5 Things You Learn In a Crowded Home

Families are complicated and living situations vary from one household to another. Latinos are typically associated with strong family values. Familismo is a term used to describe how Latino culture values the importance of immediate and extended family ties. Among many Latino families, it is common to have a big family with several extended family members and multiple generations living under one roof. Latinitas shared what they learned from having large families living in a crowded home.

1. Being Selfish Does Not Fly
“I learned to be happy with what I got because I didn’t really have the luxury to be picky in terms of the clothes that I wore. Like I’ve never really been ashamed or embarrassed about family and friends giving me hand-me-downs because I wasn’t going to ask my mom to take me shopping,” shared Kimberly Cabral, age 21 who grew up with five siblings and her parents under one two-bedroom roof.

2. You Were Brought Up To Be Close With Your Family
“I got to bond a lot with my family since it was a lot of us in a small space (in two bedrooms until her father made a third room). I think it helped me appreciate my family more when I moved out,” added Kimberly.

“There was never a dull moment because (as a kid) I could be inside playing video games and if I got bored I could go outside and join my cousins would be playing in the front yard. Everybody was just doing their own thing and were willing to include you,” said Angie Dominguez, age 23 who lived with extended family members, all eight of them in a four bedroom house.

3. There Has Not Been A Moment Where You Felt Alone

“There is just so much support I feel. If you need someone to lend you money or like talk to, someone is always there to give you any type of support that you need. You always have people watching out for you,” said Desirae Nicole Gomez, age 16 who lived with up to 15 people at once in a five bedroom house.

“You won’t ever get lonely. Like I don’t live with my parents anymore and where I live now there are only three people living there and it makes you feel a little crazy when you’ve had the house to yourself a couple of hours,” shared Kimberly.

“Even when we were going through rough times, it was easy to find happiness and turn to each other for that comfort or even a laugh,” said Christa Samaniego, age 34, who lived with up to 17 other people at once in a five bedroom house.

4. You Were Always Encouraged To Help Out
“It gave me a lot of responsibility. As soon as I got a job, my mom expected me to help out with the bills since it was six of us (kids) and our utility bills were not cheap,” added Kimberly.

“My mom worked a lot and because of that I had to babysit my four younger siblings a lot,” said Angie.

5. You Can Be Productive In A Chaotic Environment
“When I had homework in high school I got used to doing it while babysitting. I have become quite good at multi-tasking,” added Angie.

“It is hard sometimes trying to get my homework done if the kids are being rowdy ,but for the most part I am used to it and I notice it helps me balance life when things get busy,” shared Debbie Sifuentes age 23, who lives with 5 other people in a three bedroom apartment.

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