MUPRHY'S CULTURAL DIVERSITY EXPLORED An interview with Tibbals Elementary School's Sanchez family
Murphy is blessed to have a wide variety of heritages and cultures represented within its small geographic boundaries. Some might consider the differences vast but surprisingly there are many similarities, too.
The Messenger recently spoke with Mrs. Maria Magdalena Sanchez, her four children, and her sister, Mercedes, about their heritage and perceptions of life in America. Mr. Sanchez was in San Antonio at the time of the interview.
Tibbals Elementary School, where three of the Sanchez children attend, is unique because it is a magnet school for all WISD bilingual and non-English speaking students. Ms. Diana Pecorino, Carolina Sanchez's kindergarten teacher, is one of the several bilingual teachers at Tibbals. It was Ms. Pecorino who told us about Maria Sanchez and the dedication she has for volunteer work with the bilingual students in the program.
Originally from the State of Guerrero, Mexico, the Sanchez family moved to Texas eleven years ago and to Murphy four years ago. Mr. Sanchez is a framing contractor and it was because of his job that the family came to the U.S.A.
There are four Sanchez children. Carlos the oldest, is in the fourth grade and hopes to be a cartoonist some day. Eduardo is in the first grade and he says he wants to be a policeman. Carolina, kindergartener, wants to be a doctor and three year old Diego wants to be a cowboy.
Holiday celebrations for the family include September 15th, Independence Yell or "El Grito; November 1st The Day of the Dead which is a time for taking flowers to the cemetery to honor those past on; Three Kings Day in January which is a holiday mostly for the children and then Mother's Day, Easter or Cuaresma which is similar to spring break but a Roman Catholic holiday in Mexico.
When we spoke about the comparison of American churches to those is Mexico, Mrs. Sanchez explained that in Mexico there are cathedrals, old and beautiful structures, unique to any other building with all of the Saints represented.
While the schools in Mexico focus on math and English and they have the same academic requirements as American schools, the classrooms are not as decorative or as visually exciting for students. While Tibbals and most elementary schools have students sit at tables, classrooms in Mexico still use individual desks.
Grocery shopping in the States offers more choices than local supermarkets in Mexico. Buying clothing is easier, too. In Mexico perhaps one house in a neighborhood would have retail clothing basics, but to see a variety of styles and fashions a trip to Acapulco or other major city would be necessary. Although Mrs. Sanchez regularly cooks traditional Mexican dishes at home, American "favorites" include pizza for the kids and Subway for the adults. Their favorite actor is Will Smith and no classical music please, unless it's time to go to sleep.
One cultural difference the Sanchez family has noticed between their life in Mexico and their life here in Murphy is that neighbors do not interact much. In Mexico, families spend a lot of time outside socializing with neighbors and developing deep friendships. Here you go to the store for a cup of sugar instead of knocking on the door of a neighbor to borrow a cup.
We thank the Sanchez family for sharing their thoughts and with the Messenger. If you would like to tell the Messenger about your heritage, please email: email@example.com to set up an interview time.