2019 Princess Candidate

Liliana Cervantes

What does your Mexican heritage mean to you?

My Mexican heritage means to me, family and tradition. I feel this way because I've heard many stories of my great great grandparents.  Stories of how they came to this country and how my family came to be. Decades later I am now apart of that story because of the tradition and heritage they have passed down to me.

My great great grandparents Felisa and Benito moved to Silvis, Illinois from Guanajuato, Mexico. My Grandpa Benito worked for the railroad, while my grandma stayed at home raising thirteen kids. At the time my grandparents didn’t have a lot of money so they had to live in a box car.  My great great grandmother was a woman of faith and family and deeply dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Never once would they ask anybody for anything. They would give even when they didn’t have enough.  No matter what they still found a way to live life to the fullest and gather with family.  They would throw lots of parties and go to all of the fiestas around town.    

My Grandparents were very proud of where they came from and their heritage. They passed all of this down thru there many traditions.  That I still practice and participate in until this day. My favorite one being posadas. They were hardworking and determined people no matter what struggles they faced because they always had faith. They went to Our Lady of Guadalupe church, which is where I still go with my family to this day.    

Three years ago my grandma Felisa and grandpa Benito’s house was for sale. The house had only been lived in by them. My mom and step dad were just about to get married and were looking for a bigger house. My parents bought it and fixed it up. To be a part of such a cultural experience was a very special feeling. Things have truly come full circle for me many times in my life and continue to do so.    

This heritage of mine represents me as a person today. I am a hardworking student and and try very hard to never give up no matter what challenges face me in life. I continue to practice my faith and this year I will make my confirmation. I am also determined to become a professional basketball player one day. I am so proud of where I come from and to tell my ancestors story. My heritage is a beautiful thing and I will never forget where I came from.