It can be hard for first and second generation Latinos to hold on to Spanish fluency. A number of factors – from parental influence, to societal pressure to assimilate and not be “different”, to our education systems – have caused many bi-cultural Latinos to struggle to hold on to their language roots. But bilingualism is no threat to American culture – if anything, it’s a boon. There is overwhelming evidence that being bilingual has benefits, and a Mexican publisher in San Diego is on a mission to encourage young, bicultural Latinos to hold on to Spanish.
Publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica disguised a food truck as a moving library in San Diego county, KPBS reports, and it’s been hitting schools, parks, and other areas. “Our native language unites us and protects us,” José Carreño Carlón, director of Fondo de Cultura Económica, said. “That’s why we’re putting forth this project.” Because of people like Donald Trump and a lot of the hateful comments that have surfaced during the primary campaigning season, Carreño believes that now is an important time to undertake this project. The goal is to get people reading, speaking and celebrating their Spanish-speaking roots.
For now, the book truck is traveling through San Diego, but they’re hoping to expand to Los Angeles in the future and eventually across the US. Hopefully, they come to New York next, so that I can vaguely describe to them the cover of a Spanish-language book I once read as a child and would now like to reread.