Ronald Avila, 27, and his sister, Belinda, 29, honor their cultural ties with their family's ancestry in Honduras. Belinda was born in the United States, while her father studied agronomy at the University of Florida in Gainsville. Ronald was born two years later in Honduras. Their mother later brought them to the U.S., where she encouraged their higher education.
The Avila siblings also managed to retain their Latino heritage in their new country. They organized the New Orleans Hispanic-America dance group. In this conversation recorded April 4, they discuss how the experience expanded their own understanding of language differences in Latino communities, which came into focus for Belinda after her engagement to a man from Mexico City. And they later reflect on how it blends with the culture of New Orleans.
ALSO: In this extended conversation, Belinda Avila's first childhood memory is the red tile floor at Oschner Hospital, where her father was treated after a brain aneurysm. Her younger brother, Ronald, was too young to recall his father's early treatment, but the two have vivid recollections of how he instilled in them a love of reading.
StoryCorps New Orleans interviews were recorded by StoryCorps, a national project to record and collect stories of everyday people. This excerpt was selected and produced by WWNO producer Eileen Fleming, with support from the WWNO Productions Fund and from Villere & Co., managing the investments of New Orleans' families for almost 100 years. Listen again at wwno.org or at nola.com.