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Proud of one's heritage

June 01, 2008

Re "Latino, yes, but with new tastes," Column One, May 28

I think it is ridiculous that cities like Baldwin Park or Santa Ana have to beg national retailers to come to their community. As an American (who happens to be Latino), I am more proud to be an American than anything else. I have fought and bled for this country.

The "amigo store" owners say that if you want Starbucks coffee, you aren't a real Latino. I beg to differ. Why do I have to hold allegiance to a faraway country I have only visited once? It's sad to see that my fellow Americans of Latino descent are chastised for acknowledging they are part of this country.

People who take that much pride in their heritage should remember the borders are open both ways. I choose to remain here, proud of the heritage I am creating for my children.

John Alemparte

Downey

As a San Gabriel Valley native (and one of those fourth-generation Mexican Americans mentioned in the article), it escapes me why so many in Baldwin Park disdain their city's small, family-owned businesses in favor of chain stores and restaurants.

Why would anyone want their community to look just as homogenized as every other place in the country? As for me, I'll take the little hole-in-the-wall place over Chili's any day of the week.

Daniel Raul Navar

Oakland

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