Balancing Bilinguality

By Natalia Arenas Gallo

Kelly and Aidsa Villeda-Perez are two elementary-aged girls growing up in North Carolina while maintaining their Mexican heritage. They are dedicated students, creative artists, energetic sisters, and loving daughters. This photo presentation will show how they navigate the two cultures they are a part of, and how they are successful in belonging to these two communities.

I want to highlight the importance of the support they receive from their mother, Agueda, who despite not speaking English makes the effort to go to all of the girls' parent-teacher conferences and patiently sits down with them every night to work on their homework. She rigorously checks all of their work, looking for big X's or stickers that indicate her daughters' progress.

The mixture of cultures and languages at the Villeda-Perez household enriches Kelly and Aidsa's lives, preparing them for a bright future.

I am very grateful that they invited me into their lives. As a family, the Villeda-Perez girls have many admirable qualities, and I am very appreciative of their generosity. I am happy to be able to provide them with these pictures in return, and hope that the girls will continue excelling in school and making their mother proud.