I remember when I was in 5th to like 6th grade my family doctor was this really tall Indian man. He was hilarious, and always referred to my dad as daddy. It made me laugh because I was in 6th grade and here was this man referring to another man as daddy. “If you have those sick feelings again always let daddy know.” Aside from that, I think that health center in general was decent for my family’s social identity. We are a very low income Mexican family.
This clinic was in the westside of Grand Rapids, where a lot of other Mexican and of other latino ethnicities would generally live (because it was low income as well). It wasn’t pleasant, to be honest I don’t think I will ever have a “pleasant” experience, the doctors always freak me out. But it kind of felt like “hey, we are all in the same boat together.” All us kids of these immigrated parents always had to have a translator and sometimes tried to be that translator. So I think that unifying social identity of a latino ethnicity made it alright for all families involved. Mom’s would always recognize each other and talk about the latest “chisme” (look it up), and the dads would talk about the Cruz Azul v. Club America soccer game, or something like that.
And that social identity, I think, very positively impacted those health trips. Because human connection is very important. Especially when you’re all in a country where you can constantly be scared and belittled. So it’s good to be there together. It made a stressful, long, and scary experience, into just a tiny bit less stressful, long, and scary experience.
Shout out to the Hispanic community of Grand Rapids! What are some unifying communities, in the area you come from, that maybe helped make a stressful situation a little less stressful for you or your family?