from Guatemala.


–       We eat traditional Guatemalan dishes as often as possible and the kids also help with preparing them.

–       When we travel we try to learn about the Latino history of the place and also make it a point to eat at Latino restaurants so that the kids can experience different types of Latino foods.

–      We listen to music in Spanish and I also like to play traditional songs and music for the kids like Luna de Xelaju on the marimba, el son and the Guatemalan national anthem.

–       More recently I have started teaching them about Guatemala. I asked a friend to bring me information about my home country’s traditions, foods, national symbols, geography and archeology and we are learning a little about Guatemala every day.


girl eating guacamole tostada
My girl’s favorite food: tostadas con guacamol. Her favorite part is helping to prepare them.


About The Latino Americans Documentary Series

LATINO AMERICANS is a three-part, six-hour documentary series that tells the history of America through the eyes of Latinos and highlights Latinos who have helped to shape this country for the last 500 years.  The series will air on PBS on September 17th, September 24th, and October 1st from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (EST).


kids outside the Columbia restaurant Tampa
The kids outside the Columbia restaurant in Tampa. This Cuban – Spanish restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Florida.


LATINO AMERICANS is also a story of immigration and renovation, and how Latinos have fought, worked, sweat and bled to make a better life for themselves and their families.  This is something that many of us can relate to because it’s not only part of the history of America but also part of our own family history. Recently I shared my own immigration story as a way to bring awareness about the importance of immigration reform but also to document my story so that my children will always remember where they come from and why we are here.

Featuring interviews with stars, world renowned authors, entrepreneurs and activists LATINO AMERICANS is also a great tool to show Latino children that there are many positive Latino role models to follow.


Ford Spanish Tag Logo


I find it sad to see that there are so many Latinos who have played such an important part of American history but their brown eyes, dark hair and caramel skins have in many cases not been part of those historic accounts.  My kids didn’t know that Florida was originally a Spanish colony, they don’t talk about that in school. I didn’t know one of the first American casualties in Pearl Harbor during WWII was a pilot named Ensign Manuel Gonzalez or that the soldier who in 1836 shouted, “Remember the Alamo!” and led a regiment of the Texas Army to victory over Santa Anna’s Mexican forces was named Juan Seguín.  This is why the LATINO AMERICANS documentary has so much significance, because it chronicles American history from the viewpoint of Latinos who have often been left in the shadows.

Part two of the LATINO AMERICAN documentary series will be showing on PBS on September 24th from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (EST). Don’t miss it!

Ford Is There for Latinos

I am thankful that there are companies like Ford that understand and value the importance of the Latino community, their traditions and their values.  The Ford Motor Company is providing corporate funding for this series and without them the LATINO AMERICANS series might not have been possible.  For me it is very important to support brands who support the Latino community and Ford has been one of the longest standing partners of the Hispanic community.

You can learn more about how Ford support Latino communities by visiting the Ford en Español Facebook page and by following Ford on twitter @FordEspanol.

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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16 thoughts on “PBS Series Latino Americans: Celebrating the Latinos Who Have Helped Shape America”

  1. La lectura nos ayuda a mantener viva nuestra cultura. Claro al igual que la música, comida, etc. Recuerdo que mi hermana siempre le enviaba cuentos en español a mis hijos desde mi natal RD. Fueron esos cuentos los que ayudaron a que mi hija aprendiera a leer y escribir español.
    Este viernes no me pierdo el documental.

  2. Qué lindo que los niños crezcan con esa riqueza cultural gracias a la inmigración de sus padres. Por otro lado, me encanta la iniciativa de este canal de celebrar a los latinos.

  3. Es super importante conservar nuestras tradiciones y costumbres, e inculcarlas en nuestros hijos… Me encanta la idea.. Cambiano de tema, me encantó conocerte en #Latism. Siempre tan concentrada en tu trabajo.. De verdad que eres admirable.

  4. I hope I can catch this show, and I hope it opens some minds about immigration. I’m part Irish and German, so my ancestors faced many of the challenges confronting Latinos coming to America today. If the xenophobia would only let up for awhile, people might realize that each incoming ethnic or national group has added something precious to our culture.


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