Growing Up Latino: Jessie Reyez Recalls Childhood Memories & Aches For Families Separated by Immigration


Jessie Reyez had a lot stories to share in the new episode Growing Up Latino. The first thing she remembers is how her family listened to Carlos Vives, Grupo Niche and the best cumbias while they held parties, cooked or simply cleaned the house.

The first time she saw herself as Latina was when she attended school and saw that the traditions were not the same. For example, she never got permission to sleep at a friend's house. In that same vein, Reyez didn’t get the things that all her friends had: When she really wanted something, her dad looked for the way to do it without having to spend so much money. "I remember that I wanted the Razor scooter, and my dad went to the garage, spent one or two days and built one out wood and painted it with the Colombian colors," she recalled.

But while most her memories were happy, Reyez got very emotional when she started talking about what's happening on the U.S. borders. “I wish my non-Latin friends had the capability to emphasize more with what’s going on with the immigration right now,” she stressed.

Reyez wants everyone to understand how hard it is to be separated from their family. And for everyone to fully understand, she suggested, "Talk to your enemies, sometimes ignorance comes from a lack understanding."

Watch Jessie Reyez's full Growing Up Latino episode above.