Down to her Roots: Meet Clara Cedillo

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Down to her Roots: Meet Clara Cedillo

Erin Mckown

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Tracing her culture back to La Esperanza, Honduras, junior Clara Cedillo celebrates and treasures her experiences with the country and its people. Cedillo speaks both Spanish and English fluently, and her bilingualism goes back to her Hispanic roots. With half of her family from and in Honduras, Cedillo found her Hispanic culture to play a major role in her life.

“I grew up with Spanish and English, with Spanish through my dad’s side of the family, and English through my mom’s,” Cedillo said. “My dad’s from Honduras, and I used to go every summer. I haven’t gone these past two years, but it’s really fun and my culture is a big part of me. When I’m with my family in Honduras, I have to speak Spanish completely.”

La Esperanza, the capital of Intubuca, is where Cedillo would usually visit her family. According to Cedillo, the Latin American country is drastically different from America, yet she still loves the uniqueness of it.

“One of my favorite things is to go to the markets and get fresh fruit,” Cedillo said. “They have outside markets there, and you have to be careful with how you dress, too. I would go buy stuff with my grandma and look around. I love walking through Honduras, and you have to walk because there are barely any cars. There’s more poor people, and I wouldn’t leave the house without grownups with me because it’s a little more dangerous there than in America. You don’t know who you’ll meet, whether they’re good or bad.”

Cedillo also noted different traditions celebrated in Honduras, as well as holidays.

“My cousins and I did a Honduran tradition in 2016 where we stayed up all night until midnight, and had a huge meal at midnight to celebrate,” she said. “Americans sit and watch TV till midnight, but in Honduras, it’s more outside, celebrating with fireworks and playing songs. They don’t sit watching TV, which I love. Easter is also a huge celebration and lasts all week, where it’s not like that here.”

Just like how Catholicism is widespread in most Latin American countries, Cedillo also found refuge in the religion, being raised and taught Catholic ways.

“Catholicism is very big in Honduras and among Hispanics in general. Catholicism is something I grew up with and need,” Cedillo said. “I got baptised when I was little, and I’ve had my first communion. Last year, I had my confirmation, where you completely devote yourself. I’m a huge part of my Catholic church and everyone knows me there. In Honduras, the churches don’t have doors, and they’re just open churches.”

During the summers when she was younger, Cedillo would travel to Honduras for traditional Honduran schooling.

“When I was really young, I used to go to school in Honduras every summer, and I’d have to wear a uniform. It was both easy and hard, because I was young, but really fun,” Cedillo said. “Last time I went back to Honduras, someone who was in my kindergarten class recognized me, and shouted out my name.”

After she finishes high school, Cedillo hopes that she can go back to Honduras, her second home.

“Hopefully when I’m older I can go back to Honduras,” Cedillo said. “I’d love to go during the winter instead of the summer, because summer is the rainy season where winter is dry. Honduran culture is a really big part of me, and without it, I wouldn’t know who I am.”