I lived in Utah for more than ten years, and it has a very special place in my heart. I absolutely love the mountains, and when my family and I lived there, we went hiking to many areas. I cannot say I am a professional hiker, but I did enjoy exploring different canyons.
Utah is known for its pioneer spirit and resilience. I am not of Utah pioneer descent, but my husband is. While living in Utah I got to appreciate the story of the pioneer heritage and history of how the state came to be. I learned how to make the famous “funeral potatoes” and “lemon Jello salad” thanks to my late mother-in-law. My favorite places to go were the public libraries and the public parks.
I cannot talk about Utah without talking about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was born and raised in this faith in Mexico. I am a third generation member and I still practice the religion. While this post is not about religion, I need to recognize that many of my beliefs, family values, and other traits were shaped thanks to my family and to the teachings of this church.
Going back to celebrating Utah, I want to focus on what a pioneer means. A pioneer is the first to open or prepare, to take part in the beginnings of something. To all those Latino writers that began writing and self-publishing before me, I want to give a big thank you. You opened the doors for those of us who are just beginning, and you made us see that if there are no roads made for us, then we need to make them ourselves.
I will say- wherever you go, you can be a pioneer. You can always start something new, something exciting! Now that a new year is beginning, I invite you to try something new, to dare to start working on those dreams by working on your goals and making things happen.
Happy Birthday to the Beehive State!