Laura Tellado Calderon

Sep 19, 11 Laura Tellado Calderon

City you live in:
Orlando, Florida.

English/Spanish/Spanglish:
Why not los tres?

Favorite Latin food you can’t live without:
¡Arroz blanco (white rice) y habichuelas (beans)! They’re like a blank canvas. Latinos/as are constantly finding a million different ways to reinvent them. My favorite drink, for any time of day, is a cup of espresso con leche, a latte, a cappuccino, or some type of good coffee drink.

What is your Latina contradiction?
I always insisted on speaking Spanish at home, and to anyone who I knew spoke Spanish. And yet, I grew up watching mainstream, English language TV shows. I learned to speak English watching Sesame Street. I never really got into telenovelas or Spanish variety shows. But I love my culture, I really do. I’ve learned to embrace my duality as a Puerto Rican who grew up in America.

When you think of Latin culture, what are the first words you think of?
Pasión. Whether it’s out of anger, fear, love, hope or joy, we Latinos do everything with great passion. My family taught me from a young age that I should pursue what I’m passionate about.

What is your ethnicity? Or where is your family from?
My family is from Puerto Rico. Pretty straightforward. I lived there until I was three, and then my parents and I moved to Orlando. It’s nice because here in Orlando, you have a mixture of cultures, and we’re definitely not the only Puerto Ricans around.

Latina? American? Both?
I consider myself, first and foremost, a Latina. I’m an American citizen, and the American culture has definitely played a part in shaping me. It’s weird, because although I have no memories of living in Puerto Rico, I’ve always been fiercely adamant in making the point that I’m Puerto Rican. I think that, not having grown up there but having been exposed to the culture and interacting with my family has inspired me to fight for my cultural identity in whatever way I can. I won’t deny that I have assimilated to an extent, but no one can take away the Latino side of me that has been instilled in me.

Favorite Latin artist or music?
Ay, yo no sé. I listen to de todo un poco. I have to mention my uncle’s Spain-influenced, folkloric musical group, los Segreles, of Puerto Rico. They’re the official music group of la Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, and a true testimony that music has always been a part of my family’s life. My Abuelito always played several musical instruments. I also have always liked Ricky Martin, and he only seems to get better with age! Sometimes I’ll listen to some old-school stuff from Luis Miguel, or Maná.

iPhone or BlackBerry?
iPhone all the way, baby! I got my first iPhone 3GS in late 2009 and now I have no idea how I ever managed without it.

How do you describe your style?
Eclectic, boho chic, a collage of different styles and colors. For the most part you’ll find me wearing comfortable jeans and a T-shirt, but I love dressing up when the occasion calls for it! I am definitely girly.

What’s your favorite Latin restaurant?
That’s a tough one. Lately I’m obsessed with a local, authentic Mexican restaurant, Agave Azul. The only problem is I always binge on the tortilla chips and salsas! They have the best nachos I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes I need something more casual, though, something that reminds me of “home,” so when that happens, there’s nothing like going to Casa de las Empanadas and ordering a plate of pernil, arroz y habicuelas con amarillos. My personal favorite is an espresso con leche y un quesito from Sedano’s. That always does it for me! In my neighborhood specifically, there sadly aren’t many actual Latino places to eat. Most are more upscale, not really your “I’m at Abuela‘s house and I just kicked off my shoes” places. To enjoy a good, hearty Latino meal, I have to go out of my way.

[ethnicity]Puerto Rican[/ethnicity]
[name]Laura Tellado Calderon[/name]
[description]My family taught me from a young age that I should pursue what I’m passionate about.[/description]

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